Transcribed by Becky Campbell
January 2, 1947
* Cal's Column *
We have been absent from the columns of the Times for many weeks, due largely to one of the busiest seasons we have ever had. Even now we are rushed to the limit with work. Long ago in our youthful days, we felt that if we worked hard and tried to use a little bit of judgement and business sense, we ought to be able to rest from the time we were fifty until the end of the way. But, alas! we have more to do now than we had in our thirties or forties, and less strength with which to meet the increasing burdens and responsibilities. However, we still believe one is better off to wear out than to rust out.
We have under consideration a proposition to publish a small monthly paper for a minister in West Tennessee. He has recently lost his printer connection through the ill health of the typesetter who has set the type for the paper for several months. We have offered a proposition to do the printing if the paper can be mailed in West Tennessee by the owner and without adding to our already heavy duties. We do not have time to add on the extra work required to keep the mailing lists in order.
The editor has been extended a unanimous call to succeed himself as pastor of Mace's Hill Baptist church, between Dixon Springs and Pleasant Shade. This call was made on last Saturday afternoon and was one of the most appreciated ever offered the writer. This was because of the fact that he has served this church continuously since its organization on August 16, 1917, a period of more than 29 years. During this time the church has grown rapidly in membership, from 35 at its organization to 395 at this time. He does not ask any credit for this large increase, but does acknowledge a tremendous debt of gratitude to his Maker and to the church. During these years the church has contributed approximately $12,000 to the pastor's support. This church is located a quarter mile from where the editor was born and where he grew to manhood. He considers the Mace's Hill church the crowning work of his ministerial life and is humbly grateful to the great Giver of all blessings for His loving favors along the way.
On December 8th, in company with our younger children and two neighbor boys, we made a trip to Celina, Dale Hollow, Livingston and Cookeville. At Celina we saw the devastation wrought by the worst fire in the history of Clay's county seat, the loss being estimated at more than a hundred thousand dollars. The worst feature of the whole disaster was that the fire started from the scuffling of the two men who were in an argument over the boundary line between their lands, and who overturned a stove that set fire to a filling station, from which the fire spread to the hotel, stores and other places until nearly a dozen buildings had gone up in smoke. We doubt seriously if a hundred dollars were involved in the disputed line, but this dispute will cost innocent people perhaps a hunderd thousand dollars above their insurance. How often do those who are guilty and responsible compel the innocent to suffer! Our courts cannot reach many of the unfortunate cases, but feel sure there is a kind of justice in the works to come where unjust and undeserved afflictions put on the innocent by the guilty, will be heard and those who were able to get around the courts of justice on earth will be properly punished.
We found that the debris from the fire had already been largely moved away and that every thing indicated that the losers of the property were planning to rebuild. It will, however be a costly proposition to rebuild at this time, with materials extremely scarce and high and with wages five times as high as they were 15 years ago.
From Celina we visited the big dam that impounds the waters of Dale Hollow Lake. The dam has been finished and is a wonderful piece of concerte and steel. Across the top of the dam a highway has been constructed, enabling the the motoring public and other travelers to cross to the south bank of Obey River and to pursue their way then east or west. The huge lake some time ago reached the level deemed sufficient by engineers. So to keep the level from rising higher, part of the gates of the dam have been opened and the level of the lake is dropping slightly, which shows that some more water is leaving the lake through the gates at the bottom of the dam than is being fed into the lake by the river above and the streams that run into it. The pressure of the water of the lake which is in places 120 feet deep is so great that the released water comes from the openings with tremendous speed and shoots far out down the river, turning white under pressure and some of it forming vapor. It is a very pretty sight and makes a wonderful picture. The releasing of the waters is reported to have raised the Cumberland near Hartsville two feet.
The work of installing the big generators to "make" electricity is well under way. A huge concrete box has been built just below the dam, the bottom of which goes down to the leve of the floor of the lake or perhaps somewhat lower. In this the generators and other equipment for turning the flowing and high pressured waters of the big lake into electricity are being installed. However, it is not known how long a time will elapse before current will be flowing from the dam to turn the wheels of industry and to give light and power to thousands of homes.
From Dale Hollow we motored over the rather crooked Cordell Hull Highway to Livingston where we "et," and then paid a visit to our fellow newspaper man, Mr. Eldridge, of the Livingston Enterprise, who treated us with every kindness and the greatest of courtesy. We found him home very pleasant and left it with a feeling that we would like to go back some time.
From Livingston we motored south to Cookeville where we sought to see our former typesetter and printer, Buel B. Bernard, who, we thought, was still working for the Cookeville paper. But he had left Cookeville some weeks before and had gone back to Kentucky, where he was born and reared. We did not learn of his present address. From Cookeville we took the road to Carthage, thence to Hartsville and then on to Lafayette, getting back to Lafayette too late to milk the cows, which task we had promised to do before leaving in the morning. Even preachers do not keep a lot of their promises, at least some of them do not.
The weather on Sunday was about the finest we have ever seen in December. The was in the sixties or low seventies, the air had a smoky, Indian summer appearance, and many leaves still glowed the the brilliant colors of the finest autumn we can recall. Pastures were still green and fields of wheat and rye were like the springtime for greenness.