Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Marshall Long Passing

Marshall Allen Long, 63, passed away Sunday, December 28, 2008 at his residence with family by his side.

He was born April 20, 1945 in Church Hill (New Canton).

He lived in Gate City, VA for the past 36 years. A member of Hale's Chapel United Methodist Church and Choir and also a member of the New Beginnings Quartet. He worked for many years with Greyhound Bus Lines.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Blanche and Eldridge Lyons; sister, Cecile Leeper and a nephew, James Leeper, Jr.

Mr. Long is survived by his wife, Sarah (Susie) Long, of the home; six daughters, Pamela Mack, Gate City, VA, Shaunda Mack (Jessee), Kingsport, TN, Kedith Renay Anderson, Kingsport, TN, Carmen and husband, Brian Hurt, Gate City, VA, Yolanda Mack (Sanford), Kingsport, TN and Jonikki and husband, Ron Cope, Gate City, VA; one son, Rodney Mack (La Tonya), Kingsport, TN; thirteen grandchildren, Tylasha Mack, Terrence Mack, D'Andre Mack, Tihlee Anderson, Brandon Mack, LaKeisha Mack, Ava Hurt, Shaniquah Mack, Savana Green, Toni Cope, Jayce Green, Brianna Hodge and Zayne Reed; one great granddaughter, Adrianna Lane; one brother, James W. Leeper, Sr., Church Hill, TN; aunts, Mary Johnson, Jessie Welch, Kingsport, TN; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Gladys and Buster Stacey, Weber City, VA, George and Wanda Turner, Johnson City, TN, Wilma Lewis, Gate City, VA and Walter Turner, St. Charles, MO; special friends, Contrina and Bob Payne, Gate City, VA and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, January 2, 2009 at Gate City Funeral Home and other times at the residence. Services will be at 8 p.m. in the Gene Falin Memorial Chapel of the funeral home with Rev. James Snapp, Pastor Steve Templeton and Rev. Rochelle Maxwell officiating. Music will be provided by the Church Choir, New Beginnings and Janice Sharp.

Graveside services will be conducted Saturday, January 3, 2009, 11 a.m. at New Canton Cemetery, Church Hill, TN (Community of New Canton). The family will meet at 10 a.m. at the funeral home to go in procession to the cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Gordon Wood, Jeff Parkey, Jason Shoemaker, Robert Goff, Troye Anderson and Glenn McGee.

Honorary pallbearers will be Carl Muncey, Sr., Wallace Ross, Sr., Jack Anderson, Offeyette Robinette.

Contributions may be made to Gate City Funeral Home. P.O. Box 427, Gate City, VA 24251 at the request of the family of Mr. Long.

Online guest registry is available at

Gate City Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Long family.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mrs. Henrietta Huff Horton Passing

Ms. Henrietta Joyce Huff-Horton of Kingsport went home to be with the Lord on Christmas Day. She was 57 years old.
She was born in Stonega Va., and was the seventh child of Evelyn I. Carter and Charles F. Huff.

She attended Church Hill High School in Church Hill and was retired from Tennessee Eastman Company.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Evelyn Huff; two brothers, Sylvester and Jonathan D. Huff; and a sister Gracie D. Huff.
She leaves to celebrate her homegoing her son, Brian S. Huff; three daughters, Crystal Bogus-White (Robert) Kingsport, Jacquetta Steel, Cleveland Ohio, Cherish Bogus-Fisher, Kingsport; five sisters, Zeffree Price, Cincinnati, Ohio, Reba Austin (Henry), Winston-Salem, N.C., Virginia and Kitty Huff, Kingsport, Sharon White, Columbia S.C.; four brothers, Charles Huff, Orlando, Fla., Harold Huff (Felicia) Winston-Salem, N.C., Mark Huff (Shelia), Kingsport, Sylvester (Don) Huff, Cincinnati, Ohio; 11 grandchildren, Kiowa, Sylvoski, Jasmine, Eve, Ursula, Lil Robie, Quindalyn, Jalin, Jared, Anthony, William; and one great-grandchild, JaNiah. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Her physical presence will be sorely missed but her spirit will forever live in our hearts.
Calling hours are from 11 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday at the Carter-Trent Funeral Home, 520 Watauga St., Kingsport and also at the home of Crystal D. White at 415 Roller St., Kingsport. A funeral service will be at 12 noon in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Darrell Riley officiating.
Burial will follow funeral services at East Lawn Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Robert White, Mark Huff, Kijuan Huff, Brian Huff, Carl Gerard and Harold Huff.
Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Huff, Carl Gerard, Sr., Henry Austin and Ronnie Carpenter. Flower bearers will be her granddaughters.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Kidney Foundation of Tennessee, 4450 Walker Blvd., Suite 2, Knoxville, Tenn. 37917 or Kingsport Diabetes Association, Kingsport, Tenn. Office, P.O. Box 3952, Kingsport, Tenn. 37664.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting
Carter-Trent Funeral Home, downtown Kingsport is serving the Horton family.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Joy To The World-Togetherness In Riverview": CBS Christmas Day Concert

"Reverend Stokley was pretty good about spotting young people who were not doing something in the church," says Bernice Horton. "He could look at a child and watch them, and he'd know right away what role they needed to play in the church."


