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Bridge dedication honors Borens memory
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Warren County recently held a dedication ceremony naming the Mountain Creek Bridge on Highway 56 North in honor of the late Charles Ulysses Boren, a local resident and owner of Boren Jewelry.
County Executive John Pelham presided over the ceremony, which was attended by friends, family and local officials. Pelham noted he had worked at a nearby hardware store as a youngster of 12 and got to know Mr. Boren.
“I got to know him pretty well and considered him a friend,” Pelham said. “He was a good man and I am proud to be here today to honor his memory by dedicating this bridge in his name.”
Boren is remembered as an active member of the community. He was a member of Warren Lodge #125 of Free & Accepted Masons of Tennessee, a member of the McMinnville Lions Club, in which he served as treasurer, and a member of the Church of Christ.
Boren was married to Sepal (Jean) Boren and they had three daughters, Linda Perry, Glenna Godwin and Carolyn Clemons.
Clemons remembers her father as quite the jokester.
“He could tell a joke so well,” Clemons said. “He was a watch repairman by trade. The proper name for watch repairman is horologist - which sometimes raised eyebrows because people really didn't know what that meant. One time when he was hospitalized at St. Thomas. The nurses asked what he did for a living and he told them he was a horologist, and the nurses' faces turned red. He did that on purpose.”
Clemons also recalled the hunting accident which almost claimed the life of her beloved father. Boren was hunting with a co-worker and friend when the friend’s shotgun accidentally discharged, striking him in the back.
Clemons said her father actually wasn’t expected to survive, considering his grievous wound which resulted in a collapsed lung, leading a local mortician to make a fortunately erroneous prediction.
“John High shook hands with the doctor and said ‘I'll be back in the morning to get him,’ meaning they both expected Dad to be dead by morning,” Clemons said. “Dad was drifting in and out of consciousness and heard John High say that. But dad's collapsed lung re-inflated on its own, and thankfully he survived.”
Clemons said her father dealt with his scars with typical aplomb.
“The indentation was so big you could put your fist in it,” Clemons said. “Dad never had the indentation repaired by cosmetic surgery because he said he reckoned he wasn't going to be entering any beauty contests.”
Godwin says she was surprised to learn the bridge had some history with the family.
“When I found out the motion to name that bridge after my dad had passed, I called my dad's brother, Clebern Ray Boren, in Michigan to tell him and explain to him where this bridge was. He said, ‘You've got to be kidding me.’ I said, ‘No, why?’ He said, ‘Well, Glenna, that's the very bridge that your dad and I used to play under when we were little boys.”
Perry, who traveled from Crystal River, Fla. to attend the dedication, said she was touched by the county’s tribute to her father.
“It’s very emotional to me,” Perry said. “Very emotional, but I’m very proud of the man he was and I’m so happy that this is being done.”