Published 12:19 PM EST Jan 30, 2019
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Chili cookoff new venture for Beaver Ridge UMC
Nancy Anderson, Shopper News correspondent
Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church retired its major fundraiser, the Murder Mystery, for the time being, opting for a delicious chili cookoff instead.
The event supported the church’s missions projects including the Food Pantry, two food drops a year, and the Donna Bean fund, which helps the children at Amherst, Ball Camp and Karns elementary schools.
“We wanted to do something a little different for our missions projects,” said pastor Larry Dial.
“We’ve lost some of the key players of the murder mystery, which was the major fundraiser for missions. So, we decided to do something else that still includes the community. We find the more we can do to include the community, the better our missions goes.
“We can’t cover everything financially, so we need the help of the community.”
Judy Graham, former organizer of the Murder Mystery night, said the play was a major undertaking and had become too much for many of the participants.
“I’m just too old now. Many of us feel we’re too old to do the play anymore. It’s a lot of work … LOT of work. Rehearsals, making the set, organizing dinner. It just became too much. I’d like to see some of the younger folks take it over, but in the meantime, we’ll do the chili cookoff and maybe some other stuff.
“The night is a big success; there’s a lot of people here and the chili is delicious.”
More than 100 people showed up to sample chili and vote for any of the 14 submissions, including one from 92-year-old Charlene Asbury.
The night was a great opportunity for voluntarism. The Boy Scouts served up the chili, making sure to keep each chef a secret.
Artists and businesses in the community came through with more than 30 items for the silent auction including gift baskets, original works of art, gift cards, and five yards of concrete delivered from Smyrna Ready Mix.
There was twist to the silent auction. Once the bids were placed, a live auction for each item was held, the starting bid being the highest silent bid.
Sandy Lee and A.C. Mann won embroidered aprons for first and second place.
“I think the cookoff is a big success,” said Dial. “Beaver Ridge is truly a church of the community. I won the lottery when I was assigned to this church. There’s a lot of love here.”
WORDS OF FAITH
A New Year. Really?
Larry Trotter, Shopper News columnist
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
It’s all around us — the annual renewal of hope that occurs in the first month of every year.
For those of us who love football teams that didn’t go bowling, this will be the year that the program turns the corner. With a new Congress, there’s hope that this will be the year that we accuse less and govern more. For those for whom the bathroom scales represent the cruel realities of holiday excess, this will be the year we actually visit that health club to which we keep sending monthly dues. This is the year we will save more and spend less, put down our phone and pick up a friend for lunch, and — get ready, you knew it was coming — we follow through on the decision we made while singing “Silent Night” at a Christmas Eve service to get in church and get involved.
Too often, in my own life, it didn’t take long for the New Year to start looking suspiciously like the old year. Any momentum created by my New Year’s Eve enthusiasm quickly dissipated with the reality that, by Jan. 31, my life still looked a lot like my life on Dec. 31. I didn’t have the inner “oomph” to overcome the outer “ugh” of the same old routines that sparkled in the glow of the Christmas tree and now droop in the cold drizzle of January.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t really hope for a real, live New Year. The verse above reminds us of God’s hopeful intentions for us made possible by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. God has exchanged our old, sinful, self-indulgent core being for a new and improved model. Through Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living within us providing more than enough oomph to overcome whatever ugh may appear to be in the way of becoming all we have been created and called to be.
What is the secret to such a miraculous restoration? For starters, just breathe. Respiration is my favorite image for growing in faith. To live, physically, we must breathe in and breathe out. Doing either one, without the other, will not end well. Breathing, spiritually, has the same dynamic. We breathe in Christ through worship and devotional time. He nourishes our depleted souls with spiritual food for whatever journey we are on. Then, we breathe Christ out through acts of loving kindness, in our daily comings and goings and in organized mission opportunities.
The rhythm of breathing Christ in and out establishes a healthy soul that longs to express itself as the image of Christ in the world. So — here it comes, again, the preacher pitch — make good on that impulse to get involved in a church this year. Then, worship, serve, repeat. It won’t take long until the results take your breath away.
Larry Trotter is senior pastor at Concord United Methodist Church. Info: www.concordumc.com.
At age 102, Mary Van Beke stays active, enjoys life
John Shearer, Shopper News correspondent
Mary Van Beke is 102 years old, but many might say she does not look a day over 82.