"If you were not contributing, Reverend Stokley would find a place for you, something in the church for you to do. I miss that about him."

Mrs. Horton made that observation, as she waited in the audience for the Central Baptist Singers Alumni to present their annual Christmas Day program at the Central Baptist Church in Kingsport for 2008. This year's theme was "Joy to the World: It's Not About Us, It's About Jesus."

"All of the CBS Singers remember their upbringing," she says, while listening to Christmas music in the santuary. "They've all grown up over the years, growing closer, their voices getting better, and their relationship with the Lord becoming part of their lives."

After the opening Scripture from Minister William Dennis and Prayer from Pastor Patsy Swagerty, the Princesses of God made their Processional into the santuary, to the delight of the audience. A wonderful selection followed from the Joyful Angels proclaiming the show theme "Joy to the World."

The New Vision Youth Kids recited a Christmas cantata, using the Spoken Word to deliver the message of the Birth of Jesus. Director Johnnie Mae Swagerty once again demonstrated the power of the Church in the lives of children, who accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

The CBS Choir also showcased its talents with "You Are Holy, Lord," and "Great is Your Mercy." Then came an inspirational saxaphone selection from Casey McClintock, and a Praise Dance from Lolita Dukes. "It's inspiring to me to see the changes in Gospel Music these days," says Mrs. Horton, herself a veteran of more than 25 years of singing in the Central Baptist Church Senior Choir.

"We didn't have dancers back 25 years ago in church," she says, "but now we do. They allow the children to do interpretive dances like the Bible speaks of, and the music that they're dancing to has changed. It's just good to see a chance, and different interpretations of the Bible."

The musical group Transition also sang a new wave gospel song, that had the audience singing along with the members. It combined a popular song with gospel, with a bit of rap music put in for the young people influence. It was a big hit with the crowd.

"I remember years ago, when Louetta's son Kenneth Springs and his brother sang a song that had been a hit, and they sang it as a gospel. They asked Reverend Stokley if they could do it, and he said yes, without hesitation. They changed "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," to "Jesus is The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." Just a beautiful song, and it's still popular. I hear other local groups singing it."

Arron Howard also displayed his talents as a saxaphone player with a gospel rendition, which also displayed the influence of popular music with Christian music.

One of the highlights of the program was the announcement of the first annual Mrs. Pinkie Horton Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is dedicated to our own Mrs. Pinkie Horton, who along with Mrs. Bernice Horton, also sang in the Central Baptist Church Senior Choir, one of the most popular church choirs in East Tennessee's African-American community. The $1,000 dollar scholarship is actually a dual scholarship of $500 dollars for a lucky girl, and $500 dollars for a lucky boy, who send in written essays to qualify for the funds. The winners will be announced during the CBS Gospel Explosion planned for next August.

After the concert, a reception was held in the Central Baptist Fellowship Hall, with delicious food and punch. Especially moving was the birthday cake to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which capped off a wonderful evening of song, dance, inspiration, tribute, and community fellowship.

"These events are always good for the community," says Mrs. Horton. "There are people who don't get out much, but they're here tonight, and we thank Lisa Williamson for that. I'm old school, and she gives the children in the church something to remember, like Bible lessions.. little things you take for granted. "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, For the Bible Tells Me So." Those kids, when they grow up, they're never going to forget that. Same thing with Johnny Mae Swagerty and the New Vision Kids. They'll study those lessons more, and will be more prepared for the lives ahead of them.

"There'll also come a time when they'll be ready to pass down what they've learned, to the next generation, just as they are, OUR next generation right now," says Mrs. Horton.

"Right now, they're getting the right teaching. Just like Reverend Stokley would have liked."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season

With Christmas here, REMEMBER:

Jesus is Better than Santa..

Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh..
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year..
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies..
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited..
JESUS stands at your door and knocks..
And then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name..

Santa lets you sit on his lap..
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is:
"Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"

JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name,
He knows our address too.

He knows our history and future,
And He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly..
JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.

Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree..
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.

Jesus is still the reason for the season.

May the Lord Bless and Watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008..
And may He prosper and bless the work of your hands in the New Year.

Christmas Carolling in Riverview


From left to right: I’shawn Graves, Aurie Wolfe, Asonte Lovelace and Jacob Stout sing Christmas carols with Johnnie Mae Swagerty at a house on Dale Street as they carol with New Vision Youth of the Riverview community Monday evening. The children sang on Dale Street, Maple Street and Brookhaven Manor in their third year singing together during the holiday season.

