Isaiah 3:13 13 The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
We went to the Roane County Bar dinner last night, and as usual, it was such a great time! The attorneys that practice there are warm, funny and have great stories. Mort Titus regaled us with his annual comedy routine which involves everyone in the audience being made fun of, embarrassed in some way or sucked up to (the judges, of course!) He is talented way beyond his legal mind. We sat at a table with Orton Jones and his wife, and Orton is one of the best storytellers I have ever known. He remembers details about everything and was telling a story about having gotten a severe spanking because he found a grasshopper in his spinach in eighth grade and he took it to the cooks to show them. These were the days school administrators whipped with paddles with holes in them, and he said he got it good. I’m not sure what was so bad about his showing of the grasshopper, but he turned out to be such a good man, I guess it didn’t hurt him any
Ryan Ruth and his wife were there as well (the couple who had the wreath stolen off of their front door as well as packages that had been delivered by UPS to their home). Their security camera caught it all, and they have been on the news all week. Seems 20/20 is interested in their story as well, so we may see them on national news soon. They are such a nice couple, and we got all the details on their ordeal and how they’ve been made famous because of it. Oh, and interestingly enough, the thief had 34 misdemeanor charges dismissed just a couple years ago, and drives a BMW!
It reminded me of the Mahan brothers who used to hang around the courthouse and do petty little crimes just to “get by.” One of their crimes was to go to convenience stores (back when deposits were made on pop bottles) and the store would have all the cartons of returned bottles stacked up out front. Well, the Mahan boys would just pick up a carton or two out of the stacks up front and take them in to get a refund on the bottles. I guess it worked a few times until the clerks got wise to them. Carol, Tom’s secretary, said she knew of them hanging around the courthouse after hours, and if anyone wanted to go in, they would collect a $5.00 “entry fee” to allow them to enter the courthouse. They did know the system fairly well…
They also got in a fight one time that resulted in one brother getting his rear end slashed with a knife. He comes before the court, and I’m the court reporter, and George Scott was the judge. He is getting arraigned, and somehow the nature of the crime got brought up, and he unbuttons his pants and begins to drop them, turning around in the process, and Judge Scott quickly shuts that down! I was glad, as his rear was right on my eye level about two feet away from my face….oh my. They would get sent to the drunk tank at Weston to dry out, and if they’d be there together, they’d always try to escape out the third-story window by tying sheets together and helping drop each other down so they could sneak and get something to drink. One time, the sheets broke and one of them fell two stories down. Did not get hurt a bit. I’ve always heard you can’t hurt a drunk…….
One of the other “old days” stories that came to mind is a Jackson County story. Cheryl Cunningham Donohoe was the judge’s secretary, and her office was where everyone sat to await going in for hearings that were held in the judge’s chambers. The judge had something else going on, so several of us were waiting our turn in Cheryl’s office. We were going to have a hearing on a 60-day evaluation on a young man who had been sent off to determine his competency to stand trial. Homer Fisher was the sheriff, so he had the prisoner, and Joe Hash was the prisoner’s attorney, so the three of them were on one wall, and I was on a different wall waiting to go in with them. This young man starts telling his attorney (loud enough for all of us to hear) that he had a really hard time while he was at Weston. See, there were these bugs that just kept crawling on him, crawling on him at night, in the day, while he slept, while he was awake, just kept crawling all over him and all over him and they were in his hair and in his ears and on his stomach and on his back and just everywhere. He just kept repeating this mantra over and over, all the while scratching himself from top to bottom. These bugs just wouldn’t leave him alone, they kept crawling on him and crawling on him and crawling on him. His hair was standing on end where he was clawing for these bugs, and he was pulling his shirt up to scratch, just still digging while talking about these bugs.
His attorney, Joe, was just calmly listening with half an ear, barely registering what he was saying. Well, not the rest of us. Cheryl and I were looking at each other, and we were watching Homer begin to scratch his head, and I’m scratching my neck, and Cheryl is giving me the “shivers” look. He kept on and on about these bugs, and by the time we got called in, we were all scratching from head to toe. We get into the hearing, and to tell you the truth, I can’t remember the result, but when we come out, Cheryl is going crazy with a Lysol can. She’s spraying the chairs, the handles, the desk, the lamp, wiping furiously like there is a monster chasing her. I said, “What in the world’s gotten into you?” She says, “While you were in there, I read his report – HE’S GOT CRABS!” I can still see the look on her face, 30 years later. Thank God we all escaped his fate……I can feel the bugs crawling on me even now……
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.