Monday, September 18, 2023
Monday, September 4, 2023
The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association will have its regularly scheduled Board meeting this coming Saturday, September 9, 2023.
The meeting will be at 1 PM, in the Eastman Board Room on the second floor of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex Tower, 301 Louis Street in Kingsport.
Please spread the word.
---Douglas Releford, president
Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Kingsport
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
No matter where you are in the Tri-Cities or upper East Tennessee-Southwest Virginia, come show off your restored or tricked-out ride at the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni-New Vision Youth Car Show on Saturday, October 14, 2023 (rain date Saturday, October 21st).
Everybody is invited to come out and look at the cars and trucks.. the time is from 10 AM to 3 PM.
All vehicles are welcome!
The admission is $10 for adult general admission, children under 10 are free. It only costs $20 to display your vehicle in the show.
The 1st Place Trophy of the Top 3:
The 2nd Place and 3rd Place Trophies of the Top 3:
Even the kids get to pick their 1st Place favorite vehicles:
Winners for specific vehicle brands will also get awards: Best Hot Rod, Best GM, Best Ford, Best Chrysler-Dodge, Best Import, Best GMC. All of the vehicle owner-entrants get a recognition:
The location is 175 Cherokee Street in downtown Kingsport.. it's in the parking lot beside Bellafina's Chocolates on Cherokee Street, in the back of Kingsport Armature on Market Street, and across from the old Rascals Club on Cumberland Street.
Food trucks will also be on site; also other audience participation events will be going on.
Proceeds will go to fund programs of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association and the New Vision Youth. This is the first time that both organizations have partnered to put on a car show... please show your support by coming out.
We hear them cars in the neighborhood all the time.. come on out and finally see them on display LOL!
Also, we need VOLUNTEERS to help us set up the event, maintain the grounds, then tear down at the end. The Douglass Alumni and the New Vision Youth Group need your help and support. We thank you for your participation in this "first of a kind" endeavor.
Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, August 13, 2023
The Riverview community has its newest centenarian!
Happy 100th birthday to Mrs. Icey Belle Jones, who has just celebrated a century of God's Grace on earth.
Her birthday was celebrated by all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center.
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
It is with sadness that we announce the transition of James W. “Jimmy” Deal, Jr, 82 of Kingsport, who entered eternal rest on Monday, August 7, 2023.
Jimmy was a graduate of Douglass High School, Kingsport. He served his country in the US Air Force and after returning he married his high school sweetheart and they were happily married for 59 years. He was an electrician at Domtar for 55 years before his retirement in 2020.
Jimmy was a devoted father and grandfather and loved to visit his children and grandchildren in Nashville. He was a DB football fan and loved the Tennessee Titans. You could find him every Saturday morning picking up breakfast at Bojangles. Jimmy attended many music events in the Tri-Cities.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James W. Deal, Sr. and Lillian Long “Roberta” Deal; sister, L. Yvonne Deal; son, James “Trippy” Deal; grandsons, Terrence and Liam Deal.
Survivors include his loving wife, Athenia “Tina” Deal of the home; children, Ingrid Rogers, Nikki (Steven) Lawson, Kip (Davita) Deal, Torre (Malasya) Deal and Dustin Deal; sister, Charlyne Edwards; 17 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; aunt, Helen Bunting; sister-in-law, Luvinia Yarborough; uncle, Willard C. Long, Sr.; along with a host of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:30 pm on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at Central Baptist Church located at 301 Carver Street, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660. A funeral service will follow with Pastor Perry Stuckey officiating.
A military graveside service will follow at Oak Hill Memorial Park with honors conducted by American Legion Hammond Post #3/265. Pallbearers will be William Carpenter, James Henry, Scotty Edwards, Zach Casey, Jason Robertson, Jason Maxwell, and Lester Bailey.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the ICU nurses at Holston Valley Hospital, Zach Casey, Kelsey and Carla Casey, and Dot Wilmer for their loving care.
It is in dying that we are born into eternal life-St. Francis of Assisi.
Carter-Trent Funeral Home downtown, Kingsport is serving the Deal family.
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
In memory of Mrs. Ethel Ruth Russell, who passed away back on Friday, July 28th, 2023, we are repeating the article below on her life growing up on Cement Hill beside Riverview. The article written by your website host, first appeared on the Douglass website, on January 17th, 2014. "Miss Ethel Ruth" was a longtime Kingsport resident, Eastman employee, Riverview resident, Douglass graduate, Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association board member, and everybody's favorite cook:
CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO MAKE THEM LARGER -- POSTCARD PICTURES COURTESY THE NEW RIVER NOTES PHOTO GALLERYBy Calvin Sneed
Looking at Cement Hill from downtown Kingsport, you would not have known there were many homes on the hill's summitt. That's because former Cement Hill resident Ethel Ruth Russell says, none of the houses faced downtown.
