May: A Time for Celebrating our Mothers

Like the beautiful Iris, they stand tall and proud.  They are our mothers. They care for their children and families, offer encouragement and praise, and often read stories to a child sitting on their lap.  They prepare a child’s favorite dish, bake a birthday cake, or make an award-winning banana pudding. They pick up their […]

The Sixth Starter (Part III)

By Ralphine Major Butler has been a prominent name in the Gibbs Community for many years.  Their name was associated with a landmark of the community. The sixth starter’s father, Bill Butler, owned a neighborhood grocery store at the corner of Tazewell Pike and Barker Road.  Beside it was Leroy Hutchison’s barber shop.  It was […]

‘A God-called leader must learn before he can lead’ (Part 3)

By Ralphine Major The Memphis native who is an avid Elvis fan, once wore long hair, and still plays the guitar does not seem like a description of someone who has authored a Bible-based book. But, he has—though the long hair is gone. Mike Boyd, once a rising, young businessman never set out to become […]

‘A God-called leader must learn before he can lead’

By Ralphine Major “Take time to pray; study and meditate; crave the things of God.” This is one of the key concepts in Dr. Mike Boyd’s book, “Principles of Preaching, A Guidebook on Biblical Communication.” While intended to “assist teachers and preachers in understanding and confirming God’s calls on their lives,” it is easy for […]

‘A God-called leader must learn before he can lead’

By Ralphine Major It is designed to “move the truths of God’s word from the Heart of Heaven to the hearts of humans.”  Mike Boyd’s “Principles of Preaching” was written primarily for those training to become pastors.  But, it is a handy resource for teachers, as well.  Even those of us not engaged in teaching […]

The Sixth Starter (Part II)

By Ralphine Major The coach often held No. 10 in reserve and called on him and his swift ball-handling skills to bail the Eagles out of trouble against the press.  Not only did he call on him to do that, but he also called on No. 10 when the Eagles had to press full court.  […]

The Sixth Starter

By Ralphine Major “Before someone says, ‘you can’t have six starters in basketball,’ I want to emphasize that you can have as many starters as you want to,” Bob Dagley said. “But, only five can play at the same time.” Dagley is the former coach of the Gibbs Eagles. The player he is referring to […]



By Ralphine Major “Is it true you once held Tommy Everette to 41 points?” I asked the Central High School standout of the sixties. “He was the best high school player I ever played against,” the tall-frame gentlemen answered. Everette was the center player on Coach Bob Dagley’s 1964-65 Gibbs Eagles’ basketball team that capped an […]

The List

By Ralphine Major It all started with the heart.  Many Focus readers may remember my first column, “The Real McCoy,” which ran on February 7, 2011.  Dr. Kyle McCoy is the cardiologist who treated our mother after her heart attack.  “Life is a Gift,” my tribute to the late Criminal Defense Attorney Zane Daniel, was […]

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