PHOTO SUBMITTED Harold Smith was middle-aged when I met him in the early 1970s and started visiting his outdoor theaters: The Newport Drive In and the Woodzo Drive In, both off Highway 25/70. I've never seen a photo of him in his younger years, as shown in a projection booth in Newport. That's him at left with long-time employee George "Heavy" Green, the projectionist. It was his job to load the large film reels into the projection cameras, one at left and right. He also changed the carbon rods that produced the bright electric arc light.
Friday, June 28, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-06-28 18:38:41)
 
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

The heat ramped up as June is about to end its reign leaving us the longest day of the year giving our hometown 14 hours and 35 minutes of sunlight. And the full moon, an unusually bright one, added some nightlight too to help us find July soon.

Shoney's slide into darkness after closing last Friday, June 21, ending its 23-year run in Newport. Do you remember when it was a grassy knoll with shrubs, trees, and a home? The next tenant, Weigels store, will be open this year. Another change in the marketplace happened in Morristown where I visited for the opening of Ollie's Bargain Outlet at West Morris Boulevard. Standing next to a costumed Ollie was Linda Cope, who has connections to the Cope family of Newport. Another fast-changing thing is agriculture as explained by David Bublitz, who started an interesting business in Newport. He was guest speaker at the Newport Kiwanis Club and talked about hydroponics-growing plants without soil. His business is Nutrition Works and you will be reading more about this in the Plain Talk. His father, John Bublitz, is known as a champion barbecue competitor. Both John and David help folks such as High Oaks Coon Club, and Long Creek Volunteer Fire Department raise funds.

 

Many people helped Bill

 

Over the past weeks we have been talking with Bill Moorefield, who at 80, continues to work and still has a large barn-rebuilding project to complete. He looks the picture of good health but has overcome his bouts ailments requiring serious surgery.

When Bill was about 73, he required a triple bypass heart surgery. "The good Lord has helped me a lot." During the past 15 years, on and off, he has been employed by Glenmore Smith, who started S&W Security along with the late Harry Woods. Bill's first job was at night policing the parking loot at McDonald's Restaurant and his weapon was a large flashlight. Since then he has walked every post that S&W Security had under contract from banks, Newport Grammar School, local plants, hospital, and Cocke County High School. Bill says his stint at CCHS was interesting and kept him the most active. However, he did not carry a weapon at first and was often taunted by school children as being a "Barney Fife." Bill went for weapons training and got his state handgun carry permit. When he showed up at the school wearing a large gun, "I got a lot of respect." Just recently, Gregg Ketterman, who left National Bank of Tennessee, where his father just retired as CEO and bank president, bought the S&W Security company. Glenmore retired. Bill believes Glenmore is about 82. "He's like a brother to me. He's been so good to me" and his comments are often echoed by others who know or have worked with Glenmore. One of the old timers as a security guard was Gene Shults. When I chat with Gregg Ketterman, perhaps some other names will come up. Bill also did security guard work at the Holiday Inn when it was operated by Annette Mason.

 

Back to the silver screen

 

My visits with Bill took me back in time and got me thinking about old friends, folks you know, who provided thousands of hours of entertainment until outdoor film exhibition faded into the past. The conversation started with Bill's daughter, Linda Green, whose husband was known to many of you who shopped at Walmart in years past. Linda and her pet Baby Girl dog keep good company and miss Wayne who died of cancer early in 2011. He was a slim built man just like his father who I got to know well at the Woodzo Drive-in. "Heavy" Green was the projectionist.

Before we talked about the Green family, I had a few more questions about Bill and Carolyn Moorefield. She retired last from Rusty-Wallace Ford where she was a secretary and receptionist. I recall she managed the cafeteria at Newport Grammar School because she was of such good help to the Newport Kiwanis Club that has the annual pancake breakfast each April at NGS. Before this she also worked at Jenkins & Darwin clothing. This store no longer exists but was in the area between the courthouse and US Bank. Carolyn was a sales clerk. During those years, Linda bumped into Carolyn and knew her before she married Bill some 33 years ago. She remembers growing up with Bill and his father, Otis Moorefield, at "the corner house" at Good Hope and Allen's Chapel.

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