Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bill Cotter visited the Sunsphere

Bill Cotter's visit

Famous Author and Disney Historian Visited Knoxville

Author, photographer, and former Disney employee, Bill Cotter, and wife, Carol, visited Knoxville on August 23 and 24. The Cotters flew from their home in Los Angeles with their son to Nashville as he begins his sophomore year at Vanderbilt.

Cotter, who has been e-mail pals with KJN's writer, Martha Woodward, since 2007, traveled to town to meet with her and visit the former 1982 World's fairgrounds.

Cotter became intrigued with studying world's fairs in general when, at age 12, he visited the 1964 World's Fair in New York City, Cotter's hometown. Cotter began two lifelong passions (1) world's fairs and (2) the life of Walt Disney, who was the creator of most of the displays for the 1964 fair. When Cotter grew up, he moved to Silicon Valley and worked for Disney from 1976 to 1982. Cotter photographed and collected numerous items about Walt Disney and has served as a consultant to Michael Eisner about Disney's life.

Cotter has written over 50 books and has been the contributor to hundreds more. His books Disney from A to Z and The Complete History of Disney TV are classics. He has also written books the historic world’s fairs in 1939-40 New York World's Fair; 1962 Seattle World's Fair; 1964 New York World's Fair; 1984 New Orleans World's Fair; and Canada’s Vancouver: Expo '86
for Arcadia Publishing based in South Carolina.

Cotter explains his fascination with fairs this way: "World's Fairs are very special times and places. For all too brief a time they transform an everyday setting into someplace magical, one of exotic landscapes, international foods and visitors, playful architecture and projections of the future. Although they are with us for just a short time, they often leave long-lasting memories with those lucky enough to attend. Happily, they also leave behind a wide array of souvenirs, including photographs that forever memorialize these international galas.
I have long been interested in world's fairs, and have been fortunate enough to have visited several of them. Over the years I have collected thousands of photos and am pleased to be able to share some of them with you on my web site at I hope that the photos provide you an enjoyable trip back in time."

Woodward took the Cotters for a tour around town and provided brief history lessons on James White Fort and Blount Mansion. They specifically toured World's Fair Park ending their visit with a special stop at the Sunsphere. "We were lucky, we arrived at a good time and were able to visit the observation deck on the 4th floor and were also invited by Michael Hileman to see the 5th and 6th floors," explained Woodward.

"It was wonderful to meet Bill. We have corresponded for over four years and have shared many writing ideas," she said. "Bill has an amazing amount of knowledge about the 1982 World's Fair and fairs in general. Over the years, he has collected 1982 World' Fair photos, too. He is just an awesome person, and his wife was the kind of person you meet and instantly feel like you have known for years."

The Cotters were headed to Asheville, North Carolina to visit the Biltmore Mansion before their return flight to Los Angeles. Woodward says she has a standing invitation to visit them in California.

The Cotters were so impressed with Tennessee they are considering retiring here in the next five years.

Bill Cotter in town for a visit with me and to tour world's fair site.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fall 2011 East Tennessee Plant Swap

Fall 2011 East Tennessee Plant Swap

The Fall 2011 East Tennessee Plant Swap will be held at:
Cheryl Peters’ house
7704 Dave Road, Knoxville, TN 37938
Saturday, September 24, 2011

Setup will begin at 9:30am
Swapping starts at 10:00am
Lunch will be at 11:30am or noon

What is a plant swap?

The East Tennessee Plant Swap occurs two times a year in Knoxville. It is a time when those who love plants and gardens get together to trade plants and talk about this popular hobby. Everyone is invited to the free event. It is hosted by several friends who got together with an idea they had heard about as other gardeners met and swapped plants in Nashville, TN.

What should I bring?

Potted plants, freshly dug plants (properly conditioned to survive until they can be planted), cuttings, well-developed seedlings, seeds, small trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, annuals, gardening tools, gardening supplies, gardening crafts, empty flower pots and gardening related art are all welcome.It is a good idea to pre-label your plants.

What if I don’t have any plants to swap?

Come anyway. Many of our avid members first came to a swap in order to begin a plant collection. This is an excellent event for first-time gardeners who are hoping to find plants to add to their yards.

If you do not have plants you can share, bring gardening tools, magazines, crafts or art. One lady brought home-canned beets, one fellow brought pickles he made from growing his own cucumbers. One lady brought shopping bags she had sewn from fabric swatches someone had given her. One lady brought suncatchers and one brought painted flower pots while another brought wind chimes; all were a big hit with swappers.

How about lunch?

There is usually a pot luck lunch. Sandwiches, finger foods, picnic type dishes, deserts, water and cold drinks and utensils are welcome. Some swappers cook favorite recipes while others bring pre-packaged foods; all is acceptable. It’s America, there is always more food than is needed. Plan to bring one dish or more.

What happens at the swap?

As each person arrives, they position themselves in a spot and begin swapping plants. Some have special plants for swapping with specific people that they previously set up. Others have a supply of things to be swapped or given away. Weather permitting, folks usually swap from the back of their vehicles or from self-supplied tables.Some people bring a chair for a place to sit near their vehicle or table. Most people walk along and view what others have brought and make deals. “I’ll trade you some yellow lilies for a pink peony,” or that sort of thing.

Are there rules I need to know about?

No alcoholic beverages are allowed.

This is a free event, but always when the swap meets at a public park each swapper helps pay the rental fees.

Bringing pets is discouraged, but is allowed if you keep them on a leash and clean up after them. Since the next swap is at Cheryl Peters’ house, you’ll need to get her permission before bringing your pets.

Children, other family members, and friends are always welcome, but children need to be supervised.

No selling or commercial activity is permitted. Prearranged swaps are welcome. Freebies/giveaways are at the digression of the swappers.

Do you have any tips for newcomers?

Yes, the East Tennessee Plant Swap provides a friendly, welcoming environment for everyone. People who attend this event do not want to haul the plants they brought back home, so hang around to the end and people will give you tons of plants. Remember, it is a swap, so bring something to trade and do not hesitate to ask people about their plants; they will enjoy sharing their knowledge with you.

Get ready, you are going to make many new friends and you will look forward to the next plant swap, too.

For more information about how you can log on to the Forum, go to

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jug removed from bear's neck.

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer, Shelley Hammonds

Exclusive Interview With Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer, Shelley Hammonds

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer Shelley Hammonds, 37, mother of two, gave an exclusive interview to the Knoxville Journal this week concerning the story of the black bear with the jug caught around his head. Hammonds says she has been honored with all the attention the story has brought to her. The story went national and then worldwide. A company in Taiwan has produced an animated video about the incident.

Hammonds says she first became aware that a black bear had been sighted in Cocke County near the Water Department in Newport along the Irish Cut area some time in late June. Approximately a month later, on June 28 she got a text message from an employee at the Water Department that said the bear had been spotted and it had a jug stuck on its head. The employee had made a photo of the bear, and Hammonds thought it looked like the bear might have a trap caught on its head. For the next few days, she got more text messages and calls about the bear who was wandering around in the area.

By July 4th the bear was sighted at the Water Department again. Hammonds knew she was going to need a dart gun and she began searching for one, but it took her the better part of a day to find an officer in Sevier County who had the gun and the supplies she needed. When she contacted him, he agreed to meet her and give her the training she needed. She drove over to the Water Department and saw the bear. All she could do was observe it while she waited for the dart gun. However, before the officer arrived, the bear was spooked by loud noises and ran away deep into the woods. Hammonds said she was very frustrated at this point as she felt she was so close to being able to help the bear only to lost contact with him. The Sevier County officer did leave the dart gun with her so she would be ready the next time the bear was spotted.

On July 6th the got another call about the bear, but she was approximately 20 minutes away from the spot where he was sighted. By the time she arrived at the place where others were watching the bear, she had to spend too much time unlocking the drug box, getting the dart gun out of her truck, loading the drugs into it, preparing the gun to be fired and firing the weapon. She was able to get one shot off, but missed the bear due to her inability to use the gun appropriately. She said the bear was so close to her it actually touched the door of her truck. All in all on this day, all she felt was total frustration as she came so close to saving the bear. She felt like the bear only had days, maybe even hours to live and she had failed him.

By July 8th and 9th more calls and text messages came in, but she could not find the bear. On Monday, July 11th, while she was out driving, she got a call that the bear had been spotted about 5 miles away from her. She hurried to the spot, and began tracking the bear. More calls came in and others were also helping her. She searched and tracked the bear for over 6 hours thinking it may be the last day for the bear. She did see him a few times, but he would run when people came near. She truly felt like July 11th would be the last day of the bear’s life. She could tell he was very thin and she knew he had been without nourishment and possible without water for over two weeks. July 11th ended with total frustration for her. She began to believe she would hear that someone had found the bear dead in the woods after that point.

However, on July 16th, calls came in that the bear had been spotted at the Carson Spring area. She was amazed at this news as this spot is 8 to 15 miles from the last place where the bear had been seen. She drove to the spot and searched again to no avail.

On July 17th news came that the bear had been seen crossing between 434 and 435 on the interstate highway headed towards Newport. Once again she was amazed at how far the bear had walked. She drove to the area and was receiving texts and phone messages that people were tracking the bear and following him at a distance. The bear had been seen in a church parking lot. Next, she heard that the bear was seen near Lacarreta Restaurant and several people were following him, hoping to help capture him. As she drove up to the restaurant, people began waving her forward, pointing to where the bear was walking. She felt herself growing tense as she just knew the bear didn’t have much longer to live. As she was searching and driving, suddenly the bear ran out in front of her vehicle. She stopped in the middle of the road, flung out the dart gun and took a shot. This time she was closer to the bear and had a better shot and him and she hit him. The bear kept walking and probably traveled 75 yards. People began gathering around as word spread that the bear was in town. The bear walked through a couple of parking lots as people walked along watching him. Finally, the bear collapsed in the parking lot of the C & C Pawn Shop.

With the help of others, Hammonds was able to locate a water hose and began to spray the bear to keep his temperature down while he was under the influence of the drugs. She could see the bear was very thin and weak. She knew he was dehydrated and, due to her training as a nurse, she was able to secure an IV line into the bear. Jonathan Layman helped by shaving the bear in order for her to get to his veins. Waylan Dalton and his wife also helped by following the bear and sending her reports about his locations. John Hammonds, Shelley’s husband, was also present helping with the capture and rescue. They spent about two hours working on the bear while he was asleep. They loaded him into a cage and put him in the back of a truck.

Hammonds said when the bear woke up he was very angry. He began snapping his jaws and hitting the sides of the cage. She said everyone began laughing, they were so happy to see him with such a lively personality after all he had been through. They gave the bear plenty of water which he readily drank. They fed him dog food which he enjoyed and tolerated very well. After monitoring him for several hours to make sure he had no effects from the drugs, they hauled him several miles into the mountains and let him loose. But, before they let him go, they put a 100 pound bag of dog food in the woods for him to find.

Hammonds says that the bear lived through this ordeal was a miracle. She noticed that the bear’s ears were very dirty. She guessed that the bear had laid him head down in the mud or in the stream so that water would flow into the jug around his head.

Hammonds says the kind of jug stuck on the bear’s head was the type that usually contain cheese puffs. She hopes people will take a lesson from this incident and stop leaving these kinds of containers in the mountains. Hammonds kept the container so she can use it to teach people that garbage kills bears.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Schedule for Homespun Hobbies TV Show

Shows weeksly on Tuesdays at 10;30 a.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Aug.l3 and Aug. 16 Making Bags-part 3

Aug. 20 and Aug. 23 Rail Fence Quilt

Aug. 27 and Aug. 30 3 Quilts

Sept. 3 and Sept. 6 Quilts 5

Sept. 10 and Sept. 13 A Reporter's Experiences 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homespun Hobbies, on CTV Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Schedule for Homespun Hobbies on CTV Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.; Saturdays 7:30 p.m.
Schedule for upcoming Homespun Hobbies Programs

August 6 and August 9 the Love Kitchen

August 13 and August 16 Making Bags, part 3

Monday, August 1, 2011

Survival---it is all about preparation

The Key to the Best Vacation Ever--Preparation by Martha Rose Woodward

So you have saved money all year and planned your dream vacation---a week in the pastoral setting of the backwoods in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can see yourself and your family as you are hiking in the woods, swimming in a clear, mountain stream and viewing colorful wildflowers while you listen to birds chirping and tweeting. You and the kids have shopped for hiking boots, stylish plaid shirts and even a snazzy vest and hat, but, even though you are in style and fashion forward, are you truly prepared for a vacation in the environment of what is, in reality, a moderate rainforest?

According to survivalist, Cody Lundin, in his book 98.6 Degrees; the Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive!, you should never go on vacation, not even a day trip, unless you are prepared to meet Murphy’s Law. That’s the law that says, “If anything can go wrong it will.” And, “When anything goes wrong, it happens at the worst possible moment.”

Lundin and others preach that “Preparation is the key to a successful vacation.”

You think you are prepared. You packed new clothes, new shoes, snack food, swim suits, even toys and games, but what do you truly need when things go wrong? How could you survive for three days if you are lost in the woods or are injured and can’t get to safety? Why three days? According to records, most Search and Rescue events end in about three days. It generally takes one day for someone to notice the person or persons are missing and about two days to find them, unless they have wandered extremely far away from the last known sighting.

According to Lundin, there are a few tips you need to keep in mind no matter how short or how long your vacation. First, and probably most importantly, he says to never leave home unless you tell family and friends where you are going. Even if you are driving down the block to the neighborhood store, be sure to tell someone where you are going, what time you are leaving and what time you expect to be back. Also, Lundin says you need to pack a survival kit in your car and leave it there in case of any and all emergencies.

What should you put in a survival kit? First, Lundin says you are better off to make your own kit than to pay big prices for those sold in stores. Lundin says the absolute minimum items you need are: a water bottle filled to capacity and be sure it can be snapped shut; matches or a lighter and be sure it is stored in a waterproof container such as a plastic, zipped locked bag; a blanket; several large trash bags; enough food for 3 days (2 boxes of protein bars will meet this requirement and barely takes up any space); a small mirror for signaling; a knife; a flashlight or lantern; a whistle; a first-aid kit that contains band-aids, bandages, disinfectant cream, pain relievers such as aspirin or Tylenol; a small bottle of iodine; Pepto-Bismol tablets, and extra socks and comfortable shoes.

Lundin says to never rely solely on cell phones or computers as batteries will go down and many places are too remote to have cell phone towers. Lundin says we are way too dependent on modern technology and we need to develop a back-up plan.

Lundin says it is the responsibility of all parents to discuss the seriousness of going into a new environment with their children; things can turn deadly quickly. Lundin says to instruct your children as to proper behavior that is expected of them in the new setting. He says to never take children into a forest without placing a whistle around their necks and teach them how to signal in case they are in trouble. Also, teach children to never wander away from adults and to never stray away from paths or walkways.

Lundin says that survival situations usually begin after a series of several seemingly insignificant events. Flat tires, flash floods, taking the wrong turn, a sudden fall that results in a broken limb and various other scenarios are all situations that have happened to people we know. People have died less than a mile from safety due to fear and panic.

Experts agree, by taking a few hours to prepare the true essentials, you can experience the vacation of your dreams.

Cody Lundin is the star of the television show, Dual Survival, and has a new book: When All Hell Breaks Loose; Stuff You Need In Order to Survive When Disaster Strikes published by Gibbs Smith Publishers in Utah. It is available from