Chat Room: Don Story

Don Story

Don Story

Don Story

Age: 62

Married to Carol Story for 36 years

Retired teacher and coach from Maryville City Schools

What was your first paying job?

“Picking up corn missed by the corn picker.”

If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you take?

“An all-purpose knife with a compass on it.”

If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?

“Feed all the hungry people in the world.”

What task or activity have you still not gotten around to doing?

“Writing a book. I thought about writing one about growing in the ’50s in Blount County. I lived about five miles outside of Maryville.”

What are you guilty of?

“Intolerance of fools and laziness.”

What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?

“To visit every continent. I have two more to go and plan to take care of one this next year. We’ve been to lots of countries. It’s something we really enjoy. We’re going to Australia and New Zealand this year.”

Do you think there is life on other planets?


What is your favorite material possession?

“My truck. It’s my dad’s, a 1971 Chevrolet.”

What are you reading currently?

“The Bible. I’m in Luke right now.”

Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?

“Ronald Reagan. He ended the Cold War, brought down the Berlin Wall and reestablished America as the No. 1 power.”

What was your most embarrassing moment?

“Jumping off Gregory’s hay barn with an umbrella for a parachute. It didn’t work out as I had envisioned. Gregory was our neighbor.”

Why did you pursue the career you chose?

“Because I thought it was the highest and most honorable thing that I could be.”

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?

“Tough, because if you’re going to be dumb, you have to be tough.”

When you were 5, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“A football player.”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

“Too numerous to mention.”

What is your passion?

“Going on missions to less-fortunate countries. I’ve gone several times to Africa, Brazil and Russia. It’s very important to me, and something I really enjoy doing rather than touring museums and palaces. I like to talk to the regular people. That’s what you do when you do a mission. It makes you never want to hear anyone else whine about what they have.”

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?

“Jesus. I have many questions.”

What do you hate?

“Whiners and quitters. If you’ve been to Africa and some of those places, you don’t have sympathy for whiners in America, and I never liked for people to quit when things were a little tough.”

What’s your favorite quote?

“The credit goes to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face, mired by sweat and blood and tears, lies exhausted on the field of battle, victorious.”

What is your dream vacation?

“Fly fishing in Alaska.”

Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?


What is your all-time favorite movie?

“ I thought ‘Patton’ was a great movie. I saw it in 1970, and I’ve seen it 15 times since then. I was captivated by it.”

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

“ ‘The Legend of Bear Bryant.’ It gave you a lot of insight into him.”

Would you travel in space?

“Yes. I just love adventure. I love seeing the wild. Our guide pulled us up next to a monstrous crocodile once. It was laying there in the reeds. He pulled the boat up beside it on my side. I didn’t touch it.”

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?

“1956. I love the ’50s. That’s when I was a kid.”

What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?

“Carl in ‘Slingblade.’ I love the way he talked. He was so honest and simple. I loved him playing quarterback in the touch football game.”’

What is your favorite sport and favorite sport’s team?

“Football. My favorite teams are Maryville High School football team and Maryville College’s football team.”

What is the best present you ever received?

“A hug from the kids. I just love kids.”

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?

“The Golden Rule.”

Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?


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