Tuesday, August 4, 2020


Piney Chapel Antique Engine and Tractor Association Celebrates Rural American Farming Rural American Farming Heritage

One of North Alabama’s largest antique engine and tractor shows returns to Athens the next month in celebration of rural American farming heritage. Set for August 7-8, 2020, the 28th annual Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days combines antique farm equipment and old-fashioned concessions with live music and family-friendly fun and games taking visitors back to the “good ol’ days.”
Presented by the Piney Chapel Antique Engine and Tractor Association, the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days is considered one of the best antique engine shows in Alabama offering festivalgoers a chance to see an array of farm equipment including gasoline and steam engines in action, horse-drawn equipment, antique tractors, cars, and trucks and other farming collectibles. 

The two-day event also offers a variety of flea market, parts and handmade craft vendors and old-fashioned concessions including breakfast biscuits (Saturday morning only) and pinto beans and cornbread. Other activities for families to enjoy include wheat threshing exhibits, tractor slow races, a skillet throw contest for ladies and pedal pull for the kids. 

A 20-mile tractor ride is planned for Friday, Aug. 7 departing at 10 a.m. Spectators can catch a glimpse of the tractor parade as riders make their way from the festival grounds along Elkton Road north to Sandlin Road. The ride will continue to Beulah Road and then on to Fort Hampton Road to the town of Elkmont for lunch at the Elkmont Town Hall furnished by the Limestone County Cattleman’s Association. Upon leaving Elkmont, the ride will resume onto the Richard Martin Trail (Rails to Trails). Once off of the trail, the ride will head east on Carey Road to Elkton Road for the final stretch back to the show grounds at approximately 1:30 p.m. A fish fry follows at 5 p.m. and live music featuring local bands gets underway at 5:30 p.m. 

For the safety and well-being of attendees and exhibitors, event organizers will be implementing COVID-19 precautionary measures. These include wider than normal aisles to encourage social distancing and dining tables placed six feet apart. Attendees are asked to practice social distancing and keep a distance of six feet from anyone not in your immediate family or to wear a mask.

Gates open at 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The event takes place at 20147 Elkton Road, two miles north of Athens off of Interstate 65. Admission is $5 a car and $5 registration for golf carts and utv’s and free for children 10 years old and under. Parking is free. For more information, call Steve Garner at 334.750.2545, Allen Dement at 256.431.0619 or Eli Wallace at 256.497.1264.


Elkmont, Elkmont, what do you see?  
I see tractors, red, blue and green.

You never know what you will find happening in downtown Elkmont.  The Annual Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days will be coming to visit for Friday's lunch.  The Tractor Parade to Elkmont is always a fun thing to see.  They will leave Piney Chapel around 10 am, August 7 and come down Elkton road and along Sandlin. The ride will continue to Beulah Road, right on New Bethel and then on to Fort Hampton Road to the town of Elkmont for lunch at the Elkmont Ball Fields/Park. Here is the route; be looking for them.

The tractors come two by two, to eat at Elkmont (lunch provided by the Limestone County Cattemen's Association) before returning to the showgrounds in Piney Chapel. Upon leaving Elkmont, the ride will resume onto the Richard Martin Trail (Rails to Trails). Once off the trail, the ride will head east on Carey Road to Elkton Road for the final stretch back to the show grounds at approximately 1:30 p.m. 

Event Schedule:
9 am    Tractor Ride Safety Meeting
10 am  Tractor Parade Starts
Lunch at Elkmont Depot
2 pm  - Tractors Back to Showeground
3 pm  - Threshing Demonstration
4 pm  -  Parade of Power
5 pm  -  Fish Fry for supper
5:30   -  Music by local Bands

8:00 am  - Invocation and National Anthem
9:00 am - Chain in a Box & Threshing Demonstration
9:30 am - Pedal Pull Registration for Kids
10 am    - Pedal Pull for Kids - three age groups
10:30    - Threshing Demonstration
Noon      - Parade of Power
1:00 pm  - Slow Races & Threshing Demonstration
2:00 pm  - Skillet Throw for Ladies (all ages)
*Door Prizes at the registration tent following the skillet throw

Here are a few pictures from a past parade. 

