Showing posts with label Heritage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heritage. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2022

TN TDOT Name a Snowplow Contest - Last Day to Vote! (published 12-30-2022; article #383)


Early this morning, while performing my routine fecal plowing, I was listening to News Talk 98.7 FM, on one of the three radios, on my bathroom sink counter top. A news item – aside from shootings in other states reported as “local” news – that caught my attention was that the final day to vote, in TDOT's name a snowplow contest, is today.

Several days ago, a local TV station had mentioned this contest. I had flushed the thought, after wondering why TDOT would waste “toilet paper” money on such a silly contest. Well, the thought “back flushed” into my mind.

Yes, I know that, on 12/30/2000, family and I gathered, in the frigid cold, for the graveside service for Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000). Writing this humorous article, however, will help lift my spirit and distract my thoughts, from memories of Mom's graveside service.

Name a Snowplow

After my morning fecal plowing, I found, on TN TDOT Department of Transportation, “Name A Snowplow Contest: Voting Begins.” (The “A” should not be capitalized.)

One of three photographs from “Name A Snowplow Contest: Voting Begins.”

The content of that web page is:

Vote for your favorite Snowplow name. Simply check the circle beside the name you like best and hit submit. Voting ends Friday, December 30 at 4:30 p.m. The top four names with the most votes will be displayed on four different snowplows – one in each region. The winners will be announced in early January.

*Select your favorite entry*

Twenty-five candidates are listed.

Contest Voting*

Big Leplowski; Big Orange; BoomBoomPlow; Brinestone Plowboy; Darth Blader; Don't flurry, be happy; Freeze Slick Mafia; Gatlinbrr; Graceland Growler; Grit & Brine; King Henry; Melton John; MilkNBread; Nashville Plowdators; No More, Mr. Ice Guy! Reba McEnplower; Rhinestone Plowboy; Sleetwood Mac; Snowlene; Snowletta Lynn; Sweet Child O' Brine; Tennessee VolunCLEAR; Thaw Enforcement; Tim McThaw; You're Welcome

Thank you for your submission. A TDOT representative will contact the contest winners.

The website does not state how the 25 candidates were certified or who the contestants are. I suspect a “TDOT deep-state conspiracy!”

After seconds of “deep contemplation,” I voted for “No More, Mr. Ice Guy!” – twice. I reloaded the website. What do you know? The website allowed me to vote often! Since I hadn't voted early, I decided to vote again. So, I voted once more for “No More, Mr. Ice Guy!” I decided that two votes were enough. Of course, I could have continued to reload the website and to vote far more often, until 4:30 PM, but I have better ways to occupy my time.

Of course, I have several questions. Is this the primary or general election? When did voting start? (I voted twice on the last day to vote.) Should voting have been allowed on one day only? Are only Tennessee citizens allowed to vote? Are illegal aliens or citizens in other states, or nations, allowed to vote? (I did not have to present a voter registration card.) Does voting end today at 4:30 PM Central Time or Eastern Time? Was there early voting, before the unknown day that voting started? If so, what were the early voting numbers? What about paper ballots? When will the votes be counted? Who will count the votes? Are they certified to count them? Will there be a recount? What about a tie? Will there be a runoff? What about hanging Internet chad? Will you fine or arrest me, since I voted twice? These are several questions that come to mind.


On the eve of New Year's Eve in 2022, I remember, with sadness, Mom's graveside service, on the eve of New Year's Eve in 2000. I remember my “adopted sister” and her husband, from Missouri, visiting at the homeplace, before the service. I remember the bitter cold. I remember driving in the funeral procession to the cemetery. I remember blocking the impatient driver, who tried to pass the procession. I remember shivering, while seated on the very cold metal chair, during the service. I remember how Dad (Earl Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) looked and what he said. I remember the family gathering at the homeplace after the service. I remember every detail.

Should I email, with a link to this article? If I do and get a reply, then I will mention it in a comment. As a public service, I encourage my readers in Tennessee to vote early and often! Today is the last day to vote. Readers in other states or nations, of course, are free to decide to vote or not, based on their own convictions.

