"All the leaves are brown . . .

and the sky is grey.”

Sunsphere, Knoxville, October 2010

 I love autumn. No question, hands down, always been my favorite season. I like the others for various reasons, but fall is a reflective time, old life slipping into dormancy with one final flourish of life at its fullest. I think of Bob Dylan, Thanksgiving, “California Dreaming,” a panoply of colors and emotions. The end of life and all its contemplations and complications.

Market Square, Knoxville, October 2010

A walk through the city showcases the beauty of the season set against an urban backdrop. Colored leaves, the Sunsphere, Market Square and a cute young lady walking her dog through the fallen leaves.

A Cutie walks her dog through Market Square.

Even the cutie looks reflective, though her dog looks worse.

 So, those are the sights and sounds of the season one might expect. Halloween is near and one might even expect to see a witch or two. I’ve seen many running around downtown lately. I even saw a few zombies last weekend. But this is the city and the city often delivers the unexpected. That’s what I found on a walk around town on Thursday afternoon – the very unexpected.

Mickey Mallonee, Santa and the Christmas Moose in Krutch Park.

I found Christmas in the City! I guess it is never too early. Mickey Mallonee, Director of the Office of Special Events for the city stood on stage with Santa, (Is he flashing North Pole Gang signs in that picture?) and what looked to me like the Christmas Moose, but I suspect may have been a reindeer. A small crowd was gathered as the opening of Christmas in the City was declared and many sponsors, none of whom seemed to be present, were dutifully thanked. This is Mickey’s last major event after ten years in the position. She’s a delightful person who has done an excellent job. From Boomsday to Christmas in the City, the events in Knoxville are often impressive and very nicely managed. I hope the progress made during her ten years will continue.

Santa and the Christmas Moose, Krutch Park, Knoxville, October 2010.

Mickey Malonee surrounded by the trappings of her last event.

Meanwhile, I’ll ignore Christmas for a few more weeks while I enjoy the first cool weather, the beautiful leaves, the first drizzly, winter-like days and the days of pure deep-blue skies. Bob Dylan and the Mamas and the Papas will provide the soundtrack for some serious reflection. I’ll also pause for Thanksgiving, the very best holiday on the American calendar. After that, when I’m ready for a few weeks of Christmas cheer, I’m sure Mickey will have everything in order for my urban enjoyment.

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