Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


May 23, 2014

Mitchell’s latest book chronicles hometown happenings

CROSSVILLE — Indigenous is the third publication by Pleasant Hill poet and writer Jym Mitchell. He tells the stories that happened in the area where he grew up, but they could well have happened anywhere. His prose and poetry have universal appeal.

Mitchell stated, “As in my two previous books, some of these poems and stories, are based on real people and occurrences, while others are entirely fictional.”

Even so, Pleasant Hill natives feel they know the people who lived them. Fans and followers of Mitchell’s work will be able to purchase his latest book at a book signing sponsored by the Pleasant Hill Writers’ Group in the Pleasant Hill Community House on Friday, May 30, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. He will also read selections at the open mic poetry reading Wednesday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Artisans of Tennessee Studio Art Gallery inside the Crossville Mall at 228 Interstate Dr.

Mitchell has written poetry and short stories since junior high school. His first collection of poems, Dilemmas, was published in 2011 and his anthology, Simple Dreams, in 2012. Sherdie Kemmer Mitchell and her husband, Herman Eugene Mitchell Sr., were the parents of six sons and two daughters, all of whom still live in the Pleasant Hill area except David, who lives in Indiana, and Herman Mitchell Jr., who died in 1978. Mitchell Sr., before he passed away, broke horses and raised cattle on 96 acres of land on Lake Rd., as well as tending the Uplands water plant.

Mitchell’s photograph inside the front cover was taken by Veronica Fay in front of the abandoned water plant. The cover photographs are of the Fletcher/Munson cabin and Dr. May Cravath Wharton’s lakeside bench. The reconstructed arch pictured here was originally commissioned by nurse Alice Adshead and was the site of the wedding of Virginia Phipps and Denton Cole in 1936. These historic relics still exist in Pleasant Hill and would have their own stories to tell if they could.

This collection includes poetry and prose in myriad forms giving the reader glimpses into the lives of characters — sometimes sad, sometimes playful, but always meaningful. His writings are peopled with those who have passed on such as Dr. May, Ray Page (Polly Page’s husband), Sherry Treadway Smith (Smith’s store), teachers Josephine Martin and Jim England, his brother Herman Jr., his mother Sherdie, his father Herman Sr., Roger Knight, Ruth Bohrer and Belle Gunness. Some are family members, school classmates or more recently acquired friends.

Several of the selections end with a named dedication, which no doubt pleases the recipient. Mitchell’s favorite selection is “Significant Other.” The one most people seem to relate to the most is “Terror” about his 2 1/2-pound Schnauzer. One of Mitchell’s most heartrending poems is “Job Well Done.”This is about a mailbox that stood by his Grandma Kemmer’s house in Grassy Cove. His mother brought it to Pleasant Hill, where it has stood across from the family ranch/home for 55 years.

Mitchell describes the messages of hope and anticipation that have passed through its premises. Letters from girls in boarding school, boys in the service, letters from movie stars, box top prizes, “And delivered to us the world.” It has survived attacks by baseball bats, cars, animals and most recently smashed again by joy riding youth. Although rusty and dented he wouldn’t dream of replacing it.

Although Mitchell is a quiet, rather retiring man, he has read some of his work aloud at the Pleaseant Hill Writers’ Group and other events. He was asked to read his poem, “Ghastly Dream” from Dilemmas at the Upper Cumberland Jewish Community’s Day of Remembrance Ceremony in Cookeville. He has participated in the open mic presentations at the Shanks Center and with the Invisible Poets at the Palace Theatre. His books can be found at Pioneer Hall Museum in Pleasant Hill, the Homestead Tower Museum, and Duplicate, 2193 N Main St., #101 in Crossville. The Pleasant Hill Community House where Mitchell will be signing books on May 30 is on Main St. across from the Pleasant Hill Post Office. You may contact Mitchell at 277-3427 as he welcomes your questions or comments.

This week in Pleasant Hill:

Thursday, May 29 — the Count of Monte Cristo by Will Rabert at 9 a.m. at Wharton’s Dougherty Home and 10 a.m. in Fletcher House. Call 248-0021.

Friday, May 30 — Pioneer Loop, Cumberland Mountain State Park Hike. Meet at 10 a.m. in the Pleasant Hill Community Church parking lot at Main and Church Sts. Call 277-3518, ext 103.

Friday, May 30 — Benefit for Sherry McCloud, LPN. Spaghetti dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pleasant Hill Community House, Main and Church Sts. Call 277-3344 or 787-4217.

Friday, May 30 — Talk by author Jeanette Keith. Potluck at 5:30 p.m. and program at 6:30 p.m. in Adshead Hall of Fletcher House. Call 248-3165.

Text Only
  • 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

  • J & J Show Best of Show.jpg Art Guild announces winners from Judged and Juried Show

    On June 6, the Art Guild at Fairfield Glade held a reception to announce the winners of the Judged and Juried Fine Arts Show. The pieces were judged by Marcia Goldenstein of Knoxville. Stonehaus Winery provided refreshments for the occasion.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-1 Celtic Circle.jpg Celtic Circle donates to ACPL

    Celtic Circle, a local group of Americans celebrating their Celtic heritage, recently donated a subscription for Scotland Magazine to the Art Circle Public Library and to the Homestead Elementary School library. Pictured, left to right, are Barbara Nugent, originally from Yorkshire, England; Susie Randleman, ACPL director; and Catherine Stewart Munkelwitz from Inverness, Scotland. Celtic Circle will host a program titled "Celtic Sampler" at ACPL on Friday, Aug. 1 beginning at noon. Entertainment includes great Highland bagpipe, bodhran, harp, Irish step dancing, both Scottish and Irish songs, Gaelic spoken and sung, tartan weaving and Celtic Children's Corner with crafts.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo