By Ralphine Major

I did not know the man who approached us outside the IGA grocery store, but my brother recognized him from their high school days.  Tim, one of four Zachary sons, told how he had come by our house to see if I would be interested in writing about his mother, Lois.  Hers is a fascinating story of a local girl who entered her picture in a contest.  The winner would be painted on a plane.  Sailors chose the photo of Lois as the winner and named the plane “Lovely Lois.”  But, the Zacharys’ story goes far beyond the contest.

When Mother and I visited the Zacharys, we felt welcome in their hillside home.  Lois’ days are filled creating handiworks of art, such as her colorful quilts and pillows or her unique style of sock monkeys she sells world-wide.  During the 25 years that husband David was a long-haul truck driver, Lois worked on crafts and cared for their six children who developed their own talents.  We got acquainted with Tim during our visit.  He showed us a beautifully carved walking cane he had made.  The intricate detail on the polished cane was amazing.  “Did you take lessons to learn how to carve?” mother asked him.  But, the master carver was self-taught.  Tim told us he had given one of his canes to Chet when he visited them.

“Chet Atkins visited you?” I asked in surprise.

“Chet’s grandmother was a Zachary,” Lois said.  The world-famous Mister Guitar never forgot his roots.

We learned Tim was a gifted artist, too.  Their home is full of his paintings of nature, East Tennessee scenery, and one very personal piece.  When his brother, David, passed away, Tim came home after the funeral and painted a touching scene of David on the motorcycle he built riding in the sky.  He titled it, “Beyond the Storm.”  Sadly, Tim passed away while awaiting surgery last fall.  I regret so much that

God called him home before I wrote about his family.  Again, I look for peace in Hebrews 12:1, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight . . . .”  (KJV).

I hope this story about Tim will be an inspiration to his family and friends and remind them of the joy Tim brought in life.