Dear Readers for April 23, 2009

I remember well the first time my mother bought pre-packaged McCormick’s Chili Seasoning.

We were shocked, dismayed and scandalized. Next to her stroganoff, dressing, biscuits and Christmas fudge, my mother’s chili was legendary. We never wondered why a household of three needed such a big pot to make chili in. Neighbors and family members could smell it cooking and would magically appear.

I would watch mother “season” the chili. The combination of red stuff, green stuff, salt, pepper and hot sauce was as mysterious as a Halloween witches brew. I would also watch her fret over the chili, tasting at each addition, stirring, adding water, more tomato paste, a pinch more of this or that.

It seems Mother never really “perfected” her chili recipe until she discovered McCormick’s.

“Mom!” I exclaimed, as she ripped the package and poured it on the ground beef. “That’s ready-made seasoning!”

“Isn’t it great!” she answered. “It’s better than mine, and it’s easy.”

The neighbors and family still came. The reviews were still rave, and mother quietly stuffed the orange seasoning package in the bottom of the trash can. She never fretted over her chili again.

The point of talking about chili and pre-packaged seasonings is that I am hoping lots of Blount Today readers will go for the convenience my mother found so wonderful. I am hoping all of you who love Blount Today will decide it is a good thing to have it delivered to your mailbox rather than go out and look for it on a newsstand each week.

The team here at Blount Today is as passionate about our newspaper as my mother was her cooking. We’re proud of the “soup” we put together each week. We offer a snapshot of Blount -- a look at what has happened over the past few weeks, a preview of what is going to happen over the next few weeks and an analysis of news events that affect your lives. We give you the opportunity to share your own pictures, news events and stories. We show up at your parties, your sports events, your community gatherings and charity fund raisers so that we can share the things going on in this wonderful county with your family, friends and neighbors.

We pay for this -- from newsprint to salaries to distribution costs -- through our advertising. And, unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you know it has not been a good economic year.

But, we’re nothing if not creative at Blount Today. We got ready for the slow-down by making some calculated changes -- some painful, some good for us -- to help us hold on, and hold our prices down for our customers, until things look better.

Now we need you to help, too. Blount Today will remain a free newspaper in our racks and distribution points. Our agreement with the Knoxville News Sentinel to have our paper inserted in their Friday paper for all their subscribers in Blount County also isn’t something for which you are being charged extra. But if you don’t subscribe to the Sentinel, how about opting for the convenience of mailbox delivery every week for your Blount Today?

We can deliver Blount Today to your mailbox every week for one year for $31.20. If you sign up during the months of April and May, Blount Today will donate $5 of that amount to the Blount County Relay for Life. You can pick your favorite team to receive the donation.

There are other groups selling Blount Today subscriptions for a $5 donation as well, including the William Blount Tennis Team and the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont. Ten Dollar Club, Fine Arts Blount and Hearing and Speech Foundation have also had members sign up and donate to their organizations.

If you email me at, Tessa Bright or I will get back in touch with you to get your information, credit card number or tell you where to send your check. Blount Today will arrive in your mailbox on Fridays if you live in Blount County. We also mail to other counties for the same subscription rate. Blount Today is also a great graduation present for seniors who are going away to college and want to keep up with the things happening at home.

Look for a mailing to come soon on the Relay for Life subscription promotion. Or call me, or Tessa, at 981-9102 or 981-9104, and we will take your information over the phone.

My mom would subscribe in a minute. She never worried over her chili after she took the “convenience” route. Same goes for your favorite community newspaper! With a subscription, you won’t miss a single issue.

And, to prove I didn’t miss my late-night info-mercial education, here is that contact information one more time:

One easy payment of $31.20 for one year’s subscription

Email: (subject line: Subscriptions)

Phone: Tessa: 865-981-9104; Sherri: 865-981-9102

Or mail $31.20 with your mailing address to Blount Today, 318 S. Washington Street, Maryville, Tn. 37804.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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