- [S104] Cocke County, Tennessee, and its People, Cocke County Heritage Book Committee, (Walsworth Publishing, 1992), 201.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 8 Jul 2011.
Early July's fireworks included a sudden storm over Bybee
Butch Phillips stands by a large poplar tree that got uprooted during late Wednesday afternoon's storm at Bybee. Phillips lives off Mellow Road and was outside when the hailstorm struck, damaging or destroying many of his trees.
Author: David Popiel
Each week it continues to be we talk about the weather with its dark skies, yet there has been other dark happenings such as the arson fires the Plain Talk covered last week on Bogard, with our hometown making it through July 4th rather quietly except the bursting of fireworks and now tree limbs.
There were several things I fully intended to share with you this weekend after chatting with Mary Ruth (Stinson) Thompson about her family. Also, a Florida woman now living in Del Rio has a great idea for a column related to the Wolf Creek Bridge. You will hear more about this soon. And of course, we will finish our visit with Dan and Mary Salisbury, who ride about in a restored 1960 Volvo. All this got interrupted by a fellow who walked into the Plain Talk office late Thursday morning to ask if I wanted a story about the storm at Mellow Road. Asking if I wanted a story would be like asking Tom O'Dell if he'd like to see some great hunting dogs. So, after Butch Phillips left for his Mellow Road home, I followed through Rankin and onto Bybee Road. We passed the James Ellison farm where the late afternoon storm damaged trees and tore tin off a farm shed. Most of the damage off Mellow Road was isolated to an area about a mile from Bybee Road. Butch, who is retired from Sonoco Products, has lived at 1761 Mellow Rd. for more than 20 years and never saw anything like the storm that hit his property about 5:45 p.m. "It was a prolonged hail storm. There was a tremendous amount of rain, real fast," he said. Butch had been sitting on his golf cart near his newly-built garage. How this came about is a story in itself. Rain started sprinkling and in minutes he couldn't see the landscape. Neighbor Harvey Brown lost a huge sycamore and other trees. April Turner witnessed destruction to more than a dozen trees and damage to a building. The hail was pea-sized and the storm, or small twister, brought down a 60-foot poplar, tore limbs off a linden tree, and downed a patch of locust trees before crossing Mellow Road and then returning. He said the storm lasted for about 30 minutes. While we talked, his friend, Bill Miller, drove up in an old blue truck with his chainsaw to get to work creating firewood for sale.
Butch told me that during the late April tornado, the storm hit his property with "tennis-ball sized hail" and also ripped off siding. This time, his home escaped damage. As we talked, I learned that his family comes from the Trail Hollow area of Cosby and his parents are Helen (Parton) Phillips and the late Mitchell Phillips. Butch is married to Drucilla (Miller) Phillips, who still works with UT Home Medical service. After leaving, I drove about six-tenths miles to Hayes Hill Café to find Irene Rathbone at work. During my lunch, folks talked about the storm and other trees that toppled, blocking Bybee Rd. I also learned that Rev. Bobby Hayes, who pastored in Hot Springs, died Wednesday morning. Many of you know him, the son of Ike and Ola Mae Hayes. Irene told me that Blue Ridge Funeral Home in Marshall, NC handled the funeral. Irene's late husband, Tracy Rathbone, died in June five years ago.
As we revisit Dan and Mary Salisbury, it's good to see how many talented people work in some way related to car repairs or restoration. Those who don't have the hands-on skills can easily find local folks who do. That's good news for Dan, who managed over the past 40 years to own about 47 different vehicles. When Dan retired in New York, he linked up with the dealer who had the 1960 Volvo, but Dan had to promise never to take it to a junkyard before he could buy it. From there the car went into Dan's storage for 10 more years, making it a total of 30 years, I believe, and that takes us to their move to Newport. His first fortune was to meet Albert Shepherd a master car restorer who also works with upholsterer John Clark. Albert told Dan, "I don't work on foreign cars," but when he saw the Volvo and some similarity to 1940 model American cars with the humped back and bulging front fenders, he agreed to take on the project. Albert started in 2006 and finished in late 2010. He took the body off, built an entire new frame out of steel from scratch and made the front-end suspension, fuel system, and drive train. Before the frame and body were complete, Dan also made friends with Stanley Allison of St. Tide Road and former Ford dealership service manager. Stanley, who is in his mid-80s, has a solid reputation as an engine builder for racing cars and street rods. He had just completed a late-model 351 (cubic inch) Ford engine. The motor was mated to a Ford C-4 automatic transmission and S-10 Chevrolet rear-end. This was chosen because of the type of wheels Albert and Dan wanted to use. Dennis Edmonds, owner of Performance Exhaust, built and installed the exhaust system, including dual Flowmaster mufflers before it all went to Clark for interior finishing. "Everybody who worked on it is in Cocke County. They are the best I've ever seen in each of the categories," said Dan.
The Ford engine had been built for another customer who later decided not to take delivery. Dan showed up at Stanley's St. Tide Hollow shop and bought the 351M series motor and immediately asked master engine builder Stanley if the Ford V-8 had enough horsepower. Stanley smiled and patted Dan on the back. "Don't worry sonny, you'll like it." The 350-horsepower, deep-rumbling power plant is plenty of thunder. Albert installed the engine and also put the final Spanish red paint job on. The car was an early Christmas 2010 present but without its final vanilla-white interior. Clark did the trunk, seats-rolled and pleated leather, carpet, door panels, headliner and trim. Dan said he also is pleased with the wide street tread tires he bought from Westgate Tire.
When mid-spring arrived, the Salisburys took it out for the first time and to a show in Dandridge. Another important touch to give it a distinct look was added by master window tinter Steve Miller, who was aided by his son, Eston, at the Newport Tinting business. After 35 years in storage, the 1960 Volvo has a new life and many miles of road yet to travel. Dan also owns a 1981 El Camino Conquista. This car is at Albert's shop now. I have yet to ride in Dan's car and hope we all have miles to go before we sleep.
Just Plain Talk: Early July's fireworks included a sudden storm over Bybee
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 28 Jan 2005.
Marie Sweigart Miller obituary