Mom, of course, would understand why I wrote this humorous article, laced with sorrow, today. Mom enjoyed my sense of humor. Perhaps, once I join Mom, and so many others, in heaven, I'll share this story with her. I will have plenty of time to do so.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Mom Went to See Jesus, 12-27-2000 & Snow Photographs, 12-27-2022 (published 12-27-2022; article #382)


At 3:06 PM, as I begin to write, the sun is shining brightly. The temperature is 41 Fahrenheit (5 Celsius). The snow (about an inch or 2.54 centimeters), which had fallen late yesterday afternoon and through the night, has melted, except in the shady areas. Molly (our ol' puppy) is now outside mostly or in her basement condominium. She's no longer an indoor doggy, staying on the couch, in hibernation mode. The four days of winter (12/23-26/2022), with highs not above freezing, are over. Spring in winter is resuming.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is visiting her folks. (Her youngest sister returns to “Nashvegas” later today.) I had not planned to write this article, but I decided to do so.

Mom Went to See Jesus, 12/27/2000

I re-read several articles that I've published, around this time of the year, about Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000). My brief article, of 12/27/2010, is one of my favorites. The article, in its entirety, is:

Ten Years Ago Today (published 12-27-2010)

Ten years ago today, at 5:15 PM, Mom went to be with Jesus. She was the best mother that I could have ever had. Taken at only 68 years old, Mom could still be alive today, touching the lives of family and friends in her unique way. Mom’s absence has been felt strongly these past ten years.

Mom, I miss you, but I know that you are in a far better place. Tell everyone, Granny, Papaw, Uncle Bobby, Dad, and so many others, that I will see them someday. Life goes on here, until we are all reunited there.

I love you, Mom, bunches and bunches!

See Happy Birthday, Mom (published 11-24-2009).

My 11/24/2009 article – “Happy Birthday, Mom,” to which my 12/27/2010 article links – is probably my favorite article that I've written about Mom. Every time that I re-read the article, tears swell up in my eyes, but I do not cry.

At 5:15 PM today – as I have done on every December 27th, since 2001, I will pause, be silent a while, and remember.

I still miss Mom's made from scratch, homemade biscuits and her rice crispy Christmas wreath – symbols of her love. I have known many genuine Christians. I try to be one. Mom was and is the most genuine Christian that I have ever known.

Twenty-two years have passed, since Mom went to see Jesus. The memory of Mom's loss is with me daily, especially on December 27th every year. The loss has become easier to place into the everlasting mindset.

The family circle will be unbroken. I'm just trying to do my best to serve God, such as I can and as He allows me, until it's my turn to join the family circle.

Snow Photographs, 12/27/2022

The weather was cloudy and very cold, on Wednesday, December 27, 2000. We had about the same weather, maybe a little warmer, this morning (Tuesday, 12/27/2022). I took the two photographs (below) about 10 AM.

The view is looking southwest. The back yards of several neighbors, in the photograph, are to the west. Can you see Molly's footprints in the snow? Earlier, she had gone outside to “Molly doggy around.” She didn't stay out long. She liked the warm couch better.

This is Molly, in “doggy partial hibernation mode,” taking it easy on the couch! The old sheet mostly covers the leather couch. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was taking a shower. Molly had been sleeping, and she still looks sleepy, in the photograph.

Don't worry! Once the temperature warmed up more, and the sun came out, Molly went back to being a mostly outside, during the day, doggy! Her doggy door is set, so she can come into her basement condominium as she desires.


I trust that the TVA rolling blackouts, about which I wrote on Christmas Eve, did not harm anyone that has to use oxygen tanks that don't have battery backups. Mom had oxygen tanks, during her final days at home. I'm glad that the homeplace didn't have any rolling blackouts then.

By the way, I learned that the Christmas Eve football game, on the Tennessee Titans ( or “Tin Cans”) home field, was delayed by an hour, due to the rolling blackouts. The Texans beat the “Tin Cans” 19 to 14. TVA had advised us to conserve energy, turn off unnecessary lights, not do laundry, etc., but the lights at Titan stadium shined brightly. What hypocrites!

The time, at this typing, is 4:06 PM. I hear Molly barking in the back yard. I think that I'll go outside and have some fun with Molly.

Don't worry. I'll be back inside. At 5:15 PM, I will pause, be silent a while, and remember. Mom, I still love you bunches and bunches! I will see you again, once I join you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022, Granny & Papaw Ferrell's Marriage License - 1908, Mom's Birthday - 1932 (published 11-30-2022; article #374)


Greetings, to my national and international readers! I trust that you are each doing well.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is about to get over the “CHV” (Children's Home Virus) that she contracted, on 11/16/2022. She still has a little cough. My wife laid up sickly until 11/22/2022, when she went back to work. The Children's Home does not need to send sick children to school! I had only mild symptoms of the “CHV,” which my wife tried not to give me. To those who are still obsessed with “Corona Myopia Psychosis,” no, my wife did not contract the China virus again! She did not take a made in China test, to see if she had contracted the China virus again! (See my first 5/1/2022 article, under section “3/28, Monday: China Test Kits for China Virus.”)

