By Ralphine Major

He liked Pepsi, John Cazana’s wrestling program, and John Wayne westerns. He once worked for the Knox County Highway Department and operated a piece of earth moving equipment often referred to as a road grader. One project he worked on was building Cedar Lane that runs off of Broadway. His name was George O. Major, and he was our grandfather.

The grandfather my brother, Wayne, and I remember raised beef cattle and lived across the road from us. He once went to the Clinton Stockyard and bought a pony named Trixie for the grandchildren to ride. She had two gaits. One was a slow walk. The other was a faster slow walk if it started thundering. We recall many times seeing our grandfather jump on one of the grandchildren’s bicycles and go coasting down the road toward Beaver Creek. Wearing a straw hat with a wide brim and overalls, he put on a show to make the grandchildren laugh!

Wayne remembers that on Friday nights, he would go to Chilhowee Park to watch the wrestling matches live. Every Saturday he quit work in time to watch the major league baseball game on NBC. He would sit back in his La-Z Boy and eat popcorn while listening to broadcasters Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek. When the wrestling program came on, he would sit on the edge of the chair. It is still hard for me to believe he ventured out on a cold November night to see me twirl fire in the Knoxville Junior Miss Pageant downtown.

This month, we celebrate and honor the fathers who are still with us and remember those who have passed on. It is one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible. “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12, KJV) Happy Father’s Day!