GOP Convention


Hello Loves,


For those interested in the Knox County GOP convention, it could be summarized as much ado about nothing.  It was sparsely attended even though the purpose of the meeting was to elect new officers.  Refreshments were supplied by local Republican officeholders and prospective candidates for 2018.  One new facet of the convention was one having to provide ID to be able to vote.


Although several folks had said they were interested in running for County GOP Chairman, in the end, Buddy Burkhardt was nominated to serve for a second term.  Randy Pace did get up to apologize for having caused so much drama, as he was the driving force to deprive the “small” precincts from being able to vote.


In the end, virtually everything stayed the same, which causes one to wonder, was it planned that way?  In any event, the convention certainly could not have bolstered the spirits of diehard Knox County Republicans.



Hello Loves,


Sandwiched between Tomo’s and Kingston Pike is a new burger place called Mooyah.  In the interest of full disclosure, I worked for a company called Steak ‘n Shake for almost 10 years of my life and they specialize in burgers, so to say I know a little bit about burgers might be understatement.  After all, I ate a burger every day of my life for 10 years…


Until now, I thought Steak ‘n Shake had it going on, but was I wrong!  Mooyah is a burger, fries and shake eatery and it’s every bit of that and more.  The burgers are thick and juicy and you have all the options in the world for making your own burger to your liking.  Avocado, numerous varieties of cheeses, barbecue sauce, jalapenos and the list goes on.  For those not in the mood for a burger, there are chicken and hot dogs, a black bean burger for those who like that sort of thing.

The burgers are grilled on a flat top grill, the kind one sees at Japanese restaurants where one goes to watch the masterful chefs prepare the entire meal before one’s eyes.  The bun is buttered while still resting upon the grill.  YUM!  The fries are to die for, much like those at 5 Guys, cut thick.  A medium order of fries should satisfy TWO fry-hungry people.  You can add hot sauce to your serving of ketchup, if you happen to like a little kick with your fries.

It’s kid-friendly, the prices are good and the staff is nice.  The atmosphere is fun without being too loud and perfect for a lunch or dinner date.


I did happen to meet the owner, Nick DeVore, who was outside when I chatted him up.  Naturally, I had to know, why Mooyah?  Nick said his blood is clotted with burgers, as that happened to be the family business in North Knoxville.  Litton’s immediately came to mind and Nick gave me a big smile.  I almost swooned when I discovered Mooyah does catering and not typical catering, as they bring a grill and everything.  When you go, try a shake for me because after eating the fries, I just couldn’t spare the calories.

Rankin’s Restaurant


Hello Loves,


If you ever find yourself toddling down Central Avenue, there’s a restaurant you ought to try.  It’s been here a long time and has been a favorite of Knoxvillians for decades.  Rankin’s Restaurant has served up home-style cooking for a mighty long time and it’s just as good today as it was when it first opened.  In fact, the Rankin family claims the restaurant is Knoxville’s oldest existing restaurant.  Black and white photos from a time long since past decorate the walls and the prices are very reasonable, especially for the portions, which are generous.  Homemade gravy and biscuits come with every breakfast order and you will not leave hungry!


I wolfed down an omelet made with bacon and tomato, which was excellent a friend enjoyed pork chops and eggs.  I was told the pork chops might need some seasoning, but after putting a little gravy on them, it was wonderful.  Obviously Rankin’s has some faithful customers as there were old-timers playing cards and businessmen eating breakfast.

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If you haven’t been to Rankin’s Restaurant, get a move on because it’s just like eating at your granny’s table.

Free Speech for Everyone? Update from Nashville…..

Hello Loves,


With the deadline fast approaching for bills to be introduced in the Tennessee legislature, proposed legislation is raining down on Nashville.  I heard about a particular piece of legislation called the “Milo Bill”.  The “Milo Bill” was inspired by events on the campus of the Berkeley campus of the University of California when conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was denied the opportunity to speak because of near-rioting.  Protestors destroyed property and started fires to keep Yiannopoulos from speaking.


The bill is sponsored by State Representative Martin Daniel and State Senator Joey Hensley and apparently written by local campaign guru Kenny Collins.  Having some interest in the bill, I attended the press conference.  Evidently, the purpose of the bill is to protect free speech for everyone.


Luke Elliot, a student at the University of Tennessee and vice president of the College Republicans, spoke up in favor of the bill, saying it was important to many students and noting free speech is essential to our republic.  Elliot said he believes Tennessee is a conservative state and out-of-touch professors should not be the only voices heard.


