​Shenanigans Upstairs: Landmark Launches New Venue

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

Shenanigans new upstairs music and event space is open for private and public gatherings, with the promise of live music starting this summer.
The remodeled area, melded into the existing structure of the almost 150-year-old building, features a bar with seating for about 11 people, and will soon include a portable stage, new sound system and concert lighting.
Mechi Ingles, former general manager at Shenanigans, said the space is a piece that Shenanigans was missing.
“The plans for upstairs are absolutely fantastic and kind of mind-blowing for somebody like me who’s grown up in Sewanee and seen Shenanigans as it has been for so long,” she said. “It’s going to be an amazing venue.”
With the addition, Shenanigans has also purchased a wine and liquor license. Wine is already pouring there, said Bill Elder, the eatery’s co-owner, and liquor will be added “slowly but surely.”
The new space will also mean more jobs for catering, bartending and the like, he noted, estimating that he may need to hire up to 15 new people.
Elder and co-owner Nelson Byrd re-opened Shenanigans in February 2014 after it had been closed for almost two years. Elder called it a labor of love to keep the restaurant, which opened in 1974, in existence.
“The universe needs the spicy turkey melt, the bathroom graffiti and the tilted wall,” he said.
Shenanigan’s has hosted plenty of concerts downstairs, but the flow of the restaurant and space limitations present challenges, he noted. A professional musician who splits time between Sewanee and Nashville, Elder said his inspiration for the upstairs’ design comes from d.b.a., a musical hotspot in New Orleans.
The Crescent City native added that Sewanee sits in a sweet spot for touring musicians.
“It makes all the sense in the world for Sewanee, right between Nashville and Atlanta and Memphis and Charlotte; you have all these musicians passing through here…there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to have a vibrant and regular, world-class live music presence,” he said.
The first musical event upstairs is tentatively slated for June 23, a fundraiser for Folks at Home, Ingles said. Her significant other, Mabus Jackson, is a musician and music promoter.
Previous owners have used the upstairs for storage, housing, art studios, a Masonic lodge clubroom, and office space. One wild rumor is that John Wilkes Booth lived there when he fled to Sewanee after he escaped his reported death in a fiery barn in Virginia.
Elder said the past six owners put their own touches on Shenanigans, and the new addition with its garage door opening onto the upper deck and views of the Sewanee Village, is his touch.
“I consider people who owned Shenanigans as stewards of this iconic building and really important community landmark,” he said. “Each one has kind of put their signature on it as far as structurally, menu-wise…any number of things. For me, it’s upstairs, that’s my contribution as a Shenanigans steward.”
Samuel C. Hoge and John Miller first built the building that now houses the eatery around 1870, according to research from former Sewanee student Hallie Ragsdale.
Hoge and Miller opened a general store, which also served as post office for a short time, according to Ragsdale’s research. In June 1897, Hoge sold the store to George D. Gipson. In 1907, it became Sewanee Lodge No. 544 of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows.
L.C. Winn eventually reinvented the structure as Winn’s General Store in 1934. During World War II, the University rented the building for use as a laundry service. There are also stories that there was once a roller skating rink inside the building, Ragsdale wrote. Sometime around 1964, a cobbler shop also functioned as part of Winn’s store. Raymond Winn eventually sold the building to Richard Riddell, and Shenanigans opened in 1974.

