KACL Fall 2021 Class Descriptions

Tuesday, 10:00 – Noon

October 12:  COVID-19 Vaccine Facts and Fiction.  David Morin, Director of Holston Medical Group Clinical Research. David Morin, with over 30 years’ experience in medicine, will present a wide range of topics: the historical milestones in vaccine development, vaccine types: why and how they differ, new vaccine technologies with a focus on the mRNA processes, traditional research processes versus the “warp speed” approach, risk-benefit analysis, vaccine myths, alternatives to vaccination, and thoughts on going forward in the “new normal.”

October 19: Thomas Wolfe – His Life and Works.  Fred Sauceman, Senior Writer and Associate Professor of Appalachian Studies, ETSU, and News Director, WETS-FM/HD.  Wolfe, born in Asheville, North Carolina, was a contemporary of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.  Although Wolfe did not live to see his 38th birthday, he wrote a series of massive novels as well as short stories, plays, and novellas.  Fred Sauceman, who has studied Wolfe for over 40 years, will examine the relationship between the author’s life and his works and how those writings were shaped by Wolfe’s colorful North Carolina background.

October 26:  Genetic Diseases and New Treatments.  Arthur Garrett, Retired Board-Certified Pediatrician and Geneticist. Genetic disorders as a group presentation with examples of recent developments of cures and great ameliorations of these previously incurable disorders.

November 2: Experiences with The Poetry Society of Tennessee.  Howard Carman, Poet and retired Chemical Engineer.  The Poetry Society of Tennessee (PST) was founded in Memphis in 1953. PST is an inclusive, supportive, “learn by doing” society. Membership includes published poets, beginners, and a few non-writers who simply love poetry.  Howard will share his experiences with PST since retiring from Eastman in 2018, and will include a few select poems for your enjoyment.

November 9: Your Personal Security and Highlights of a Career in the U.S. Marshals Service.   Rebecca J. Marshall, Adjunct Faculty, Criminal Justice and Criminology, ETSU, and retiree of the U.S. Marshals Service Headquarters, Department of Justice, Senior Inspector.  With over 30 years of law enforcement experience, Jill will present some personal security suggestions for your consideration and discuss some of her memories as the woman who paved the way for female police officers in Johnson City, Tennessee, and some highlights from her career serving in the U.S. Marshals Service.

November 16: The History of African Americans in Kingsport, Tennessee. Calvin Sneed, Journalist, History Buff, and Researcher. With more than 50 years devoted to broadcast journalism, Calvin, a self-proclaimed history buff, secretly became an expert on two favorite, totally unrelated topics: African-American origins in his hometown of Kingsport and photographing historically elegant steel truss and concrete arch bridges in parts of the Eastern United States.  Calvin will offer us two presentations.  In the morning, he will give us a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive look at how Black people lived “separate, but equal” lives in the “Model City,” a summation of six months’ research into the archives, documents, and interviews of community residents. In the afternoon, “Bridges: A Love Affair with the Iron and Concrete Wings of America.”  (See below.)


Tuesday, 1:30 – 3:30 PM

October 12: The Role of Public Information Officer for the Kingsport Police Department. Officer Tom Patton. The Public Information Officer (P.I.O.) serves as the department’s official liaison to the media and general public and facilitates numerous community relations and crime prevention programs such as Neighborhood Watch and the highly acclaimed Citizens Police Academy. Plan to learn more about the Kingsport Police Department and how they keep our community safe.  Your questions are welcomed!

October 19:  The Battle of Blountville, Tennessee. Ned Jilton, II, Kingsport Times News. Ned will give us the civilian view of the Civil War Battle of Blountville. Many times, when the stories are told about a battle, the words of officers in command or soldiers doing the fighting are used.  He will share with us the words of civilians that add to the story of that September 1863 fight.

October 26:  Meet the Sheriff of Sullivan County, Jeff Cassidy. The sheriff is a graduate of Sullivan North High School and Bethel University.  He was the Walters State Community College training coordinator and assistant professor in Criminal Justice prior to becoming sheriff in 2018.  He will share about the operations of the sheriff’s office as well as answer your questions.

November 2:  The Clinton 12.  Jerry Shattuck, Attorney-at-Law, Retired.  Jerry had a front row seat when in 1956, the Clinton 12, the first black students, came to school at the previously all-white school in the South after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.  He was the 1956 president of the Clinton High School student council and captain of the football team.  Jerry will share his memories of the inspiring story of how the black and white communities and religious leaders came together to foster a successful transition, a story commemorated at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center and Museum.

November 9:  Stories from Bays Mountain.  David and Brenda Fox, volunteer park guides. Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is a treasure of the Tri-Cities area. Step back in time with us to discover more about the people who lived on Bays Mountain many years ago, plus, how the park became the park we know and love today.

November 16: Bridges: A Love Affair with the Iron and Concrete Wings of America. Calvin Sneed, Journalist, History Buff, and Researcher.  For years, steel truss bridges and concrete arch bridges designed by human hands have leaned against the sky, quietly “bridging the gap” between societies.  Bridges are among the most familiar landmarks in most communities.  Calvin has more than 32,000 photographs of 1,100 bridges that showcase these magnificent structures, each one someone’s favorite. You will leave with a greater appreciation of that truss bridge or arch bridge that lives quietly, but recognizably in your own history.


Wednesday, 10:00 AM – Noon

October 13: Family Mediation and Peacemaking. Rebecca Ketchie, Attorney-at-Law and Shareholder, Wilson Worley PC. She will soon be listed as a Rule 31 Family Mediator, which requires specialized training in communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution.  Family mediators help parties with family law disputes reach their own resolutions in a less destructive and usually less expensive way than going to trial.  Tennessee law requires family cases mediate before their court date.

