Foothills and friends remember Jack Rose

This photo of Jack Rose was taken in 2013 by his best friend, Joe Stewardson.

This photo of Jack Rose was taken in April of 2013 by his best friend, Joe Stewardson.

Saturday was bittersweet for the relatives and friends of the late Jack Rose, a photographer and avid outdoorsman who passed away this summer at age 58 after a brief illness.

Jack was honored posthumously by the Foothills Land Conservancy, an organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing the lands of the Southern Appalachian region, largely by convincing landowners to place their property under conservation easements, which will prevent the land from being subdivided and developed.

Jack, with his love of nature and his talent for photographing it, was a perfect match for the organization. His widow, Sara, his four siblings and scores of friends came together this weekend at the beautiful Penrose horse farm in West Knoxville to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary — and to honor Jack. Continue reading

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Get to Gulf Shores!

Here's the beach in front of the Pink Pony Pub in Gulf Shores, my all-time favorite dive bar. We never go to Gulf Shores without visiting it at least once.

Here’s the beach in front of the Pink Pony Pub in Gulf Shores, my all-time favorite dive bar. We never go to Gulf Shores without visiting it at least once.

 

They say that everyone’s favorite beach is the one they went to as a child. I suppose that’s why my favorite beach is Gulf Shores, Alabama. That and the fact it has the most beautiful sugar white sand and clear blue water of any beach on the continental United States that I’ve ever visited. And, especially lately, a proliferation of fun places to eat and drink. Continue reading

Filed under: Food, Travel | 23 Comments

“You all have a kick-ass town!”

Kim Trent, executive director of Knox Heritage, with Don Short of West End Salvage, the TV show.

Kim Trent, executive director of Knox Heritage, with Don Short of West End Salvage, the TV show.

That’s what Don Short, the star of the Scripps Networks TV show, West End Salvage, had to say when he made an appearance here recently at a Knox Heritage Summer Supper fundraiser.

Short, whose show runs on Scripps’ DIY Network, spent time on Market Square and in the Old City, he had dinner at Knox Mason on Gay Street and lunch at Tupelo Honey. “Knoxville rocks,” he said. “It’s really a special place.”

Appropriately, Short’s appearance was at the Summer Supper held at Knox Heritage’s Salvage Shop at 619 Broadway. The Salvage Shop is a program that accepts donated historic building materials (50+ years old) to prevent these valuable items from going to the landfill. These items are resold to benefit Knox Heritage. The donations include historic materials such as sinks, stoves, doors, windows, wood, flooring, hardware, lighting, furniture and more. All donations are tax deductible. Continue reading

Filed under: Art, Business, Downtown, Events, Historic preservation, Knoxville, Media | 3 Comments

Understated honorees, over-the-top soiree

What if you threw a party for Randy and Jenny Boyd and everybody came?

Randy and Jenny Boyd, left, with Nazzy and Hash Hashemian.

Randy and Jenny Boyd, left, with Nazzy and Hash Hashemian.

That’s exactly what Hash and Nazzy Hashemian did a couple of weeks ago. A virtual who’s who of Knoxville was at this over-the-top soiree at the couple’s gorgeous RiverSound mansion. The event was catered by the Northshore Brasserie, featured a piano player, a band and a disc jockey at different portions of the evening, and was quite simply fun, fun, fun. Continue reading

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Chef makes her father’s garden shine

Chef Jill Heiser tends the shrimp that are about to become one of the evening's appetizers.

Chef Jill Heiser tends the shrimp that are about to become one of the evening’s appetizers.

Dr. Don Heiser and his wife, Carole, and their neighbors, Dr. Robert Madigan and his wife, Brenda, are big supporters of the Knoxville Museum of Art. That’s why when it came time for the annual L’Amour du Vin fundraising auction earlier this year, they wanted to put together something really great to auction off.

It just so happens that the Heisers have a fabulous vegetable garden in their back yard on Rio Vista Lane in West Knoxville. And the Madigans across the way have an excellent wine collection. But the best part of all? The Heisers’ daughter, Jill, is a chef in Atlanta. Jackpot!

Rosemary Gilliam was the lucky winner of the garden-to-table dinner for eight offered by the Heisers and Madigans. And, lucky us: Rosemary invited Alan and me to join the fun.

Chef Jill Heiser was raised in Knoxville and always cooked with her mother as she was growing up. At the time, she said, food was not very inspiring. “At every meal,” she said, ” we had a slice of white bread with four pats of butter.”

Continue reading

Filed under: Food, Knoxville | 5 Comments

Tosca’s kiss, a green-eyed monster and a great idea

Diana Salesky enjoying the auction item she came up with.

Diana Salesky enjoying the auction item she came up with.

