An interview with Austin-East’s defensive line coach Alyson Pointer, the first woman to coach football in Knox County.
Knoxville News Sentinel
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Food truck sales benefit Alzheimer’s care
Al Lesar, Shopper News
Eating for a good cause is the best kind of eating.
Kay Lorick, community relations director at Morning Pointe Assisted Living and Memory Care in Powell for the past 2½ years, has found a way to feed the masses and at the same time give support to those families touched by dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Joan Inklebarger gives her lunch a “two thumbs up.” (Photo: Submitted)
For the second summer, Lorick has partnered with food trucks to set up at Morning Pointe (7700 Dannaher Drive), adjacent to Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center. A portion – somewhere between 10 and 20 percent – of each sale is donated.
Recipients of the funds are Alzheimer’s Tennessee and the Morning Pointe Foundation. The money provides caregiver support and clinical scholarships for nurses.
“One area that this helps is with research with dementia,” Lorick said. “There are support groups for the families of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as resources for them.
“The important thing is for the caregivers to know they’re not in this alone. We’re there to answer any questions they might have and to understand what they’re going through.”
Waffley Good, Knox Vittles, Cruisin’ Cuisine and Captain Muchacho’s set up shop in the Morning Pointe parking lot on individual Fridays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. this summer. With advertising and unique options on the menu, Lorick estimated 100 people from the hospital or other medical practices in the immediate area participated in the experience.
She’s hoping to extend the visits into the fall.
“Last year we tried it three times,” Lorick said. “We had the trucks open in the morning, for lunch and late afternoon. We found right around lunch brought the biggest crowd.
“When I looked for trucks to participate, I was looking for some that didn’t have just the normal food. I loved whatever any of them offered.”
‘It’s a calling’
Morning Pointe has 20 residents in the memory care portion of its facility. Lorick said it takes a special person to be a caregiver on that unit.
“Anyone who has lived with someone who has gone through dementia knows that it’s important to understand the residents are doing the best they can,” she said. “It’s a calling. There are times it can be exhausting, but they live for those moments when that ‘light’ comes on. You can tell that you’re enriching their life.
“Being able to bring a smile to the face of the resident and the family makes everything worthwhile.”
Lorick can relate to the “calling.” She dealt with a parent with Parkinson’s disease, navigating the frustration and (sometimes) guilt that is part of the process.
“You can’t help how you feel,” Lorick said. “It’s important to know you can share this with others; you’re not in this alone.”
Lorick said that during the spring and early summer the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic put a halt on the visits before they started. Once logistics were worked out, their appearance has been a success.
Besides spreading the word to the office workers in the medical-heavy area, Lorick said the Morning Pointe staff were available to help residents, who weren’t allowed to venture outside, secure their food.
WORDS OF FAITH
What’s going on with our ‘frontier narrative’?
John Tirro, Shopper News columnist
When I was a kid in the ’70s, the best Christmas present I got was a pair of books, one called “Space” and the other called “Ocean.” They were oversize, colorful, and filled with pictures and information about these two frontiers, one up to the outer reaches, one down to the depths, with space suits, scuba suits, and vacuum-sealed houses for everyone in both.
My sense at the time was that we’d run out of other frontiers, which was a big deal for an American kid growing as I did, child of immigrants and pioneers, with cowboy movies on the TV at all times and an unquestioned sense of constant progress. We were the nation rising from mistakes of the past, democracy from monarchy, freedom from slavery, knowledge from ignorance, science from superstition, with better and better cars driving faster and faster.
Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues” was on the radio — “Rockets… moonshots… spend it on… the have nots… money… we make it… before we see it… you take it… woah, make me wanna holler, the way they do my life” — but I was still listening to my “Wild Bill Hickok, King of the Wild Frontier” LP. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there was another point of view, which is appropriate for 5-year-olds.
My image of First Nations people was limited to a weather-worn Indian shedding a long tear for a river destroyed by litter. Didn’t even occur to me, at the time, that the tear may not primarily have been about litter, but about the city in the background and the conquest and ruin that put it there in the first place.
If you’re in the privileged place in society, it takes a while to realize not everyone is having the same experience. That’s kind of the definition of what privilege is. Your experience is placed at the center of the story. Whether it’s going well for you or poorly, whether your parents’ business ventures succeeded or failed, whether people helped your grandparents or robbed them, you’re still part of the story of American success, as long as you fit the description of the main character of the story.
In my case, that looked pretty much like a white kid wearing chaps and a vest, carrying a metal bowl from Mom’s kitchen, to pick blackberries in the not-yet-developed property next door. Or making a rocket or a submarine out of a refrigerator box, or exploring the nearby forest with friends.
