Just when you thought it was safe to come out in the
sunshine around our hometown the weather returned to a winter forecast for snow
and ice on Friday and energy providers were glad to see cold days.
Good to see business expanding
Last Tuesday I saw vehicles in front of the new home of
Ace Antiques, now located off East Broadway at 116 Jefferson Avenue, behind
Kyker's Automotive. Imogene Turner put in a lot of work to move thousands of
items, but she is pleased because the business has tripled its floor space to
1,600 square feet. Her regular customers (I saw Mary Dunn shopping around) will
find the building just across from Stanberry machine shop. Imogene told me she
has plenty of antiques at her home and will be able to display and sell them at
the new location. She also regularly uses our Visiting the Smokies monthly
tourist publication to reach travelers. After 33 years in the business, Imogene
has a keen eye and knowledge of antiques and collectibles. "The hot
items" currently include old crocks, churns, and local advertising signs.
Also, collectors still stop in seeking military and political themes. For the
past five years Ace Antiques has been in downtown Newport. The building had
been the Broadway Music business of J. Williford and others, including
Imogene's husband, Ailor Turner. They are co-owners of the property with Mrs.
During this wet and windy winter let me repeat a warning
heard from a health care professional. I was at a meeting with this fellow who
said that at least four people were treated at the emergency room because they
were struck by tree limbs. The limbs fell from trees in the peoples' yards.
Also, Newport people were traveling to Greeneville in recent days and a tree
fell on their vehicle. If I find out who they were, I will share the
information with you. Soggy ground caused by heavy rain allows wind to easily
topple trees. The Plain Talk is in the midst of drying out after much of our
ground floor was under water because of walls leaking. Sean Ellison of
Brockwell Construction visited to find out a remedy. Servpro has been a big
help on the dry-out.
Someone you may not know
In early January, we dropped by the Union Cemetery
Mausoleum, and by the way that word derives from the phrase: the tomb of
Mausolus, king of Caria. While scanning the names on the face of the granite
mausoleum wall I mentioned seeing the name of Sharon Lee Hoyt and did not know
the name or why she is interred in Union Cemetery. Days later her surviving
husband, David Hoyt, sent an e-mail explaining who she was and why they ended
up in Cocke County. It was interesting to know they had vacationed here for
many years before buying property at McGaha Chapel Road. The former Sharon
Cramer grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and earned a degree in law
enforcement at Palm Beach Jr. College. Although she married Jerry Suiter and
had two children by 1981, she became a widow and went to work for the Palm
Beach County Sheriff's Department handling inmate records. In 1988 she met and
married Dave Hoyt, Palm Beach native, who also worked for the sheriff's dept.
and had for years as a deputy. After Dave retired they moved to their dream
home at McGaha Chapel. "We met the greatest people in the world here. Our
little community had game night every Saturday. Sharon enjoyed cooking for our
guests" and baking cookies for friends, said Dave. In April 2011 she
became ill, was diagnosed with cancer, and died April 19, 2011. Some of you
knew her, and wish that I had had a chance to meet this fellow Floridian.
I did get to talk to Dave about his wife's illness and he
described it as coming on quickly. She developed a blood clot on the brain and
at the hospital was diagnosed with leukemia. However, her death was caused by
the brain clot. She lived only a few days after being hospitalized in
Knoxville. While talking with Dave, I learned she operated Baskets by Sharon in
Newport from 2007-2009 at Bryant Town shopping center, and was a talented
person. Dave was also kind enough to provide a photo so you might recall
meeting her and, now, knowing more about Sharon Lee Hoyt. As he said, "We
had a good life together and six great years here."
Cleaning up after flood
Here are the last words for now on Lt. John Bockmann, US
Army helicopter pilot. He is married to the former Katherine Kisabeth, daughter
of Robert and Brenda (Bailey) Kisabeth, of Newport.
"What did we do," he said referring to the US
forces in Pakistan after the major 2010 flooding: moved 25 million pounds of
food, built roads, and airlifted 40,000 people. The country is extremely
mountainous with difficult terrain for transportation.
Lt. Bockmann was among about 500 military personnel and
he flew one of the 33 Blackhawk helicopters dedicated to aid the Pakistan
victims. Because he spent a considerable time in Pakistan he became a blogger
for Pakistan's Express Tribune, and learned a lot more about the country,
people, their culture, and politics.
He came away with his "proposal" to be that the
US back away from its current effort with military aid and presence. He
suggested non-traditional diplomacy and to develop more person-to person
contact. "The connection with the people of Pakistan enriched my time
there immensely, and I hope to someday return, perhaps as an ambassador,"
he said, speaking to he Newport Kiwanis Club this winter.