‘Unrivaled’ to be Screened in Sewanee on Nov. 4

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

More than 120 years in the making, makers of the documentary on Sewanee’s historic 1899 football team are ready to share the project.

“Unrivaled” is the ultimate David and Goliath story, according to the project’s official website, and the film tells the story of the legendary Sewanee Tigers from 1899 who achieved the unthinkable.

The story goes that in the year 1899, the Sewanee Tigers football team boarded a train for a six day, 2,500-mile trip, during which they were scheduled to play five games against some of today’s college football favorites. At the end of the trip, broken and exhausted, the team returned to the Mountain having outscored opponents Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Tulane and Ole Miss 322–10.

Norman Jetmundsen, class of 1976, said he and several other alumni have been working on the film for almost five years. The team includes David Crews, C’76, Kate Gillespie, C’97, Lloyd Lochridge, C’12, Amelia Koch, C’13, and Alana Hogg, a seasoned web and graphic designer.

“We have been editing and fine tuning the film, trying to get the very best [pieces of the story] weaved together in a seamless narrative, which has been a long process. To be close to the end now is very satisfying. We have had many donors who have supported and encouraged us, and we appreciate that they took a leap of faith in donating money in the belief that our film will be worthwhile. We have had many others at Sewanee and elsewhere who have contributed in various ways to the film, and it is gratifying to have this kind of support and to see it coming to fruition,” Jetmundsen said.

Throughout the research and filmmaking process, Jetmundsen said the story of the football team continued to reveal itself, with surprises around every corner.

“When we started, we thought we’d find a lot of lore about the team, but we found a lot of amazing facts and stories to back up the lore. We uncovered the first photograph of a Sewanee football game, which was Sewanee vs. Tennessee in Chattanooga in 1891. We also found a photo of a game in 1899, which was a photo of the Sewanee vs. Texas game,” Jetmundsen said. “In the process, we realized if we had not done this film now, much of this would have been lost to history and forgotten by the next generation. Instead, we are preserving an important part of Sewanee history, as well as Southern history and college football history.”

The filmmakers also learned more about Cal Burrows, the team’s invaluable African American trainer and the unsung hero of the story.

“Remarkably, someone researching the archives at Sewanee came across a student’s scrapbook, which contained a photo of Cal that is the only known photograph of him,” he said.

A particularly special part of the film will be its sound track which is being created and recorded by Bobby Horton, a musician known nationally for his work on several of the acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns’ films.

“Another unique part of our film is that we have about a dozen original paintings for our film done primarily by Ernie Eldridge, which add a rich and unique dimension to our film,” Jetmundsen said. “We hope that everyone who sees the film will have a new appreciation for what this team accomplished, that they will learn a great deal they didn’t know, that everyone will appreciate this part of history being preserved, and that they will be inspired by the character, grit and resilience of the players.”

A sneak preview of the film will be shown in Sewanee at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, in Guerry Auditorium. The official premiere will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. For more information about the film or to see the first official trailer, visit <https://sewanee1899.org>;.

Monteagle Receives $133,000 in Donations: Police, Fire, Parks

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Oct. 25 Monteagle Council meeting, residents learned of donations totaling $133,000 for police department, fire department, and parks needs. During regular business, the council revisited the question of possible pollution of the drinking water supply from runoff originating at the RBT construction site.

Katie and Tim Trahan donated $5,000 for the purchase of a generator for the police department to guarantee computer viability and communication in a power outage. Multiple donors enabled the city to purchase a new-used fire truck costing $149,000; $28,000 in donations came from the South Cumberland Community Fund, $55,000 from the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, and the city received another $20,000 in small donations from residents. Morton Memorial Methodist Church pledged $25,000-$27,000 for the purchase of playground equipment at Hannah Picket Park, total cost $45,000.

Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman expressed gratitude to the donors on behalf of the city. Monteagle, in turn, donated $500 to Isaiah House 117 where children awaiting foster care placement will be provided for in a loving, homelike environment. Children often waited for foster placement at the sheriff’s office or other sites anxiety provoking to a child, said coordinator Susan Johnson.

Revisiting documentation presented in September by engineer Jim Waller showing photographs of muddy water polluting Laurel Lake and citing the RBT construction site as the source of the pollution, city engineer Travis Wilson responded to Waller’s request for information about Monteagle’s Source Water Protection Plan.

