Welcome home, Larry

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies, West Knox

Larry Van Guilder is in the house. He joined knoxtntoday.com in July and will be handling a variety of tasks. Larry is a unique guy – good with both numbers and words. He’s a tenacious investigator and writes with humor.

Hopefully, Larry’s fans will find him here and our partnership will last for a very long time.

Funny story. Back at the old newspaper, we often hired (or just exploited) interns. One day I ran into Ada Clonts in Fountain City. “You need to hire my nephew,” she said.

She said it several times until I finally contacted him. I thought I was calling a teenager but I got a guy almost as old as I was. Hmmm. He wanted to write a humor column. I needed somebody to cover high school sports. He was an accountant who had never written professionally. But he had a real job and a working wife. He needed little pay. Hired!

Larry soon became integral to our operation. Mike Ragsdale was the county mayor. Van Guilder and Lewis “Showboat” Cosby spent hours, days and weeks at the City County Building, looking at expense accounts and the infamous P-cards. Remember “lobster to go”?

But Larry took some hard blows. His wife of 21 years, Becki, died in 2012. His biggest fan, Aunt Ada, died in 2013. He left the newspaper and took a job in accounting with newly-elected Trustee John Duncan. Soon thereafter, Duncan resigned. Larry sold his house and left town.

And then, he was back. Lately he’s been the manager of a condo complex. I recruited him to join knoxtntoday.com. And he did. And now he’s here, learning WordPress.

You might think that someone who knows nothing about running a website would hire someone who does. But heck. We’re really in the news and entertainment business. And there’s nobody in town better at news and entertainment than Larry Van Guilder. Welcome home!

  • Rep. Tim Burchett passed a bill in the House this week to provide relief for military personnel who fall behind on bills while deployed. Burchett is the prime or co-sponsor on 78 bills, of which five have passed in the House. Not bad for a first-term lawmaker. See all of his bills here.
  • Rep. Steve Cohen, Democrat of Memphis, was excited about House passage of HR 3375 to stop abusive robocall practices. The vote was 429 to 3. Cohen said everyone is fed up with robocalls, estimated at 26.3 billion last year. Among other provisions, the bill requires calls to have authentic caller identification.
  • Before these fellows get too excited, remember Sen. Mitch McConnell has to schedule all bills for a Senate vote – a tough hurdle.


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