October 20: Embrace Healthy Living in Kingsport.  Aiesha Banks, Executive Director.   Healthy Kingsport’s mission is to create a sustainable community culture of healthy living by promoting awareness, influencing policy, and enhancing infrastructure. The organization’s vision is a community where healthy living is the norm. Aiesha will show us ways to encourage our community to become healthier.

October 27:  Exploring Spain and Portugal.  Richard Currie, Attorney-at-Law, Retired. Rick is an avid photographer who will treat us to reflections and observations about his visit to these countries. Kingsport Times News spotlights many of his remarkable photos in their weekly Sunday Stories publication.  Rick is a favorite of KACL audiences.

November 10:  ETSU Eagle Camera Project and The George L. Carter Railroad Museum. Fred Alsop, Retired Professor of Biological Sciences, ETSU.  He will give an overview of the Eagle Camera Project.  ETSU is proud to be able to provide this window into nature that offers a view of our local, magnificent Bald Eagles.  Fred will also acquaint us with the history and future of The George L. Carter Railroad Museum.  The museum, dedicated to the memory of George Carter who built the Clinchfield Railroad through 277 miles of mountainous terrain to carry coal from Eastern Kentucky to the Carolina Piedmont, is devoted to the region’s historical ties to railroads.

November 17:  The American Revolution Within.  Andrew Slap, Professor of History, ETSU. This presentation will consider how the American Revolution transformed America’s politics, economics, religion, and the role of women.  The American Revolution won 13 colonies their independence from Great Britain and created a new country.  As with most wars, the conflict did not just change outward relations but also had effects on the society at war.


Wednesday 1:30 – 3:30 PM

October 13 through November 17:  Wisdom Literature by The Great Courses: Proverbs and Job.  Fr. Joseph Koterski, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University.  Several books of the Old Testament of the Bible are known collectively as the Wisdom Literature, which extoll the wisdom afforded by God to His people. This course will span three (3) KACL terms, meeting once a week each term.  During the fall, 2021, term, Fr. Koterski presents (on DVD) two lectures each class period followed by guided discussion searching Proverbs and Job for new insights into our own wisdom as taught by the ancient writers. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite version of the Bible and follow along through these inspiring books.  Other wisdom books – Ecclesiastes, Sirach, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Song of Songs, with excerpts from the Psalms, will be covered in spring and fall of 2022.  Moderator: Dave Petke.


Thursday 10:00 AM – Noon

October 14:  A Looming Disaster: The Franklin Expedition – Continued.  Leslie Lynch, retired trial attorney representing primarily employers before the federal district, 9th circuit and supreme courts.  Leslie will discuss her research into the Arctic trip of the two ships of Her Majesty’s Navy, the Erebus and the Terror, ostensibly to complete the Northwest Passage. The two ships and 129 men disappeared without a trace.  She will examine the theories of later explorers and how those may or may not change based on what Parks Canada discovered in its 2019 exploration of the wrecks and what is found on this year’s exploration.

October 21:  Historical Markers of Kingsport.  Jerry Fritz, Kingsport Historic Marker Researcher. Jerry will acquaint us with the history of Kingsport as told through roadside historic markers. Interesting “backstories,” national historic sites, leaders, and personalities in Kingsport’s early years will be presented.

October 28: Kingsport Area Transit System (KATS) Overview.  Candace Sherer, KATS Transit Planner. Candace is a native of Kingsport and a graduate of Dobyns-Bennett and The University of Tennessee.  She has worked with KATS for more than 10 years and will share how to utilize the bus service and Dial-A-Ride van service. Please try to experience a KATS route of your choice before this presentation.  Candace would appreciate your feedback from your KATS experience.

November 4: COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Survey Results.  Kate Smith, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Hollie Pellosmaa, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Tusculum University.  This study is composed of a host of measures that look at a wide variety of topics, including health behaviors, mental health outcomes, economic security, and social factors.  They will share research collected over an 18-month period that shows the long-term effects of the pandemic on the community.

November 18: The Art of Zentangle®.  Kay Grogg, Certified Zentangle® Teacher. The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.  You do not need previous artistic experience to learn this method of drawing.  Kay will introduce you to the method during this session and you will leave with a unique piece of artwork that you created.  Whether you have attended Kay’s class in a prior term or this is your first class, you are welcome!  Cost: $5 per person (cash only-no checks or credit cards)


Thursday, 1:30 – 3:30 PM

October 14:  Visit the Kingsport Senior Artisan Center!  Michelle Tolbert, Branch Coordinator. Michelle will give us an overview of the consignment gallery for regional artists, ages 50 and up.  All items pass through a juried selection process for entry into the gallery. The gallery contains a variety of one-of-a-kind items including greeting cards, jewelry, pottery, and bath and body items.  These unique items are available for purchase at the Lynn Garden branch site, 257 Walker Street.

October 21:  Meet the Mayor of Kingsport, Patrick W. Shull. The mayor is a native of Kingsport and a graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School, The Citadel, and The University of Tennessee. He is a retiree of the U.S. Army.  Mayor Shull will share “all things Kingsport” as well as answer your questions.

October 28: What is the Kingsport Homeless Ministry?  Betsy Preston, Kingsport Homeless Ministry Secretary.  KHM is a faith-based ministry working with community partners and interested citizens to address the needs of Kingsport’s homeless neighbors. Betsy will update us on the vision and future of the recently purchased low-barrier shelter, “Grace House Kingsport,” located on East Sullivan Street. This shelter will fill an unmet need for those who are unable to enter other shelters.

November 18:  The Quest to Invent – Let’s Make Something Useful!  John Gilmer, Professor of Chemistry, King University. John will describe how one becomes a successful inventor and highlight some of his own inventions from his years in the corporate world as well as answer your questions.

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