The frontier narrative is strong. It tells a story of curiosity, ingenuity, innovation and perseverance. What would it be like to apply those qualities to a new story that places everyone at the center, “with liberty and justice for all”?
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11). The new frontier is relationship.
John Tirro is pastor of music and campus ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Info: sjlcknox.org.
Sutherland shop powers through pain to fully equip runners
John Shearer, Shopper News
A long-distance runner is used to pushing on through obstacles and a Sutherland Avenue store devoted to the sport has been doing that as well after opening only a few months before the pandemic struck.
Through the business equivalent of pacing itself and trying to stay safe, The Long Run at 2452 Sutherland Avenue across from John Tarleton Park has been able to survive so far.
“Everything seems to be going as well as expected in our second year during a pandemic,” said co-owner Julia Conner with optimism and a slight laugh.
Conner, who calls herself a middle-of-the-pack runner, left her job as a veterinarian in Pigeon Forge to start the new-concept business in April 2019 with Ethan Coffey, a top local long-distance runner.
While such local businesses as the Runners Market in Western Plaza in Bearden have drawn customers primarily through the sale of shoes, The Long Run has tried to specialize in helping a serious or casual runner look and feel stylish and comfortable above the feet.
“We’re not a traditional running store,” she said. “They are usually more focused on shoes.”
Like many businesses, The Long Run’s germination came after the owners saw a need that they did not feel was being met locally.
“We were wearing running apparel you couldn’t find anywhere in Knoxville,” said Conner, who grew up in Jamestown, Tenn., and did not start running seriously until she reached age 30. “We tried to bring in brands other stores aren’t carrying.”
She said they initially started selling such apparel for men as Vuori exercise and leisure wear, known for being comfortable and soft. But they eventually branched off into carrying clothing and accessories for women, including products from rabbit and Oiselle, both of which are women-owned startup companies.
They also sell hats and a few shoes from the On company. Other brands they offer are Janji, goodr and Rhone.
Conner said that while the clothing can benefit the serious runner, the apparel is also ideal for the casual runner or exerciser wanting to be stylish and comfortable while fitted properly.
So far, the concept seems to have worked and — like the popular tables full of water bottles, bananas and bagels sitting at the finish line of races — the business has been able to draw people.
“We’ve had great support from the community, and I feel like we’ve had great feedback from everyone,” Conner said.
Hats, pictured on Sept. 2, 2020, are also among the offerings found at The Long Run apparel store on Sutherland Avenue. (Photo: John Shearer/Shopper News)
They had also used the former hair-styling building for gatherings like viewing the Olympic Marathon trials, fitness and yoga classes, meeting up before group runs, a podcast by former West High cross-country coach Patrick Gildea and Coffey, and enjoying beer on tap. But much of that has been curtailed since the pandemic began.
However, Conner said they are still pleased with the traffic that has come into the store, and also like the overall business flow on Sutherland Avenue, which is becoming a trendier shopping and dining place.
The store is open Tuesday through Sunday. Conner usually mans it during the week, while Coffey, who also works full time in ORNL-related work, is often there on Fridays and weekends.
Coffey is a past winner and runner-up finisher in the Knoxville Marathon who once gained local attention for running the Boston Marathon course backward as a fundraiser a short time before successfully completing the regular race.
People have often had trouble keeping up with him, but when not racing he wants to keep up with fellow enthusiasts, and the business allows this.
“Ethan is already involved with the running community, and this is another way to be even more involved,” Conner said.
Apple Festival canceled, but here’s how to get your jams, apple butter and pies
Ali James, Shopper News
This year would have been Washington Presbyterian Church’s 43rd annual Apple Festival. Traditionally held on the third Saturday in October, the Corryton event raises upwards of $30,000 to support several mission causes throughout the year. Sadly, it looks like the church will fall short of its fundraising goals by several thousand dollars.
Washington Presbyterian Church volunteers pack fried apple hand pies to sell at the Apple Festival in October 2019. The Apple Festival has been canceled this year, but throughout August, volunteers have been making pies to sell at The Chow Hall late September/early October 2020. (Photo: submitted)
Ann Bowen, now the virtual chair of the Apple Festival, and longtime church member Kelly Shipe Jeffers talked about how festival goers can still purchase their favorite jams, jellies, relishes, and salsas.
“There was a hope that by summer we would come out of it (the pandemic), but then it really looked like we weren’t going to,” said Shipe Jeffers. “The church session made the decision in early June to cancel the event this year.”
Fear not, the church is selling the same home-canned goods normally available at the festival at The Chow Hall, at 5700 East Emory Road. Alternatively, customers can call the church to leave a message and place an order at 865-688-7755.
