Writers Workshop a chance for novice, lifelong writers to mix

As rain lashed against the windows of the ETSU Sherrod Library last week, a small classroom on the third floor filled with an excitement that was palpable.
Participants in the Buffalo Mountain Writers Workshop listened eagerly and chimed in with comments and questions as instructors mapped out the path for them to become better writers.
“All the teachers are very enthusiastic, and the students are really excited too,” said Doris Wyatt, an instructor at the workshop, and an adjunct instructor for the English Department. “Everybody seems to be very involved in our material, and I think the students are serious about writing.”
The workshop is the culmination of the work of Wyatt and several other English instructors, four of whom co-authored and edited the book “Touching All Bases: a Rhetoric of Self Discovery,” the text used in the weeklong program.
The curriculum was designed to push attendees toward new ways of thinking about the creative process.
“The ideas in the book are basically ideas about learning to think that can apply to writing and other forms of art,” said Wyatt. “We are so sold on these ideas. We’re trying to spread a new way of thinking about learning to create, and hopefully enable them to become better writers.”
Writers with varying degrees of experience and expertise attended the program.
“So far I’m learning how to describe things, that’s one of the things I’ve really been having trouble with,” said Jonah Nelson, a 15-year-old novice writer who lives in Elizabethton. “I’m good at building a story, but I’m just having a little bit of trouble describing things.”
Nelson has only been writing for about two years, and is currently working on a novel. He believes he’ll take home plenty of useful information from the workshop to improve his narrative style.
Lifelong writer Janice Hornburg of Johnson City believes her poetry and fiction writing will improve because of the lessons she learned this week.
“A lot of the workshops I attend rely heavily on prompts,” she said. “(But) I feel like this kind of organization is more valuable than that, because you are getting to learn from people who are experts and educators. I think that helps us expand our inner resources that we rely on to write.
“We are talking about the psychological resources that a person has to draw on, and the senses that you can put in your writing- the smells, and the sounds, and the sights that draw readers into the story.”
Retired English instructor and Pulitzer Prize nominated author Robert. J. Higgs opened the program on Tuesday, June 8. The workshop will wind down in Brown Auditorium on Tuesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation by Neil Isaacs, Professor Emeritus from the University of Maryland, and author of more than 22 books.
Plans for a similar workshop next year are already underway in light of the success of this year’s program.
“We really would like to do it (again), because this one has been very successful,” Wyatt said. “Both students and the faculty have really exchanged ideas, and we’ve had some really interesting students.”

Behind the Lens

You’ve probably seen Herald & Tribune’s award-winning photographer Charlie Mauk somewhere around town. With his flashy Hawaiian shirts in the summer and classic fedora hat in the colder months, he’s hard to miss. But even if you haven’t seen him, you’ve most likely caught a glimpse of some of his amazing photos. As a greeting to the summer season, here are a handful of Charlie’s photos from the early months of 2010. For these and hundreds more photos by Charlie, visit the Photo Gallery at

Join Relay for Life June 11

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Washington County is set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 11, at Indian Trail Middle School in Johnson City. The event is free and open to the public.
This year, several musical performances are scheduled to entertain the crowd throughout the 12-hour overnight event. Groups set to perform include the Bob Lewis Band, the Jones Boys, the Hood Family Band, University Parkway Baptist Band and Road 2 Surrender.
In the mid-1970s and 80s, the Bob Lewis Band rocked several venues in the Tri-Cities area, most notably the Ambassador Lodge and the Outrigger Lounge at the former Holiday Inn in Johnson City.  Now the BLB has re-formed under the watchful eye of Bob himself, who spent decades behind the anchor desk at WJHL-TV before taking an early retirement in 2007. The current lineup includes Bob on drums, former members Darrell Church and Cindy Thurlow on vocals, former member Danny Lewis on guitar and vocals, former member Rick Stewart on bass and vocals, and Bill Keys on keyboards.
The Jones Boys Band is a four-piece band made up of Tim Babb, Jacob Jones, John Jones and Chad Blackburn. The group plays covers as well as original favorites from all musical genres.
The Hood Family Band is a southern gospel quartet from Gray, including Jody Hood, Sheila Hood, Lyndsi McCurry, and Morgan Hood. The University Parkway Baptist Church Pride Band is a Southern Baptist Praise Band, and Road to Surrender — Dustin Street, Meisha Wilkinson and Ashleigh Lingerfelt – is a Christian music ministry.
With their help and the efforts of nearly three dozen Relay For Life teams, the local ACS hopes to raise nearly $100,000 in its effort to battle back against cancer.
“The Relay For Life gives us a chance to honor survivors, remember loved ones we’ve lost and raise money to one day find a cure for this terrible disease,” said Ken Misterly, chair of the event. “It’s also an opportunity to bring our community together for a night of affordable entertainment and fun.”
Other activities taking place throughout the night include a cornhole tournament, musical chairs, an obstacle course, a wet T-shirt contest (not that kind of wet T-shirt contest) and a Mr. Relay Pageant.
The event begins at 7 p.m. and runs until 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 12. There is no cost to attend the Relay For Life, however some activities and refreshments will be offered at a nominal fee. All proceeds raised at the event will go directly to the American Cancer Society.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.relayforlife.org/johnsoncity.
For more information about this year’s Relay For Life of Washington County, contact Cara Ledbetter at 282-7009.

