Grundy County legend honors veterans
GRUNDY COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- A Grundy County man has spent the past two decades honoring veterans but, a devastating fire has forced him to adjust his plans.
Burnt wood and ash is all that remains of Y.B. Ashby's printing business, but the memories aren't going anywhere.
"We started the paper in 84'," said Ashby.
The 90-year-old WWII vet dedicated his life to honoring Grundy County veterans when he moved to the area nearly 50 years ago.
"We tried to emphasize the good things in life in Grundy County," he says.
His biggest project was a special edition of the Grundy County Post that honored living veterans.
"I just got to thinking how much of a contribution to the preservation of the American way of life these fellows have made," Ashby said.
However, a fire ended Ashby's career in print media in late August. Nearly 800 names of deceased veterans were lost in the blaze.
"It has put some stumps in the road that you wouldn't normally have. You fall into a routine each year," explained Ashby.
However this year his Veterans Day paper is moving to GCTV and so is a new face.
"I've known Y.B. Ashby ever since he's been on the mountain. He came probably 45 years ago." said Ray Winton.
For the first time ever Winton will co-host Ashby's Veteran's Day tribute, a position he is honored to have.
"I've never known a man to come into an area and effect a community or county like he has," said Winton.
However, this may be Ashby's last time in the spotlight.
"If everything goes right, I'd like to sit home and watch [Winton] and David Lowery co-host the thing without me," Ashby said.
Ashby says he's received about $4,000 in donations, thanks to a fund that was started in Altamont.
He says he's getting a group of people together to take over his responsibilities when he's gone.
A special edition of the Grundy County Herald will pay tribute to the county's living veterans and will be on the stands Thursday.