KaTom Cooking Class with Chef Jeffrey DeAlejandro from Olibea Restaurant in Knoxville

It was a nice mid-week break to attend the cooking class at KaTom, featuring Chef Jeffrey DeAlejandro from Olibea Restaurant. I was delighted to walk into the store to see that we would get to sit at the counter near the stove rather than tables, giving us a bird’s eye view of every technique. It was a delightful couple of hours.

First, here is the menu.


I need to remember that it is important to arrive earlier in order to chat with other attendees. It was fun to see  Sarah and Harriet Berrier, from Sevierville. The ladies to my right were from Talbot, near Morristown. The couple at the end of the table live in South Knoxville. I met them at my first class. She worked in an office for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


Jeffrey DeAlejandro has been a chef for about 16 years. Here are some facts that impressed me.

1). He helped start the Crown and Goose gastropub in Knoxville, a popular restaurant located in the Old City. In fact, Chef DeAlejandro started the Crown and Goose nine years ago.

2. His mother is Patricia Nash, a designer with a store on South Gay Street. In fact, a lady attending the cooking demo had one of his mom’s purses and held it up for us to see! I forgot to take a picture of it though.



3. He owns Olibea Restaurant, near the Crown and Goose.


I have heard of it and have wanted to go there some day. The hours are:

Mon-Fri 7am -1pm
Sat-Sun 8am -2pm

He has children so these hours allow for time with family. By the way, the restaurant is named for his children: Oliver and Beatrice. ( Olibea is pronounced ‘Olly’ ‘Bee’.)

There were some Mexican, Spanish, and British influences in the food—and it was all delightful.


First, Chef DeAlejandro showed us how to make homemade mozzarella and shared a story how he first learned to make it. I was watching the demonstration and heard the phrases “first time, made it on a beach… using ocean water…an old woman showing how to make it…use hot water and don’t overwork it…”


It was really, really good!


An overhead view of the heirloom tomatoes.


The heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic pearls. Looks like caviar!

Unbelievably, I forgot to take a picture of the main course. It was very nice because it was on a type of “Mexican English Muffin” with chorizo and veggies. Good!

Creme Brûlée is always a crowd pleaser!


I have grilled peaches so this was a new idea to add it to creme brûlée. Wonderful dessert!


Yesterday, our local paper printed an article about a recent honor for KaTom Restaurant Supply, named one of 5,000 fastest growing companies in America by “Inc.” magazine. There were only 14 businesses to make the list in this part of the state. Here is a link.


We are lucky to have a place like KaTom that invites well regarded chefs from East Tennessee to bring their expertise to us in Sevier County. All the attendees have really enjoyed these demonstrations. Watch, learn, dine! You definitely get your money’s worth.

FYI…Get ready for October 4th when John Gatlin from the Oliver Royale on Market Square will present a demonstration that will be sure to please. Currently, it is my favorite restaurant on Market Square. Save me a place at the counter!


Enjoy the weekend and get out and about in Sevierville…

Friday Night Lights —Smoky Bear Style!

We all look forward to seasonal rituals. A favorite in East Tennessee has to do with Friday Night Lights. It was a beautiful evening to watch our favorite high school football team, the Sevier County High School Smoky Bears!


Beautiful weather this evening for a football game.


The airplane flyover is my favorite part.



Getting ready for the game against Cleveland.

Running through the …what do they run through? I am used to saying “running through the ‘T’ ” for the Vols. This part is exciting too.



You won’t find a better Smoky Bear fan than Mr. Roach!


Wearing of the purple to support the Smoky Bears.



FBC taping the game.

More hard core Smoky Bear fans!     Patriotic scoreboard.



My favorite part is when the lights turn on with the sunset. This may be the best thing about getting out and about in Sevierville.

See a few more pictures on the Out and About in Sevierville Facebook page.

Here is the link.


Go Bears!!!





A Sevierville Tradition: Lunch at Frank Allen’s Market

With summer waning, I won’t have many opportunities to go out for lunch during the week so it was time to go to Frank Allen’s Market for —what I hear is— the best burger in town. Because I got ‘off track’ last week, I contacted a friend who could help me get there and tell me all the good things to order. We met for lunch last week and here is what I found…the best burger lunch in town.