​Community Council Establishes Parks Committee

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the April 23 meeting, the Sewanee Community Council voted unanimously to form a Sewanee Parks Committee (SPC) to oversee operation of Sewanee parks designated as “community parks.”
Providing background, Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) Parks Chair Stephen Burnett said the SCA oversees the Phil White Dog Park and had recently spearheaded and funded a $68,000 renovation of Elliott Park. The SCA had identified other Sewanee parks needing improvement with the ballpark at the top of the list due to its deplorable condition. The SCA sought the advice of Dixon Myers who led the $75,000 campaign to refurbish the ballpark in 2003.
Burnett and Myers formed a working group that included council representative Cindy Potter, community members, youth sports coordinators, and the University. With the aid of Facilities Management, the group identified four parks as “community parks”: the Dog Park, Elliott Park, the Sewanee Community Center Park, and the Sewanee Youth Ballpark (SYB), which hosts both soccer and baseball teams.
“The need for structure in management of all these parks is more than the Civic Association can deliver,” Burnett said.
Other Sewanee parks were determined to already have a “constituency” in place which provided oversight or were not widely used, Myers noted.
The council’s parks committee will consist of four community members, two members from sports associations, which utilize the SYB, and one council member. The SYB will be the initial priority.
Lengthy discussion of financing preceded the vote authorizing the committee. According to the proposed bylaws, “The SPC does not have the authority to bind the Community Council or the University to financial obligations without express approval from the Community Council or appropriate University official.”
Superintendant of Leases Sallie Green said the community services budget included $11,000 for parks.
“That’s an itty bitty part of what people pay in lease fees,” said council representative Theresa Shackelford.
Myers said he “hoped there would be an annual budget to maintain the ballpark.” He pointed out that lack of maintenance resulted in the ballpark’s current need for major refurbishing.
Council member Phil White, who spearheaded creation of the dog park, asked if the SPC structure would allow the dog park to collect tax-deductible donations for improvements.
Burnett said that gifts to the Community Chest are tax deductible. Donors could earmark their contributions for the dog park.
Vice-Chancellor John McCardell pointed out donations to the University, likewise a nonprofit, could be designated for the dog park.
In other business, Project Funding Committee chair Pixie Dozier said the committee recommended two additional projects for funding. The council approved awarding $6,194 to the American Legion Hall for renovation of the basement and awarding $2,014 to the joint applicants Folks at Home and the Sewanee Senior Citizens Center for purchase of defibrillators to treat life-threatening instances of arrhythmia.
The council also approved a resolution expressing “unreserved gratitude” to Franklin County Highway Commissioner Joe David McBee for initiating the relocation of two crosswalks from downtown Sewanee to dangerous crossing sites on the Mountain Goat Trail.
Sewanee resident Mary Priestley addressed the council about the need for trash pickup on Alto Road, Sherwood Road, Highway 56 in the Jump Off vicinity, Hwy. 41A from the gates to St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, and Hwy. 41A from downtown to the gates on the Cowan side. The council agreed with Priestley’s suggestion to reintroduce the past practice of an annual community litter pickup day. Set for May 5, the event will target the five sections of highway identified by Priestley. Facilities Management has agreed to collect filled bags, Priestley said, and an anonymous donor would reward the first 25 people to fill bags with a stainless steel water bottle.
Provost Nancy Berner announced a group working on locating a second cell tower in Sewanee had identified an area behind the football field as the preferred site. The central campus location would greatly enhance coverage and help ensure the safety of students who used trails in that area, Berner said. The tower would accommodate Verizon and other cell service providers.
The council meets next on May 21.

​SUD to Retain TUA to Verify Financial Transactions

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the April 24 meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Sewanee Utility District of Franklin and Marion Counties, the board resumed discussion about hiring a third party to verify financial transactions to avoid an audit finding of “inadequate segregation of financial duties.”
“That’s been on the audit every year since I’ve been here,” Beavers said. The finding is typical of small utilities such as SUD, which only has three office employees counting Beavers. For financial duties to be adequately segregated would require six office employees, Beavers noted. SUD cannot justify hiring three additional employees.
As a possible way of circumventing the criticism, the SUD board investigated employing an independent contractor to verify financial transactions, but just prior to the meeting the board learned from the SUD auditor third party verification would not eliminate the finding.
Commissioner Art Hanson pointed out the comptroller might not agree with the auditor’s conclusion in the event SUD showed due diligence by retaining a third party to review finances.
Following much discussion about hiring a local person, the board agreed with Beavers’ recommendation to retain Tennessee Utility Assistance (TUA), a firm approved by the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD).
“The comptroller would more likely be satisfied with the TAUD recommended person,” Commissioner Randall Henley said in support of Beavers suggestion.
The board voted to engage TUA for six months and revisit the decision if the rate increases. Engaging TUA will cost $500 for the first two months and $300 per month after that.
In other business, Beavers updated the board on plans to replace deteriorating cast iron waterlines on South Carolina and Florida avenues. In keeping with the University’s request, SUD will also include Clara’s Point Road in the rehab project. Replacing the cast iron pipe will reduce water loss and increase the flow to fire hydrants. Beavers hopes to have bids for the job by mid-June.
Addressing landowners concerns about possible tree removal, Beavers said landscaping would be “returned to acceptable according to the determination of the Domain Manager.”
“The University has been very helpful and wants to stay engaged,” Beavers noted.
The board revisited the discussion about SUD’s Cross Connection Policy, which requires backflow prevention devices to prevent SUD drinking water from contamination by fluid from outside sources. Beavers said he and another SUD employee would attend a certification class in June and recommend updates to the 10-year-old policy consistent with state requirements.
Although not widely known, circumstances requiring backflow devices include drink machines and sprinkler and irrigation systems.
Beavers said he would also compile a list of customers who would be in violation under the new rules. Before recommending penalties and the time frame for compliance, he wants “to get input from people who will be affected.”
Turning to the long anticipated Midway pressure boosting station, Beavers said the system was expected to go live in the very near future and customers would be notified of the exact day and time. Pressure increases of 15-20 psi or greater are anticipated and leaks could result.
The board elected the following slate of officers to serve in 2018: Charlie Smith, president; Randall Henley, vice-president; Art Hanson, secretary.