A resident on Dale Street listens as the group sings in front of her home.

At right, Ayleonna Camp joins in on the Christmas carols.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ebony Club Starting Back Up!


All members of the former Ebony Club (1977-2005) are encouraged to join the new social network, "The Kingsport Ebony Club Alumni Association". The site was created by Jeff Faulkerson, a 1986 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School. The site will be used assemble a team of volunteers to begin planning for the association's first annual Ebony Club reunion.

Questions or comments about the site should be directed to Jeff at or (919) 604-4585.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kingsport General Shale Plant Closing for Good

Riverview's next-door neighbor is no more.

The Douglass Alumni website has learned that General Shale, one of Kingsport's first and oldest industries, is closing its plant between Riverview, downtown and Industry Drive.

"We are hearing that General Shale is not going to reopen at the Kingsport site," says Chris McCartt, assistant to the city manager, after checking into the situation for this article. "What the company plans to do with the property, (the city is) not sure at this point. Your observations that the plant seems to be winding down its brick shipments and is apparently dismantling equipment, appears to be true, from what we have been told."

Remember when those dusty brickyard dump trucks used to race up and down Lincoln Street back in the day in Riverview? Just playing along the street, our children took their lives in their hands, because those drivers never slowed down.

One rumor making the rounds is that Eastman Chemical has purchased the General Shale property appears to be false. For this article, we checked with the Sullivan County Tax Assessor's Office, and found that the Shale property, which lists 100 Hill Street, Kingsport as its address, is still owned at this point by General Shale. "We clarified the Shale situation with our contacts at Eastman," says Mr. McCartt, " and they tell us they are not looking to acquire the property at this time. It may be on their radar screen, but nobody knows what General Shale is going to elect to do."

It was only back in March that General Shale announced a layoff of 48 employees and a temporary shutdown of brick manufacturing at the Kingsport plant. In an article in the Kingsport Times-News, Matt Kinser, vice president of marketing and corporate development at the Johnson City headquarters, said at the time "the current state of the economy and the slowdown in the construction industry had gotten the plant to that point."

That was not the first time declining home construction has impacted the Kingsport plant. In 2006, the company laid off about 40 workers and closed its oldest brick kiln because of the downturn in the housing industry.

In the March layoffs and production halt, Kinser also told the newspaper that the company was trying to ship out a record amount of inventory that has been stored on site, and that the company decided to temporarily suspend brick production until the economy improved and sales resume.

At that time, Hilary Weigel wrote a comment to the newspaper on the layoffs. "My dad is one of the 48 employees being laid off," she wrote. "He has been working for General Shale for the past 25 years. This is the first time that he has been laid off since he started working there. Lay offs hit families hard and I understand my family isn't the first to have to go through one. I just think it's a real shame that our economy has fallen into such a slump that lay offs are such a common thing now days. I wish the best of luck to all the families being effected by the lay off at General Shale and hope this situation is just "temporary".

Apparently, the situation is not temporary. It is now permanent. "The property still belongs to General Shale right now," says Mr. McCartt, "but there will no longer be a brick manufacturing operation any longer on that property."

So, now the question is.. what will become of the General Shale property, bordered on the east side by the CSX Railroad and downtown, on the southside by Riverview, on the west side by Industry Drive, the spur railroad and the Holston River, and on the north side by what used to be the Penn-Dixie Cement plant, now part of Domtar? There is at least 100 acres of land, zoned industrial for manufacturing.

"From the city's standpoint, we have always looked at that property as industrial property," says Mr. McCartt, "so if you take it away from that, what would it become.. commercial, mixed use, or something totally different from that? That's something we just don't know yet. I would be hesitant to even speculate what it could be, because it has so many roads it could go down. Time will just have to tell."

Depending upon General Shale decides to do with the property, if it is sold or given to the city of Kingsport, could it ever be rezoned residential, and be developed into an expansion of the Riverview neighborhood?

"The answer to that is.. it's a possibility," says Mr. McCartt, "but then, so is every other speculative idea out there. The property could be anything. (The city of Kingsport) would certainly like to see it developed, and it could very well be an expansion of the residential area once it's cleaned up. It's too early to tell because, again, General Shale has not decided what it wants to do with the property."

"Any kind of development of the Shale property, whether industrial, commercial or residential has one limitation," Mr. McCartt says, "and that's the railroad. The property, as you mention, is landlocked on one side by the railroad, and on the other side by Industry Drive and the river. How do you put something in there, that doesn't have a conflict with the rail line or the river, not to mention Riverview and Domtar? It is an interesting prospect."

