Saturday, June 29, 2013

Martha Rose Woodward chosen as representative by C SPAN Book TV in October 2012
Note time change after June 30

Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Regular Homespun Hobbies shows are 14 and l/2 minutes in length

SPECIAL--airing July 5 at 9:a.m. and July 10 at 10 a.m. Jack Neely speaks about the Civil War in Knoxville

Growing Food--July 6 8:45 PM ; July 9 9:30AM

East Tennessee Plant Swap--July 14 and 16

Reporter’s Photojourney 2012-2013--July 20 and July 23

History of Sunsphere--July 27 and July 30

Watermelon for Everyone--August 3 and August 6

No Spitting Watermelon Seeds -Reading August 10 and August 13

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ronnie Miller as Elvis beginning June 27

R&M Tribute Entertainment

Missy Miller, Business Manager & Owner

Ronnie Miller, Elvis Tribute Artist

(865) 684-6082

Smoky Mountain Brewery, Pigeon Forge, TN

2530 Parkway

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863-3224

(865) 868-1400

An Elvis Presley Tribute

Smoky Mountain Brewery, Pigeon Forge, TN is located at 2530 Parkway Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 in the Walden’s Landing (convenient to the Parkway/Wears Valley). Ronnie Miller, Elvis Tribute Artist will be performing on Thursday, June 27, 2013 and every other Thursday night thru August 29, 2013 from 9:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight (except for Thursday, July 11). Ronnie’s performance will consists of 3 sets of 45 minutes with wardrobe changes for each performance. The King of Rock n Roll will be memorialized in an honorable manner by way of tribute singing, music, and entertainment.

Smoky Mountain Brewery, Pigeon Forge has an award winning menu that consists of snacks & appetizers, subs & sandwiches, Brewhouse burgers, Italian selection, garden fresh salads, desserts, frozen drinks & Microbrewed beer. To find out more contact Smoky Mountain Brewery, Pigeon Forge, TN at (865) 868-1400.

Ronnie Miller will be starring in person as Elvis Presley concert style shows. Ronnie Miller is a multi-award winning Elvis Presley Tribute Artist and entertainer. Ronnie was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. Ronnie has been performing Elvis tributes for approximately 8 years. For more information about Ronnie and his Elvis tributes then call (865) 684-6082.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini dead at age 51: shocking and sad.

Fox with head stuck in jar runs to 2 men for help

Remember the story of the bear with his head stuck in a jar? This time it is a fox and the fox clearly runs toward the two men and remains calm when one man pulls the jar off the animal's head.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Northside Kiwanis Club's upcoming schedule of programs.

June 19 Jack Neely, speaker, Knoxville during the Civil War
June 26 Adam Alfrey, speaker, history of the Great Smoky Mountains, as seen through vintage postcards

. . 2013
Northside Hawker PROGRAMS

July 3 No Meeting, Foundry closed
July 10 Sarah Thompson, speaker, Tennessee Volley A&I Fair
July 17 Jake Mabe, speaker, History of Halls
July 24 Scott McNutt, speaker, Offbeat take on Knoxville politics
July 31 TBD, speaker, TBD


Correction of P.O. Box for Larry's book:
“When God Left America” is available from Performance Press, on and can be purchased from the writer at P.O. Box 5894, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37931 or by e mail at

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Latest book by Larry D. Perry, "When God Left America"

An oil painting by artist Bobbie Crews was used as the cover for this book.

For Immediate Release

Knoxville, Tennessee

June 2013

In his latest book, “When God Left America” Larry Perry details the numerous changes in American culture since the Pilgrims arrived in the 1600's all the way through 2013. 

This book details how America is failing and how to change it for the better. The text is controversial and thought provoking, but strongly supported by detailed research. All Americans interested in preserving the country will want to read this book.

The book includes chapters on: religious basis of our nation’s constitution, the roll of religion in education, attacks on education and school prayer, restriction on freedom of speech, enemies of the first amendment and much, much more.