Tractors to the right, Tractors to the left, Tractors, Tractors, Everywhere. 

Big Tractors

 Little Tractors

Red Tractors
Blue Tractors

Orange Tractors

Gray  Tractors

Talking Tractors 

Wagon Tractors

Friend Tractors

Non Tractors

Old Tractors

New Tractors

Pretty Tractors

Family Tractors


Green Tractors 

Special thanks to Susan Legg Pylant for the wonderful pictures.

Saturday, July 4, 2020


Watermelon pops make a thirst-quenching treat on a hot day. Why don’t you make some today to serve your family and friends?

Here’s how:
Remove the seeds from a chunk of watermelon, and purée the melon meat in a blender. Transfer the puréed pulp into Popsicle molds and put them in the freezer. It’s that easy.

Part of the today's celebrations is lots of food and of course that means cooking outdoors over an open flame.  Most of us don't think about sun screen and using a grill. This can be dangerous - 

Here is a word of warning. A man suffered severe burns just after he used a sunscreen spray. He was standing near the open flame of a backyard grill and it ignited the vapors of the spray.  This freak accident could have happened with most aerosol products (antiperspirants, insect repellants, for example) used near an open flame. To be fair, that’s why they are labeled “flammable.”

Three rules for using ANY spray-on product when you are the master griller:

* Protect your eyes and mouth from any contact

* Don't inhale it

* Wait 2 minutes before going near an open flame

Something to Think About on The Fourth of July

On this day in 1776, the founders declared America’s independence from Britain. Everybody knows this - but the fact we tend to gloss over is that the fight wasn’t finished right then and there. They kept fighting for that freedom until 1783, over seven years of bloody struggle and sacrifice. In fact, “we the people” didn’t adopt our Constitution until 1787, more than 11 years after those 56 men gathered in a room and signed their name to a piece of parchment that said there’s a better way for men and women to live: in freedom. 

On July 4th, 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote some of the greatest most powerful words in all of history: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These words are powerful because they are true, and they are self-evident. We don’t need to look it up on some fact checking website. Somehow, we just know it’s right - and that is why the founders and the revolutionaries spent the better part of a decade fighting to bring those words to life. And that is why big government progressives so desperately seek to marginalize them and ‘progress’ away from them. Because they know those words, those self-evident truths, are the only thing preventing them from obtaining the power they seek. 

It’s a scary thought to wonder what happens if they succeed. 

You see, freedom is very fragile - in fact, only 5% of all the civilized world throughout history has ever lived with the kind of freedoms we enjoy here in America. That 5% share a frightening commonality: when they lose their freedom, that’s it. They never get it back.  And many did lose it. No matter how big, no matter how powerful. Do you want to be part of the generation that fell asleep and allowed America to fall? Do you want to be the ones who future generations of frustrated kids being told what car they can and cannot drive, how much soda they can drink, what temperature to set their thermostat at  -- point to and say ‘they did this!’ ?? I don’t. And I know you don’t either. So let’s commit ourselves to being ever vigilant.

Being ever vigilant requires more than soaring rhetoric. The single most effective enabler to an exponentially growing big government is an uninvolved people. The less we do to help our fellow man, the more we legitimize governments efforts to fill a particular ‘need’ in America. If you want to reduce the size of government, you have to reduce the need they seek to fill.  Ask yourself, what can I do to rely on myself, God and family and not on the government?  How do we do that? 

The measure of a man is not what level of education he has achieved, the economic ‘class’ he falls in, or whether or not he is liberal or conservative. It is in how he treats his wife, his family, and complete strangers. It is in what he does when he thinks no one is looking. It is in how he handles adversity and stress. It is in his honesty, his work ethic, his charity, and his willingness to forgive.
We have distanced ourselves from these truths. We have allowed our differences to be used against us, not for us. Our differences have always made us stronger because it forced us to consider new things or look at something in a totally different way. Challenging our own long held beliefs is what makes it possible for us to move forward, while conformity of thought leads to dark ages.