"We are always looking at property that comes on the market, should the Shale property become available," says Mr. McCartt. "Our criteria, as always, is: does it benefit the citizens of Kingsport for us to acquire it, because you don't want to just buy every piece of land out there. A good example of that is the old Kingsport Foundry property.. we did not purchase that, and in hindsight, a lot of people felt that perhaps we should have purchased it, given the "gateway to downtown" approach that people put on it. Quebecor is one property that was donated, and so far, that has been a benefit to the citizens. You know Calvin, it varies, and this General Shale situation is so new, so early on, that we cannot even say how quickly or how big of an interest the city would have in acquiring that."

"I do think," says Mr. McCartt, "that it will be a decision that will definitely be on our radar screen. Again, it depends on what General Shale plans to do. We don't have any plans on the table, and can't even speculate on our plans, until Shale makes a decision. We just know that they won't be back as a brick manufacturing operation."

Amber Alert FAKE!

As I suspected..
The Amber Alert below is a fake.. a phoney..

FRAUD.. and a bunch of people fell for it.

I spoke directly to the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center.. if you call the number below listed for David Gleaves, it rings the main number for the Criminal Justice Center.

A spokesman in that office, tells me the Amber Alert about a 4-year-old boy is phony, and they have been getting many calls about it. She apologized that some people have nothing better to do, than to perpetrate a fraud, especially at Christmas. So of course, I called all the other numbers listed.. 2 of them are not valid, one of them the phone is off, and the other I left a message, telling them I'm notifying everybody of the fraud they're running down on people.

Folks, I've said this before.. do not believe everything you get in an email, unless you know the person sending it. The best way for scam artists to get to you, is by email, because for some reason, everybody tends to believe everything they read in them. What makes an email more believable than any other communication?

Scam artists used to knock on your door, you stopped opening it.
Scam artists used to send you stuff in the mail, you started throwing it out.
Scam artists used to call you on the phone; you got Caller I-D.
Scam artists are emailing you..
Get the picture?

This particular scam could have ended up COSTING YOU MONEY!


AMBER Alert? Really?

This "Amber Alert" message has been emailed to a bunch of people.. I got it from several Riverview folks:

Subject: amber alert..please forward

Please be on the lookout for this precious little boy,

The mother of this child is a member of the Victory Church on Brick Church Pike. Please forward…. You never know who knows somebody!!!! !

Please Forward!

Missing 4 year Old Boy -
You never know, who knows whom

Another child missing.
Please forward to everyone you know.
Her family needs your help finding him.


David Gleaves (father) – 615-862-8269
Princess Ladd (mother) – 615-977-9653
Danyell Renwick (aunt) – 615-554-0213
Margoretta Ladd (aunt) 615-596-0132
Latesia Appleton (aunt) 615-578-5388
If this was your child you would forward it.


First of all, there is NO description of the child, there is NO picture attachment of the child, there is no FULL name given for the child, and the child is NOT listed with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on its Tennessee Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children. Proper procedure is to notify police about a missing child, and they will post a picture, description and other information on the TBI website: (copy and paste this link into your browser's address window, to see what I'm talking about). Police will also notify the news media.
Is there some reason why this family has not contacted the police?

Secondly.. in the TO: line.. A Friends and Family? Is that really a misspelling? In my consumer investigative stories, the first thing I have found out about Nigerian scam artists, is that none of them have command of the King's English.

Thirdly.. Brick Church Pike is in Nashville (my aunt lives near there), and there are a bunch of Nashville area code 615 telephone numbers in the notice listed for for you to call, BUT NOT ONE OF THEM IS TO THE METRO NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

Fourth.. the "reaching a world-wide audience" thing bothers me. With 4-year-old Caylee Anthony down in Florida, are the cops searching for her in Paris, Bombay or Tokyo? No. They think they found her remains a few blocks from her grandparents' house.

And finally, the clincher.. the tell-tale sign of a scam. This one comes at the end of the notice.. "If this were your child, you would forward it." It sounds to me like somebody is wanting you to send them money, knowing that Christmas is the gullible time of year that suckers will give people money because of that soft spot everybody gets around the holiday.

I am checking into this "amber alert," if that's what it is, because I do not want my people taken for a ride.

What I find out, you will see it here.

I hesitated to post it at all because of the above red flags, but since it has made the rounds to a lot of good people, I am compelled to find out for your sake, if it is legitimate.

-- Calvin

Kingsport Kitchen of Hope: 'My Heart is Full'

Kingsport, Church Hill students become guardian angels for Kitchen of Hope
‘They really found out about the true meaning of giving for this time of year.’
— Lesley Counts

This story courtesy the Kingsport Times-News, by KEVIN CASTLE

KINGSPORT — Geraldine Swagerty couldn’t stop smiling or laughing Monday afternoon. It could have been because the shelves of her soup kitchen were stocked to overflowing.

