Celebrating an old building and a slightly younger man!

There were so many reasons to celebrate that we just HAD to have a little drop-in party last Friday to raise a glass.

Jack Neely of the Knoxville History Project was one of the guests. I asked him to give a brief overview of the history of the Arcade Building. He was able to do it without blinking an eye — and without notes!

Here are some of them:

  • My new office building, the beautiful, historic Arcade Building on Gay Street is 100 years old this year;
  • Alan turned 77 last week;
  • And everyone has been asking to see some of the oil paintings he’s been working on since his “retirement” from the public relations rat race, and we had a few to show them.

Don’t you think those sound like good reasons?

So, we engaged our friend Judith Foltz, who has launched a new business of her own, an events company, JF Events, and we had ourselves a swell little party!

Here and here are a couple of links to articles about the history of the Arcade Building. For me, it’s kind of a full-circle feeling because the Arcade Building is where the Knoxville Journal first started publishing. The Journal is what brought me to Knoxville in 1980 to work as a reporter, although it had long departed from the Arcade Building by the time I arrived. There still are old photographs of  journalists – mostly “newspapermen” – around the building  and they bring a smile to my face.

Events specialist (and my friend) Judith Foltz placing flowers in my office.

Downstairs, guests were welcomed with trays of champagne. The Pour Guys bartending service did a fantastic job, as usual. (Photo by Melinda Grimac.)

Birthday boy, Alan Carmichael, left, with Duane Grieve, center, and John North.

Margaret Rodgers and former U.S. Congressman Jimmy Duncan.

From left, Finbarr Saunders, Josh Dunn, Bill Lyons, and Rick Emmett.

From left, City Councilman Charles Thomas, Ed Shouse, Ashley Capps, Janet Testerman, and Finbarr Saunders.

Katie Kline, left, and Carolyn Leahy. (Photo by Melinda Grimac.)

Bruce Anderson and Kim Henry. (Photo by Melinda Grimac.)

David Butler and Alta Emmett.

Folks naturally gather at the food table.

The biggest hit was definitely the lobster rolls! But everything caterer Holly Hambright put out was delicious.

Judith Foltz, left, and Mary Bogert. (Photo by Melinda Grimac.)

Birgit Clark and David Eldridge.

City Council Member Seema Singh, right, with Margaret and Clifford Rodgers.

High school student Mimi Terry is very popular on the local music scene right now. I have been following her for some time and was delighted that she was available to play on Friday.

Ashley Capps, who knows a thing or two about music, stopped by to chat with her. (The Alpha Omega Design Team is another tenant in the Arcade Building.)

From left, Dawn Ford, Carolyn Leahy, Richard Ford, Madge Cleveland, and Gary Bentley.

From left, Shaun Fulco, Kevin and Maria Mchale, Sheryl Linck, and Garry Conklin.

From left, Marsha and Duane Grieve with Michelle Hardin.

From left, Lyle and Trish Irish, John Gill, and John North.

Everyone listening to Jack Neely.

Laura Cole and Joseph Lenn stopped by, even though his hugely popular downtown restaurant, J.C. Holdway, was having a busy night!

Jerry and Emily Lenn, left, with Charley Sexton.

My fabulous landlords, Kevin and Melinda Grimac, who own the Arcade Building.

From left, Gay Lyons, Carolyn Leahy, and Helen Hewitt.

State Sen. Becky Massey, center, with Bill Lyons, left, and Dr. Doug Leahy.

Dr. Anthony Wilson, left, and Kevin McHale at the food table.

Alan with Holly Hambright as she points out her favorite among his paintings.

Here’s mine! Our calico cat, Rexie. (Photo by Melinda Grimac.)

I also really like this one. A mother bear and her cubs, who we saw during a visit to The Swag a few years ago. (Photo by Melinda Grimac.)

Here’s the Sunsphere, as it was in 2021 before its base was re-painted blue.

Alan calls this one, “Caesar’s View,” because it’s a view from the porch of Caesar and Dorothy Stair’s porch.

A few others.

They weren’t really for sale, but several folks wanted to purchase them. It reminded me of what Jim Clayton once told me, “Mox, everything’s for sale! It’s just a matter of coming to agreement on a price!”

Another work of art!

Alan cut the first piece!