I thought that the grill was within a BP station, but it is actually located in a Marathon station. Not the Marathon station near Walmart, but the one closer to Sevierville and Belk. If you are a tourist or new in town, Frank Allen’s Market  is on the Parkway as you go toward Pigeon Forge. Located on the left side of the road, it is beside the ‘Big Foot’ car attraction. Also, across the street from Kings of Real Estate.

Be careful because TripAdvisor currently shows an incorrect location, at a different Marathon station. Someone has contacted them to see if can be corrected.


Tad met me in the parking lot and we went inside. Take a left inside the door and you will see the grill area. Oh my! I was struck by several things. First, the cleanliness of the dining and all food prep areas. Second, there is a lot of seating options here. We counted 15 stools at the counter, 8 booths, and at least two tables. We sat at the counter so I could see all the action.


You order at the counter and pay at the door.


Frank Allen’s Market, according to Tad, has been in this location for six year. Previously, it was in another location down the Parkway, but moved because it had outgrown the space. I hear that it can get super busy at lunch so we got our space at the counter early.


Frank Allen has been in business over 63 years. His daughter and son-in-law run the store now. It is a Sevier County tradition!


I ordered a cheeseburger. It was so good. Everything is fresh. Here are the reasons for the high quality: 1). burgers are patted out each morning and are comprised of ground round, 2). buns are steamed, 3). fries are cooked when you order them so they are always hot, 4). ketchup containers are cool, 5). serve yourself fountain drinks, 6). lettuce on burgers is shredded ( I like that sometimes), 7). they make their own slaw.


You never know who you will see at Frank Allen’s Market!

You can see locals, visitors, tourists, politicians, and celebrities. Our recently re-elected state Senator Doug Overbay has frequented Frank Allen’s Market. Sometimes politicians’ visits will be announced in advance in the local newspaper.

Dolly Parton likes the slaw dogs and Paula Deen has eaten here. Lawyers and others sometimes send their clients and colleagues to get a burger here. Many people bring their grandchildren here for their first FAM burger. Many pictures are shared on the Facebook fan page, listed at the end of this article.

Tad prefers a classic ‘Grumpy Meal,’ pictured below.


During lunch, Tad and I discussed politics and local news. Then, we reminisced about jokes and things that we enjoyed when we were young teachers at Sevier County High School. Coaching for the Senior Olympics at S.C.H.S. from freshman teams to seniors, telling a student that they were a surprise performer in the Talent Show, and a couple of silly pranks at Mr. Roach’s Christmas Party at his home.

As it was time to leave, I spied a potential gift for my young nephew near the counter.


Tourists can find souvenirs too.


Here are some tips for those who have never visited Frank Allen’s Market.

  • The grill is open from 6:00 a.m. to around 6:00p.m. This info is posted online.
    Address930, Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862
    Phone(865) 453-3617

    Sunday 8AM–8PM
    Monday 6AM–5PM
    Tuesday 6AM–5PM
    Wednesday 6AM–5PM
    Thursday 6AM–5PM
    Friday 6AM–5PM
    Saturday 6AM–5PM
  • Breakfast is served all day. When the biscuits run out then they are gone for the day. They can cook pancakes when the grilled isn’t extremely busy. Ham and biscuits are served in the morning.
  • There is a Facebook page called Fans of Frank Allen’s Market. Click this link to join the fun.  There are over 3,500 fans registered there.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/103675799666187/

My friend Tad is the moderator. He does a great job.

In the words of a customer named Ronnie, who was leaving the counter as we sat down to order, ” You won’t find any better anywhere. Hot dogs are good too.”

In summary, Sevierville offers a lot of burger options, but if you want to get something special then there is one place to go.

Frank Allen’s Market is the best burger place / grill choice when you are out and about in Sevierville. 

P.S. Go to my new blog Facebook page to see more pictures. Go to


for the Facebook page for this blog. I can post a lot more pictures there.





Cooking Class at KaTom with a Chef from Blackberry Farm!


With great pleasure we attended a cooking class at KaTom Chef Supplies presented by a chef from the famous Blackberry Farm. I was really looking forward to this event and it did not disappoint!

Chef Jeff Ross and his wife present the cooking demonstration.

The theme of the lesson: using the bounty of summer gardens.


I entered the building and was delighted to sit near my Sevierville friends, Harriet and Sarah Berrier. We had great seats at the first table near the cooking station.


