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Jefferson, Bass keynote Chamber breakfast

Dr. William “Bill” Bass and Jon Jefferson presented details about their newest fiction release, “Bones of Betrayal,” at Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce’s Speaker Series Breakfast, Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Fox Den Country Club.

“Bones of Betrayal,” set in Oak Ridge, depicts the writing team’s hero, Dr. Brockton, attempting to solve two murders: one in present day and another during the era of the Manhattan Project. Including factual Oak Ridge personalities and locations such as the Alexander Hotel, the book “highlights things about East Tennessee that are unique and special,” Jefferson said.

“Oak Ridge occupied a remarkable place, not just in Tennessee history, but in world history … it changed the course of civilization,” he added.

The Manhattan Project, Jefferson said, was “the largest endeavor in human history … a really remarkable, remarkable undertaking.”

Jefferson said he and Bass hope the book will preserve the history of Oak Ridge, which is “being lost in some ways.”

Breakfast attendees were enthusiastic about the book’s setting in nearby Oak Ridge.

“I think it’s a great way to learn about East Tennessee history. Many of us know people who worked in Oak Ridge at that time,” Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes said.

“Each of the books has taught me a little bit more about our area history. Very fun. I’ve read them all,” he added.

“I think it’s fantastic. I’ve been at Oak Ridge since 1981, so it’s a book I’m looking forward to reading,” Alderman Tom Rosseel, an ORNL employee, said.

“It’s great he ties in so many things with East Tennessee,” he added.

Robin Purvis said, “I like books that are set in the Knoxville area. With the history of Oak Ridge, I think it will draw national attention to what happened there.

“Maybe younger people will become aware of what happened in Oak Ridge that affected history,” she added.

“I think it’s fabulous we’re doing some local exposure for Oak Ridge, which seems to be a dying story … it brings a little bit more exposure to something that we’re losing touch with,” Curtis Johnston said.

“It helps a new generation get in touch with our past, our history. The fictional science is really good too, because we all get to learn something new and learn history at the same time,” he added.

Tim Williams said the book has broadened his perspective.

“We’ve got so many talented people in this area that people aren’t really aware of [and] all the things they’ve done that have had worldwide significance,” he said.

“Oak Ridge is the heritage of this community. I would suggest that about 60 percent of the people that live in the town of Farragut now are in some way, directly or indirectly, connected to what has evolved in Oak Ridge,” Mayor Eddy Ford, a retired ORNL employee, said.

“I remember when Oak Ridge opened up and we were finally able to go in. I was a young kid, and prior to that it was a guarded city.

“Those [characters] are the people who are in the textbooks that we studied in nuclear engineering,” he added.

“I think it’s exciting. I’m really anxious to read it because I don’t know a great deal about Oak Ridge, other than general information,” Chamber president and CEO Bettye Sisco said.

“I think it will be fascinating to read it,” she added.


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