And it also could have been because of the generosity of more than 50 students from Kingsport and Church Hill paying a visit to the Kitchen of Hope bringing carloads of supplies and checks that will help to pay for many more meals.
“You walk by that pantry now, and I just see it as a work of God. I’m more at ease now, but I just knew that he wouldn’t forsake us or let us go without. He just brought a lot more angels to do the job,” said Swagerty, who started the soup kitchen in the basement of her Full Gospel Mission Church on Sevier Avenue.
It took three vehicles to bring in the donations from Indian Springs Elementary, said third-grade teacher Leslie Counts, whose class voted to forgo a $5 gift for each student in order to turn that money over to the Kitchen of Hope.

“Well, some of the students were upset that they gave up their gift. But then they saw the donations of food and things coming in, and they told me, ‘Ms. Counts, we have to get more.’ So they got it. They really found out about the true meaning of giving for this time of year,” their teacher said.
The initial project was spread out among the third-grade classes at the school, but Counts said it soon became an effort that the entire school wanted to help in.
“It caught on because other kids saw the fun and the excitement our kids were having bringing in all the supplies,” said Counts, who also presented a check of over $250 to the kitchen Monday.
The girls of the Red Cap Society — a take on the famous Red Hat Society, according to Church Hill Middle School teacher Patricia Johnson — also came to the soup kitchen with holiday cheer in the form of a check for over $200 that was collected by selling homemade Christmas ornaments.
“When other students and teachers found out what the kids were selling it for, they wanted to get as many as possible so the money would go to the kitchen,” said Johnson.

This club at Church Hill Middle School has taken on projects for the past three years to raise money for such groups as the Church Hill Community Chest, Hawkins County Animal Shelter, and raising more than $1,000 that went to a fund that benefited the late Erin Page, a student at Robinson Middle School who passed away earlier this year.
“We do what we can with the little club, but the kids cannot wait to help others. I think it is a great sign for our community’s future that this many kids care about others and will step up and do something,” said Johnson.
Swagerty says her high stress level has been taken down many notches since the beginning of the month, thanks to the kindness of so many.
“This is God’s message working through this shelter. People helping people. That’s what he put us down here to do, and you can tell that people are getting the message,” said Swagerty.
That message may have come through one of the Indian Springs third-graders, who whispered to her mom, “My heart is full,’’ after seeing the food being delivered.
Swagerty couldn’t agree more.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Douglass Alumni Trustee Board Meeting, 12/13/08

After reading of minutes from the last meeting, and their approval, trustees of the Douglass Alumni Association began discussing new businesson the upcoming reunion, various discounts at Meadowview the Douglass Alumni Association might qualify for. That idea is being checked into.

The financial report including various dues that folks have paid for the reunion registration, past due amounts from some members that they were bringing up to date, which confused treasurer Sandy Wilmer. It was decided that, rather than folks just paying money without designating where it's going, they need to keep a list themselves and turn that over to the treasury along with the monies, so that our treasurer will be able to keep a better account of what they want their money to go to.

Several titles were suggested and bounced around, as themes for the upcoming reunion.
"New Beginnings"
"What's Old is New Again"
"Moving Ahead With the Change"
"It's Now or Never"
"The Time for Change is Now"

After sometimes humorous debate, trustees decided on "The Time For Change is Now." Members voted and approved the slogan for Reunion '09.

Trustee Board Member Calvin Sneed told the group about the upcoming Dobbins Center /Douglass School renovation, which begins with the demolition of the historic Douglass Auditorium. Members were told of a plan to have two celebrations, one to be held indoors on January 10, 2009 at 12 Noon, that would be a program of music, speeches, and video presentations that commemorate the school building itself. The other celebration, an outdoor one because the inside of the building would be off-limits at that point, would be just a short program because of the cold, then the construction company chosen by the city would begin demolition. The date for that one would be announced later. Trustee Board Member Peaches Bly questioned why there needed to be a ceremony, since there had already been one for the former Riverview Apartments. Calvin said it would be a good idea to get the community together for the beginning of a significant event in the neighborhood. Peaches asked why there needed to be two ceremonies, and the need was explained that one would be to let the community in the auditorium for what would be the last time, and the other for the actual demolition, because at that point, no one would be allowed inside the building. Alumni President Doug Releford said, since any ceremony would not cost the Alumni Association anything and no one is compelled to attend either event, the Trustee Board would support both ceremonies.

Trustee Board Member Louetta Hall brought by a nice fountain pen that could be embossed with the Douglass High School name, that could be purchased by the Association as gifts to put in the souvenir grab bag that is given to folks who register for the reunion. After discussion, the Trustee Board voted to purchase blue pens to give away free, then sell matching gold pens, since our Douglass School colors are blue and gold.