Every seat is a good seat in KaTom due to the overhead TV projecting all the action from the stove and chopping areas. See Chef Ross below talking about summer vegetables. Above, you can see the TV screen projecting all the ingredients for the next dish.


Buckwheat Groat Succotash

Tea Smoked Trout

Sauteed Greens with Smoked Onion Jam

Cocoa Bark with Popped Grains

Caramelized Dessert Cheese with Grilled Fruit



Chef Ross has worked at Blackberry Farm for 11 years. He also has roots in Sevier County because his grandmother lived in the North View area. From her, he learned many things in the kitchen and the garden. For example, you don’t need to cook a lot in the summer. “Let the garden tell you what to cook,” advises Chef Ross.


Don’t throw away rosemary stems because there is a lot of flavor there.


Do you have a lot of zucchini in your garden? Then you can appreciate how much chopping it took to fill up that container!

Chef Ross presented many cooking tips and techniques during the demonstration. (Use coconut oil and kosher salt). I also learned tidbits about geography and history in regard to culinary things. (Sunburst trout from North Carolina and sweet potato leaves first used in Africa due to dry conditions and lack of other greens to eat.)


Who knew that Georgia has the best olive oil? Chef Ross prefers cherry tomatoes. The plate of heirloom tomatoes was so appetizing, we all agreed.



Leaves from the sweet potato vine are very good cooked liked ordinary greens. Harriet said that she noted a sweet potato taste in them too. They were good! If you can’t find them from a farmer then go to the Sunrise Asian Market at Walker Springs Rd. in Knoxville because they sell large bags of them. Chef Ross also recommends the asian restaurant next door for a meal. Very authentic!


It was great to see Wendy Atchley at the presentation! She was recently able to enjoy a dinner at Blackberry Farm to celebrate an anniversary. A dream dinner!


Chef Ross smoked the trout in several ways. The Darjeeling tea used to smoke it gave a nice flavor; in addition, it smelled great when he lifted the lid.


Chef Ross and his wife loved using the demonstration kitchen in KaTom—a chef’s dream—and were very happy to answer questions, chat about food, Blackberry Farm, etc. I know that they will come back again and again.

The set up at KaTom is very comfortable. You can move around, shop, chat, eat, meet fellow foodies. Other people there were from Sevier County, Knoxville, and Talbot.

Plating the meal!


They let me take a spoon to try the smoked onion jam that they make themselves. Divine!




Patricia Bible, owner and CEO of KaTom, enjoying the evening!


We were waiting in great expectation for the piece de resistance—cocoa bark with popped grains. (You can use Rice Krispies.)


A smear of sorghum makes the dessert ‘hyper local.’ My grandparents would have approved!



Sarah Berrier noted that the torched cheese had a flavor of cheesecake. I noted a ‘brûlée’ taste as well. It was unbelievable.


Patricia Bible praises the efforts of the chefs and the meal. Bravo!


Sarah Berrier and Chef Ross trading cooking tips.


Harriet and Sarah Berrier talking to Chef Ross.


Wendy Atchley talking to Patricia Bible after the meal.


I love the nice touches and table settings.

I knew that the evening would exceed my expectations and that was proved true. What a wonderful evening with friends, food, top line culinary tools,  and chefs from a nationally renowned Relais & Châteaux property. Does it get any better?

KaTom is presenting classes that I used to have to drive to Knoxville to attend. What a joy to have these classe so close by now. This is the best kept secret in Sevier County, and in my opinion, one of the best things going here. I already signed up for the next class on Wednesday, August 24th with Jeffrey DeAlejandro, Chef and Owner of OliBea in Knoxville. What a great place to go when you are out and about in Sevierville!

See you at the table!

For more information on events please contact Chef Supplies by KaTom at 865-225-1559. Or contact them via Facebook.




A New Frozen Treat Place in Town!  (It is so good and convenient!)

It has been hard to find a good frozen yogurt/ frozen treat shop in Sevierville, but one just opened—and it is good! Even more, it is convenient! You can take the ‘back roads’ there too. I went Saturday and this is what I found.

