The annual meeting this year will introduce to you a book written by local, amateur writers from many professions, that will tickle your fancy, amaze you with some of its audacious mountain characters, including a murderer or two, and impress you with its utter professionalism. Many local professional writers and/or historians were guest speakers, such as Bill Landry, Pamela Schoenwald, Jack Neely, Judge David Duggan, Kate Clabough, and several UT journalism professors.
One writer, Mary Pope, retired psychiatrist, now a renowned Tai Chi instructor in Maryville, says she took the class to learn more about professional research writing and publishing; plus, she was interested in researching native Cherokee women marrying white men. Not finding a tremendous number of these marriages she discovered her husband’s great grand-mother was part American Indian and had married a white man. Not only that, but in 1806 or thereabouts they moved into a sycamore tree, (not a typo !!!) in Harlan County, Kentucky, and raised a family in it. The tree was three stories high, totally hollowed out, and even became known as the Sycamore Inn.
Mary says that the stories the writers discovered are totally “amazing.”
You will not want to miss hearing about this enlightening project, enjoying homemade desserts and coffee/cold beverages, and learning about the productive Blount County Friends of the Library year.
Meet Jan Six, who is one of our many volunteers who has a great love for libraries and Friends groups. In her role as the Friends’ “Historian”, she collects all sorts of information from newspapers and other sources about activities engaged in by members of the Friends. This information will be kept in a 3-ring binder in the Friends’ office so it will be available to anyone who is interested in reading the information. Also in the Friends’ office, is a folder labeled “Historian” which is where articles or other information can be placed so it can be included in the history binder.
Jan also helps with sorting donated books on Tuesdays and is the point person for the “Romance” section in the basement. She also spends time shelving books in the library on the main level.
Jan is not a native Tennessean. She was born and spent her early years in North Dakota. After college, she lived in several states before settling in Alaska where she stayed for 40 years. Her career history includes working in a health care non-profit Foundation as a Planned Giving Officer and then she began recruiting and managing non-profit Governance Boards.
Jan has requested that all Friends’ members help collect information on topics that involves activities or achievements of Friends’ members. She would also like to ask for at least one other member to volunteer to help her with this important task. If interested, Jan can be reached by calling her Alaska mobile phone number: 1-907-360-1386. She is looking forward to collecting and putting together this important history of The Blount County Friends of the Library.
Jan enjoys yard work and walking a few miles each day on the wonderful Greenbelt trails. She likes to stay busy and would appreciate any suggestions or input that will help her make the history binders complete and accurate.
WANTED: Lockable cabinets/bookcases for some books stored in the basement please call Dick Burgess at 865-368-0087
March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free
Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory
(1st two lines: “The Army Goes Rolling Along” by HW Arberg, adapted in 1956 from Song written by 1st Lieutenant Edmund L.Gruber, www.MUSIC.ARMY.MIL)
In our February Between Friends, feature writer Robert McClelland quotes Aristotle : “…The essence of life is to serve others and do good.” In the March E-letter we presented you with Kellie Frazier who shared with us her service as coordinator of the Books for Soldiers project . She wants to honor her father-in-law who served in the war.
This month we have the great privilege to share with you Army Colonel Karen Fair, who has served her entire country from the day she walked through the doors of West Point, through multiple deployments in the Middle East and Africa as well, after she studied law and became a JAG (Judge Advocate General), at the pentagon in Washington DC , Fort Hood, Somalia and other places needing international legal expertise. She has an entire room filled with posters and awards. Early in her career she was a platoon leader and had many army men and women under her supervision. She has been injured so much that at one point when she broke her back during training exercises to teach platoons to carry equipment she was asked to retire but she refused.
This amazing American now wishes to march on by both being part of the Jailbirds project, in which volunteers maintain the jail library, and by sending books to soldiers. She carries on as a great colonel does, but with her oxygen tank trailing behind her instead of the military equipment bags, as she carries books to record and mail or goes to the jail library. Her cheerful demeanor belies serious and painful reminders of her army service, but she will be sure those military readers have books to read and the jail inmates as well.
The Friends are proud to have many, many servers of the good men and women in their group, and Karen is the perfect example to be introduced to you all during our Memorial Day month.