Second Harvest benefits as SportsTalk comes to Ray Varner Ford

Sandra ClarkFeature

Three of my favorite guys got together Friday and when I heard about it on the radio, I had to join in. John Wilkerson and Jimmy Hyams were broadcasting SportsTalk live from Ray Varner Ford in Clinton.

A casual listener might assume the guys work in a formal studio, surrounded by books packed with UT sports stats and stories; or logged into a vast computer library and assisted by interns armed with rosters and fresh coffee.

But Jimmy and John sit at a folding table, armed with yellow pads and a cell phone.

Their staff person (I thought) was actually Shelley Ellis-Ferrell, representing Second Harvest Food Bank. She was selling Tim Kerin power towels. “Each towel sold (for $5) will feed 15 people,” Ray Varner explained. “Take a picture of Shelley.”

Shelley Ellis-Ferrell

UT students and staff sold the towels at the UT-Georgia football game on Saturday. Kerin came to UT from Pittsburgh in 1977 when John Majors returned to coach the Volunteers. Kerin was head trainer for 15 years until his sudden death from an aortic aneurysm in August 1992.

Kerin designed the football training facility, according to the UT Sports Information website, and the training room was officially named for him in 1993. His widow, Zibbie, has also contributed to Knoxville and the University of Tennessee.

“We’ve got our big car show coming up on Oct. 19,” Varner said. It’s the Tennessee Valley Mustang Club’s annual blowout with hundreds of cars on display. Ray likes them because most of those cars are Fords.

The smartest kid in the class … You may find this hard to believe, but I’ve never lacked for self-esteem. Even in high school, I never let it bother me that Sharon Rutledge got the best grades, Brenda Shipley was the best organized, Wilma Hacker certainly made the most money and Wanda Mash was elected senior class president.

Donald Trump gets it. You can’t wait for others to acknowledge your leadership, brains or worth. You just believe it, proclaim it and move on.

So that’s why, on Saturday, I hitched a ride to UT to attend a tailgate party hosted by a new client – a 10-member law firm.

Imagine my surprise when I saw maybe 100 tents covering every inch of green space within a mile of the stadium. I waded into the middle of it, only to discover that the tents were not named. They had numbers. The tents were white, the grass was green and the orange-clad people were all eating wings. And that’s when I remembered. I really hadn’t met these folks yet. Even if I found their tent, I wouldn’t know it.

So, the smartest kid in the class hiked out to Cumberland Avenue and paged my ride. Maybe they got a shot with their cell phone.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc. Reach her at 865-661-8777.


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