Jack Neely’s most interesting Secret History ode to philanthropist Wallace Baumann, in the Aug. 20 issue of Metro Pulse, mentioned the book We Were There but unfortunately didn’t identify the book’s author, fellow Knoxvillian Julie B. Wiest.
Before retiring in January 2008 at the age of 68, I had the good fortune of becoming acquainted and working with the highly intelligent and energetic young Julie (I believe she’s only in her early 20s!) on the newsroom copydesk at the Knoxville News Sentinel. I have a copy of her book of World War II accounts told by veterans, and I certainly agree with Mr. Neely that it’s “as good a collection of local memories of that war as I’ve seen.”
Julie Wiest amazes me—as I’m sure she does lots of others—with her creativity, energy, friendliness and hard work. At the time I retired she not only had published the book We Were There but was working full time as a News Sentinel copy editor, teaching a sociology class at the University of Tennessee, and wrapping up work on a doctorate at UT, too.
It would be a shame to keep that secret!
Gerald G. Segroves, Knoxville