Michael Tomshack could be the poster person for "cheerful giving."
Few events excite our two sons like the arrival of a Vineyard Vines pop-up store.
You probably know the legend of the lost city of Atlantis, but what about the lost community of Rhea Springs, Tenn.?
I earned my first real paycheck at age 14. The year was 1973, and the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour.
If life has three stages, the template for Chattanooga baby boomers has been unstructured play (as kids), hard work (as adults) and a return to play (as retirees), according to a leading life coach and author.
The human mind searches for context.
Yes, Volkswagen's redesigned 2018 Tiguan is bigger and better than ever. In a comparison test, Cars.com just rated the Tiguan its No. 1 compact SUV.
We hear a lot about upward mobility and how hard it is to achieve in 21st century America.
Half-ton pickup trucks such as the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 are perennially Chattanooga's best selling new vehicles.
Five years ago, Colleen Johnson was 100 pounds overweight and battling endometrial cancer.
It appears I was on the cusp of a trend by fathering children in my 40s.
Does your car need a name? The short answer is "yes."
Mayweather vs. McGregor it wasn't.
Today, a few final thoughts on the Great American Eclipse.
Karen Hughes, 45, was a member of the first graduating class at Ridgeland High School in 1990 and a player on the school's first state championship softball team.
I grew up with a portrait of Robert E. Lee hanging in the living room of my parents' home. It was displayed in a frame made of wooden planks from my father's childhood home, a Depression-era shack in rural Maury County.
Charlie Steinhice, a 57-year-old manager at BlueCross BlueShield, thinks those who shrug off Monday's solar eclipse are making the mistake of a lifetime.
I thought I had peaked as a human being in 10th grade.
Gina Hooker, a 55-year-old radiology nurse at Erlanger hospital, has seen death up close. She has measured its breath, felt its chill.
Keith Morin was among 27 children who gathered at a new "grief camp" in Maine in 2009, a movement that has grown into a nationwide network of summer retreats known as Experience Camps, funded mostly by individual donors around the United States.
It's easy to forget the virtues of a rear-wheel-drive automobile: light steering, squealable tires and kick-in-the-pants power.
Five Hooie brothers from Pulaski, Tenn., served their country in wartime. All five returned home safely.
In the summer of 1969, my Middle Tennessee family of four stopped in Atlanta on the way to Florida to catch a Braves game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
For a minute there, Galen Riley, a 33-year-old Chattanooga software engineer, was thinking about leaving Chattanooga for greener pastures.
When he was just 10 years old, Calvin Sneed stopped eating to grieve the demolition of a metal truss bridge in Marshall County, Tenn., near property that would become Henry Horton State Park.
My mother was a banker. For most of four decades, the 1960s through the 1990s, she was a teller at bank branches in Columbia, Tenn.
I was reading a piece by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman the other day when I came across a quote that stuck with me.
Back in the mid-1990s, reporters at the former Chattanooga Times huddled and decided to elevate coverage of the area's high school valedictorians.
So my 15-year-old son and I are car shopping.
Interesting fact: One out of four garages in America is so cluttered it won't even fit one car.
Our house is littered with artifacts from the many phases of boyhood.
When she was 12 years old, Wanda Jones Cooper, now 66, sat on her Granny Jones' front porch in rural Marion County and studied a pine-covered hill at the back of the family farm.
For 30 years, Floyd and Deborah Richardson have been house parents at Bethel Bible Village, a Christian group home off Hamill Road for children and teens in crisis.
James Mason Anderson, a Confederate soldier, died from a blast to the face at the Battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest engagements of the Civil War.
Sometimes the 10-year-old and the 58-year-old in our house butt heads.
One day last week, our 15-year-old son climbed into the family's Toyota Venza. He quickly positioned his hands at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock on the steering wheel.
You know that "60 Minutes" stopwatch that punctuates the Sunday night news magazine?
Morgan Crawford, 17, can throw a softball with such withering velocity that she has earned a scholarship to play college ball.
An interesting thing about growing older is that your character flaws eventually bubble up to the surface.
I had an epiphany this week while interviewing a 99-year-old man: The generation that journalist Tom Brokaw dubbed the Greatest Generation was authentically great, while we baby boomers, now mainly in our 50s and 60s, are still grownups in training.
Never underestimate the power of the pout.
Lisa Lin's oversized smile can lift the mood of a room.
When it comes to fashion, consider the question: What should Christians do?
There are things I miss about my 20th century childhood.
Jesse Drennen, a former football stand-out at Ringgold High School, was one of those young men you hear about who leave high school and drift.
My 15-year-old son and I were shopping at Hamilton Place mall earlier this month when he summoned me to an athletic shoe store.
Forty years ago as a teenager, Kathy Dempsey was attending Tennessee Temple High School here and throwing newspapers as a substitute carrier for The Chattanooga Times.
