Comments by SmallTownGuy

  • Older Comments
  • Page 1 of 1
  • Newer Comments
Written on Downtown Knoxville’s Broadband Internet Access Kinda Sucks. Can It Be Fixed?:

You can get on the internet from downtown already. What will this boondoggle do outside of continuing making Knoxville into a mini Atlanta?

Written on Turning the Corner: Is Knoxville Finally Learning How to Try?:

in response to Reader2:

@Small Town Guy

I am not quite sure what your comment is meant to tell us.

Do you think it would be better if Knoxville did not have authentic ethnic food that goes beyond Louis/Peking Inn; if Knoxville lacked a variety of live music events such as the jazz night; or if Knoxville grocery stores were confined to Kroger etc.? If so I would like to know your reasoning for that.

Or do you think that the revival of downtown and the growing intent to make Knoxville a more livable place (consider the bus system) with more options for dining, events and grocery shopping has led to a higher rate of bad crimes? (That seems suggested by your comment, but I do not see any reason for this idea, so maybe I misunderstood you.)

Or do you simply resent all change because, well, it's change?

Revised and extended now that I am back in front of a computer:

Regarding ethnic food and live music: We got along just fine for decades without any appreciable amount of either. Roy Acuff's Town and Country Restaurant and Woodruff's were plenty good enough. Why fix what isn't broken?

As to downtown, people would have stayed if they had wanted to. As it happened, they moved away and I always resented my tax money being used to entice people into doing what they didn't want to do. Downtown is where you work at, not where you live at. That's what Halls and Fountain City were for.

Written on Turning the Corner: Is Knoxville Finally Learning How to Try?:

Not saying it would be better. It WAS better. The unintended second order effect of boosterism and population growth is crime. More people: more opportunity for crime.

I am reminded of a story. Man was shooting in his back yard and his neighbor (transplant)
came over to complain about the noise. Called the sheriff and they had a diverting talk about guns. Transplant was furious. Point is, as Southerners we take things as they are, not as we wish they were.

I find the inclination to remake Knoxville into a quasi-Atlanta peculiar. If big cities were so great, you'd think people would stay there instead of remarking small towns into miniature big cities.

Written on Turning the Corner: Is Knoxville Finally Learning How to Try?:

I am a contrarian by nature, but I will have to completely disagree with the intent of Mr. Neely's article.

We had it good in Knoxville when I was growing up.

"Live music" meant the Civic Auditorium or maybe an oldies act at the Fair. "Local talent" and "barroom fight" were virtually interchangeable, and I remember the commotion when the Jacksons had their concert at Neyland Stadium.

"Fine dining" and "West Knoxville" were interchangeable; for the rest of us Sunday dinner at Woodruff's was fine. Outside of Louis' on Old Broadway, ethnic food was almost unheard of. "Italian", "spaghetti" and "pizza" were interchangeable, and Chinese meant the Peking Inn on Bearden Hill.

You might be considered slightly pretentious if you shopped at Kroger's instead of the White Store or A&P or maybe Piggly Wiggly.

Import car meant a Toyota from Sam Monday on Clinton Highway.

All in all, the Knoxville I grew up in was the biggest small town in America, and that was a Good Thing. I have had people tell me 'Knoxville doesn't need to be a giant Lake City', but to be fair we never had gang violence or tragedies like the Christian/Newsom horror when I lived in Knoxville, either.

It appears to me that the boosters have either intentionally or inadvertently transformed my home town into a miniture Atlanta. I still think what I thought when all this stuff started; if people want all this fancy stuff, Atlanta has plenty of room for them.

I will agree insofar as Mr. Neely's assertion that things changed around the turn of the century, but I cordially suggest that Knoxville in 1983 was a MUCH better place to live in than Knoxville of 2013 is for exactly the same reasons Mr. Neely advances for the idea that 21st Century Knoxville is a 'better' place. And we're worse for it.

  • Older Comments
  • Page 1 of 1
  • Newer Comments