Letter: Happy Holler Rave

I cannot rave ravenously enough about your cover story "Local Color: North Central" published Feb. 2, 2012.

I don't know Shawn Poynter, but his photographs are at once sweetly familiar while remaining briskly startling in their fresh juxtapositions. He hit the required landmarks for those who know the area well, but he has surely startled awake those whose near-North connections have become shrouded by droopy-lidded indifference.

Jack Neely handled the prose with his signature ease. He journaled his way through a complex neighborhood, displaying an ease normally seen only in the practiced hands of a parson skimming towards the most relevant and helpful passages.

My own first job in graphic design was apprenticing at a long-since-closed printer in the heart of "Happy Holler." The neighborhood seemed very safe even then, as suggested by the numerous women who roamed the streets all by themselves. (It occurs to me in hindsight that printing was not the only trade being plied on that block.)

I suspect newsprint in general has never been more than an eye-opening mirror to a people, place, and time. Kudos to Metro Pulse for offering so lively a mirror to the many faces of Knoxville. I look forward to the rest of your ongoing series.

John Innes