- [S104] Cocke County, Tennessee, and its People, Cocke County Heritage Book Committee, (Walsworth Publishing, 1992), 264.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 14 Jan 2007.
Give him an old model car
Working on a van together recently in his Upperboard and English Street shop are Robie Lindsey, at right, and helper, Jimmy Stuart.
By: DAVID POPIEL
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
One way you can tell it is early in the new year in our hometown is the increased traffic to the tax preparation offices, as folks hope for cash returns to tune up their rides.
Sometimes you just have to make ends meet or spend a handful of dollars to get a few more miles out of your favorite vehicle.
In the case of 82-year-old Robie Lindsey, fixing what ails your car helps him stretch his Social Security check from month to month and keeps him in touch with his friends-of whom he has many.
Over the years I've heard folks talk about his abilities in auto repairs and rank him among the old timers of mechanics in Cocke County. It wasn't until a few weeks ago I bumped into him and introduced myself. He invited me to visit his shop next to his Upperboard and English Street home. Perhaps you've been by the small, white frame house many times. I guess the last time I was in the neighborhood was when a fire killed children and an adult in a house just down the street.
A slim Jimmy Stuart-no kin to the late movie star-was in front of the garage that day last week and we talked. It didn't take long to find out he is an uncle to my pressman, Chris Stuart-son of Jesse Stuart. Jesse is a brother to Jimmy, 57, who is disabled after a long career as a short-haul truck driver. Raised in Hamblen County, Jimmy lives in Newport and hangs out with Robie, handing him a wrench or his favorite tool, a big ball peen hammer. There is another brother, Donald-all children of the late Estel and Narve Stuart. Jimmy's wife is Evon. Robie was born on upper Cosby, Guntertown-named after a grandparent. Robie was one of seven children of Jethro Lindsey and Nora Ball Lindsey. Rufus, "who was the best transmission man in town," is deceased. Other children include Ruble, Ray, Rodie Mathis, and Ruby Baxter-and one died as an infant.
Most folks from Jethro's era were accomplished hands at many chores-farming, mechanic work, woodworking-in order to survive in the mountains. Rodie, being of small frame, was often called upon by his Dad to crawl into places under and around cars to help fix them. The A Model Ford remains a favorite. His other "best" picks are the 1936 and 1940 Fords. His own car is a 1988 Lincoln Town Car and he doesn't think much of modern vehicles. If you didn't get to know him years ago, it may be that he was living in Belmont, NC, for 30 years and worked in the cotton mills-Majestic Mill. He was 16 when he began working for real cash to help run the machines, which were hard to repair during WW II because of parts shortages. Later, Robie quit the mill and went to work for the Ford dealer and also a big southern bakery chain as a mechanic. Ruby still lives in Gastonia and some of his children are in NC.
About 1980, Robie returned to Newport and worked for Campbell's garage in Northport. He said that Harold Campbell was a real stickler for having autos for sale, which here in top mechanical shape. After a few years and few hundred tune-ups he retired at age 62. He found out though "that I drew just enough to make me mad." Back in the community, he also remarried and made the former Jan Keller, of Parrottsville, his wife. You may know her brother, Wayne Keller. They have lived off Upperbroad for about eight years with a host of cats-like Momma Cat One, and Momma Cat Two. Whether your car needs new brakes, a tune-up, even a transmission rebuild, he can do it-so long as the vehicle is not too new. His advice to newer model owners: "If you go out of town with it, you better stay on a bus route." How did this fellow live so long and can continue to do mechanic work? He can't put his finger on the formula but admits to quit smoking cigarettes when they were 25 cents a pack. His children are Roger Lindsey in the National Guard, Diane, who lives in Belmont, Nora, and Jimmy, of Wisconsin. One sad note during the years relates to the death of his daughter, Kathy. She was just 28 years old with children. It seems that her ex-husband went to pick her up in Belmont. He had not gone far when his vehicle entered an intersection. Kathy, in the passenger, side was struck by a truck, killing her. In plain talk, our vehicles offer both a way to make a living or a one way out of this world.
- [S112] Census, 1940.
name: Robie Lindsay
titles & terms:
event year: 1940
event place: Civil District 9, Cocke, Tennessee, United States
marital status: Single
race (standardized): White
relationship to head of household (original):
relationship to head of household (standardized): Son
estimated birth year: 1924
residence in 1935: Same House
enumeration district number: 15-19
family number: 199
sheet number and letter: 12B
line number: 62
nara publication number: T627
nara roll number: 3881
digital folder number: 005461287
image number: 00597
Household Gender Age Birthplace
head Jethero Lindsay M 40 Tennessee
son Robie Lindsay M 16 Tennessee
daughter Ruby Lindsay F 13 Tennessee
son Ruble Lindsay M 10 Tennessee
son Rufus Lindsay M 8 Tennessee
son Roy Lindsay M 6 Tennessee
daughter Roda Lindsay F 4 Tennessee
mother Mary Alice Gunter F 64 Tennessee
father-in-law Noah Gunter M 66 Tennessee
- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 11 Oct 2010.
(July 24, 1927 - October 11, 2010)
Robie G. Lindsey age 86 of Newport passed away Monday. October 11, 2010 at his sisters home after a lingering illness.. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathy Lindsey, great grand daughter, Madison Rabun, parents, Jethro and Nora Ball Lindsey, step mother, Mary Phillips Lindsey grand parents, James and Mary Alice Lindsey Gunter, brothers, Rufus and Gerald Lindsey, Ray Phillips, sisters, Roxie, Reva Dean Emma Lou, Geraldine and Sara Lindsey, sister in laws Mattie and Essie Mae Lindsey and brother in law, Bob Baxter. He is survived by his children, Roger (Joyce) Lindsey of Belmont, NC, James (Gina) Lindsey Cosby, Tn, Diann (Robbie) Morris of Mt. Holly, NC and Nora Lindsey of Belmont, NC, grandchildren, Cindy, Geanie, Tara, Misty, Mitch,Tina, Sandy, Robie, Tonya, Josh, B.J., Daniel, great grand children, Alex, Jax, Ethan, Connor, Kathy, Dylan, Nick, Taylor, Reece, Cohen, Shia, Izzy, great great grand children, Bailey, Caiden, Tyler and Jordan, step mother Callie Lindsey of Newport, brothers, Ruble Lindsey of Cosby, Randall Lindsey of Newport, Ronnie Lindsey of Charlotte, NC, brother and sister in law, Ray and Lois Lindsey of Dallas, NC, sisters, Ruby Baxter of Gastonia, NC , Rhoda Mathis of Newport, sisters and brothers in laws, Ruth and Fred Gregg, Loretta and Tommy Moore of Newport, Barbara and Ron Baker of Dandridge, Tn, sister in law, Betty Phillips of Maxton, NC and a host of friends. Funeral service will be 8:00pm Thursday at the Manes Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Robbie Cain and Rev. Fred Gregg officiating. Interment will be 10:00 am Friday in the Catonís Grove Cemetery. Family will receive friends 6-8 pm Thursday prior to the service. Manes Funeral Home in charge.