Diana Salesky, the wife of the executive director and conductor of the Knoxville Opera Company, had a good idea for an auction item to be offered at the annual Opera Ball. She contacted the group of friends who regularly host a progressive dinner in downtown Knoxville and asked if they’d agree to add two extra seats at the dinner that she could use as an auction item.

Then she herself bought those seats.

And that is how we came to have an opera-themed progressive dinner last month.

(We actually added four seats when longtime Opera board member Mark Hill asked if he could match Diana’s donation and bring his wife Cathy along on her birthday.)

Each of the three stops had an opera theme, which turned out to be quite fun for us opera novices. Continue reading

Filed under: Downtown, Events, Food, Music | 12 Comments

Bring on the Baileys!

Chase and Natalie Lester Bailey kiss after being pronounced husband and wife last month.

Chase and Natalie Lester Bailey kiss after being pronounced husband and wife last month.

The last bride at Moxley Carmichael was married off last month.

This is a big adjustment for us. We have been through the planning of four weddings over the last couple of years, including three this past year. And another colleague eloped! The message: If you want to get married, come to work with us!

Natalie Lester and Chase Bailey met on a blind date Dec. 21, 2010. Each was separately invited to a University of Tennessee men’s basketball game by their best friends, who happened to be brother and sister. But Natalie and Chase didn’t meet at the game. Their tickets were not together. It was afterwards when their friends “innocently” suggested they go to the Old College Inn on Cumberland Avenue when they were introduced.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Their first “official” date was New Year’s Eve and, in less than two months, they were seeing each other exclusively. “Chase was always really easy to talk to and he made me laugh,” Natalie says. Continue reading

Filed under: Events, Knoxville, Public Relations | 6 Comments

Smokin’ good time at the Botanical Garden

Chef Ben Willis-Becker checking on the main course.

Chef Ben Willis-Becker checking on the main course.

Fancy parties and galas are nice, but sometimes you just want to kick back and relax a little, enjoying some pretty scenery, fun music, great food and interesting friends.

That’s why Alan and I enjoy going each year to the Summer Solstice Dinner held on the  longest day of summer (more or less) at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. Our friend Allyn Purvis Schwartz was chair of the event this year and did a bang-up job, as usual. Many of the ingredients for the meal were grown in the Botanical Garden’s Center for Urban Agriculture.

Chef Ben Willis-Becker, the chef owner of the former Harry’s Delicatessen on Gay Street, was in charge of the farm-to-table dinner. Continue reading

Filed under: Events, Food, Knoxville | 4 Comments

Jack Rose: He was a good guy

Jack Rose in Tokyo last November. (Photo by Joe Stewardson)

Jack Rose in Tokyo last November. (Photo by Joe Stewardson)

That, actually, is what Jack wanted people to say about him. And those are the very words that were printed on the program at his memorial service last week.

Jack passed away at age 58 from an autoimmune disease that very suddenly attacked his liver, leaving his legions of friends in shock and stunned sadness. His memorial service was last Friday at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel on Kingston Pike. You knew you were at the right funeral home because many vehicles in the parking lot had canoes and kayaks on their roofs.

Jack and many of his closest friends were avid outdoorsmen, you see. I think he would have liked seeing all those boats in the parking lot.

I met Jack Rose in 1985 when he and I both were working at the Knoxville Journal. I was a business reporter for a time and I was assigned to write a story about Whittle Communications. In fact, I had to interview a friend of mine, Sara Fortune, who was a vice president there. Jack accompanied me to take Sara’s photo. When I introduced them, they immediately seemed to like each other, which made me happy because they were two of my favorite people. Continue reading

Filed under: Journalism, Knoxville, Media | 36 Comments

I think that I shall never see a beer so lovely in a tree

Beer was served in souvenir glasses that everyone could take home.

Beer was served in souvenir glasses that everyone could take home. I love this picture because it just says, “summer.”

Garden party season is in full swing in East Tennessee. And that’s fine with me.

The Great Gardens Party, a fundraiser for the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, is held each year in a different great garden. This year, its fourth, it was in the waterfront garden and lawn of Chip and Jeanie Johnson at the very end of Houser Road in West Knox County. In fact, the estate is named “Houser’s End.”

In welcoming the guests, Chip Johnson explained that the 5,500-square-foot home was built in 1926 of lumber harvested from the site. “Because it was rough hewn lumber, there’s not a straight corner in the entire house,” he laughed. “But we love it.” The Johnsons bought the property in 1990.

“In the summer we have 16 acres and in the winter we have 18 acres,” Johnson said, referring to the rise and fall of the Tennessee River as TVA manages the water level. “But I have to pay Mr. Burchett for 18 acres,” he laughed, meaning the amount of property for which he is taxed. Continue reading

Filed under: Events, Knoxville | 7 Comments