Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


April 2, 2012

Mrs. Roosevelt pays a visit to Pleasant Hill

CROSSVILLE — Franklin and Betty Parker of Pleasant Hill have been and are still extensive researchers and prolific writers. As teachers, librarians, researchers, professors, writers, editors, their combined careers led them to venues around the world and back again. Musing on this journey, they state, “After almost 18 years here, we realize that settling in Pleasant Hill brought us back to the area where we met and received our higher education, a wonderful homecoming.  We are four-driving hours from Berea College, Berea, KY, where we met in 1946 (married 1950) and a two-hour drive from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, where we attended graduate school.  Those colleges made possible all the opportunities we have enjoyed throughout our lives together.”

Their latest joint venture was their 17th yearly dialogue for the Pleasant Hill Book Review Group, which explored the life and influence of Eleanor Roosevelt following last year’s presentation on Franklin Roosevelt. They wanted to show Eleanor’s accomplishments and influence on FDR. Betty took on the persona of Eleanor as Frank fed her probing questions. Their popularity and acknowledged astuteness were reflected in the largest audience the Review group has ever had. Some of the books they have reviewed in this way were Thomas (Tip) O'Neill, Man of the House; Myles Horton; Abraham Flexner, Karen Armstrong; Arthur Miller, Timebends; Stephen Hawking, A History of Time; The Kennedys; and Albert Einstein (based on biography by Walter Isaacson). In 1991, they presented a dialogue on "Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher" for the Southwest Philosophy of Education Society in Texas.

Frank wrote and Betty edited his doctoral dissertation on George Peabody in 1956, which was defended, accepted, and later published by Vanderbilt University Press as George Peabody, a Biography, 1971.  In 1995 on the 200th anniversary of George Peabody’s birth, Frank’s updated version was republished with 12 illustrations. Their fascination with the largely forgotten founder of modern educational philanthropy, George Peabody, took them to London, changed their lives, and led them to 27 trips abroad.

Betty earned the Berea B.A. degree in 1950, and a M.A. degree from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1956. She taught high school and college English, reading and social studies; was secretary to two college presidents; served on regional and local executive boards of the American Friends Service Committee, League of Women Voters, and United Methodist Women.

A competitive Kappa Delta Pi (education honor society) Fellowship in International Education took them to Africa for eight months during 1957-58. The British south central African colonies of Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), and Nyasaland (later Malawi) had formed a multiracial federation. Frank's small book about their 1957-58 experience, African Development and Education in Southern Rhodesia, Ohio State University Press, 1960, led to Frank's being asked to contribute articles about Africa to encyclopedia yearbooks: Americana, World Book, Collier's, others, for over a decade. Frank emphasized more and more international education during his 40 years of teaching at the Universities of Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Northern Arizona and Western Carolina. He felt that teachers with intercultural-international understanding could help new student generations build a more peaceful world.  s longtime editor of the Comparative and International Education Society Newsletter, Frank learned of and publicized low-cost travel and international study opportunities for students and teachers.

To access 30+ of their recent articles in blog form, go to Do a Google search for Franklin and Betty J. Parker, TN and you will find numerous links to articles about them or written by them. Their list of publications would take many more columns. At ages 82 and 90, the Parkers, participate and lead exercise classes, swim at least 6 times a week, walk all over Pleasant Hill, are the neighborhood confidantes and “go to” people for information and caring concern. Frank recently has become a percussionist with the Pleasant Hill Ensemble, although he cannot read a note of music. They laugh about an incident which happened in early Nov. 2007: “A local, often seeing us walking arm in arm, picnic lunch bags in hand, shouted from his parked pickup: ‘Grandpa, are you holding her up, or is she holding you up?’ ‘We lean on each other’, Frank replied with a grin. Betty added: ‘If one falls, we both fall.’ Sixty-one years of a good idea.” 

Text Only
  • 8-8 counseling center-play with dolls.jpg Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years

    Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website,, and give it to the server.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

    July 24, 2014

  • Parkinson’s therapies help patients live big and loud

    Parkinson’s disease has famously affected the lives of celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. But whether a person with Parkinson’s is world famous or a next-door neighbor, new therapies are offering hope for a better quality of life.

    July 22, 2014

  • 8-5 CATS in Palace-Carole Jarboe Cullen - waterfall.jpg Local art event planned at CATS

    Plans are being made for an event sponsored by the CATS Gallery at the Palace Theatre, 72 South Main St., Crossville, Tuesday, Aug. 5, beginning at 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, music and an opportunity to view a performance painting by artist Chuck Jensen. A live auction of donated art pieces will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the opportunity to "Be a Cool Cat — Buy Local Art." There is free admission, but it is advisable to get a free ticket at the CATS Gallery in the middle section of the Crossville Mall, at the Palace Theatre or from any participating member of CATS. During the event, original art items including paintings, photographs, and jewelry will be offered for auction, such as this expressive waterfall painting by Carole Cullen.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 23, 2014)

    July 22, 2014

  • fair park.jpg Heritage demonstrators welcome

    Most of Americans today never stop to think how different our lives would have been several hundred years ago. How many times a day do we wash our hands, and do we ever realize when we take those hot showers and lather up, the long all-day process our ancestors had to go through just to make a bar of soap? Not to mention packing water to the house and heating it up over a wood fire just to have a bath and wash clothes. Times are changing faster than ever.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • pleasant hill ramblings.jpg Mathes restores a bit of Pleasant Hill's history

    Miss Alice Adshead, RN, created a “wilderness trail” through the woods just down the hill from Uplands Sanatorium, the first hospital in Cumberland County once located on Main St. in Pleasant Hill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • plateau gardening-hydrangeas5117.jpg Prune flowering shrubs: now or wait until February?

    Experts say, “Don’t prune woody-stemmed plants (shrubs, trees and some types of vines) after mid-August.” Do pay close attention to that advice. The purpose of this late-season pruning prohibition is to keep plants healthy.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • IMG_1850.jpg Burgess Falls offers a big payoff for a short hike

    At Burgess Falls, you can be out of your car and taking in the breathtaking view of the Falling Water River as it falls 136 feet in the third and final drop of the river with just a short walk through the woods.
    But even though the state park is close to civilization, this natural wonder retains its wild and scenic reputation.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 19 Links

  • 8-2 colonial dames.jpg Colonial Dames honors members with luncheon

    The John McKnitt Chapter Colonial Dames 17th Century held its May meeting at the home of Joyce Ernst. Those present were Sherry Sneed, Jessie Watts, Dot Brodhag, Kandy B. Smith, Lynn Constan, Donna Hamilton, Margaret Markum, Lana Davis, Sara Tripiciano, Jane Tavernier, Joyce Ernst, Kathy Wilson, Charlotte Reynolds, and Cheryl Chrobot. President Lana Davis welcomed the ladies and followed with the opening ritual.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo