Walking around downtown a couple of Saturdays ago, I was marveling at the gorgeous hanging baskets on the light poles. How they stay watered and so beautiful in this weather, I’ll never know, but I guess we can chalk it up to those great guys in the City’s Public Works Department. I am amazed at how fresh and healthy everything looks! Again, great jobs, guys and gals!
The Fourth of July was a lot of fun, as well! I spent time down on Broad Street hanging out with the Symphony of the Mountains' staff - always a FUN bunch - then went “up the mountain” to a friend’s house for a cookout and fireworks viewing. Wonderful food and fun folks - several from Bristol, including Dr. Pat and Beth Flannagan, possibly some of the best cooks in East Tennessee, and a friend from their King College days a “few years ago” who has moved back to the area. The fireworks were impressive, too, with a perfect vantage point from the deck (and quieter, too)! There were lots of “oohs” and “aahs.”
Back to work on Wednesday before I took advantage of the Downtown Kingsport Association's “Sip & Stroll” on Thursday evening. I had received in invitation from friend Kathy Hawk to stop by Art in the Heart on Broad and look at all the new art work and classes they are starting. It is so nice to have more art galleries downtown! I took a class there two years ago and enjoyed it immensely - recognizing, of course, that I have NO artistic talent. But it was loads of fun, something very different from what I do at my office, and I appreciate and admire the talent that so many of our local and regional artists have… It makes my head and my heart smile just looking at the incredible goat and sheep photographs by Jeffrey Stoner, especially the ones that actually look like he has gotten them to smile in the pictures! Amazing. There was a good crowd there that evening, and I had as much fun eavesdropping on conversations as I did looking at all the paintings, sculptures, pottery and jewelry. Christmas is just around the corner, and art is always such a great gift for office or home and how great is it that we have a variety of galleries from which to choose? I thought if I stayed just a little longer, I might see some friends that I have not seen since before Easter and I was right. Ray and Ann Vachon came as the event was winding down. They had been in England since before Easter, came back for the birth of another grandchild in Nashville, then attended a 90th birthday party in Michigan. I was exhausted just hearing about it.
After a month off, I attended my church’s July United Methodist Women’s Board Meeting, to get back on track for the summer. It’s difficult to think that the summer is about half over; I am already seeing back-to-school clothes and supplies in the stores. Soon (probably too soon for most of the youth), there will be buses running, increased traffic and ballgames filling calendars. I do like football games, but only in “football weather.” And I also LOVE hearing the bands. Though I am not an instrumentalist, I am partial to the Dobyns-Bennett band and am totally thrilled at the opportunity to hear them perform this fall with the Symphony of the Mountains.
I was saddened to read of the demolition of the old Highway Patrol Office. Soon it will be completely gone - another memory from my youth. First the Legion pool, then Brook’s Circle and Skoby’s, and now the building where so many of us got our driver’s licenses. Rather sad, but that’s progress. Got to make way for the new and improved.
Well, on that somber note, I will sign off. Fall has several wonderful and very special opportunities in store for our community, so be on the lookout in the coming months. As the Kingsport Centennial draws to a close later this year, we owe so much gratitude for the tremendous amount of work that has gone on, much of it behind the scenes. I listen to the “This Day in Kingsport History” on the radio on my way to or from work as often as I can. I have learned so much; I hate to see the series end! Thank you, committees, sponsors and those who conducted so much research and work to inform and entertain us this year. I'm sure it was a lot of work, but hopefully many people enjoyed it as much as I have. THANKS!!
I hope you've enjoyed Fun Fest and all that it brings to our community. Stay hydrated and pick up any trash you may find along the way as you are out and about. Until next time, stay cool!
Our Out & About calendar highlights local happenings coming up in our region. To add an upcoming event to our calendar or to invite Katherine to attend your event, email email@example.com.
July 29: Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center will hold its inaugural “Dancing, Dining & Ducks” fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. Watch thousands of rubber ducks floating in the lazy river while enjoying live music from the Model City Wrecking Crew and food from vendors including Backdraft Barbeque, Project Waffle and Lil’ Delights. Ducks will be drawn from the river for prizes; ducks can be purchased for $5 each or in packages of 6 for $25, 12 for $50, 25 for $100 or 100 for $375 online at kingsportducks.org.
July 30: The Miss Ellie String Band will perform at Pickin' in the Park Music in the Mountains from 2 to 4 p.m., July 30, at the amphitheater at Natural Tunnel State Park. In addition to the featured band, the event also features an open mic session. There is a $4 parking fee, but the music is free once you've entered the park.
Aug. 5: Author and speaker Lisa Harper will speak during a special centennial event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aug. 5 at First Baptist Church. Advance tickets are $20 and include a snack lunch. Order online at iTickets.com or purchase in person at FBC of Kingsport at 200 West Church Circle in Kingsport. Or call 423-247-4122.
Aug. 5: The Crumley House, located in Limestone, Tenn., will host its annual Polynesian Beach Party at 6 p.m., Aug. 5. The event will feature silent, super silent and live auctions, steel drums and music by DJ Robbie Britton, a Polynesian-style dinner and dancing. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for early auction viewing and tours of the new Crumley House resident cottages. All proceeds benefit brain injury survivors served by The Crumley House. To purchase tickets, make a donation or become a sponsor, call Michelle Ferguson at 423-257-3644, ext. 7.
Aug. 20: The 5th Annual Little Ironman 5K, Fun Walk and Mud Run will be held Aug. 20 at Sulphur Springs Baptist Church in Jonesborough. Proceeds from the event benefit the P.H.I.L. (People Helping in Love) Foundation. Founded in 2010 in loving memory of Phil Adcock, the foundation works to assist families facing a health crisis. The race, with digital timing provided for the 5K by RunCorps, is held annually in memory of the original "Little Ironman" Josh Adcock, who died from a rare genetic disorder in 2013. The mud run begins at 3 p.m. followed by the 5K and Fun Walk at 5 p.m. Concessions, door prizes, fun awards and more. For details and registration, visit https://runsignup.com/ and search the races tab for Little Ironman. To learn more, call 423-202-0119 or 423-384-1986.