Lights, camera, action!

Twelve scenes from favorite movies came to life in the Jonesborough Elementary School’s Little Theatre in May. The fourth grade chorus, assisted by Dr. Steven Cox, library specialist, sang songs from favorite movies, such as “The Candy Man,” from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. From left to right, Kayleigh Chance, Kyra Holt, Ayriana Sparkswallace, Katrina Johnson, and Nichole Parker. Center is Elliott Lowe, a former JES student and now director of ESP.

Furnished with care

For Kent Merrill, the third time was the charm – for his career, that is.
Merrill, a Jonesborough resident, makes fine furniture out of a freestanding shop behind his home.
“This is really my third career,” he said of his current occupation.
But he owes his discovery of his love of the craft to his first career as an OB/GYN.
When he finished his residency during the Vietnam War, “Uncle Sam sent me to Grand Forks, N.D.,” he said. “They have real winters there. There’s not a lot to do.”
Luckily for Merrill, there was a wood shop, where he spent some time making his wife, a quilter, some sewing cabinets using plans from Popular Mechanics.
“I just enjoyed it so much,” Merrill said. “But for a guy who needed all his fingers for his career, I didn’t want to risk any digits.”
So woodworking was put off to the side.
Meanwhile, Merrill gave up practicing medicine and went back to school to earn his MBA. After that, he was the medical director and president of a 35-man medical group.
That profession brought him and his wife, Midge, to the Jonesborough area in 1997.
They wanted a place where Merrill could have a freestanding shop, and where they could see the mountains. A Realtor friend found their house just outside of the Jonesborough city limits.
“Then I didn’t depend on my fingers,” he said. “So my wife bought me a table saw.”
He began taking classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School and in a week had built a table complete with tapered legs and dovetails on the drawers.
“I was hooked,” he said.
He continued on in his education, taking more classes at the Penland School of Crafts, and eventually joined the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Now Merrill alternates between making fine furniture for his seven grandchildren and doing commission pieces.
Fine furniture means “everything fits perfectly” and there is major attention to detail, Merrill explained. Those fine details and intricate measurements appeal naturally to him.
“I’m sort of compulsive,” he said. “I like the challenge [of small details].”
Merrill said his work is mainly Shaker-inspired, a style known for its relative lack of adornment.
“It lets the wood speak for itself,” he said. “It’s functional.”
While imported wood is available to buy to make fine furniture, Merrill said he limits his work to Appalachian hardwoods, especially cherry wood.
Merrill’s current project is an apothecary cabinet in birdseye maple and cherry for one of his grandchildren.
“I’ve picked out about a dozen different pieces I thought I would like to make for them,” he said. “I’m trying to leave something meaningful to them.”

Teas and Thank You

To raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life team “Bosom Friends,” team co-captains Stephanie Yost and Sandi Hartwick hosted a special tea party on Saturday in the New Halifax neighborhood in Jonesborough. From left, Janis Abkes, Frances Walker and Nancy Rhea sit down to enjoy their tea and snacks, which included everything from minted radish sandwiches and bacon spinach quiche to rosemary corn cakes and chocolate truffles. The event raised an estimated $500.

Garden Envy

By Jeanne Cope
In the United States Navy there is a saying: “The difficult we do now, the impossible takes a little longer.”
The spectacular four-season gardens of Dawn and Jackie Peters are an example of a difficult job, that combined with determination and persistence, are the result of their expert planning and hard work.
And as gardens grow, this one will knock your socks off.
The gardens have been on my watch list for five years, and I have observed many changes brought to this hillside home site with the front gardens at about a 45-degree angle, and the back garden slightly less, but still steep.
They have incorporated the beauty of four seasons, slope management, underground sprinklers, removal of hard clay and replacement with rich compost, interesting shaped edges and a commingling of varieties and cacophony of flower colors which keep the gardens lovely year around. Additionally they have included hardscape as benches, use of a dead tree for birdhouses, bird feeders, metal trellis for clematis and stones to outline the edges of the gardens. The gardens contain sixteen yards of mulch, six inches deep.

The Peters have resided in their “new” home for ten years, and are constantly planting and adding ideas into the site that would be daunting to many. In bloom when I was there were peonies, iris, roses, lupines, columbine, spirea, bleeding heart, and cultivars some in bloom, others simply greenery. Picture this great variety with many colors of each and you will know the May garden. In June the daylilies, crepe myrtles, butterfly bushes and salvias join their friends to bloom for a month or more.