“When God Left America” is available from Performance Press, on and can be purchased from the writer at P.O. Box 5194, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37931 or by e mail at


Monday, June 10, 2013

My TV show Homespun Hobbies

Memories of 1982 World's Fair showing at 9:30 PM June 15 and 18-9:00 AM

Memories of 1982 World's Fair, part 2-showing 9:30 PM June 22 and 25-9:00AM

Shopping Wisely-- showing at 9:30 PM June 30; July 2--9:30AM
Note time change after June 30 Saturdays 8:45 p.m. Tuesdays-9:30 a.m.

Growing Food--July 6 8:45 PM ; July 9 9:30AM

East Tennessee Plant Swap--July 14 and 16

Reporter’s Photojourney 2012-2013--July 20 and July 23

History of Sunsphere--July 27 and July 30

Watermelon for Everyone--August 3 and August 6

No Spitting Watermelon Seeds -Reading August 10 and August 13

Saturday, June 8, 2013

REMEMBER to watch CTV on channels 6 or 12: My show: Homespun Hobbies airs on Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. through June; Saturdays 8:45 p.m.; Tuesdays 9:30 a.m. beginning in July

New book by Larry Perry, "When God Left America"

For Immediate Release

Knoxville, Tennessee

June 8, 2013


Larry D. Perry

11464 Saga Lane

Suite 400
Knoxville, TN 37931


In his latest book, “When God Left America” Larry Perry details the changes in the American culture since the Pilgrims arrived in the 1600's all the way through 2013. He describes the on-going ways in which judges in the Judicial Branch of government are making laws from the bench without Congress or the legislatures. He highlights the outrageous acts of the US presidents who use executive orders to circumvent the U.S. Constitution. And notes the acts passed by Congress that resulted in removing Christianity/religion from the public and the effect these actions have had on the morals of the country.

Perry believes that these acts and actions have created the loss of a moral compass in America. Perry says, “The culture can be changed, but will require some ‘super glue’ work on the part of the public to bring back a moral compass to this country.”

This book details how America is failing and how to change it for the better. The text is controversial and thought provoking, but strongly supported by a lengthy end note section. All Americans interested in preserving the country will want to read this book.

Where was God at the shootings in Sandy Hook, Columbine, Ohio State University campus, Texas A & M campus, the Boston Marathon and other recent tragedies? Why can't a school teacher explain Christmas or Easter to the students? Why were the historical documents of the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule removed from schools and courthouses? What has happened to the morals of the country? If things continue, what can one expect in the future of America? How did all this happen and why is it happening? Can it be changed?

Larry Perry is: (1) an author of 28 books on a wide variety of subjects from

business to self help not to mention more than 400 magazine articles; (2) a former newspaper columnist whose column was carried in 90 newspapers around the country; (3) an adjunct professor at UT and UCLA and a frequent guest speaker at other colleges and universities around the country; (4) a businessman with business interests in the US as well as the Far East; (5) an expert of international telecommunications and who has testified before Congress on several occasions; (6) a former Higher Education Commissioner for the State of Tennessee; (7) a world traveler who has visited some 117 countries; (8) a licensed professional engineer in several states; (9) a licensed attorney; and, in his spare time, (10) a prize wining nature and wildlife photographer whose images have been seen in some 11 magazines with 3 cover shots. He also writes

internet stories Letters from Larry that are routinely read by some 248,000 readers around the world.


Talk of the Town for June 7, 2013 (published in the Knoxville Journal Newspaper)

Knoxville is blessed with an abundance of thrift stores. Goodwill, KARM, Am-vets, American Council for the Blind, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, and literally hundreds of others.

As Journal readers know, there is no other person in the city who appreciates the thrift store industry as much as I do. I have devoted many articles describing the attributes of these area stores. However, over the last year, I have been hearing rumors and people have called and talked to me and sent e mails about situations involving pricing on specific items in some of these stores. When the Letter to the Editor on this topic arrived , I decided to visit a few of the stores and see what I could find out. Keep in mind that I would prefer to be able to report about all the great things going on, but this will not be that kind of article.