This article is about family heritage, on November 24th, for three select years. I'll highlight Thanksgiving 2022, Granny and Papaw Ferrell's marriage license in 1908, and Mom's birthday in 1932.

First, however, I have to share my power outage restoration “murakle” of Sunday morning! It's funny!

My Gift of Restoring a Power Outage

To my readers in northeast Tennessee, did you survive the heavy rain overnight Saturday into Sunday? On Sunday, our power went off at 4:58 AM. I called the power company, at 7:23 AM, to check the status of the outage. I could only speak with a robot (which is the “new normal” of “outstanding” customer service). While I was on the phone, answering “yes” or “no” to the robot's questions, the power came back on, at exactly 7:25 AM!

It was a “KUB reboot murakle!” (A “miracle” is God's action that sets aside natural law, such as raising the dead. A “murakle” is my way to describe a serendipitous coincidence!)

So, when any reader in the KUB electric area has power go off, just call me! I'll call the KUB robot for you. Your power will be back on, while I'm on the phone with the robot! I “promise,” believe me or not!

Now, let's get back to family heritage, on November 24th, for three select years.

Thanksgiving, Thursday, 11/24/2022

For recent Thanksgivings, either my youngest brother and his family came down here, or we drove up there. At times, other family had joined us. On this Thanksgiving, my youngest brother and family visited his brother-in-law, who recently took a wife. They spent time with them. My brother and family didn't have time to stop by here, on their way to or from west Knoxvegas. I think that I heard him honk his horn, on I-640.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had a good Thanksgiving gathering with her folks – her father, her two sisters, our niece, and her good first cousin. After the fixins were ready, I led a prayer to the Good Lord, and we sat down to eat. “Favorite” sister-in-law was sickly and stayed in bed. (She'd done a “no good deed goes unpunished” a few days before and was “rewarded” by coming down with a case of the snots.) We all talked and joked on several topics. Pepper, our niece's ol' puppy, enjoyed the droppings that I gave her.

My youngest sister-in-law (who is also my “favorite”) had traded cars. She needed to swap out the temporary license plate for the permanent plate. It's a nice looking, silver 2019 Kia Niro (not Nero) hybrid SUV. After the Thanksgiving meal, youngest sister-in-law, our niece, and I went outside, to change the tag. It should have been a one-man job that takes about three minutes.

Wrong! The rear bumper, at the plate attachment, must have been designed by an outer space alien! What should be a simple design requires an advanced degree in engineering to figure out!

Over the course of about twenty minutes or so, my father-in-law, my wife's cousin, and my wife came outside, to check on the progress that the three of us were making and to offer “insightful tips and suggestions.” At one point, all six of us were at the rear end of the car! Yes, it takes six people to change one license plate on one Kia.

To make a long story a little shorter, eventually, we got the permanent plate on the car. The right side screw holds tightly enough (if it doesn't wiggle loose), but the left side holds firmly. Just don't hit too many potholes on the interstate, sister-in-law! I'd take that Kia back to the dealer and have them fix the right side “intricate fastening device!” The left side device is holding.

Tuesday, 11/24/1908

Let's go back “through the mists of time,” 114 years ago, to Tuesday, November 24th, 1908. Thanksgiving was two days later, on the 26th, that year. (Kia vehicles didn't exist then.)

As the image (below) shows, on 11/24/1908, Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970), at age 28, obtained the marriage license. Eli Jones, the minister, performed the wedding ceremony the next day, on 11/25/1908.

My paternal grandmother, Molly Gertrude Archer Ferrell (11/30/1892 - 6/11/1971) was five days away from turning age 16, when she married Papaw. My 6/13/2021 article includes the image (below), explains the Ferrell, Lype, Archer, and Carter family connections, and shares three memories of Granny Ferrell.

Source: "Tennessee Marriages, 1796-1950," database, FamilySearch ( 27 January 2020), Marion Ferrell, 1908.

