As I gaze out my office window I see, fittingly, lovely orange plastic temporary fencing separating a small construction area on the Joe Johnson and John Ward Pedestrian Mall on the campus of the University of Tennesssee. (A portion of it is even nicely framed by the now empty show poster holder on the plaza outside the Clarence Brown Theatre…)
Rumor has it that a statue of some sort is to be erected there, at the center focal point of the Pedestrian Mall (or where the ”A&A” leg of the Mall joins the “Andy Holt Avenue” portion of the Mall to make a “Power T”). A circle of paving stones has been removed to provide for the statuary base, possibly with a rumored circle of flowers, to break up the monotony of the straight Andy Holt Avenue leg and make it less convenient for walkers.
Actually, in addition to the circle, there is a little rectangular “key” that juts out from the circle, oriented roughly to the East (to spark conspiracy theories), or perhaps aimed at the McClung Tower, Humanities Building, or, probably, toward Neyland Stadium.
As I understand the “metal” statue has been completed, and I did not sit for it, someone else must have been honored. Not sure if it is Dr. Johnson or John Ward, or if it’s perhaps Dolly Parton, Layla Kiffin, Manny Ramirez, Oprah, or Nick Bonacker, or perhaps another? Do you know??? I have heard that the statue was donated, so it’s All Good.
The place is buzzing with anticipation.