At the last meeting, trustee board members had tabled a motion for discussion on raising the Alumni membership dues again, until more board members could be present. After discussion, the board decided to leave the increase as passed at the last meeting. Membership dues for two years will be 25 dollars, up from 15 dollars. Those dues are payable at any time, but will be included in the cost of registrating for the upcoming reunion, of which that cost is 100 dollars per person.. total cost: $125.00 per person.

Another all-points-bulletin has been issued for Trustee Board member George Smith, because items involving the Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament need to be discussed and finalized. No one has seen or talked to him, so it's thought that perhaps another golfing enthusiast could be found to spearhead the golf tournament, unless George is located. All golfers are now required to purchase a Reunion shirt, if they hadn't already registered for the Reunion itself, of which a shirt is automatically included. The types of shirts will be discussed at the next meeting.

Board member Peaches Bly had questions about whether the Dobbins/Douglass renovations would affect activities on Field Day, July 4th. Board member Calvin Sneed said that he's gotten no indication from the city, that construction and renovation work mostly likely will not affect activities and programs planned for the Douglass Ballfield.

A committee has also been formed to come up with a really nice Reunion commemorative booklet for the Reunion, with pictures and information.

The meeting adjourned to a pot luck lunch.

NEXT MEETING: Saturday, January 25, 2008. Time and place TBA

Daughters of Dunbar #344 Christmas Dinner

What would Christmas be without the Riverview Elks Lodge's Annual Holiday Dinner?

Folks enjoyed some real good eating this past Saturday, December 13th, courtesy of the Daughters of Dunbar Temple #344. It was good food, along with good fellowship.

"We've been hosting Christmas Dinner at least 20-25 years," says Lonnie Cox, member of the Clinch Mountain Elks Lodge #531 on MLK/Lincoln Street. "We try to do it right around this time every year for folks."

When you think of Christmas dinner, usually you think of ham, turkey and dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, candied yams, potato salad, greens, green beans and assorted cakes and pies. Diners at the Elks Lodge got that and more, plus only the neighborhood friendliness that prevails all around the Riverview Community.

"We used to give out baskets," said Lonnie, "but we haven't done that in about 5 or 6years. Turnout for the Elks Lodge brothers' Christmas dinner was kinda low, so the Daughters of Dunbar Temple decided to hold one of their own, and the Brothers helped them out. We let 'em come down, everybody welcome to eat in or out."

Another annual tradition is the delivery of Christmas dinners to the sick and shut-in. "We served about 45 or 50 dinners to our folks that couldn't come down to the lodge to eat. They are always welcome to come, but if they can't make it, we'll get a good, hot Christmas dinner to 'em. Our folks come together every year, to make sure everybody is served."

The Christmas tradition continues!

"And to all... a good night."

Kenneth Springs Funeral Services

Mr. Kenneth Springs (Scat) 68, born on February 8, 1940 and departed this life on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Springs was a retiree from Bristol Compressor in Bristol, VA and a member of New Hope Baptist Church. He was the lead singer for “The Scat Cats” band and a Veteran of the United States Army.

Mr. Springs was preceded in death by his parents’ Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Lester and Janie Springs, Davidson, NC; son, Curtis Springs; brother, Carl Springs; two sister, Loretta Davis and Betty Brown.

He is survived by his loving and faithful wife, Mrs. Azarene Springs; six daughters, Vanessa Springs, Atlanta, GA, Tonia Draper, Surgoinsville, TN, Sherika Springs, Bristol, VA, Lamara Young-Butler, Bristol, VA, Santina Young, Bristol, VA and Archenia Shaw, Bristol, VA; five sons, Kenneth Wayne (Kelly) Springs, Sr., Nashville, TN, Kenneth Springs, Jr. Knoxville, TN, Jamie (Whitney)Springs, Kingsport, TN, James Young and Lafonda Young, Bristol, VA;

Eleven granddaughters, eight grandsons; three brother, Terry Springs, Davidson, NC, John (Bettina)Springs, Ocala, FL, and Erving Springs, Atlanta, GA; one sister Barbara Springs, Bristol, TN; a devoted sister-in-law, Rosa (John) Smith; a devoted brother in-law, Harrison (Alice) Cooke Columbus, GA; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends

Funeral Services for Mr. Kenneth Springs will be conducted at 12 noon Friday, December 19, 2008 at the Lee Street Baptist Church, 1 Mary Street, Bristol, VA with Rev. William J. Reid, officiating. Interment will follow at VA National Cemetery, Mnt. Home, TN. The family will receive friends from 11:00 am till the hour of service.

Robert Lee Smith Funeral Arrangements

KINGSPORT — On Dec. 13, 2008, God’s angels came to take Robert Lee Smith home.
He was born to the late Hurd Smith and Alice Whiteside in Rogersville. Also preceding Robert was his wife, Ms. Hallie B. Smith.