“It is against the law to hand out classified information for infrastructure as part of the Homeland Protection Act,” Wilson said. The city’s Source Water Protection Plan identified emergency responses, but making it public “would make it easy for someone to sabotage the [water plant] facility or water source.” Wilson went on to explain Monteagle did not qualify as an MS4 class community, as determined by size and population, and so had “no legal authority to regulate, control, or issue violations” for nonpoint source pollution during construction or even afterwards. The responsibility fell to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation or the EPA.

Wilson acknowledged TDEC had cited the RBT construction site for numerous violations. “I agree with the importance of assessing the runoff from the site,” Wilson said. But he also stressed, based on the drainage data available from the state, water from the site could go in multiple different directions.” He asked Waller for a detailed drainage analysis, and Waller agreed to provide him with the documentation data he collected.

Monteagle Assembly resident Lucy Keeble observed, “Maybe there’s nothing legally requiring the city of Monteagle to make sure a development doesn’t over pollute our water supply, but you have the opportunity to say, ‘You need to treat your storm water runoff.’”

“I think we’re going to do that,” Rodman replied. She reaffirmed the city’s commitment citing the decision to include storm water in the upcoming Global Information System study.

In other business, the city approved spending $16,000 for fire hydrant testing, maintenance, and GIS data collection rather than doing the testing in house. Wilson pointed out having GIS mapping and data would greatly reduce the cost of contracting for future testing and maintenance.

The city approved four ordinances on first reading. Ordinance 18-21 amends the personnel policy to stipulate an employee has 24 hours to turn in a job-related injury. Ordinance 19-21 rezones a tract on the corner of Highway 41 and Ingman Road from R-3 (high density residential) to C-2 (highway commercial). Ordinance 20-21 formalizes the resolution passed in September, which eliminated the requirement stipulating the council make specific findings before allowing rezoning. (Alderman Nate Wilson voted against approving the ordinance.) Ordinance 21-21 set 200 feet door-to-door as the required distance from a school or church in order for beer sales to take place. (The ordinance previously read “200 feet property line to property line.”) The council will hold a special called meeting at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 15, beginning with a public hearing on the rezoning.

The council also approved hiring Americorps VISTA Dominic Gialdini as the baseball coordinator and approved earmarking $11,700 for Christmas bonuses for employees. Rodman indicated the bonus money would come from COVID relief funds.

University Commits $10 Million to Village Initiatives

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

The University has committed to a $10 million investment of the endowment in the Village and related initiatives. David Shipps, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Relations, made the announcement at the Oct. 25 Sewanee Community Council meeting. In regular business, the council voted to hold a special election to fill a vacant seat and approved a constitution revision formalizing the decision to expand council representation and voting district boundaries to include the entire 37375 zip code. The council also discussed how to better facilitate communication to the community at large.

The investment “will allow [the University] to fulfill its mission to continue to attract and retain students, faculty and staff,” Shipps said. He stressed the endowment had a “fiduciary responsibility” to make investments yielding returns, which helped realize the mission. Investments in the Village have both a “financial return” and a “qualitative return,” Shipps pointed out. He forecast investments focusing on “commercial offerings befitting a college community” and “residential solutions” providing affordable housing.

Council representative Eric Keen asked if given the “investment structure…non-revenue generating” initiatives such as the Sewanee Community Center fit into the plan. “Look at it as a portfolio, rather than individual initiatives,” Shipps replied. Non-revenue generating initiatives could “fold into the strategy.”

Provost Nancy Berner outlined two options for filling the District 4 seat vacated by Mary Priestley who no longer lives in the district. At the September meeting, the council discussed the possibility of Priestley serving as an at-large member and an at-large representative residing in District 4 assuming Priestley’s seat. Berner explained the constitution did not allow “swapping” seats since council members were elected representatives. Nor did the constitution allow for appointing a representative to fill a vacancy. By the constitution, the seat could remain vacant until the November 2022 election or the council could hold a special election to fill the vacancy. Lynn Stubblefield volunteered to serve as election officer. Council member Phil White suggested voting by email, as well as at the Lease Office.

By the constitutional revision expanding voting district boundaries, all Franklin County and Marion County registered voters in the 37375 zipcode area can serve on the council and vote in the council election. “It’s a lovely correction [to the constitution] to include all the citizens that have a 37375 zip code,” Stubblefield said. Deepwoods and Midway will become part of District 1; Jump Off will be in District 2; Sherwood Road will be in District 3; and Roark’s Cove will be in District 4, Berner said. Constitutional revisions require two readings. The council will reaffirm the revision at the January meeting.