First, the traffic was terrible Saturday about noon, so we will appreciate the location because it is accessible via back roads if the parkway is congested. It will be VERY convenient for myself and my colleagues at S.P.S.  (Uh oh…)

The shop is called BeBops Frozen Delights, located between Catherine’s and JoAnns on Collier Drive. Also, by GNC.

There is a huge parking lot so that will be easy! The photo below is from the BeBops Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/BeBopsFrozenDelights/

The owners are a local Sevierville family. Becky Harsson’s family nickname growing up was’BeBop;’ thus, the store name.

Lee Harsson is a 1991 S.C.H.S. graduate. He played percussion in the S.C.H.S. band. Following this example, the Harssons have a daughter at S.C.H.S. who is also a member of the band color guard. Go Smoky Bears!

Undoubtedly, there should be some crowds here on Friday nights after the games!

A comfortable seating area, inside and outside.

Try a sample!

This store is unique because they sell frozen treats, not necessarily just frozen yogurt. The photo above and below show the variety.

How to differentiate between the treats.

Now for the flavors this week.



Prices are charged by the cup—not weight. 

Yes, read that sentence again. 

There is no extra charge for toppings. This is hard to believe!

Coffee, water, and other beverages are for sale to complement your treat. (Sheley Rose, take note!)

There are some cute touches in the shop. First, a children’s table with a ‘blackboard top’ and chalk provided so they can draw and write. Love this!

The back hallway to the restrooms has a blackboard wall for patrons to write nice messages. I have seen these in a coffee shop and love the idea. Here are some messages:

Someone needs to write ‘Go Bears!’ And ‘Go Vols!’       Such a fun idea and interesting to read.

This will be a great stop after going to the movies at Govenor’s Crossing Stadium 14. Show BeBops your ticket stub immediately after the movie to see what deals they may offer on frozen treats.

Flavors will probably change after a few weeks so visit often if you find a favorite.

As for me?

The Ice Cream Sandwich flavor was divine. It was ‘over the top’ good so I may have to return with friends some time soon. Who wants to go?

BeBops will be open 7 days a week.

Monday -Thursday 11:00-9:00p.m.

Friday and Saturday 11:00-10:00p.m.

Sunday’s 1:00-9:00. Go after Sunday lunch then wander down to the bookstore to browse?

Finally, Sevierville residents won’t have to drive to Pigeon Forge or Knoxvegas for frozen yogurt/ treats.

This will be the perfect place to go for a special treat when you are out and about in Sevierville!

Sevierville Downtown Farmers Market, July 29, 2016

I got a late start yesterday for the Farmers Market, but still managed to notice some cool things.

Artist, Millie Derrick, shopping at the market.

Linda Hyder showing recipe information and samples of broccoli salad for the U.T. Extension Office. So good!

You can get a free gift too. Yesterday, it was a collapsible colander.

The ‘Make and Take’ activity of the Sevierville Commons Arts Council remains quite popular.

Screen print T-shirts!


Bring a favorite tank and do that too.

County Mayor Waters supports the Arts Council activities.

He created two shirts for his grand-daughters. I am impressed!

Well done!

A family traveling from Houston stopped by the Sevierville Farmers Market to browse and relax before traveling on to Pigeon Forge.

The children were delighted to make a pretty shirt or jewelry to take home.

I love the jewelry too!

It was a good day to be out and about in Sevierville….

Art Happening in Downtown Sevierville! July 2016


It was a nice evening to go downtown for the July Art Happening event presented by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. Featured artist was Jill Greene, a photographer and artist.

Thanks to my bank and the other sponsors listed in the flyer above!

Snacks were delightful. Notice the spinach dip atop of bricks (and a smart way to keep it warm). Cute watermelon fruit holder. Cheese!


Featured artist, Jill Greene, of Sevierville. Jill has been a photographer for more than 25 years. Her work includes commercial photography and the natural world. I saw prints on the wall that she had created from slides and digital sources. In her work, I could see her love of nature and East Tennessee. It made me want to learn to take photos with a better camera and learn how to develop film.

Her email is naturesnap@comcast.net


And then there was something unexpected…


It was a surprise to run into former student, Jared Link, from the SCHS Class of 1991. Jared, son of Malcolm Link, was a memorable student and we were delighted to see him in town from his home in Los Angeles. Interestingly, Jared has acted in some T.V. shows and movies. For example, he portrayed Dennis Hopper’s bodyguard in the last 3 hours of the Keifer Sutherland series “24.” He said that he got to ‘beat up’ Sutherland in one episode. Also, he played a policeman in the Rob Schneider movie, “Hot Chick.” Jared has acted in various shows in the background, as an ‘extra.’ Now, Jared does specialty camera work for various television series. The show “Fear Factor” was one example.

