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Mighty cold days keep us searching for hot food and drinks

Jason Floria brushes the salt and grime off a van parked at his wash and detail business
off East Broadway on a sunny Monday. During the rare warmer sunny days he might
wash 30 vehicles in one day. He is located next to Diana’s Beauty Salon.
Published: 9:12 PM, 01/24/2014 Last updated: 9:55 AM, 01/25/2014

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Moving into the end of January, intense cold is holding on to our hometown landscape making it difficult for electric and natural gas utility workers on the frozen terrain. They deserve a vacation to the Caribbean.

I must make a mention of a long-time friend and associate with Jones Media Inc., the company that owns the Newport Plain Talk, Bob Hurley, who died last week of cancer. He had already been working at the Greeneville Sun in the 1960s, when I joined the Plain Talk in 1973. Bob was an exceptional writer and photographed the Appalachian scene with a keen, artistic eye. He is related to Cocke County people and has written on our folks, too. He and I covered the infamous snake handling at the county courthouse in the late 1970s. I will never forget when the snake handlers had been preaching to a crowd on the railroad tracks side of the courthouse. Spectators formed a semi circle and Bob was up front, me next to him. He was about 6 feet-six and hefty. Suddenly one snake handler, seeing Bob and his big camera, moved closer and held the copperhead or rattler up towards Bob. In a loud voice, Bob said, “That’s close enough fellow.” I was at Dr. Steve Smith’s office last week and he told me the kinship. Steve’s father, Conrad, who died last year, was a first cousin to Bob Hurley. Conrad’s mother, Lilly Hurley, had married Fuller Smith of the Point Pleasant area. Lilly’s brother Joseph Hurley, was Bob’s father. “He was the biggest one in our family,” said Dr. Smith.


Cold days but hot food


The weather produced quite a contrast last week with a balmy afternoon on Monday followed by a sheer plunge in the temperatures to about 9 degrees by Wednesday, 4 degrees Friday. While walking along East Broadway I made a few photos which you see here showing car washing and then a bundled up woman proclaiming the pizza buffet at Milano’s. The pizza and potato soup came in handy to combat the cold. It has been most unusually cold but more like it used to be and this caused a scramble for fuel such as propane now in short supply. We reported on the fuel transport problem but it will pass as quickly as the weather changes.

Until then, business people are dealing with broken pipes from freezing. I was talking with Mike Crowell at my neighbor, East Tenn. Tire, where he and his employee were fixing tires in this terrible cold with no heat. In addition, the water line froze so he has had no water. Friday morning, I visited with Hop Byrd in his business office that also houses Newport Car Detail Center where I was shooting photos. He said the old building also had frozen pipes.

If you want to try some hot Italian food that I recently heard about, you might visit the Sub Station and Welcome Station next to the former Cosby National Bank branch along Highway 321. I had a brief talk with business operator Frank Aloi, an Italian from upstate New York. He and his wife, Mary, have been here 15 years. Frank had other small businesses but is really trying to make a go of the new restaurant that features lasagna, manicotti, pastas, and more. He opened four months ago. He hopes that by offering good home cooked food more tourists will stop at Cosby. I learned that he is the fellow who built the log cabin next to the Cub Motel many years ago. Soon, I will visit to bring you more information about Frank and his new restaurant and how the food is.


Keep Cocke County Beautiful


We have been talking about Tim Berkel and his work with Keep Cocke County Beautiful, a recent program presented to the Newport Kiwanis Club. I reported on his marine/shipping background. Tim also managed to upgrade his education obtaining degrees in marketing and international business. His last job as a senor vice president and general manager made him responsible for a fleet of 55 ships and 2,800 employees. KCCB is benefiting from this marketing and business background as the non-profit has already received more than $100,000 in grants. I found it most interesting that he worked at an Alabama shipyard as marketing strategist and product development taking the enterprise from unprofitable to $100 million revenue per year in just two years.

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