It started out with a Keep Kingsport Beautiful meeting at the Chamber on June 5. We heard reports of all the exciting projects our city’s Public Works Department had going on. Be sure to check out the beautiful landscaping around the Farmers Market and Carousel parking lot. Great job, guys! And thanks for all the beautification efforts around town.
United Way and Bank of Tennessee’s Week of Caring was another huge success. Over 150 projects and thousands of volunteers. A huge “shout out” to Richard Lane from I.T. at Eastman, who once again volunteered to help me get my computer “back on track.” I’ve lost count, but I think this was about the 15th year Richard has helped the Shepherd Center by providing invaluable technical support to me and my computer. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
On June 24, I visited downtown to take some photos of the community garden and Rhythms & Rides Car Show and Concert. I watched as little children raced “Indy 500” style laps around one of the roundabouts on Broad Street (boy, do I miss that energy!). I listened to music and looked at some amazing cars and trucks. It was all for a good cause, to raise funds for Holston Home for Children.
The day after, I got to see a long-time friend, Calvin Sneed, at Glen Moody’s I Love Books, where Calvin was signing his new book, “Building Bridges From Our Past to the Future.” While I was waiting in line to get my copy signed, I heard a familiar voice in front of me talking to Calvin about the future of some of our area’s beautiful, old bridges. It was Wally Boyd, another friend from the past. I grew up with Wally at church, his wife, Jan, was a neighbor, and Calvin and I took Algebra II in summer school at D-B with Isaac Nidiffer. Memorable and fun times!!
Unfortunately, I can't be two places at once ~ so I missed the dedication of the Burow Museum at the Exchange Place. I grew up very near the Exchange Place ~ although there was very little there at the time. But I watched over the years as Dick and Suzanne Burow, Frank and Eleanor deNobriga, Tom and Hazel Wicker, Sue Cadwallader and dozens of volunteers built that site up to a working farm with several buildings and a vital volunteer team. Thank you, friends, for all you gave to our community. What an accomplishment!
June 29 marked what has become a special annual event for our community: the Literacy Luncheon at Allandale to benefit the Literacy Council of Kingsport and Friends of Allandale. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe was the special guest and she brought her brand new book, “Beach House for Rent.” The luncheon was held in the Picnic Pavilion and the food was amazing. During lunch, I saw many new faces, but also saw some familiar ones too ~ folks like Jane Scott, Betty Howle, Josie Reid, Jeanette Blazier, Brenda White Wright, Linda Coffey, Kitty Frazier, Alice McKee, Kathy Hawk, Peg Norris and her daughter, Cherry. I have heard that this was the largest attendance at one of these events, and I believe it. If you haven’t attended, you owe it to yourself to do so.
Monroe lives in the low country of South Carolina, is a passionate conservationist and environmentalist, and has been given many awards for her work with turtles, dolphins and currently shorebirds. In her closing remarks, she encouraged everyone to “light a candle” to spread the word about climate changes, chemicals and plastics poisoning the ocean and other hazards to marine life. Because I know that so many people from Kingsport and the surrounding area visit North and South Carolina beaches, especially this time of year, I asked her if I could reprint her opening remarks from her book to share in this column. With her permission, these are her words:
“Many of my readers ask, What can I do to help? There are simple, but crucially important steps you can take to make a difference.
* Do not let dogs or children chase or scatter shorebirds. Leash dogs when shorebirds are near. Honestly, if we just do this, we will have made a difference!
* Keep away from posted nesting and feeding areas. You can unknowingly step on nests.
* Be aware of birds calling loudly nearby, which indicates that you are too close to nests or chicks.
* Avoid the ends of barrier islands, inlets and remote stretches of beach where birds cluster. Again, don’t let your dogs run free in these areas.
* Take your trash with you.
* Avoid landing boats on small islands where birds (i.e. pelicans) nest.
* Make certain all fishing line and hooks are cleared away after use and not left in the water.
* Teach your children and grandchildren to appreciate shorebirds and seabirds. They are tomorrow’s stewards!
With your help, our beloved shorebirds will be here for future generations to enjoy. ~ Mary Alice Monroe”
WHAT’S COMING UP?
Out & About highlights local happenings coming up in our region. To add an upcoming event to our calendar or to invite Katherine to attend your event, email us at [email protected]
Through July 22: Fun Fest 2017. This year's Sunset Concert Series includes shows featuring Tenth Avenue North, Jeremy Camp, Night Ranger, Rick Springfield and Huey Lewis and the News. Visit funfest.net.
July 18: The Friends of the Kingsport Public Library will host its annual “Author Talk” at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 18, at the Kingsport Higher Ed Center in Downtown Kingsport. The featured speaker is Kingsport native Robert Gipe (Dobyns-Bennett Class of 1981). He will be sharing his critically-acclaimed book, "Trampoline." Since 1997, Robert has been the director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland, Ky., also teaching English and Appalachian Studies. In addition to his teaching, Higher Ground, an oral history-based theatre project has been at the center of his work. Friends of the Kingsport Library will have copies of Robert’s book available for sale and signing!
July 29: Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center will hold its inaugural “Dancing, Dining & Ducks” fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. Watch thousands of rubber ducks floating in the lazy river while enjoying live music from the Model City Wrecking Crew and food from vendors including Backdraft Barbeque, Project Waffle and Lil’ Delights. Ducks will be drawn from the river for prizes; ducks can be purchased for $5 each or in packages of 6 for $25, 12 for $50, 25 for $100 or 100 for $375 online at kingsportducks.org.
July 30: The Miss Ellie String Band will perform at Pickin' in the Park Music in the Mountains from 2 to 4 p.m., July 30, at the amphitheater at Natural Tunnel State Park. In addition to the featured band, the event also features an open mic session. There is a $4 parking fee, but the music is free once you've entered the park.
Aug. 5: Author and speaker Lisa Harper will speak during a special centennial event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 5 at First Baptist Church. Advance tickets are $20 and include a snack lunch. Order online at iTickets.com or purchase in person at FBC of Kingsport at 200 West Church Circle in Kingsport. Or call 423-247-4122.
Aug. 5: The Crumley House, located in Limestone, Tenn., will host its annual Polynesian Beach Party at 6 p.m., Aug. 5. The event will feature silent, super silent and live auctions, steel drums and music by DJ Robbie Britton, a Polynesian-style dinner and dancing. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for early auction viewing and tours of the new Crumley House resident cottages. All proceeds benefit brain injury survivors served by The Crumley House. To purchase tickets, make a donation or become a sponsor, call Michelle Ferguson at 423-257-3644, ext. 7.
Aug. 20: The 5th Annual Little Ironman 5K, Fun Walk and Mud Run will be held Aug. 20 at Sulphur Springs Baptist Church in Jonesborough. Proceeds from the event benefit the P.H.I.L. (People Helping in Love) Foundation. Founded in 2010 in loving memory of Phil Adcock, the foundation works to assist families facing a health crisis. The race, with digital timing provided for the 5K by RunCorps, is held annually in memory of the original "Little Ironman" Josh Adcock, who died from a rare genetic disorder in 2013. The mud run begins at 3 p.m. followed by the 5K and Fun Walk at 5 p.m. Concessions, door prizes, fun awards and more. For details and registration, visit https://runsignup.com/ and search the races tab for Little Ironman. To learn more, call 423-202-0119 or 423-384-1986.