Jared has just returned from Fuji where he was helping to film a new show called “Kicking and Screaming.” The new season of Survivor was filming on the other side of the island!


Jared Link and his English teacher, Melinda Derrick (on the right).


Jim McGill, membership co-ordinator for the Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Sevierville Commons Association. Pictured with Sophia Conerly, also a board member on the Sevierville Commons Association. They are great supporters of the arts and downtown Sevierville!


I love purple!


These ladies described themselves as serious ” Jill Greene fans!”    They are (from left to right) Charlotte Wear, Gail Monson, and Mary Kathryn Crone.


Jared Link, Melinda Derrick, and artist, Millie Derrick are catching up.

Many pretty things to browse.


Jill Greene and local artist, Bev Gwinn Jones. Many people know Bev as artist and owner of the Two Coyotes Studio. She is moving her studio back to downtown Sevierville, which is exciting for the arts in downtown Sevierville. Here is a link to her website:


Bev is very busy in our community. She teaches three art camps this summer, is a member of the Sevier County Arts Council, and has helped with the student art show at Arrowmont for the past 23 years. When I asked  the origin of the Two Coyotes name for her studio, she told me that it has to do with her husband. Coyotes stay together for life—and that is quite romantic.

Before I left the reception, I met Kathryn and Greg Rutherford from Wears Valley. Greg is a commercial screen printer who also works for the National Park service in Cades Cove. Kathryn restores photos and fine art. Kathryn is Canadian and met her husband at Arrowmont.

Greg’s website is http://www.exclusivecustomscreenprinting.com


Now this is very interesting… Kathryn paints portraits and ‘spirit’ or ‘ghost’ paintings. She explained how this works with the painting simultaneously telling a story about you in the present time and an ancestor. The idea is intriguing and the result is stunning. As is her website. I will visit this again and again. Go to her website at http://heirloomartstudio.com to see more. Click on the left menu, ‘paintings and portraits’ to see examples of the spirit paintings. I am hooked!

The crowd mingling and enjoying the evening.


Malcolm Link provides music for the art reception.

I really enjoy Courthouse Donuts as a meeting place.




I think that it makes everyone happy who enters there.

See you out and about in Sevierville! 


Teachers rally for Senator Overbey at Sevierville Civic Center today.

Sevier County Education Association and TEA hosted a ‘meet and greet’ event with Senator Doug Overbey today at the Sevierville Civic Center. A teacher, myself, I knew that this would be a great time to meet other colleagues in support of Senator Overbey’s re-election. I also wanted to meet the candidate again. What a nice morning it was!

First, I saw our Sevier County Mayor speaking with the candidate.


County Mayor Waters told me that Senator Overbey has been a strong supporter of Sevier County over the years. “He has been a strong advocate for Sevier County, especially for education and transportation.” Therefore, he wholeheartedly endorses the candidate for re-election. On a side note, I was delighted to hear Waters tell me that he was previously a teacher and principal at Jones Cove school from 1974-1978. He taught 6th – 8th grade and sometimes averaged 52 kids in his classes. There are probably some interesting stories there!

Next, I talked with Sevier County teacher Mary Jones, pictured below with her husband, Rusty.


Mary said, ” I know that my professional organization supports Overbey because he is paying attention to what teachers need. Furthermore, he shows that he is protecting us from ‘anti-teacher’ legislation. ” I can think of several of these things over the years and appreciate his actions as well.


More supporters for Doug Overbey: Allen Newton, Bryan McCarter, and Emily Whaley.


Retired Sevier County Teachers support Senator Overbey. Front row (left to right) : Tammy Waters, Senator Overbey, and Edna Loveday Rogers. Back row (left to right) : Nancy Sims, Roy Rogers, Dick Ramsey, and Sue Ramsey.

It is important to consider retired teachers in a constituency. Consequently,  these Sevier County retired teachers report that Doug Overbey is a good friend to retired teachers. Tammy Waters, President of the Sevier County Retired Teachers Association said, “I support Senator Overbey because he supports both active and retired teachers.” There is a lot at stake.

