Other Wind
08 / July08 / July08 / July

From the Surrey to the Sorry

A weekend with loved ones in Charlotte—symphony and fireworks at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, ducks at Freedom Park, and a day trip to Columbia for baseball: The Asheville Travelers versus The Columbia Bombers, on “Bring Your Dog” Day. David got the good ones here—the explosion, the walking duck, the squirrel, and the dog. I got the stadium lights and the Bomber Eagle.

I’m a hokey person at times, so I took delight last Friday evening, what with music from Oklahoma and fireworks on the same night. Of course, a few glasses of sweet, easy to swallow Chenin Blanc helped me on my way.

Now, I’m out of the surrey with fringe on top and back home in Knoxville. I just opened my Knoxville Writers’ Guild newsletter to find a sobering column from the president, Julie Auer, about a downtown establishment I’ve visited a few times, Downtown Copy Center, formerly owned by Glenn Wilkins. On each visit I’ve made to Downtown Copy Center, I’ve left feeling good. The staff is friendly, willing to help, and they refuse payment for tiny orders, I suppose because they like spreading good will. Julie says it well in her column:

I remember one year, he (Glenn) helped me design and print posters for our Young Writers Poetry competition, and then refused to accept payment. He explained that when the Writers’ Guild was helping young people advance their art, he wanted to help by donating his services.

Glenn Wilkins has now sold the Copy Center and started a solo hike across Europe. The hike has been a dream of his, but we all wonder if (and suspect that) his decision to leave Knoxville for the hike at this time was prompted by the childish treatment he received from “at least one” Knoxville law firm with its choice to boycott the Copy Center after Glenn put up a “No War On Iraq” sign. I bet he didn’t leave town just because one firm caved into the ruffled up “USA RULZ” sentiment that tends to pass for patriotism, but perhaps the incident made the choice easier for him. Or perhaps, he just decided he couldn’t wait for his dream any longer, and we’re all just making incorrect speculations. Regardless, I am saddened that a kind person was treated badly. I don’t know who owns the Copy Center now, but I hope they will keep up the good business.

Sometimes, I feel a little like that eagle in the picture above. Grrr.

Julie Auer’s column in the July 2003 KWG newsletter will be available for download in a few months at this address. (For some reason, KWG only has newsletter downloads available through May 2003 at present.)

Here is a bit from MetroPulse (the local alternative weekly) about the boycott of Downtown Copy Center. (Scroll down to “The Price of Freedom”)