- [S104] Cocke County, Tennessee, and its People, Cocke County Heritage Book Committee, (Walsworth Publishing, 1992), 122.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 18 Feb 2006.
After the sun peaked on Thursday the temperatures were all down hill in our hometown like children sledding. A distinguished looking elderly gentlemen walked into the office on Thursday with a problem. He needed a photo identification-apparently knowing we did photos and laminations. The dilemma was he attempted to buy a gun at Wal-Mart but his driver's license did not have a photo on it-yes, that's right, when you are a senior you are not required to have the photo. So, to help I asked Penny Webb to see if she could create a generic ID with a photo I made.
During our conversation, he explained why he needed a gun, and more importantly he shared some stories and information about the former newspaper editor, Jack Shepherd. Burnett P. Hall wears his 85 years well. If you worked at American Enka/BASF you might have worked with him. If you hunted long ago, you may have hunted with him. Burnett was interested in purchasing a Winchester since he no longer had a gun-unusual for a man who decades ago had many. And, he recognized the Winchester 94 as the gun that "won the west." During the 1950s, the time Shepherd edited the Plain Talk & Tribune, he and Burnett were great friends and hunting buddies. Burnett loved to shoot crows and was featured in Field & Stream and many other popular national hunting and fishing magazines. He was known as "Hipshot" Hall, and showed me a page from a sports magazine from that era with his endorsement of Peters ammunition.
When Burnett returned on Friday to get his ID, which we gave to him as a long-time Plain Talk reader, he told me some stories. It seems that in the late 1950s the hunting laws for geese stated that hunting had to end 30 minutes before sunset. It seemed the geese were wise to the law and didn't show up at the lake until sunset. Burnett told Jack that the law needed to be changed, so Jack immediately got on the phone and started calling fellow editors. It resulted in a meeting in Nashville where Burnett, Z Buda, Tony Morris, and Jack talked with the commissioner at the Knoll Hotel. "They changed the law. A little country paper and editor did that."
And, of course, Editor Shepherd loved hunting. Burnett said he dropped in to the newspaper office one day to see if Jack wanted to hunt. Ola Fancher, Jack's aunt, reminded him that Col. M. M. Bullard and US Senator Estes Kefauver were soon due in town. "Tell them I had to go hunting with Burnett," he said, walking out the door.
A Cocke Countian, he is married to the former June Dalton, celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary last Sept. 15. You may know their children: Janice Seay works for the city mayor's office; Jane Reese married Luther and they live in Mississippi; George Burnett is a teacher at Knox Halls; and Richard Hall died in Vietnam. Burnett worked almost 38 years at Lowland specializing on timepiece repairs and has been retired for two decades. His father, George Hall, was register of deeds during the 1940s-the office held today by Linda Benson. "I've never been arrested," he said, wondering why he would need a photo ID-but you know the law's the law. Burnett's almost as old as the law. He noted that of the 13 close hunting friends over the years, only one survives, Ted Sluder, who Burnett described as a former world-class trap shooter. A most unusual fellow hunter from those days was Hood Nichols, of Jefferson County. This fellow was a champion shooter but accidentally got some lime in one of his eyes while tending to a chicken house. He had to switch shoulders and relearn how to shoot but still excelled in competition. I found out the rest of the story late Friday. Wal-Mart did not recognize the ID we made-as I suspected. So, Burnett went to the county clerk's office and got the help of Janice Butler and soon had his new photo ID driver's license and later his rifle purchased. Burnett gets about well and said that the only thing he's noticed, "the hills are getting a little steeper."
Just Plain Talk
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 27 Feb 2006.
Several of you told me that you liked hearing about your friend of years gone by, Burnett "Hipshot" Hall. I bumped into Gary Hammonds and Harry Chambers at the gas utility meeting last week and both recalled hunting with him. At Town & Country Drugs, my friend M.E. Edwards was also a friend of Hipshot’s and worked with him at American Enka. In plain talk, there are so many stories held closely for decades by our neighbors and most of the information may be lost forever when these people leave us one by one.
- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 28 May 2008.
(March 18, 1920 - May 28, 2008)
Burnett “Hipshot” Hall, age 88, of Newport, passed away, Wednesday, May 28, 2008. He is a member of Fellowship Baptist Church. He retired from BASF formerly American ENKA, and was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He is survived by his wife, June Hall of Newport; children, Jane Reece and husband Luther of McComb, Miss, Janice Seay and husband Roger of Newport, George Hall and wife Sandra of Knoxville; grandchildren, Jason Reece and wife Katye of Madison, Miss, Amanda Layton and husband John of Mendenhall, Miss, Nikki and Dustin Seay of Newport, Lesley and Andrew Hall of Knoxville; great granddaughter, Maggie Reece of Madison, Miss; and a close family friend, Ted Sluder of Newport. Funeral services will be held 2:00 pm Friday, May 30, 2008 in Manes Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Mike Hensley officiating. Burial will follow in Resthaven Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 1-2 pm Friday at Manes Funeral Home prior to the funeral. In lieu of flowers, donations are accepted at Celebrate Life Cancer Support Group, 824 Tucker Place, Dandridge, TN 37725.