"There were homes on the top of the hill, but not in the front of it facing downtown," she says. "I guess they (the city) figured it would make the downtown look bad, so they didn't let them build houses on the town side. They were all on the back side.
Mrs. Russell was born in Kingsport, and lived on Cement Hill until she was 11 or 12 years old. She admits to not remembering a whole lot about "life on the hill" that early. She does say the homes were nice and comfortable, even though they were close together, and everybody "had it pretty easy."
Most of the homes on Cement Hill in the 1930's and 40's, Mrs. Russell says, were on the south side facing the Holston River and the railroad track and bridges connecting Tennessee Eastman with the Holston Army Ammunition plant. There was no Industry Drive, she remembers.. only a narrow dirt road at the base of the hill that really didn't go anywhere, but it had hog pens, vegetable gardens and storage areas.
"Most of our neighbors were black families," she says. "There were maybe 2 or 3 white families, but there were more blacks than whites. Most of the black families were all from South Carolina that came to work in Kingsport. At my house, it was me, my grandfather Reed Alexander, my mother Corrine, and my uncle June in our little house."
But many Penn-Dixie Cement workers had the convenience of living in homes, on land owned by their company that was very nearby. Mrs. Russell says, the only person who lived on Cement Hill, but did not work at Penn-Dixie was Eddie Ervin. He was the mail carrier.
1942 DOUGLASS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Family was important, living that close together on Cement Hill. Apparently, just like in the Riverview Community that had just been started just next door, Cement Hill was one big family. "Our next door neighbors were the Rays, Henry Ray, Ronnie Ray -- they called him 'Chicken' Ray," says Mrs. Russell. "The McClintocks also lived there on the side of the hill. Levenus and them all lived there, because Uncle Edgar had a job at the cement plant, too."
She says, when she was born, her family had arrived from Woodruff, South Carolina just a little while earlier. Her grandfather also came to work for Penn-Dixie Cement.
"My grandfather Reed Alexander, was a well-respected man," she says. "I always called him 'Pap.' I used to roll his cigarettes with this little machine he had. He never called me Ethel or Ruth, he called me 'Daughter' even though I was his granddaughter. In the house with us, was my uncle June and my mom Corrine. I did not know my grandmother much.. I was only about 2 or 3 years old, but I been told that I was the best-dressed little girl around. She belonged to the Holiness Church and I would go with her and I was dressed nice from head to toe. My uncle June also dressed nice.. a sharp dressed man. He used to shine shoes at Jason Taylor's hat shop."
FOOT BRIDGE OVER THE CLINCHFIELD-KINGSPORT RAILROAD YARD, FROM CEMENT HILL TO DOWNTOWN KINGSPORT
Mrs. Russell does not remember a lot of cars around Cement Hill, but she does remember a foot bridge between the hill and downtown Kingsport. "Scared to death of it," she laughs. "I used to crawl under the trains, just to keep from walking that bridge. It was too high up, I guess, but I sure didn't like to cross the tracks on it. I guess I was too young to know that it was probably fine to use it, but I saw it the first time and I hated it. They couldn't have dragged me across it. Eveyrbody else used it, though, going back and forth to downtown."
Mrs. Russell attended Douglass Elementary School, when it was "up on East Walnut Avenue and the Bristol Highway (the corner is now East Sevier Avenue and East Center Street), and sometimes I would just walk to school from home. Other times, I would just call a Gilliam's Cab. Pap had an account with Gilliam's, and whenever I need one, it was right there. Gilliam's came in handy too, when I started going over to Riverview from home. Me and Janie Goodwin became good friends because we were in the same grade, and I started spending the night with her and her mother and Miss Bly. When I started coming over, the last memories I had of Cement Hill, was staying with Florida Lytle. She lived in Riverview Apartments #46. Since I was 11 years old, I would come over and stay with her because I was best friends with Janie."
Many people knew that African-Americans lived on Cement Hill, but nobody had heard about what life was like there. Peaceful... calm... but what was the history of Cement Hill before anybody lived on it? Oddly enough.. it shares the same form of history as its successor, Riverview.