​SCA Honors Marhevsky and Potter; Updates on Community Chest

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Sewanee Civic Association Secretary Megan Roberts welcomed members and guests to the April 18 Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) awards ceremony dubbing the event “a celebration of 110 years of service and social opportunity.”
The SCA accepts nominations for the Community Service Award, with the name of the recipient kept secret until the ceremony. “There were more nominations for Sarah Marhevsky than I’ve ever seen before,” Roberts said. The announcement brought tears to Marhevsky’s eyes. Roberts read from nominations praising Marhevsky “for building connections between families and individuals” and for her service on the boards of the Children’s Center and Community Center, as chair of the Community Council Project Funding Committee, and as PTO president. Marhevsky has set up meal trains for families in need, and, perhaps most notably, created the Plateau Playgroup, which began as a way for parents to coordinate play dates for their kids and expanded into a weekly newsletter with event and opportunity announcements reaching more than 100 people.
“I came here in 2010 with a three-month-old baby and thought I’d be a stay at home mom,” Marhevsky confessed in receiving the award, “but then I began finding people.”
The community was clearly grateful she did. Said one nominator in summing up her gratitude, “For a new parent, in a new place, with very little social support structure, Sarah has been a godsend. My quality of life in Sewanee is much better because of the connections and support I found through Sarah. She inspires me to give more and to participate more in community service activities. She makes life better on this mountain.”
The SCA has only presented the Summa Cum Laude Award three previous times in the organization’s history. The award recognizes the lifetime achievements of individuals for their contributions to the community. The many initiatives embraced by 2018 award recipient Cindy Potter include chairing the Community Action Committee and serving on the Lease Committee, Community Council, and Duck River Electric board of directors. Most endearing, though, is Potter’s gift to the community as an educator in a career spanning nearly 40 years. Potter taught at the Sewanee Children’s Center, served as the Sewanee Elementary School librarian, taught at SES for 25 years, and then moved to St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School to help set up the new sixth grade program. A beloved teacher, Potter inspires young people to generosity of spirit and reflection, guiding students to embrace fund raising activities and tell the stories of the causes they champion. Her “My Spot in the Woods” program urged students to spend quiet time with nature and log their observations.
In receiving the award, Potter thanked the Civic Association, noting the Community Chest paid for her “to serve as the SES librarian all those long years ago.” She also thanked “the people who live here who give Sewanee the unique spirit that makes this place home.” “Most of all, though,” Potter said, “I want to thank the children and families that have been in my life. What a gift to have a life that focuses on children pursuing endless wonder. They’ve challenged me and taught me to pursue the same goals within myself that I wanted for them.”
During the business portion of the meeting, Roberts appealed to the community to donate to the Sewanee Community Chest. The fund raising campaign is $31,000 short of reaching its goal. Community Chest gifts support Sewanee area initiatives and organizations that make the quality of life richer in Sewanee and the surrounding vicinity by providing food, books, child care, promoting animal welfare and so much more.
“If we don’t raise $31,000 by May 1, the Community Chest will need to reassess the goal,” Roberts conceded. She urged those who hadn’t yet contributed this year to make a donation, as well as reaching out to those who already gave—“If you can send an extra $10 bucks this year, we’d really appreciate it.”
Make a donation with PayPal by visiting sewaneecivic.wordpress.com/ or mail donations to P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375.
The SCA elected the following slate of officers to serve in 2018–19: Theresa Shackelford, president; Brandon Berry, vice-president; Diane Fielding, treasurer; Jesse Bornemann, secretary; and Jade Barry and Stephen Burnett, co-members at large.
The SCA also welcomed newly appointed Director of Classifieds Remington Loose.

​Rice to Give 2018 Baccalaureate Address

The University of the South has announced the Baccalaureate speaker and honorary degree recipients who will be honored during Commencement weekend, May 11–13, 2018. Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and a professor at Stanford University, will receive an honorary degree and will give the Baccalaureate address during the service Saturday, May 12.

Episcopal priest, author, and historian of American religion Randall Balmer will receive an honorary degree and will preach during the School of Theology Commencement service Friday, May 11. The Rt. Rev. David Mitchell Reed, bishop of the Diocese of West Texas, and Richard Heitzenrater, the William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Church History and Wesley Studies at Duke Divinity School, will also receive honorary degrees during the service.
Honorary degrees will also be presented during the University Baccalaureate to Jamaican journalist, playwright, and director Barbara Goodison Gloudon, and David Lodge, C’79, Rhodes Scholar and now the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
Rice is currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of political science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm.
From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor from January 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold that position.

Fourth of July Theme Announced

The Fourth of July planning committee is proud to announce that the 2018 theme is “From Sea to Shining Sea.” We hope you will join us on Tuesday, July 3, for the Street Dance and Wednesday, July 4, for an all-day commemoration of who we are and what it took to get here. Be on the lookout for more information to sign up for the arts and crafts fair, mutt show, pie eating contest, cake decorating contest, or parade.

​Ice Cream Social to Celebrate Boo and Trink

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

The two women first met while bound for India near the end of WWII and they remained friends for more than 70 years, both activists, humanitarians and adventurers with fierce spirits.
Marion “Trink” Beasley passed away in February, but she and friend Marymor “Boo” Cravens often celebrated their April birthdays together with ice cream. Friends, community members and shoppers are invited to gather at Thurmond Library to honor the Sewanee stalwarts with a free ice cream social on April 28 between 1 and 2:30 p.m., the same day as the community-wide yard sale.
Trink would have been 97 and Boo is marking her 96th birthday.
“Both women were of similar temperament and beliefs, fiery, with strong reactions to the mistreatment of people,” said Trink’s daughter, Gabrielle. “They both had open houses, welcoming everyone, no matter their belief, background or race. They also had wonderful senses of humor with little regard for the proper way of doing things.”
Boo and Trink were activists for women’s rights and other social justice issues. The kindred spirits met in Washington, D.C., during orientation for the American Red Cross, prior to serving near Calcutta, India, at a holding camp for U.S. soldiers returning from fighting in WWII. They were roommates on the boat to India and tentmates while in India.
A stroke in 2008 slowed Trink down a little, but she was still active in the fight for social justice. She had a sticker on the back of her wheelchair that read, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”
Before retiring to Sewanee in 1990, the Wisconsin native traveled the world on humanitarian and medical missions with her husband, physician William Boddie Rogers Beasley.
Trink’s first job was as an air traffic controller in Cincinnati and she held a variety of interesting positions, but once said the dream job she never got to do was driving an 18-wheeler around the country.
Family friend John Bratton said he loved and admired the Beasley family and has high praise for Trink.
“She was among the most gracious ladies that I have ever known,” Bratton said. “She was beautiful in every sense of the word, and her life was one of service to others. She served this community and others in many ways, especially families coming to live here and also foreign students who were invited to her home for delicious meals.”
Boo spent her life in social work, helping with adoptions and caring for the mentally ill in Tennessee, Virginia and New York City. Boo’s final job in social work was as director of social services at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric in Chattanooga.
The New Orleans native visited Sewanee during her youth, staying at Powhatan, the boarding house which the daughters of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith operated.
Boo’s grandparents also lived in Sewanee and she called the town “heaven” as a child. Sewanee is where she eventually met her husband, Duval “Duvie” Cravens Jr., an Air Force veteran who ran the Sewanee bookstore.
Trudy Cunningham, one of the organizers of the ice cream social, said the idea developed after Trink’s funeral, when several friends suggested a celebration of the “friendship of Boo and Trink, their love of social justice, books and ice cream, and the radical hospitality they were known for, both here in Sewanee and literally around the world.”
Trudy hopes people will stop in and share stories of the duo and “have a nutty buddy with Boo.”
If Boo is unable to attend due to health reasons, the party will go on with the possibility of Facetiming with her at home.
Thurmond Library is funding the ice cream social through money from its last book sale.
Boo’s actual birthday was April 15. Birthday cards and correspondence can be sent to her at 1190 DuBose St., Monteagle, TN 37356.


​Sewanee’s Anti-Diet Dietician

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

Mary Pate-Bennett often doesn’t subscribe to convention when it comes to healthy eating. A registered dietician in Sewanee, she challenges the morality assigned to food and society’s message that thin is better.
“I feel as if we all have some type of disordered eating, we all have issues with food,” she said. “There are very few people who are just intuitive eaters and who don’t think about food and just live their lives.”
Becoming a healthy intuitive eater, with reduced food-related guilt are worthy goals, she said.
“For a lot of people it is very emotional talking about food, why they eat the way they do, where they eat and the types of food they eat,” Pate-Bennett said. “There’s a lot of shame involved so it does take some opening up and talking to figure out how to heal them and get on the right path for learning how to eat the foods that are going to make them feel the best.”
She dislikes diets and said weight loss is not her primary motivation, nor her definition of success. People in small bodies can still have diabetes and heart disease, she said, and often genetics dictate someone’s size. Body acceptance is an important tenet to her practice.
“In our society we are presented with the idea that if you are in a large body then you must be unhealthy and you need to lose weight to be healthy. The science doesn’t say that’s true,” she said. “You can be in a large body and have diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, but you can be in a large body and have absolutely no issues.”
Pate-Bennett grew up in Sewanee and attended St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, like her four siblings. She graduated from the University of the South with an undergraduate degree in psychology.
While working in the kitchen at a French bistro in Nashville (where she met her husband), she changed course and decided to pursue nutrition as a career. Pate-Bennett earned her undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her graduate degree from the University of Tennessee.
She moved to San Diego, where her husband’s family lives, and worked there as a dietician in a hospital prior to working at the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. She and her husband, James, moved to Sewanee a few years ago to raise their daughter, who is now two-years-old.
Pate-Bennett is a mixture of counselor and nutritionist, helping people remove the guilt and power that food has over their lives. Eating comes with so many conditions, she said, some established in childhood when kids had to clear their plate or food was used as a reward.
“My goal with clients is to help them realize how many rules they’ve set up for themselves,” she said. “Eating dessert without deserving it makes them feel guilty and they will punish themselves and the next day they’ll eat clean or healthy.”
She said she strives to break the diet-binge cycle and the assigning of labels to food.
“There’s all these ideas around foods that put them in a category they should not be put in,” she said. “Food should not be used for these negative emotional reasons but our society sets it up to do that.”
When it comes to cognitive therapy, Pate-Bennett said that is not her specialty, so sometimes she refers clients to therapists to help tackle underlying challenges.
Therapist Kate Gunderson has worked with some of Pate-Bennett’s clients.
“Mary’s emphasis on ‘intuitive eating’ jibes well with cognitive therapy, offering a means to reframe eating habits,” Gunderson said. “Banished are diet books, starvation, food police, self-recrimination. Instead the cognitive process encourages awareness of ‘internal monologue,’ positive self-talk and engagement in life-affirming activities.”
Gunderson said she has heard positive feedback from those who have sought Pate-Bennett’s expertise.
“Clients who see Mary report feeling heard, supported and aided on their path towards healthy and sustainable dietary changes,” Gunderson said. “Mary is a bright, committed and caring practitioner—a real asset in our small community.”
Pate-Bennett said she is very happy with her career choice and its rewards.
“It’s immensely satisfying to see the changes in people, seeing people who maybe have not been completely relieved of their guilt with food but who just feel significantly better about it,” she said. “Just helping people wade through all the information that’s out there is satisfying.”
Pate-Bennett is also a certified lactation counselor. Visits are by appointment only at her office at the University Wellness Center Annex. For more information, call (931) 636-8669 or visit <mountaindietitian.com>.

​Scholarship Sewanee on April 27

Scholarship Sewanee, the University’s annual celebration of student scholarship, research, and creativity, this year will be held Friday, April 27. Additional events related to student scholarship and creative endeavors will be held during that week.

