By BECKY ANDREWS
A few years ago my husband and I along with our children, moved back to Lebanon. Upon returning, I renewed friendships with a few people I grew up with. When we were young, I envied their family life.
They seemed to have everything. Their parents had ‘regular jobs’. They had one, maybe two siblings, a beautifully decorated home, a mom who was always put together with perfectly coordinated clothing in the latest styles and a dad that played golf and coached little league. They even had grandparents who attended ball games, birthday parties, and never missed an opportunity to spoil their grandchildren with extravagant gifts.
Dear Ken: I read where Dandy Don Meredith, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback of the 1960s before Roger Staubach and later a TV sports commentator with Howard Cosell on “Monday Night Football,” died in December. Didn’t he make some TV movies? Can you refresh my memory on a few of those?
Meredith, who was born in Mount Vernon, Texas, was the Cowboys starting quarterback from 1962-1968. He partnered with Cosell and Frank Gifford when “MNF” debuted in 1970 and was the light-hearted partner of the trio. He often sang, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over,” once the outcome of the game was obvious. He had a recurring role as a detective on “Police Story” in the early 1970s. He worked in the TV movies “Terror on the 40th Floor,” “Sky Heist,” “Banjo Hackett: Roamin’ Free,” “Mayday at 40,000 Feet,” “Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid,” “The Night the City Screamed,” “Terror Among Us” and “Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone.” He voiced himself in a 1999 episode of “King of the Hill” and made his final appearance in the 2002 movie “Three Days of Rain.” He also made commercials for Lipton Iced Tea. Meredith died Dec. 5 at 72 after suffering a brain hemorrhage in Santa Fe, N.M. His son, Michael Meredith, 43, is in show biz as a director and writer.
By ANGEL KANE
What possesses anyone to go running head-long into freezing cold water in January? We are not sure, but on Saturday January 15th, Wilson Living plans to find out!
The 2011 Polar Bear Plunge benefiting the Wilson County Special Olympics is this weekend and we hope everyone makes plans to attend and donate to this worthy cause.
By KEN BECK, Special to The Wilson Post
For much of the 20th century the Short Mountain area of Cannon County produced craft artists who gained fame for their variety of nattily woven white oak baskets.
Now, in early 2011, it appears the basket makers may be down to one active practitioner, 92-year-old Mary Jane Prater. Her house sits on Prater Town Road barely inside Warren County, about a half mile from the Cannon County line and maybe 2 miles from the Short Mountain community.
“I think they’re all about died out or quit making them,” said Prater of her peers. “I’m the only one left now that I know of that is trying.” She was 16 or 17 when she began making the baskets in the mid-1930s.
“My step-father went to making cane-bottomed chairs. I bottomed the chairs. Our neighbor, Jimmie Prater, she took the scraps from splits of the chair bottoms and made baskets,” said Mary Jane, sitting in her easy chair by a gas-warming stove in her living room.
By RAY POPE
If you take a good look at the calendar, you’ll notice it is less than a month till Groundhog Day. All we need to do is go groundhog hunting and remove the source of six weeks of more winter. When I was younger, I really believed the myth of a whistle pig and couldn’t figure out how a small furry animal like that could predict the weather.
My grandmother on my father’s side had what I thought was a pet groundhog. Little did I realize she was fattening it up to eat. I wonder if it would taste like chicken?
Thinking back to the 1970s, I had a piece of junk that was supposed to be a bird house. I kind of did a little surgery on it and had the house in good working order before too long. My grandfather on my father’s side was a carpenter, and must have passed on enough knowledge to help me through life being able to do some wood repairs.
Anyway, I placed the birdhouse under the eve on the back porch and about two days later there was some activity. Many of my readers are familiar with a Wren, whether it is a Carolina or a House Wren.
By MARGARET PARTEE
My 25-year-old grandson, Matthew, has always been interested in meteorology – especially when it involves big storms of any description. He lives and works in Boston. When Matt was 12 years old I took him to the NOAA Weather Station in Old Hickory. It was an overcast day when we arrived and storms were moving in. The staff was busy tracking the storms on their screens so they could issue any necessary weather warnings. Matt got a good look at what goes on in this type of situation.
A little while later, we followed one of the men out to the open area in back and watched as he launched the scheduled weather balloon. I really thought that Matt would pursue a degree in some meteorological field as he was seriously interested in it and would follow the weather on whatever sites exist for that purpose. But he has a degree in Financial Management.
His interest in the weather has not waned however, and if you are planning a big event and wonder about the weather, ask Matt. He is sure to be tracking it. I guess he got some of his fascination for storms from his father. When most people would be running for cover due to a stormy, windy, rainy, blowy, weather event, his dad would go out and stand in it. So does Matt.
By SAM HATCHER, CEO & Publisher
I don’t know what caused the man in Tucson to go on the shooting spree he did last Saturday. In a matter of minutes he brought an enormous amount of tragedy and pain into the lives of a great number of people.
Did vicious campaign rhetoric motivate him to the point of committing this attack?
Would he have done this at some point to other innocent people whether in a political setting or not?
Was the Congresswoman selected for this attack because of her political agenda?
We don’t have the answers to these questions. We simply don’t know.
But what I believe many of us do know is that today’s political stump speaking is getting way out of hand.
Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, a statesman in every sense of the word, told me a couple of years ago when I visited with him at his home in Huntsville, Tenn., that Washington has become too mean spirited.
Sen. Baker, who also served as President Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff, as Senate majority leader, and who ran for president himself, told about how years ago he could stand on the floor of the senate and debate issues with Democrats and others who may disagree and then, when the day’s session was over, they’d leave together as friends and perhaps have dinner that evening with their wives.
Sen. Baker said they would disagree but do so respectfully. That respect, generally speaking, has been lost. Sharp tongues, 10-second quotes, website displays and radio talk shows that make money by igniting emotions with information that may not necessarily be factually correct or are only half-truths are all culprits undermining our country’s well being.
The First Amendment guarantees free speech. But our forefathers never said we had to be ugly or disrespectful when exercising this right. Surely to goodness we can restore respect in our society.
The first step to accomplish this should be to practice the Biblical teaching to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
To the Editor:
We would like to take this opportunity and this source to express a heartfelt thank you to some people for their efforts to solve the case of our brother and family member, Charles R. (Butch) Cooksey Jr.
We wish to thank Assistant District Attorney Bobby Hibbett, Sheriff Terry Ashe, Chief Deputy Larry Bowman and Assistant Deputy Robert Bryan, first, for believing that we had a case even after all this time. We would also like to thank them for working so hard and in some instances on their own personal time, to locate witnesses and take statements, many times more than once. Always professional yet always compassionate.
We are all indeed fortunate to be able to claim men of their caliber with their willingness and abilities working in and with our Wilson County Sheriff’s Department.
Clark McKinney and the kind people at Ligon and Bobo Funeral Home. You stood with us from the beginning and helped to make this painful time bearable. Thank you for every kindness.
To all those who had the courage and good heart to come forward to help our case and to those who offered their support through prayers, cards and calls, please know that we will never forget you. May God bless you every one.
Connie Cooksey Minick
and the Charles R. (Butch) Cooksey Jr. family
To the Editor:
My wife and I were in town earlier this week when we got a call that our burglar alarm had been tripped. We returned to our house immediately and found a sheriff’s deputy waiting for us.
In a most professional manner he conducted an inspection of our house both inside and out for any indication of a break-in. We think the alarm simply malfunctioned as there was no sign of glass breakage or an attempt to gain entry into our home.
I want to compliment the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and particularly this deputy for his professionalism in dealing with this incident despite its trivial ending.
I was very impressed with his demeanor, his consideration for us and his willingness to ensure that we and our property were safe.
Thank you Deputy Thornhill.
Wilson County Commission’s Health & Welfare Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, in Conference Room 2, Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon.
Education Committee will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, in Conference Room 1, courthouse.
Minutes Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, in Conference Room 2, courthouse.
Steering Committee will meet at 6:45 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, in Conference Room 2, courthouse.
Budget Committee will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, in Conference Room 2, courthouse.
Wilson County Board of Education will meet at 3:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 17, at the Central Office, 351 Stumpy Lane, Lebanon.
Wilson County Election Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, in Conference Room 1, Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon.
Lebanon City Council will meet in regular session at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights. Prior to the meeting, council will hold a public hearing at 5:55 p.m.
Wilson County Adult Learning Center offers classes for anyone interested in achieving his or GED diploma. Classes are held in Lebanon and in Mt. Juliet. For information, call the Adult Learning Center at 443-8731.
Lebanon Toastmasters meet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Spain House on the Lebanon First United Methodist Church campus at 415 West Main Street, Lebanon. Visitors are welcome. Toastmasters is an organization dedicated to improving communication and leadership skills. For information, call 444-0126.
Lebanon Meals on Wheels program is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound seniors in the area. Meal routes range from about 10-15 people. Volunteers arrive at 9:30 a.m. and are done by 10:30. If you are interested, contact Jessica at 449-3488 between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday.
Telephone Pioneer Cookbooks Volume I and III are now on sale. All proceeds benefit the Pioneer Museum. To purchase one or for information, call 444-3096 or 444-0940.
Do you like to write, but aren’t sure how to go about it, where to start, or what to do with what you already have? A new arm of the West Wilson Arts Alliance is gearing up, and you can join other local writers for support, networking and critique groups. Send your contact information along with a writing sample and some basic information about you and what you like to write to TnWriterEditor@gmail.com, with WW Writers Guild in the subject line for consideration and more information.
Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Wilson County is in need of volunteers who would like to reach out to those in need in Wilson County. Volunteers must be age 55 or older. If you are interested in participating or partnering with the program, call 443-7606 or 742-1113, ext. 10.
Agape has contracted with Maple Hill church of Christ to provide counseling services in Lebanon. Licensed Clinical Social Worker Diana Crawford will be available at the church building on Mondays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. She sees children and adults. For information, call 547-4244.
AL-ANON and ALATEEN family groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. They believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid in recovery. There is a local AL-ANON and ALATEEN meeting in Lebanon every week. For information, call Harriett at 444-2852 or Linda at 444-8437.
First Wednesdays of each month a Healing Service is held by Sister A.A.A. Stafford at the Sports Village Complex, 1735 West Main Street, Lebanon, beginning at 10:15 a.m.
HomeSafe Women’s Support Group meets Thursday evenings. For information and to sign up, call 444-6130. If you need help with an order of protection for domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking, contact HomeSafe at 444-8955.
West Hills Baptist Church will be a host site for Angel Food Ministries in January. Order dates for January are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17 and Tuesday, Jan. 18. The disbursement date is Saturday, Jan. 22 from 8 to 10 a.m. Orders may be placed on their website www.westhillsbaptistchurch.com and click on the Angel Food link by using a credit/debit card. In order to pay with an EBT card or in cash, you must place your order in the church office.
Wilson County Right to Life will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at First Baptist Church, Mt. Juliet. For information, call Trecia Dillingham at 443-5458.
Wilson County Beekeepers Association will offer a three-night course on beginning beekeeping Tuesday, Jan. 18, through Thursday, Jan. 20, also in the West Building at the Ward Ag Center. The course begins at 7 each night and will end about 9 p.m. Cost is $25 per person or $45 per couple and includes membership in the WCBA, a one-year membership in the Tennessee Beekeepers Association and a copy of Beekeeping in Tennessee. To reserve your place, or for information, call Petra Mitchell at 286-2529 by Jan. 15.
Lebanon High School’s True Blue Parent Group will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 20, in the library at LHS. The topic will be Bullying and Cyberbullying. This meeting was to be held Jan. 13 but was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
PHOEBE Ministries, a ministry of widows connecting with other widows, will meet Saturday, Jan. 22, at 9:30 a.m., at West Hills Baptist Church, Lebanon. Psychologist Bill Ross will speak on “Understanding the Grief Cycle.” Admission is free to all widows. Bring a pair of fuzzy socks with gripper bottoms for the Homebound Widows Ministry Team.
Communitywide Red Cross Training (formerly Mass Care) will be from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22, in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church, 415 West Main Street, Lebanon. This is the class required to get a Red Cross badge and a background check will be needed (provided by Red Cross online). This can also be a refresher class for those who previously took the classes because procedures change. Also, a training class on Shelter Operations and Shelter Simulation will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, also in the Fellowship Hall at First UMC. There will be a lunch break or bring your lunch. Prepare to help Wilson County shelters function in the next disaster. Sign up for one or both classes by emailing Patty Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Valerie at the local Red Cross office at 878-9080.
Lebanon High School Class of 1971 is planning a 40-year reunion to be held June 11. Call one of the following people with your contact information: Teresa Halbert at 444-5995, Phil Bragg at 444-4941, Jo Smith at 444-8811 or Brownie Hall at 444-5173.
To submit items for the calendar, you can mail them to The Wilson Post, 216 Hartmann Drive, Lebanon, Tenn. 37087, or e-mail them to email@example.com. Items for the calendar will not be taken over the phone. The Wilson Post reserves the right to reject items deemed not appropriate for the calendar.
By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
LEBANON -- Cumberland University will be showcasing itself as a regional leader with the creation of the all new Cumberland Center, a center for innovation, economic development and regional cooperation among Middle Tennessee universities, businesses and communities.
