Monthly Archives: October 2016

WQUT Balloon Team


My buddy came up with this.  He found it a some flea market.  A reliable source tells me it’s from the 80s.  WQUT and a certain fizzy drink maker’s local distributor had this balloon for events around the area.  I was told that, maybe, 250 of these were made, so there’s a whole bunch of them still…wait for it…floating around. (faint laughter off)

It’s got a pin-and-butterfly-clasp on the back. No maker name or mark.


I ran across an old page of slides from the early 70s that had been used on WKPT-TV.  Figure these slides are around 40 years old, so live with the poor quality (highlights blown out, mostly).

My beautiful picture

The Scene at Six.  On the left is anchor Mike Lee, then Frances Eden, who did weather, and Bob Haywood, sports.  I don’t recall the name of the lady on the right.

My beautiful picture

Pat Woodham and her Somebody Special Show

My beautiful picture

And the man himself, Bill Trailer.  He also did TV weather and, yes, he always tied his tie like that.  When Bob Ratcliff, the boss at the time, warned him about letting his hair grow too long, he held firm until Bob paid for the haircut.  I don’t know why this shot doesn’t have a caption…it may have never been used, although it was prepped properly.
I first met Bill when he was doing the Night Sounds show on WKPT-AM, which started off with the quote from Longfellow:

And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.

I was doing a show down in the FM control room and had to make sure that the door was shut, because, now and again, Bill, irritated at something, would storm out of the studio cursing loudly.

First National Bank


Grubby, but unbowed.  It’s kind of difficult to date this money bag.  The downtown drive-in branch closed sometime in the 60s, maybe early 70s.  It was on the corner of Clay and New Streets, across from where Chef’s Pizza is now.  You can still see the traffic direction arrows for the drive-in lanes sunk into the concrete (they were originally filled with yellow concrete, but it’s mostly eroded away).
Storied history of this bank: established in 1916, as you can see.  J. Fred Johnson was a VP in ’23 and President by 1931.  In 1963, First NB of Kingsport and First NB of Bristol merged and sometime later the group became First NB of Sullivan County.  In 1981,  it became First Eastern NB; in 1982, it was First American Bank-Eastern and on and on  It might be Regions Bank now.

The bag is 10.5″ x 6″.  It really could do with a good washing, but that’s not going to happen.  HIstoric integrity and all that.

Kingsport Brick Company

Later, General Shale, of course.  Here’s what the place looked like in the early 20th century:

This is a Kingsport Drug Store postcard, printed by Curt Teich (Doubletone) in Chicagoaround 1916 (printer’s inventory number/plate number is AD-7661).  I think the picture was taken from the roof of Citizens Supply building, or while dangling from an electrical line, take your pick; although, come to think of it, I’ve seen a reference to some sort of signalling or lighting structure built over the tracks there…I don’t know.) The conical buildings are kilns which were knocked down decades ago. The back buildings served other parts of the brick making process.  They were mostly extant until a few years ago.  The graffitti was dense in and around them.  And the ground was, basically, one big layer of broken bricks.  I took a lot of pictures over there, until, about three years ago, a policeman courteously asked me to leave, since it was private property.
This is what all that looks like as of last month:


The Historic Marker Forest

Not a forest, exactly, but a group of six markers on the right after you pass the red light at Wadlow Gap Road and head toward Gate City . For some reason or other, I never seemed to have the time or the inclination to stop the check them out.  Today, I did.

The first marker you see is this:


This marble marker commemorates the first court of Scott County which was held on this site in 1815. The marker was placed here in 1915.  Just a bit back toward Weber City, you can see the remnants of the bridge over Big Moccasin Creek where you would turn to take the road up to Hiltons.

Heading past the over pass trestle, at a sort of rest area, is the next marker (I’m listing them in order east to west)

The first one:


Then this one, which just refers you to the marble marker above.:






and, finally, this extremely wordy one:


I feel much better now.