While I always enjoy stories written by Jack Neely, I particularly liked the recent article, "The Kindness of Strangers" [regarding playwright/novelist David Madden's memory of meeting Tennessee Williams, Secret History, March 24, 2011]. Published on the 100th anniversary of Williams' birth, the column could not have been more timely. I have attended the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans and often thought we should do more here to recognize and celebrate the connection the great playwright has to Knoxville.
The information regarding David Madden was interesting as well. While reading the article, I could imagine a 23-year-old man peering from the other side of a wrought-iron fence surrounding Old Gray Cemetery to catch a glimpse of the famous writer. Furthermore, a lot of nerve was required by the young man to track down Williams in his hotel room.
Maybe the article will be a catalyst for a local event honoring the local heritage of Tennessee Williams.