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Letters to the Editor

On Leaving Market Street

I'll admit to my share of grumbling about working downtown. The twice-daily hassle of maneuvering in and out of the parking garage. The idiosyncrasies of an aging office building: the elevator that periodically goes on strike, or the temperamental air conditioner that either chills one to the bone or doesn't work at all.

From an airy window facing south, I look down over Market Street. A dense canopy of leaves masks from view the small park across the way, a green oasis midst traffic and tall buildings. I've become intimately familiar with its uneven stepping stones and meandering stream during lunch hours spent reading, writing, or just plain daydreaming. And now, suddenly, the truth dawns: there are so many things I'll miss about Market Street!

Despite its quirks and flaws, this old building has the look and feel of shabby elegance. Old red brick wraps around long, sunlit windows. From the east there is a clear view of the Square, an undecided contrast of sad, empty spaces and unique little businesses. The lunchtime crowd spills out to sidewalk tables from restaurants with unlikely names like The Soup Kitchen and Tomato Head. Not a shadow of its former self as the market hub of Knoxville, Market Square still has an aura of fun, energy, and optimism. The Dogwood Arts Festival returns every spring. Theatre Central recently moved here—welcome! Mayfield Ice Cream Day. Bible-toting, street corner evangelists. Flowers and vegetables from local vendors. Sundown in the City. Something for everyone.

There is much more to miss. West on Market Street is Fairbanks, the place for a touch of lunchtime elegance with cloth napkins and live piano music. Across the road is the Museum of East Tennessee History. The Tennessee Theatre on Gay Street is one block away; the McGhee Lawson Library within walking distance. Beth, the owner of the little salon around the corner, who fixes my hair. Antiques in the Old City.

The list grows with each passing day.

From the rear windows of the office, I look northward toward the network of structures and highways that lead away from this pleasant little corner of downtown to a different world. Away to the reality of the bustling city. Away to streets jam-packed with shopping strips, JiffyLubes, Walmarts, and fast food.

I shall miss you, Market Street.

Kay Lloyd

Wingfest Takes Off

As an advertiser and the parents of a nine-year-old with cerebral palsy, we felt we needed to go to the Wingfest on Saturday to support United Cerebral Palsy of Knoxville.

I have never had such a delightful time at any event in recent memory. The wings were outstanding, the Southern Rock Allstars had everyone tapping their feet (and even had a few Harley guys and girls dancing) and everyone, sponsors and the general public, was having a great time despite the summer heat and humidity.

And those wings! Thanks, Charlie Peppers, for having the hottest habanero-sauced wings I've ever tasted—I had about 20 of them—and Jenkins Coffee for the smoked wings, a most unusual treatment.

And thank you sponsors, especially Eagle Distributing, South Central Radio, BiLo, and of course Metro Pulse and United Cerebral Palsy for hosting this event.

Be assured, you'll see us next year at this outstanding summer event.

Michael and Carlene LeCompte
The Great Frame Up

Bad Faith, Good Faith

Concerning Tory's story [Aug. 9]: I've known many addicts and alcoholics and am often amused at the excuses created to justify a relapse, or at the very least, minimize their role in this tragic thing that has happened to them. Tory's story is not unique, but getting it published and having it read by such a large audience is creative indeed.

Using the emotion provoking phrase "She wanted help. Instead she got a prescription and an addiction," makes Tory, and by extension Metro Pulse, guilty of what Sartre called "bad faith." If Tory is an addict, and knew this before taking the Xanax, then she must take full responsibility for her action. The psychiatrist shares no blame in her relapse.

Should Tory be honest with herself and speak in "good faith," I expect she would have to admit being a little excited at the prospect of physician-sanctioned drugs. From reading the "Persecution of Tory," I gather that she is not a child and her doctor did not hide her Xanax in her applesauce. Many addicts have refused such prescriptions, leaving their doctor's office without the danger of relapse and with a clear conscience.

The most tragic part of this story has yet to be written. Due to her unwillingness or inability to take full responsibility for her trip from relapse to recovery, she is setting herself up for another fall. An addict acting in good faith would have thrown the prescription away, been more assertive with the doctor, or at the very least spoken to another addict about the dangers of physicians who do not understand addiction or recovery. However, Tory's ability to publish her "I know I'm at fault but not entirely" piece reaffirms my belief that addicts are intelligent and creative people. And, I expect, you will hear from many others in Tory's situation: some agreeing with her, some living the remainder of their lives in good faith.

Kevin Pettiford