MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — It always feels like we don't get enough time with the people we love the most. Time is a major concern for a man in Mt. Juliet. He's calling for help to complete a project that couldn't be more important to him. There's reason for the urgency.
Tracy Parsons is always on the lookout for a worthy opponent in chess. He's found one in his grandson, fifth grader Corbin Smith.
"You gettin' pretty good!" Tracy smiled, watching Corbin contemplate his next move.
"I see some thinking going on in that head!"
"Ever since he was one year old, he's been my best buddy," said Tracy. "When he was 3, I think it was, I thought it'd be great for him to learn how to play chess. He took to it very well."
"He'd teach me how to play," Corbin said. "He'd teach me new moves every morning."
Corbin hasn't beaten his grandfather yet.
"Nuh uh. I've gotten close, but I haven't done it," he smiled.
"The past couple of weeks, he's pushed me to play a game, and I've kinda pushed him off cause I'm afraid he's gonna beat me!" laughed Tracy.
The truth is, it's gotten harder for Tracy to play ever since a diagnosis in 2020.
"It's ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis," he said. "I've lost the ability to walk. Losing my hands, it's hard to talk about."
Two of Tracy's brother's have died from ALS, and he doesn't know how long he has. It's been hard for Corbin.
"I was scared," Corbin said of his grandfather's diagnosis.
Tracy has some work he wants to see get done.
Years ago, Tracy bought a 1973 Ford F-100 with the plan of giving it to Corbin when he turned 16.
"He's always told me it would be mine one day," said Corbin.
Tracy was getting ready to do a full restoration of the truck when he got the diagnosis.
"I wanted to do this myself," he said. "When Corbin gets his license, I'm not going to be here. I'm not gonna be here to see that."
Today, Tracy is hoping someone out there will hear his story and be able to take on the restoration of the truck as soon as possible. He's looking for someone who can make this a priority quickly so he can give the truck to his grandson.
"I'd like to be able to see him and his face and his reaction to the truck before I die," said Tracy. "That's what I'd like to see. It would be an answered prayer."
"I can tell he's putting all of his power into it," said Corbin.
Knowing his grandfather has worked so hard on this is something Corbin will always carry, alongside so many great memories, and all those lessons on how to be one great opponent in chess.
If you or someone you know can help Tracy with the restoration of the truck, contact Tracy Parsons at 615-207-2050 or his wife Tammy Parsons at 615-979-9563.