Thursday, November 26, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hope VI should have gone to local contractors

Construction problems with Hope VI homes is just another example and should be a lesson learned about acceptance of the low bid.
It would be very difficult for a contractor to come from another town, pay for the crew to eat and have a place to sleep and also be able to do the job correctly. Of course they are going to take every shortcut that can be imagined.
Local contractors should be the ones selected to do work inside the city. We are the ones that live here, pay taxes here and spend our money here. It is really sad when this much money leaves Kingsport to be spent in another town, especially with the economy being as it is. Had this been a local contractor, I really doubt these problems would be in existence, and while we are not perfect, we do take pride in our work, and should a problem arise it is usually very quickly resolved.
If they are really a good contractor, why do they not have work going in their own hometown? Our company would not have the time to go to another town to work. This is not the only project given to the low bidder that is going to result in problems. We have seen some other work in progress, and it is just a matter of time.

Marsha Vanderpool

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The History of APRONS


I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath,because she only had a few,it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing
hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the menfolks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Written history of city’s black community would showcase legacy of Douglass High


Dr. Gray is a 1964 Douglass High School graduate and vice president of Special Services and Equity at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, La.


I read the October 21 article on the Douglass Sons and Daughters’ Web site entitled "Artwork at the New V.O. Dobbins Center: The Sky’s The Limit.” I read further to see what types of art would be included in my former high school, remembering that Martha Beverly, cultural arts coordinator for the City of Kingsport, said: “The sky’s the limit on the artwork we can bring to the new V.O. Dobbins Center.”

I began to reflect on my experiences at Douglass High School, beginning in the eighth grade in 1959 and graduating in 1964. My host family was the Wilbur Hendricks Sr. family when I needed to participate in after-school activities that lasted longer than the school day. I was from Gate City, and my bus left as soon as school was out.
My Douglass High School experiences contributed greatly to my knowledge, background, and experiences which helped me educationally, socially, and culturally because I not only interacted with a larger black population, but with students at Dobyns-Bennett and surrounding areas as I participated in essay and public speaking contests and was vice mayor for the day during an event sponsored by the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen.


My favorite place to eat was Edge’s Place, where we would listen to Rev. Edge’s lectures counseling us on life as we stood in line for one of his hamburgers. The topics varied, depending on what had happened in the neighborhood the night before or what was in the news that he thought we needed to know about.

All of our teachers taught more than the lessons in our books, but demanded and commanded our attention to these lessons. You would have to have experienced the community leaders that I interacted with, both black and white, as I completed my well-rounded educational experiences in the Douglass High School community. The current leaders you all know in the Kingsport-Gate City area are a direct result of what we all experienced as young people attending Douglass High School: a sense of community. I do not want to forget my 24 other classmates in the Class of 1964 who supported me and each other as we acted our way through school, played in the school band, sang in the chorus, participated as basketball cheerleaders and in our student government activities, and studied our high school subjects. You could hear a pin drop in our classes because of the attention expectations of our teachers when it was time to learn.

The Douglass High School community I remember was a strong supporter of education and community involvement — an educational community that was not limited to the historical grounds of Douglass High school. It extended to our churches in the city of Kingsport and to the communities in the surrounding areas. May I suggest that a creative way to showcase the legacy of what Douglass High School meant to the city of Kingsport during our day and to the black community? It goes beyond the Tiger paws and memorabilia such as pictures, trophies, and furniture.

We need a written history about the black community that we all knew with artwork that depicts our stories, our lives, the vocation and work of our community and school leaders by either local writers or artists or regional or national artists; perhaps even a room dedicated to guest artists. When Douglass alums return to their alma mater, regardless of the renovations and changes to our school, we want to see the history of our legacy in print and visually that depicts what made us who we are today and the generations that followed. I respectfully request that the coordinators of the renovation of the V.O. Dobbins Center consider some additional written and visual history of the past and current lives and stories of the Kingsport black community during the years that Douglass High School existed. I, too, am excited about the possibility of quality and historical artwork that reflects the era in which Douglass existed and the impact it made on the Kingsport and surrounding communities.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Letter To The Editor: Gave Neighborhood Back

Re: Community policing. Just a quick note to say thank you for your hard work that gave our neighborhood back to us, Officer Clark and Officer Coffey.

Cecilia Henderson Kingsport

Letter To The Editor: For Riverview, new housing, old woes

I was born and raised in the Riverview housing development and was fortunate that although I was from the stereotyped one-parent household, my siblings and I succeeded through the strong direction and guidance of our mother and never had to live in public housing after we became adults and left the area.
After reading the announcement that the housing in Riverview will now be rental properties, I was just sickened and saddened by that news. Living in a major metropolitan city now, I have seen the outcome of building new project housing. While the property is new, the same problems, way of life and government programs do not solve any of the issues that were in place when the projects were torn down. I thought the whole project was about home ownership, work and pride in what you can own, and beginning anew with a generation of hope.
If in the end, Riverview is back to rental properties, then the government could have just renovated the apartments and kept the same police precinct and presence that will once again be needed. I’ve had a strong desire to move back to the area, in particular Riverview and live. There’s no way now after hearing about the change in the criteria of building the properties that I want to retire and come back home. Maybe you can show me a different perspective, but it seems always the same perpetual wheel. One neighborhood gets the new homes, people can buy and have home ownership, the other neighborhood gets what’s left again because of economic times — rental property. After you’ve uprooted family lives, you say they can come back now to the same old way of life and live in a brand new rental property furnished by the government.

Patricia Leeper Calloway
Atlanta, Ga.