Scholarship Sewanee 2018 will feature 88 posters and 55 oral presentations representing biology, physics, chemistry, earth and environmental systems, politics, economics, English, history, visual arts, and more. (The complete schedule may be found here at . Scholarship Sewanee began more than 20 years ago as a half-day poster session, at which approximately 40 posters affiliated with the sciences were on display.
The McCrady Lecture, begun in 2013, will bring Karen Till to campus this year. Till is a professor in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University in Kildare, Ireland. She is a cultural geographer, ethnographer, and curator who engages in collaborative research about place, memory, and creative practice. Till is also the director of the Space&Place Research Collaborative. Her presentation, “Difficult Pasts and the Care of Place: Memory-Work as Imagining More Just Futures,” will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, April 27, in Blackman Auditorium. A reception will follow.
Just prior to Scholarship Sewanee, the Sewanee Festival of Speaking and Listening will showcase student speakers from across the University engaging in topics of political, legal, social, scientific, cultural, professional and rhetorical significance, from April 23–26. In addition, the senior art majors’ exhibition, “A Tear in the Veil,” will be on display in the University Art Gallery from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and noon–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The University jazz ensemble will present its end-of-semester concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in St. Luke’s Chapel.
Immediately following the conclusion of Scholarship Sewanee, the Department of Physics and Astronomy will induct four students into Sigma Pi Sigma, the national Physics Honor Society. Finally, the Gospel Choir will hold its end-of-semester concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in St. Luke’s Chapel.

​Adult Forum Celebrates Merger Anniversary of Two Parishes

Otey Parish welcomes the community this Sunday to celebrate 50 years after St. Mark’s Parish merged with Otey Memorial Parish. At 10 a.m., in St. Mark’s Parish Hall, Otey rector Rob Lamborn will speak about the history of St. Mark’s. Lamborn will be using commentary from Matilda Dunn’s thesis on the merger of the two parishes and the work of the Katie Bradshaw and Sara Milford in creating the video “Can I Get a Witness? Documenting, Preserving, and Sharing the History of the St. Mark’s Community.” Visitors are encouraged to share stories at this time.

There will be an 11 a.m. Worship and Holy Eucharist followed by a noon reception/coffee hour at St. Mark’s Parish Hall.
Come celebrate and share memories of the impact on our community of the St. Mark’s families: Taylor, Staten, Hill, Winton, Kennerly, Childress, Beasley, Shedd, Turner, Patton, Tate, Burnett and many more.

​Trustee Community Relations Committee Meeting

The Trustee Community Relations Committee will be in Sewanee on Thursday, April 26, at which time the Community Council will update the Trustees on topics of interest and concern to our community. If you have topics that you would like the Council to consider, please contact a Council member.

Community members are invited to join the Trustees and Council members for a reception at 5:30 p.m.,Thursday, April 26, in the new upstairs venue at Shenanigans.
Members of the Community Council include: Abbey Shockley, Annie Armour, Charles Whitmer, Cindy Potter, Flournoy Rogers, Jeremy Carlson, John McCardell, June Weber, Kate Reed, Louise Irwin, Michael D. Gardner, Nancy Berner, Pamela Byerly, Phil White, Pixie Dozier, Rich Barrali, Sallie Green, Shirley Taylor, and Theresa Shackelford.

​Potter to Receive the Summa Cum Laude for Community Service Award

During the Wednesday, April 18, Sewanee Civic Association meeting at St. Mark’s Hall, Cindy Potter will receive the Summa Cum Laude for Community Service Award for her continuing dedication to the outdoors, education and community.

Cindy moved to Sewanee in 1980 when her husband, Bran, joined the University’s faculty. Much of her life has focused on serving area children. She taught at the Sewanee Children’s Center and was the PTO sponsored librarian at Sewanee Elementary School. She then taught for 25 years in the Franklin County school system and was a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the year. She joined the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School community and helped to begin the sixth grade program. She taught humanities and science courses, where she combined her love of nature, poetry, writing and song.
She initiated the “My Spot in the Woods” program, where each student revisited their own adopted place in the forest to make observations and write in their learning logs. That program was featured in an issue of The Tennessee Magazine.
She has served on the Duck River Board, and on the Lease Committee. She is currently a member of the Community Council, and serves as chair of the Community Action Committee.
In 2014, she was co-recipient of the The Harry Yeatman Environmental Education Award. This award honors a person who has made an impact on the South Cumberland Plateau through dedication to this place, and by educating others to appreciate it.
For years she organized the annual sixth grade holiday balsam wreath sale to help raise funds for a variety of outreach projects. Students used the opportunity to support organizations that promote causes that are important to them, such as the protection of animals, scientific research and the preservation of the environment. In some of their presentations, the students told moving stories of people they knew who had benefited from their chosen organization. Charities ran the gamut from large organizations such as Save the Children and the American Cancer Society to more local causes like Sewanee’s Operation Noel or the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn.

​Malde Named a Guggenheim Fellow

Professor of Art Pradip Malde has been awarded a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Fellowships this spring to 175 U.S. and Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists who were appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, and were chosen from a group of 3,000 applicants.