Dawn, the gardener of the family, followed the lead of her Mother and gardening relatives who grew great gardens. When they moved to this house, Jackie joined in, working with hardscape, land design and replacement of hard clay with rich compost. Jackie is an accomplished gardener in his own right and together, they designed and developed the gardens visible today.

Dawn shares details on rooting cuttings of roses from her Mother’s garden. “If you root roses in November, they will grow,” she states. Lupines are rarely seen in the TriCities, “this is about their southern limit, and they dislike summer heat and humidity.” Jackie is quick to add lupines self sow, and need transplanting when small. “Their very long taproots are difficult. Break the taproot and they will die,” he says.

In late fall, Snow on the Mountain comes up from seed. Dawn discovered she is allergic to their sap when it got into her eyes. She now removes the seeds so they don’t sprout.

In addition to roses from her Mother’s garden, Dawn has boxwoods and other flowers from gardens of the past. She grows long-handled dipper gourds and trains the shape of the gourds as they grow. Shined up and finished, the creatively shaped gourds are most unusual items. Dawn also has an extensive vegetable garden above the hill in back. They eat lots, and she preserves the rest for winter use. The Peters’ have a creative gardening life, and in the process, slow traffic in their neighborhood as passerby enjoys the blooms. Happy Gardening Everyone!

Jeanne Cope is a Garden Writer and UT Master Gardener
Email her [email protected]

From Bosnia, with love

After being forced to leave everything behind in 1992, this family of Bosnian refugees has found a place to call home — Jonesborough,

Danijella Stefanovic is an average teenage girl, looking forward to her future after graduating in the Top 10 percent of her class at David Crockett High School on Saturday.
Quick to smile and laugh, she talks like most girls her age from East Tennessee, with a slight southern accent shaping her words. Then she turns to her mother and speaks flawless Bosnian in a burst of Slavic sound and rhythm that creates a startling contrast to her very American looks and bearing.
Danijella and her parents, Goran and Enisa, fled their home in Bosnia in 1992, at the beginning of the Bosnian-Herzegovina wars, which tore their homeland apart with unspeakable acts of genocide, torture and destruction.
The family lived as refugees for six years in the town of Malsch, located in southwestern Germany.
Determined to provide for his family, Goran took odd jobs at first. Eventually, he found steady work as a roofer, which was the best job he could find at the time, despite his degree in electronic engineering and experience in furniture manufacturing.
“No one would hire refugees because they think they are going to give you a job and, in a few months, you would leave,” he explained.
Enisa worked in housekeeping at a local hotel even though she was a bookkeeper for over 17 years back in Bosnia.
Goran knew his family couldn’t stay in Germany permanently.
“The reason that we decided to leave Germany was that we want for her (Danijella) to get started going to school and learn one language,” he said. “The idea was to leave sooner rather than later so she could catch up with school here.”
With the help of the Trinity Assembly of God Church in Johnson City and the International Organization for Migration, the Stefanovics relocated to Johnson City in 1998.
Six-year-old Danijella worked hard to learn English, but that steep learning curve isn’t prominent in her memory.
“I just remember first grade when I didn’t have any problems with English, so I picked it up (easily,)” she said.
The Stefanovics moved to Jonesborough in 2006.
“I was 14, it was right before my freshman year,” Danijella said. “It was nervewracking at first, because high school is so much bigger than middle school, and I didn’t know anybody.”
But Danijella soon made friends — and maintained excellent grades that allowed her to win the Courtney Hensley Scholarship to East Tennessee State University in the fall.
“I’ll study something medical, pharmacy, orthodontics, an optometrist or something like that,” she said.
Danijella and her mother have been back to visit relatives in Bosnia twice in the last five years. But to Danijella, it didn’t feel much like going home.
“I couldn’t remember anything from there, because I left when I was four months old,” she said.
Danijella and her mother have also been back to Europe to visit relatives in Germany.
Danijella plans to return for her first solo visit this summer, after freshman orientation at ETSU in June.
“I’ll probably be there until August,” she said. “It’s a lot of money, and I’m paying for it this time, so I’m going to get my money’s worth.”
Goran hasn’t left the United States since his arrival here in 1998. He has worked as a truck driver, travleing all over hte country, since 2001.
Enisa stopped working then, to stay home and take care of Danijella. She speaks very little English, but smiles and laughs as easily as her daughter.
According to Goran, his wife works tirelessly in her garden, coaxing everything from vegetables to strawberries to life.
Goran and Enisa have no plans to leave the area any time soon.
Goran said he feels at home in Jonesborough, where the people are friendly and the mountains remind him of the Bosnian landscape.

Feeling blue at the Diehl-Hedberg house

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a part of an ongoing series focusing on
historic homes and buildings throughout Jonesborough and the area.

