PHOTO SUBMITTED Tommy Williamson loaned me his original print that most like was made by a Plain Talk photographer in the early 1970s. Were you there the night western actor Sunset Carson appeared? I can identify a few folks but would also like to hear from you especially if you were one of the children some 45 years ago. Far left is Sherry Smith. Harold Smith is holding his right hand up and standing next to the horse with Sunset Carson. Far left are Jimmy Finchum, front, and his son, James, standing behind him.
Friday, July 19, 2013Author: David Popiel
(Last modified: 2013-07-19 21:45:33)
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
With about two weeks left until school resumes for our hometown children and then the Cocke County A&I Fair starting near mid-August, are you wandering where July has gone but glad to see daily rain thunderstorms diminish?
We've been wandering around the countryside chatting with folks you know or perhaps some new people on the block, one of those being Tim Gibson and more about him and his interest in a minute. We are missing the heavy rains and coolness as the heat wave has brought multiple days in the 90s. As promised we are returning to our talk about the late George "Heavy" Green, his employer the late film exhibitor and B-western lover Harold Smith, plus folks who knew and recalled the outdoor theater era.
I got a call last week from Tim Gibson who lives off Sinking Creek Road near Highway 340 because of his interest in finding community volunteer work for his granddaughter. That provoked the question in my mind, "How do you find out who needs volunteers for community worthy projects?" Let me first tell you a little more about Tim and wife, Nancy, who moved here to retire after leaving in Nashville and Knoxville. Tim is from Gaffney, South Carolina, home of the state Peach Festival. He worked at least 25 years for the old Ma Bells companies and retired in 1998. One of the interesting jobs he had from 1999 to 2005 was as a gatehouse operator, now they use security guards, at the Co9ve. Yes, this is the Dr. Billy Graham related site not far from his home at Montreat NC. Tim met Dr. Graham the late George Beverly Shea and Graham children. Tim's interest in the mountains led him to the Parrottsville area thanks to real estate professional Gaylynne Norwood. You might know Tim's neighbors, Dwight and Linda Presnell. Tim told me about the American Heritage Girls, as a Christian alternative to Girl Scouts. Granddaughter Taylor Gibson has been involved since spring in the Greeneville group. She is required to do 20 hours of community volunteer work in order to earn the Scouting equivalent of a badge. I suggested Feed My Sheep Ministries, Green Pastures Ministries, and local churches. So, I ask you, do you know of a need that I could relate to Tim and others?
The "Heavy" Green family
My connections back to Heavy Green came through Linda Moorefield, who met and married Wayne Green and had been together 13 years when he died April 18, 2011. It was in 2009 he became ill and was diagnosed with lung cancer that did not respond to chemotherapy. And during that time he was dying, I first visited with Linda's father, Bill Moorefield, to let you know more about him. Wayne has a son, from a previous marriage, Alan Green, who lives in Knoxville with his wife, Amy, and their children. Amy is the daughter of Randy Penland. Wayne was already working at Walmart in Newport when Linda met him. Linda also had a child, Kayla Sartin, from her first marriage. Wayne had worked at Walmart for 21 years. His older brother is George Green II, and siblings are Steve Green, Susie Evans, and Ricky Green. They are the children of George "Heavy" Green, who married the former Barbara Blazer. She survives "Heavy," who carried that nickname so very contrary to his small and slim frame. Of course, you know he worked forever with our old friend the late Harold Smith, film exhibitor extraordinary at the Newport and Woodzo drive-in theaters located off Knoxville Highway.
Linda said that Barbara had divorced Heavy and remarried Kenneth Raines. We are thinking that Heavy died on April 15, 2006 and this was when both our outdoor theater screens were standing but abandoned as that era had ended and Heavy was out of work and suffering with cancer. If all the Green children are similar, they are great folks because Linda said that Wayne "was a wonderful man, a very talented musician." He played drums, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and the piano. From about 2005 thru 2006 Linda and Wayne had a Gospel music group called Hosanna when they attended Victory Baptist Church. Others in the group included John and Betty Brown, Earl and Joan Benson. Junior Dunn was in the group from start to finish. They traveled each weekend and one summer performed at 14 homecomings.
You saw the old photo a couple weeks ago of Harold Smith and Heavy Green in a film projection booth. Linda believes this photo was made at the old Winston Theater, downtown Newport. Maybe you have some memories of attending the B-westerns and serial shows there?
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