These teachers may retire, but they remain active in the community. Edna Loveday Rogers, for example, is on the Dollywood Foundation and Imagination Library.


She is also a director for Dolly Parton’s Chasing Rainbows Award, presented to a teacher each year who has overcome challenges and makes a difference in others’ lives.


Past winners include a blind teacher with a seeing eye dog who still teaches in a public school. Edna said that Dolly presents the award herself, making it quite special. This year, Rogers noted that the Home and Family Show on the Hallmark Channel taped the event.

Next, I saw two especially loved Sevier County retired teachers!


Brooke Blair and Norma Blair support Senator Doug Overbey. Need I say more?


I saw more teachers from our Sevier County Education Association such as Melina Brackins, Mary Jones, and Bridgette McCarter.


Teachers appreciate the work that Senator Overbey has done for our county, especially in regard to school funding and a more equal BEP distribution. Thank you!


The meet and greet was very comfortable and relaxed. Everyone had a chance to speak to the candidate. The lady pictured to the left goes to my church. Her mother is in her late 90’s and still a member of TEA. In addition, the mother is an Overbey supporter. When the lady (pictured left)  got the news about the meeting, she came to meet Overbey and take some pictures for her mother.


Senator Overbey speaking with S.C.E.A. member, Melinda Derrick.

Effective elected officials, and leaders in general, must be good listeners. I have observed that Senator Overbey clearly has that skill. I have seen him demonstrate this during the past two Sevier County rallies, in addition to his committee work televised from Nashville on cable TV.


Overbey supporters: Judy Bailey Ogle, school counselor from Seymour Intermediate school, and Charles Ogle.

I really enjoyed this meeting with Senator Overbey, teachers, retired teachers, and city officials. Truth be told, there were Democrats, Republicans, and Independents attending the event because the candidate crosses all party lines. He is a thoughtful, effective, and responsible candidate—and this appeals to everyone. Simply put, I wish there were more officials like Doug Overbey. We need more people in office with these leadership characteristics.

As a side note…

I was amazed by the 3D sculpture on the wall above the kitchen window. When you visit the Civic Center be sure to take a look. Incredible!


Courthouse Doughnuts can’t be beat. As he was leaving, Senator Overbey remarked he had thought about stopping there on the way into town to grab a bite to eat, but continued on to the S.C.E.A meeting. He walked into the event and …voila! There they were. He was very pleased.



After this blog post, I am sure that you know my recommendation for state senate for this district. Make sure that you get out and vote on August 4th if you have not done early voting already.


Don’t forget that there will be an Art Happening event downtown Sevierville this evening, Thursday, July 28th from 5-7:00.


It is another good time to get out and about in Sevierville…

Upcoming events: July 21-July 29

Here are some events that may interest you in the upcoming week as you are out and about…

Support Relay For Life of Sevier County by wearing purple (my favorite color) and attending the game tonight at Smokies Stadium. Keep your eye on the ball. 

 (Graphic taken from https://www.facebook.com/relayforlifeofseviercountytn/posts/1008256012627051:0 )

Contact KaTom to make your reservation to see local favorite, Barbara Tenney, cook a wonderful meal next Wednesday. You get the recipes, watch her cook, and eat a 3 course meal—plus time to shop in the KaTom store. 

(Can you say Pina Colada cheesecake?) 


I am looking forward to the next Art Happening downtown next week!

Come meet featured artist, Jill Greene, and see examples of her work. Meet more  local artists and learn about arts in the community. Hear music from local favorite, Malcolm Link. Enjoy an evening event downtown. I am going to arrive early this time so see you there!

Tomorrow and next Friday you can enjoy the downtown Farmers Market. 

Meet these artists and let them help you create something pretty to take home in the ‘make and take area’ near the history museum. I was impressed by the T-shirt screen printing last week. It is free!

Kids crafts and fun! 

My friend Melinda will be helping them next week so go and say hello! 

There is a lot going on in the next week out and about in Sevierville. 

See you there!

Senator Doug Overbey Rallies Voters at Sevierville Golf Club Today

Senator Doug Overbey visited the Sevierville Golf Club today for a rally from 5:00-7:00 to encourage voters to support his re-election. People were able to talk to Senator Overbey, meet his family, mingle with other supporters, listen to great music, and eat ice cream under the roof of the outdoor meeting area at the golf course. I arrived at 6:00 and was able to do all of that just in time.


