AN EDUCATION CELEBRATION
School is back in session with anniversary celebrations on the calendars of both school systems. So education
is naturally our theme. It’s a little different for me this year with my oldest headed off to college, but thank
goodness, I still have one daughter at home to pack lunches for and head out to ballgames to cheer.
In honor of the Centennial of the Paris Special School District (PSSD), Shannon McFarlin brings us heart-warming profiles about two long-time PSSD educators. She has also compiled an interesting “Did You Know?” timeline of the PSSD’s last century. If you’re like me, you may have had never known these fascinating tidbits.
Of course, PSSD is not the only one celebrating an anniversary. Henry County High School is 50-years old this fall. We invite you to take a walk down Memory Lane and to also check out the events that will be taking place to mark this milestone.
In keeping with the education theme, we learn about a children’s book author who will be working with Paris Elementary and Rhea School students courtesy of the Paris-Henry County Arts Council. The council recently received a grant from an organization whose mission is to advance Southern vitality through the arts.
If you’ve never been bitten by the genealogy bug, look out! Genealogy buff, Barry Hart is about to take you to school. Not only that, he wants you to call “the teacher” with questions.
Susan Jones and John Nichols finally made it out to the Homeplace 1850s for a scary night of food and fun.
Even color, sound and downtown fun are in the curriculum with articles from Garden Guru John Watkins’ piece on autumn leaves, Bill Neese’s take on radio history and Kathy Ray’s info on fabulous fall festivals.
There’s plenty more in this issue from George Combs’ farewell tour, to Helen Roberts-Niemi’s unique and poignant job, to the story of Colonel William Travis.
Happy fall, y’all! Have fun and enjoy PARIS! in Autumn!
REMINISCENCE | Discovery Through Genealogy
By Barry HartWhat do Ogden Nash, Mark Twain, and I have in common? We are in the same family tree! I began researching
my family history 15 years ago, and I haven’t looked back, well, except when I looked back in history.>>>>
BACK IN THE DAY | Traveling Music
By Bill NeeseI was putting my grandson in his car seat in my daughter’s car when he unfolded the little video screen from the back of the headrest. After they left, it caused me to think about how folks like to have music with them when they travel and how the music available to the traveler has changed within my memory. >>>>
AROUND OUR TOWN | It's Festive! It's Fun! It's Fall, Y'all!
By Kathy RayIn Paris, there is a time for all seasons. FALL is the season between summer and winter when temperatures
start to gradually cool down. Fall is a FESTIVE time of year in Paris. There are so many FUN things to do in Downtown Paris. >>>>
SPOTLIGHT | George Combs Jr. - His Farewell Tour
By Shannon McFarlin
George Combs Jr. is on his ‘farewell tour’, leading to his retirement in October after 44 years working for the
Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and he’s having a blast.>>>>
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | Author In The SchoolsThe story in Ernestine’s Milky Way came to the author Kerry Madden-Lunsford after hearing her friend and neighbor talk about growing up in the Smoky Mountains in the early 1900s. Kerry’s imagination added new details and her publisher paired the story with the beautifully lush illustrations of Emily Sutton. >>>>
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT | Kindergarten Memories
By Shannon McFarlinAlice Williams’ importance to the Paris Special Schools District, and the Paris community as a whole, cannot be overstated. She was the first African-American teacher to be hired at the Paris Schools and the first African-American kindergarten teacher in the state of Tennessee – in the first integrated kindergarten subsidized by the state board of education. >>>>
FEATURE | 100th Anniversary of Paris Special School DistrictDid you know that in its early days, the Atkins-Porter School had no kitchen and meals were transported there
from Lee School everyday? That young people in Paris and Henry County were treated to classical education from a wide variety of foreign noblemen – at the same time that wooden sidewalks were used to get around the downtown area? >>>>
FEATURE | No Responders Left Behind
By Shannon McFarlinHelen Roberts-Niemi of Cottage Grove feels strongly about what she does. “It’s my job but more importantly, it’s
my passion.” >>>>
FACES & PLACES | People and Events About TownDon’t miss this fun section chock full of fun, education, music and every good thing in Paris and Henry County. >>>>
A COUPLE OF TRAVELERS | Fortunes, Hot Cider & Scary Tales
By John Nichols & Susan Jones
The “Travelers” had been meaning to go to the Homeplace at Land Between the Lakes (LBL) for Snap Apple Night for more than a decade – which is embarrassing. It’s less than an hour drive, and we love Halloween, so last October we made it happen. >>>>
IN THE GARDEN | Colors of Autumn
By John WatkinsAh, Fall. The time of year when the weeds stop growing and the mowers stop mowing. A time to catch your breath and take in the beautiful displays of color that mother nature provides us free of charge. While fall colors seem to magically appear this time of year, there is a little science behind just why we get them. >>>>
WHEN BULLETS FLEW | Colonel William "Buck" Travis
By Larry Ray
Henry County furnished eight Confederate colonels during the Civil War and one of them was William E. “Buck” Travis. The others were C.D. Venable, J.J. Lamb, E. Fitzgerald, J.M. Clark, Jonathan Dawson, J.D. Porter, and
William C. Swor. (The stories of J.D. Porter, Jonathan Dawson, and William Swor have previously been published.) >>>>
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