(c)2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL Gary Kyker operates Kyker Auto Service, and, if you visit you would have noticed his favorite pet, Puppy Dog. I dont know how Gary can operate the business without the Papillion in his favorite chair. The air conditioner is running, and Puppy Dog is snoozing. The little boss is 14 years old and has been coming to work with Gary for 13 years. I wonder if Gary would get to work if Puppy Dog didnt motivate him. What does Puppy Dog do? Nothing but greet customers and sleep. Perhaps twice during the year he got out of his office chair, said Gary.
Friday, July 12, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-07-12 19:19:24)
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Shoney’s restaurant in Newport is all but a memory, as it has been razed over the holidays and between storms that continue in our hometown with few signs that the typical dry, hot days are arriving. And how is the blackberry crop this year with all the rain?

This week I’m taking another detour during our chat about the late “Heavy” Green, the old Woodzo Drive-in, as I continue to gather some old photos and more information to share soon. Tommy Williamson and James Finchum have been a big help in remembering Harold Smith, the film exhibitor and his ace projectionist Heavy Green. I’d like to hear from you if you have a story or two to share on the age of the silver screen. Newport must have been unique at one time in the 1970s to have three giant outdoor movie screens. Passing time has seen them fade and become overgrown by weeds.


Early birth caused a scare


Last week I bragged on our local hospital, Newport Medical Center, and this leads me to my appointment last Tuesday with Dr. Ken Johnson. You recall that he is soon to retire and that means he no longer will be the leader at Newport Internal Medicine, which he started over 26 years ago. The Plain Talk featured his 25th anniversary and one of the photos from a 1986 article was one I made of a skinny new internist who began practice, as did Dr. Sam Puckett. Later In July I hope to make another photo of him with Dr. Tony Daniels and the new nurse practitioner to signify, as he said, “The changing of the guard.” I was anxious to find out what all the medical tests said after my blood pressure shot up suddenly on June 30. He had read the Plain Talk when he returned from a beach vacation near Charleston so he knew there was a problem with me. When he walked into the exam room, the discussion immediately turned to what had happened to his daughter Sarah, married to former CCHS football coach Wes Jones and you could tell by his excitement a medical/health ordeal ended well. The story had been featured on WATE TV and you will read all the details soon in the Plain Talk.

He and wife, Carol Johnson, are grandparents again after the birth of the Sarah’s second son, Davis Charles, weighing about three-and-a-half pounds. Yes, a little light and the sudden birth is the reason. The family was at one of the best places it could be when Sarah began having complications. They whisked her to the University of South Carolina Hospital at Charleston. (I won’t go into all the details, as this will spoil our story) The baby was born; but it could have been a disaster had they been at a remote vacation location. Davis Charles was born on July 2. Fortunately, I was already out of the hospital in Newport. Ken was back home but the baby and parents stayed in Charleston. The point my doctor made was the right things happened for the baby and for me because of highly skilled, trained medical personnel performing at their peak.


Drink plenty of fluids


We got side tracked into how well Hardin Valley football team has been doing, as Wes is going into his 6th season, I believe. We reminisced more about the importance of training whether to play football or be a doctor or surgeon. As for Ken, you will soon have a chance to celebrate with him in late July at Parrottsville Park so watch the news here. We shook hands, hugged and I wished him well as this was, most likely, my last time ever seeing him as my personal physician. He said, “I won’t be your doctor any more, but I will be your friend.” Oh, as for me, my potassium level had dropped almost below normal because of heat and dehydration. This triggered the escalating blood pressure. Yes, you’re right there is another test and worse case scenario, he said, will be for me to take a potassium pill every day or eat a bunch of bananas.

Dr. Johnson will continue to put his medical experience to good use as he plans to do volunteer work with hospice and also another venture operated from Knoxville that provides free care for those who cannot pay. He will retain his medical license, and who knows what may happen in five years. After all, his father is 87 and still active.

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