Sunday, November 29, 2015

Congratulations to the Bradley's!

Arthur Lee Bradley Sr. and Dorothy Thomas Bradley of Kingsport celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Nov. 24, 2015.
   The couple was married Nov. 24, 1955, in Trenton, Ga., on Thanksgiving Day.
   They celebrated their anniversary in Birmingham, Ala., by attending the wedding of their son Arthur Bradley Jr. to his wife Amy, along with her daughter Alexandria.
   Mr. Bradley retired from Kingsport Press after 32 years of dedicated service as an electrician. Mrs. Bradley worked at Mason Dixon Truck Lines for 19 years in the accounting department.  She also served as secretary at the Douglass Elementary-High School in Riverview for several years until it closed.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

An Interview with Danny Glover

Daniel Lebern "Danny" Glover, born on July 22, 1946 is an American actor, film director and political activitst.  Glover is well known for his roles as Albert Johnson in "The Color Purple," Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the "Lethal Weapon" film series, cowboy Mal Johnson in "Silverado," Michael Harrigon in "Predator 2," corrupt cop  James McFee in "Witness," Colonel Isaac Johnson in "Shooter," detective David Tapp in "Saw," and George Knox in "Angels in the Outfield."  Glover has also appeared in amy other movies, television shows and theatrical productions.  He's also an active supporter of various humanitarian and political causes.

Glover is also a supporter of union causes, crediting that to his parents, both members of the United Postal Workers Union, while he was growing up.

In Chattanooga recently to tour the Volkswagen of American plant, I had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about his memorable career in films.

One of the beauties of the degrees of success I’ve had, is that we can remember movies by a certain topic or gestures or lines, and I’ve had the great fortune of being in those types of movies that have memorable lines, gestures and topics.  You go from one film to the next film to the next film to the next film, and sometimes you don’t recognize the cumulative impact of a career when you see it in retrospect.  I had a guy stop me in the gym where I was working out, and he asked me about getting into films.  I told him that everything I do is, to a large extent, is to increase my capacity.  

I also told him the cumulative impact of what I’ve done allows me to get into a particular state of mind and focus within a process of doing a film, within the work methodology of doing a film.  I didn’t just develop that overnight, it’s a process, and I realize that each film is a testimony to my own growth, to my own development, my own development, my own understanding about what I’ve done.  I think it’s a metaphor for life in a way, the level you live life, the better you get at living life.

Are you a method actor?

You want to call it method acting, but I call it “emersion acting.”  I’ve studied the great theories about acting, and sometimes you read something and starting thinking, I do that organically, I don’t have a name for it, but organically that’s where I go.  

I remember early in my career, I had a difficult time auditioning, because of a combination of a couple of things.. I felt uncomfortable in the process, I felt intimidated by the process.  The other thing is, you go into an audition and you do what you want to do, you read the material and the material responds to you intuitively and instinctively, not what you expect the director would want.

In the early stages when I started doing that, I’d audition one, two scenes, a little part in television or something like that, what I began to realize is, I felt more comfortable after the audition.  Yeah, I would want the job, but I felt ‘Danny, did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish when you went in to the audition?’  ‘Was this how I wanted to respond to the words and to the scene and to the moment and this was your presentation’ and not what I expect the director to say?’  The director could say  ‘oh I like that’ or he could say ‘I don’t like that, but try this… that’s interesting, but try this.’  If we did it that way, I would feel real comfortable and so I began to judge myself during the audition process and I became less intimidated by the process itself.  Within the framework of the audition, you’re able to get the most out of your performance. 

8 year old Daniel Glover

My mother was born in Lewisville, Georgia.  Part of my moral upbringing was my mother always saying ‘I’m eternally grateful for the upbringing I got from my own mother, because I didn’t pick cotton in September, I went to school in September.’  She went to Payne College, graduated from there in 1942, made her way up to New York after teaching a year in high school, met my father in 1942 or 44, courted and married at the end of 1944.   By that time, they had relocated to San Francisco because my father had been transferred in the Army to out there, from upstate New York to LA to Oakland.

Danny and James Glover

With my mother and father, you have to understand how they were in the emerging movement of civil rights.  Eventually, they went to work for the U.S. postal service, and they always felt that they were doing something important.  It was interesting to see how they were seeing the emerging civil rights movement and were right at the very start of it.  The postal service was primarily African-American at that time, and to see the civil rights movement get started, they felt that they were doing something very important.   I go around the country and speak and one of the things I ask is, ‘how many of you had parents, grandparents or relatives in the postal service?’  A lot of hands go up.  The post office was always a place where you could work and build a family at home, or you could use it as a jumping off point to another job.  They could be anywhere.. San Francisco, Chicago or New York, but they could tune in to see what was happening in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and some of the civil rights battlegrounds.  That was the childhood I came into.  

