- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 10 Dec 2006.
Emma Ruth Hurley Hill obituary
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 3 Aug 2012.
More stories in store just above Bybee Market
(c)2012 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
Von and Carolyn Smith relax in their cool patio on a 90-degree day. They have lived above Bybee Market since 1969 and operated the market for at least 10 years after building it.
Author: David Popiel
Heavy rains Monday night brought threatening electrical storms that cooled the nighttime air over our hometown and cleared the skies for the August 1 full moon. A cool back-to-school morning on Thursday was as welcome as Jimmy McNabb's yellow school buses.
Before continuing our story on Bybee Market and some other connections to it and that Highway 160 community, let me mention a few folks you know that I happened to talk with mid-week in Newport. The older mom and dad and their young blond girls caught my eye at the Walmart Subway. "Who are they? I know them." And when I sat down and started talking with Larry and Betty Blount, I found out the girls were their twin granddaughters, Emma and Hannah Minar. Betty, of course, is a most talented craftsperson of the sewing arts working under her artist name of Akira. She creates soft sculpture little people that are much in demand. I found out that she is no longer doing the arduous multi-state craft venue for sales but is part of an arts/crafts store (Ariel Gallery) located on Biltmore Street in downtown Asheville next to Mast General store. If you are there, drop in and see her dolls. You can see her art also at Bennett Gallery, Knoxville, off Kingston Pike.
Equally surprising last week was to see Elza Painter at our office. With a full head of white hair and not looking much older he still does some print and photo framing. For those who don't know or remember, he was a photographer for 50 years and operated Painter's Photography where Jeannie's sewing shop is today off East Broadway. Elza is in his early 80s and does complain about poor eye sight. He told me some interesting things that I promise to share on his birthday in November.
Now back to Bybee Market
Cocke County is fortunate to have many small grocery stores that are mostly family owned or leased and operated by local folks. Bybee Market fits this pattern and like most offers good food. Sadly, Parrotts Place off Highway 340 and Hwy. 321 is now closed and they too had a diner. So let's talk some more with Bybee store operator Denise Suggs. She told me about the changing menu each day. But the prime meal is something else: "We sell the heck out of subs." They average 45 to 50 per day and carry on the tradition started by Von Smith in the late 1960s and 1970s. This was when traffic flow to American Enka at Lowland was heavy. He took the trouble to buy fresh baked sub buns from Knoxville. Denise continues this and uses nothing but fresh cut meats and cheeses and fresh hamburger too. We will talk more about the creation of the Bybee sub in upcoming columns.
"We have a very good crew of workers," she said. These employees include Tootsie Jacobson, Candice Bridges, Brittany Gorrell, Brittany Duncan, Chelsey Hurley, Mindy Reed, Lori Holloway, and Kathy Gossett. They are not all full time and some are students working during summers or after school and weekends. Denise is helping a lot of young folks by offering them work. Speaking of that, I asked "Just what in the world does Charlie do?" He, Charlie Cobble, of Parrottsville, is the official handyman for the store. When a light burns out or the grill doesn't work, Charlie is the fixer. Another person that Denise relies upon is Ronnie Moore. Because, while Denise is a people person and Plain Talk People's Choice Award winner, she hates paperwork. Ronnie keeps up with the books and paying the taxes. His home and office is just south of the market.
I noted that the Bybee Methodist Church members support the store and so do the folks at the nearby Telamon Center. It wouldn't' surprise me to learn that Dr. John Chambers and staff in Bybee love the subs and store-cooked lunch meals. "We appreciate the loyal support of the community." Fortunately for them and the workers who stop for a dine-in meal or sub to go, Denise plans to work for many more years. It is apparent she knows her customers and loves them, as she glanced up to one man walking in and invited everyone in the store, "Sing happy birthday to him." She encouraged her "girls" to know and greet everyone to make them feel at home at Bybee Market. I am sure it improves your digestion to eat among friends and a welcome atmosphere.
From miracle to tragedies
My summer visits to the Bybee market brought some most interesting conversations and a story or two that I am sharing after again chatting with Von and Carolyn Smith at their home last week. You recall that I mentioned they live above the Bybee Market because he, family, and friends built the popular grocery in 1968 and it was in full operation by 1969. He wanted me to be sure to explain why he limps; not from an accident or polio or birth defect. Also, what happened to him after his ill-fated accident at age two is simply a miracle. "God healed me," he proclaimed, and after our visit it is easy to see that he believes in the adage that you can overcome all things. Bike riding, sports at school, farm jobs, heavy industrial work, grocery store operation, rain or shine mail delivery nothing was impossible for the man who believed he could.
