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No More Nookie?

When Fred Thompson decided to run for the U.S. Senate by riding around the state in a big red truck, his first stop was Pinkston Motors on Chapman Highway. Bill Frist has been there, and so have Don Sundquist and just about any local candidate you can think of. Big Jim Haslam's been there a time or two, too. In fact, anybody who's serious about running for office or getting something done at County Commission in the past decade generally stops by the tiny, smoke-filled office to pay their respects. That's why gossip that the southside commercial landmark is about to close has sent ripples through the local political scene.

But they haven't made a decision yet, says Howard "Nookie" Pinkston, so the gossip about the alleged impending closing is a bit premature. Nookie Pinkston has a lot on his mind—he is seeking yet another term on County Commission, and at 61, he says it's time to start looking ahead. His partner and brother Paul Pinkston is 63, and is the one who is thinking hard about retiring. But as of now, they're still there—so candidates in the impending county primaries need not change their itineraries. And if you need some wheels, Nookie says he can have you riding in no time.

Nine and a Shadow

She's there. At every meeting, every workshop, every event, sitting front and center in full view of the CTV cameras, her snowy white bouffant glowing in the light, Jean Teague never misses a minute of City Council business. She was there in December to witness the swearing-in of her successor, Barbara Pelot. She was there when the new Council voted her old running buddy Jack Sharp back in as vice mayor. She was there for the Universe Knoxville workshop. She was there at the zoo for the budget workshop and a free lunch. And she was there this past Tuesday when the new Council approved her $931.27 monthly pension. Teague, a 28-year Council veteran, has made it clear on many occasions that she considers the term limits referendum that forced her into civilianhood a very bad idea, and she is starting to spook some Council watchers, who have taken to calling her the "shadow government."

My Pyramid's Bigger Than Yours

During last Thursday's City Council workshop on Universe Knoxville, while developer Earl Worsham was declaring that the project—currently envisioned as a ball with a functionless giant pyramid on top—must "make an architectural statement" and be "visible from the interstate," a new word was bandied about in the peanut gallery: Egotecture.

Suttree's Silver

The Cormac McCarthy Society, the robust international organization devoted to celebrating the work of the highly regarded (and Knoxville reared) bestselling author of All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, etc., meets annually, often out west, near the setting of McCarthy's later Texas novels. However, the Society, which has more than 200 dues-paying members, has just announced that in two years they'll converge for the first time on Knoxville, Cormac's hometown. Here they'll mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of Suttree, the darkly comic Knoxville-based novel that some McCarthy fans call his finest work. Several details have yet to be worked out, but the event is planned for late September or early October, 2004, and will likely include prominent guest speakers, a catfish dinner, and a 'Silver Stagger'—a commemorative downtown literary pub crawl inspired by the locally led Suttree Stagger last June. For more info, see their website at

February 7, 2002 * Vol. 12, No. 6
© 2002 Metro Pulse