When I was watching the Montgomery bus boycott on television in 1955, the meaning of that was reinforced by my parents, the dynamic, the importance of that news item.  I was fortunate to have my parents reinforce how important that was to my future.  Not everyone who came in that generation had that.

On "The Color Purple"

It’s celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, you know.  You always feel like you’re endowed because you’re chosen to do something that’s important.  As actors, producers, directors and participants, we felt this was an important film.  Every one of us came into it with that, from Steven Spielberg the director, to Quincy Jones the producer.. I’m thinking of even the CEO of Warner Brothers who came to the set and spent time with us.  Everybody felt that within their hands, this was something that was very important.

Every one of us gave so much of ourselves in our relationships to the roles and in the way in which we bonded, not just as actors but as people.  To have something that’s important to do and feel that it’s important is special.  People still talk about The Color Purple.  I run into people that weren’t even born when The Color Purple came out and say ‘I hated you in The Color Purple!’  All of us as actors were in the early stages of our careers.  Every single one of us.  None of us had done anything, I don’t know that Whoopi had ever done her first film, Oprah hadn’t done anything except her TV show, it was her first film.

It got enough nominations.  Do you think "The Color Purple" should have won an Oscar?     I can’t tell you that.  Geraldine Page (who won the 1985 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Trip to Bountiful, and beat out Whoopie Goldberg) was a brilliant person, gave a brilliant performance.  She’d been around as an actress, everybody knew who she was… Lionel Ritchie did win an Oscar for his original song ‘Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister, Sister)', Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey may have canceled each other out (for Best Supporting Actress), I don’t know.  And then, it may have been the kind of social dynamic at that time.   I think the conversation surrounding the image of African-American men at that time was valuable.  I think it was important discussion, essential discussion.  I would have been disappointed if that discussion had not emerged at that time, because what The Color Purple does, is, because it’s an expressive film, it gives people the chance to have opinions, their own questions.  

The issue of racism promotes a sense of self-protectiveness, like ’there’s no spousal abuse in the black community,’ ‘there’s no child abuse in the black community’ and all that.  It makes you protective about the historical portrayals about things that we know, happened.  For years, people bought into those stereotypes.

On the "Lethal Weapon" movies

It was fun doing those movies, it was a great experience, a great time working with Mel Gibson.  I loved working with Mel, just the improv we were able to do, the easiness, the comfort in the situations.  I can say for myself, and I hope Mel can say the same thing that there was a level of comfort.  I really think of the special moments.  We did four of them, and I think that’s enough.  No more 'Lethal Weapons.'   To quote a phrase, ‘we too old for this @#$%.’ (laughs).  But it was really, really, really special.

On "Predator 2"

I’ll tell you a little story.. I was offered a role.. I was in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theater, doing a play, 1986, the beginning of 1986.  I got offered a script and it was the first Predator.  The reason why I looked at it.. the first thing that you see, the first action in the role they wanted me to play, is where the man is abusing a woman.  I could not do another role abusing a woman… I’m sitting in Chicago and the hotbed of discussion after The Color Purple… I just couldn’t do another role abusing a woman, so I just turned it down.   And then, they came to me with Lethal Weapon and I took that one.  They came with three different roles, and I took that one.

Wonderfully, incredible guy came to me about Predator 2 and he presented the idea of doing it because the whole team was back, the writer was back, the special effects team was back.. I have two films I’ve done that I feel that I was bigger than life in, in which I felt that I could control the space.  Silverado for me, and Predator 2.

Silverado was the one where I played this iconic cowboy you know, and the character carries this one gun, a Henry rifle.  And then, when he’s around his father, he has two of them.  An iconic role.. against all odds. 

Then in Predator 2, it was like ‘who’s the baddest cat in your space, and the baddest cat says ‘I’m gonna challenge you.’   Mano y mano.  I was the baddest guy in his space.  What happens?  I kill him, and then the others come around, and I’m like ‘alright…. who’s next?’  (laughs)  That’s a form of movie making, a form of storytelling.  You see it in the graphic novels, and things like that.  I was about 42, 43.. in the best shape in my life, best shape I’ve been in.  I was running on the beach, had my training, I was lifting weights a lot more than I am now.  I was really feeling it in that movie.

On his new Christmas Movie, "A Meyer's Christmas

It’s really a lovely little story.. we’ve got a super cast, a who’s who.  I play the patriarch of the family, a very successful man with a very successful family, and I lose my wife the prior Christmas and this is the first Christmas without her.  There is the realization of how much we depended on her for the big things and also the little things in our lives.  She was the mediator of our arguments, she prepared all the dishes that we all enjoyed, and she was part of all of our relationships.  Now, she’s gone.  

At the end, we find out that we have to find a new way to adjust our lives and adjust without her.  All of us are rather tense, especially my sister-in-law Mo'nique.  I’m the one who organized the family get-together this time, my wife normally did that, the woman that I had been married to for 40 some-odd years.   Christmas was always special to our family.

  It’s a lovely little script, David Talbott is the writer and director, and really did an admirable job.. it’s funny, crazy at times, but it’s beautiful because it’s family. 

Welcome to Southeast Tennessee and welcome to Chattanooga.

Thank you.  It's been a good visit.

                             ---Calvin Sneed

The 2015 Kingsport Christmas Parade: Santa Claus Has Come To Town!

As always, it takes the Santa Train to bring the big guy's message to town.

The world's longest Christmas Parade signals the message that the spirit of giving all year long, has taken center stage.

Just like children along the 110 miles of the old Clinchfield rail line from Shelbiana, Kentucky to Kingsport, thousands gathered at the old Main Street depot, to receive candy and gifts tossed into the crowd, a tradition that dates back to 1943 along the railroad tracks.

Below are pictures of people, floats and the atmosphere that is the annual Kingsport Christmas Parade... an event we have enjoyed in Riverview all of our lives, and can now pass on to our future generations!

Click here to see video of Santa arriving at the station:

Click here to see an overview of the Toy Toss:

Click here to see an up-close and personal view of the Toy Toss:

Click here to see the Sullivan North High School Marching Band in the Parade:

Click here to see the Sullivan South High School Marching Band in the Parade:

Click here to see the Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band in the Parade:

Click here to see Santa riding by on his fire engine sleigh:

Click below and turn your speakers up for the slide show of the 2015 Kingsport Christmas Parade:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Annual Riverview Seniors Christmas Dinner


Monday, November 16, 2015

Douglass alumni group helps Lincoln students stay warm


KINGSPORT — Some students at Lincoln Elementary School will be warm in new coats, hats and gloves this winter, thanks to the Sons and Daughters of Douglass and a grant from the city of Kingsport.

The Sons and Daughters group, alumni of the former Douglass High School that served black students before desegregation, donated the winter wear items last month for distribution to students who needed them at Lincoln Elementary. The school distributed the items this month to about 60 students; another distribution will occur around the first of December.

“The students were so excited they had their coats, hats, and gloves on going home, and I think it was 70 degrees out,” said Marsha Musick, a social worker who is the family liaison at Lincoln, where the principal is Shelia Newland. “They will need them very soon. What a blessing.”

This marks the second year the Douglass group has donated items to Lincoln students. Last year’s offerings were food, socks, T-shirts, sweat shirts and school supplies, said Andrea Watterson and Judy C. Phillips of the Douglass group.

Musick said the school works with families in the community to look at students’ needs in determining recipients of the coats and other items.

The grant was for $2,500, with about half that amount going for the items handed out recently. The rest of the money will be spent on items for the December distribution, Watterson said. Phillips said last year the Douglass group went shopping twice at both Kingsport Walmarts, while this year’s items for phase one came from Burlington Coat Factory. She said retailers give the group deals and discounts on the items, which go to students ranging from Pre-K to fifth grade. Lincoln has about 470 students.

Watterson worked for nine years as a cook in the Lincoln cafeteria and is a former vice president of the Douglass group, and her cousin, Alan Watterson, helped with the donated clothing.

“All of my children attended here,” Phillips said.

Watterson, Phillips and Sandy Wilmer were members of the Douglass group’s committee for this year’s clothing distribution.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board Meeting

The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board will meet this Saturday November 14, 2015.
The meeting will start at 1PM and will be held in the Eastman Board Room of the V. O. Dobbins Sr. Complex tower, 2nd floor.
We need to finalize the plan(s) for our Membership Drive Committee lunch/dinner. The Community Room is reserved for next Saturday 21 November 2015 for the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni .
Any suggestions or ideas from alumni and community are welcomed by the fundraising committee.
Please mark your calendar for Saturday, November 14, 2015.
Please bring a friend, neighbor, or member with you. All are welcome.

Alan M. Watterson, President
Sons and daughters of Douglass Alumni

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fighting Homelessness in Kingsport

This is a worthwhile effort especially in Riverview and our community.  Please click the arrow in the center of the pictures to play video:

Please click on the link below to sign the petition to bring attention and awareness to the problem of homelessness in our city:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Fundraiser for Jacqueline Paige Bond-Turner

There is a fundraiser for our own Jacqueline Paige Bond-Turner who has cancer and will be going to Vanderbilt Hospital in late November to have her stomach removed.


Her kids are part of New Vision Youth and the fundraiser is to raise money for the family to help out with her medical and lodging bills that will occur during her stay at Vanderbilt. 

Donations also accepted.  

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Citizen Police Academy Graduates

   Kingsport Citizen Police Academy Graduates at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Meeting - Photo courtesy Jeff Fleming