From the General Manager

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

As I started to write this column, I couldn’t help but think “how in the world could I be writing a column for the winter edition of Carter County Living? Where has the year gone?”
A coworker bought me an inspirational daily calendar last year for Christmas. I don’t know if I would have made it through the year without it and thought I would share some of my favorite quotes with you. The first quote, by Ann Landers, is timely for the New Year and so true: “Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.”
Some others that helped me, are “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,” by Zig Ziglar, and “The best way to get things done is to simply begin.”
One of my favorites is “die with many memories, not dreams.”
When I read these, I think of a man named Jamie Kerr. As most of you know, I am a car enthusiast and every day on the way home, I would see this abandoned gas station on Sycamore Street and think how nice it would be to have something like that to work on my cars. I noticed a sign go up and someone was cleaning it up and painting the building. I got to witness the transformation and it was a slow one. Kerr took this old gas station and transformed it into one of his dreams: an ale brewery. Over the years, I would see Jamie out at events sharing his products to get ready for opening his own business. Kerr and his Appalachian Sun Brewery were chosen for the cover feature for this edition of Carter County Living.
Appalachian Sun Brewery is not a bar; it’s a family friendly business that’s set up like a den, where visitors can experience an ale, enjoy conversation with others, have the whole family along to be together, and learn new things about ale and maybe about each other.
“We are not the same as a big brewery,” Kerr said. “I mean, I do make a brew that tastes like [well-known beers], but we have all kinds of ales we make. I can’t give out trade secrets, but all brewers make all kinds of different choices by using spices and … well, I can’t say more.”
Another feature story is about a man who needs no introduction: “The Fly” Softball King Jarfly Dugger. Most people don’t know his first name, but he is the most recognized person in East Tennessee. After all, there is only one Jarfly Dugger.
Born in the Eastside community, Dugger attended Elizabethton High School before joining the Navy. He was a Navy Corpsman with the Marines 3rd FSR, FMF home based in Okinawa from 1966 until 1970. When he returned home, the story of a legend began.
Cherokee Park in Elizabethton was the home of fast pitch softball. Jarfly would become a renowned pitcher and travel the world playing softball. As many have said, he was simply the best there ever was.
Jarfly is credited for helping kids graduate from school. For decades, he has helped many a girl learn the art of fast pitch softball, whether they attend Unaka, Happy Valley, Elizabethton, Hampton or wherever. He’s even helped some Unaka Elementary girls prepare for softball at the high school level.
These are just a few amazing stories in this issue that remind us what makes Carter County what it is today, the greatest place on earth to live.
We hope you enjoy this issue, and if you know of anyone that would make a great story, please let me know at

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