Just a Tuesday night in Knoxville

It’s always a good night when you run into one of Knoxville’s biggest celebrities, opera diva Mary Costa, center. She was at Cherokee Country Club on Tuesday with her friends Ann Sherbakoff, left, and Leslie Testerman.

When I hear folks say there’s not enough going on in Knoxville, it renders me speechless! There is ALWAYS something going on in Knoxville! Sometimes, too much! Case in point: this past Tuesday night.

Sharon Pryse, a big supporter of the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum, threw a sweet little garden party at her Sequoyah Hills home to thank the major sponsors of Hats in Bloom, a major fundraiser for the non-profit garden. Moxley Carmichael was a sponsor of that event, held a few weeks ago, and it’s always fun to go see Sharon’s own beautiful garden, so the first stop of the evening was there. (Click here to see a report on this year’s Hats in Bloom.)

Following that fun stop, I headed back downtown to the Museum of East Tennessee History to celebrate our friend Adrian Jay being named the ninth vice regent representing the state of Tennessee at the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association was the first national historic preservation organization and is the oldest women’s patriotic society in the United States.

More fun ensued there.

Then came the third stop of the night — a trip back to the Bearden area — to Cherokee Country Club for the annual dinner of the Coffee Club, a historic group of which Alan is a member. (Read about them here.)

Anyway, it was a very full – and fun evening! Come along!

First stop: Sharon’s.

Here’s the first view when you enter Sharon — and her husband, Joe Pryse’s — beautiful garden.

Our hostess Sharon Pryse with David Butler, one of the few brave men to show up at the event.

From left, Susan Farris, Gay Lyons, Judith Foltz and Jenny Bushkell.

The ladies with one of the most important jobs — tending the bar! Jacque Hawks, left, and Jenny Bushkell.

Pretty gazebo.

From left, Mimi Turner, Jackie Wilson and Linda Haynes.

Delish treats were prepared by Hats in Bloom host committee members.

From left, Ralph Cianelli, Laura Cole and Rick Fox.


And a Koi pond filled with lily pads.

Stop number two: Museum of East Tennessee History.

“If the men of America have seen fit to allow the home of its most respected hero to go to ruin, why can’t the women of America band together to save it?”

Louisa Bird Cunningham wrote those words to her daughter, Ann Pamela Cunningham, in 1853 after seeing the decrepit state of George Washington’s home while traveling on the Potomac River.

Cunningham, inspired by her mother’s words, took it upon herself to save Mount Vernon. She founded the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in 1853 and within five years had raised $200,000 dollars to purchase the mansion and two hundred acres.

For more than 150 years, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has protected and preserved George Washington’s home. Now, one of Knoxville’s own, Adrian Jay, will represent Tennessee as a member of the group’s board of regents.

That was the cause of Tuesday’s celebration.

From left, Lucy Schaad, Pam Duncan, Rebecca Duncan, Adrian Jay, Miranda Clark and Tracy Dewhirst at the party for Adrian on Tuesday.

Sherri Lee, left, with Dr. Susan P. Schoelwer, the executive director of Historic Preservation and Collections at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd with Marianne Wanamaker, executive director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Joel Christopher and Sarah Riley of Knox News with Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay, right.

Emily and Mark Campen.

Dr. Warren Dockter, left, president and CEO of the East Tennessee Historical Society, with Mark Heinz.

Former Knoxville Mayor and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe, left, with Clarence Vaughn.

State Sen. Richard Briggs, left, with Hugh Nystrom.

Dr. Wesley and Tammy Dean.

Michael Grider, left, and Alan Carmichael.

Peary Purvis, left, with Linda Ullian Schmid.

David and Tracy Dewhirst with Miranda Clark, left.

Victor Ashe, left, with City Council Member Lynne and Scott Fugate.

Karen and Alan Sims. He writes the “Inside of Knoxville” blog.

From Knox Heritage, board president Jeff Wilke and Executive Director Christine Cloniger.

Bill Lyons and Mary Linda Schwarzbart.

Robyn and Chris McAdoo.

Laurens Tullock, left, and Victor Ashe.

Third stop: Coffee Club.

Back west we went for the annual dinner meeting of the venerable Coffee Club. Everyone calls it that — “the venerable Coffee Club!” I guess that’s because it’s been meeting weekly since 1930. Alan has been a member for about 20 years.

Here’s the view from Cherokee Country Club’s River Room, where the dinner was held.

From left, Margie Nichols, who is married to Coffee Club member John Gill, with members Larry Martin, Pam Fansler and Bob Page.

From left, club members Jeff Lee and John Gill, Jeff’s wife Christy, and member Alan Carmichael.

Club members Jeff Chapman, Mintha Roach and Bob Page.

Coffee Club member Ward Phillips and his wife, Tracy.

From left, Sandy Martin and Jon Roach, both of whom are married to Coffee Club members, with member Jeff Chapman and his wife, Vicki.

Coffee Club members George Ed Wilson and Pam Fansler.

Prior to sitting down for dinner, I asked all the members to pose for a group shot.

Here’s what I got!

The re-take was a little better.

Back row, from left, Tom Hale, Alan Carmichael, George Wilson, John Gill, Jeff Lee, Howard Vogel, Ward Phillips. Seated, from left, Bob Page, Pam Fansler, President David Martin, Larry Martin, Mintha Roach and Jeff Chapman.

Cherokee Country Club’s food rarely disappoints. And it didn’t on Tuesday.

At dinner, Tom and Terri Hale.

Susan and George Wilson.

Howard and Lynn Vogel.

After dinner, some of the Coffee Club members who also are members of Cherokee Country Club, took us on a short tour of the recent renovations there. (That’s where we saw our friends who are in the first photo on this blog post.)

Here’s a view from the terrace.

Also on the tour, we ran into our buddies Sharon Bailey and Dick Brower.

So, there you have it. Just another Tuesday night in Knoxville. Don’t you dare tell me there’s nothing going on!


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6 Responses to Just a Tuesday night in Knoxville

  1. Laura Wallace, on May 27th, 2022 at 2:50 pm said:

    What a fantastic photo of Ann, Leslie, and our diva, Mary Costa. All three are the cream of the crop!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on May 27th, 2022 at 3:00 pm said:

    Laura: I agree! Love all three of them and appreciate them allowing me to take their photo. Made my night!

  3. Gay Lyons, on May 27th, 2022 at 7:15 pm said:

    What a fun evening! Thanks for coming to the Angel Party. I’ve been to three events in one night, but’s been a while: pre covid. It takes stamina! Congratulations on making it to all of them.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on May 29th, 2022 at 7:52 am said:

    Gay: Haha! But aren’t we lucky to have so many great things going on? I love this town!

  5. Georgiana Fry Vines, on May 29th, 2022 at 3:03 pm said:

    I ran out of breath reading about the three events you attended on Tuesday evening.

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on May 29th, 2022 at 5:49 pm said:

    Georgia: Haha! I wouldn’t be able to do it on a routine basis, either!

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