After lengthy discussion, the council voted to publish meeting minutes, once approved, on the Lease Office website page. The minutes will be available to the Messenger to publish at the newspaper’s discretion. Messenger editor Kiki Beavers suggested devoting a page on the Messenger website to the council minutes. Council representative Shirley Taylor insisted if the minutes appeared in the print version, they should be in a prominent position with a boldface headline. Keen asked, if in addition to the minutes, there could be a mechanism for funneling important information to the community. Keen gave the example of the recent change in COVID policy. Vice-Chancellor Reuben Brigety recommended that he or another senior official address the public at a special event when issues arose.

Select Sewanee Residential Lots Now Available to Builders

The University of the South announces that eight vacant leasehold lots located near campus and in the Sewanee community are now available to be leased by residential builders for new home construction. Residents wishing to construct new homes also have access to this inventory.

This marks the first time in many years that lots have been made available in this manner, and the University looks forward to collaborating with interested builders and individuals seeking to create additional housing on the Domain.

These eight lots are designated for a primary residence and must be transferred/sold as a primary residence. The University defines a “primary residence” as a dwelling where one actually lives at least nine months of the calendar year and is the address shown on one’s driver’s license.

Leaseholds are located as follows:

1. Stephens Drive (lease #1072)

2. Stephens Drive (lease #1073)

3. Parsons Green, Lot 11

4. Parsons Green, Lot 12

5. Parsons Green, Lot 13

6. Georgia Avenue, Lot 3 (lease #1064)

7. Alabama Avenue, Lot 6 (lease #1069)

8. Alabama Avenue, Lot 7 (lease #1070)

Individuals interested in business terms for individual lots should contact David Shipps at <dshipps@sewanee.edu>. Information about lot locations can be obtained from the Office of Leases and Community Relations by contacting Sallie Green at <sgreen@sewanee.edu>.

‘Yea, Sewanee Reads’ Event, Nov. 4

“Yea, Sewanee Reads!” launches from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 4, at The University Booksore.

Everyone is invited to the launch of a new literary experience soon to be featured at the University Bookstore in downtown Sewanee. “Yea, Sewanee Reads!” will promote the community of readers by showcasing books recommended by students in the English Department and interns at The Sewanee Review, The Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, The Sewanee Writers’ Conference and The Sewanee School of Letters. “This event reminds us how a good local bookstore can be a gathering place for students and community members and a home for small book clubs to meet throughout the year,” said Professor Elizabeth Grammer of the English Department.

The reviewers will be on hand the evening of the launch event and their favorite books—about 25 titles ranging from classic novels to nonfiction to poetry and Young Adult fiction—will be offered at a 10 percent discount. Come meet the reviewers, read their reviews and pick out your next favorite book or the perfect holiday gift for a loved one. Festivities will include coffee and refreshments, discount coupons from The Blue Chair for dinner after the event and special guest shop dogs from the Macfie and Grammer families. Come enjoy the new bookstore, where town and gown can meet over a cup of coffee, a cute dog and a good book.

New Resources for Downtown Sewanee Development

Over the course of the past decade, the University of the South has dedicated much research and consideration toward revitalizing the Sewanee Village and establishing a development plan that delivers on the promise of new residential, commercial, and retail offerings to better serve employees, residents, students, and visitors. The elements required for such a revitalization are now largely known, and the University is ready to begin implementing an exciting plan.

At its meeting earlier this month, the Board of Regents committed to investing $10 million from the University endowment to begin the execution phase of a development plan to include the Village and surrounding area.

“Generations of donors have funded our endowment and have trusted University governing boards and administrators to invest those funds wisely. As with all endowment investments, the University expects a healthy financial return. In addition, the investment will begin to generate many benefits in the near term,” said David Shipps, vice president for economic development and community relations.

“Importantly, this investment aligns with the University’s ongoing goal of attracting and retaining both students and employees,” he continued. “It will help to ensure that Sewanee remains an attractive and desirable place to study, work, and live for current and future generations of employees, students, and residents.”

Investments in specific project proposals will ultimately be approved by the Regents’ Investment Management Committee. While specific plans will come together later, examples include the development of additional entertainment and dining options befitting a campus community of students, as well as new housing and retail alternatives for employees and residents of our community.