Nancy Hedberg loves the color blue and it doesn’t take very long to figure that out when you visit her at her historic Jonesborough house.
Blue-glass wine bottles line the back walkway to her Victorian home, adding a touch of whimsy to the start of the journey. And by the time you reach the side porch just outside the back door, with its iridescent mosaic tile floor, you are enchanted by a charm that is impossible to resist.
Entering into the kitchen through the screened door, one is greeted with the impact of Hedberg’s skilled use of her favorite color and a sense of happy playfulness.
“I’ve loved blue my whole life and I’m not going to get tired of it,” Hedberg said of her decision to use a rich cobalt color to accent the home’s white kitchen and dining nook.
The color on the countertops and even the adjacent bathroom floor offers a strong contrast to the soft white of the walls, pressed tin ceilings and the other architectural details of the rooms.
Strong pieces of blue art glass, from vases to wind chimes made by Hedberg, adorn the rooms, adding to the delightful play of color dancing throughout the house.
Some of the architectural embellishments are new, such as the ornate pressed tin ceiling in the kitchen, but one would never guess it just by looking at the ceiling.
“My dad made the brackets in the kitchen,” Hedberg said. “They match the brackets on the outside of the house, and the ones in the bathroom match some brackets he found in a wheelbarrow in South Dakota.”
Father and daughter worked together on the house from the beginning. Already living in Jonesborough, Hedberg, a former teacher with the Washington County school system who now supervises student teachers at East Tennessee State University, frequently walked past the red brick house with its white trim, and eventually decided to buy it.
Her mother, who passed away shortly after the purchase, believed the renovation of the old home would be an impossible job for Hedberg, but her father, a skilled woodworker and craftsman from Virginia, saw the potential.
“My dad loves Jonesborough, and he loves this house,” Hedberg said. “When he saw it, he said, ‘Oh, we’ll have a lot of fun with that house.’ And we have.”
According to documented history of the house compiled by Nancy Wike, collections manager of the Historic Jonesborough Foundation in 1999, the Diehl-Hedberg House was built between 1865 and 1869.
Hedberg moved into the home just before Christmas in 2000 and has been working on it ever since. Most recently, Hedberg took on the exterior of the home, restoring it to its historical roots.
When Hedberg bought the home, its exterior trim was painted pristine white. But after consulting with Bill Kennedy, chair of the Historic Jonesborough Zoning Commission and her neighbor, who took samples from the layers of paint to determine the original color pallet of light and dark green, Hedberg returned the trim to its original colors.
The home’s side additions, which were added sometime in the 1920s or 1930s, are painted soft gold and the doors are a rich coral.
Inside, Hedberg also stayed true to the original intent of the house. She retained certain details such as the pattern of the white-washed brick walls in the kitchen after the crumbling plaster was removed, the charming wooden interior arch that frames the window in the dining room and the original floors and moldings throughout the house.
The interior walls are solid brick, which help keep it cool in the summer (and a bit on the chilly side in the winter).
The downstairs pass-through fireplace, which was originally bricked and had a radiator insert, is now open to both the spacious living and dining rooms on either side and is furnished with gas logs.
The house is filled with doors and windows, about which the daughter of Mrs. Lydia Diehl, the former owner, lamented saying, “There’s not a square corner in this house; it’s a decorator’s nightmare.”
The Diehl family, however, loved the old house enough to live there from 1943 until Mrs. Diehl passed away.
Hedberg confirmed the decorating challenges discussed by the Diehl daughter, describing the room she formerly used as her bedroom.
“It faces east and is filled with light in the morning, but it really is a decorator’s nightmare,” Hedberg said. “There are three windows, two doors – a closet door and an entry door — and a fireplace on eight walls, so everything had to sit at an angle except for my double bed which fit on one wall. I finally moved to another room.”
One of the upstairs bedrooms is decorated in a charming blue and white color scheme (no surprise there), while another is dressed in lavender. Both have fireplace surrounds and the sensation of space and light.
There’s also a bit of history in one of the rooms where a bullet hole remains in the closet door. One of the Diehl boys, Richard, who was 12 or 13 years old at the time, was playing with a gun in his room just after moving into the house. The gun went off and blew a hole in the door just above the lock. There were no injuries from the incident, but it would appear the family left the hole there as a reminder, and it is there to this day.
There are other oddities for which there seems to be no logical explanation, too, such as the S-curved wall at the head of the stairs on the second floor.
“No one has any idea why that wall is curved,” Hedberg said. “There’s a teeny tiny bedroom at the end of it that curves as well. It may be the product of the Victorian architect’s whimsy. I just don’t know.”
Despite the home’s quirks, or perhaps because of them, Hedberg said the home is a comfortable one with plenty of space.
“It feels good in this house – it’s a happy house,” Hedberg said. “When I bought it, the former owners left me a note, saying ‘We hope this house wraps its arms around you the way it has us.’ And it has. This house has given me roots in Jonesborough and I love it.”

a taste of nantucket

Nancy Hedberg is an artist focusing in the mediums of mosaic, beadwork, glass wind chimes and painted furniture.
She also weaves Nantucket Lightship style baskets that can take as long as three weeks to complete from start to finish.
Each basket has demands of its own, and Hedberg resists replicating her work time after time, preferring to move on to other styles.
Each type of Nantucket Lightship basket has a specific mold and base, and each step in the process is time consuming and exacting.
In the last 20 years, Hedberg has made 115 baskets that are numbered and tracked.

