Barry Currin found he loved Cleveland

Personality Profile

JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Posted 8/24/15

Although he didn’t plan to stay more than a couple of years, one local man is still here after nearly three decades and doesn’t have plans to leave anytime soon.

“When I came to town, …

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Barry Currin found he loved Cleveland

Personality Profile


Although he didn’t plan to stay more than a couple of years, one local man is still here after nearly three decades and doesn’t have plans to leave anytime soon.

“When I came to town, I expected to be here for a short time and move on, but something happened,” explained Barry Currin, who originally moved to town in 1986 to be a reporter for the Cleveland Daily Banner.

“There is something special about this area. Cleveland grew on me to the point that I wanted to stay. Sometimes I even claim it as my hometown.”

The love for Bradley County has grown over the years leading Currin to not only remain, but invest his life and career here, especially in one particular area.

“We love downtown Cleveland,” he exclaimed. “There is so much excitement and potential there that we really want to be a part of it.”

Currin and his wife, Kim, have made several residential investments over the years, including a couple in the downtown section of Cleveland, one of which was built in the 1940s. They are now looking to venture into the commercial property realm and are currently working on a deal that would get them part of one of the most iconic buildings in town.

"I don't want to say more about the location until we close the deal," he said. "But we expect it to happen before the end of the month.

“We are excited about being able to get involved with some projects in the downtown area,” related Currin, who spent 23 years working for the Bowater Employees Credit Union. He ran the marketing department for 17 years before becoming the vice president of lending for the final half dozen years there.

Originally from Ardmore, a small town on the Tennessee-Alabama border, with parts in Giles, Lincoln and Limestone counties, the die-hard Vols fan is quick to point out he “lived on the Tennessee side of the state line.”

“Our house was in Giles County (Tenn.), about a half mile from Lincoln County, but I went to Ardmore High School, which was and still is all 12 grades. Although it was across the state line in Alabama, it was just a couple of miles from the house,” he related. Giles County High School was 20 miles away in Pulaski.

Barry and Kim, who is from Crossville, met while they were both attending Martin Methodist College.

“She came to Martin Methodist with her boyfriend,” Currin laughed. “I got lucky. She lost interest in him and for some reason liked me.”

After the pair graduated from Martin Methodist (which at the time was only a two-year school) in 1984, they went to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee, where he majored in journalism and she in advertising.

“I saw a posting at the (UT) journalism school for a job at the Banner. I looked into it, applied and got it,” recalled Currin, who covered the local police beat for two years.

“When I left the Banner, I didn’t intend to stay in Cleveland, but then I got the job at BECU and Kim had a good job with Alive 95 (radio station), so we just never left.”

The couple married in 1988 and decided Bradley County was where they wanted to put down roots.

“It’s a great place to live and raise a family,” he assessed.

The Currins' son Grant was born in 1994 and grew to be an outstanding straight-A student and cross country runner, qualifying for the TSSAA State Championship Meet three of his four years at Cleveland High School.

“Grant has always loved to learn,” the proud papa stated. “We used to joke that he wasn’t allowed to watch CNN until all of his homework was done.”

Following in his parents’ footsteps, the younger Currin is currently attending the University of Tennessee on a Peyton Manning Scholarship, which is part of the prestigious Haslam Scholars Program.

“We are transitioning to the ‘empty nest,’” the elder Currin related. “He (Grant) is getting to do a lot of traveling out of the country with his major. His studies are related to the sociology field.

“We work a lot to help fill our time and we get to play a lot,” he added. "We enjoy what we do to the point it's hard to tell which is which."

One of the “fun” things they involve themselves with is a weekly radio show, “SEC Pigskin Picks,” a humorous — make that hilarious — show that previews all SEC football games.

Coach Billy Jack Hoover, Miss Chely Sizemore and Professor Thorndike Sinclair make their prognostications Thursdays at 6 p.m. on 101.3 The Buzz during “The Sports Drive.”

“We make SEC (Southeastern Conference) football picks in ‘character,’” Currin explained. “It’s a lot of fun. I play Coach Billy Jack, Kim is Chely and our friend Ed Stutzman is the professor.”

Currin also has returned to his journalism roots as a weekly columnist, with his “Stories of a World Gone Mad” bringing a humorous look at life to Tennessee newspapers: the Standard Banner (Jefferson City), the Buffalo River Review (Linden), the Mountain Sentinel (Mountain City), the Humboldt Chronicle (Humboldt) and, of course, the Banner every Friday.

He also oversees the website “Beaver Dam USA” (, which has four people blogging about music, sports and sharing funny stories.

“I really enjoy doing the column and the website,” expressed Currin. “It’s great way to share some funny stories and read other people’s musings. It's my hobby.”

While he expresses his creative side by writing, his wife does it through art with her business “Kim Currin Creations,” featuring fused glass art.

“She creates beautiful plates, platters, pendants, bowls, etc.,” explained Barry, who handles some of the business side of the venture. “She’s creative and doesn’t like doing the paperwork stuff, so I do that for her, because I dislike it just a little less than she does.”

Her studio is currently in the Innovation Center at Cleveland State’s Cleveland/Bradley County Business Incubator, but they are hoping to be able to move it to downtown Cleveland in the near future.

“We both really enjoy what we do. We have a lot of fun,” Currin said. “We have invested our life in Cleveland. Even though neither of us is ‘from’ here, it is our home.”


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