“This investment demonstrates the University’s commitment to meeting the ongoing and evolving needs of all who call Sewanee home. It is an exciting time to be in Sewanee,” Shipps said.

Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Service In Macon, Marion, Roane, Sumner Counties October 30

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Macon, Marion, Roane and Sumner counties on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Tennesseans are encouraged to bring household hazardous waste – including cleaning fluids, pesticides, batteries and more – to a designated drop-off location. A person does not need to live in the county to participate.

The drop-off locations are:

Macon County – Career Center, 607 Hwy 52 Bypass East, Lafayette, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The contact is Debbie Richardson at (615) 699-3707.

Marion County – Lowe’s parking lot, 525 Dixie Lee Center Rd., Kimball, 8 a.m.-noon. The contact is Matthew Deist at (423) 942-2656.

Roane County – Roane County Recycling Facility, 215 White Pine Rd., Harriman, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The contact is Ralph Stewart at (865) 590-7779.

Sumner County – Moss Wright Park, 705 Caldwell Dr., Goodlettsville, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The contact is Jeff McCormick at (615) 851-2200.

“This is an excellent opportunity in these areas for citizens to dispose of household hazard waste properly,” David Salyers, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation, said. “The COVID pandemic affected collections last year, and we are eager to provide the service again at sites across the state.”

Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 360,000 Tennessee households have properly disposed of more than 23 million pounds of material. There have been over 1,400 one-day collection events.

Household hazardous waste materials are considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed with regular garbage. Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals, paint thinner and used needles in sturdy containers. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics, and any empty containers that should be disposed in normal trash. There is no cost or appointment necessary for household hazardous waste collection.

While household waste may be disposed for free, there is a cost for disposal of Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Waste (i.e. wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc.) An appointment is also necessary. Call (615) 643-3170 to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.

Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze and electronic scrap – or BOPAE, as it is sometimes called. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Tennesseans are encouraged to contact their local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in their area.

When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets.

For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call 800-287-9013 or visit this TDEC link.

TDH Offering Booster Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

CDC Approved Booster Dose Recommendations for Certain Populations
Friday, October 22, 2021 | 12:19pm

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Health will begin offering booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to certain populations, beginning Monday, October 25.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after they complete the initial series:
• 65 years and older
• Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
• Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
• Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

Individuals who are 18 years and older and received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a booster dose is recommended at two or more months after the initial vaccine.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. More information on the CDC’s recommendation for a booster dose is available online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Local health departments across the state will be administering COVID-19 booster doses. Not all types of vaccine will be available at all sites. Individuals are encouraged to check vaccines.gov to find a location that is offering their preferred COVID-19 vaccine. Information on appointment availability at local health departments can be found at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/availability/. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Booster vaccines are also widely available from pharmacies, medical clinics, and other sites.

TDH Offering Booster Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

CDC Approved Booster Dose Recommendations for Certain Populations
Friday, October 22, 2021 | 12:19pm

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Health will begin offering booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to certain populations, beginning Monday, October 25.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after they complete the initial series:
• 65 years and older
• Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
• Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
• Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

Individuals who are 18 years and older and received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a booster dose is recommended at two or more months after the initial vaccine.

Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. More information on the CDC’s recommendation for a booster dose is available online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Local health departments across the state will be administering COVID-19 booster doses. Not all types of vaccine will be available at all sites. Individuals are encouraged to check vaccines.gov to find a location that is offering their preferred COVID-19 vaccine. Information on appointment availability at local health departments can be found at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/availability/. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Booster vaccines are also widely available from pharmacies, medical clinics, and other sites.

Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe Announce Lodge Manufacturing Company to Expand Marion County Operations

Friday, October 22, 2021 | 09:00am

· Project represents an investment of $56 million and the creation of more than 200 jobs

· Lodge, America’s oldest manufacturer of cast iron cookware, has operated in South Pittsburg since 1896

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Lodge Manufacturing Company officials today announced the company will invest $56 million to expand its South Pittsburg facility, where it has operated for 125 years.

In order to meet increased demand, Lodge will expand and reconfigure its existing facility and add additional manufacturing equipment to enhance production capabilities. Lodge will create 239 new jobs as a result of the expansion.

Founded in 1896, Lodge is a fifth-generation, family-owned company that manufactures the largest selection of American made cast iron cookware. Lodge operates two foundries in South Pittsburg, the second of which opened in 2017 and increased the company’s manufacturing capacity by 75%.