"The top part where you went to observe and take pictures from, Calvin" says out-going Kingsport City Manager John Campbell, "was pretty much a covered landfill. In fact, there are 3 landfills that Domtar has to monitor on a regular basis, and that would pretty prohibit any future development up there, except a passive recreation area. That's where we feel the future lies for Cement Hill."
When the ballfields are built on the General Shale site, Campbell says, the athletic theme would fit in nicely with Cement Hill.
"We actually have some money set aside to purchase Cement Hill at what we think is a reasonable price," he says, "although we're not sure Domtar thinks it's reasonable. There's also money set aside to do a master plan. Our vision has been for the past two years is a passive recreation area for the most part, with walking trails and mountain biking trails. The idea of taking advantage of the views with some picnic shelters and overlooks is a good one. Also, planting trees in certain ways that would look good in artwork, even a waterfall there at the train station, have been talked about."
"The idea of developing Cement Hill, in conjunction with the new ballfields is a good one," Campbell says, "and it's definitely an idea we're considering."
"I wouldn't mind seeing the history of Cement Hill preserved in any development they build," says former resident Ethel Ruth Russell. "I've never really thought about going back up there, other than just passing by on Industry Drive. Every time I do, I think about the gardens, the nice homes, and of course the hogpens."
"There's not too much to look at now, except a bare hill. Maybe that will change back to the nice area I knew, growing up."
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Montgomery-Watterson Board Room Dedication
Named for Kingsport Mayor Ruth C. Montgomery and Vice Mayor Richard Watterson, their families attended an unveiling celebration at City Hall on Tuesday evening, August 1, 2023, to rename the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Boardroom to the Montgomery-Watterson Board Room.
A plaque hangs in the board room, detailing their dedicated public service endeavors.
Monday, July 31, 2023
Sunday, July 9, 2023
Mr. Edward Eugene Long, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away on July 2, 2023, at his home in Kingsport, TN with his wife, Mrs. Frances Fleming Long, and granddaughter, Ms. Alyshia Long, by his side, after a courageous ten-year battle with cancer. He leaves behind a legacy of strength, perseverance, and a profound love for his family.
Eddie Long, Douglass Junior Class, 1957
Edward was born and raised in Kingsport, TN, and graduated from Douglass High School, where he excelled both academically and athletically.
Douglass High School Football Team, 1958
He was a multi-sport athlete, lettering in football, basketball, and baseball, while also maintaining an exceptional academic record.
After high school, Edward proudly served his country as a member of the U.S. Army in the 52nd Medical Battalion, 226 Medical Company. During his military service, he was stationed in Germany and later at Fort Liberty (formerly known as Fort Bragg) in North Carolina.
Following serving his country in the U.S. Army, Edward embarked on a fulfilling career at Eastman Kodak Company, where he dedicated his skills as the Lead Machinist. After many years of service, he retired, leaving behind a lasting impact on his colleagues and the company.
Edward’s passion extended far beyond his professional life. He dedicated himself to the betterment of his community and the youth within it. He coached at the Kingsport Boys Club and received the esteemed recognition of “Coach of the Year.” Additionally, he served as the President of the Kingsport Youth Soccer Association, playing a pivotal role in fostering the love of the sport amount the younger generation.
Education was of paramount importance to Edward, and he took pride in earning his Associate’s degree from Northeast State Community College. He cherished knowledge and believed in the power of learning.
Nature was Edward’s sanctuary, and he embraced the great outdoors with boundless enthusiasm. He found joy in activities such as boating, deep-sea fishing, water skiing, hiking, cycling, and camping. He also had a creative side, enjoying hobbies such as drawing, photography, gardening, and reading. He also had a deep appreciation and love for music, with a particular affection for Jazz. As the family historian, he dedicated countless hours to researching and documenting ancestry, leaving behind a precious legacy for future generations.
Edward was predeceased by his parents, Mr. Willard C. Long Sr. and Mrs. Ressie Hoard Long; his daughter, Ms. Sonya Monique Long; and his siblings, Mrs. Roberta Long Deal (Mr. James Deal Sr.), Mr. Cecil Long, Mr. Walter Long, and Mrs. Virginia Long Cartwright (Mr. Robert Cartwright). Edward is survived by his devoted wife, Mrs. Frances Fleming Long, who shared a deep and loving partnership with him. He will forever be remembered as a loving father to his daughter, Ms. Pattina Long; his son, Mr. Gerald Long (Mrs. Keisha Long); devoted siblings, Mr. Willard Long (Mrs. Betty Long), and Ms. Helen Long; and brother-in-law, Mr. Harold Fleming.