The selection includes: bread and butter pickles, sweet relish, chunky mustard pickles (delicious on hot dogs or roasts), pickled yellow squash, zesty zucchini relish, salsa, strawberry or blueberry jam. Prices start at $4.75 for the pints, $4.25 for the jelly jars, up to $7.25 for the 24-ounce jars of salsa.
“The owners of The Chow Hall are members of our church,” explained Bowen. “They are already open and following the social distancing deadlines. It is just a nice place for people to go and purchase things.”
Bowen said the goods should be available from now until the end of September — or until they run out.
Shipe Jeffers recalls going to the Apple Festival when she was a little girl. “It started on the lawn and inside the church building, but it has grown exponentially with people traveling from other states to it,” she said. “It has turned into a Norman Rockwell experience. It was a time and space you could come to enjoy the music and grounds and have a sweet time in the fall.”
Planning usually starts in the early spring. “As far as the canned goods, we start in the beginning of the summer with jams, jellies, relishes and sweet pickles,” Bowen said. “We make apple butter four to five times during the summer.”
One day a week during August, they make fried hand pies and store them in the freezer to sell at the Apple Festival. “It’s a lot of hands and days,” said Bowen. “Then we gather the apples for the pressed fresh cider – people are always asking about our apple butter and pies.”
By early October, Bowen said they will have 200 pints of apple butter to add to the list of canned goods for sale. At this point, they are unsure if they will be able to sell their apple cider.
The Granny’s Attic rummage sale, live Americana and gospel music, auctions, raffles, wagon rides, children’s area, arts and crafts, apple butter making and the smell of smoked ribs will be missed this year.
“There is just not a way for us to do them,” added Bowen. “People can always keep an eye on Facebook — who knows what we will be able to add, but we have had to do things more conservatively.”
Bowen said they typically pick three to four missions to support each year. “The Morgan-Scott Project and Wesley House are the two main ones we support every year, and we keep a small amount for mission needs throughout the year.” The Morgan-Scott Project offers a variety of programs and services to low-income residents in those counties. Wesley House provides academic, emotional and spiritual support in Knoxville’s most under-resourced areas.
Since announcing the canned goods for sale on Facebook on Sept. 1, the pair said they have been blown away by the response. Because this time has been really hard on local charities and missions, Bowen said that if anyone simply wants to make a donation, they can call the church directly.
Grounded in community: Rosalind Hall of Lonsdale named to KCDC board
Carol Z. Shane, Shopper News
During the 25 years that Rosalind Hall has lived in the Lonsdale community, she’s seen a lot of changes — all for the good. “It looks so much better. I love Lonsdale. I love the community; I love the people here.”
The feeling is mutual. As a longtime resident and a dedicated, 12-year member of Lonsdale’s Open Door Church, Hall spends much of her time as a church and community volunteer. Her neighbors feel comfortable telling her their needs.
It’s no wonder that Mayor Indya Kincannon has picked Hall to serve on the Knoxville Community Development Corporation board.
Rosalind Hall, 25-year resident of the Lonsdale Community and KCDC’s newest resident commissioner. August 6, 2020. (Photo: Stephen Ellis)
KCDC’s Board of Commissioners oversees all the agency’s programs, including affordable housing administration, redevelopment and rental assistance programs. The seven citizen board members are appointed by the mayor of Knoxville, and since 1988 has included a resident commissioner who participates in KCDC housing. Hall will serve a two-year term.
“We welcome Rosalind to the board,” KCDC executive director and CEO Ben Bentley says. “As a resident commissioner, she brings her commitment to serving families and insight about living within our Lonsdale Community.”
A graduate of Oak Ridge High School, retired from restaurant management and industrial fields, Hall has four grown children, all of whom live in the area and see her regularly. This is her first board appointment, and she’s enjoying it. “So far, so good. I’m learning something new, and the board members seem like they’re wonderful.” Her family’s very proud, and she says she’s looking forward to meeting the mayor “to tell her ‘thank you so much.’”
“The meaningful insight from our resident commissioners benefits our board and our residents,” said Bob Whetsel, chair of KCDC’s Board of Commissioners. “Rosalind has a personal mission to serve her community, and I look forward to working with her and welcome her to our dedicated and talented board.”
The board may benefit from Hall’s presence in more ways than one.
“I love to cook,” she says. “When I was coming up I used to watch my grandmother and my mother cook while the other kids would be outside playing; that’s how I learned. And I love to bake.”
Hall says she derives great joy from treating her friends and family to her homemade macaroni, turnip greens, yams and cornbread, and she’s got her eye on her new colleagues.
“I’m going to see if I can cook for them and bring it to a board meeting some day.”