Let's remember, we are taking about thrift stores. The items in these stores have been donated which means the stores received them for free. Oh sure, I get it, they have to pay rent and expenses, but they also use hundreds of volunteers and are known for paying the lowest of wages to their workers. Except, you need to know, the folks working in the administrative offices are earning high salaries. The directors of some of these agencies are being paid well over $150,000.

Also remember, people shop at thrift stores for a few main reasons. (1) They cannot afford to shop anywhere else. The values they get at a thrift store allow them to put shoes on their children and clothes on their backs. (2) They are looking for collectibles or they just enjoy searching through junk. And (3) Dealers are looking to buy low and resell to earn an income for themselves.

Generally, prices in most thrift stores appear to be holding at relatively low places, but everything has gone up in recent months. From what I can tell from my own research and from what people tell me who are long-time thrift store shoppers, Goodwill remains the king of low prices. For one thing, Goodwill holds the end of the month l/2 Off Sale in all of their locations. Teen Challenge has low prices, especially with children's clothing and shoes. American Council for the Blind's prices are acceptable and they do offer discounts for seniors and have a store policy of marking down items that do not sell. They have been known to bargain with customers on higher prices items, too, by giving a 10% discount to help the deal go through. The prices at Am-vets are about what you would expect, but they do mark some specialty items higher than acceptable for their customers.

Now for the bad news. All KARM stores and the Habitat for Humanity Restore must have been taken over by someone who thinks they are on Madison Avenue in New York because the pricing of their inventories have gone through the roof. In order to do research, I visited several locations for KARM and found the same thing to be true in all stores. The prices are outrageous and are even higher than retail. I had been told to take a special look at the prices on women's shoes. I just had to laugh when I saw USED shoes marked at $15, $20, and $30 per pair. Shoes that had stains and were of no special name brand, were priced higher than shoes I could buy at Old Navy, Wal-mart, or J.C. Penny's. Art work was another area in which the prices were so high it was comical. The kinds of pictures and paintings you might purchase to hang behind a sofa or bed were over $100. Really? Are the people putting prices of these items nuts? (Yes) I saw dresses for $15; $22; $29 and even higher. Most furniture items in their stores are prices about 25% too high.

At one KARM store, I questioned the price of a book on tape. It was marked at $12, while others on the same shelf were $3. The clerk became very agitated with me and said that they have a lady who does pricing who goes by prices on the internet. So, I pulled out my cell phone and looked up the price and it was $2. She seemed shocked that I knew how to use the internet.

There are two other things that drive folks nuts about KARM. One is that they play gospel music and secondly, they play it too loudly. By the way, KARM advertises on Craigslist that they are looking for workers who are "Christians who love the Lord." Isn't that discrimination? It should not matter what a person's religion is, if they can do the job.

All in all KARM’s prices are way too high and some of their workers display disrespectful attitudes towards their customers.

Whoever is running Habitat for Humanity Restore seems to have lost his/her mind. I visited their store for three weeks in a row to make sure I was getting a clear understanding of their prices. I am still in shock. I keep thinking, these items are USED and they are priced higher than for new, retail items.

Doors and windows that should be priced no higher than $20 were $75 to $150. A builder told me he can buy a window at Home Depot and pay for it to be installed for less than $150. Lighting fixtures that should cost no more than $10 to $15 were priced at $85 to $200. Rugs that were not even clean at $35 to $50. I could go on and on.

I noticed that the store was empty and there used to be a steady stream of customers before the pricing maniac took control. I also noticed that items that were on the shelves the first week I visited were still there on my third visit.


I’d like to recommend to KARM and to Habitat for Humanity Restore that they stop the greed and fire the folks who are setting the prices. High prices will be the downfall of any thrift store. Remember, you got the donations for free. Your customers know that and resent being gouged.

Eulogy given for my friend, Phyllis Garrison

Written and spoken at her funeral by her brother-in-law, Bill Reach (Charlie's sister's husband)

My earliest memory of Phyllis goes back more than 50 years. Lila and I were high school sweethearts and Phyllis and Charles were just married. I remember well how happy they were, how much in love they were. At that moment they seemed to have it all. I hoped that one day Lila and I would be able to follow in their footsteps.