Malde teaches classes at the University of the South in photography, documentary photography, and electronic media. He is currently working in rural communities in Haiti, Tanzania, and Tennessee, designing models for community development through photography. His work in Haiti will be shown at the RAY 2018 Photo Triennial this summer in Frankfurt, Germany. That forum calls his photos an “homage to the resilience of Haiti.” Much of Malde’s photography considers the experience of loss and how it serves as a catalyst for regeneration. The Guggenheim Fellowship will support work on a new book of photographs.
Malde’s works are held in collections including the Museum of the Art Institute, Chicago; Princeton University Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Yale University Museum; and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

​15th Annual Trails and Trilliums Festival

The Trails and Trilliums Festival, being a celebration of Nature, is ready for whatever nature throws at us this weekend. This year’s festival takes place April 13–15 in Monteagle, celebrating the peak of spring wildflower season in South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee’s largest state park. Extra tents have been ordered, so just about every activity planned to take place at the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center on Saturday, April 14, will stay dry if it rains. Programs and workshops will take place as planned. The full schedule of expert-guided hikes will also take place, rain or shine, unless severe weather threatens. Hikers are advised to dress for wet weather, and can check the Friends of South Cumberland website https://www.trailsandtrilliums.org or Friends Facebook Page on Saturday for weather-related hike schedule updates.

This year, the programs and activities associated with Trails and Trilliums moves to the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center in Monteagle. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 14, rain or shine, the Visitor Center will come alive with a market festival featuring art and craft vendors, a native plant sale and live music, complemented by a day-long line up of historical, gardening and other outdoor themed programs and workshops, as well as dozens of nature-oriented interactive activities for the kids. Bring a picnic lunch, or stop by the Shenanigans food truck, which will be serving lunch and snacks on-site. All activities at the Visitor Center are free and open to the public.
For the adults, the Trails and Trilliums marketplace will feature displays of beautifully hand-made crafts, jewelry, woodworking, sculptures, fine art and decorative items from 18 of the region’s most creative and outstanding artists, including the always popular native plant sale, creating a festival atmosphere for this year’s event. There will also be a full slate of nature themed programs and workshops on a wide range of useful gardening, birding, photography and historical topics. See the full schedule online at trailsandtrilliums.org/speakers-and-workshops.
Always a highlight of Trails and Trilliums are the expertly-guided wildflower, wild vista, and waterfall hikes throughout the park, which will be offered throughout the weekend. Van shuttles to most of the hike trailheads will be offered, leaving from the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center. The complete hike schedule can be found online at <trailsandtrilliums.org/hike-schedule>. The full schedule of hikes will take place, rain or shine, unless severe weather threatens. Hikers are advised to dress for wet weather, and can check the Friends of South Cumberland website or Friends Facebook Page on Saturday for weather-related hike schedule updates. All hikes require purchase of a Hiking Pass, available on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Registration table at the Visitor Center. Hikes are free to current Friends members; non-members can join and hike for $35. Please note: Hike capacity is limited.
At the Visitor Center on Saturday, April 14, rain or shine, Trails and Trilliums Family Fun will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dozens of hands-on nature and outdoor activities. Ramble, the Tennessee State Parks raccoon mascot, will greet families as they arrive. All Family Fun activities are free of charge and open to the public, but please note that adults are required to accompany their children at all times. Bring a picnic lunch, or plan to purchase lunch or a snack from the Shenanigans food truck.
The Family Fun activities will take a 30-minute break for lunch at 12:30 p.m., but the newly-renovated Visitor Center exhibit area, featuring a pioneer cabin, plant and animal exhibits, a hands-on video microscope, and the State Park’s Gift Shop, will be open all day.
The fabulous Wine and Wildflowers celebration will be at the Monteagle Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A terrific selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres will be highlighted by the presentation of this year’s Trails and Trilliums Tribute Award to longtime Friends supporter and outdoor journalist Bob Butters, whose many articles about the outdoor wonders of the Southern Cumberland Plateau and South Cumberland State Park appear on his blog . Tickets for Wine and Wildflowers, an important fundraiser for the Friends of South Cumberland, can be purchased online at TrailsAndTrilliums.org.
Proceeds from all ticket sales, as well as art and craft sales, support South Cumberland State Park through the work of the Friends of South Cumberland. Learn more about how the Friends are making a difference in the park at friendsofsouthcumberland.org.
This year’s Trails and Trilliums festival is made possible with support from Lodge Cast Iron. Saturday evening’s Wine and Wildflowers celebration is presented by Tower Community Bank, and the new Family Fun activities are made possible through the generosity of Doug Ferris and John D. Canale.

