Tuesday Afternoon, Part One (AKA: The Mayor and Lance)

Have you noticed a musical theme to this blog? It’s subtle. Keep watching and maybe you’ll catch it. Hint: It starts with the name of the website and continues in the title of this post. Maybe I’m trying too hard!

Last Tuesday I took a stroll around the neighborhood. I consider my neighborhood to include all of downtown from somewhere around Fourth and Gill to the Tennessee River and west to include Fort Sanders and UT. I know: Pretty big neighborhood. So I took a walk and stumbled into so many points of interest, I’m going to have to break them in to pieces.

The BIG thing going on downtown was the Mayor (future Governor?) speaking on Market Square.

The event was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the purpose was to honor Eddie Mannis, the owner of Prestige Cleaners. Mr. Mannis recently won a national honor related to his efforts to fly World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial. He was introduced by one of said veterans who, we were told had just turned 92 years old the day before. Mr. Mannis magnanimously (couldn’t resist) thanked a number of employees who were present.

It made me wonder: Who’s the poor guy who got stuck in the store while everyone else makes happy with the mayor? I headed from Market Square (declining the goodies offered in the Chamber office) and walked to the Prestige Cleaners on Gay Street.

It turns out it was a very nice young man named Lance. Lance was working very hard when I arrived (deserves a raise) and very willingly agreed to be photographed without even asking me why. I’ve found people tend to do that. I like trusting people. He asked if I wanted him to face the camera or continue working and thus be photographed being busy. I chose busy because he was working hard when I arrived (deserves a raise). I feel like one of those old beer commercials saluting the regular guy: Here’s to Lance-the-hard-working-clothes-cleaning-guy-manning-the-shop guy!

I left telling Lance that the thing I really appreciated about Prestige Cleaners was that they provide the baggies to clean up after our dogs all over the city. Lance didn’t seem to know how to react to this information, but he uttered some assurance that Prestige Cleaners wants people to be good citizens.

Interestingly, and closing the loop on part one, I ran into the mayor as he was leaving the event at the Chamber. He looked distracted and much smaller without his entourage. He was walking quickly and checking his Blackberry.

A small PS. Did you enjoy that? Would you like to read more adventures from downtown Knoxville? Then subscribe at the top of the page – or at least check back often and comment. Please don’t make me feel so all alone.