And while conversing about what all she is still able to do – including driving short distances in her 1989 automobile – she sounded like someone even younger than that.
“I just keep going all the time. That’s what has kept me going,” she said with a smile during a recent interview from her West Knoxville home.
She has defied odds enjoying a quality life at 102, and she also beat the odds at a young age through all she overcame in a family of very modest means in Newark, N.J., outside New York City.
Not only did she grow up during the Great Depression, but she also lost her father when he was only 29 after he was electrocuted working for a regional public utility company.
“We grew up in a poor time,” she recalled, remembering the creative ways her mother would make food by getting leftover bones from a butcher for soup and looking elsewhere for produce. “My mother had four children. I was the oldest.”
A Slovakian Lutheran church they attended also tried to help them, she said.
They also had a friendly neighbor who taught her how to cook and keep house, so she did that for a period. She would be off one day a week, and would go to a special school set up for working youngsters on that day.
“I had to go to work when I was 14,” she said.
Her mother, meanwhile, tried to make money and help her children by washing clothes and cleaning houses.
As she grew a little older, Van Beke kept her eye on a house for a different reason. There was a young man who lived on the first floor of the tenement-style home where they lived, and he had a brother named Charles, who would come over to visit him from New York regularly.
Van Beke noticed him sitting on the porch one day, and romance and marriage soon followed. He was four years her senior and would enjoy a career as a truck driver.
They had one son, Charlie, who later became a lawyer in Knoxville. He ended up being their only child after she had a hysterectomy.
At age 19, about the time of her marriage, she became an employee of RCA, helping make radios for 33 cents an hour. She enjoyed it, even though she had to leave home an hour before her shift because the crowded public transportation was so slow.
“I worked on a machine that made tubes into different shapes,” she said. “It melted glass. We didn’t have air-conditioning, but I was just glad I had a job. It was seven days a week.”
After going to a special school that taught clerical skills, she went to work for U.S. Tool doing typing and then had an enjoyable job with the Mallon Pontiac dealership in East Orange, N.J. The latter involved quality-control work, making sure cars ran well and dealing with warranty issues. It was a job that brought her some recognition throughout the United States among those in the automobile industry.
But it was perhaps the couple’s nonpaying work that brought the most show of appreciation. Her son says they were always trying to help those who needed a meal or a place to sleep.
“They were the biggest-hearted and kindest people ever,” he recalled.
The younger Van Beke was also the beneficiary of all their hard work. He was not only the first in his family to go to high school after spending some of his growing-up years in a neighborhood where many languages were spoken, but he also went to prestigious Johns Hopkins University as an undergraduate. And for graduate school, he went to another hard-to-enter place, Columbia University law school.
By chance, when he graduated, TVA was interviewing for lawyers, and the interviewer, Charlie McCarthy, had gone to Yale and was from Massachusetts and liked Ivy League-trained lawyers.
“He and I hit it off,” Charlie Van Beke said, saying he decided to move to Knoxville in 1966. Charlie McCarthy, by the way, had a son named Cormac, who has since won a Pulitzer Prize for his writings.
After the elder Charles Van Beke died at age 66 of lymphoma shortly after retiring and looking forward to a few leisurely years at a place near the coast of New Jersey where they moved, Mary Van Beke eventually moved to Knoxville in 2002.
While retired as well, she has still not slowed down. She stays busy in knitting groups, is involved at Westminster Presbyterian Church off Northshore Drive, and does volunteer work with such groups as the Volunteer Ministry Center.
She even cleans house herself and also enjoys following the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team in person and on TV. When she turned 100 years old, she was feted on the big screen at Thompson-Boling Arena during a game.
She also is an avid reader, an accomplishment she takes pride in due to her limited formal education. “I love to read,” she said. “I think it has helped me all through life.”
She has written quite a story as well, simply through example, many might say.
Powell Middle basketball has winning formula
Al Lesar, Shopper News correspondent
Playing basketball for Darin Courtney is simple for any middle school student.
That has been the recipe for success the 40-year-old Courtney has used in his 17 seasons as the boys basketball coach at Powell Middle School.
Over the course of those 17 seasons, Courtney’s teams have won five Knox County regular season titles and four tournament crowns. The most recent tournament championship came this season when the 23-2 Panthers avenged a regular-season overtime loss to Vine with a 56-48 victory.