A few years passed and when I returned from the Navy, some things had changed . . . . Babies had arrived, and our families were growing. But Phyllis and Charlie still had it all -- now even more. Our families stayed close over the years. Our children grew up together, loving each other, more like brothers and sisters than cousins.

We visited often and would send the kids to another room to play games while we had a drink or two and sat around the kitchen table discussing how things used to be back in the hills of Southwest Virginia. Phyllis, having grown up on a farm in Tennessee, was a little bit of an outsider in these conversations. She often found these lengthy recollections about coal mines and Big Stone Gap less than exciting. But if Charlie B. wanted to talk about it, Phyllis would listen, intently trying to keep straight who was who and where was where. She was abundantly blessed with patience and tolerance.

I will remember Phyllis as always lively, warm and happy. In terms of experience, travel and sophistication, she came a long way from farm fields of East Tennessee, acquiring the ability to be at ease in any place and with anybody.

She devoted a good part of her life to teaching young children, and she must have been a wonderful teacher and a great role model with whom her students could identify.

Although well educated, well traveled and well to do, I always saw something in Phyllis that was carefree, happy and uncomplicated . . . she always seemed to radiate a little bit of the innocence and love for life that one would see in a happy child. She lived, it seemed to me, in a wonderful world somewhere between sophisticated lady and cheerful third-grader.

These qualities were not only suited to her profession as a teacher, but even more to her role as wife, mother and grandmother. Charlie, Joe and David were the center of her life. Her patience with them was endless and her love for them was boundless. As the family grew with Stacey, Annette, Katie, Alex and Jake, so did her love for them. And that love, I firmly believe, molded this family into the wonderful people they are today. I suppose when you grow up surrounded by so much love things have to turn out right.

All one can do at a time like this is to share what is in his heart and hope that it brings some comfort in our time of grieving. It is so hard to put things in perspective when we seem to have no control. It is so hard to accept the inevitable, natural course of events.

But the time has come to say goodbye. Goodbye to a very special person whose spirit was as free and happy as the countless children she shaped over years, to one whose love for her family will continue to glow in their hearts and on their faces.

That innocent, happy laugh has gone silent. The sparkle in her eye has given way to sleep. The warmth of her person is now just an ember that glows in our memory. We will terribly miss our Mom, our Grandma Phyllis, our sister and our friend.

How difficult it is to say goodbye . . . and how true it is that time flies by . . . and as it does, so many memories flood the mind. It seems only yesterday, when young love bloomed like the flowers of spring and heaven smiled on all of us who were then so young. Dreams were realized, jobs were worked; sweethearts were wed and babies were born. It was our time. We talked and sang; we walked in the sun; we ate and drank and laughed and loved. We lived life to fullest.

There were many of us then. Death was a stranger from far away who seldom came to call.

And the future … the future stretched out ahead of us like an endless highway to any place we might wish to go.

But the years flew by. That dark stranger from far away began to seek us out more and more. We became fewer and fewer. We became older and older. Dreams became memories; brides became widows; our children had children of their own and that endless road . . . that endless road to any place now stretches much further behind us than ahead.

We are saying goodbye to our loved one, the happy one, the carefree one, the one with the childish air of innocence. We were not ready, nor could we ever have been prepared for this.

At times like this, we simply do what we must do. We have no choice. Our lives are full of choices, except for the beginning of life and the end of life. Those choices are made for us and we can only accept them. There is nothing we can do to change that. There is nothing we can do to turn back the clock.

Though written almost a thousand years ago, these famous poetic lines still ring true:

"The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on.
Not all your piety nor all your wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash away one word of it."

As time runs out for each of us, what remains is the memory of how we lived our life. Did we make the most of the time we had? Did we make the right choices? Did we enrich the lives of those we lived with?

