Letter: An Ex-Pat Approves

After two days back in my old town, I say unto Knoxville: well done, y'all. Despite broiling heat and my typical distaste for actual people, I was honestly charmed by the vitality of Gay and Market Square on Friday and Saturday. There was a film set quality to it, as though an unseen director on a boom was orchestrating a scene of a bustling, gleeful downtown. But it was real. Not rowdy, not oppressive, not annoying, just real. Real young and old people, the real "sirs" and the "ma'ams" that I'd forgotten, real peach slurpies, real Southern civilization. Yes, I could carp: that still-ghastly husk of the old KUB building, whoever butchered the trees that once were on Market Street, 5 clams for an ice cream, etc. All in all, however...oh, hell, I'll be back to stay soon, you sultry minx of a city, you.

Jack Mauro