“The community support that we have received has been amazing,” Courtney said. “It was a packed house for the championship game. That meant a lot to us.”
Son of a coach
Courtney’s father, David, taught for 40 years and coached basketball at Central High for 20. The son of the coach came away with plenty of lessons.
“None of this is about me,” Darin said. “My biggest focus is to always put the kids first. The important thing for me is to be able to relate with the kids.
“All we ask is for them to put in 100 percent. If you show them love and appreciation, they will respond.”
The native of Fountain City grew up watching his father run a program. He’s using the pillars of that project at Powell today.
“The only way I can be at peace is to know I’m giving my team the best edge it can have,” Courtney said. “I want them to work hard. I’ll give them the coaching and the confidence.”
A unique group
Coach the game long enough and a guy is going to run into all sorts of team personalities.
Courtney thought back to five years ago when he coached Caleb Tripp, Josh Woods and Westin Reynolds.
Those three were senior leaders last season when Powell High School reached the state finals.
“Watching them (last season) made me feel great,” Courtney said. “Those seniors developed quite a bit once they got to high school. The improvement I saw was amazing.”
Courtney’s current team has found its identity. Pressure doesn’t cause many problems.
“This is a really loose team,” Courtney said. “That serves them well as a tournament team. Sometimes I want them to take things more seriously, but it’s a fun group that has found what works for them.”
Courtney said he has been encouraged since even his bench players are completely engaged.
‘You have to be happy’
The Panthers are a guard-driven team that is difficult for the opposition to contain. Bryce Burkhart (tournament MVP), Ayden Greene and Bryce Jardret – all guards – were selected to the All-Knox County Tournament team. Cassen Huffaker, Emmett Burns, Gabriel Calderon and Jake Smith have their specific roles.
“Don’t get too high or too low” is the mantra Courtney preaches to his players. “I want them to play harder than anyone can possibly play. Keep it simple: It’s all about effort and pride.”
Seventeen years is a long time for a guy to stay as a middle school coach. Courtney said there’s no secret to stability.
“The grass isn’t always greener somewhere else,” he said. “I’ve got great administration support and I work with some terrific people.
“You have to be happy to stay at a place.”
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Like cleanup guru Marie Kondo, these local firms can help you declutter
Hanna Lustig, Shopper News correspondent
It’s hard to remember life before Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo taught us how to tidy up.
Published only a few years ago in 2014, Kondo’s best-selling guide, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has since inspired a lifestyle brand, a buzzy Netflix series, and a flood of painfully accurate memes about the perils of following her advice a little too closely. Does your boyfriend spark joy? No? Toss him into the donation bin, along with that puffer vest he gave you for Christmas two years ago.
In its simplest form, Kondo’s signature technique, the KonMari method, comes down to one core principle. Our living spaces are filled with clutter – stuff we don’t really use, need, or love. Rather than allow these items to take up space in our lives and on our shelves, we should only hold onto items that spark joy.
Scores of people have used the KonMari method to organize their homes and offices, to varying levels of success. But you don’t have to go it alone. Hiring a professional organizer to help you plow through your personal belongings can make the whole process feel much manageable.
Ready to start your journey to minimalist bliss? These are the people to call for help.
Bower & Bird
Formerly an architect, Monika Miller is Tennessee’s first and, at this time, only KonMari certified home organization consultant – and she just so happens to live in Knoxville. The kicker? She boasts more than 250 hours of consulting experience. So if you’re worried your hoarded collection of vintage McDonald’s Happy Meal toys will intimidate her, rest assured that she’s probably seen worse.
Miller offers free 30-minute phone consultations and five-hour in-home tidying sessions, during which she leads you through the steps of the KonMari method. And if you’re considering any renovations to your freshly organized space, she offers on-site architectural consulting, too. Info: https://www.bowerandbird.us/
Knoxville Home Organizer
Busy moms, rejoice! Since 2013, Allison Bolt has specialized in the pursuit of order, inside and outside the home. Whether you’re looking to regain control of your children’s playroom, or clear out all the junk you’ve accumulated in your car, this Seymour-based organizer can work with you side-by-side or manage the entire project herself. Visit the Knoxville Home Organizer’s Facebook page for some seriously impressive before and after shots.