Phyllis did all this . . . with family she nurtured, the students she taught and the friends she cheered. Yes, with her life, we shall never wish to cancel half a line nor wash away one word of it. So, Phyllis, Mom Grandma Sister Friend, go now and rest in peace beside the love of your life. You had it all and you made the most of it.
Bill Reach May 31, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

East Tennessee Plant Swap

May 18 Plant Swap Bigger and Maybe Better

With more people than ever in attendance, the 5th year of the East Tennessee Plant Swap was bigger and maybe even better. The event held on May 18 at the large pavilion in Tyson Park from 9:30 a.m. until around 2 drew approximately 45 to 50 people as those who love gardening gathered to share a wide variety of plants. Irises, lilies, yarrow, forsythia, lilac, aloe, wisteria, cannas, Japanese maple trees, begonias, and much, much more were traded.

The plant swap was started by a group of plant enthusiast who wanted to find an inexpensive way to increase flowers, trees, shrubs and vegetables in their gardens. They also wanted to share information and help first-time gardeners and those on a tight budget. They have met those goals and more.

The swap is entirely free, but it does cost the coordinators a little to reserve the park and pay for hosting services for the website. A donation of two or three dollars per person, with a maximum of five dollars per family is requested, but not required, to help cover these expenses.

Rules for the East Tennessee Plant Swap are simple: No alcoholic beverages are allowed.

Bringing pets is discouraged, but is allowed if you keep them on a leash and clean up after them. Children, other family members, and friends are always welcome.

No selling or commercial activity is permitted. (No money allowed) Prearranged swaps are welcome and are posted on the forum at their web site Freebies/giveaways are at the digression of the attendees and should never be requested, but attendees are always generous If you have special plants that you're saving for someone or have swaps previously set up, please make sure these are clearly marked or separated in some way so that no one walks off with them by accident. Plan to 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, and gardening related art are all welcome. Some swappers who did not yet have plants to share have brought such garden-related items as magazines, fresh hen and duck eggs and wind chimes to swap. If you have made arrangements for pre-swapping, please pre-label your plants so that the recipient will know what he/she is getting.

Pot luck lunch this year was especially good. There was not so much as a spoonful left of the fresh strawberry cake and the chicken salad croissant sandwiches and hamburger sliders were awesome. Trays of fresh vegetables, sliced fruits, cheeses, cakes, pies, cookies, and cold drinks were spread out and shared over discussions of plants and gardening ideas.

One of the organizers and web master for the group, Brandon, said, “We had a wonderful swap. I estimated 40-45 people in attendance, but others said it was closer to 50. We had quite a few come late and many left before the pot-luck lunch (they missed some really good food).

The morning, here in Knoxville, started out with rain. But, by setup time, the rain was gone. Most of us set up under the large pavilion, but a few took advantage of an uncovered pad near the pavilion. The rain didn't begin again until everyone had plenty of time to get home and unpack.

I brought a full pick-up truck load of plants and managed to find homes for every single one!!!!!! My goal was to come back with as few plants as possible, but I just couldn't say no to about a quarter of a truck load. Many of the plants I got were rare and unusual. I also got some tools and a awesomely gorgeous stepping stone.

Thanks so much to everyone that came and made the swap such a success. I heard many participants expressing their satisfaction with the plants they found and with the event, in general. We were pleased to see several new faces and happy they found out about our event.”

East Tennessee Plant Swap will meet again in the Fall (probably October) of 2013. Check their website for the announcement of the date.






Schedule for Homespun Hobbies:

Ducks--June 8-9:30 PM June 11-9:00 AM

Memories of 1982 World's Fair showing at 9:30 PM June 15 and 18-9:00 AM

Memories of 1982 World's Fair, part 2-showing 9:30 PM June 22 and 25-9:00AM

Shopping Wisely-- showing at 9:30 PM June 30; July 2--9:30AM
note time change after June 30  Saturdays 8:45 p.m. Tuesdays-9:30 a.m.

Growing Food--July 6; July 9

East Tennessee Plant Swap--July 14 and 16

The shows will repeat in this order the following 6 weeks.

Be sure to watch my TV Show, Homespun Hobbies, airing on Community Television on Tues. at 9:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 8:45 p.m.