We will once again declare America’s independence and stand together, united by the common yet powerful ideals that everyone - everyone - knows in their hearts are good and true: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Happy 4th of July! 
Thoughts from Glenn Beck



The American Continental Congress met at Philadelphia on June 7, 1776 and heard Richard Henry Lee's resolution urging a declaration of independence from English rule. Five days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to a committee to draft a declaration.
Committee members urged Jefferson to draft a document for the committee's review; and 16 days later, the committee's draft was read before Congress.

On July 1, 1776, Congress began debating and revising the document that it would adopt on July 4, 1776.
As the debate began, Adams said: "Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgement approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!"
Like the other Founders, Adams understood what he was doing would be considered treason by the British Empire. But he was willing to risk his life and all he owned for the cause of freedom, as were the others who participated in the discussion and drafting of the document and the war for independence.

It has been 244 years since the 56 brave men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming that the 13 original American Colonies were no longer willing to live under tyrannical British rule. By signing their names to the very spirit of patriotism, the men risked being hanged in the event of defeat.
But they were not alone. Thousands of the signers' fellow countrymen had already denounced loyalty to Britain and taken up arms against the British in the name of American Independence. Seven bloody years after the signing of the Declaration and eight bloody years after the initial shots at Lexington and Concord, a new, free, republican nation was born.

Those who risked their lives by signing their names to a document that declared in no uncertain terms that they meant to create a better place where freedom reigned supreme would undoubtedly have trouble recognizing their nation today. Given the state of political discourse and the tendency for bureaucracy to destroy freedom in order to increase centralized power, the federal government has effectively come to represent everything for which those men claimed disdain in the Declaration.

Only by reading the document can one understand just how the United States is coming full circle back to tyranny.
Take the time this Independence Day to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety. For a thorough historical background and to better understand the Declaration's signers, read They Signed for Us which was written by Merle Sinclair and Annabel Douglas McArthur and first published in 1957.
Only by learning how tyranny was defeated the first time can Americans stop the tyranny that is overwhelming the Land of the Free.

Yours for the truth,
Bob Livingston
Bob Livingston
Editor, The Bob Livingston Letter™


Not Yours to Give
by Col. David Crockett, U.S. Representative from Tennessee
Originally published in The Life of Colonel David Crockett,
by Edward Sylvester Ellis
One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose: "Mr. Speaker -- I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it. 

"We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money." 

Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I ever heard that the government was in arrears to him.
"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks." 

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost. 

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:
"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. 
"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but as I thought, rather coldly. 

"I began: 'Well friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates and –'
"'Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again.'
"This was a sockdologer... I begged him tell me what was the matter.'

"'Well Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting you or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the honest he is. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by fire in Georgetown. Is that true?'

"'Well my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just the same as I did."

"'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he."

"'If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. 

If you have the right to give at all; and as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity.
"'Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. 

If twice as many houses had been burned in this country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.

"'The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from necessity of giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.
"'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you."

"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:
"'Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.' 

"He laughingly replied; 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.' 

"If I don't, said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.' 

"'No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.'

"'Well I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name.'
"'My name is Bunce.'
"'Not Horatio Bunce?'
"'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'

"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence, and for a heart brim-full and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him, before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote. 

"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.
"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.
"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him -- no, that is not the word -- I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.
"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted -- at least, they all knew me.
"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:
"'Fellow-citizens -- I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.'
"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:
"'And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.
"'It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'
"He came up to the stand and said:
"'Fellow-citizens -- it affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'
"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.
"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.
"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. There is one thing which I will call your attention, you remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men -- men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased -- a debt which could not be paid by money -- and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $20,000 when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."
-- Col. David Crockett

Sunday, June 21, 2020


I believe no matter how old children get they always want to make their fathers proud. I know it is probably silly to some, but I really have a memory that comes up a lot when I think about my dad and him being proud. Thirty-two years ago, I shared the lead in the senior class play. It was a comedy and we all had a lot of fun performing it. I remember at one point I was on the stage in the old gym at Clements by myself. I was in the middle of a speech and I caught my daddy's eyes. He was standing in the back with a smile that was not only on his face but deep in his eyes. I remember thinking"wow! "He is really liking this!" I knew at that moment he was proud of me. 

