Patricia Robledo invited me to her husband’s birthday party when I saw her at a charity event last month. I almost ruined the surprise… twice. On Saturday, I saw Amy Leigh Hubbard on Market Square. As I said goodbye, I told her I would see her at John Craig’s thing. Her eyes got wide and she pointed behind me, where John was standing. He had heard his name and spun around. I told John I had been asking about him (true) and about First Night Knoxville (not so much). John is the guy who booked Einstein Simplified to perform at First Night and at the International Biscuit Festival.
At the party on Friday night, a crowd gathered on the third floor of the S&W Grand to wait for John and his wife Patricia. They had dinner reservations in the restaurant and would come upstairs on the ruse that there was something wrong with a skylight. John is an owner of the building. Just after I left the banquet room to use the rest room, word came that John and Patricia had arrived downstairs. When I got back, the banquet room door was closed. Thankfully nobody yelled “surprise” when I walked in, although they all looked like they were about to. John and Patricia showed up about a minute later.
In addition to a variety of vegetables, fruits and cheeses, the buffet table had delicious Curry Chicken Salad and Pig in a Biscuit hor’s d’oeuvres. The chocolate birthday cake from Magpies was decorated with the S&W logo. Kim Trent of Knox Heritage arranged for a plaque to be made by the same people who make the markers for the historic properties her organization preserves. She told us that she suggested the company start marketing the plaques to individuals and not just buildings.