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Friends of the Archives helps us discover our roots

Katherine Scoggins • Updated Nov 8, 2018 at 11:15 AM

The Toy Reid Employee Center was alive with some of the most beautiful and well-known classical music as the Symphony of the Mountains performed “Brass to Brahms” featuring guest soloists Christina Bouey (violin) and Steven Doane (violoncello). It was a beautiful concert, with several pieces of very familiar melodies. Afterwards, many of the patrons joined the reception upstairs: Mrs. Dorman Stout, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Allen, Ms. Nancy Robertson, Dr.and Mrs. Art Ellis, Dr. George Testerman, Mrs. Margaret Bays, Dr. Lenita Thibault, Mrs. Karen Mills, Mr. and Mrs John Singleton, Dr. and Mrs. David Ginn, Mr. Charles Webb, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Lugo and children Natalie, Jonathan, David and Annalies Lugo.

The afternoon of October 23 sounded alarms, marching feet and chants as New Vision Youth, police cars, and sign-carrying “protesters” from various community groups walked the streets brandishing signs urging youth and adults alike to “STOP Smoking” and “Drink Water, Not Beer” during the 19th Annual Red Ribbon March. An event to raise awareness about healthy habits, the event brings a variety of groups together including KHRA, Girls Inc., Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Riverview Boys & Girls Club, and South Central Kingsport Community Development.

Meanwhile, in the Douglass Room of the V.O. Dobbins Building, a large group of Kingsport and Riverview Citizens gathered with the Friends of the Archives to hear Calvin Sneed give a fascinating history of the Riverview Community, from the early days through desegregation. There were many in attendance who had never heard the stories, seen the buildings, heard the voices or seen the smiling faces that lived in the houses and businesses that occupied the yards and apartment buildings practically next door to where they were currently sitting. By the end of the evening, everyone in the room had seen the old homes and buildings, the swimming pools, restaurants, hot dog stands, churches, and sidewalks that the families knew so well. The pictures were extremely well preserved, some of the voices sounded as though they came directly from a person’s mouth. The history covered all the bases: the good and the not-so-good. But throughout, Calvin Sneed’s wonderful title resonated in the room: “Riverview: A City Within the Model City.” After Calvin concluded his presentation, there was some discussion about possibly giving the lecture and showing the documentary again to larger groups of people, possibly at the Higher Education Center. So, if you missed the chance to hear this wonderful history, you may have another shot. Stay tuned.

Sharon Brown, Friends of the Archives board president, thanked all who were in attendance and explained a little about the Archives housed in the Kingsport Public Library, how to access them, how to use them, and how to help make the Archives grow, particularly what is needed to strengthen existing archives and how our community can help.

Earlier in the month, I attended an annual meeting of the Food Insecurity Task Force for Kingsport. This group of individuals gets together representing food pantries and feeding programs, to discuss changes in commodities and government programs, emerging issues, and distribution sites. It is amazing how much has changed and how much the Task Force has grown over the years. The number of agencies represented and number of individuals in attendance was amazing! We talked about food at schools, food at community kitchens, food through community gardens, and food through agencies, such as Oasis for Women, Kitchen of HOPE, various churches’ food pantries and feeding programs. We talked about hunger, food, accessing food and preparing food. The Task Force passed around a 2-page handout that listed all of the known food banks and feeding programs in the Greater Kingsport area. This was compiled by the Task Force, with the help of some interns and many individuals throughout the community. Because the list is only as good as its information, this list goes through periodic updates to ensure timely information. The list is once again being updated and will hopefully be completed by the end of October. You can access the most up-to-date information by logging on to www.feedkingsport.org.

Here’s a look at just a few of things coming up where I hope to see you “out and about:”

Nov. 13: Girls, Inc.’s Thanksgiving Dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m. Extended families of Girls, Inc., participants can enjoy turkey, ham and all the fixins, plus delicious desserts.

Nov. 16: Hoedown for Contact 211 of Northeast Tennessee featuring food, music, dancing, games and a silent auction will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16, at The Barn at Cate Famiy Farm, 408 Holston Drive, Blountville. Tickets are $50. Castual dress; cowboy boots and jeans welcome. Visit www.eventbrite.com or www.facebook.com/contact211ofNETN.

Nov. 17: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, located on the corner of Watauga and Ravine, will hold its annual Bazaar from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Nov. 17, with lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Proceeds go to St. Paul’s Food Pantry, Laundry Love, Dayschool Scholarships, and Youth Mission Trips. St. Paul’s also “adopts” the Oncology Floor (W3) at Wellmont and provides Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 8 for patients, family members and staff.

Nov. 22: First Baptist Church will host a community wide Thanksgiving dinner in the Fellowship Hall from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day for anyone desiring fellowship and a wonderful, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Bags of fruit will also be given out to take home.

Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine. Email her at [email protected]

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