Harry “Mickey” McClurg is in the Chat Room

Harry “Mickey” McClurg

Photo by Tessa Bright Wildsmith

Harry “Mickey” McClurg

Age: 71

Occupation: Retired from Alcoa, Inc., after 35 years. Alcoa City School board member for 23 years. Has been chairman of the school board for 22 years.

Family: Married to Carolyn Tallent McClurg. They have a daughter, Sonya, and son, Mike.

Mickey McClurg grew up in the Alcoa school system and said he was fortunate enough to get a college education because it opened doors to a job at Alcoa, Inc., at a time when many were getting laid off.

McClurg said he attended Mentor School before he went on to Alcoa High School. His children also went through the Alcoa system. His daughter, Sonya attended the University of Tennessee and his son, Mike, graduated from UT, got his masters at Carson Newman College and completed post graduate work at Lincoln Memorial University.

“I’ve always been interested in kids and interested in them getting an education. I tell you, I really believe that the way to solve a lot of our problems in our nation is through education,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of that, and I’ve been blessed to have that opportunity because of the people of Alcoa have supported me and allowed me to do that.”

Another generation of the McClurg’s family is going through the Alcoa school system. McClurg said three of his grandchildren are in the Alcoa system and two others are going through the Hamilton County School system in Chattanooga. “I really believe it’s important we have good schools, and I think we’re blessed in Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County. All three systems have good schools, and we continue to improve on those schools,” he says. “It’s a passion of mine to see kids get a good education.”

Here is Micky McClurg:

Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?

“My mother, Viola. Our people skills were more alike. Mother was outgoing. I’m not nearly as good a person as she was, but she tried to instill values in our lives. My dad, Harry “Buttermilk” McClurg, did too, but my dad was like most dads. He was busy working, and mom was able to stay at home and raise us. That’s different today. Mothers have to work also. My dad did farm work on the side, and he, too, worked for Alcoa for 40 years.”

What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?

“John F. Kennedy’s quote: “A child miseducated is a child lost.”

How do you like your steak cooked?

“Medium-rare. You can tell it by looking at me. You eat a medium rare steak, and you don’t have to put anything on it. If it’s not good, it’s not medium rare.”

What are you guilty of?

“Procrastinating. I’m so bad that my wife has to get on me and make me get things done like mowing the yard.”

What is your favorite material possession?

“My wedding ring. That was a big day in my life. I always valued my wedding ring because it was a gift to me from my wife.”

What is your passion?

“Seeing young people get a good education.”

What are you reading currently?

“ ‘Quiet Strength’ by Tony Dungy. I admire Tony Dungy. His character is so good, and he has helped so many young people. I just like the way he always presents himself. I like the fact he talks about the Lord a lot instead of always just about football.”

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

“Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan tried to do what was right with our country. I think he really cared for people and had people of all countries in mind when he made tough, tough decisions. A close second is Nelson Mandella.”

What was your most embarrassing moment?

“While on a singing trip in college, I was staying with an elderly couple overnight. I walked into their bedroom thinking I was entering the bathroom. I was in my underwear.”

If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?

“I would witness about our Lord and say my goodbyes.”

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

“My mother, who passed away 31 years ago.”

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

“Personable. I think I am easy to talk to with an outgoing personality.”

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

“Increase my height and reduce my circumference.”

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?

“Always associate with good people.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?

“Raymond Burr. He was more my size in the 1950s and specifically 1956. I liked him as an actor.”

What is the best present you ever received in a box?

“A used bicycle I received in 1944 for Christmas.”

In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?

“Powerful and lead by example.”

Who is your hero?

“Our soldiers. I know how hard it is to leave home. Fortunately I was in the Air National Guard for the Berlin Crisis. We were activated and sent overseas to prevent a war. It’s tough to leave home. These soldiers going now are true heroes. So many times we talk about heroes and sports. Sports is a great opportunity to play and get physically fit, they’re not heroes. Our heroes are those guys who go and put their lives on the line for us. I have lots of respect for them.”

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

“Dog. A dog is your best friend. Cats just scratch you.”

What’s the worst job you have ever had?

“Working for the State Department burying dead animals along the state right of ways. Just picture an animal getting killed on a Friday afternoon and the beaming sun shining on it for three days. They did stink. That was my summer job in 1956.

What is your theme song that best describes you?

“ ‘Voice of Truth,’ from the movie ‘Facing the Giants.’ My daughter and granddaughter said, ‘That’s you.’ ”

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Comments » 1

Floydthebarber writes:

Blount County needs moe folks like Mickey!! Dang good guy with a Big heart!!