Granny and Papaw Ferrell were blessed with eight children. Listed in birth order, their children were: Carrie E. Ferrell Davis (12/5/1909 - 1/28/2000), Lula Mae Ferrell Absher (1/14/1912 - 10/9/1995), James William “Bill” Ferrell (8/20/1914 - 6/21/1999), Roy Palmer Ferrell (6/9/1917 - 9/13/1991), George Charles Ferrell (1/14/1920 - 12/1/1995), Paul Edward Ferrell (3/16/1922 - 12/4/1983), Robert Carson Ferrell (4/30/1925 - 12/1/1999), and my Dad, Earl H. Ferrell (9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008).

I have records on the parents and siblings of both Granny and Papaw Ferrell. I may write an article or two, eventually, on the Ferrell and Archer ancestral lines. Papaw Ferrell's line is more detailed.

Thanksgiving was the day after Granny and Papaw Ferrell were married. Oral tradition has not passed down how Granny and Papaw spent their first Thanksgiving together. I can only imagine the joys that they must have shared.

Thanksgiving, Thursday, 11/24/1932

Going back 90 years ago, my Mom, Betty Lou Wood Ferrell (11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000) was born on Thanksgiving day, in 1932. Her parents were Aby William Wood (9/4/1901 - 3/14/1983) and Lula Frank Amos Wood (6/16/1901 - 8/12/1991). Her younger brother, Robert Allen Wood (5/14/1939 - 1/18/1941), lived to be only a year and eight months old.

Searching this website by “Mom,” “Granny and Papaw Wood,” and “Uncle Bobby” finds several articles that I have published over the years, to honor them. I look forward to meeting Uncle Bobby.

I scanned the photograph (above) on 1/3/2021. The original photograph is still in one of Mom's photograph albums, which I have. The photograph is not dated, but it had to have been taken around the time that Mom graduated high school.

Mom was born in Indiana, but she grew up in Morristown, Tennessee. As a boy, I remember humoring Mom by calling her a Yankee. Her usual reply was that she'd become a “southern transplant.”

Mom and Dad (Earl Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) were wed, on 9/3/1959. They were blessed with four sons. (Well, as boys, we aggravated Mom and Dad enough.) I am the oldest of us four brothers. Searching my website by “Mom and Dad,” “Mom,” and “Dad” will open articles that I've written over the years.

Growing up, with Mom's birthday falling on or near Thanksgiving, Dad sometimes happened to not remember Mom's birthday on time. I must admit, as a boy, that I had the same failure a few times. Mom, in her grace, never did let on that we'd forgotten her birthday. Granny and Papaw Wood usually drove up from Bean Station, Tennessee, for Thanksgiving with us. (Sometimes, we'd drive down there.) Granny and Papaw Wood always remembered Mom's birthday! Dad would say, “We let your mother's birthday slip this year, boys!” Dad would find Mom a birthday present (often a box of chocolate covered cherries, which she loved). Mom would always have a birthday celebration, even if it might have been a few days late! Mom's graciousness always forgave us. Thanks, Mom!


I am publishing this article on Granny Ferrell's birthday, in 1892. It is fitting. This is another article on family heritage. Before this article, 111 previous articles have been on or have included the topic of family. Eighty-six articles have been on or have included heritage.

Earlier today, I looked through Granny and Papaw Wood's Bibles, which are kept safely in our home. Granny Wood had written ancestral records for Papaw and her, in Papaw's Bible. I know oral family tradition. The records in Papaw's Bible may inspire future articles, about Granny and Papaw Wood and their ancestors. I pondered a while, about what life was like for all my ancestors.

My eyes of faith see several generations of ancestors gathering together in heaven, where the circle is unbroken. Those of us here, who are ready, will join them, in the blink of an eye, when it's our turn to go Home. Our ancestors will not even know that time passed, awaiting us, once we join them.

I hope that future generations of Ferrells will keep the family heritage going – in the right way. That's how I was raised. I honor the biblically-based heritage of the Ferrell and Wood families. Happy birthday, in heaven, Granny Ferrell!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

HERITAGE DAYS: Age 13, Crossbow, & Sorry, Vendors! (published 10-18-2022; article #365)

Photo by Koray Guler on Unsplash.


I started to write this article on Saturday, but chores and college football overruled. Today, the weather is cloudy and cooler, and we have about an inch of snow on the ground – believe it or not?

On 10/14/2022, Friday, some of the Fearghail clan gathered, at the home of my youngest brother and his family. The gathering included a new teenager and crossbow shooting! The day was wonderful! The weather was sunny and not too warm.

I'll mention Rogersville Heritage Days, before I conclude. I must “apologize” to the out-of-town vendors.

Fearghail Heritage Day

I didn't take any photographs. My semi-intelligent phone was in our 2012 Nissan Sentra. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had her phone, but she's not the photographer that I am. My youngest brother did record our singing of “Happy Birthday,” which I sang in Russian.

On that Friday, the youngest daughter, of my youngest brother and his wife, attained her first year as a teenager! We drove up to join the celebration!

Before the birthday dinner (or lunch, as Yankees call it), the conversation flowed from topic to topic. By my instigation, the conversation turned, for a “movement in time,” to the use of various words.

The need to “visit the restroom” was mentioned. My humor had asked, “So, you need to go to the crapper?” Thomas Crapper improved the design of the commode. I'm glad that my last name isn't another name for the lavatory – as Crapper's is! By the way, the Good Lord won't spank you for saying “crap,” but your mother might!

After birthday dinner and ice cream cake, we all went out to the back yard. Their two dogs were glad to see us! I enjoyed playing with them. Later, once we returned home, Molly, our doggy, had to sniff on us a while!

The highlight was target shooting, with a compound bow and arrows! I hadn't shot a regular bow and arrow since high school. The Boy Scouts taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow. A high school buddy and I made bows ourselves. We'd cut and shaped either hickory or elm and attached line. We had to buy arrows, since the ones that we'd made were not perfectly straight.

I watched as my youngest brother and two daughters shot his compound bow. I decided to try. I'd never shot a compound bow before. I took some time, to figure out the process. I took one shot. I hit the target, about 30 yards away, a little low and to the left of dead center! I tried to set up for another shot, but the compound bow didn't want to cooperate with me. I need to practice the use of a compound bow. I may do that. We couldn't find one arrow that had been a stray shot. I guess that someone found it, after we left.

That Fearghail heritage day made a good memory – as a straight arrow shot to the target center!

Rogersville Heritage Days

I last mentioned Rogersville Heritage Days, in my 10/10/2021 article. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had visited Heritage Days last year. That article includes two photographs.

On Friday, my youngest brother and family did not want to go walking around Main Street on Heritage Days. That was fine with us. We had a Fearghail heritage day instead.

I honor the good heritage of my hometown. My 8/7/2021 article – which has viewers almost every day – confirmed that Rogersville is the second oldest town in Tennessee, not Dandridge! (Our Dandridge friends never did rebut my proof!)

I'd like to have seen at least a couple of cousins and some high school friends – if we'd had enough time. We enjoy, well enough, the walk up and down Main Street, glancing into some of the vendors' shops. We might have bought some Winesap apples, if any were for sale. We're not interested in the usual items that vendors sell.

Many, or most, of the street vendors are not local. They come in from out of town. So, I must apologize to those out-of-town vendors. No sale this year! Not even a stop by to glance!


An arrow must be straight, to be a straight shot. A crooked arrow will not shoot straight, even if aimed by the best marksman.

The Fearghail clan gathering affirmed that the daughters of my youngest brother and his wife are growing up straight as an arrow. They will “shoot straight” in life, since they are being raised right.

Are you a straight or crooked arrow? Shoot straight in life. The marksman's target is the heavenly center!

Saturday, September 24, 2022

BLUE HORSE NOTEBOOK PAPER (published 9-24-2022, article #359)


Howdy, y'all! Yesterday, in this neck of the woods, the low was 46F, about 7 AM. The sky was crisp and blue. Fall is in the air finally! It's about time. Today, I hope that the clouds bring some much needed rain.

As a side note, on 9/21/2022, “Microcrap” presented an update, which I installed successfully, in the late afternoon. The next morning, however, my “Winders” Live Mail 2012 wouldn't create or reply to emails. (The software had been working fine before the update.) Yesterday morning, I uninstalled the 9/21/2022 “Microcrap” update. My email software works fine again. I won!

Getting back to the topic, do my northeast Tennessee readers, who have some age on them, remember Blue Horse notebook paper? I hear some readers saying “yes!” To my readers who don't know, please read on! Well, those who know may want to read a while longer.

Inspiration for this Article

I'd started this draft, on 7/29/2022 (a Friday). That morning, Phil Williams (on The Phil Show, NewsTalk 98.7 FM), talked about Blue Horse notebook paper. (I listen to him, at times, while I'm conducting my morning ritual.)

That brought a few memories, from my mental backwaters, to the forefront. I thought: “Blue Horse notebook paper. Hum. What can I find on the 'Interweb?'”

Blue Horse Notebook Paper on the “Interweb”

After my morning ritual, of 7/29/2022, I searched the “Interweb” for “Blue Horse notebook paper.” After scrolling past all the advertisements, the first actual article (that didn't want money) was on the Johnson City Press (Johnson City, TN) website.

The article is: “Remembering when Montag's Blue Horse galloped across the country dispersing Blue Horse label notebook paper,” by Bob Cox, Johnson City Press, 9/7/2019.

The article denotes an old Blue Horse notebook paper advertisement, to girls and boys, for various prizes. The image, below, is from that article.

A photo of the Blue Horse emblem and some advertisements for the big contest the brand put on. Contributed/Bob Cox.

Montag, which started in 1945, made Blue Horse notebook paper. Montag & Caldwell's website article – M&C Celebrates A 75 Year History: The Story Behind Montag & Caldwell, 11/16/2020 – mentions Blue Horse notebook paper, as a note in their historical details.

Deeper “Interweb” Digging - Bob Cox

The 9/7/2019 Johnson City Press article includes a link to: Bob Cox's Yesteryear: Documenting the Nostalgic History of Upper East Tennessee. His latest articles are three, from 8/8/2019. His website isn't active.

But wait! Box Cox has an active “Bob Cox's Yesteryear” personal blog on Facebook! If you have a “Farcebook” – as I call it – account, then you will find him, still writing and publishing, there. I'm glad that he's still active somewhere.

My Blue Horse Coaster

On 8/12/2022 (a Friday) -- while I was shop vacuuming Molly's “basement condominium,” to suck up all the doggy sheddings -- I decided to look through a storage box, where I thought that my Blue Horse coaster was resting. I found it, exactly where I'd stored it, before we moved to Russia (on 10/1/1994).

Well, Tuesday (9/20/2022) was another wonderful shop vacuuming experience. I brought my Blue Horse coaster from the “basement condominium” to my home office. Yesterday, I took the photograph, below, in my office.

I got my coaster as a boy. I don't remember how or when. That coaster has a good degree of wear. At the homeplace, in my teenage years, my coaster sat on my antique dresser – which I had inherited, as I recall, from an ancestor, on Mom's side of the family. Over those years, I'd placed many cups, glasses, and bottles – of warm or cold beverages (i.e., water, milk, buttermilk, tea, Cokes, hot chocolate, etc.) – on that coaster, to protect my dresser. The coaster took the wear.


Thanks, Phil Williams, for inspiring this article! Thanks, Bob Cox, for allowing me to “meet” you on the “Interweb!” I trust that both men know the Good Lord. I've heard Phil Williams state so. Bob Cox writes as if he does.

The inspired Old Testament includes Psalm 90 – A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. (Psalms 90:10, NIV)

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:12, NIV)

As a teenager – with a cold Coke resting on my coaster, I'd thought about the number of decades that I had left to live. It seemed like a long time.

At age 62 – with my coaster in my home office, I realize how swiftly those decades have flown by, to now. Only the Good Lord knows how many hours, days, weeks, months, years, or decades that I have left, in this temporal existence. I number my days. I have a heart of wisdom. I am ready to go Home!

Many readers know what I mean. Some may not. If you don't know what I mean, and would like to know, you are welcome to contact me – on my Contact Form. I'm just one poor beggar, trying to help other poor beggars find the Bread of Life.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD: 9-15-2013 House Mt. Hike #90 Dedication (published 9-17-2022; article #357)


I published only one article in 2012HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY, DAD, on 9/17/2012.

Earl Ferrell (9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) was my father. Aside from the 9/17/2012 article, my archives show other articles about Dad, on 6/21/2009, 6/26/2010, 9/20/2020, 1/25/2021, 6/20/2021, and 9/20/2021. Other articles, on family and heritage, mention Dad.

In 2013, I published only three articles – two in February and one in March. Today, nine years late, I will publish my House Mountain hike #90, of 9/15/2013 – which I had dedicated to Dad.

House Mountain Hike #90 - Dedicated to Dad

On 9/15/2013, I had written, in my hiking log, “09/15/13, Sunday. 90th! Passed 16 people going up! 28 min. West trail up. Muggy. Photos.”

That hike up the west trail was four minutes slower than my best time (as of 2013). It was my first hike of the fall, winter, and spring hiking season. I could have hiked up faster, but the sixteen people, whom I passed while hiking up, had slowed me down! They were mostly couples, in their 30's, with children. I also passed a few college students, in their early 20's.

This “old man” (age 53 at the time) had hiked up faster than those younger folks! Dad would have said, “Now, son, stop your crowin’!” My 90th hike was dedicated to Dad, who would have been age 86 on 9/17/2013 (a Tuesday).

I had taken the photograph, below, on 9/15/2013, at 3:41 PM – after I'd already hiked up the west trail, to the west bluff. The photograph is of the new sign (at the time) on the ridge trail. The sign states details of House Mountain and the “Crest Trail” (or ridge trail), and it honors John Evans, a man who did much work on the park. I'd not seen the sign before that 9/15/2013 hike. I've seen it many times since then.

I had taken the photograph, below, on 9/15/2013, at 3:58 PM. As I recall, I had continued east, across the ridge, to the middle bluff, then down the east trail. The image is looking northeast, from the middle bluff. As I recall, the weather was a little too warm and muggy, but it was a good enough day for my first hike of the hiking season. Enjoy the view, of nine years ago! The view has remained about the same.

After that hike, I had contact with two first cousins. We had planned a hike at Laurel Run Park (in Hawkins County, Tennessee) for later than month or in October. We'd planned to invite other family, to hike with us. Sadly, our hiking plans were not realized. Cousin Retha (9/7/1959 - 4/27/2017) has since passed on.

11/03/2001 Hike to “Jim Ferrell home site”

My hiking log includes the last time that Dad and I hiked together. He'd taken me hiking to the Clinch Mountain fire tower, at times, when I was a boy.

On 11/3/2001, Saturday, Dad (age 74), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, my youngest brother and his wife, and I hiked to the home site location of James Robert Ferrell (1851 - 1926). James (or Jim) Ferrell was my paternal great grandfather, Dad's grandfather. Great Papaw Jim Ferrell and his wife, Elizabeth Presley Ferrell (1856 - 1900), has ten children. (The details are in family records, which I have.)

I have film photographs of that hike, but I'll not try to find and digitize them today. I may do so, for a future article. Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000) had already gone to see Jesus. Dad's heart trouble would not show up, until December of 2002. He could still hike the mostly level ground very well. We saw the remains of the old Jim Ferrell home site The house had been gone for decades, but the foundation was still noticeable. I remember several shade and apple trees. That home site had been in a good location, on good farm land.

I wonder if any cousins may want to arrange a hike back to the old Jim Ferrell home site. We'd need permission from the current owner. What do you say, cousins? Should we plan a hike? I'm in!


Hey, Dad! Happy birthday today! I know that Mom and you are enjoying perfect hiking weather, in heaven! Please tell Mom and all the family there howdy from me! I'll see y'all up there eventually. We'll hike – and have so many other great joys – together everlastingly!

By the way, my Georgia Bulldogs will defeat the South Carolina “Game Chickens.” At halftime, my 'Dawgs are up 24 to 0. If we were together, watching the game on TV, you would pull for the “Game Chickens” – just to “devil” me! I know. I hear you!

The Ferrell home site foundation is still noticeable. It is secure in the heart and mind.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

THE TRUE LIGHT QUARTET - UNCLE PAUL'S LEGACY (published 9-7-2022; article #355)


I have a post-it note, which I dated 8/28/2003, a Thursday. I was talking with Dad by phone on that date. I'd asked Dad to please name the members of The True Light Quartet – other than Uncle Paul, who sang bass. He did, and he told me the parts that they sang. I wrote down, on the post-it note, what Dad had told me.

As a boy, I remember hearing The True Light Quartet sing. I don't recall where or how many times. Mom and Dad took us boys to hear them, at church gatherings. They sang a cappella. I remember very well the musical gospel messages that The True Light Quartet sang. A good sermon can be sung.

This article is for all the relatives of the Marion and Gertrude Ferrell line, and it honors Uncle Paul's legacy.

The Family

Papaw Marion Ferrell (4/13/1880 - 11/21/1970) and Mollie Gertrude “Gertie” Archer Ferrell (11/30/1892 - 6/11/1971) had eight children, who were born and lived beyond infancy – two daughters and six sons.

Their two daughters, my aunts, were Carrie E. Ferrell Davis (12/5/1909 - 1/28/2000) and Lula Mae Ferrell Absher (1/14/1912 - 10/9/1995). They were the oldest two children.