“I’ve made less since I moved into this house,” she said. “The house, the yard and the garden have all taken a lot of my time. There’s always something to be working on, but this is what I love to do, and I feel contented when I’m standing here weaving.

Hedberg has a detached studio in back of the house, but she also works in the sunny, enclosed side porch, beading, making wind chimes, and creating the fine Nantucket Lighthouse baskets for which she is known.

“When I get started, I don’t want to stop,” said Hedberg, who works at a waist-high table. “I stop when I come to a natural stopping place.”

“My father learned to weave the baskets and when I went home for a week one summer he convinced me I ought to try it,” she said. “I’ve been making them ever since, and that was in 1988.

Her father makes the molds for the baskets out of many different kinds of wood such as black walnut, cherry and purple heart which is from South America. Although he has encouraged her to learn the art of turning the molds, Hedberg prefers the ones her father makes.

“When I need something, he will do it for me,” she said, “but he’s trying to get me to learn to do my own, now. My molds and bases are not as pretty as his and they may never be, but I do have a talented brother who can help me if need be.”

Celebrating Nursing Home Week

Nursing homes throughout Washington County celebrated Nursing Home Week last week with several special events. Pictured above, Mallorie Williams helps create a 100-foot banana split at Life Care Center in Gray. Banana splits, 1950s dances and plenty of other activities took place at Life Care Center as well as at Four Oaks Health Care Center in Jonesborough and John M. Reed Nursing Home in Limestone. For more photos from the event, visit the Photo Gallery at www.heraldandtribune.com.

Once Upon an Accident

Accidents happen. And for Becky and Jeff Thomas, that’s a good thing. The couple met by accident, they found Jonesborough by accident — sort of — and some of their greatest artistic creations are the results of accidents.
“A lot of times, accidents are your best things,” Jeff says. “That’s Becky’s favorite kind of art.”
Accidents also seem to be part of the couple’s life mantra.
Married for 22 years now, the couple met by chance 27 years ago when Becky’s family was traveling through Jeff’s home state of West Virginia and experienced car trouble.
“My mom and sister were driving and stopped to give them a ride home,” Jeff recalls. “They stopped at my parents’ house on the way and there I was.”
Becky was only 15 years old at the time, five years younger than her now husband.
“I was too young,” Becky says of why the couple didn’t immediately start a romantic relationship. “We stayed friends for a while.”
A few years later, Jeff was living in Florida when he received a call from Becky, who wanted to come for a visit. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I’m just so grateful their car broke down when and where it did,” Jeff says.
Both artistic souls, Becky and Jeff moved to Jonesborough four years ago after visiting their friend, who had relocated here, and falling in love with the town.
“We would come up and visit and we’d be like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to live here?’ We felt like we fit in here,” Jeff says.
At the time, the couple lived in North Carolina and felt tied to their home there, which included caring for an elderly pet. But a short time later, the couple’s dog passed away and, on a whim, the duo packed their things and moved to Jonesborough.
“We just plopped into Jonesborough like we’ve been here our whole lives,” Jeff says. “The people of this town are so different. They are eclectic and very artistic. They get us.”
Nearly every surface in the pair’s spacious apartment has been adorned with or transformed into a piece of original art by either Becky or Jeff. Even some of their furniture is homemade.
“We found boxes at auction and put handles on them,” Jeff says, explaining the living room’s end tables. “We also like to bring the outdoors in at our place.”
An old basement door has new life as a shelf in the couple’s art studio in a back room of the apartment, old window frames now frame pieces of art and a portion of wooden fence from their former home serves as a backdrop for Jeff’s painting of a fox.
The pair’s latest adventure has them working together to create handmade necklaces that combine both of their artistic abilities.
“One morning I woke up and I randomly thought, ‘What if I did miniature paintings and Jeff could make them into necklaces?’ So we decided to give it a try,” Becky says. “I’ve sold more art this way than I did any other way.”
To create a necklace, Becky starts with handmade paper as a miniature canvas. Using a painting style that incorporates “mixed media with acrylic paints,” Becky takes everyday items such as grass and puts them in a blender with glue.
“I mix it up and then put it on the canvas and shape it,” Becky explains. “I let it dry and then I go back and paint over it.”
The method creates a more three-dimensional piece of art that typically features a bird, a flower, a dragonfly or some other small piece of nature.
“I don’t have a lot of room to work with,” Becky says. “So it really lends itself to individual things.”
Once the canvas is complete, Jeff’s work begins. He hammers metal, whether it’s steel, copper or something in between, to create the necklace, right down to original clasps that complement Becky’s latest miniature work of art.
“It’s fun working together on each one of them,” Jeff says. “No two pieces are the same.”
The couple created a name for the jewelry business by combining the one word that best represents each of them individually.
“She loves the peasants because they can forge a life out of nothing. And I love ravens. I like their society, their creativity and their social nature,” Jeff says. “These are the two things that truly make up who we are.”
And so, Peasant and Raven Jewelry was born.
For Jeff and Becky, the endeavor has only enhanced their creativity – and their relationship.
“We love going back in the studio on Friday nights. He’ll be in his space, I’ll be in mine. We turn on the music, have a glass of wine and create,” Becky says. “It feels nice to be spending time together doing what we love.”
To see more original pieces of Peasant and Raven Jewelry, visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/peasantandraven. Jeff and Becky will also be at the Love Lavender Festival in downtown Jonesborough with their jewelry on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23.

