A pear tree still grows in Knoxville; a hate-mailer apologizes; KMA gets cleaned up and more

A lot has been happening since the Blue Streak reported on several local controversies. Here are a few quick updates:

Pear, proscuitto and gorgonzola pizza

Pear, prosciutto and gorganzola pizza

  • You might remember this story from July. It involves a dispute at Kendrick Place condos over a pear tree growing on the property line between Kendrick Place and the Masonic Lodge on Locust Street. Some residents want to cut down the pear tree because of the mess it makes each year when it drops its fruit on the walkway. But Gay Lyons saved the tree
    Last pear of 2009

    Last pear of 2009

    this summer when she attended the condo association meeting and read aloud a poem written by Judy Loest about that particular tree. To seal the deal and hopefully form a warm spot for the tree in her neighbors’ hearts (or stomachs), Lyons diligently gathered the pears as they dropped from the tree and used them to prepare dishes which she served last month at a welcome party for new Kendrick Place neighbors Karen and Alan Sims. Two of the dishes: pear, prosciutto and gorganzola pizza and warm brie topped with pear butter and almonds. Friend Kathy Irwin made the pear butter with pears Lyons provided from the tree. “These are not ‘grocery store’ pears,” says Lyons. “They have spots. And most are a little bruised because the branches are so high that I have to wait for the pears to fall. It’s not exactly scientific, but you can guess how high up the pear was by how bruised it is.” After some research, Lyons determined that the pears are Seckels.

  • Here’s some good news: the graffiti that defaced the Knoxville Museum of Art described in this story, has been cleaned up. Architect Mark Heinz, who is a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees, arranged for a second clean-up attempt after the first one failed to remove the stubborn paint that had seaped into the beautiful Tennessee marble. The solution: he had the surface sandblasted with baking soda. It’s mostly clean now.
  • This one surprised me. The phantom writer who had been sending hate mail to owners and customers of M.S. McClellan as reported in this story has apologized. The apology came in a typed letter mailed to the home of proprietor Matthew McClellan. According to his son, Bob, the letter said the writer was sorry and never realized how hurtful the missives had been. The writer even said he (or she) intended to come to McClellan over the Christmas season and purchase “some of your beautiful clothes.” He (or she) still didn’t sign his (or her) name, though.
  • Speaking of Bob McClellan, he is the president of the District in Bearden, the group that got into a little tiff this year with the Market Square District Association over the two groups’ competing “First Friday” events as described in this story. Although the downtown group was holding out hope that the District in Bearden would select a different night in 2010 for its festivities, that’s apparently not to be. Folks in neighborhoods close to Bearden received in the mail over the past week a flier advertising save-the-dates for 2010 events. The first Fridays of each month are designated for continuing First Friday celebrations. “People just felt we were doing very well with it,” McClellan explained.
  • Finally, Andie Ray, owner of Vagabondia on Market Square, and her husband, Noel Hudson, have purchased two lots in Old North Knoxville on which they plan to build their new home. The couple, stalwarts of downtown, currently lives above the dress shop but explained in this story that they planned to move to a home out of downtown so Andie could do some gardening, which she loves.

OK. I think you are up to speed now!

Photo credit: Photos of pear and pizza by Gay Lyons

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2 Responses to A pear tree still grows in Knoxville; a hate-mailer apologizes; KMA gets cleaned up and more

  1. John Dominic Barbarino, on December 3rd, 2009 at 11:15 am said:

    A tree continues to grow in Knoxville. Great Christmas story. And recipes that could start a revolution of taste, exploration and celebration. Brava Ms. Lyons!

  2. Pingback:No Partridge in a Pear Tree in Knoxville | Stuck Inside of Knoxville

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