He moved to Rochester, N.Y. for a short period of time and later moved to Rogersville.
Robert retired from Holston Defense Company, a divestiture of Eastman Kodak Company, after 25 years of service. Raised on the family’s farm lead to enjoyment of working in his vegetable garden, raising “hogs” (as he would say) working in his yard, and canning fruit and vegetables.
Robert was predeceased by one granddaughter, Hallene Blocker; five brothers, James E. Looney, Clifford E. Looney, Will Looney, Joe Looney and Kenneth Smith; one sister, Lucille Looney; two step-children, Virgil Livingston and Marva Mack.
He leaves to celebrate his life and cherish in loving memory an only child, Mrs. Laura Blocker (JC) of Rochester, N.Y.; one step-daughter, Mrs. Bobbie Jean Allen (Joe) of Rochester; four grandchildren, Cathy Toney, Linda Gaddis (Willie), Robbie Blocker and Jason Blocker, all of Rochester, N.Y.; 18 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Mary Ann Armstrong of Cleveland Ohio; three sisters-in-law, Bessie Looney (Will), Frankie Looney (Joe) and Frankie Smith (Ken); a very close and loving nephew, Mr. Thomas Looney; a special and dear friend, Mr. Clyde Harrison; and a host of other nieces, nephews, family members, step grandchildren and friends.
The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. till the hour of service at Full Gospel Mission Church.
Funeral services will be conducted at the church with Pastor Geraldine Swagerty officiating Thursday at 2 p.m.
The interment will follow at Hawkins County Memorial Gardens.
Mr. Robert Lee Smith and family are in the care of R.A. Clark Funeral Service, Inc. 423-245-4971.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmas Riverview-South Central Seniors

'Tis the season to fellowship, and remember friends that age threatens to take away.

The annual Christmas dinner party for the seniors in the Riverview-South Central neighborhood was held this past Saturday, December 6th, at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Center.

Snow and cold weather kept some folks away.. understandable, because that cold gets in your joints and your bones, and it takes a day or two to recover, but for the ones who braved the elements, the dinner party was well worth the trip out.

Never was our old Douglass Gym more festive than for the seniors, who were treated to a dinner of ham, fried chicken, green beans, and apple cobbler, just to name a few items. On tap was also that tangy punchbowl drink, that lended spice to an otherwise wonderful evening.

Our seniors were also treated to door prizes, which left everybody watching and waiting for their lucky number to be called. Even if you didn't win a prize, just the gentle ribbing given to our seniors was comforting.

Everybody was a winner.. beautiful scented candles by Airwick were given out free to visitors, and even in that corner of the gym, there was a wonderful aroma, that just meant "Christmas is in the air."

The New Vision Kids Youth also entertained the seniors, which brought smiles and nods of encouragement. Our seniors always love to see the kids doing something positive. The kids wore their Santa caps and reminded everybody what role the season plays for young ones. But there was also the reminder that Jesus is "the reason for the season," and that they need to always keep Christ in "Christmas."

The annual Christmas dinner party is sponsored by Weed and Seed, the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, and the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority.


Merry Christmas to all!

Mr. Kermit Boston Passing


Kermit H. Boston (1935-2008) Esteemed Figure in the Public Service Community Passes December 7, 2008-Lifelong executive, teacher, and sage to the public service community, Kermit H. Boston, passed away on November 23, 2008.

Boston was mourned by his friends and admirers at the many organizations he was committed to, including KQED Public Media, Grace Cathedral, Sigma Pi Phi and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternities. Boston was a senior partner at BKB Associates, Inc., San Francisco, providing professional development in management leadership and diversity, employee relations, and other areas of corporate education.

From 1991-1999, Boston was Director of Corporate Education, Computer Curriculum Corporations/Simon and Schuster Technology Group, in Sunnyvale, CA. For more than 20 years, Boston held various top management positions with McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, where he became the first African-American Corporate Vice President and General Manager of two revenue divisions.

Boston began his career as a teacher before entering the world of publishing and media. Boston dedicated his life to service and that is reflected in the many organizations where he dedicated his time and support.

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grew up in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown, and became a member of their Trustee Board in 1964. He moved on from there to the Riverside Church of New York City, where he became the Chair of the Board of Deacons. When he came to San Francisco, he became a member of Grace Cathedral, where he was a Past Chair of their Board of Trustees and was named Trustee Emeritus.

He was past Chairman of the KQED Board of Directors, and served on the Boards of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the vice president of Lay Community of the Association of Public Televisions Stations, a founder and vice president of the Bay Area Community Development Corporation, the Bishop's representative and board member of the Episcopal Senior Communities, Incorporated.

He was a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a past president of the San Francisco Graduate Chapter. He was also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity - the Boulé - and was immediate past sire archon of Beta Upsilon Boulé of S.F. and was elected Regional Sire Elect for the Pacific Region in October, 2007.