Show features artwork of county students

Nearly 300 students from schools in Washington County took part in an art show that culminated last week with an artists’ reception at the Jonesborough Visitors Center.
The students’ work, which ranged from self-portraits and other drawings to sculptures and plastic masks, were on display at the Visitors Center throughout the month of April.
Last week, the Washington County Art Educators Association hosted an artists’ reception where the artists, ranging in age from kindergarteners to high schoolers, mingled with members of the community who came to admire the works of art.
Students from Sulphur Springs Elementary, Boones Creek Elementary, Jonesborough Elementary, Fall Branch Elementary, Gray Elementary, South Central Elementary, West View Elementary, Boones Creek Middle, Jonesborough Middle, Lamar, Grandview, Ridgeview, Daniel Boone and David Crockett schools all were represented at the art show.
For more pictures from the event, visit the Photo Gallery at www.heraldandtribune.com.

A return to its glory days

For five years, Charles and Dona Lewis spent every weekend, holiday and vacation at the Franklin House — not living there, but working on bringing the old Jonesborough home back to what it was in its glory days.
Even after the five years of renovations, the couple lived in the home’s downstairs apartment until the upstairs was ready to be inhabited.
“Once we got started, we couldn’t quit until it was finished, so we just kept working on it,” Dona said. “Anybody who restores an old house knows what it takes. I love this house. You have to love it to do this.”
Most likely built around 1830, the house held several families through the years, including those of Daniel Kenny, John Ryland, John Mathes and A.J. Brown.
The Babb family purchased it in 1869 and members of that family occupied the house until 1923, when the Denton family bought it and lived there until the mid-1970s.
The house’s original configuration was typical of 1830s to 1860s style — a classic “I” architectural style sometimes called “Tennessee Vernacular” or “Plantation Plain.”
The floor plan had two rooms on each side of a central hallway, with working fireplaces at each end.
At some point, the kitchen was added to the middle level, making the house into an “L” shape.
The Lewis’ renovations included much more than that of most houses. During the five years it took to restore the house, it was lifted off its foundation so the foundation could be rebuilt to retain as much of the original structure as possible.
Instead of using today’s tendency to level the land to accommodate a structure, the ground floor of the old house was literally built into the landscape below grade on three sides.
“At the time this house was built, it conformed to the hillside,” Charles said. “If you let your eye follow the windows from side to side to side, the house is off by 11 inches.”
The Lewises removed over 300 wheelbarrows of dirt from the ground floor alone during the restoration in order to make enough space to be able to stand straight up without hitting the ceiling.
Stones from the wall downstairs were moved to the side yard to frame a lovely patio that leads to the wooden structure, which houses the original cistern.
“The house had to be gutted and rebuilt after we bought it,” Charles said. “We even had the four layers of brick framing the windows downstairs removed, cleaned and put back.”
“Believe me when I say there was almost nothing to renovate and restore when we first walked in here,” said Dona of the interior of the house. “This house had been gone through. We even had to get mantles for the fireplaces. There was a claw foot tub upstairs that’s now downstairs in the apartment and a wood burning stove in the kitchen. That was all that was left.”
Upstairs the rooms have been adapted to accommodate the need for private bathrooms for all three bedrooms, and the architectural details have been carefully retained in the dormers adding an element of charm to each room, which are named for the families who once lived in the house.
The house is now a bed & breakfast, and members of the Babb family, which owned the house for 54 years before moving to Corbin, Kent., continue to stay in their old family home when they come to the Jonesborough area.
Much of the information about the house and the family was supplied to Charles and Dona by them.
“Some members of the family have come from as far away as California and Idaho,” said Charles Lewis. “And they continue to send us information about the history of the family and the house.”
One of the most interesting things the Lewis’ found during restoration was a piece of wood with Ellen Babb’s signature in it, Charles said.
“We weren’t sure if it was her name written on it or if it was her original signature. A member of the family verified it as her signature, because they had her signature on a railroad pass and it matched perfectly,” he said. “We saved it for years and now it hangs in the Babb room upstairs.”

Farmer Jason rocks out to educate kids

Straight from his farm in Tennessee, this Emmy award-winning and internationally known singer and performer gave a free show to area kids last week at the Hands On Regional Museum in Johnson City.
Through songs and entertainment, Farmer Jason works to educate kids about the diversity of the forest, the ecology of eating, and the rockin’ animals all around us.
Jason Ringenberg created his family music character Farmer Jason in 2003.
Nashville Public Television took notice of him and produced an educational video series starring Farmer Jason based on songs from the two CDs. The program won an Emmy Award for Best Children’s Program MidSouth Region in 2009.

Slogan contest gives Crockett students opportunity to market their creativity

An estimated 75 students at David Crockett High School recently took part in a contest to come up with a marketing slogan for Four Oaks Health Care Center in Jonesborough. The contest, hosted by the nursing home, asked students to submit slogans that would appropriately describe the work of the facility.
Students in Chuck Hale’s marketing class and Amy Collette’s business technology classes submitted their slogans, with some of the kids even handing in more than one entry.
Senior Ashley Jones, a senior in Hale’s marketing class, took home first place for her slogan, “Love from Our Hearts, Care from Our Hands.”
Four Oaks officials said the slogan described the facility “perfectly” but said several other slogans also were worthy of recognition.
Junior marketing student Ashley Yates won second place with her slogan, “Compassion from Our Family to Yours,” while third place went to Cade Rader, a freshman computer applications student. Rader’s slogan was “Loving Care for a Better Tomorrow.”

MEET LOGAN LOCKNER: Not your average teenager, this Daniel Boone High School senior has earned himself a full ride to college

In some ways, Logan Lockner is like any other high school senior. He works hard, gets good grades and still isn’t exactly sure what he wants to be when he grows up.
But talk with Lockner for five minutes and you’ll quickly learn this Daniel Boone High School student is hardly your average teenager.
“I’m really interested in the relationship between language and society — how documents become more than just nouns and verbs and adjectives,” Lockner said. “I’m interested in how they become a living, breathing social organism.”
That’s right. While other high school seniors are probably deciding who to take to prom or what they’re going to do this weekend, Lockner is contemplating the way words come to life.
As the coeditor of the high school’s yearbook, president of Beta Club and captain of the school’s academic team, Lockner has proven himself as a bit of an academic.
And it is Lockner’s academic intelligence that has earned him a full ride to Emory University in Atlanta, a scholarship valued at approximately $200,000. Based on merit, the Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship is named after the former president of Coca-Cola who donated much of his money to Emory University.
Lockner, whose grade point average is somewhere around a 3.9, plans to study English and political science at the university. He said he chose to attend Emory University because of its liberal arts program and all of the resources it has available for research.
“Going to a university like Emory, coming from a small, rural, publish high school is really unique,” Lockner said. “We have some wonderful people here at Boone that have been able to help me get to this point.”
Lockner credits two of his teachers at Boone for being most influential during his high school career — AP English teachers Deanna Carey and Sandra Fair.
“I am thankful to them for meeting me where I was at academically and challenging me to go beyond that,” Lockner said. “And this might sound corny, but for being my friends as much as they were my teachers.”
Carey said she really couldn’t do much to teach Lockner, who was already so “widely read” by the time he arrived in her class.
“All I did was sort of polish off a few points. He has read books that I’ve just read in the past five years — and he’s only in high school,” she said. “If I read he’s won the Pulitzer or the Nobel Prize, I won’t be surprised. He sees the big picture.”
But Lockner is more than just an academic, Carey said.
“He’s not some ivory-tower type,” she explained. “He’s got friends in every social rung of the high school hierarchy. He relates on every level.”
When he’s not studying the ways of the world, Lockner enjoys reading contemporary literary fiction and calls himself a “huge classic film buff.” He is actively involved in student council at DBHS and the youth church group at Crossroads Church in Gray.
Lockner is the son of Diann and Kyle Lockner. He is the grandson of Dan and Mary Haley and Wayne and Joan Lockner.

This Jonesborough resident’s work with watercolor will leave you Wanting Moore

Tami Moore only began painting watercolors two years ago, and even then she wasn’t sure she would succeed.
“I’ve always loved watercolor, but it seemed I found every excuse not to start painting,” said Moore, who also owns the Blair-Moore House bed and breakfast with her husband in downtown Jonesborough.
But two years ago, the Jonesborough Senior Center offered classes in watercolor, and Jack, Moore’s husband of 18 years, signed her up.
“The first week, it was overwhelming,” Moore said. “But I thought, ‘I’ll give it another shot.’ And so I went back for the second week and fell in love.”
Now, Moore said, she paints every chance she gets.
“I spend as much time painting as I possibly can,” she said.
And her dedication has paid off.
Moore was featured as the Artist of the Month at the Barnes & Noble in Johnson City in January, and her artwork can be seen in several area businesses. She also sells paintings out of a small gift shop in her B&B, and has even been featured in regional art shows.
Moore’s subjects are mainly botanicals, and her inspiration comes from photographs she takes of her own garden and others throughout the area, as well as garden catalogues she receives.
“I’ve loved flowers all my life,” Moore said. “My maternal grandmother loved them, and I wished I’d paid more attention then.”
Moore loves old botanical plates from the 1700s, and some of her paintings receive the botanical names at the bottom of the paintings.
Peonies are one of her favorite flowers to paint, and while she loves hydrangeas, she said, she hasn’t been able to master their complexity just yet.
“As soon as I get a bloom [of hydrangea], I run out to the garden and cut it, bring it inside, and just stare at it,” she said. “It’s so hard to copy.”
Colorful flowers also stand out to her, and as an artist, she can take liberty with how she poses and colors her painting subjects.
“I love greens, blues, and pinks and reds,” Moore said. “I have a tendency to go back to the same colors.”
She also uses garden catalogues as inspiration, which allow her to see flowers that would bloom in different climates or ones that she may not grow in her garden.
She begins her painting process by first drawing which botanical she wants to paint on paper, and then tweaks it until it’s what she wants.
“I have never felt like I could draw,” Moore said. “That was one hindrance. I had no confidence, but I made myself do it over and over again and now it’s much easier.”
Her next step is to trace that sketch onto watercolor paper, and then just start layering color until she is satisfied. One painting of an artichoke took 15 different layers of colors to get the deep green she had in mind for the stem.
In addition to painting, Moore also has an eye for arts in the Jonesborough area, even debuting the “Fine Art in the Park” festival last October, which brought artists from the region into a judged and juried show.
This year’s Fine Art will be on October 23. She is planning on featuring more local artists than the previous festival. A call for artists will be issued soon.

Local company encourages recycling program

Cartridge World of Northeast Tennessee has re-launched a recruitment effort to attract more schools, civic groups and churches to participate in its proactive solution to waste reduction called, Ca$h for Cartridges.
The year-round program has been in existence for five years and has contributed close to $100,000 to such groups as public and private schools, booster clubs, animal shelters, Special Olympics, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Cartridge World’s Recycle Program matches the worth of the recyclable donations by contributing money toward an organization’s efforts.
The worth of the recyclable items are determined locally by Cartridge World’s production and distribution center in Kingsport. There, they are sorted to determine their value, which can range from 25 cents to $3 per cartridge.
Providence Academy has been involved in the recycling program since its inception.
“Our school policy is not to use our students for fundraisers, so this program has been easy to implement,” said Mark Kosack, director of development for Providence Academy. “We send reminders in our communications to parents of our recycle program, and Cartridge World provides the drop-off box. They pick up the cartridges and send us checks periodically. It’s a good, simple program that can’t be any easier than that.”
To learn more about the Ca$h for Cartridges Program, contact Larry England at 361-7806 or by e-mail at [email protected]

In Jonesborough, making miniature works of art is a BIG DEAL

Their final products might be small, but for those working diligently to create miniature scenes, the hobby is huge. Just ask the group of minaturists that meets monthly, and has for the last 20 years, at the Jonesborough Pizza Parlor to create their tiny works of art.
“My mother started me off with miniatures,” said Judy Lewis, an emergency room nurse in Kingsport, whose mom also attends the miniature meetings. “She bought me a doll house kit when I was still in school, and I haven’t stopped since.”
At this particular meeting, Lewis is working on her Blue Moon Bakery, a mini pastry shop filled with tiny treats no bigger than a finger tip. Despite their smallness, the morsels look realistic and delectable enough to eat.
Nearby, Lewis’ mom, Carol Jaynes, works on a project she is creating based on the book, The Secret Garden. Everything about the piece is exquisitely detailed down to the hollyhocks on one corner, the fountain and the door hidden in ivy.
“The ivy is made out of paper glued to fine wire,” Jaynes said. “You have no idea how long it takes to make that much ivy.”
The miniature replicas of real-life scenes typically are created in one-inch, half-inch or 1.444-inch scales. Miniaturists who meet each month in Jonesborough come from as far away Pigeon Forge, Bristol, Kingsport, Elizabethton, Stoney Creek and Glade Springs, Va., to talk shop. In addition to each other, group members turn to glossy magazines, websites, national conferences and even ‘miniature’ cruises to get expert advice and new ideas about their beloved hobby.
“Some people say they couldn’t do this because it would be so stressful, but it’s really not. It’s a great stress reliever,” Lewis said. “Besides, it gives mom and me a chance to do something we love together, and to travel to the conferences together.”
When the group meets, members adopt a project and everyone starts with the same essential elements. But what each person does with those elements varies greatly.
“When everybody gets their project, they do it their own way,” Jaynes said, noting her own tendency to create beach scenes. “We’ll do a little house and I will do a little beach house; we’ll do a little shop and I will do a beach shop. If we do a little restaurant, I will do the ‘Crusty Crab.’”
When Lewis finishes a project, she proudly displays it at her house.
“I have projects that both my mother and I have done on my shelves and in showcases,” she said. “I am proud of them.”