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Hats Off    |    by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 12/03/2002

HATS OFF for December

By staff writer

A few years ago, we invested in a plastic jack-o-lantern, with a small orange bulb inside. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a big investment, but it was a sign of times. When our oldest son, Brian, left for college and eventually moved out of our home, a long tradition of buying a fresh pumpkin and carving a face ended. Only Brian had the talent to create “Mr. Pumpkin” while we watched, took pictures, video-taped, and laughed out loud at his performance. I share this memory because we are into a season of traditions. Family and friends gather together at Thanksgiving then for Hanukah and Christmas. And though the traditions vary from year to year they define who we are.

Probably the most noted tradition on our “mountain” is the contribution the Signal Mountain Welfare Council makes each holiday season. Last month toys were collected in and around the three communities we live in, Signal Mountain, Walden, and Lone Oak. The Signal Mountain Welfare Council invites residents to volunteer on December 14 at Nolan Elementary School in the Gym and Cafeteria at 9:00 AM to help fill baskets for needy families. For more information or to volunteer, please call the director, Lara Coughlin at . The Signal Mountain Welfare Council moved into its new location in mid-October. Located at 633 Mississippi Avenue, however the entrance is on Signal Mountain Blvd. According to Lara, moving to this new location will allow the Welfare Council to expand its programs. There will be more room for food and longer and new hours for the Clothes Closet, which remains in its old site until renovations at the new place are completed. Now everything, including the offices, will be under one roof. It may be moving, but its long-time traditions of reaching out into the community remain firm.

Speaking of traditions, do you have your new SM Directory? Let me remind you of the places where the new 2 Signal Mountain Directory can be purchased. The cost is $6.00 each and they are available at Alexian Village (through Vicki Love, Marketing), Citizens Tri-County Bank, Perfections Hair Salon, Signal Mountain Pharmacy, SunTrust Bank, Village Greenery, Webbco, and Wild Hare Books. Please make your checks out to the Signal Mountain Community Guild. Remember, the proceeds from this book benefit projects sponsored by the Community Guild and therefore are a benefit to the community.

What a delight it is to open my email and see a note from organizations asking to be included in the Calendar of Events. I hope you take the time to look at each day and see what’s happening in and around our communities. Check out the changes and updates in this month’s calendar. The Alexian Auxilary will meet on Monday, December 7th for a luncheon at 12:00 NOON. If you ever wondered what the Auxiliary does, now is your chance to learn. Call Vicki Love at , for information. And look in next month’s issue of the Mirror for details on specifics about this great organization. Although the Auxiliary has not been around 700 years, like the ministry of the Alexian Brothers, it does have a long-standing tradition ministering to the Alexian Village Health Care and the Alexian Inn.

The Literature Department of the Community Guild will hold its monthly meeting in the Guild Room at 10:00 AM. Please join them as their program is Molly Miles and Christmas Music. Don’t forget to attend the Lions Club meetings, which are held twice a month, the second and fourth Tuesdays. The public is invited. The public is also invited to the Friends of Signal Mountain High School, which usually meets the first and third Monday. The Lone Oak Seniors meet every Monday and Wednesday morning at the Lone Oak Community Center. Activities vary and centered on service to the community. The Chamber of Commerce on Signal Mountain meets the third Tuesday and again, the public is invited. And if you are looking for some fun and enrichment at the same time, the Signal Mountain Genealogical Society, meets the first Monday; the Lone Oak (FCE) Family Community Education Club that meets the fourth Monday; and the Signal Mountain Library Book Club meets at the Library every third Thursday. (This month’s book is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens). Wow, this list just grows and grows and with it a long line of great traditions are being put into place. Look for times, places, details, and changes at for all these organizations and more.

Speaking of the web site I want to thank Bob Anderson for the kind words towards it and my husband Mark and me in last month’s issue of the Mirror. I would like to add one thing, if you don’t mind. We are proud of the site and are happy to make it the best community web site possible. But you need to know that without a third person, whom Bob did not know about this site would not exist. That person is Signal Mountain resident and good friend Bill Newsome. Bill and Mark came up with the idea of the web site and together they made it happen. Today, Bill works behind the scenes designing, programming, and managing the site. His expertise is invaluable and I wanted to share this with you.

Now you have heard the comings and goings of the wonderful organizations on our “mountain”. Each offers us an opportunity for friends, fellowship, and service; some with old traditions and others with new developing traditions, but all worth taking the time to explore. Why not start a new tradition this holiday season? You might be pleasantly surprised. Because when we center our lives in a life of service, we don’t have time for self-pity or worry, something we can all do without this holiday season. So . . . BE OF GOOD CHEER!

Pris and her husband Mark Shartle are owners of the GRAPEViNE stores. She is a staff writer for and can be reached at

Calendar of Events
December 1 – Lone Oak Community Center Country Breakfast
December 2 – Signal Mountain Genealogical Society
December 2 – Signal Mountain Community Evening Guild
December 8 – Lone Oak Community Center Annual Covered Dish
December 9 – Alexian Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon
December 9 – Signal Mountain Town Council Meeting
December 10 – Signal Mountain Literature Department
December 10 – Town of Walden Meeting
December 10 – Lion’s Club Annual Christmas Party
December 14 – Welfare Council Basket Filling
December 17 – Signal Mountain Chamber of Commerce
December 19 – Signal Mountain Library Book Club
December 22 – Lone Oak FCE Club