It’s music to your ears at academy’s new home
Margie Hagen, Shopper News
A high note was struck as the Knoxville Academy of Music showcased its new school in the West End. The spacious and well-appointed music studio recently moved from the old Kroger center and celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Aug. 31.
The largest independent music school in Tennessee, KAM had suffered through the shutdown along with every other business. For four long months, lessons were online only; in-person instruction began again on July 15.
For Academy director and owner Jeff Comas, the move was a double success. “Not only were we able to welcome students back, we did it in our new location,” he said. “The proximity to the schools means kids can walk to lessons after classes and it’s convenient for parents to pick them up. We’re very happy here.”
The award-winning school — open to all experience levels — teaches guitar, piano, voice, drums and bass. With nine studios and several qualified instructors, students can learn at their own pace through private and group lessons.
Assistant director Brandi Clifton-Cowen noted all of the safety measures in place. “We do more than the county mandates,” she said. That includes social distancing, plenty of sanitizing and special face coverings. Masks and shields have clear mouth coverings that allow students and teachers to communicate easily and to see smiles.
“There is a lot of benefit to being taught in-person,” Comas said. “It encourages a strong bond between student and teacher.” He noted, “It’s never too late to learn. Our students range from ages 4 to 88.”
Find complete information at knoxvilleacademyofmusic.com and take an online tour on the website. You can also call 865-675-1655 to schedule an in-person visit at the studio, 165 West End Ave.
Postscript: It’s time for me to say goodbye. While I will miss writing about Farragut, retirement beckons. The best part of my job was telling the stories of the many wonderful people I have met over the years. The kind and generous spirit of this community leaves me optimistic about the future, so thank you all for a good run.
You’ll be meeting new Farragut correspondent and resident Gabi Szymanowska around town. The 2020 UT graduate holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism and electronic media and was a reporter and editor for The Daily Beacon. Keep reading and sending your stories to [email protected]
Shopper News blog: It’s a good day for a laugh
Leslie Snow, Shopper News columnist
My mom calls to tell me she’s worried about me. “You’re doing too much,” she says. “You’re painting the kitchen cabinets and shopping for my furniture. You’re working so hard to get the little house ready. I don’t want you exhausting yourself.”
I try to reassure her. I tell her I’m happy to be working on the house. I tell her I’m fine and that she doesn’t need to worry. But worrying is one of the things my mother does best. It’s hard for her to let go of her anxiety. We recycle the same conversation nearly every day.
Leslie Snow, News Sentinel columnist. (Photo: Paul Efird, Paul Efird/News Sentinel)
When I send her a picture of the bed I want her to buy, she calls again. “The bed is beautiful, and I think the price is great, but shouldn’t you be working? You’re spending all your time on me. Part of the reason I didn’t want to move to Knoxville is that I didn’t want to be a burden to you. I feel like I’m a burden already and we haven’t even moved yet.”
I tell her for the hundredth time that she’s not a burden. I assure her I’m right where I want to be, doing just what I want to be doing. I try to convince her I’m being truthful, but I can’t find the right words to make her believe me.
Then I send her the picture I’ve been waiting to send. It’s the before and after photo from our do-it-yourself project. “The kitchen cabinets are finally finished,” I text. “What a transformation! We can’t stop patting ourselves on the back.” I send her a selfie of the painting crew; it’s me, my husband, and my brother in law, Chas. We’re all smiling proudly. We look satisfied and maybe a little smug, too.
“Wow!” she writes back. “The kitchen is so beautiful! And you all look so happy!”
When I read that last sentence, I feel compelled to call her.
“Mom,” I say when she answers, “the reason we all look so happy is that we are happy! We’re so happy to be doing this for you. It’s not a chore and you’re not a burden. You don’t need to be responsible for my emotions. I promise I’ll protect myself and raise my hand if I feel overwhelmed, but right now, I’m joyful for the first time since Laurie passed away.”
She hears those words and gets choked up. There’s a moment when she doesn’t speak at all but then she says, “You do sound happy. I always thought this move would be too much work for everybody, but you all seem to be enjoying yourself. I didn’t expect that.”
Then she’s laughing at the cabinet paint on my face and we’re talking about where her furniture will go. “Can you send me another picture of the couch and chairs you picked out? I want to see how my sofa table will look with everything.” I send her furniture photos while I sit outside watching my Great Danes play together in the back yard.
I stretch my arms and yawn. I’m tired from painting, but it’s a good kind of tired. I accomplished something big. I picked out some pretty furniture, I painted kitchen cabinets with some close friends, and I got to hear my mother laugh. All and all, it was a good day.
Leslie Snow may be reached at snow [email protected]
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