I’ve always said that if (when) I won the lottery, I’d be a full-time student, so it was with great pleasure that I read Shelburne Ferguson’s recent column on being a “life-long learner.” Some of the wisest, smartest people I know had limited “formal schooling,” but could talk for hours on gardening, travel, even literature, baseball or jazz. So I admit that I’m more than a little jealous when I hear about a reading program that involves various ages and reading abilities, or “contests” where the students and teachers come up with exciting challenges and goals, or when I see young children reading to a young sibling (or even a pet), because I know that they are going to learn and explore, and perform in ways I never had the opportunity to do.
I had the opportunity to spend time with and enjoy some friends at a recent concert featuring Morningstar Flute Ensemble at First Presbyterian Church. It was a fun concert, beautifully balanced with classical and contemporary selections and performed by six incredible musicians (five flutes and a pianist) to a very responsive audience. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Jewell Tilson, who was not only a member of First Presbyterian Church and Choir, but also former band director at Dobyns-Bennet High School and, unbeknownst to many of us in the audience, the band director of Charlotte Ellis, founder, arranger and performer of Morningstar Flute Ensemble. In attendance that afternoon were Mrs. (Koleta) Tilson and John Tilson. There were several “fun” pieces on the program. One, the “Walter Winchell Rhumba” was arranged for a high school band by their director, Fred Himelwright. Ellis heard it, thought it would make fun piece for the Flute Ensemble to play, so she arranged it for flutes and piano. It is just so amazing to me that we have all this talent in Kingsport and the surrounding area!
Switching gears a little, the aforementioned concert was followed by a lovely reception catered by Linda Murphy, church hostess at First Broad Street United Methodist.
Many of you may not be aware of this, but July 1 is a very important date in many communities, including ours. The medical centers welcome new residents and often new physicians, schools have new teachers, professors, coaches and staff, churches often have new ministers, senior ministers, and music ministers, so the reception area had several new faces!
Seen at the concert and later at the receptions were: Jane Scott, Peggy Smith, Ann and Lynn Sorrell, Dr. Tom and Jo Brock, Nancy Robertson, Charles Webb, Roy and Beth Geno, Gay Aycock, Bob Green, Charlie and Tina Glass, Wally and Jan Boyd, Vicky Welch, the Rev. Jack and Nancy Weikel, Ann Holler, Nancy Cook, Mary Ann Harless, Dr. David Miller, Gail Preslar and Milton Nelson, Josie Reid, Cynthia Willis, Jim and Sylvia Harris, Mark Davis and Dr. Trevor Smith, the new minister of traditional music at First Broad Street United Methodist Church.
I received my Farmers Market newsletter recently. Looks like the market is quickly getting into the swing of things with its fall produce and flowers. I really enjoyed the Saturdays with the Chef series and hope to see them again next year. The market was really exciting with artists on site, carousel rides with a happy little pink piggie and a beautiful fairy, rock painting, a rock garden from a Cub Scout pack, and ways to have fun while standing still. Music Jams will be starting soon and there will be yummy breads, jams, coffee and cider and fall offerings like pumpkins and beautiful mums and sweatshirts.
Hoping that the weather cools off a little so that we can all get out and enjoy all our community has to offer. Here’s hoping I’ll see you "Out & About!"
Here are some of those upcoming events:
Through Aug. 24: Registration for the First District Tennessee Senior Olympic Games is now open. This special event, for seniors 50 and over, will be held in September. It includes golf, bowling, table tennis, horseshoes, basketball, shuffleboard, pickleball, track and field, and swimming. Everyone who participates is qualified to attend the state games next June in Franklin. Pick up an entry at your local senior center. Deadline to enter is Aug. 24.
Aug. 25: The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation will present "Diamonds and Denim," an evening of elegance and entertainment featuring Blue Highway at Crooked River Farms in Hiltons, Va., on Saturday, Aug. 25. Tickets are $65 per person or $125 per couple. Proceeds benefit the Scott County Endowed Scholarship Fund at Mountain Empire Community College. Call (276) 523-7466 or visit www.meccfoundation.org.
Sept. 2: The Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival will be held at 3 p.m., Sept. 2 at Natural Tunnel State Park. Live music featuring Poplar Hill Reunion, Miss Ellie Stringband, the UVa-Wise Bluegrass Band, ETSU Old Time Ramblers, ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band and Dr. Joe Smiddy and Reedy Creek. Square dancing with caller Tyler Hughes with music by Andrew Barnes and friends. A special unveiling ceremony for a tribute to Papa Joe will highlight the event. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 on the day of the event. Kids under 12 are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.coveridge.com or by phone at (276) 940-2674.
Sept. 7: ETSU at Kingsport Allandale will hold its Fall Yard Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot at 1501 University Boulevard near Allandale Mansion. Members of the community are invited to buy and sell goods. Spaces are available for $10. Each space is equivalent to two parking spaces. Vendors should reserve a space by Aug. 30 and must bring their own tables to the event. Setup will begin at 8 a.m.
Through Sept. 7: Applications for new artists are being accepted for the tenth annual Art in the Park, to be held on the International Storytelling Center grounds, Oct. 20-21. Visual artists must submit an application, jury fee, booth fee, and photographs of their work and booth set up to be considered. Once juried into Art in the Park, artists will not have to be juried in again. Eligible artists can find an application by visiting the Town of Jonesborough’s website at www.mckinneycenter.com. Or contact Theresa Hammons at (423) 753-0562 or email her at email@example.com. Entry deadline is Sept. 7.
Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine.