(c)2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
Keith Keller stands in front of a wide variety of long guns including shotguns,
rifles, and assault weapons at his Cosby Highway location in Newport. The
store also features tools, some furniture, shooting accessories, knives and
whatever other value he finds to sell to his customers.
|Published: 9:15 PM, 05/24/2013
||Last updated: 9:15 PM, 05/24/2013
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
With the amount of rain dumped on Cocke County during May
the Memorial Day weekend blackberry crop ought to be a record for our hometown
gatherers, unless the blue jays and mocking birds beat you to the patches.
Newport Kiwanians were concerned about the sudden illness
of one of their own and sent a get-well card to Claire Crouch. You know she is
the president of the Cocke County Republican Women and Vice President Area 1B
Tenn. Federation of Republican Women. It seems she required emergency surgery
at a Knoxville Tennova Hospital in mid May after being transferred from Newport’s
Tennova Medical Center and remained hospitalized last week. Her husband,
Stephen Eldridge, told me on Friday morning she is at home and received good
news from her medical tests. She is recovering after the five-hour surgery and
thanks everyone who had her on their prayer lists. Our bulletin noted she
joined the club on May 24, a few years ago I believe. During the month, May 21,
Kiwanian Reid Bailey celebrated another birthday. Is he 91? Young son Marty
Bailey was happy about that also being able to help all those folks with
seasonal allergies with medication dispensed by him at Town & Country Drug
Store. Surely the bombardment by thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday knocked
out the remaining pollen. I saw a pear tree limb ripped off one of Gary Kyker's
trees and into his adjacent garden. Did he lose his entire lettuce crop?
Once the rain clears out, perhaps by June, the club has a
couple of interesting things happening. Timothy Dockery, parks and recreation
director, announced to the club the start of the summer Kiwanis Firefly Flicks.
Saturday, June 1, and each following Saturday at the park near the pavilion,
the films begin at dusk. E.T. is the first and on other Saturday nights you can
watch, for free, the Lorax, Lion King, and The Avengers. Timothy told me the
film series is made possible by the Cocke County Legislative Body, City of
Newport, Parks & Recreation, and Newport Kiwanis. Bring your own chair or
blanket. Kiwanian Brad Davidson reminds you of the June 7 and June 8 WLIK
Radiothon and Auction at Food City West. I also learned at the club, when
physical therapist Dr. Tamara Carver was our guest speaker, her mother, Bettye
Carver, had knee replacement surgery during the winter, January. Sounds like
she might have to endure another surgery for the other knee so it is excellent
to have a daughter who is a great therapist. I asked how Dad, Jay Carver, was
doing and he is well except for what sounded like "hunter's knee"
from roaming the mountainsides. I suspect that tossing fat hogs around on the
farm didn't do them any good either. Does anybody raise hogs for a living
anymore? I'll end my update on Kiwanis by noting how good the pineapple cobbler
was. Pam Williams took credit for this, as she is one of the hosts and cooks,
and we appreciated the dessert treat at Fox & Hounds.
Long history of service
Last week I began talking about former Cocke County Sheriff
Tunney Moore and his pistol barbecue grill. We visited for more than an hour on
Thursday because I wanted him to refresh my memory on his early years growing
up at Waterville and Grassy Fork. So you soon will be reading about his teenage
exploits as a moonshiner, his military and work career, and how he came to be a
multi-term sheriff and perhaps one of the best. Tunney does not hide his
youthful exploits with moonshine production and sales but affirms he quit and
later joined the church and ultimately became a deacon. For the 40 years I have
known him, I've never seen him drink a drop of alcoholic beverages. Nor did
Tunney as a teen even sip moonshine but judged the run by shaking the jars and
watching the bubbles. He managed to take some time away from the green bean
field where he had been staking and planting after Mother?s Day. I did learn
that his Rock Hill Road farm of about 70 acres was just one of several that his
late father John Lewis Moore had acquired as a tobacco grower and power line
clearing contractor for the former Carolina Power Company that operated Walters
Dam and hydroelectric plant. Tunney's oldest brother, Charlie, was long-time
plant superintendent and taught me a lot about his family and life in the
Gun business smokin'
Weeks ago there was some activity outside of the large
former Bryant & Pack Lumber building off Cosby Highway, now the home to
Keller's Blades and Barrels. On closer check, a carpenter was cutting a large
doorway into the side further from the entrance. Inside, Keith Keller told me
he was adding another office. This eventually became the home for their real
estate and auction business and an office for his brother, Brian Keller. I
looked around and noticed Keith had added lots of Extreme holsters and it
seemed he had more guns, at least more than I've seen at Walmart after the
scare during winter that the government might somehow reduce the availability.
Sportsmen have noticed the nearly empty ammo shelves at stores, but Keith said
he has ample stock. The reason being he bought large quantities last year and
is still getting shipments. Prices have increased because of demand and ammo is
priced about 25 percent higher, some doubled in price.
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