I won't keep you in suspense about the limp. Perhaps you noticed he wears about a three-inch lift on the bottom of his left shoe. When he was about two years old, he suffered a bad fall down the stairs into a bed post and crushed his pelvis. During this time he also had contracted TB that further damaged the hip. The Greeneville South Carolina Shrine Hospital was his home for about one year. That must have been about 1934-35 according to my calculations. Surgeons removed his left pelvic bone and therefore he has no hip joint. This also made Von rely on crutches and a brace to be able to walk. And so his life as a child suddenly became very different than most for a couple of years. He recalls that sometime between ages four and five the family received a call that there was a woman holding tent prayer services and she was healing people. Von's mother took him to the place in Ohio where the woman prayed for him, told them to take him home, hang up the crutches and take off the brace. At their Cleveland home they did this and Von miraculously began walking and has done so ever since. Naturally, he has slowed down a bit because he approaches age 80 this January.
Family could not stay together
Those of his age or older may recall his father, Eldy Smith, who was born at Grassy Fork. Eldy and his son, George Beech Smith went to New Jersey to work at an orchard as there were no open jobs in Cocke County during the Great Depression. Eldy was married to Lola Neas Smith and for a time they lived about a mile south of the current Bybee Market off Highway 160. Sadly, Lola contracted TB, died in 1942, and all her children were placed in Christian homes. Von went to live with her brother, Truman Neas. At one time he worked at a Newport hardware store before moving to Ohio. Truman and wife, Nan, raised Von until he ran away at age 16. This was just the kind of determined fellow he was: to get ahead and do something with his life rather than lament his handicap. He did attend some school at Northport and Newport Grammar. He fondly recalls his Knoxville Journal paper route along North Street and Clifton Heights area when he as about nine. One of his best friends growing up was O.B. Hayes, who later was killed in New Jersey. O.B. got into the tree trimming business but fell from a tree and died.
Von also has four sisters to help him, one being the late Carol Ann Ottinger. His sisters are Willie Jean Holt of Ohio; Mervine Fabris, of Cleveland, Ohio; and Idella Johnson, of Tazewell. When Von got tired of Newport he headed to New Jersey and worked in the asparagus fields for a year. This must not have been fun because he returned home then. Like many young men during the late 1940s and 1950s, he worked for Doodle Weems at the Super Dollar store, got tired of this and went to the bus station in town. He had relatives in Cleveland. Ohio, so that's where he traveled. Now, as chance would have it Carolyn Wise, formerly of Cocke County was already living in Cleveland along with hundreds of others who worked in the nation's steel mills and manufacturing plants, before they all moved to China.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 24 Aug 2012.
More changes taking place about Newport, just look and see
(c)2012 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
Earl Norton, at right, talks with customer Jerry Crum on Wednesday afternoon. Earl operates M&N Automotive located next to the By Lo market off Cosby Highway. The garage had not operated for more than 30 years until Earl opened his business there about five months ago.
Author: David Popiel
We are fast approaching the last full moon of the month on the last day of August when temperatures dipped in our hometown making us believe that fall is arriving early along with the string of morning fogs and departures of the last swallows.
You recall that we talked about the new Dollar General store built at Hwy. 411 and Highway 25/70 not far from the Shell station at the intersection leading to Bush Brother's cannery and center. By the way, visit the antique car show at the Bush center Saturday only. The Dollar General opened on Aug. 1 with Bria March the manager. I met Laura Potter, an associate manager who lives in Newport. She is from Roane County and coincidentally knows Rick Hooper, our managing editor, who worked for the Roane County newspapers years ago. Rick and Jenny's daughter, Didi and Laura were schoolmates. Another employee I met is Tina Dillon of Cosby. Her sister works at the Parrottsville Dollar General. The store employes eight people and shows off the new retail concept and style for the national change.
Construction is also moving along on the new Stinnett Chevrolet showroom, and Marc Stinnett said this will be open in October. The old building is getting a facelift to match the new structure façade. That day Marc and Dad, Cleo, were getting ready to deliver a red Silverado 2500 to Hot Springs and wishing the bridge was not closed.
New business operators welcome you
During the past weeks I've been noticing changes at the By Lo market off Cosby Highway at Cave Church Road. You've seen the equipment and men digging and working in the parking lot last week, so I stopped in Wednesday as the temperatures were rising. The By Lo market has been one of the Plain Talk's busiest locations for newspaper sales, and I wanted to be sure we are still inside after Mo Swanson retired months ago. I believe that Tim Layman operated the market for a while and then Vijay Patel, who owns the I-40 and 25/70 BP store, took over on August 13. The property is still owned by Billy Pat Cureton and his sister, Norma Jean Myers. I think their parents lived on the hill above the market and former garage years and years ago.
Vijay confirmed that he is tearing out the old gas pumps that had not been operated for many years. Then the parking lot is going to be paved so customers have more and easier access. The inside of the store is changed to add more merchandise and soon you will see a new sign for the business. Plain Talk customers will still have the convenience of picking up the latest news at our inside rack.
While watching the ditching and construction, and since Doug's Pig barbecue bus was closed for the day, I wandered over to the garage. As I mentioned, it has been so long since this garage was open and operating that I don't have a memory of it. A familiar man standing inside while his car was being repaired was Jerry Crum. Perhaps you know him, as I do, as the brother to Cocke County Deputy David Crum. Jerry worked and retired from Falcon Products years ago. Also seated inside taking a break was M&N Automotive boss Earl Norton. He is a Bridgeport Norton, the son of the late Robert Norton and Mom, Barbara Franklin. For about 40 years, Earl has been a mechanic starting out working for area dealers and then for the past 28 years running his own mechanic shop. He has five fulltime mechanics and does everything from motors, transmission repair to oil changes. As the business grows at the busy location, he plans to add another service bay. It's good to see the looks of the location improve and these businesses doing well in Newport.
Family could not stay together
We left off last week moving along in a tragic story told to me by Von Smith concerning he and Carolyn's adopted daughter Gail Heffelfinger and later Gail Holt. After working many years in Newport, Gail and son, Chris, left Tennessee and lived in Paducah, Kentucky, where she continued to work and he got a college education. They were returning to Cocke County in May 1993 to live here again. The moving truck they used broke down on a ramp in Nashville. While waiting outside the truck for the wrecker, a car came along the ramp and ran into Gail. She was knocked many feet into the air and along the pavement and died hours later at Vanderbilt Medical Center on May 22, 1993 at age 46. The late Rev. Artie Ray Chapman officiated at the Manes funeral, and Gail was buried at the Smith family plot at Clay Creek Cemetery.
Those of Von's age or older, he is 79, may recall his father, Eldy Smith, who was born at Grassy Fork. Eldy and his son, George Beech Smith, went to New Jersey to work at an orchard as there were no open jobs in Cocke County during the Great Depression. Eldy was married to Lola Neas Smith and for a time they lived about a mile south of the current Bybee Market off Highway 160 on the Hurley property. Sadly, Lola contracted TB, died in 1942, and all her children were placed in Christian homes. Von went to live with Lola's brother, Truman Neas. At one time he worked at a Newport hardware store before moving to Ohio. Truman and wife, Nan, raised Von until he ran away at age 16.
- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 23 Jan 2013.
(January 30, 1933 - January 23, 2013)
Von I. Smith, age 79, of Bybee, passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2013. He was a member of Stokely’s Chapel Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by his son, Michael Smith; daughter, Brenda Smith; foster daughter, Gail Holt; parents, Eldy and Lola Smith; brother, G. B. Smith and sister, Carol Ann Ottinger. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carolyn Smith of Bybee; daughter-in-law, Sherrie Smith of Newport; grandsons, Trevor Von (Cara) Smith of Johnson City, Kreg Cody Smith of Newport; foster grandson, Chris Holt; sisters, Mervine Fabris, of Ohio, Willie Jean Holt of Ohio, and Idella Johnson of Tazewell; sister-in-law, Mary Smith of New Jersey; three great-grandchildren; special family, George, Ronnie and Paul C. Nease; also other family and friends. Funeral services will be held 7:00 pm Saturday, January 26, 2013 in Manes Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Wayne Wyatt officiating. Burial will be held 2:00 pm Sunday, January 27, 2013 in Clay Creek Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm Saturday at Manes Funeral Home prior to the funeral service.
Family and friends may sign the guest register on line at www.manesfuneralhome.com
Manes Funeral Home in charge
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 24 Jan 2013.
Von Smith, well-known business owner, dies
VON I. SMITH
Author: Duay O'Neil
BYBEE-Von I. Smith, well-known retired business owner and mail carrier, died suddenly early Wednesday morning. He was 79.
Smith and his wife, Carolyn, built the large, two-story building alongside Hwy. 160 in Bybee that has been home to Bybee Market since its opening in 1969. The Smiths resided upstairs over the business.
After their retirement from the grocery business, the Smiths continued to lease the business to other operators.
Smith also was a retired postal employee who carried the mail in the Bybee community for many years.
- [S87] Death Certificate.
Name Date of Death / Age County of Death County / State of Residence Marital Status Gender Race File #
SMITH VON I 01-23-2013 / 79 COCKE COCKE / TN MARRIED M WHITE 4619
- [S147] Find a Grave, (Memorial: 104050999).