A Life Lived: Paul Scalf worked everyday from ‘daylight to dark’

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wesley Paul Scalf had lived in Dandridge, Tn. the past 30 years, but long before he moved to Dandridge, he was a Carter County boy, living in Hampton during his growing-up years and young working days.

Paul, as he was known to family and friends, died June 23 at the age of 78. He was laid to rest in the Union Baptist Church Cemetery June 26.

Scalf for the past 30 years had owned and operated his own bait shop in Dandridge, and before that, he had a bait shop in Hampton and had worked with his father growing and selling fishing bait. “He and his dad, Roy, did minnow farming in Clarktown on Tiger Creek when he was younger,” said Paul’s daughter, Sonya Banner. “He loved being outside and was able to make a living selling minnows, nightcrawlers, crickets and worms. He knew everything about fishing bait.”

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“Both my mom and dad worked hard in the business. They never took a vacation or any time off. One time, they went to Jamaica, and that’s the only vacation I can remember them taking,” said Sonya.

Sonya’s mother, Joan died five years ago. At the time of her death, she and Paul had been married for 50 years.

“My dad worked from daylight to dark everyday. He was self-made. Any success he had came from working hard every day,” Sonya said.

Paul enjoyed fishing, but his business kept him from doing much fishing. “He made sure everyone had some bait to fish with, but it was rare when he went fishing, himself,” Sonya said.

When Paul did have some spare time, he enjoyed playing cards. Sonya described her father as a “good, honest man, who liked to make people laugh.” He especially enjoyed telling stories, and he had some big stories to tell, such as the time he went to Ohio to visit and it came a record-breaking snow. He also loved telling about catching the biggest fish when on an outing with some buddies.

Paul enjoyed having his Hampton friends visit him in Dandridge. “It was by chance he started his bait business in Dandridge. He went there to buy a gold fish business, and when it didn’t work out, he began his own bait shop,” Sonya explained. Paul kept his business until about a year ago when his health began to fail him and he moved back to Hampton to live with his daughter.

Paul also has two sons, Anthony of Hampton and Wesley of Dandridge.

Paul graduated from Hampton High School, where he was chosen by his senior class as the “Most Likely to Succeed.”

In addition to his business interests, Paul was a member of Hampton Masonic Lodge No. 750, Scottish Rite, and a Mason.

“My dad enjoyed helping people. He endured himself to people, and I think that along with hard work is what made him a successful businessman,” shared Sonya. “And, he was just a smart man.”

Paul had a bunch of cousins in the area as well as friends. He will be remembered by them as a “good, hardworking man.”