Dr. Scott Massey, a Cumberland professor, will be the center’s founding director and was one of the creators of the all new Cumberland Center along with Dr. Harvill Eaton, the University’s president.
Massey said the goal of the Cumberland Center will be to create a greater cooperation between universities in Middle Tennessee, businesses and citizens to make the region a global competitor for business and an information and technology hub for the future.
LEBANON -- If anyone is glad to turn the page on 2010 and throw away last year’s calendar, it’s Mellody Harvill, but even for her, there are parts to be remembered fondly.
It was a year ago in December that Harvill, suspecting that she had pneumonia, visited her primary care doctor. She was admitted to the hospital, and learned that she had a growth in her chest that required further testing.
January 2010 was the start of what would be a horrifying year, as she received life-changing news: the growth was a cancerous tumor. She had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And the location of the tumor, behind her heart, prevented its removal through surgery.
New indoor facility in MJ -- Cedar Creek Sports in Mt. Juliet has opened a new indoor baseball / softball facility. Rental options include single lanes (hand-fed machine pitch at $25 per hour) or the entire facility for a team at $50 per hour. Equipment includes: pitching machines, pitching mats / mound, balance beams, tee / soft toss areas as well as a viewing area. Cedar Creek Sports also offers experienced hitting instructors for baseball and fast-pitch softball. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Reservations can be made by calling Jimmy 615-754-2744. For more information, visit www.cedarcreeksportscenter.com.
LGSA spring signups -- Lebanon Girls Softball Association spring league sign-ups will be held Feb 5 and 12 between the hours of 9 - 11 a.m. at the clubhouse, located off the Cainsville Road in the Baird Park Complex. Age groups are as followed: age 4-6 years coach pitch, age 7-8 coach pitch, age 9-10 fastpitch and age 11-14 fastpitch (14 year olds can't be on a high school team). Online registration will be available starting Feb 5-26 at www.Lebanongirlssoftball.com. For information contact: Kenny Black 330-8983, Sally Pierce 444-1559, Mike Sessnan 308-4705 or David Pierce 714-1839.
MLK hoops camp at FBC -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day basketball camps will be held Monday, Jan. 17 at First Baptist Church Lebanon. Boys and girls in grades K-4 will go from 9 a.m.-noon and grades 5-8 from 1-4 p.m. Cost is $30 and each player should bring a small snack and a drink. Only pre-registrations accepted, no walk ins. E-mail Davis Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 417-4510, or the church office weekdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at 444-3331. Former pro player Shameca Gardner will coach at both camps.
Rotary signups underway -- Signups have begun for the Lebanon Rotary Dixie Youth baseball league for the spring 2011 season. Players must be between ages 9-12 as of April 30. There is no charge to play. Tryouts will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 26 at the league’s Baird Park fields. Slots will be filled on a first signup basis. To sign up, visit www.lebanonrotarybaseball.com, or call 308-9230.
CU volleyball clinic -- Cumberland University will host a volleyball clinic for girls 8-18 Saturday, January 22 from 9 a.m. - 12 Noon. Cost is $40. For information, contact Cumberland coach Dwayne Deering at: 615-547-1318 or 615-449-4975, or register online by visiting: gocumberlandathletics.com by clicking on CAMPS AND CLINICS.
MJ League signups -- Mt. Juliet League onsite registration for 2011 youth baseball and softball will be Saturday, Jan. 15 between the hours of 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Dick's Sporting Goods in Providence Marketplace. For questions please contact Park Administrator Robin Speight at 758-8991.
CU Night at the Preds -- Join Cumberland University alumni, students and friends Saturday, Feb. 5 as the Nashville Predators take on the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena. A pre-game reception featuring plenty of good food, drinks and prizes will begin at 6 p.m. and the puck drops at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and must be purchased in advance through the Nashville Predators by contacting Curry McKeel by phone at (615) 770-2328 or email email@example.com.
For information, call Meredith Thomas, Alumni Relations Coordinator, at (615) 547-1253.
Swim league at JFFC -- The Jimmy Floyd is now accepting registration for the 2011 Spring Swim League. Registration deadline is January 28. The cost is $70 for non-members and $60 for members. Cost includes goggles and t-shirts for both girls and boys as well as a swim cap for girls. The ages range from 7-12 years of age and he or she must be able to swim a 25 yard lap without assistance. Call Cindy Baker or Jeri Marshall at 453-4545.