​Couple Weaves a Graceful Retirement


by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
The two best friends sip turmeric and ginger tea as they offer an extended lesson on weaving and aging with grace.
Will and Glyn Melnyk, married 32 years and both retired Episcopal priests, recently opened a studio in their Monteagle home to display and sell the handwoven creations of their hobby-turned-business, Ephods and Pomegranates.
The new studio also houses their two looms, where they weave together three or four days a week.
“Weaving is contemplative, creative and quiet. It’s also fairly decent aerobic exercise, because you use both hands and both feet,” Glyn said.
Glyn bought her first loom from the niece of folk music legend Pete Seeger in 1999 in Woodstock, N.Y. Glyn was a natural, so Seeger’s niece, who believed in re-incarnation, thought she must have been a weaver at some point in a past life. What Glyn recalls is weaving pine needles together as a kid.
The name of the Melnyk’s business comes from an Ephod, a garment or breastplate that the Old Testament says some priests wore in ancient Jewish culture, and the pomegranate, a prominent symbol of Israel. The Melnyks are co-founders of People of the Mountain, a local Jewish group.
Will and Glyn also both graduated from Sewanee’s School of Theology, Will in 1981 and Glyn in 1992, and together there are eight Episcopal priests in their family.
In addition to sharing their clergy careers, they also share a number of other interests, including being students of string instruments, with Will playing the violin and Glyn playing the cello.
“We’re each other’s best friends, so if one of us does something, the other knows about it,” Glyn said.
They are both writers and poets as well, and Glyn is a food blogger. She said they are thoroughly enjoying their interests during retirement, which started about four years ago after they moved to Monteagle after both serving as rectors in the Philadelphia area.
Their weaving studio is adorned with unique prayer shawls, altar cloths, scarves, table runners and other items that they have created as the business expanded during retirement. But weaving is an art for them and they try to avoid production weaving, preferring unique pieces for people.
This year they will display their work at Wildflowers and Wine at the Monteagle Inn, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 14, as part of Trails and Trilliums.
Will, who is Jewish, has a Judaica line of wovens. He said Judaism is as varied as Christianity, but there are some Orthodox Jewish pieces that have highly detailed requirements, including specific fibers and knots.
The prayer shawls or stoles at Ephods, no matter the tradition and culture, are popular items.
“The idea with that kind of garment is to create a personal prayer space,” Will said. “You may not have your own little chapel to go in but you can sit down in front of the fireplace and put your prayer stole on and it puts you in the mood for meditation and prayer.”
Spirituality and contemplation is something the Melnyk’s incorporate into the weaving and patterns, often using Fibonacci sequences. Will has also woven music into prayer shawls. By assigning colors to notes and using varying widths to indicate lengths of notes, he has incorporated musical scores into the garments, including Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 and a Bach piece as a present for his violin teacher.
Glyn also does overshot weaving, which is essentially weaving two patterns at once. She said the process is very labor intensive and depending on the fiber, can be extremely delicate. Will is learning how to overshot weave and it brings out his philosophical side.
“It’s kind of like life, there are fundamental foundations and then there are all kinds of embellishments,” he said. “Another way of looking at it is there are ways that people are all the same, but then there are fantastic variations.”
In October, the Melnyks will take their spiritual weaving lessons on the road to Mississippi for the Liturgical Arts Conference. Their class is called “Weaving the Soul’s Warp and Weft,” with warp being lengthwise and weft being crosswise.
“The metaphor of weaving is not just one for construction of life, but construction of one’s spiritual path and philosophy of life,” Glyn said.
Ephods and Pomegranates offers local classes in weaving and would like to expand what they do for the community. Glyn said she wants to start teaching weaving to grade school students and the Melnyks also would like to help recent graduates of the School of Theology by selling vestment items at or below cost.
Amidst a lesson on sleigh hooks, sequencing and threading the heddles—and the challenge of big feet to treadling, the Melnyks say weaving can be broken down into simple steps, but requires coordination and plenty of focus.
“The only thing you can’t fix in weaving is if you cut it too short,” Glyn said. “You can’t put the threads back together again, but virtually everything else can be repaired.”
Ephods and Pomegranates can be found on Amazon and Etsy. The studio is open to the public, but the Melnyks ask that customers call ahead at (610) 357-6813. For more information, visit ephodsandpomegranates.com.

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