©2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL Jason Norwood heads up the long ladder on Friday morning as the Evans roofing crew begins work to complete the shingle roof. Rod Evans and crew are also replacing fascia boards so new guttering can be securely attached. Property owner Tony Cureton said a new roof was critical to prevent any future structural damage.
Friday, November 08, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-11-08 21:05:59)
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

The prelude to Thanksgiving is Veterans Day and upon us and our hometown. It is the perfect time to remember to thank all those veterans for their sacrifices during war. It was good to hear that the Cocke County High School Beta Club is hosting a lunch for veterans on Monday, according to Cocke County Trustee Rob Mathis, also a veteran.

During the years meeting and interviewing veterans, Iíve come across some outstanding stories from our local veterans. Two frequent speakers who have earned the right to talk about the dedication, honor, and duty during wartime have been former Cocke County Executive Charles Lewis Moore, a highly decorated Vietnam era helicopter pilot, and Judge John Bell, who served us well during the tumultuous days in Iraq. Judge Bell speaks to students on Monday and they need to take heed. I have also been talking with Quinton Parrott a World War II veteran who0 ferried troops to shore at the historic Normandy Invasion. Also, we continue our chat today with Tony Cureton, a 25-year Navy veteran. It may be time for the Plain Talk to republish its popular Freedomís Heroes edition from 2002, as a way to remember and salute all these fine men and women. During the decade since Freedomís Heroes, many veterans have died but not their legacy.


Where do you start?


Last week we began talking about Tony Curetonís new project off Woodlawn by restoring the former George Miller Jr. residence. Tony and Janice Cureton bought the property for $75,000 at auction this past summer. The first thing that needed to be done was replace the front porch and some supporting brick work. Tony was impressed that all the floors were level and secure and, when we went into the basement, which is more like a giant root cellar, seeing the massive two-feet thick foundation limestone I understood why. Since then he has added a new storm door cellar entrance and will pour a concrete floor section in the basement. The Millers had upgraded the plumbing and electric system within the past 20 years. The last major project for Tony is to replace the old galvanized painted tin roof. He found Rod Evans, older brother to my friend Ricky Evans, master roofer, to do the work this month. The chimney swifts leaving late one morning might not be happy with all the banging around. Tony plans to cap the giant chimney and that should make them really mad. Perhaps they will come to live with you.

Later some professionals like Johnny Miller will use carbon dioxide blasting or glass beads to spray on the old wood to remove all paint to the bare wood for repainting. The house will retain its original white surface. While we walked around the house, I got to learn more about this interesting fellow. One of the reasons I didnít know him was he had served 25 years in the Navy until 1983 and then years with Duke Energy in North Carolina as a nuclear engineer. He retired from Duke in 2000 when he and Janice returned to Cocke County. This sounds like a story in itself. Of course, I asked if he had served in a nuclear powered submarine and will tell you more about this later. He served first on a small destroyer off the coasts of Vietnam in 1963 and later learned to operate and maintain nuclear reactors on US submarines. Technically, he did not serve tours of duty for months like either Gary Kyker or Paul Teague did. Tonyís job was to be on these subs for maintenance and testing runs for days and weeks.  Tony left St Tide Hollow where his parents Leroy and Ruby Cureton lived. Tony was 17 at the time. He loves being back in Cocke County for these many years.


Working on the steep roof


When I returned the end of October, a pleasant 70s day, the Evans roofing crew was working at the pinnacle of the steep roof. Because it originally was metal, we think, the substructure is hundreds of narrow slats so the tin could be nailed on. These were left after tin pulled off and then the Evans team filled in the gaps with more narrow boards placed between the original slats. This provides the base for the architectural shingles.  While I chatted with Tony and Rod about the project, younger brother Ricky arrived. He may have been out on a donut and sandwich run.  At the same time Ricky drove up so did Norman and Eva Dean Gentry. She was holding tiny Chihuahua Cinnamon. They are antique dealers and restorers, and Eva Dean had found an iron bed frame for Janice and delivered it. Why did he buy the Miller house if he doesnít plan to live there? ďIíve always wanted a project like thisĒ to renovate an impressive old house and now he has a great one. So during upcoming months I will touch base with Tony so you can keep up with the improvements and what happens next. Maybe you will learn more about him and his family, too.


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