It was really one of those rare moments where that connection was made and nothing had to be said. We live for those moments. I think about that day often when I am thinking about dad. Like I said it may sound silly to some but I have said it before he was a man of very few words. I try to remember that when I deal with Jensen. Those will be the moments that stand out in our and our children's lives forever. I miss my dad; I miss telling him things that I know would make him proud. 

On this Father's Day, I want to throw out a challenge to every father to make those moments. Let's tell and show our children how proud we are of them. Constructive criticism is great, but make the most of those moments! Let's show them how proud we are of them. Thanks, Daddy for looking at me in that moment. That moment in a 17 year old boy's life can still bring a warm feeling and a smile after all of these years! Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


A Minister passing through his church
In the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar
To see who come to pray.
Just then the back door opened,
And a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man
Hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was torn and shabby,
And his coat was worn and frayed,
The man knelt down and bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed at precisely noon,
The preacher saw this chap,
Each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister's suspicions grew,
With robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop and ask the man,
'What are you doing here?'
The old man said he was a factory worker
And lunch was half an hour
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.
I stay only a moment
Because the factory's far away;
As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kinda what I say:


The minister feeling foolish,
Told Ben that it was fine.
He told the man that he was welcome
To pray there anytime.
'It's time to go, and thanks,' Ben said
As he hurried to the door.
Then the minister knelt there at the altar,
Which he'd never done before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
As he met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed down his cheeks,
He repeated old Ben's prayer:


Past noon one day, the minister noticed
That old Ben hadn't come.
As more days passed and still no Ben,
He began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him,
Learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
But he'd given them a thrill.

The week that Ben was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles and joy contagious.
Changed people were his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand
Why Ben could be so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends had come to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Ben spoke up
And with a winsome smile;
'The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
He's been here all the while.'
Everyday at noon He comes here,
A dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down and takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:


Tuesday, June 9, 2020


Submitted by Gary Compton

Things were shaping up for winter.
Next morning everyone was up early. The air was cool and they all knew winter was not far away. Ducks and geese filled the sky. They were heading south for the winter. (All Levi could see was good food going to waste). The boys were already taking the meat down from where it hung. Pa a few weeks earlier, built a table and a log smoke house. He knew this day would come when they needed a place to prepare and store the meat. Taking the axe, he begin to cut the meat up into smaller pieces, shoulders, hams, ribs, neck, loins,  hides, all were saved. They carefully rubbed it all down with salt and hung it up in the smoke house. Pa built a small fire in a pit he had dug inside, placing piles of leaves on the fire to create lots of smoke. He would keep the fire going for six days and nights. this insured the meat would be preserved. Ma cooked out small batches of bear grease and poured it into the clay jugs that Levi traded for when he went to Mooresville. All the meat preparation took all day. everyone was tired and retired at sundown.
The cool weather causes fur bearing animals to get thicker pelts. This made them more valuable for trade. Levi made more snares and trapping became very busy. He would stretch the hides over hand hued boards and hang them up in the top of the barn to let dry. The furs could be sold for money or traded for other goods. This was everyone’s source of income during this time. The Simms family was totally self sufficient, but it was evident, there was desires for more modern things that would make their lives easier.-----To get ahead, even back then, was the American dream.
The boys at this time were busy clearing land. It was early November and they had cleared about eight acres preparing for the spring planting. They had no means to remove the larger stumps so they worked around them. Ten acres of cleared land at this time was considered large especially in frontier country.
Every thing was going well for the Simms and prosperity was just around the corner. The fur trade was doing well, his livestock collection was increasing, the family was healthy and all was working hard to make things at it’s best.


It’s with great sadness that I inform you that the 2020 Smokin Railroad Street BBQ Cookoff has been canceled. We are certainly facing some unprecedented times with our nation’s current situation. We have been given strict rules from KCBS that has placed us in a bind, that we can’t safely meet their requirements. Also, we can’t ask our sponsors to take the money from their families and the families that work for them. We are already looking ahead to next year’s event and hopefully the return of some great competition. Thank you for all the support.

Ryan Pylant, President
Elkmont Lions Club