Imagine you are witness to a dying person whose kidneys have failed. Pretend the hospitalized patient is the mother of two young children. Maybe it's someone you know, maybe it's not.
We were one of the last households in our town to get high-speed internet.
If I had an Oscar vote, my 'Best Movie' pick for 2016 would go to 'Hidden Figures,' a film about a team of black, female mathematicians who provided support for the U.S. space program.
Lying in bed, my 10-year-old son was all showered and jammied-up. It was about 8 p.m. on a Sunday night. He had his arms folded across his chest and a scowl on his little, round face.
Connie Noland, a grandmother from Ringgold, Ga., says she can't shake the memory of a chance encounter in Chattanooga on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 19.
There's nothing more pitiful than a hungry, 15-year-old boy who can't chew his food.
The oldest baby boomers have begun turning 70 years old.
Make a list of small-to-midsize SUVs and the Mitsubishi Outlander might not be the first model that comes to mind. It might not even be the second or the third.
The women gather in the back room of an art supply store in East Brainerd. They sit amid long, flat art tables covered with brown paper.
I had never experienced a 'surreal' day until one recent Saturday, when a cloud of weirdness wrapped around me like a Pillsbury dinner roll around a cocktail frank. It actually started before even I woke up.
Some needs are basic and as old as mankind: Food, clothes, shelter.
Among our jobs as parents is to teach our kids how to manage disappointment. Or, as the 'serenity prayer' says: To be granted the power to accept the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can.
Tommy and Nora Cook, who are both in their 60s, scrape by on about $1,200 a month in government benefits.
A headline in the Dec. 8 Wall Street Journal was ominous: Barely Half of 30-year-olds Earn More Than their Parents.
Dear Santa, Thanks for all you have done in the last 15 years.
Experience is the best teacher, it's said. Yet some experiences come at a cost.
It has been almost two weeks since a tragic school bus crash here claimed six young lives and sparked a wildfire of despair.
Albert George, 97, credits his wife's mouth-watering homemade biscuits for the couple's long marriage.
When you are part of a busy family, time is of the essence. Minutes are important. Hours are precious.
Multiple sclerosis is an insidious companion.
Joye Wessells, a Signal Mountain widow, was reading the Times Free Press at her kitchen table last Thursday morning when she got a startling surprise.
I just received a dollar bill in the mail.
Leah Baxter, a 17-year-old senior at Girls Preparatory School, is one of about 2,200 American students this year to make a perfect 36 on the ACT.
The idea is simple, really.
Last year, UT celebrated 50 years of its iconic pre-game tradition, which involves the football team and others running onto Shield-Watkins Field through a T formed by the 300-plus- member Pride of the Southland Band.
A formerly homeless Rossville, Ga., couple say they want to thank Times Free Press readers and others who donated money after their home burned in May.
One night last week, our 9-year-old son complained that no one in the family would help him study.
Over time, First Baptist has lost membership, from a peak of about 500 members to about 100 today, members say. But church leaders say they are committed to soldiering on and attracting new members to the church, which is near the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
It took Bill Hewgley 15 years to talk about 9/11.
I often wonder what it's like to have girl children. As much as I love my two sons, I feel like I might have missed something.
In a typical family with three kids, emptying the nest takes a few years. But for Michael and Susie Woodward of Soddy-Daisy, the children flew the coop all at once.
On Labor Day weekend, our family booked a two-night stay in a family hotel in downtown Gatlinburg. We were there for R&R and a two-day soccer tournament in which my 14-year-old son was a participant.
The Cloverleaf Barber Shop on Hixson Pike is celebrating 50 years of operation.
Sometime in 2016, I will witness my 1,000th youth soccer game. I figured it out on the back of a napkin.
There were two boys with the same obscure first name born on a late October day in 2006 at Parkridge East Hospital. Sometimes I wonder if we brought the correct child home.
Eighteen-year-old Tylis Green changed elementary schools five times in five years, often hopscotching across state lines in the process.
If you've watched any cable news shows in the last 10 days, you might have seen a baby-faced young man from Ohio pop up on your TV set. His name is J.D. Vance, and he's a 31-year-old graduate of Yale Law school.
Bob Arnold, a former plant superintendent at the La-Z-Boy furniture factory in Dayton, Tenn., is a lifelong University of Tennessee football enthusiast who has written a book from a fan's point of view.
Sometimes I feel sorry for our lonely, little big-screen TVs.
How big is the Nissan Titan XD pick-up truck?
If necessity is the mother of invention, Brian Carroll's mastery of baseball history is proof.
Did you know that when she was 7 years old, pop star Selena Gomez was a cast member on the 'Barney and Friends' kids' show?
Is the new Renegade merely a Fiat in Jeep's clothing?
Some women think car dealerships are essentially man caves.
When I was a kid, summer boredom wasn't a thing.
Sharon is a bubbly teenager who is learning to ride a bicycle for the first time.