Scottie Nell Hughes, editor of and a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, attended the press conference to voice her own opinions.   Hughes’ opinion varied little from that of most of those attending the event, saying everyone should have the right to speak their mind and state their opinions.  Hughes said she was glad Daniel and Senator Hensley were taking the idea of protecting free speech seriously.

Mickey Shelton, a student and member of America’s armed forces, said he was at a loss for words considering he took an oath to protect the Constitution and free speech, which is not being respected nor observed at many college campuses across the country.  Shelton questioned the idea of requiring a license to be able to speak on a college campus, wondering who issues the license and what circumstances allow a particular speaker to speak.  Shelton clearly thought it wrong to require a permit to speak.20170209_112404



Needless to say, there will be a LOT of talking about this bill!

Love and Patti Jo

Hello Loves,


Sometimes there’s a love story out there that absolutely confirms God always has a plan.  Over the years, I’d heard bits and pieces of this particular story, but it was special to hear it from the beginning from Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong.


It begins at a swimming pool where Bud was a lifeguard and first saw Patti Jo Caldwell.  It was obvious Patti Jo had a remarkably beautiful exterior, but Bud quickly discovered her interior was just as beautiful.  Patti was kind, thoughtful, possessed a warm personality and a smile that would cause the birds to descend from the trees and follow her like a Disney heroine.  As soon as he saw Patti Jo, Bud Armstrong said to himself, ‘I’m going to marry that girl someday.”  Bud remembered her when Patti Jo was a freshman in high school and he was a graduate student and saw her sitting with friends in a commons area.  Bud impulsively asked Patti Jo out on a date in late August and she turned him down.  Patti merely meant she had other plans for that particular night.  Bud thought she simply wasn’t interested and went on his merry way.


Bud related the same thing happened repeatedly; in fact, he couldn’t remember how many times he had asked Patti Jo out with the same result: she was busy that night.  Being resourceful, Bud finally walked up to Patti Jo one day in October and asked, “What are you doing on December 17?”  Surprised, all Patti Jo could say was, “Nothing, I don’t think.”  Bud said he was having a Christmas party at his house and asked Patti Jo to be his date.  Patti smiled and replied, “Yes, I will be your date.”


Every time Bud saw Patti he would wave and call out, “Don’t forget December 17!”  Patti would murmurs, “Yes, yes, December 17.”  Well, Bud had never intended to have a Christmas party, but he threw one together so just Patti Jo would be his date.  Patti Jo served as the hostess and if she had not won over Bud’s heart by that time, she had it soon after.  They dated for some time, but it wasn’t serious until a prospective rival caused Bud to get busy.  True to his word, he did marry that girl he first saw at the pool.  Bud Armstrong and his “baby love” will have been married 40 years on February 12.


Bud readily and cheerfully acknowledges everything he has accomplished in his life is because he married Patti Jo Caldwell.

When the Sheriff Calls…

Hello Loves,


Well, when the local Sheriff calls I think it’s natural to get a little nervous.  I mean, when did a Sheriff call with good news?  All of that was going through my mind the other day when I got a call from Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “JJ” Jones.  My husband works for JJ and I thought, ‘What has he done?’  JJ said he wanted to comment on a blog post.  The Sheriff corrected a post I had written, telling me the shift and hour changes I had reported was due to the department’s need to get more officers on the road.  The goal is to have more deputies out on the road protecting homes, subdivisions and businesses; in fact, JJ said he expects we will have more deputies out on the road than at any time in the county’s history.


JJ also wanted to pick a bone with me, saying he was for ALL county employees getting a raise, not just those employed by the Sheriff.  While I was shocked to receive a call from the Sheriff, it made me think he really might be planning to run for County Mayor.  Could be…

Need a Realtor?


Hello Loves,


Please join me in welcoming another great supporter and advertiser to Mccalla Around Knoxville, Jeff Ownby.  Jeff was born and raised in Knoxville.  He has lived here all of his life except for the time he left and joined the Navy to service country.  Jeff also served his community as a County Commissioner.  He is an exceptional realtor.  He specializes in buying homes and flipping them for a more affordable price for the everyday home buyer.  During his time as commissioner he traveled the roads of Knoxville and gathered extensive knowledge about his beloved hometown.  The important knowledge that he learned includes: the school zones, the crime rate, and the growing businesses in each area of town.  But that’s just a little bit of his knowledge I do not want to give away all of his secrets.  If you are looking to sell your home or you are interested in buying a home please contact Jeff Ownby at (865) 441-6162 or