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Grandson of Johnny Cash Explains How Sober Living In Smithville Changed His Life (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

September 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Thomas Gabriel is clean and sober today.

There was a time he couldn’t say that but a year long stay in Smithville helped make a difference in his life.

The eldest grandson of the late Country Music Star Johnny Cash entertained and shared his recovery story during a health fair Friday evening hosted by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition and the DeKalb County Recovery Court in conjunction with National Recovery Month.

“Smithville is the place I got sober through Haven of Hope of DeKalb County and Sober Living Services and Omega House of Smithville so when they called and said they were having the health fair I wanted to be a part of it,” said Gabriel.

“This was my 19th or 20th rehab.  I had a long history of chemical dependency and drug abuse. I came to Smithville from a treatment center and stayed long enough to work for Sober Living and Omega House. I was here for a little over a year. I have been sober ever since. It was a great experience. So Smithville has been a huge part of my life,” Gabriel said.

Prior to his addiction, Gabriel had a career as a law enforcement officer . “I was  a police officer for almost eight years and then I was in prison for almost eight years so I saw both sides of that coin”.

Gabriel said his legendary grandfather was a generous man and what you saw on stage was what he was in person. “He was always the same all the time. He was very generous but very set in his ways. He was harder on me because I was the oldest grandchild growing up but he was a great man and extremely wise. I really appreciate him more and more,” he continued.

Gabriel also recalls how that as a child, he and some of his cousins and uncle, would be called on stage to join Cash in a song or two near the end of his concerts.

“We would come on stage and do “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Will the Circle be Unbroken” at the end of the shows. My favorite was going on the road trips to Las Vegas and being a part of those shows because they were the most theatrical I thought. Bigger than Life. Magic. It was fun growing up,” he said.

IMG_1308 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Gabriel is now following in his grandfather’s footsteps as an entertainer himself and has just released a new album.

“We had an album released a month and a half ago that is doing really well. You can get it on-line now. We just came off of a western tour. We toured the west coast. That went fantastic. We’re going to Ireland next month. My music is similar to his (Johnny Cash) in a lot of ways and I usually do about 40% of my LIVE shows with his music because people still want to hear his music through me,” said Gabriel.

Asked what message he has for other recovering addicts and those needing treatment, Gabriel said “ Its all about connection and awareness. A positive connection with the right people. Ignorance is not safe. So many people are dying of Opioid overdoses and alcohol. If we reach those who have not been reached and try to make a difference every day we’ll get somewhere.  This health fair is about making the right connection”.

Smithville Head Start To Host Open House

September 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The L.B.J. & C. Smithville Head Start Center will be hosting an Open House  on Friday, October 19 from 1-4 p.m.

Special activities for the kids and refreshments will be available

The staff and parents are looking forward to showing their center and the children’s arts and crafts.

Head Start provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.

The center is located at 118 Kimberly Lane

Free Medicare Help Available

September 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period for 2019 begins October 15. For those who are eligible to sign up for Medicare or have questions about making changes to their Medicare health plans and/or Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, free, un-biased Medicare information and counseling is available through the Upper Cumberland Area Agency on Aging and Disability.

Annual enrollment for the coming year runs from October 15 to December 7. During this time, currently enrolled Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their plans. The staff at UCAAAD, a division of Upper Cumberland Development District, and volunteers are trained to provide free, un-biased counseling and advice for those seeking assistance with making changes to their Medicare plans.

It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to compare their current plans to the 2019 coverage options, which will be released on October 1, 2018. UCAAAD staff helps those seeking assistance with plan comparisons without selling anything and can be reached at the toll free SHIP line at 1-877-801-0044.

Throughout open enrollment, UCAAAD staff and volunteers will also be offering Medicare counseling at locations throughout the Upper Cumberland. A full list of appointment times and locations can be found at or at www.facebook/ucddconnect or by calling the toll free SHIP line at 1-877-801-0044 or 931-432-4150.

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