After the party, we went to J.C. Holdway and Alan had another kind of birthday treat.

Thanks for helping us celebrate, everybody!




Filed under: Downtown, Events, Historic preservation. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Celebrating an old building and a slightly younger man!

  1. Dick Krieg, on January 30th, 2024 at 2:08 pm said:

    Alan is quite an accomplished artist!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on January 30th, 2024 at 2:28 pm said:

    Dick: He is having a blast doing it. We’ve rented him a little “artist studio” in the downtown Y and he goes there almost every day!

  3. Gay Lyons, on January 30th, 2024 at 3:05 pm said:

    Isn’t it great to have so many things to celebrate? Such fun to see so many friends and enjoy delicious food & wine. I love Alan’s paintings! He is *really* good. Thanks for including us.

  4. Shaun Fulco, on January 30th, 2024 at 3:21 pm said:

    It was great to see everyone and to celebrate Alan and his talent. I have purchased two of his paintings. I feel lucky to be able to have them. Thanks for including me!

  5. Lillian T. Mashburn, on January 30th, 2024 at 3:28 pm said:

    Alan, excellent work!!!! Happy birthday!!!!!

  6. Donna Anderson, on January 30th, 2024 at 5:11 pm said:

    Happy Birthday, Alan! I had no idea you were an artist. I love your work.❤️

  7. Linnie Sexton, on January 30th, 2024 at 5:15 pm said:

    Congratulations on your new space! Alan’s artwork is absolutely beautiful!

  8. Emily Lenn, on January 30th, 2024 at 6:33 pm said:

    It was such fun visiting with everyone and seeing Alan’s beautiful paintings! Thank you for including us in this great party! Love your new office, and the building is wonderful.

  9. Kristin Grove, on January 30th, 2024 at 6:46 pm said:

    Just so sorry to miss this! Congratulations, Happy Birthday & WOW Alan’s paintings are absolutely lovely!

  10. Cynthia Moxley, on January 30th, 2024 at 9:04 pm said:

    Thanks, everybody! We love the Arcade building, downtown Knoxville, and all the great things going on! Got to celebrate when we can! Thanks for your kind comments on Alan’s art. It means so much to him – and me.

  11. Regina Dean, on January 30th, 2024 at 10:42 pm said:

    Happy Belated birthday to Alan! I didn’t know he painted! I love his paintings! Congratulations to you both.

  12. Jim Clayton, on January 31st, 2024 at 8:40 am said:

    I am drafting and will promptly file an official complaint against you for damages resulting from publishing my quote without permission to market the wares of that new rogue artist. I forgot his name but believe it is that dude I have always called “Mr. Mox”.

    If you would like to resolve this matter out of court kindly deliver one of those beautiful paintings to my office promptly as a full and complete settlement of all claims between the parties.

    Seriously, Mr. Mox is very talented! I never remember his name and have used this pseudonym for decades. Thank you for sharing pictures of his work.

    Seriously, Alan what a surprise and I am most anxious to buy one before the price goes up materially. Why have you kept the wonderful talent hidden all these years. Love you guys!

  13. Cynthia Moxley, on January 31st, 2024 at 10:52 am said:

    Jim: You actually had me scared for a minute there! Ha. Just please don’t try to buy my favorite painting — I don’t want to get in a bidding war against you!

  14. Georgiana Fry Vines, on January 31st, 2024 at 6:23 pm said:

    How neat to be in such a historic building. Congrats on all you were celebrating.

  15. Fay Bailey Carr, on February 6th, 2024 at 5:53 pm said:

    Happy Birthday Alan. Congratulations. I did not know you painted. Beautiful work. Can I interest you to paint my little dog Sophie. Best wishes to you and Cynthia.

  16. Marsha Grieve, on February 28th, 2024 at 10:56 am said:

    We are so lucky – we are the proud owners of an “Alan Carmichael”! Ditto all remarks above – it was fun celebrating Alan’s birthday and a great idea for an exhibit of his paintings which we have been pestering him to do! This could be the start of a whole new career for Alan – super talented!

  17. Carolyn Lawrence, on April 22nd, 2024 at 11:29 am said:

    Alan, beautiful work you have created. I only read about this on Monday morning and if I had read before SATURDAY evening I would have told you Happy BIRTHDAY and your paintings are lovely!!!!

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