Lodge offers a variety of products ranging from its signature seasoned cast iron to enameled cast iron and carbon steel cookware. Customers can also shop a wide range of items specifically made for grilling or baking.

For more information about Lodge Manufacturing Company, visit lodgecastiron.com. To view open positions, visit lodgecastiron.com/careers.

Halloween: Red Cross offers safety steps as pandemic continues

Trick-or-treating is back this Halloween, however the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means there are extra factors to consider when planning your activities. The American Red Cross offers these tips and more to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

“Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the U.S. and with most communities returning to normal activities this school year, people should expect a higher volume of visitors in search of tricks and treats,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive for the American Red Cross Tennessee Region. “Whether you’re handing out goodies or going door-to-door, with just a few simple considerations you can make sure your family and those around you are safe and sound.”

Here are the top tips for parents to keep in mind while getting their kids ready for Halloween this year:

  1. Make your cloth mask part of your costume. A costume mask is not a safe substitute for a cloth mask. Avoid wearing a costume mask over a cloth mask as it can make breathing difficult.
  1. Plan outdoor activities and avoid indoor events where the risk of virus transmission is higher.
  1. Bring hand sanitizer with you while trick-or-treating and use it after touching objects or other people. Wash your hands when you get home.
  1. Avoid trick-or-treating in large groups, and social distance from others around the neighborhood.
  1. Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give kids a flashlight to light their way and consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  1. Plan the trick-or-treat route in advance and make sure adults know where their children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door. 
  1. It’s not only vampires and monsters people have to look out for. Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
  1. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. Avoid running. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  1. Only visit homes that have a porch light on, and never go inside.
  1. Make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

For those planning to welcome trick-or-treaters to their homes, follow these safety steps:

  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters by setting up an area with individually bagged treats for kids to take. Wash your hands before handling treats.
  • Maintain social distancing and wear a cloth mask.
  • Light the area well so young visitors can see.
  • Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app for instant access to expert advice in case your ghost, goblin or superhero has a mishap. Use the Emergency app for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/tennessee or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossTN.

‘Hamlet’ Opens This Weekend

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

Lovers of Shakespeare are in for a treat this weekend as the University’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Hamlet.”

The performance is directed by James Crawford, associate professor of theatre, and will feature senior theatre major Dakota Collins in the role of Hamlet. Also involved with the production are professor Dan Backlund, who designed the set; professor Jennifer Matthews, who designed the costumes; guest artist David Wilkerson, who choreographed the climactic sword fight; and professor emeritus David Landon, who worked with the cast on Shakespeare’s language.

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” follows the Prince of Denmark as he attempts to carry out his recently deceased father’s orders of avenging his death at the hand of his brother and successor, Claudius.

Crawford described the show as one of the greatest plays ever written — and for the department eager to perform under less restrictive COVID protocols than last year, something great perfectly fit the bill.

“‘Hamlet’ is moving, it’s funny, and it’s a thriller...and it’s one of those great shape-shifting plays that continues to reveal more as you move through your life, always new angles to explore. I think this is a particularly great play to work on with young actors as it’s a play about a young adult who’s forced to grow up fast when life throws him a difficult curve ball. A lot of people on campus can relate to that,” Crawford said. “Dakota Collins is taking on one of the most challenging roles ever written, and he’s throwing himself at it full force. He’s had a passion for Shakespeare long before he arrived at Sewanee, he’s got a work ethic that just won’t quit, and he’s a pleasure to work with. Everyone acting with him wants to live up to the high standard he sets for himself. Having him at the heart of the show has made my job much easier.”

Dakota Collins is a senior theatre major and has been acting since he was 15, spending summers with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Apprentice Company program.

He said it is his hope in playing the role of Hamlet to emphasize the humanity of the character, who at his core, is a young man grappling with the recent loss of his father.

“‘Hamlet’ is many things, and in the scheme of all this beautiful language, there’s so much Shakespeare has given an actor to grapple with. But I think, if one was to strip away all the nuance and murder plots and betrayals, at his core, Hamlet is [dealing with the] unimaginable. Grief like that, I think, would turn any man into a little boy — no matter how old or how young, no matter the quality of the relationship, in that moment of losing a father, you are a little boy again. So, to me, that’s what Hamlet is, at his heart. He’s just a little boy, and all the things that go along with it: the brutal honesty, the curiosity, the skinned knees, the hopefulness,” Collins said.

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” opens on the University stage at 7:30 p.m., tonight, Friday, Oct. 22, in the Proctor Hill Theatre at the Tennessee Williams Center. Additional show times are 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct 23; 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24; 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-30; and 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31. Masks will be required.

The performances on opening weekend will be preceded by an Arts Amplified vocal performance in the lobby of the Tennessee Williams Center at 7 p.m., Oct. 22 and 23, and at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 24.

For tickets, visit <https://www.eventbrite.com/e/h...;.

University to Stream Met Opera Series

by Bailey BashamMessenger Staff Writer

Sewanee’s first streaming event as a part of the partnership with The New York Metropolitan Opera’s live transmission series, Live in HD, begins tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 23, with the acclaimed operatic performance, “Fire Shut Up In My Bones.”

Late last year, the University became one of 2,200 theatres and performing arts centers in more than 70 countries to host the Live in HD series in an effort to reach new audiences. The Met has an 80-year legacy of broadcasting performances to radio listeners around the world via the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network. This practice laid the foundation for the Live in HD series.

“These broadcasts helped to make an opera lover out of me,” said Stephen Miller, chair of the Department of Music. “I grew up in rural Kansas, not exactly a place conducive to opera productions, and I just never saw them growing up, or even for quite a few years in early adulthood. But with these live broadcasts, from around 2006, I became more and more entranced by the musical, vocal and emotional power of these works.”

In a performance composed by Grammy Award–winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Charles M. Blow’s 2015 memoir comes to life on stage, detailing Blow’s experience growing up in a segregated Louisiana town. Blow, the baby of the family who clings madly to his mother, is forced to navigate the pain and confusion of being preyed upon by a cousin and an uncle while at the same time feeling a recurrent attraction to men.

This is the first opera by a Black composer to be presented on the Met’s stage.

“Just the thought that in the 138-year history of the Metropolitan Opera they’ve never previously done a work by a Black composer is stunning. We’re very excited that the first Ralston Room live broadcast of a Met production will be this one,” said Miller. “I’ve watched dozens if not hundreds of pre-recorded operas, and none of those experiences can compare to that of Live in HD.”

“Fire Shut Up In My Bones” will make its Sewanee debut in the William Ralston Listening Room located in duPont Library at noon CDT and is estimated to run for three hours and 10 minutes. The University will announce an encore screening of a recorded version at a later date. “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” addresses adult themes and contains some adult language.

To check for ticket availability, email <ralstonlistening@sewanee.edu>. For a complete schedule of the Met’s Live in HD series, visit <www.metopera.org/season/in-cinemas>.

Masks are required inside University buildings.


We arts-types at the University are absolutely thrilled that the Met Opera Live in HD series is coming to Sewanee, specifically to the Ralston Room in duPont library. For more info on the new relationship between the Met and Sewanee, see the front-page story in today's issue of the Mountain Messenger.
Since that story was assembled, however, a technical problem has prevented our showing tomorrow's broadcast. It was to have been a live performance of Blanchard and Lemmons's Fire Shut Up in My Bones, an operatic treatment of the Charles Blow memoir, and the first work ever on the Met stage with a Black composer.
In the next week or two, we do expect to show a pre-recorded version of that same opera in the Ralston Room, and ticket purchasing information will be distributed.

Carlos: Empathy, Creativity, and Mystical Vision

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

In the documentary “Carlos: Being of Light,” featuring Sewanee artist Ed Carlos, filmmaker Tyler Stallings takes the viewer behind the scenes into the mind of a man whose mystical visions compelled his brilliantly simple and simply brilliant philosophy of art. As a child, Carlos drew and engaged with rabbit figures who stood erect like humans. What some might call childhood fantasy evolved into a lifetime of engagement with the mystical and his transformation from “academic awareness into mystical” experiencing of the world.

Carlos has had more than 100 mystical encounters. In one, a flowing column of honey-like substance forms a passionflower, a botanical favorite of his. He said of the hayyoth, “holy beings” who guide him during encounters, “They know everything about you. They utilize what you know to teach you.” Anyone who has ever viewed a well-done portrait has experienced the artist engaging with the subject’s presence. “Creating a portrait is an invitation to enter into the psychic state of another,” Carlos said. “Empathy comes from collapsing the distance between yourself and the subject, which is what happens when making art and during the encounters.”

