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J.P. Doodles

J.P. Doodles

THE BOOKEND: A vacation on the lake

Dear Readers,

Howdy, and welcome to the Bookend! How are you all doing? I’m feeling relaxed and refreshed after an eight-day vacation on Douglas Lake. I’m not so sure my husband Chad is feeling so relaxed ... everywhere I go there winds up being some crazy.

A dear friend of mine has a camper on Douglas Lake. I have been dying to go to the lake all summer. Is there a southerner that doesn’t like time on a lake? I think not. Plus, I grew up on a lake outside of Chattanooga. The water is emerald green, and so soothing. Douglas lake has a very similar color. Anyway ... my friend let us use her camper for a week last week.

We drove down on a Friday. We unpacked and got settled in. There were hamburgers in the freezer. Chad decided to start up a wood fire in the pit. We were too tired to drag out the grill. At this point we were starving. Chad put the burgers over the fire pit, he used wood instead of charcoal. Well they burned up just as black as coal in about two minutes. He was hungry and frustrated. I said, “Don’t worry honey, I can do this,” So I put more burgers over the firepit, and they burned up just as black as coal. So, we ate black angus burgers, and I mean black. Fortunately, I had bought Chad his favorite macaroni salad from the Publix Deli. He could live on that stuff.

We slept so wonderfully in the little camper bedroom. I just love campers; I would love to live in one. I found a pink floatie chair already blown up in the closet. We went down to the lake, but it wasn’t much fun with just one floatie. I found another floatie in the closet. It took me a whole day to blow it up, with many breaks to keep from fainting.

The next day we took them to the lake. Chad fussed and fussed about the whole idea, but honey when he started floating, he was hooked. We floated way out in the lake. I had forgotten to put on sunscreen, and I got sun poisoning. My bottom lip swelled up and nose was red. But I was determined to get back in the lake. I figured out to wear a long sleeve white blouse, a baseball hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and shoes made to go in the lake with. Craig Morgan would have been proud, we looked like members of Redneck Yacht Club. We went way out in the lake again. When it came to time to go back to the shore my arms go tired from trying to paddle back. Chad had me hold onto his foot while he paddled. He dragged me to shore. Now if that ain’t love I don’t know what is ya’ll.

The next day when we went out, I figured out to use my lake shoes as oars. Laugh all you want, it worked. We were having the time of our life. We were pretty tacky, but we didn’t care, as long as we stayed out of the wake from speedboats.

We just didn’t want to go home, so our trip got extended. I was thrilled. I was trying to figure out how to never leave. Chad was worried that we hadn’t packed enough food to go a whole lot longer, I said, “Oh! We’ve got plenty of food!” The next morning, I served him one piece of toast with a half of a scrambled egg. He just looked at me.

One morning after broiling something I left the broiler on and discovered it two hours later. Poor Chad, what he endures. It’s a good thing he was a firefighter in the Air Force.

Well, that was our lake vacation. I keep begging Chad to go back. He just won’t go ya’ll. But I just know I can talk him into next spring.

Until next time dear readers, have a good week and have a literary week.

NEWS & NOTES: I'll have a sausage biscuit ... with gravy

Some retailers insist on good customer service, while others treat it as an afterthought. A few years ago, I entered a certain supermarket, we’ll call it Chain Store 1, and during my brief visit, a sudden rain shower began. The employees practically smothered me as I started to exit, offering the use of an umbrella or rain coat, and even offering to fetch my car.

Later that day, I visited Chain Store 2. My wife had given me a shopping list with an item I couldn’t identify. Fennel? I had no idea. I later learned it is a healthy food, which explains why I had never heard of it. Hershey’s® chocolate syrup? Now THAT I can find.

So I wandered around, in search of fennel. I saw some store workers, but they studiously avoided any eye contact. I think one of them was “pretend-talking” on his phone. He started saying gibberish like, “Well, about that car, you might have to jump start the fibberator, but if you dazzle the reverbanoid, you could sling a rod.”

I kept on walking, and saw the store manager sitting on a stack of boxes, looking down at his phone. As I got closer, I cleared my throat, and coughed a couple of times. He never looked up. I could have been walking on stilts, with a marching band and a herd of cattle, and he wouldn’t have flinched.

This may be why Chain Store 1 has the superior reputation.

Of course, sometimes store personnel can be a little too attentive. Like the chatty checkout lady who comments on every item you buy.

“When did they start putting this hemorrhoid cream in extra large containers? I’ve had one little tube in my medicine cabinet since before I got married, and I’m talking about the first time, not my new husband.”

When she pipes down about that, it’s something else. She grabs the store microphone and shouts, “CAN I GET A PRICE CHECK ON ROACH TRAPS?”

At least she acknowledges me. Some cashiers are annoyed if I interrupt their chat with co-workers about what happened on “The Bachelor.” A good store manager would have a serious talk with these employees, unless of course he is still sitting on a stack of boxes.

Even the shopping experience itself can be frustrating. How many times have I entered a huge superstore, in search of one oddball item, like a can of artichoke hearts. It could be 11:30 at night, and there are no other customers in the store, except for a couple standing right in front of the artichoke hearts, engaged in a ten-minute debate over which kind to get. Marinated, quartered, Bush’s or Libby’s? Only two families on Earth are buying this product tonight, and I somehow found the other one.

How about those surprise encounters with someone you haven’t seen in 20 years? I’ll be cruising down the cereal aisle, and there’s the guy whose daughter was in third grade with my son. We catch up on life and family for 10 minutes. We then go our separate ways. A few minutes later, we awkwardly reunite in the frozen food aisle. Then at the dairy case. And on it goes. What will be left to talk about the next time we see each other, in 2039?

In fairness, we customers give the clerks headaches too. Like the man who holds up the checkout line because he remembers “just one more thing.” It’s always located in the rear of the store, which is apparently a ten minute hike. He makes it back, so it’s all good, right? Nope, he left his checkbook in the car. Pull up a chair while your ice cream melts.

I can’t leave out the frustrating encounters at fast food places. At the drive-through recently, I ordered a sausage biscuit, with gravy. This, apparently, is complicated. “Do you mean a gravy biscuit, add sausage?” asked the voice on the speaker. I said, “I guess so. I just want a biscuit with sausage, and gravy.” Long pause. “Well,” she said, “I need to know if it’s a sausage biscuit with gravy, or a gravy biscuit with sausage. And is this a combo number 2 with coffee?” “Nope, no coffee,” I said. “Just a biscuit, with a piece of sausage, and a cup of gravy. That’s all.” I felt like I was negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. If I slipped up and said the wrong thing, the whole deal would fall apart.

She eventually summoned the manager, we worked out a compromise, and peace was restored. I should have warned the guy in the car behind me to order a combo, but why deny him a potentially unforgettable experience? Besides, he may also need material for a weekly column.

(PUB. NOTE: David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best columns. Readers may contact him at radiotv2020@yahoo.com.)

MY VIEW: The Review, Eagle have openings for commissioned advertising sales reps

If you are looking for work, The Rogersville Review and the Hancock Co. Eagle and our family of specialized “niche” magazines and other print and online products, are looking for the talents and abilities that you could bring to our newspapers’ family table.

We have immediate openings for commissioned advertising sales representatives to market our award-winning community newspaper advertising services to local and regional businesses, industries and professional offices in Hawkins, Hancock, Sullivan, Hamblen, Grainger and Claiborne counties in Tennessee, and in Scott County and neighboring communities in Virginia.

The work involves flexible days/hours, and compensation is commission-based plus mileage.

What are we looking for?

First and foremost, enthusiastic, energetic people who are dependable, punctual, honest, and who can plan and follow-up with visits to local clients to show them how our business can help their business attract more business.

A college degree is not required.

Sales experience is preferred but if you have the desire and motivation that screams, “I CAN DO THIS!”, we will train you.

A smiling face, a great “meet no strangers” personality, honesty, integrity, and the determination to succeed are definite and absolute requirements, as are the ability to work with numbers, express yourself clearly in written and verbal communications, and to understand the importance of paying attention to details and to strict publication deadlines.

In Hawkins and Hancock counties, the Review and the Eagle focus on LOCAL NEWS that is important to LOCAL READERS, which is why LOCAL ADVERTISERS benefit from entrusting us with their advertising needs.

In addition to the print versions of the two papers, we also have a website and Facebook pages.

Our family of annual full-color magazines include:

• Discover Hancock County;

• Discover Hawkins County;

• Discover Grainger County;

• Discover Hamblen County;

• Great Home Search (real estate); and,

• A Weekend in the Life of Hawkins County.

In 2020, we will be adding yet another adjoining county to our lineup of “Discover” magazines.

During any given year, we also focus on a number of other specialty topics and events that are important to our readers and advertisers.

That’s why we need more qualified people to represent our publications in the communities we serve.

Are you that person?

If so, we’d love to see your resume and talk to you.

These commissioned advertising sales positions, by their nature, are not “salaried” jobs, which may not be the best choice for some folks, and we understand that.

However, the benefits are that you can set your own hours; you can work a handful of hours a week, or from sunup to sunset ... one day a week or five ... that’s your call based on the amount of time that you choose to invest in building your client base. And, obviously, the more time and effort that you put into this, personally, the more benefits you will potentially realize over time.

My point is, you may be looking for only “part-time” work ... retired or semi-retired, a stay-at-home parent, college student, or someone who already has a steady job but just looking to supplement your primary income.

Others may be looking to spend as much time as possible “hitting the streets” making calls.

With that said, the posibilities are endless.

If interested, send a resume and a cover letter stating why you think you would be a good fit for this position by U.S. Mail to:

Tommy Campbell, Editor & Publisher

The Rogersville Review

P.O. Box 100

Rogersville, TN 37857


Tommy Campbell, Editor & Publisher

The Hancock Co. Eagle

P.O. Box 215

Sneedville, TN 37869

or by email to:




Applicants will be contacted for interviews in the near future.

Thanks ... and I look forward to meeting you!