Boston's commitment to his community can also be seen by many member organizations and affiliations to whose existence he contributed: Chief Learning Officer for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity University, Past President, San Francisco Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Past President, Board of Managers, Buchanan Street YMCA-S.F.; Chairman Trustee Board of Grace Cathedral, S.F.; Chair of Elkus Ranch Board, UC Extension; Member, Board of Directors, Black Executives, Exchange Program of the National Urban League; Founding member and Vice President of the Bay Area Community Development Foundation; and a Founding member of The Western Addition Literary Reading & Discussion Group.

Boston's past member organizations and affiliations include: Member, Board of Directors, Literacy Volunteers of New York City and Member and Chairman of Board of Deacons, Riverside Church, New York. Boston earned his BS in Education from Cheyney University, Cheyney, PA and his MS in Administration from University of Pennsylvania. Among Boston's many awards are the James R. Ball Award from the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD); Outstanding Alumni of Cheyney University; Gamma Chi Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha, "Man of the Year."

Boston is survived by his wife, Barbra Ruffin-Boston; daughter, Kimberly Ketchum of Tucker, GA; grandson Markus Alixander; granddaughter, Alicia Marie; sister, Jane Jordan of Philadelphia, and a host of nieces and nephews. Memorial Services will be held in both San Francisco and Philadelphia.

The San Francisco Memorial Service will take place on Tuesday, December 9 at Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street. Acknowledgements from other organizations and Omega Services: Sigma Pi Phi and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternities will begin at 1:30 pm, followed by a Memorial and Service of Thanksgiving, beginning at 3:00. Philadelphia services will be conducted on Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown, 41 W. Rittenhouse Street Philadelphia, PA 19144.

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Omega Service will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations are made in Kermit's name to: Bay Area Community Development Corp, Inc. {Scholarship Fund}, 595 Market St., Suite 2160, San Francisco, CA 94105 or The Boulé Foundation, 50 Hart Plaza, Suite 750 Atlanta, GA 30303.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Hope: Contributions Help Keep Soup Kitchen Open

‘Now that some good people have given us money to go forward, we’re going to be able to feed people for a good while.’
— Geraldine Swagerty

This Story Courtesy the Kingsport Times-News By KEVIN CASTLE

KINGSPORT — Some generous donations this holiday season will help feed many mouths at a local soup kitchen.


Photo by Erica Yoon —

Because of shrinking donations and supplies, Geraldine Swagerty was facing possibly closing the doors of a facility she and the Full Gospel Mission Church opened in 1999. But Swagerty’s prayers were answered earlier this month.
“It was a blessing, a gift from God,” said Swagerty, referring to several financial gifts sent to the Kitchen of Hope, which serves daily hot meals to the needy.
“It gives you hope to see all these people coming to our aid. People still care about people. I knew they always did, but God has to show you an
example of that to let you see it with
your own eyes.”
She said several contributions were made anonymously, while other donors came right into the kitchen to find her and give her the money, including Steve Huff, whose Kingsport plumbing company has been doing annual repairs at the Kitchen of Hope free of charge.
“We have a jar that we put out in the main office every year, and guys put in a dollar or their spare change every day. Near the end of the year we decide what to do with the money we collected, and this year we thought the Kitchen could use it,” said Huff, who delivered more than $250 to Swagerty earlier this week.
Every extra penny counts in this operation, where Swagerty digs right in with the cooks in the kitchen, as well as acting as her own delivery service for supplies.
“Sometimes I’ll borrow a truck to go over to buy some food and plates over in Johnson City. I don’t have a specific place to go sometimes, just where the bargains are,” said Swagerty.
“Usually, I have to make two or three trips over there in my car. But that has to be done. Otherwise we wouldn’t have any food to cook some days, and goodness knows we have enough mouths to feed, hungry people to feed.”
The Kitchen of Hope has had to undergo several projects in the past 18 months including having new concrete put down to seal cracks and meet health department regulations.
“People are struggling just like we are, and they have little ones to keep fed. They’ve told me they’ve gone without so their kids will have a meal for a day,” said Swagerty.
“Now other people can’t do that because they don’t have the money for one meal. But now that some good people have given us money to go forward, we’re going to be able to feed people for a good while.”
Evergreen of Kingsport owner Henere Valk said they are planning to help the Kitchen of Hope financially by presenting holiday workshops today at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the store at 1413 Riverport Road.
There is a $30 donation per person to participate in the workshops, which will provide each person with a centerpiece or wreath. All of the money collected will go to the Kitchen of Hope.
For more information on the workshops call Evergreen at 245-4769 or visit its Web site at
Contributions to the Kitchen of Hope can be made to: Full Gospel Mission, c/o Kitchen of Hope; 740 E. Sevier Ave.; Kingsport, Tenn. 37660.