Jim Jewell: Random thoughts from a rambling (on) man

As many of you read this column, I will be about 30,000 feet somewhere between here and the Southwest corner.
Jul 1, 2014
Jim Jewell


As many of you read this column, I will be about 30,000 feet somewhere between here and the Southwest corner.

I have too many thoughts about what transpired for the last ten days to grasp it in its entirety.

Through it all, I was continually amazed… no, thrilled with Lebanon folks’ outpouring of support and well wishes, including praise of our parents for being a good, fine, and caring couple. I’m sure it pleases them greatly.


It is clear Lebanon folks don’t forget and are caring themselves. As sister Martha Duff, brother Joe, and i were about to leave Deer Park one day last week, a man in a pickup flagged us down. It was Larry Norton. He had taken time after leaving work to bring us a memento of my folks. It was a key chain from Hankins and Smith Motors. For those who might not know, Hankins and Smith was the Pontiac Dealership and distributor for Pan-Am Oil before it became Hankins, Byars and Jewell and then Hankins and Jewell. The dealership was located on East Main immediately south of the original First Baptist Church before it expanded.

Larry, his brother Dan and their parents lived next to George and Naomi Martin on West End Heights. Naomi was my father’s older sister and George was one of his best friends and fishing buddy. Larry was in the class behind brother Joe at Castle Heights.

We could have talked for hours. Connections are fascinating.


My two siblings and I were here for the bulk of ten days. Spouses and children were absent except for a brief interlude Saturday when Martha’s husband, Todd and their son Tommy picked up furniture designated for Signal Mountain. It was three siblings going about their business. Yet if one can put aside the reason for us being here, it was a wonderful opportunity to share the load with the time to talk about what we were then, what we are now, in-depth family news, and strengthening a bond that has existed all along.


As I often have proclaimed in this column, I am not into politics nor is this column ever intended to be my political bully pulpit. The following comment has no bearing on the politics of the looming election. However, there are three people running for offices in Lebanon who are flat out good people: Haywood Barry, Jim Major, and Clara Byrd. If their politics are of your bent, I can vouch for them being good friends.


Monday, I smelled the past. For folks who live here, the rain likely is no big deal. That is of course unless there is flooding. You wish it would go away when it’s here, especially if it’s a thunderstorm, and you want it when it hasn’t rained for a while. 

For this Southwest corner denizen where, Monday’s rain and thunderstorms took me back more than 50 years. The “smell of rain on the wind” as Kris Kristofferson has sung came into my senses while working outside Monday afternoon. 

The ensuing thunder claps were a pleasant reminder to take proper cover. I remember clearly such thunder while playing golf at Hunters’ Point with Henry Harding in the late 1960’s. We were in a cart on the back side of the course when the thunder came. We drove into a shelter built for rain avoidance and talked while the storm passed through.

And Monday night, I slept better with the sound of rain on the roof.

Thanks, Mother nature.


I am so glad I was in Lebanon for the College World Series. Long suffering Vanderbilt fans, yours truly included, were rewarded big time. The only negative about the baseball team winning the title was how women’s bowling was minimalized. That team won the NCAA championship in 2007, the first national title for Vandy. Still winning the national baseball championship puts a whole new perspective on Vanderbilt athletics. It was thrilling. I’m sure “The Nashville Banner’s” Fred Russell is smiling.


This morning when my flight took off from Nashville, I will have looked down to see Lebanon one last time. The one regret is our task did not allow much time for friends. But I’ll be back, and I plan for it to be pretty soon.

Jim Jewell, a retired Navy commander lives in San Diego but was raised in Lebanon. His book, A Pocket of Resistance: Selected Poems, is now available through Author House, Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. Jim’s email is jim@jimjewwell.com.


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