He couched the passionflower experience as a dream, when describing the encounter to his aesthetics class — “It made it much simpler to be a teacher without the rumors going around.” For Carlos, though, this was no dream.

“Papa taught [his students] not how to paint, but how to see,” said his daughter Malia. Embracing her father’s sage methodology, Malia recounted a childhood mystical experience to her English class. But the lesson was not well received. Concerned parents questioned the mental health of their children’s teacher. “That’s why you need to be careful when you teach,” her father told her.

Carlos’ 1990 experience on the island of Iona inspired the construction of Carlos’ Iona Art Sanctuary just a few miles from downtown Sewanee. In Scotland to do religious imagery for a church, Carlos visited the island on the priest’s suggestion. He made the visit nurturing a fascination with the shift from Druid to Christian Catholic spiritualism. There he witnessed a beam of light extending from the sea to the water. When he attempted to photograph “the light fall,” he felt himself falling backwards and into the presence of the hayyoth where he lost time for four or five hours. When he left the island, he found himself saying, “goodbye,” impressing upon him the certainty he had been with others.

“I was a different person from then on,” Carlos said. He acknowledged in the past he had “tried to deny images with which I didn’t want to relate…I tried to think them away.”

Carlos taught at the University for 36 years. He said of his final exhibit, a life size creche, “For me, the birth of Jesus is a metaphor for creation.”

“An image once objectified as art takes on its own reality and its own substance and power,” he explained. Commenting on how visitors experienced one of his installations at Iona, he said, “Every move you make, you see more…that’s what happens in the encounters.”

California-based filmmaker Stallings studied with Carlos in the 1980s. Doing research for an exhibit he curated, “Are we Touched? Identities from Outer Space,” Stallings reengaged with Carlos in John E. Mack’s book, “Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens,” which devotes a chapter to Carlos’ spiritual encounters. Senior curator at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, Stallings has since curated several exhibitions that circle back to that theme. Dubbed a feature film by the San Diego Movie Awards and the OC Film Fiesta, “Carlos: Being of Light” premiers this week.

This rare and masterful film integrates the inner working of a mind with the life experiences of artistic genius. To view “Carlos: Being of Light” via online streaming, tickets $10, go to <https://watch.eventive.org/ocf...;.

Firefly Gallery Ribbon-Cutting

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

Over the last few months, the Franklin-Pearson house has undergone an artful transformation. On Thursday, Oct. 28, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will make things official — the Firefly Gallery will open its doors and join the ranks of local organizations sharing art with the community.

Owner of the Firefly Gallery, Rachel Thompson, said artistic expression is in her nature at the deepest level, and her connections to Cowan and Sewanee run just as deep.

“My mother was from Cowan, and my father attended the University of the South. Southern hospitality infused my upbringing, and I have fond memories of my grandmother, Maude Caperton, welcoming friends and family to her home with generosity, where there was always plenty of good food and love,” Thompson said. “Although Florida has been my primary residence most of my adult life, in recent years, [family roots have called me to the Mountain].”

Thompson bought the Franklin-Pearson house, known in the community as a beloved railroad hotel, in December 2020. Since then, she has spent much of her time renovating the building, preparing its walls to host works created by local artists.

“For the last several months the renovation of Franklin House has absorbed most of my time and focus. My next project is to transform what was the old barber shop into a working studio. This fall and winter, I will be working on a large horse triptych and a shepherdess holding a lamb. The regional beauty beckons me to paint some landscapes as well.”

One of those local artists, Ed Carlos, will have work exhibited at the gallery through Jan. 15, 2022. Thompson said she has long been inspired by Carlos’ work, in addition to nature and her own spirituality.

“I am also an aesthete and hope to contribute to making the world a more beautiful place visually, emotionally and spiritually. According to the Judaic concept of Tikkun Olam, everyone has their part to play in repairing the world,” Thompson said. “I believe that I was preconceived as an artist and that it is in our primordial DNA to create. Artists have a way of seeing the world uniquely and in doing so opening the eyes of others.”

The ribbon cutting will begin at 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28. Thompson extends a warm welcome to all. For more information about the gallery or to inquire about booking the building for special events, contact the general manager, Tom Buck at (931) 313-5930. Firefly Gallery is located at 108 Cumberland St., Cowan.

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