At 6:30 p.m., Chapter President James Stone called the meeting to order. Chaplain Eddie Cartwright gave the invocation, Tommy McLain led the pledge to the U.S. flag, James Stone led the pledge to the Tennessee flag, and Dave Whaley led the SAR flag pledge.
Among the guests introduced were DAR lady Harriet Caldwell, Nancy Alford, Scott Lawson, John Clines, Bill and Carol Creech, Ed Fagan, and John and Mary Hampton’s daughter Sharon and granddaughter Alexandra. All wives and visitors were also welcomed and recognized.
Barbara Fagen, longtime manager of the Craigmiles History Branch of the library, was honored by the chapter.
Stan Evans, Lynn Freeman and David Carroll all told of their experiences with Fagen, some being a bit humorous. She was given a Certificate of Appreciation, then Evans said the chapter officers had gotten together and decided she deserved more, so she was next awarded the Bronze Good Citizenship Medal and Certificate, the highest award the chapter can give to someone not an SAR or DAR member.
Fagen next told of her experience with the Cleveland Library system. She was then given a standing ovation.
State vice president and chapter member Claude Hardison spoke on the chapter’s involvement in July 4 festivities in the Ridgewood subdivision’s annual parade. Participating in the Color Guard this year were Claude Hardison and Sam Allen. Several residents also marched in the parade, including Bob Anderson dressed out in Vietnam-era combat fatigues, and Dave and Deborah Flower in period dress with their dog Abby. Gary and June McDonald are two coordinators of this parade, and this year their disabled son was dressed proudly as Abraham Lincoln.
He also announced several upcoming events, including The Tennessee Society Board of Governors meeting at Franklin on July 21, the “now National” celebration of the anniversary of “The Gathering at Sycamore Shoals” on Sept. 21-22 in Elizabethton and the National Society Fall Leadership/Trustees meeting in Louisville Sept. 28-29.
No new members were inducted, but currently there are 13 new members who have been approved and not sworn in. Out of these, five are dairy farmers and won’t be available until at least September, one other had a conflict at the last minute, and the membership certificates haven’t arrived yet for the remaining seven. Evans reported that the chapter now has 157 members.During officer reports, Treasurer Doug Carpenter announced that after the bills were paid, primarily for rosettes, medals and certificates, the general treasury was very healthy. He also reported the initial $15,000 was paid out of the special statue fund, to the sculptor of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland statue to start the work on it.
Past President Tommy McLain announced that he was developing a list of all members who are military veterans, who rate the War Service Medal or the Military Service Metal and that have not received them yet. The chapter has a sponsor who will pay for these medals so there is no cost to the member.
Chapter member John Echerd who is the State chairman of the National Society’s “Friends of the Library” committee, asked if the chapter could rejoin the program this year by again paying $25. It was made into a motion and passed.
President Stone recessed the meeting for a fine meal and socializing among the members and guests.
Stone returned the meeting to order. The keynote speaker, Louie Alford, chairman of the Bradley County Commissioners, was introduced by Second Vice Chairman Dave Whaley. Whaley, who grew up with Commissioner Louie Alford gave a hilarious introduction including as he called it, “events from Alford’s past which are not part of the public record!” This had the membership “in stitches” for awhile.
Louie Alford was born in Bradley County, and attended Arnold Elementary School and Bradley Central High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He next received a master’s degree from MTSU. Alford was a head football coach in Bradley County from 1965-81. During the 1976 season his team went 13-0. In 1981 he coached at Memphis State, and in 1985 was the associate athletic director at Southwest Louisiana University, the home of the Ragin’ Cajuns, in Lafayette, La. Returning home to Cleveland in 1991 he again coached football. He retired in 2003 as assistant principal of Bradley Central High School after serving 38 years in education.
Louie has been married to his lovely wife, Nancy, for 50 years, and they have three children and eight grandchildren. He has been a Bradley County Commissioner for six years, and the chairman of Commissioners for at least three years. He has been a member of the Ruritan club for 20 years, and is currently president of the Cherokee Too Club, and treasurer of the North Lee Ruritan Club.
Alford’s topic was the “Tri-State Exposition Center and Upcoming Fair.” He primarily spoke on the upcoming Foothills County Fair which will be held at the Tri-State Exposition from Thursday, July 26, through Sunday, July 29. This year the fair will have a premier event with the KC (Kansas City) Barbecue Society holding one of its nationwide events right here in Cleveland at this fair!
This is the group that is shown on the TV show Pit Masters. Most everyone has seen it at one time or another. There will be 56 professional barbecuers coming, along with 15 amateurs, for a total of 71. This is the first time that these big-name professionals who compete all over the country, have come to Cleveland. Some of them have elaborate 40-foot trailers, some of them $8,000-10,000 rigs that are very unique. The competition is really stiff with the professionals involved. They have to present four different meals in a 9-by-9-inch box, which is chicken, pork, ribs and brisket.
Also this year there will be ladies including canning, quilts and pageants for the little girls. Other events this year will include lawnmower racing, big-wheel racing and a demolition derby. There will be a class entertainment also, with well-known bluegrass bands such as Shenandoah. And the carnival will be here this year, with animals.
Alford said he has been the president of the Foothills Country Fair for 9 years, which is sponsored by local Ruritan clubs. Profits from the event go back to the Ruritan clubs, and from them mainly to the schools with new computers and such.
After a short discussion President James Stone then proceeded to close the meeting, with Chaplain Eddie Cartwright leading the Recessional, and Dave Whaley delivering the Benediction. The closing gavel was then struck. The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.