Help You Dwell
Co-founded by Taryn McLean, a personal trainer, and Caroline Smith, a social worker, Help You Dwell serves residents within 25 miles of their office at The Hive. In addition to home and office organization, HYD can assist with move management and estate transitions. Need ongoing support in your battle against clutter? HYD also provides monthly organizing packages. And for an additional fee, they’ll even handle trash removal and donation drop-off for you. Check out their workshop, “The Ordered Home,” at this year’s Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Knoxville Convention Center.
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Perk City is coming to East Magnolia – and you can help
Carol Z. Shane, Shopper News correspondent
Sherene Jacobs bought the old Jarman’s BBQ building on East Magnolia Avenue last July with a vision in mind: to create Perk City – a safe, welcoming place for East Knoxvillians to drop by, enjoy a cup of coffee and homemade baked goods, and just visit. The former Corryton resident, who’s also lived “all over the country,” says that she was welcomed with open arms to the area, and is absolutely in love with it.
Right now she’s still in the cleanup and planning stages, and a big part of that is trying to get all her permits in place. Jacobs is trying to open her business just as the city is undergoing a massive transition in its building code requirements due to Recode Knoxville, the project of the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission that seeks to provide for a city that is growing and changing.
All that’s well and good, but, says Jacobs, “I wasn’t expecting all this. I’m really struggling with the money because things keep popping up.”
In addition to doing many repairs herself, she won a $10,000 grant in the 2018 Knox Area Urban League Paradigm Challenge Pitch. Through its facade grant program, the East Tennessee Community Design Center has generously provided plans for the outside of the building and the site. Jacobs is grateful.
But the bills and charges keep mounting. So driven is she to get Perk City off the ground that she’s mortgaged her house. And now she’s asking for help online. Because she’s absolutely determined to make this thing go.
“I didn’t think I’d ever move from Corryton. We decided to get my daughter September Max a house, and she wanted to look here. We came at all different times of day to check out the neighborhood. We just loved it. The friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
“Coffee’s not my passion – it’s my daughter’s. Mine’s community.” She says that she’s talked to many residents who don’t necessarily feel comfortable at coffeehouses in other neighborhoods, and she wants them to have a place where they can kick back and hang with their friends, right in their own back yard. September’s on board, and so is Sherene’s husband, Bob, who is “my biggest cheerleader.”
Included will be an art gallery for East Knoxville artists, a small stage for performers, a mural and photograph gallery celebrating the area’s history, and monthly support for a featured area charity.
“Making money’s nice, but it’s for the community; it’s not really for me. I want to keep the feel of this neighborhood in here. I want Joe down the road to come in, have a cup of coffee, read the newspaper, talk to his buddies. I want the churches to come in and do a Bible study, the teenagers to come in and do their homework – I just want it to be a nice place for this community because they deserve it.
“I’m really focusing on East Knoxville. Because they’ve given me so much, I can’t give enough back.”
If you’d like to support Perk City with a donation, visit gofundme.com/helpopenperkcity.
More traffic cameras, changes to volunteer committees
Margie Hagen, Shopper News correspondent
For those tempted to squeeze through a red traffic signal in Farragut, think twice. The Jan. 24 meeting of the Board and Aldermen approved an amendment to add a traffic camera for the northbound intersection of Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike.
Redflex Traffic Systems has an agreement with the town to provide an “automated photo enforcement program,” meaning traffic cameras are already in effect in locations along Kingston Pike, Campbell Station, Grigsby Chapel and Concord roads. The Smith Road/Kingston Pike intersection has been studied and is likely to be added.
While many drivers object to the cameras, a three-year review 2015-17 showed 85 crashes at Kingston Pike/Campbell Station and 28 at Smith Road/ Kingston Pike; that doesn’t even count 2018 accidents.
The town does profit from the $50 fine, but according to the board it’s more about safety. Discussing whether to increase the fine, Alderman Ron Pinchok was against it, saying, “$50 should be enough to get their attention,” and the board agreed not to raise it, noting that the fine has remained the same since 2009.
Long-range planning requirement
Fifth District County Commissioner John Schoonmaker reported on long-range planning for Knox County, the City of Knoxville and Farragut. County commissioners will consider a resolution supporting the Tennessee General Assembly’s ongoing effort to eliminate any requirement for a comprehensive growth policy plan for all three entities.
Mayor Ron Williams expressed “disappointment” that the town was not contacted in advance, while Vice Mayor Louise Povlin questioned the long-term ramifications. Because it involves three municipalities, it’s complicated. Povlin planned to attend the meeting on Jan. 28 and speak for Farragut; more to come on this important issue.
Schoonmaker also talked about a safety improvement for the Concord Road roundabout at Northshore. Beginning Feb. 11, road crews will be working to extend the westbound lane by 2,000 feet. One lane will be closed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., so expect delays. The project should be completed in eight days.
Other business dealt with revising the charters of town volunteer committees to set a standard term limit and attendance policy. Parks & Recreation, Museum, Arts & Beautification, Education and Tourism’s charters were revised, as were those of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Visual Resources Board and Stormwater Advisory committees.
An amendment dissolved the Personnel Committee, and a resolution to disband the Economic Development Advisory Committee was also approved. Find more details at townoffarragut.org.
Friends of the Farragut Museum are invited to the premiere of award-winning filmmaker Keith McDaniel’s documentary about Concord/Farragut on Jan. 31. Coinciding with the reopening of the museum, the event kicks off with a private reception and tour at 5 p.m.; the film shows at 6. The museum reopens to the public on Feb. 1, with free tours of the new exhibit, “Hometown History: Concord and Farragut,” and viewing of clips of the documentary.
A spotted child will do when the real kids leave home
Leslie Snow, Shopper News correspondent
I remember something my old college friend Susie once said to me. She’d sent me a picture of her dog doing something adorable, like sleeping, and I responded with a verbal shrug of my shoulders. That’s when Susie said, “The difference between you and me is that your dog is your pet and my dog is my child.”
To be fair, I had actual human children when she sent that photo and she did not. It’s easy to make your dog the center of your life when you’re not overwhelmed by the care and feeding of toddlers. I was changing dirty diapers and praying to find time to shower. Going to the grocery store was a challenge back then. So was making dinner.
When my kids were little, my pets were my pets. They were well-loved, well-fed and well-cared for. But I didn’t dote on them. I doted on my children, and my dogs were along for the ride.
Oh, how things have changed.
Maybe it started when my nest officially emptied. Maybe it happened when my daughter moved to Nashville and took my grandchildren with her. While I can’t pinpoint the exact cause, I’m aware that a seismic shift has occurred. I noticed it right around the time I stopped calling Lily “my dog” and began referring to her as my “spotted child.”
As my spotted child, Lily is entitled to privileges that a mere pet wouldn’t receive. She has bed privileges, which allow her to climb into our bed each evening for “cuddle time.” When cuddle time is over, she reluctantly moves to her dog bed for the night.
But this is no ordinary dog bed. It’s a 7-inch-thick masterpiece of soft padding and memory foam. It has fluffy bolsters and soft chenille fabric. It’s big enough for a child to sleep in, and a child would be lucky to have it. It’s that nice.
My spotted child doesn’t like to drink from her water bowl. When she’s thirsty, she rests her head on the counter near our kitchen sink. That’s my cue to turn on the faucet and allow her to drink her fill.
She doesn’t like to go outside alone to do her business, so I go with her. She doesn’t like to be alone ever, so I keep a dog bed in my office and another in the living room. She gets treats throughout the day. She spends her evenings warming herself in front of a roaring fire. It’s good to be my child and I’m an adoring parent.
I might be embarrassed if I were alone in my devotion to my dog, but I’m not. My empty-nester friends have found renewed love for their dogs as well.
Over dinner a few weeks ago, I watched a charming video of little Winston running around the bedroom at night. I’ve seen photos of Augie Doggie playing in the snow. Indie’s bed is as big as Lily’s and she never misses a chance to take a walk. Or go on vacation. And did you know with the right app on your phone you can make it look like your dog talks? It’s pretty adorable. Just ask my friend Susan.
The urge to nurture and love is natural, but it’s hard to do in an empty house. We’ve elevated our dog’s status to help us ease the transition from one life stage to the next. I get it. I’m living it. And I’m sure my old friend Susie would approve. If she’s not too busy with her real kids.
Leslie Snow may be reached at snow [email protected]
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