(c)2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
It was a sunny Memorial Day when I came across men working in a
hayfield off Morrell Springs Road. G.D. Williams, who lives off old Cosby
Highway, was harvesting hay from a field owned by Charlotte Nan Mims.
Williams, age 76, stays active farming despite some diabetes that cause
him foot problems. He was getting plenty of help from Albert Raines,
tractor driver, and Gary Williams, at left, who is G.D.ís oldest son.
|Published: 8:22 PM, 05/31/2013
||Last updated: 8:23 PM, 05/31/2013
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
With summer still three weeks away at the start of June
and temperatures last week nudging 88 degrees the blackberry crop about our
hometown should arrive half-baked and the pool business brisk and the cool
thing to do.
Cocke County is an interesting place for both locals and
tourists especially if you like antiques and collectible hunting. I don't have
to go far to find Ace Antiques and Imogene Turner, whose business is always in
our monthly tourist publication Visiting the Smokies. Also there is DJ's
Antiques and you must see Donna Jones's wonderful jewelry collection.
There is a new place we discovered along Highway 411 near
the Cocke County line and advertising in Visiting. Antiques and Collectibles is
operated by Pam Perando. The business features a lot of outdoor wall and lawn
decorations that you won't find most anywhere else. I'll pay a visit and let
you know what they have of interest.
Don't forget the ammo
On a return visit to Keller's Barrels & Blades off
Cosby Highway, Keith Keller could barely talk which is bad for an auctioneer, I
would think. It seems he went on an ocean cruise and caught a virus. Keith is
better and healthy but his voice hadn't recovered and he needed it for an
auction that Saturday.
Keith said it is nearly impossible to find .22-caliber
long rifle ammo, as it is used in both short and long guns and has long been a popular
caliber among sportsmen and target shooters because of its lower price. The
.22-caliber is priced about $10 to $12 per 50 round box and demand is so great
that Keith said he has to buy it from secondary vendors. Nine-millimeter ammo,
popular in many semi-automatic weapons, is usually available and easier to
find, said Keith. The 9 mm 50-rounds-per-box size sells for about $25 to $30.
It is also more difficult to find .223 caliber ammo commonly used in assault
weapons such as the AR-15. Keith has sold this ammo in 1,000 round cases. So I
hope the North Koreans don't get the idea to attack East Tennessee. Because he
sells a variety of weapons he does not want to disappoint buyers by not having
ammo. Would you want to fork out $400 to $1,000 for a handgun and then find out
there was no ammo at the store? "That would be embarrassing. I'll pay a
premium to have it for customers." I asked what the most expensive ammo is
and he picked up and showed a 50-caliber cartridge and the monster gun that fires
it. These rounds sell for $5 each and look big enough to shoot down small
The knife business is not as brisk or profitable and this
could be caused by low-priced knives from China. Keith explained that people
who know gladly pay a premium for good knives made by companies such as Case,
Sog, and Spyderco. There are a lot of cheaply made knives with low price tags
and this confuses customers who see the higher prices at Keller's Blades. He
has been in the gun sales business since 1999, when he got his federal firearms
sales permit. You may also see another fellow in the store helping and it is
Kenneth "Chris" Renner, of Parrottsville.
There was a young couple at the store during my
first visit, and Keith introduced me to his son, Clint Keller, and Clint's
friend, Kaitiye Beegle of Dallas, Texas. I told her that some of my relatives
also lived in Dallas but I never had heard the Beegle name. Both are students
at Carson-Newman College where she is interested in linguistic studies. Clint
is studying film and shoots video and also does video editing. He works at
PEJ-TV, which sells jewelry on television. Sounds like a different job than
most and he might end up doing as well as Newport's Joe Overholt, who pioneered
shop at home shows via satellite communications.
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