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BEARDEN SHOPPER-NEWS • FEBRUARY 27, 2012 • A-3

Ed Francisco, professor and writer-in-residence at Pellissippi State Community College, reads excerpts from his new book of poetry, “Only the Word Gives Us Being,� at last week’s Knoxville Writers’ Group meeting. He is currently working on a novel titled “The Amorous Adventures of William Shakespeare.� Seniors can audit classes at PSCC, he reminded the group, which meets Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett fist-bumps Blue Grass Elementary School 5th grader Eva Karat 11 a.m. on fourth Wednesdays at Naples nowski after speaking to the school’s student council last week. He works for them, he said, Italian Restaurant. Photos by Wendy Smith and gave the students a lesson in civics: “If you don’t like me when you’re 18, what do you do? Register to vote, and vote me out of office.�

West High School sophomore Jackson Busby and Bearden High School senior Davis Richards work behind the scenes at the annual Mardi Gras Celebration at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. The event is a fundraiser for the church’s missionary efforts in Bolivia, and both boys plan to travel there on a mission trip this summer. A medical mission team will be a part of this year’s group, says Associate Rector Brett Backus.

February fantasies Every stage of life comes with an obsession. When I was a preteen, it was Andy Gibb. When I was in high school, it was Calvin Klein. Then it became real, live boys, like the one who sat next to me in Communications 101.

Wendy Smith

After the boy obsession played out, the baby ďŹ xation took over. I love listening to young moms talk amongst themselves about the latest organic baby food or the biter in their kid’s preschool class. The products may change but the babies don’t, so it’s like listening to a tape

of a conversation I had with the moms in my playgroup 15 years ago. When you’re the mother of small people, nothing else really matters. This year, I have a new preoccupation – water. Lots and lots of blue water curled up next to long stretches of white sand. It started with my idea of taking a family trip to celebrate my son’s graduation from high school and turned into a full-blown fetish that now causes travel websites to pop up every time I turn on my computer. I don’t watch much television, but I’ll drop everything to watch “House Hunters International� if there are beach houses involved. Today I was nearly paralyzed by a nature show about dolphins, of all things. I’m even spending more time in the saltwater pool at the Y. My new guilty pleasure

is the webcam at www.locogringo.com, which allows me to get a live peek at the beach in Akumal, Mexico, where I will spend a week with my family this summer. Yes, I ďŹ nally wore the husband down with all my beach talk, so now I can fritter away my time by mapping out every detail of our Caribbean adventure. I’m not sure why a trip to the tropics is so important right now. Sure, it’s normal to daydream about the beach in February, but we haven’t exactly been buried in snow this year. In fact, I wouldn’t be disappointed by a late blizzard. I think it has more to do with entering a new stage of life. We’ve done the Disney World thing, and we’ve experienced every imaginable camping catastrophe in the Smoky Mountains and be-

yond. It’s all been a blast, and I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. But my chicks are starting to leave the nest, and I’m anxious to show them the larger world – the one that requires a passport and a few new vaccinations. I can’t wait to hear them try to place an order in Spanish or watch them snorkel in a cenote. (Look it up.) We’ll even climb Mayan ruins, which will be the oldest thing any of us have ever seen before. And while we’re up there, we’ll have a perfect view of – you guessed it – the water. I can hardly wait.

Craig Leuthold of the Knox County Property Assessor’s Office speaks to the West Hills Community Association. He is visiting neighborhood groups to answer questions about property assessments. Reappraisal is revenue neutral, he says, so the county doesn’t receive a windfall due to an increase in property value. A new computer system that allows residents to view property information online and correct any mistakes should be functional by May, he says.

New to the Gallery in March are: John Barbarino Elaine Barnes Nicholas Bell Alan Finch Tom Fuhrman

Spring Show





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