Bits of Stone
357 Maryville High seniors given sage advice from class of 50 years ago
The Maryville High senior class of 1962 has shared its experience and wisdom with the current senior class in the form of a booklet of 50 axioms which are good advice for the way to navigate the remainder of their life.
The first three axioms are:
• Good judgment comes from experience.
• The next five years may be the most important years in your life.
• Ask for advice and help, there are no dumb questions. For good measure the committee threw in 11 Bill Gates maxims for life’s lessons which probably were not learned in school.
Among those from the class of 1962 Reunion Committee who put the idea to work were Tim Park, Archie Anderson, Dr. Parks Hitch and Ann Talley Hitch, Clark Spangler, Clyde Peery and Kathryn Peery, Dwain Pesterfield, Earl Jones, Jodi McTeer Johnson, Judy Shahan Blackstock, Linda Culveyhouse Rogers, Dr. Louise Crawford Berry, Pam McCammon Davis, Sharon White McGill and David T. Black. The idea came from other publications of advice from elders, Black said.
Professor Emeritus Frank Thornburg has been visiting from Bradenton, Fla.
That Thornburg name will ring a bell for a large number of UT graduates, especially those who were enrolled in journalism courses.
Several days ago I met some of my family in Knoxville for dinner. While waiting to be seated, a man about my age came in and was seated some distance away. I said to my son, Neal, we know that man. I recognized his face, and Neal did too, but couldn’t match a name. Finally curiosity got the best of me and I encouraged Neal to go over to his table and introduce himself.
He did. The gentleman was Lt. Col. Frank B. Thornburg Jr., Professor Emeritus, of UT. Frank had just arrived from his Florida retirement home to visit the area a few days.
Both Neal and I had first met and last seen Frank 23 years ago in Spain. Neal was on duty as a member of security in the 134th Air Refueling Wing? I was covering the operation for The Daily Times and Frank was writing for a military magazine. The 134th was practicing refueling transits of the Atlantic. A year later Neal was back on deployment to Spain as part of a special operation, in training for missions the unit filled in the Iraq operation.
While there in 1989, our Air Guard escort was Lt. Col. Hooper Penuel, Tennessee Air National Guard public information officer from Nashville. During the long autumn days we were able to work in a short afternoon trip to visit the Rock of Gibraltar. Frank was looking healthy and it was fun to catch up on the missing 23 years!
New attack sub USS Delaware caught our attention, recalled childhood photograph
As regular readers know, I got interested in battleships when I was a child and wrote a section in Volume VI of “Snapshot of Blount County History” about Tennessee’s major ships and the nation’s battleships. My dad, A. H. Stone, served five years in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Most of his time was spent on the battleship USS Delaware from the Panama Canal to escorting ships to Norway.
One of the few photographs we had hanging on a wall in the living room was one Dad had of the Delaware. I was awed when he told me they had 1,300 men on the ship. That was larger than the crowds at the big rivalry football game between Maryville and Everett. On later battleships there were 3,000 men on board.
Battleships ruled seas for 50 years
Essentially a ship of the 1900 to 1950 era, our nation started battleship hulls BB-1 to BB-71 before replacing battleships with aircraft carriers. All but one battleship was named for a state and most were different, giving them a personality of their own. All of the original 48 states with the exception of Montana had a battleship named for it. Montana had two named for it but both were cancelled prior to construction. When one includes the second class battleships before the BB numbering for hulls began, Texas and Maine, both had two battleships named for them. States with two first class battleships included Indiana, Massachusetts, Iowa, Alabama, Wisconsin, Missouri, New Jersey, Mississippi and Idaho.
Only one battleship was not named for a state. By order of Congress, the Kearsarge (BB-5) was named for the famous Union sloop of war which on June 19, 1864, was sunk by the Confederate Cruiser Alabama off the coast of France. The Kearsarge name comes from a mountain located in Warner, New Hampshire.
The new attack sub hull, SS-791, is expected to be completed in 2018. It is one of the 377-foot long Virginia class of stealthy, fast-attack nuclear subs, with 12 launch tubes for tomahawk cruise missiles. It will have pump-jet propulsors rather than traditional bladed propellers to allow for quieter operation. It will be capable of deep water as well as “Non-traditional” submarine operations for “gathering intelligence and delivering Navy SEALS” on counter-terror missions.
Kings Mountain National Military Park recently in national park limelight
The spotlight was focused recently on the National Park Service’s Kings Mountain National Military Park, site of a famous Revolutionary War battle at the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. Located just south of the present Charlotte, N.C., many consider the battle the deciding factor in the 13 colonies winning their independence from Great Britain.
One must remember, not all colonists sought independence. Some were loyal to Great Britain.
The story behind the battle is that Col. John Sevier learned of the British Major Patrick Ferguson’s threat to those seeking freedom from Col. Isaac Shelby of Sullivan County who rode 40 miles on horseback in September 1780 to deliver the message. Ferguson had said that if the Overmountain Men from what became East Tennessee did not stop opposing the British, “he would “march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country waste with fire and sword.”
Overmountain Men take the offensive
The two decided they would take the offense before their families were harmed. They called on fellow leaders to meet at Sycamore Shoals (Elizabethton) on the Watauga River. Sevier persuaded the local treasurer of state funds to allow him to borrow $12,000 for ammunition and provisions, personally pledging to repay the money.
With 240 men carrying their long rifles, they began a three-week, 330-mile journey that would end on top of Kings Mountain. After riding through rain and snow, Sevier led his men into battle on Oct. 7, 1780, against Ferguson and 1,000 entrenched loyalists.
When Ferguson made his final desperate attempt to break through the line of Overmountain Men and ride off the mountain, seven rifle balls knocked Ferguson from his horse, killing him and securing a victory for the Overmountain Men. Sevier later became the first governor of Tennessee.
Dean Stone is editor of The Daily Times.