In this column on the first day of February, I included a word that was new to me. It was skijoring, a sport popular in Vermont. I wrote, "Probably it will not become a favorite in the Volunteer State for lack of ice and snow."

Ten days later it was a shock to see this headline in the sport pages of the Chattanooga paper, "Skijoring teamwork can be fun." Business columnist and adjunct professor at UTC John Riddell wrote of his wife's adventures with the sport. She was a former member of the U.S. national ski team and during a trip to Colorado she saw someone skijoring. Back in Chattanooga, she and her dog enrolled in a class with 15 other dogs and owners to learn the basics. So I was wrong. Some Tennesseans do enjoy the sport!

My daughter added another new word to my vocabulary after I told her how often incidents like the one just given happen in my writing life. She suggested it is synchronism, defined as indicating parallel existence or occurrence of two or more events that occurred at different times. A simpler term might be coincidence, an accidental sequence of events that appear to have a casual relationship.

Whatever term is used the same set of circumstances can be found in history. I was visiting Washington, DC, when the Star Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem, was about to be taken down for extensive repairs. I made it a point to get to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to see this historic symbol. On that trip I did not know that a second important flag hanging beside the huge Star Spangled Banner had Tennessee ties.

Known as Old Glory, it was given that name by its owner William Driver. Made by his mother, the flag was presented to him in 1824 when he became a sea captain at age 21. The born and bred New Englander flew Old Glory on his ships on all his sea voyages. The 24-star, 10 ft. by 17 ft. flag traveled twice around the world and must have been a most welcome sight to the survivors of the mutiny on the Bounty as they were rescued by Driver's ship.

Capt. Driver retired to Nashville in 1837. His wife and daughter did a restoration on Old Glory in 1860. They took it apart, cut off the raveled seams, replaced the old stars and added new ones for a total of 34. Then they embroidered an anchor in the lower right hand corner as a dedication to Capt. Driver's years at sea.

Everyone in the area knew about Old Glory and when Tennessee seceded from the Union during the Civil War, rebels were determined to destroy it but they could not find the flag. February 24,1862 Nashville was captured and the first to enter the city was the Ohio Regiment. Capt. Driver met them and led them to his home where he cut the seams of a bed cover to free the hidden Old Glory.

He was escorted to the Capitol and there the 60-year-old gentleman climbed the tower and hoisted Old Glory to the cheers and salutes of the soldiers. Before his death in 1873 he gave the flag to his daughter. In 1922 she passed Old Glory over to President Warren G. Harding and he presented it to the Smithsonian.

It has just been announced that Old Glory will be in Nashville for an 8-month stay at the Tennessee State Museum. There is no charge for the exhibition "Old Glory: An American Treasure Comes Home" which will be on view from March 17 to November 26.

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Dorothy Copus Brush is a Fairfield Glade resident and Crossville Chronicle staffwriter whose column is published each Wednesday. She may be reached at

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