My first exposure to the Pokémon Go game was a conspiratorial request from our two sons, ages 14 and 9.
Smith, 43, a former nonprofit organization worker and Christian volunteer, had seen first-hand the HIV-AIDs scourge in Africa, the subjugation and degradation of women in Delhi, India, and the tears of refugee immigrants right here in Chattanooga.
Flagship sedans are showpieces for their brands, embodying all the virtues their manufacturers hold dear. But what happens when a brand's flagship has the handling and performance characteristics of a race car?
Redshirting, a term often associated with college football, is on the lips of many parents of Chattanooga preschoolers this summer.
After test driving a long line of $50,000-to-$100,000 automobiles recently, it is the spunky little VW Golf SportWagen TSI SEL (only $32,685) that has turned out to be our favorite driving companion so far in 2016.
Mark Kennedy sits down with an Erlanger ER doctor of 30 years and his wife to talk about the rigors of the work.
Gary Lawson, 68, a retired federal law enforcement officer, sometimes believes his battle with Alzheimer's has a silver lining.
Once at an office party, I overheard a woman tell my wife, "Oh my gosh, you have the most beautiful hands I've ever seen."
Eighty-seven-year-old Lester Wilker and his home-based nurse, Virginia Bennett, 75, have lived under the same roof for about 18 years.
Chattanooga is a magnet for these youth sports tournaments. A quick check of the calendar of the Chattanooga Sports Committee shows major youth tournaments here this summer in lacrosse, soccer, softball, baseball and tennis. All will involve hundreds of families spending, collectively, millions of dollars in the Scenic City.
When I was a kid, our "swimming pool" was an oscillating lawn sprinkler.
The average American worker has been at his or her job for 4.6 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A headline in the May 20 Times Free Press caught my eye. It read: "Two-thirds of Americans would struggle to cover a $1,000 crisis."
Back in the early 1980s, they were a group of young Chattanooga mothers bound by their love for tennis.
The other night, I was walking through Northgate Mall with my 9-year-old son when he wandered into Hibbetts Sports.
Jax Smalley, 2, wasn't just a healthy newborn, he was a big ol' baby boy.
Last week, near the end of a kids' lacrosse game in Brentwood, Tenn., my son took a hard hit and immediately fell to the ground, clutching his arm.
The old desk is completely unpretentious.
For months, I've been nursing a pinched nerve in my back.
Residents of the Falling Water community can tell by your smell if you are from Signal Mountain. It's not your body odor, but the smell coming from your car brakes.
"Who needs algebra?"
It's a classic fixer-upper — native stone siding, ample acreage, an unfinished dungeon.
Chattanooga is an ideal place for a stay-cation.
What started with a few scribbled pages of notes has grown into untold stacks of old newspapers, bound copies of state records and a daunting collection of 130 audio discs documenting the 1958 impeachment trial of the late Hamilton County Judge Raulston Schoolfield.
When I go into one of our sons' bedrooms, it feels like I'm entering a mini museum.
Zella Dixon, 84, of Hixson, has a simple explanation for how she survived the deaths of two sons.
A little dab'll do ya.
Our dog, Boise, turned 3 years old this month. That's 21 in human years, prompting my teenage son to crack: "Daddy, you should take Boise out and buy him buy him a beer."
When 10-year-old Makenna Alverson chose to be Nancy Reagan in her school's wax museum-style history project, the former first lady was the only living person on the list.
All I really need to know I learned from "Gilligan's Island," the 1960s sitcom about seven people stranded on a deserted island.
A normal election year would be a learning opportunity for kids.
Tom Hunt figures he has owned about 95 cars over his lifetime.
If we can have an Australian Siri, why in tarnation can't we have a Southern Siri? Specifically, I want my the Siri on my iPhone to call me "Sugar" and to sound like Paula Deen.
The NFL Network features a popular biography series called "A Football Life." It typically contains documentary video of a Hall of Fame player or coach.
As I was entering fourth grade at Riverside Elementary School in Columbia, Tenn., my teacher made my mother a promise: "I'm going to make Mark into an A student."
After a recent column, in which I carelessly wrote that storytelling is a lost art, I heard from Judy Baker of Cleveland, Tenn.
When my 14-year-old son looks at me eye-to-eye, it's a little unnerving. It seems like I've been lowering my gaze to greet him forever and now this.
When he was a student at Red Bank High School in the 1980s, Sam Hall, now 52, brought his 35 mm camera to campus to snap some pictures.
My 9-year-old son decided his mother would enjoy a disco-inspired shower head for Christmas.
Ernest Jackson is like a human slot machine. Shake his hand and stories fall out.
My taciturn father taught me an important lesson: If you want your communication with your children to be clear, put it in writing.
For Eileen Galang, 38, of Rome, Ga., getting a doctorate from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville last week in literacy studies was the culmination of years of fits and starts.
Dan Lothian, 51, is a dashing fellow.