Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Columns

November 22, 2006

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Reflections on Barnett and Warner

In the USA Weekend Edition for Nov. 3-5 there was a stunning picture of Crossville's Mandy Barnett on the entertainment page. The editor had received a question from a reader in Illinois about Mandy described by him as "one of Nashville's best-kept secrets" asking when her new CD of '40s and '50s music would be released. Barnett said she recorded and produced the CD herself in California last summer and it will be available next year. She credits her grandma with introducing her to big band music.

Another Crossville connection came to mind as I read a review of a new book written by Kentucky native Kristin Johabbsen. Ginseng Dream, the secret world of America's most valuable plant, covers the long history of this elusive wild plant that grows in the steep mountains of Appalachia. It has been exported mainly to China for over 300 years as a panacea for many ills.

I am convinced Crossville's Johnny E. Warner, owner of Warner Natural Herb business, knows all there is to know about ginseng. Six years ago I spent several hours with him at his business surrounded by umpteen shelves filled with a great variety of all-natural herb products. Nearby he has several large drying houses where he stores the many herbs he buys from as many as 5,000 gatherers.

Warner's education in nature's pharmacy began when he was only six years old. He tagged after his beloved grandfather during his walks on the mountain to gather sang, the common name for ginseng. Grandfather John Frank Warner passed on all his knowledge of the wild plants growing on the Plateau to his budding apprentice.

The Chinese call ginseng "ren shen" which translated means "shaped like a man" and the twisted root does stimulate the imagination to visualize a tiny man. Scientifically it is classified as

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Columns
  • veteran GARY'S WORLD: Thank our veterans this weekend A tremendous opportunity presents itself in our community this weekend — an opportunity to honor those who served in the Vietnam War. Personally, after attending last year's first Welcome Home celebration, I wouldn't want to miss this. It was an emotional event for both Vietnam veterans and ordinary citizens. It was a great way to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day in Tennessee, March 29.

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  • antique RANDOM THOUGHTS: "Antiques Roadshow" comes to Tennessee If you are one of the 10 million who watch each episode of the “Antiques Roadshow” mark your calendar. The three upcoming Mondays, March 30, April 6 and April 13, were all taped in Chattanooga last July.

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  • LION AND THE LAMB: An open letter to Sharon Baier I was happy to read your well-written article, printed in last week's Chronicle. It makes a strong case, in the story of Al and Jennifer, that "To make money, you have to spend money." That misguided couple thought that they ought to cut down on their purchase of supplies, to save money. They did so, week after week, until they lost their business.

    March 24, 2009

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Veterans storm the Hill When young men and women risk their lives and sacrifice both physical and mental health for their country, a grateful country should at least provide them with shelter, food, and health care. But there is a lot of hypocrisy between what some windbag says on Veterans Day and what the country actually does for veterans.

    March 24, 2009

  • child crying THEREFORE I AM: Kids stress out parents? Well, duh! This just in: According to an expert, children can add stress and strain to a marriage. In other news, further expert studies have indicated that the sky is in fact blue, Paris Hilton is a tad spoiled, peanut butter and chocolate taste great together, and the Middle East has issues. Thank goodness we have experts to tell us these things.

    March 23, 2009 1 Photo

  • shackles INSIDE THE FIRST AMENDMENT: With shekels come shackles When President Obama launched his faith-based initiative at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, he promised not only to sustain the Bush administration’s signature domestic program — but to expand it.

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  • loneranger THEREFORE I AM: Jim Croce and I will keep you safe and sound My philosophy of life is simple: When in doubt, follow the advice of a dead folk-rock star. I always found Jim Croce to be particularly handy in this capacity. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape. Don’t spit into the wind. Don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and regardless of how badly you may want to, do not, under any circumstances, mess around with Jim.

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  • STUMPTALK: Stimulating a war on prosperity and freedom Near Bush’s sunset, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernanke terrified the nation with “the sky’s falling and America is doomed” unless the government steps in with new regulations, institutional takeovers and massive lending.

    March 16, 2009

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Thoughts on bringing a recession to heel Responding to the recent full-throated baying of conservative “economic watchdogs,” I slogged into the swamp of their icon Adam Smith’s murky tome, “The Wealth of Nations,” to see if they had finally treed anything of value.

    March 10, 2009

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Reality Dim blue of early morning shines into the living room

    while you flip through television channels.

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