His memory will also be cherished by his grandchildren, Ms. Alyshia Long (Mr. Tony Kay), Ms. Ki’Era McKinnie (Mr. Justin Derrick), Mr. Aundre’e Tre’Shon McKinnie (Mrs. Rosalie McKinnie), Mr. Jarys Long, and Mr. Weston Long. Additionally, he leaves behind his adoring great-granddaughter, Ms. Asiah Kalyce Bell, Ms. Ava Christine Bell, and Ms. Aaliyah Jade Bell. Edward also leaves behind his step-great-grandchildren, Jesam Estosata, JM Estosata, and Jerose Estosata.
Edward is also survived by a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and cherished friends. With special recognition to niece, Mrs. Kaye Cartwright Booker (Mr. William Booker), nephew, Mr. Derek Bunting, nephew, Mr. Angelo Fleming, and neighbor, Joe Stuffle.
The family would like to recognize and thank the AMEDISYS Hospice nurses for their care and compassion.
Mr. Edward Eugene Long’s impact on his family, community, and the lives he touched will forever be remembered. He will be dearly missed but forever celebrated for his strength, kindness, and unwavering love. The family would like to express their gratitude to all who have offered support and condolences during this difficult time.
There will be a military honors graveside service on Friday, July 14, 2023, at 3:00 pm at Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City, TN. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post 3/265. Those wishing to attend the graveside service are asked to meet at the cemetery at 2:45 pm.
Carter Trent Funeral Home Kingsport is serving the Long family.
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Note from Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni President Douglas Releford:
"We will not have a meeting this Saturday (July 8, 2023).
I think we all need a rest and a cooling off period."
Douglas Releford, president
The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Inc.
Monday, July 3, 2023
Thought you'd all like to see what the weather looks like in Kingsport, after the Douglass Reunion this past weekend.
As you can see, they've had a little rain up there in Kingsport, including Riverview. This picture is courtesy WCYB-TV.. they, like a lot of public and private entities, have cameras trained around communities to let you all know what the weather conditions are like. Weather cameras inform the public.
This is an earlier picture from the Kingsport City Hall, legally looking out over city and private where you can see the rain was coming down pretty good. Luckily, the rain held off for the Reunion. If you attended, hope you made it home safely!
Sunday, June 25, 2023
The idea for a mural on a prominent hallway wall at D-B was a collaboration between Dobyns-Bennett High School fiber arts teacher Chris Hobbs and then-DB principal Dr. Chris Hampton. They discussed ways of impressing the history of D-B upon their students, and in that discussion was a mention of how former African-American Douglass High School played an importantly huge role in the progression of Dobyns-Bennett. It was then decided that a Douglass School mural for all to see in a prominent hallway at D-B would be a wonderful way of showcasing what Douglass meant to D-B's development. Art students painted the mural in the spring of 2023 and received arts credit for the work.
In the first part of the interview with your Douglass website editor below, Hobbs talks about his discussions with Dr. Hampton on the Douglass mural. Click PLAY to listen to that part of the interview:
In the second part of the interview below, Hobbs talks about the composition of the mural, including going on your Douglass website and researching the people and the elements of what will make the mural special, and later the Archives of Kingsport. Click PLAY to hear the rest of the interview, which begins with a very familiar reference to Mr. Dobbins' reasons for his food garden:
And below in the next story, a picture tour of the mural.
Hail to the Tigers! A mural honoring the Douglass High School Tigers, Kingsport Tennessee's former African-American high school from 1913 to 1966. Painted by Christopher Hobbs' art class, Dobyns-Bennett High School, Spring 2023, located in the lower hallway of D-B, 1600 Legion Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee. Click PLAY below to visit the mural:
Saturday, June 24, 2023
Sorry this is late.
The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board will have a specially-called meeting on Saturday, January 24, 2023.
The meeting will be in the Eastman Board Room, 2nd Floor of the V.O. Dobbins Complex Tower, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport.
The meeting begins at 1 PM.
At the meeting, board members and Douglass alumni will finalize plans for the upcoming Douglass Alumni reunion this weekend, June 30th and July 1st and 2nd.
Friday, June 16, 2023
Thursday, June 15, 2023
"It's all about unity."
Courtesy the Kingsport Times-News, Wednesday June 14, 2023 written by Joe Carr, Sullivan County Commission, District 9: