Sunday, August 08, 2021

Life, “Such As It Was,” Highlights: 7/4 - 8/6/2021 (published 8-8-2021)


Howdy, y'all! I hope y'all are still turning right and going straight!

I plan to get back to writing my usual nine to twelve articles a month. Thanks for stopping by, to read a while! I wrote only three articles in July. It was a “rich, full” month. This article is “life, such as it was,” by topical highlight, from 7/4/2021 to 8/6/2021. I'll use “the good, the bad, and the ugly” theme. It should be entertaining!

This article is six pages. Don't give up on it, unless you don't have the mind power. Y'all don't have that short attention span problem, do you? “Social media” is guilty of causing the short attention span problem, not me! I've read “Война и мир” (“War and Peace”), published in 1865 – 1869, by Leo Tolstoy. Have you? (I read it in the translated English, which was my failing. I may still read it in the original Russian.)

I had started writing this article, when the East Tennessee area had a lot of smoke in the air. It's gone now, mostly. Aside from having been hot and humid, we had been inhaling “second-hand smoke.” It had been coming from those forest fires, from the far west. On 7/31/2021, while driving nearby, I could barely see My Mountain (House Mountain)! It made me think about the "Johnny Smoke” public service TV announcement from the 1960s. (I hope you watch that YouTube link. It will bring back memories, to those who have a little age on them!)

Folks start off by talking about the weather, before moving on to deeper topics. Let's dig a little deep into the conversational well!

The Good

July started off well. My 7/5/2021 article detailed the family gathering, on 7/3/2021. That was a very good day!

Independence Day was the next day. We rested. That afternoon, I completed the various requirements to renew my “ever two years” Tennessee life and health insurance license. I have not been working in life and health insurance since 2012, but I still renew my license every two years. It is not that expensive or time consuming. I got the license in 2005, so I might as well keep it renewed.

The USA attained age 245 (as the latest, fairly young “experiment” in a republican form of government). Age 245 is if you accept that the USA exists. I figure that the USA died on 1/6/2021 and that the USSA started on 1/6/2021. (I've written about it.) I cannot comprehend the political and moral insanity anymore! Folks either uphold the flag and honor the USA or hate the flag and the USA. Folks who despise the USA need to move to another nation and LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE! (Okay, that's my “poly-tics” soapbox. I'm done – in more ways than one!)

As a theological aside, the Good Lord figured, a long time ago, that a person needs to rest one day a week. For the Hebrews, it was on Saturday, as the Ten Commandments dictated. By the way, that fourth commandment was the only one that was nullified, by Christ's death and resurrection. The new covenant includes all the Ten Commandments, in principle, except the fourth one. A person still needs to rest one day a week. The Good Lord knew what he was doing! My Seventh Day Adventist friends are wrong. I know. I can help them, if they want me to do so.

On Saturday, 7/17/2021, I attained the age of 6.1 years. (It is easier to count in decades.) I took it easy that day, doing the usual chores. I found the two store bought cards that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had hidden. One was made in China. The other was made by a USSA socialist group. I know. I had done the research. (She likes to play “hide the cards” on birthdays and anniversaries.) She made my traditional “lemon birthday pie,” which I may get around to eating, over the course of a few months, as usual. I had a few phone calls and e-mails. “Farcebook” friends (in real life also) wished me birthday greetings. My birthday this year was better than last year. My 7/26/2020 article wrote about it.

The next day, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman attained the age of ____. (She won't allow me to tell you, but she's three years younger than me!) She found her card that I had created (on USSA paper and ink) and hidden! We ate dinner (or lunch, as the Yankees call it) at Applebee's, which is near the former Knox Center (or East Towne) Mall. We used to live in an apartment on the ridge, behind the main entrance to the former mall. We lived there, after our return from Russia, in 1999, and before we moved into our house, on 6/7/2003. The area where the mall had been looked like an asteroid had hit and left a crater! Amazon plans to build a distribution hub at the location eventually. Afterward, we had a good visit with her folks.

I wish that I'd taken a photograph of the crater, where the mall had been. WATE TV has an article with photographs, of the demolition stage, as it looked on 4/8/2021. The article and link are “PHOTOS: East Towne Mall demolition begins.” The following is one photograph from that article.

July ended well! On the last day of July (Saturday), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had dinner (or “lunch,” as Yankees call it) with another couple. We dined at the Texas Roadhouse, near the crater that once was the Knox Center Mall. About 35 years had passed, since we had seen our friend and sister in Christ! We met her husband, and our brother in Christ, for the first time. We talked. We laughed. We had tears well up in our eyes. The meal and conversation afterward were a joyous re-acquaintance, of over two hours! We four plan future get togethers. We look forward to them!

Getting together with friends and fellow Christians is a foretaste of the heavenly gathering that awaits us! Eventually, we will have everlasting gatherings at Home! Won't it be wonderful then?

The Bad (financially)

My income has been the only way to “hold down the fort,” while Mrs. Appalachian Irishman has been enjoying her unpaid summer vacation.

On 7/20/2021, Tuesday, we received our summer fill of propane, as I had arranged. Our propane was at about 15%, before the fill. I could have gone without propane a while. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman likes her warm showers and for the warm or hot laundry to be done. I could have taken cold showers and worn clothes laundered in cold water. The bill is paid.

On 7/26/2021, Monday, our “mower guy” and his crew removed all the brush and scrub tree limbs, in our “back 40.” It would have taken me a few days of vacation time to have done it alone, with manual tools. That crew did the job in a few hours, with gas-powered and manual tools! That's much better than I could have done! The cost was about what my “mower guy” had told me last fall. I was surprised, initially, by the cost. I figured out, later, that the cost was about what my “mower guy” had told me last fall. I wish that our “mower guy” had indicated his plan to do the work, before he had started. I would have put him off about a month or so. I still recommend highly LTD Lawn (our “mower guy”). My “bionic body” would rather not mow, trim, weed eat, and clean up. It used to take me at least an hour and a half. They can do a better job than me, in about 20 or 30 minutes! They have much better equipment and more men. The cost for excellent mowing, trimming, weed eating, and clean up is very reasonable!

Norfolk Southern actually owns the scrub brush and tree area around the fence, which is located about two feet to the south of our property line. I researched it. I know. Norfolk Southern is responsible for cleaning their trees and brush – not me! I would be lucky, if I could get them to reimburse us. I won't even bother. The “mower guy” bill is paid.

On 8/2/2021, Monday, we received our chump change Monopoly money – 2020 Federal Income Tax Refund! That was a little good news, in this financial ugly. We had mailed our tax return on 4/15/2021. We usually pay the “Uncle Sam Scam” a few dollars every year. (I don't want a refund of Monopoly money that “Uncle Sam” owes us – when we don't draw interest from it.) My tax preparation indicated a chump change Monopoly money refund, since we didn't get the second (or which ever) round of “stimulus” Monopoly money. I didn't think we'd get it. It had been over four months. I did not care. Well, the chump change Monopoly money arrived. We used it, in the context of the money going out! It was better to get Monopoly money than not.

From 7/30/2021, Friday, to 8/5/2021, Thursday, our 2008 Honda Civic (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's car) was in the “hospital.” She needed a new starter. She got new tires and a new alignment also. Tom's Auto Clinic healed her. The bill is on a credit card. The bill will be paid in full next month – when the credit card bill arrives. (We had to have a little financial “breathing room.”)

Well, at least Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I know how to keep a “rainy day” fund in place. By the way, we had good soaking rains on 8/3/2021 and 8/7/2021. We need more rain. On 8/3/2021 (Tuesday), I took my 2006 Nissan Frontier on a drive around our subdivision. He enjoyed the “country boy truck wash,” in that early evening rain! I did too. Yes, the Civic is a she, and my truck is a he. There are only two genders for vehicles. Wait for my next article, on “poly-tics” that will include PGI and PGO. You may not know what that means yet. I will tell you.

The Ugly

On 7/19/2021, I e-mailed Roger Goodell (, as follows:

Roger Goodell:

I found your (if valid) e-mail address via “NFL Headquarters Address, HQ Email Address, Corporate Office Phone Number, and More,” on HeadquartersOf, by John Mathew.

Yesterday (7/18/2021), a friend e-mailed to me the following link: “NFL to Double Down on Viewership-Killing Wokeness With 'Black National Anthem',” on mrcTV, by Matt Philbin, 7/16/2021.

Of course, I had already learned about the NFL’s “Black national anthem” (as if their is one, really) and the NFL’s “politically correct,” “woke,” and “socialist Utopian” agenda. My agenda, for the 2021 – 2022 NFL football season, is to WATCH SOMETHING, ANYTHING ELSE! (I have been a Pittsburgh Steelers “fan” for decades.)

You will not respond to this e-mail, if you do, with any “politically correct” gibberish! I do NOT want to read it!


A former “fan” of the NFL

Roger Goodell has not responded. My e-mail to him did not bounce back as undeliverable. I spoke my mind, as any Irish-American would have. Y'all send him e-mails also, if you wish. He will not reply. The NFL will not change. I'm done with the NFL.

Since 7/25/2021 (including August 3rd and 6th, so far), I have been trying to educate my hometown newspaper, The Rogersville Review. During my senior year in high school, I worked as an “inserter,” every Wednesday, after school. My hometown newspaper has become “new, better, and improved” -- meaning worse. They don't have their website and billing “ducks in a row.” I'm trying to teach them. So far, I have managed to restore our delivery of The Rogersville Review. I'm still working on helping them understand the details about my gift subscription to my youngest brother. I'll educate them. It may take me a while.

On 7/27/2021, Tuesday, while working at home, I had enough of my job. Konstantin Jireček (born in Vienna, Austria, 7/24/1854; died 1/10/1918) could have been the one who first said:

We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

I have had that line memorized many decades. I submitted my online retirement that day! I was done. Enough was enough! My Irish dander was up! (I'm sorry, Lord. Thanks for forgiving me!)

The next day, after I'd cooled down, I decided to unretire. I unretired. I was retired for one day!

My employer will NEVER figure out that expecting one person to do the work of two or more is not rational. I know it. I have over four months of paid leave. Instead of assuming that I can find another, better job – after retiring from my current job – I have decided to continue to endure the “we, the unwilling,” insanity – until I have another job. I will give a month's notice when I retire. I will start my new job a month later. My current employer will have to pay me over four months of leave time, while I am working in my new, better job! Well, that's the plan, as the Lord wills.

My wisdom overcame my stubborn Irish temper. Well, it did so, at least, on 7/28/2021. We will see, tomorrow, when I start my routine, of working from home, on Monday through Wednesday, but at the office, on Thursday and Friday. I'm on a short fuse. The total “Gaggle alert dump” tomorrow -- which some unknown “colleague,” somewhere, assigns to me -- could be my deciding factor. We will see!


Well, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman has been back from her afternoon visit with her folks. She has finished the dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming routine that she does late on Sunday afternoons. The mundane details of another day in temporal life are winding down again.

I'm whittling down on my backlog of “working documents!” I have seven more “working documents” left (5/29/2021, 6/12/2021, 6/14/2021, 6/19/2021, 7/17/2021, 7/24/2021, and 8/7/2021). I plan to summarize these seven under one “Poly-tics” article. Do you remember what “Poly-tics” means? My next article may be a “Poly-tics smorgasbord” article – just to get my “working document” backlog behind me.

Y'all keep turning right and going straight out there! We will meet up in Heaven one of these days – unless I see some of y'all sooner – here on this speck of dust, in this not very relevant and temporal realm!

Saturday, August 07, 2021


5/8/2023 addendum: on the 77th anniversary of VE Day (5/8/1945), I updated the links to the websites cited, and I improved the format, to this original publication of 8/7/2021. This article still awaits proof, if any, that confirms that Dandridge is the second oldest town -- by date settled, not by date established. This article still confirms that Rogersville is the second oldest town, by date settled, in Tennessee!


The most recent article, of 7/25/2021, mentioned six “working documents.” The oldest “working document,” which started on 3/28/2021, is updated, finalized, and published today!

This is a friendly howdy, to our fine friends in Jefferson County! I win the “which town is oldest” war! Y'all are still my friends – even if you are wrong!

The “gang” is getting together, in person, later today -- finally! The last gathering was on Saturday, 2/15/2020. The new cold virus (i.e., “global pandemic” or Corona Myopia) had been hindering us -- among other reasons.

This article is published today -- to add fuel to the conversational fodder! If the “gang” doesn't read this article, before we get together, then I'll mention it! I love each member of the “gang!” We always have fun together. We have had “joking arguments,” for decades, about the second oldest town in Tennessee. I win! The following is the proof!

Tennessee Statehood

First, let's set the stage, with the beginning of the state. Tennessee became a state, on June 1, 1796. (Source: “Tennessee,” on A&E History, by Editors, updated 8/21/2018.) That's why the media were bragging on Tennessee, on 6/1/2021. Tennessee has been a state for 225 years.

By the way, June first is the beginning of summer (meteorological summer) -- not June 20, which is astronomical summer. I have argued that point in many articles, but I digress.

As a personal aside, June first was Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's last work day. Her summer vacation has started. It ends on 8/10/2021. She returns to “hitting a lick,” on the last “dog day” of summer, which the most article mentions.

Tennessee Counties (95) in Chronological Order

Next, let's move on to when Tennessee's 95 counties were formed. The origination dates of those counties are listed, below, in chronological order. The four sources for the list are: “Education Outreach,” on Tennessee State Library and Archives: Education Outreach Program, Tennessee Blue Book, "Table of Contents: 5 List of Tennessee Counties,” under “History and Facts of Tennessee Counties,” on My Counties, and 2009-2010 Tennessee Blue Book, Section VI – Tennessee, Origin of County Names (a PDF file).

1777 - 1799: 18 Counties
1777 Washington County                        1779 Sullivan County
1783 Davidson County, Greene County  1786 Sumner County
1787 Hawkins County. The exact date was 1/6/1787, according to “Hawkins County,” on Tennessee Encyclopedia (by Henry R. Price, last update 3/1/2018).
1792 Jefferson County, Knox County      1794 Sevier County
1795 Blount County
1796 Carter County, Grainger County, Montgomery County, Robertson County
1797 Cocke County
1799 Smith County, Williamson County, Wilson County

1801 - 1849: 61 Counties
1801 Anderson County, Claiborne County, Jackson County, Roane County
1803 Dickson County, Rutherford County, Stewart County
1806 Campbell County, Overton County, White County
1807 Bedford County, Bledsoe County, Franklin County, Hickman County, Maury County, Rhea County, Warren County
1809 Giles County, Humphreys County, Lincoln County
1817 Lawrence County, Marion County, Morgan County, Wayne County
1819 Hamilton County, Hardin County, McMinn County, Monroe County, Perry County, Shelby County
1821 Carroll County, Henderson County, Henry County, Madison County
1824 Fayette County
1835 Benton County, Lauderdale County
1836 Bradley County, Cannon County, Coffee County, Johnson County, Marshall County, Meigs County
1837 DeKalb County         1839 Polk County
1840 Van Buren County    1842 Macon County
1843 Lewis County            1844 Grundy County, Hancock County
1845 Decatur County        1849 Scott County

1850 - 1879: final 16 Counties
1850 Union County               1854 Putnam County
1855 Cumberland County     1856 Cheatham County
1857 Sequatchie County
1870 Clay County, Hamblen County, Lake County, Loudon County, Trousdale County
1871 Crockett County, Houston County, Moore County
1875 Unicoi County
1879 Chester County, Pickett County

Jonesborough is the Oldest Tennessee Town

That Jonesborough is the oldest town in Tennessee well known. “History,” on The Town of Jonesborough, Tennessee, beside “Jonesborough’s Timeline,” states: “1779 Jonesborough is Established: Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee, is established seventeen years before Tennessee was granted statehood.”

Jonesborough was settled ten years earlier, in 1769. The same website confirms, beside “1769 English Colonists Move into the Region,” that Jonesborough was settled in 1769, when William and Lydia Bean, the first permanent white settlers, build a cabin on the Watauga River in Northeast Tennessee. New settlers begin to come into the area from Virginia and North Carolina.”

Please note that Jonesborough was settled in 1769 then established in 1779. A town starts as a settlement, before it is established.

Rogersville is the Second Oldest Tennessee Town

Rogersville is the second oldest “settled” town in Tennessee -- settled in 1775. “Visitors,” on the official website for the Town of Rogersville, TN, states: “Rogersville is a town in, and the county seat of, Hawkins County, Tennessee, United States. It was settled in 1775 by the grandparents of Davy Crockett, and is the second-oldest town in the state.” The official website states that Rogersville is the second oldest town in Tennessee.

“Hawkins County,” on Tennessee Encyclopedia (by Henry R. Price, last update 3/1/2018) confirms the establishment of Rogersville, in 1789, fourteen years after settlement.

In 1789 Amis presented a petition from the community to the North Carolina General Assembly to establish a town at the Hawkins Court House site and to name the town Rogersville. Approval of the petition, which was granted on November 7, 1789 . . . .

Dandridge is the Third Oldest Tennessee Town

Dandridge is the third oldest “settled” and “founded” town in Tennessee -- settled and founded in 1783. To my Jefferson County friends, the following is the proof that I win this decades old discussion!

The official Town of Dandridge website introduces itself, in error, by stating, Welcome to Dandridge, Tennessee: 'Tennessee’s Second Oldest Town.'” At least the town's introduction places “Tennessee's Second Oldest Town” in quotation marks, since the statement is not correct.

Scrolling to the bottom of that introductory page, the “History” section states, “Dandridge was founded around 1783 when the settlers came across the Appalachian Mountains moving west.”

Jefferson County,” on Tennessee Encyclopedia (by Estle P. Muncy, last update 3/1/2018) confirms: “The first permanent settlement at Dandridge dates to 1783; the village became the county seat in 1793.”


Dandridge was both settled and founded in 1783. Rogersville was settled in 1775 -- eight years before Dandridge. Of course, Rogersville was established in 1789 -- six years after Dandridge.

To our Jefferson County “gang” members, Rogersville was settled before Dandridge! I win! (Yes, I know that Rogersville was established six years after Dandridge.)

The established dates are a point of triviality. For example, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I live in the settlement of “Corrytonvegas” (as I call it). “John Sawyers, a Revolutionary War veteran, settled in the vicinity of what is now Corryton in 1785 . . . . In 1887, a developer named Corryton Woodbury purchased property surrounding the rail depot to grow the community into a suburban town.” (Source: “Corryton, Tennessee,” on Wikipedia, which references: Miller, Larry (2001). Tennessee Place Names. Indiana University Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-253-33984-7. Retrieved July 25, 2020.) I have seen the area highway signs that confirm settlement in 1785 (two years after Dandridge). The little town of “Corrytonvegas” exists. It just hasn't been “established” or “founded” yet!

If the “gang” members from Jefferson County can cite proof, confirming that Dandridge was settled before Rogersville (in 1775), then I will retract my victory. Otherwise, my victory stands -- in a joking manner, of course.

Either way, Rogersville and Dandridge have both been around longer than Tennessee has been a state! Both towns have bragging rights on that!

We will see y'all (the “gang”) this afternoon! Love y'all! Mean it!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

WHAT WAS THAT 7-20-2021 PHOTOGRAPH THAT I HAD TAKEN? (Published 7-25-2021)


Howdy, y'all! My readers total about 200 to 300 a day, on average, which is not bad. I can see total readers by nation and date. I can't see the details of each reader. My readers are secured confidentially here far better than on “Farcebook!” I hope that my articles are helping my readers. My total readers have dropped a little, into the 100 to 200 daily range, recently. That's due to my laziness! I've been writing nine to twelve articles a month, since January 2021. I've written only two this month, until today. I'm sorry, y'all! I'll try to do better!

The Dog Days of Summer (Sidetrack)

I hope y'all are enjoying the dog days of summer! (I'm sorry, Molly, our ol' puppy!) Well, I'm talking with my USSA readers mostly. As the wise man said, “It's hot! It's d-hot!”

“Dog days of summer” refers to the sun having the same location as Sirius (Greek “Σειριος,” meaning "scorcher"). Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. Sirius is part of the Canis Major constellation (which means “big dog” in Latin). That's why folks call Sirius the Dog Star. Sirius aligns with the sun from July 3rd to August 11th every year. That's why folks call July 3rd to August 11th the “dog days of summer.” I've heard this and learned this decades ago. The Farmers' Almanac is my source, to back me up! Y'all believe the Farmer's Almanac, don't you? I thought so! Remember, Sirius is the star. SiriusXM is a way to listen to the radio! It's a big difference!

As we, here in the eastern USSA, endure the “dog days of summer,” we also see the smoke in the air. The smoke is coming from the fires in the western USSA. Our “local yokel” Knoxvegas TV new shows have been talking about the smoke and “air quality index,” since 7/22/2021, Thursday. Here's one and another “local yokel” link. I'd seen the smoke before 7/22/2021, but I can predict my own weather – by being outside, looking, feeling, and smelling – better than the “local yokel” weather folks, usually.

Yesterday, by my check, the temperature in Corrytonvegas, about 5 PM, was 91F or 33C. The humidity was high. The grass and trees are showing signs of needing rain badly. The wind may bring in a little rain, maybe. For my international readers, the temperature yesterday in Moscow, Russia (where we lived from 1994 to 1999), about 5 PM, was 58F or 15C. The link is here. My English readers will need to translate the Russian on the website. I just read the Russian.

I would have rather been in Moscow, Russia, enjoying 58F yesterday, than in Corrytonvegas, enduring 91F with smoke and humidity! Either way, I can take it. I ain't breathing hard! I like cold weather. I tolerate hot weather well enough.

Y'all please excuse my sidetrack, in this section. I had to blow off a little Irish blarney! Let's move on to the main topic of this brief article!

7-20-2021 Post-It Notes

On 7/20/2021, Tuesday, at 5:51 PM, I posted a “Farcebook” tease, for this article today! Hey, “Farcebook” friends (in real life, not just on “Farcebook”), here is my revelation of what I had written on those Post-It notes! I've read your comments, trying to figure out what the Post-It Notes have written on them!


I'd taken the photograph (above) with my trusty Samsung not “semi-intelligent” cell phone camera, on 7/12/2021, Monday, at about 5:20 PM. I was in our spare bedroom, where Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's furniture is. (It was her bedroom furniture before she became Mrs. Appalachian Irishman. We still have it.) She had placed the sewing kit, three spools of thread, and the two stacks of clothes on her old bed several weeks ago. My clothing to the left had been in her closet for over a year.

The Post-It note on my clothing to the left reads, 7/12/2021, Monday, 5:23 PM. Please stitch us on our holes! We have been waiting over a year! My items calling out for stitching are two sweat shirts that I've had for decades and a short-sleeve shirt that I've had many years. I don't give up on old clothes – if they can be fixed! So, now you know!

The Post-It note on my long-sleeve shirt to the right reads, 7/12/2021, Monday, 5:24 PM. Please give me away, to a size large man! Christmas of 2020 was “virtual,” for Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's side of her family. “Favorite sister-in-law” had given me a size large long-sleeve shirt for Christmas. It had been in a box since Christmas 2020. I had forgotten about it. I had thought that it was a doggy present that Molly would not have liked.

Several days ago, I had opened it, to remember it was a size large shirt for me. I have NEVER worn a size large shirt! My shirt size is 32 long (as I have long arms). That is a size MEDIUM or possibly small. A size LARGE is way too big for me! I ain't that hefty, y'all! I hope that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman gives away that size large shirt to Goodwill or someone! I tried it on. It's a nice shirt. I like the colors. It's way too big for me!

Hey, “favorite sister-in-law,” you had only seen me on “YackTube” or “Zoomy” computerized video “conference,” from 7/19/2020 through 5/30/2021. You had seen me in the flesh on 7/18/2020 (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's birthday) and on 5/31/2021 (Memorial Day). Did you think I had gotten hefty, by seeing me on those “conference” videos? The camera can add 10 or so pounds, as folks claim. I'm still the same size! I'm just “devilin'” you, “favorite sister-in-law!” I love all my out-law in-laws, including “favorite sister-in-law!


This little article took two days, on and off, to write. Since 3/28/2021, I have and still have six “working documents” (3/28/2021, 5/29/2021, 6/12/2021, 6/19/2021, 7/17/2021, and 7/24/2021) on various topics! I need to get around to publishing at least a couple of articles or so, from my “working documents!” I may get to a couple more – depending on how this work week goes – before July is gone.

I'm still working at home Monday through Wednesday and at the office Thursday and Friday. It is an insane schedule that I have endured since February. To quote a colleague, “It could be worse.” My reply, to my colleague has been, over the years, “it could be better. This is reality!” My reply drives speculation to the hard surface of life reality!

I think that I will put in my retirement notice tomorrow. The details will be bureaucratic insanity gone wild. While that is going on, I think I can find another fulltime job – working from home fulltime and doing something that I actually enjoy or can, at least, tolerate better! We will see.

I'll start working on another article, from my “working documents” stack now. Y'all take care out there! Thanks for stopping by to read a while!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

MY DRIVING SCHOOL, ON 11-10-2016 (7/11/2021 ADDENDUM TO “3/21/2021, SUNDAY: MY 'BIONIC' EXCUSE” AND “MY 'BIONIC' JOURNEY, SO FAR: 3/29/2016 to 3/29/2021”)


If you click the links -- to my 3/21/2021 and 3/29/2021 articles -- you will understand one reason why I write this addendum today. I had forgotten to write about “driving school.”

The other reason for this addendum is to give a friend and his wife (my friend also) an opportunity to laugh, before my friend does his “driving school,” on Tuesday, 7/13/2021. I hope that all my readers enjoy a good laugh! “Driving school” was fun, folks!

I will pause on a sad note, but I will end on a funny note! The sad note will honor the doctor who was in charge of my care, while I was at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, in Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. (University of Tennessee Medical Center had me from 3/29/2016 to 4/19/2016, when I went by ambulance transfer to Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center. I was there from 4/19/2016 until discharge to home, on 5/4/2016 – “May the Fourth be with you.”)

My 11/10/2016 Driving School

I wrote about several details, in my 3/21/2021 and 3/29/2021 articles. I had forgotten to write about “driving school!” I do so now.

Dr. Robert Chironna was in charge of my medical care, at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center. He visited my room daily, about 7 AM, even on most weekends. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman stayed with me day and night, sleeping on the vacant bed beside mine, in my private room. She knows as well. Thanks, dear, for tending to me!) Dr. Chironna spent about ten or fifteen minutes with us every morning. He was congenial, mild-mannered, and very intelligent. He and I had similar senses of humor. (His was more subdued, but he liked my humor.) His purpose was to monitor and oversee the progress of my recovery.

After my discharge to home, I had four appointments with Dr. Chironna, at his office (6/27/16, 7/25/16, 10/25/16, 12/5/16). Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove me to all but the last one. I got my '06 Nissan Frontier, on 11/25/2016. I drove myself to my final appointment, on 12/5/2016. Dr. Chironna “released” me to return to work. I returned to work on 12/19/2016. I did not need a medical “release” to work. I am a free man, in a once free and great nation. I could have changed jobs. My state employer required the “release.” I jumped through the bureaucratic hoops, since I didn't want to change jobs.

At my 10/25/2021 appointment, Dr. Chironna suggested (as he could not require) “driving school.” I pondered the idea. I decided that “driving school” would come in handy – if, God forbid, I was in another accident – in which the guilty driver (not me) had an attorney, who could discover that I had a concussion -- on 3/29/2016, when I almost died.

11/10/2016 was a Thursday. It was the 29th birthday anniversary of the daughter of my wife's sister. It was also “driving school” day! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman drove me to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. (The total time from and back home was from about 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM.) We met Nicole White (Occupational Therapist / Driver Rehabilitation Therapist). Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center has a Comprehensive Driving Program there.

Nicole and I understood each other instantly! Our sense of humor matched perfectly! I hope that she is doing well. I haven't seen or communicated with her since that day.

First, I had to play a little while. Nicole and Mrs. Appalachian Irishman watched me, as I used my “bionic” left arm and right arm to punch little red dots on a board that hung on a wall. It was like whack-a-mole! (It was a test to check my vision acuity and peripheral vision.)

I passed 100%! My damaged left eye had not been seeing double for months! Nicole and Mrs. Appalachian Irishman enjoyed my humor as I whacked those moles!

Next, I had to play gas pedal/brake pedal game! While seated, I watched red and green lights that told me when to press either the fake gas or brake pedals. (The gas didn't take me anywhere, and the brake didn't stop me at any point. It was some type of test.) My “bionic” right knee and right foot had no problems! I did not have to sit too long. That was good.

Finally, I had to drive a fairly well maintained but older passenger van. Nicole rode shotgun. I drove that van about an hour and a half. I drove to west Knoxville and back, a couple of times, taking various side roads. At some point, Nicole knew that I could drive well. She relaxed and enjoyed the ride! My left shoulder, right knee, and right foot suffered but endured. My left shoulder “talked to me loudly,” every time I turned my head left to look out the window. I passed “driving school” with flying colors! (I knew that I could drive well. I didn't need “driving school.” I did it anyway.) We were very glad to get back home. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was quite bored, while she had awaited my 1.5-hour drive.) My “bionic” joints and related muscle groups had taken enough. I did “driving school.” It was done. Molly, our doggy, was glad to see us at home!

My Friend's 7/13/2021 Driving School

My dear friend and brother in Christ, I know that you will read this article. I hope that reading this article gives your wife and you a few laughs!

Don't concern yourself with “driving school!” You will do great! I hope that you get Nicole White, at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center! If you do, tell her that I said hello! Keep getting better, day by day, by God's grace and your stubborn will! I'm still doing so.

By the way, I hope that you share a few photographs of your “driving school!” Neither Mrs. Appalachian Irishman nor I took photographs of mine. My photographs are only in my mind.

Dr. Robert Chironna

During, my last appointment (12/5/2016) with Dr. Robert Chironna, we conversed on several religious and philosophical topics – aside from the mundane topic of my ongoing recovery. I told him about my still yet unpublished and incomplete book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel.” He had requested an autographed copy, once I publish. I had promised and remembered.

I gave Dr. Chironna my notes, since my 10/25/2016 visit to his office. He read my notes. My notes included the following:

Spiritual: Since college, I have pondered, written, and spoken on the “problem of evil.” I have continued to do so, as it relates to my life situation. God is still there, and he is good. He has saved me by his grace, and he has used me in his service. The providence of God has been a specific focus point of my thoughts and writings. God either acts or does not act providentially, according to his will. We may never know why God acts or does not act in providence, in certain situations. (For example, slowing down or speeding up the driver who failed to yield to my right of way, by even five seconds, would have kept this from happening to me.) We, however, trust in him, for he knows the everlasting result of our continuing faith.

Sadly, by research for this article, I learned yesterday that Dr. Robert Lawrence Chironna, at age 65, went home on December 14, 2017. I had seen him the last time, on 12/5/2016. My sadness yesterday was overcome by joy! Dr. Chironna has met Mom and Dad – as well as many, many others! He is HOME! His legacy continues. This final segment is written in his honor. He does not need my book, once I publish it. He has already met Mom!


The light at the end of the tunnel calls us all home – eventually. Will home be heaven? I hope so! The other option will be rather hot and unpleasant!

School yourself in life. Learn how to drive Home! My website shows you how to contact me, if you would like to talk by e-mail privately.

Let's end on a funny note, shall we? We shall! Today, 7/11/2021, is 7-Eleven Day! 7-Eleven will give us one FREE small Slurpee any day in July! I haven't had a Slurpee in decades! Who knows? I may hunt me a Slurpee this month. I still have time!

Monday, July 05, 2021

FERRELL FAMILY GATHERING FUN, 7-3-2021 SATURDAY (published 7-5-2021)


Happy 5th of July, y'all! I will publish a topical article on Independence Day – eventually. This family heritage article had to be first!

My youngest brother had called me, on Sunday afternoon, 6/27/2021. He had invited us to the Morning Star Baptist Church picnic, on 7/3/2021, Saturday. I had hoped that we could attend – depending on how my three “bionic” joints and related “multi-trauma” muscle groups endured the work week.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling my oats. My usual hot to cold shower worked well enough, as usual. (I didn't even need to use my “muscle thumper!”) My '06 Frontier enjoyed taking Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me on the road trip. He needed a good stretch of his legs. The about 78-mile drive from home to the Morning Star Baptist Church, in Church Hill, Tennessee, took about an hour and a half.

I hope you enjoy the photographs that my trusty Samsung (not-semi-intelligent) cell phone took. I will add comments after each photograph. The weather was in the low 80s and sunny.

Church Picnic

We started hearing fiddle playing, shortly after having turning north off Highway 11W! I understand upper east Tennessee back roads. I've driven many of them. I remembered the first back road. I hadn't been on it in decades. I think that I was in my late teens or early 20's. Dad had needed my help with pump work or to move the well machine. I remembered locations on that first back road! I had ridden with Dad, in his old work truck, to help with his Ferrell's Well-Drilling work. I rode with Dad, to help, many times over many years. Later, Dad rode with me, for trips to his medical appointments, usually to see his cardiologist, in Johnson City. Dad would always comment about locations we passed, where he had either drilled a water well, done pump work, or both – usually both. (The pump must be set after the well is drilled.) That is Ferrell's Well-Drilling heritage! (I have digressed down a back road memory. Let's return our thoughts to the 7/3/2021 back road ride as it continues!)

The last part of the drive, however, was back roads off back roads! The church building is well north of Church Hill. It is almost in Virginia. The drive farther north to Virginia would take less time than back south to Church Hill! The drive – up and down hills and around sharp curves -- was expected, as anyone raised in upper east Tennessee knows. The 78-mile drive was done. We had arrived at the church building!

I took the above photograph, while the “cake auction” was going on to my left. (I don't care for sweets.) I'll nitpick my Baptist brethren. My youngest brother is not the “pastor.” He is the preacher (or evangelist or minister). I can argue my point from scripture, but I will avoid doing so. You are welcome to write a comment, if you want me to explain the difference, in a future article!

I took the above photograph moments after the first one, having turned to my left. I'm facing west now. The area to the right (shelter and tents) is where the “cake auction” was continuing. My youngest brother and his family (wife and two daughters), my next to youngest brother, my brother (who is about three years younger than me), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, and several other folks (church members, etc.) are in the shelter and tents area. I see the rear and left side of my silver '06 Frontier truck, with his new “tars” on! The blue truck (closest, front and left side) belongs to my brother, who is just younger than me. The VA helped him buy that truck. My brother was in the Air Force eight years. He served in Operation Desert Storm. He probably contracted multiple sclerosis from immunizations he had to take, during Desert Storm. The nation owes many veterans, including my brother, a debt of gratitude. I am glad that the VA helped him buy his new to him truck. (It's a 2017 Tacoma.)


In one of my 6/8/2021 articles, I'd written that I would publish an image of my truck, wearing his new decorative plate and new “tars.” (I've commented about the new “tars,” on since 6/4/2021. By the way, I see me – arms and chest at least – in the chrome.) My decorative plate has been on my truck, since 5/23/2021.

The four sons and Earl and Betty Ferrell had not been together, since 7/23/2020 – at the gravesite service for my eldest niece. Next to youngest brother had visited us on Thanksgiving, 11/26/2020. Youngest brother and his family had visited us on 11/28/2020, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We were glad to have been able to be together again – all four of us at once. The setting was much better than on 7/23/2020. My veteran brother and I talked quite a bit, about our “whatevers” and other topics. He has left shoulder and right leg problems. I have left shoulder and right leg (knee and foot) problems. We both endure. Our “whatevers” are different, but we understand each other. (His wife, daughter, and grandson had gone to see his wife's family, in Kentucky.)

My youngest brother's two daughters were able to get their Christmas presents, finally. His eldest daughter got her birthday present also. We had Christmas in July, I reckon.



Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had to start our way back home. On our drive back, we stopped at Mom and Dad's gravesite. The cemetery is behind a known church. Fifteen Ferrells are resting in the cemetery, including Mom and Dad. We visited each gravesite.

Three of my uncles and their wives (my aunts) and three of my first cousins rest there. I knew and remember my aunts, uncles, and first cousins very well.

The first row, in the above photograph, is where Dad's oldest brother, his wife, two of their children, and his wife's mother are resting. Many memories come to mind, of uncle Bill, aunt Bobbie, cousin Larry, and cousin Retha. Aunt Bobbie's mother died five years before I was born. We had a good visit.

Mom and Dad are resting together at the second row, in the photograph. Farther back, the flag pole and flag on the tree stump mark where the large mimosa tree had been standing. That tree had provided shade to Mom and Dad's gravesite -- which was good, when visiting on a hot and sunny or a rainy day. The roots, however, had become a concern. Dad had selected the perfect marker. The words to the poem, above “FERRELL” (visible), are not legible, in my photograph. I memorized the poem over 20 years ago. The words fit Mom and Dad well. Dad had selected the poem. He talked about it many times. We had a good visit.

The gravesite of an aunt and uncle and their son is farther back. Their gravesite is beside the gravesite of another aunt and uncle. Uncle Roy, Aunt Maxie, and cousin Bart have one site. I had to laugh a little, when I recalled the many jokes with Bart. He could always name more state capitals than I could.

Uncle Carson and Aunt Hazel have the other site. Many good memories filled my mind. I have nary a bad memory! Well, I have one. It was the last time I saw Uncle Carson. My wife and I had been back from our five-year mission work in Russia, by less than two months. We saw Uncle Carson and Aunt Hazel, at the hospital. (We had visited them at their home, on 11/26/1999.) I do not have the date written on my 1999 calendar, but it had to have been after 11/26/1999. Uncle Carson had a very few days to live. (He went home on 12/1/1999.) Aunt Hazel had started to cry, as we talked. Uncle Carson told his wife not to cry and that “it will be okay.” Uncle Carson must have been thinking in the everlasting perspective – knowing that he had only days before he went Home. The memory is bad in the short-term. It is a good memory, in the everlasting perspective.

The gravesite of Papaw Marion Ferrell's younger brother's son, his wife, and two of their children are in the cemetery also. I was born five months after the son of Papaw Ferrell's younger brother died. I don't recall having met his wife or their two children. I may have.


Our next to last stop was a quick visit to the homeplace. (We were trying to get back, in time to do “Molly doggy's.”) The above photograph is looking northeast, with the back of the homeplace in the image. Granny Wood's grapevine is to the left. Her grapevine will have plenty of grapes later this year.

The two Winesap apple trees that Dad had planted are farther west, not in the image. The smaller tree is starting to produce apples. The larger tree may or may not produce apples this year. Both trees are healthy. Ferrell family are welcome to stop by, to get grapes and apples! Two great neighbors have been doing so for years. My youngest brother and I have been doing so for years.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was “hiding” in my '06 Nissan Frontier. The first cut of hay had been done. I wish that my good neighbors had been home! I missed seeing them. The garden, behind the image, was looking good. The target practice area looked like it had been used recently, by a good neighbor. I need to target shoot there soon!

Dad, we're still “keepin' it going” at the homeplace. I remember what you said, after Mom went to see Jesus.


I had started writing this article yesterday, on Independence Day. The plan to publish this article yesterday – with another article afterward, on the topic of Independence Day -- was delayed. (A man has to do other stuff!) Well, this family heritage article is published! I will get around to writing and publishing my Independence Day article – in better late than never mode.

I have written earlier, about having started “our way back home.” Our 7/3/2021 travels took just over six hours total. (After having been at the homeplace, my truck was hungry. I fed him 89 octane 100% gas, at the Liberty Market, which is across from the elementary school, on Main Street.) To my family and friends in Rogersville, I'm sorry, y'all, that I didn't let you know that we were coming! What we did took enough time. We didn't have any more time!

“Our way back HOME” will take more time. Family are already at HOME. We here, in the short-term perspective, are living to go HOME. To my biological and spiritual family, who are already HOME, my wife and I, along with others, are on our way HOME! We will get there. It won't take long – in the short-term perspective. Until then, y'all “keep it goin'” up there! We will see you soon!

The Ferrell family gathering fun, on 7/3/2021, was a foretaste of future Ferrell family gathering fun – at HOME!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

LULA FRANK AMOS WOOD, 6/16/1901 - 8/12/1991 (published 6/26/2021)


Howdy, y'all! What's going on, in your neck of the woods? Anything? Tell me about it! It's not a one-way conversational street here! Y'all can post comments! Don't let the cat get your tongue! Okay, that's just my my Irish glib tongue. Y'all read, without comments, if you wish. My June 2021 readers total so far is 6,307 – at 3:36 PM, on 6/26/2021. (The number keeps going up.) Y'all keep reading, and I'll keep writing. It's a good deal!

Too many days have passed, since 6/16/2021. I need to talk with Granny Wood. You are welcome to listen into my conversation.

Conversation with Granny Wood

Hi, Granny! I'm sorry that I didn't talk to you (in writing), on your birthday anniversary, on 6/16/2021. (I spoke to you in words many times on that day.) I can only imagine what Papaw Wood, Mom, Dad, uncle Bobby (Robert Allen Wood, 5/14/1939 - 1/18/1941), and so many others in the family, on both the Wood and Ferrell side, are doing now. It must be great! I can see, by my eyes of faith! My eyes of faith long to join y'all, to see everyone and to see what you all are seeing now! I'm on my way Home, Granny! I'll get there!

Do you remember the above photograph and writing your name and age on the back? The year was 1976. You were age 75. I was age 15 or 16. Papaw (Aby William Wood, 9/4/1901 – 3/14/1983) was age 74 or 75 . He liked to joke about having married an “older woman” – by less than three months! Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/28/2000) was 43 or 44. Dad (Earl H. Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) was 48 or 49.

Hey, Granny! I'm age 60 now. I'll be age 61 in less that a month! I'm getting up there! I always remember sitting in the beach chairs with you, in your front yard (in Bean Station, TN). We watched the clouds, and I guessed the shape of the clouds. Some looked like mountains, birds, bears, etc. We had fun! You taught me imagination. I still have that! I loved to spend a week in the summers with Papaw and you! I had educational fun, even if I didn't know that I was being educated at the time! I remember sitting beside Papaw and you at church (Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, TN) on Sunday mornings. You always gave me clove chewing gum. Some years ago, I found a pack of the same gum. I have it stored in my chest of drawers! I remember enjoying hearing you sing and amen, under your breath, to the sermon. Papaw said his amens loudly.

Granny, my mind is filled with so many wonderful memories of birthday, holiday, family reunion, and other types of gatherings! As a boy, who grew into a young man, all those gatherings deepened the roots of my godly, family heritage! Thank you, Granny. I love you!

When you lived at the homeplace, after Papaw had passed, I was so glad to see you, on each visit! At Papaw's funeral visitation, I remember that you said, “He loved me so good.” As you know, I finished college, married, and moved to Missouri – after Papaw passed. My wife and I came to visit as often as we could.

When you passed on Home, on 8/12/1991, I was honored to conduct your funeral and graveside services. (I've visited the gravesite for Papaw and you many times, but not as often as I would like to do.) In part of my eulogy, I said, “Granny, your little Indian chief is coming home.” I had explained the time, while staying with Papaw and you one summer week, that I had decided to “run off.” I was in my early school age years. I had started walking away, down the road. You watched and said, “Come back, my little Indian chief!” Well, I did. I don't know why I'd decided to “run off.” I was glad to have returned!

Conversation Conclusion

Granny, your “little Indian chief” will come Home! It will take me a few years or decades. I'm getting there – step by step! By the way, Granny, did you know that I became a “bionic” man, on 3/29/2016? Well, that's a story that I will share with Papaw, Granny and Papaw Ferrell, Mom, Dad, you, and so many others – once I get home!

Your “little Indian chief” is signing off now. I enjoyed talking with you, Granny! I LOVE YOU! YOU WERE THE GREATEST GRANNY THAT I COULD HAVE EVER HAD!