Pictured left, Sen. Overbey’s campaign manager, Erika Ivey, with Dr. Melinda Hallem. Melinda and I chatted for a few minutes and then we went to talk with the candidate. Melinda says that “the purpose of the rally is to encourage people to get out and vote. As a young adult in Sevier County, our state officials make a large impact on our lives. I am excited to re-elect Doug Overbey.” I agree!

Next, I met Joe Karl from the Seymour Herald.



Joe Karl and his family supporting Doug Overbey today.

When asked about Overbey, Karl replied that he knows several politicians, but he cannot think of anyone who he could vote for again—except for Doug Overbey. Karl says that Senator Overbey is accessible. You can talk to him when you need to reach him. Clearly, this is a strength that Overbey brings to our county.

Next, I introduced myself to Senator Overbey’s wife and met his family.


Daughter, Kathleen Overbey Thomas, said “It has been rewarding to meet people, particularly at these rallies. We enjoy getting feedback from people about what they think about issues. We see everything that our father does behind the scenes, all the work that he does, and we appreciate meeting supporters. We also enjoy seeing the smiles.”


I was excited to meet Senator Overbey again, having met him in May at Harriet’s retirement celebration. He was very accessible then and allowed me to take a picture with Mayor Atchley as they were standing together.

After I introduced myself as a local blogger, I had to think fast on my feet when Senator Overbey told me to ask him a question. After a few seconds, I asked him this: When you are re-elected, what is something that you would like to do that you haven’t had a chance to try or to finish yet?

Overbey responded: “We need to keep our ‘eye on the ball.’ So many things are happening in our state, but it is important not to get distracted. We need to keep making Tennessee a great place to live, a great place for children, for education, and for creating jobs.”

Definitely, I think that all teachers in Tennessee agree and thank him for his work for public education. Harriet Berrier, retired principal from Sevierville Primary School, approves of the job that Senator Overbey has done for public schools during his time in the Senate. Harriet says, “Doug Overbey has the best interests of his constituents always on his mind. I admire Senator Overbey because even though his stance may not be the most popular —he does what he feels is best.” Certainly, Overbey has her full support as a voter.

As a teacher myself, I have appreciated his work to improve public education. In addition, I have watched Senator Overbey in meetings for the Senate Education Committee, broadcast live on TV from Nashville. Everyone needs to do that some time to see public servants in action. I watched Senator Overbey conduct the meeting gracefully, efficiently, and professionally. It was well done and I was very pleased.

Meet Doug


Rally entertainment was provided by Sevier County’s most popular group, Jimbo Whaley and Greenbriar.


I was excited to see this group play music today. Afterwards, I was able to talk to Jimbo, a SCHS 1988 alumni who was a former student of mine. He was quarterback of the football team and a lively student in my Spanish class. Now, he has a son going to U.T. this year! Has it been that long? So good to see him today!


I was expecting Mayfields Ice Cream, but as I talked to the vendor, it turned out to be a brand that I was unfamiliar with: Chadwicks Churn from Friendsville, Tennessee. It was very good!


The vendor said that several friends got together to start the business. Unfortunately, one of them has become seriously ill, but the other two co-owners carry on with the business. There were several good flavors there and attendess enjoyed them.



Love the name! It is gourmet. Worth the drive, I think! IMG_5228

It was a nice day for a rally at the Sevierville Golf Club. Storms were in the distance, but moved on toward the lake. Temperatures were nice so I moved out to the course with my pitching wedge and putter to get a little practice in after the rally. After all, this needs a bit of work.


In conclusion, I was excited to give well wishes and support to Senator Overbey, who has been such a friend to Sevier and Blount Counties, not to mention teachers and students in Tennessee. I have friends who are Democrats and Republicans. I, myself, am Independent. We all like Senator Overbey, his work, and his goals for our state. He crosses all party lines—and that is special, especially this year. I support him in this re-election and will celebrate when he wins.

Best wishes to Senator Doug Overbey in the coming weeks!  Many, many Sevier Countians are pulling for him!

On August 4th, get out and vote!

See you out and about in Sevierville…