Daniel Watson: I was wrong about you  

Betty BeanKnox Scene

This week when Sandra Clark and I talked about what I was going to write in this column, I told her I planned to apologize to Daniel Watson.

She laughed.

Turns out, she had done the same thing, the day before. She offered her apology privately, via email. Some of her reasons are the same as mine, some are different.

Here are mine:

I misjudged you, Daniel Watson.

You made me nervous.

While I admired your willingness to live your religious views (Restoration House, a residential facility that you and your wife, Mandy, founded to help lift single parents out of poverty, has been extraordinarily successful and has done much good), I feared that your strong evangelical bent would lead you to support things like textbook censorship, interfering with school nurses and sex education curriculum, releasing students for religious indoctrination during the school day and/or funneling public dollars into private schools.

And there was your donor list. Most of the usual high dollar names were there, and they were throwing money at you. Candidates dream of such support, but it always makes me nervous, particularly in school board races, where the business class push to take over education has been massively successful elsewhere over the last decade and has ushered in an era of over-testing.

There’s no such thing as free money, or so I have grown to believe.

So, I wrote you off as a nice guy who had done some good things, but who was also probably a bit of a zealot and a handmaiden of big business.

I was wrong.

You are smart, thoughtful, hard working, forward thinking and respectful – pretty much everything an elected official should be. I’m sorry to have misjudged you and happy that I was wrong. I hope you stay with the school board as long as you are happy there, and perhaps think about running for something else. Whatever you choose to do, I’m for you.

Din Mayfield kicks off acting career

If you have lived in Knoxville for 20-plus years, have kept up with local politics and are a fan of the NBC medical drama New Amsterdam, you may have gotten a glimpse of a familiar face.

In fact, you might have thought you’d seen a ghost – the ghost of Danny Mayfield.

Din Mayfield (publicity photo)

His son, Din, was just a little boy when he left Knoxville 20 years ago, after Danny died. He was a serious-minded child, a good student and the spitting image of his daddy.

And that is still the case, as anyone who knew Danny can see from his pictures.

Din lives in Los Angeles, studied theater at a number of schools and has a BFA in English from the University of California, Davis. More here.

His mother, Melissa Hornsby, is rightfully proud.

Note: Betty Bean wrote about the Mayfield family in April 2000 here.

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