Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

August 16, 2012

In the House of Wood

My Friend Carl

Knoxville —  

I'm not going to pretend that I knew Carl Schwanebeck as well as some of you did. I am glad I did have the privilege of knowing him for the eight years I did. 

To me, Knoxville and the world could use more Carls. I'm sure many, especially young people, did not care for his demands of moviegoers to respect everyone else in the theater. Or his anger with parents who brought young children to films he felt were inappropriate for young eyes. Or his constant complaints to the City about Bike Night, sidewalk enforcement and other issues. 

But to me, I believe Carl's motivation for all of these things came from love and respect. Love for his town, and his desire to make it the best it can be. 

Love of the theatre business, and the moviegoing experience, in which everyone who has paid should be allowed to sit back and enjoy a film, without nonsense from other, disrespectful moviegoers. It wasn't about picking on kids, though, he did have a twinkle in his eyes when he shared stories about scaring some rowdy young person. 

His love of the movie business, as well as love for Knoxville, is what led him to do what he did to try to revive the theater. It's just a shame that Knoxville did not support it to the level necessary to keep the theater open. 

As for his complaints about Bike Night, it was hurting his business. Any business person has the right to complain when the City doesn't listen, or eagerly allows his business to be adversely affected one night a month. That one night a month might not matter to most places, but a theater, which gets maybe eight true paydays a month, losing one can really hurt. Carl knew that and wasn't afraid to try to stand up for his business. 

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