Jul 13 2009
07:03 am

By Ray Collett

Our friend Chester Taylor, (Class of 1960) sends me a much appreciated email quite often. He is asking if there has been any talk about the class of 1960 having a 50 year reunion next year. Thomas Wicks is also inquiring. If anyone starts coordinating one, I will be glad to share my email list with them, just let me know.
Chester and his wife Virginia (East) went to a family reunion the day after our RHS reunion and he said it was a real good one. No fights and everyone is still on speaking terms, so it must have been a good one. Chester also was asking about the old "calaboose" in Rockwood. It is quite a landmark, only two like it in Tn. A drive sure needs to get underway to restore and preserve it before it falls into ruins or is torn down the way our old Railroad Depots and other historical buildings have been. Once they are gone......Oh Well.
Years ago, Chester's brother was trying to break the lock off the door to get his friend out one night. The cop lived upstairs over Bilbrey's or one of the businesses. He was awakened by all of the pounding and banging and went down to see what all the fuss was about. When he saw what was happening, he just opened the door for him and said, " I have caught a lot of people trying to break out of here, but you are the first one I know of that wants to break in, so I will help you." Don't know how long he was in there but it was at least overnight....Only in Rockwood....Thanks Chester
While we are talking about Chester and Virginia, here is another story I would like to share.....Again, this is from Chester Taylor (Class of 1960)
Ray, here is a little story of something that got me in trouble, just once though.
Virginia and I have been married for 48 years this past May 28, I wonder how it has lasted so long. I think she just might be able to take a few jokes along the way. When we were dating back in the late 1950's, I took a green persimmon to her house and told her it was a crab apple. I told her, I bet she could not take a big bight of it and chew it up without making a face. Well, she took a big bite and began to chew. After a few chews she spit it out and said, "There, I did it." Then it hit her. Now if you have never tried to eat a green persimmon, take some advice and DON'T.. First of all, it is like sticking a shop vacuum in your mouth with it turned on super high, plus all of the moisture seems to disappear from your mouth. She was puckered up for a long time, (just right for kissing) but that was out of the question. She was too mad to try that on her for awhile. She could not even spit for an hour or so. She never fell for that one again. I still can't get her to try a crab apple, even if she could pick it off the tree. Persimmons are really good when they are ripe, but NEVER,NEVER,NEVER try a green one.......Chester

Here is the story about Virginia and her driving test. I hope thing might be a little different today.

Virginia and I dated all through high school. We started dating when she was a freshman. Over that time I taught her how to drive.
While I was in Puerto Rico she had her best friend Carolyn Easter take her to Kingston to take her driving test. Carolyn drove there, parked and they went in side the court house for her to take the written test. Following that part of the test the policeman, Virginia, and Carolyn came out to the car. Carolyn got in and backed the car out of the parking place. The policeman and Virginia got?)
She could not park, and I had tried to get her to let me show her how to park many times while teaching her to drive and she was not having any part of the parking plans I was making. Looks like she did not have to worry.
Not too long after she got her license she rear ended the constable. No ticket!!
She took the car (a 57 Chevy) to the garage and had it fixed. When I got home on leave a few months later she picked me up at the Grey Hound bus station on Gateway. When I was getting into the car I saw a really deep scratch on the right front fender. I told her I thought she had gotten the car fixed, when she said she had I told her we were taking it back to the garage and they were going to finish the job they had not completed. At this time she told me she had another wreck, she had torn the back bumper off a wrecker truck that she was trying to pass on the mountain road. They were pulling a vehicle back onto the road from a really deep hollow. The man told her to go on past the truck, as she did she caught the bumper with her fender and pulled it partway off the truck. She said she was afraid to tell them because they were already mad so she just kept going. All that teaching just going to waste.
I wonder if they still give that kind of driving test today. Probably not!!!


Thanks a lot Chester and Virginia for the emails. It is a lot of fun sharing our "memories" with friends isn't it.... Come on Readers, send some email for our column, my research is running dry....Books Volume 1 and Volume 2 are still available, just stop by "Shack's", Gail Score's "Western Apparel", "Those Were The Days Antiques," Yonder Hollow" or David Webb's "RockyTop General Store in South Harriman. Or call me at (865)-354-7680 Until next week, keep the emails coming, .......Ray

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.