Life With Ferris: Mountain Mirror Still Going Strong After 3 Decades

Monday, August 3, 2020 - by Ferris Robinson

It’s hard to believe three decades have passed since the first issue of the Lookout Mountain Mirror hit the mailboxes. In that first issue of “A Newspaper of Fact, Fun and Fancy,” there was a section of various parades on the mountain in order to announce the “100 Years Above the Clouds” Lookout Mountain Centennial: A Parade of History.” 

The late B.B. Branton reported the “Old Timers” were scheduled to play baseball as part of this special celebration, noting that “the players are a few years older, a little grayer and don’t move quite as fast as they did three decades ago, but when the ump yells, ‘Play ball!’ at high noon on Saturday, September 1, 1990, on Johnson Field at the Commons, these “boys” will play just as hard as they did when they wore the uniform for Coca Cola, Harolds, Interstate, Krystal, Lookout Mountain Pharmacy and Rock City. Some of those original kids who now have sons of their own in the DYB league include (the late) Allen Brown, Tom Gifford, Jim Haley, Steve Kent, Harry Scott and (the late) John Tugman.”

During the first few issues of the Mirror, Kim Strang and Debby Stark were heading up the LMS Carnival, and Suzanne Kent was PTO president, with Lesley Davenport as vice president. New Fairyland Elementary School teachers included Peggy Sterchi, Marilyn Barber and Sally Ferguson, and Mrs. Jenny Johnston was featured on the front page, characteristically hamming it up as she pretended to shake a ruler at David Groves, Jamey Gifford and the late Cammy Robinson.

Mimi McDonald penned her first Mirror column, “Ask Mimi,” with the headline “Lonesome Lament of the Lookout Liberal,” in which she did not answer the question posed about how to survive as a liberal on Lookout but instead described an automobile accident with Talia Robinson, Elaine O’Dell and Lynn Lindsey, which could have been catastrophic but is described hilariously – no surprise there. The legendary “Ask Mimi and Mefran” advice column addressing nosy or noisy neighbors or the difficulty in finding time to shop immediately expanded to include advice from her sidekick and partner in crime, Mefran Campbell.

Farell McGinness, the Mirror’s advertising director, was the associate editor of the second issue of the Lookout Mountain Mirror, and as such, rivals Gwin Tugman for the longest-running contributor to the Mirror. Gwin, a.k.a. The Mountain Tracker, reported that the Tom Hookers hosted a fishing party at the Lookout Mountain Golf Club with invitations that resembled fishing licenses. Dr. Gilley and Ester Brown claimed best costume prizes, as did Jean Tipton, who was barefoot and in overalls. Sonia Young, the Purple Lady, reported on every social event and fundraiser in the city, encouraging community giving.

B.B. Branton’s column, “Notes on a Scoreboard,” included sports history on the Lookout Mountain from the 1930s through 1990, and included facts such as: Charlotte Grant became the first Lookout mountain native to receive her card and play on the LPGA tour; in 1930, the mountain’s first football team suited up in their orange and white uniforms; and that same year, the first and only National Tom Thumb Golf Tournament, a putt-putt type golf event, took place at the 24-hole course adjacent to the Fairyland Club.

Other headlines in 1990 included: Coach Stamps Logs 35 Years At Playground; Moses Picked as Mayor; Citizens Bank & Trust Enters Mountain Market.

Thirty years after Billy Parker and Henry Glascock founded the Lookout Mountain Mirror, it is still going strong in the capable hands of Lucia Parker Hopper. Well done, all.

(Ferris Robinson is the author of  two children's books, "The Queen Who Banished Bugs" and "The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds," in her pollinator series, with "Call Me Arthropod" coming soon. "Making Arrangements" is her first novel, and "Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity" is a collection of true tales about man's best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror. Ferris can be reached at ferrisrobinson@gmail.com)

 


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