Granny and Papaw Ferrell's six sons were, in order of oldest to youngest, James William “Bill” Ferrell (8/20/1914 - 6/21/1999), Roy Palmer Ferrell (6/9/1917 - 9/13/1991), George Charles Ferrell (1/14/1920 - 12/1/1995), Paul Edward Ferrell (3/16/1922 - 12/4/1983), Robert Carson Ferrell (4/30/1925 - 12/1/1999), and my Dad, Earl H. Ferrell (9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008).

Memories of two aunts, five uncles, their spouses, and their children – my many cousins – abound with vivid and pleasant memories.

The True Light Quartet

On that 8/28/2003 post-it note, I wrote down, as Dad told me, the members of The True Light Quartet and the parts they sang. (I'm glad that I kept that post-it note.) Dad told me:

     Roy “Curly” Mauk - sang tenor.
     ???? Carter - sang tenor. (Dad couldn't recall
          his first name.)
     Roy Starnes - sang tenor “on the last,”
          as Dad told me.
     Paul Ferrell - sang bass.
     Nick Williams - sang soprano.

I don't know how many years that The True Light Quartet sang at churches and other religious gatherings – mostly in the upper-east Tennessee area, around Kingsport. I believe they started in the 1970's or before. Uncle Paul passed, on 12/4/1983, and I think that the quartet had stopped singing together before then.

The True Light Quartet composed and sang at least eight original songs. (They sang many commonly known spiritual songs.) The quartet recorded their eight songs on cassette tape.

Initially, I had two cassette tapes, with “True Light Quartet” written on them. (I still have those tapes, along with my 8/28/2003 post-it note, in the photograph below.) For the first tape, Dad had written “True Light Quartet” on the label. On the sleeve of that tape (not in the photograph below), I had written “copied Jan. '96.” On the second tape, I had written “True Light Quartet (Paul Ferrell).” That tape has no sleeve, and I didn't date it.

Eventually, the cassette tape original was copied to an original CD disk. (Dad knew who copied from cassette tape to CD disk, but I don't remember what Dad told me.) Dad had some of those CD copies. Dad may have given me a CD copy, but I may have lost it. My youngest brother had at least two CD copies. He gave me one of his CD copies, on 8/7/2008.

The True Light Quartet on CD

The photograph below is of the CD that my youngest brother gave me, on 8/7/2008.

On the back of the paper that lists the eight songs, I had written “8/7/08, Thu., Doug.” I didn't photograph the CD opened. The songs are:

     I Can See the Lights of Home
     I Am Going Home to Heaven
     Reach Out and Touch the Lord
     Sinner Man
     Tis' the Old Ship of Zion
     I'll Be No Stranger Up There
     Walking, Walking, Walking
     Hush, Someone's Calling My Name

Uncle Paul's distinct bass voice is heard on each song. Dad knew every member of The True Light Quartet.

I remember Uncle Paul, aunt Lorraine Franklin Ferrell (6/28/1926 - 2/17/1996), and their three daughters (two still living). Dad had taken me to visit Uncle Paul and aunt Lorraine, around Christmas, in 1992. I think that was the last time that I saw him. Three friends and I were going to Myrtle Beach, in June of 1993. We talked about that upcoming beach trip – and many other topics. Uncle Paul passed on 12/4/1983. His music, in The True Light Quartet, still ministers in song.

The True Light Quartet on YouTube Music

Today, 9/7/2022, I uploaded The True Light Quartet's eight songs from CD disk to my YouTube Music Channel. The Playlist is titled The True Light Quartet. Please click that link, and listen to the quartet's sermons in song!

I wrote the following description of that playlist:

Eight original songs, recorded, perhaps, in the 1970's or early 1980s. Paul Ferrell sang bass. He was my uncle. On 9/7/2022, I uploaded their album, from CD, to honor each member -- especially Uncle Paul. The quartet sang great sermons!

I can't figure out how to change the tracks from numbers to the song titles, which I have mentioned above. The “Popmart [Video/DVD]” came from the CD disk that I uploaded. I can't edit to correct it. Please contact me, by emailing, calling, or using my “Contact Form,” if you can't find the Playlist!


The members of The True Light Quartet, all having been sinner men, have, as far as I know, all walked to the Old Ship of Zion, touched the Lord, had their names called, seen the lights of Home, and have gone home to heaven, where they are not strangers.

By faith I see them singing as a heavenly quartet. There around them are many members of the Ferrell clan, who are listening to them. Their joy is everlasting. Won't it be wonderful, someday, to join them there?