Allyn Purvis Schwartz presents dinner — a Low Country shrimp boil at the Knoxville Botanical Garden. Lining up to fill their plates are, from left, Bruce Anderson, Carmen Hicks, Monique Anderson and Bill and Gay Lyons. (Gay’s a little excited!)
Since Alan and I downsized several years ago to a condo in downtown Knoxville, we have adopted a new strategy for all the charity auctions we attend. We don’t have much space to acquire more “stuff.” So, we have a pretty strict rule for ourselves: Bid on “experiences” instead of things.
As the end of the year approaches, I decided to clean out our “winnings” drawer. Here is one of the items I found in it: a Low Country shrimp boil courtesy of our friends John and Allyn Purvis Schwartz. We bought it at an event benefiting the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum — and that’s where the shrimp boil was held. We redeemed our prize when my brother and sister-in-law were visiting last week from Gulf Shores, Alabama. Check it out. You might want to adopt this same policy!
Thanks to our great hosts, Allyn and John, as well as to their daughter, Ashley Schwartz Giles, and her husband, John Giles, who helped prepare the feast. This was a great auction item!
Here’s my brother, Jimmy Moxley, as we waited outside to escort our guests to the charming Garden Club Room in the basement of the Joe Howell House at the Knoxville Botanical Garden.
Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is a 47-acre public garden located in East Knoxville, just two miles from the center of the city. The history of the property is traced to the 1780s when the U.S. government bestowed the property’s original 14 acres as a land grant to David Wessel Howell of Buncombe County, North Carolina, for his “exemplary” service during the American Revolutionary War. Howell planted an orchard and a farm and began selling fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants to local folks. Generations later, it became Howell Nurseries, which expanded and continued operations until 2002. It is notable for its many stone walls and gatehouses.
The Joe Howell House is now the main office for the Knoxville Botanical Garden.
Before our guests arrived, Jimmy and I slipped over to the new “Secret Garden” on the property where he rested for a spell in this giant Adirondack chair. (I love that thing!)
Soon, our guests began arriving. Here’s our downtown friend and neighbor, Jeff Cupp, one of the most stylish people we know!
Jimmy with Shaun Fulco, the CFO of Moxley Carmichael.
Three of our fabulous hosts, Allyn and John Schwartz with Ashley Schwartz Giles, at right.
Don’t make her mad!
Harold and Carmen Hicks with Dawn Ford, at right.
Gay Lyons, left, and Carolyn Leahy.
From left, Tim Young, Shaun Fulco, Jeff Cupp and Bill Lyons.
Jim Nichols with my sister-in-law, Tess Richard.
From left, Mickey Mallonee, Monique Anderson and Phyllis Nichols.
Shaun and her friend, Mark Koss.
Doug Leahy, left, and Richard Ford in a serious discussion outside.
Alan Carmichael and Allyn Purvis Schwartz.
Allyn stirring the victuals.
Here are all the chefs: from left, Allyn and John Schwartz, Ashley and John Giles.
There is a technique to the order in which you put the various items into the boil. And these folks have it down perfectly.
Meanwhile, the partying continued.
Mickey Mallonee and Alan. I told Mickey to be sure we could see the label on that beer — the Moxley Carmichael favorite, Miller Lite!
Downtown friends, Monique Anderson and Jeff Cupp.
And then, dinner was poured out onto the table!
A little extra butter sauce never hurt anything.
Tim took the task seriously.
Bill and Gay did, too.
Ahh. A nice looking plate!
From left, Phyllis Nichols and Carmen Hicks with Harold Hicks and Jim Nichols.
Tim made a few remarks, welcoming our visitors from Alabama and thanking our hosts.
Jimmy offered his thanks, too.
I like this pic of Bill and Gay at the end of the night.