“You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
Some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain”
“Celluloid Heroes” -The Kinks-
You’ve heard of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, right? Have you heard of the Saint Louis “Walk of Fame?” I hadn’t, either. But it was very impressive. It is a series of bronze stars arranged one after the other in a part of Saint Louis called the Loop. Each star is engraved with the name of a person associated with Saint Louis who went on to become famous. Each star is accompanied by a bronze square in the sidewalk that summarizes the accomplishment of the person named on the star. Click the link to see a list of the people honored there.
It was amazing how many significant people are connected to Saint Louis – in all sorts of endeavors. Some had only a passing connection with the city, but a startling number were born there. Just the A – D list includes Maya Angelou, Josephine Baker, Fontella Bass, Yogi Berra, Chuck Berry, Lou Brock, William Burroughs, Harry Caray, Kate Chopin, Jimmy Connors, Bob Costas, Miles Davis, Dizzy Dean, Dan Dierdorf and Phyllis Diller. Those are just the ones I recognized.
So what is the Knoxville implication? Couldn’t we do the same? If not stars, then some other marker – probably up and down Gay Street. I’m not sure we could keep up with Saint Louis, but we could do pretty well. A friend of mine and I tried to think of names and came up with quite a few. Here are a some (in no particular order) who would seem star-worthy for more than just an east Tennessee impact and have some sort of significant Knoxville connection.