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Editorial Results (free)

1. Paying Attention -

ON MY WATCH. AND YOURS. Mrs. Parker tends her corner of the garden at Trezevant with loving dedication, looking up from her planting and fussing with a gloved wave to Nora and me as we walk by of a morning. A couple of years ago, she presented us with a bag of ginger lily roots. Hers was taking up too much room, and she didn’t want it to spread any more.

2. I’ll Be Back -

MEMPHIS FROM THE BEACH. I’m on vacation, but I’ll be home soon, and here are some thoughts about that I first shared a couple of years ago.

Right now, I’m probably on the beach, keeping the sand out of my beer and helping my dogs stare at the ocean. It’s a big ocean – big enough to help you forget whatever you were so worried about a couple of days ago. Staring at it properly is a big job – big enough that making sure you don’t miss the next dolphin breaking the surface or the next crab making a break for it is more important than whatever you were doing last week. That’s pretty much the way the dogs look at it, too. We don’t miss a thing.

3. 100 Homage -

38 STORIES, THOUSANDS OF STORIES. I remember when the big hulk was a big deal, its unimaginative gray mass full of imagination and local color.

On our first date in 1967, I took Nora to the Top Of The 100. I’ll never forget when she leaned over the table, her blue eyes wide, and said, “You eat parsley?” The building was two years old and Top Of The 100 was a private club occupying the top three floors with its own set of elevators and a revolving bar on the top, a panorama 38 stories high served straight up above everything else in town.

4. Ceiling Reflections -

FAMILY TIME. “You’re no happier than your most unhappy child,” a wise friend said.

I remembered those words as I stared at the breadbox on the ceiling. I’ll explain. Back when we were living in the Georgian Woods with about 27¢, we didn’t buy anything we didn’t need and couldn’t justify. Nora needed a breadbox, so she used the occasion of my birthday to give me … a breadbox.

5. Bell Joins First State Bank as Commercial Loan Officer -

Jonathan Bell has joined First State Bank as vice president/commercial loan officer. Bell, who has more than 13 years of experience in the banking industry, will provide banking services for businesses in Collierville and the surrounding area.

6. Fascination From a Child’s Eyes -

URPED MY OATS. “I urped my oats,” the 2-year-old announced from the backseat. “Urped her oats? Did she throw up back there?” her grandfather questioned. “Yes, baby,” her grandmother said to her, “you do have purple boots.”

7. Horseback Rides With Weddings -

BRIDAL PATHS. As I did last year, I begin this year revisiting markers on the journey.

When I was little, I was sure you went to cool weddings by horseback.

After all, Roy and Dale were married, and they sang “Happy Trails To You” from the back of a horse every week. Mom and Dad were married, and they spent the first year of their marriage in Arizona riding horses and doing cool-sounding things like punching cattle, shooting rattlesnakes and smoking Old Golds.

8. Christmas Coming Home -

CHRISTMAS TIME. Every Christmas I tell this story, and in the telling Christmas comes home.

It was my first time to England and overseas, and prime time for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Soho.

9. Renewal of Life -

LOOK FOR THE WONDER. REPEAT. I wrote about this last year. This year, just last week, it happened again.

Right outside my window is a ginkgo tree, and another on the other side of the house. Every fall they engage in an ancient mating dance, a spectacular competition for attention. So exhausting is the effort, it doesn’t last long. So intense is the result, it’s explosive. And then it’s gone, leaving only a memory.

10. We’ll Get There -

IT’S NOT THE RIDE. IT’S THE DESTINATION. The guy driving this thing is from Chicago. And the way they get places in Chicago isn’t pretty.

Calling the Obamacare website wreck “a bump in the road” is like calling, well, like calling the ride I’m about to describe as bumpy.

11. Stranger Fear -

IN FEAR, WE’RE ALL LOST. “When is Mom coming back?” Hallie, 12 at the time, asked. “Yeah,” added Gaines, 5 at the time, “she’s been gone a long time.” Dan, jet-lagged at the time – with two children next to him, the Eiffel Tower behind him and the City of Light all around him – realized several things:

12. The Duck, The Dog, The Farm -

GOING TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY. My column last week prompted a number of you to share your memories of the creatures that came home with you from the cages at Katz Drug Store. My friend Bill Haltom, attorney and storyteller, sent me this:

13. Horseback Rides With Weddings -

BRIDAL PATHS When I was little, I was pretty sure you went to cool weddings by horseback. After all, Roy and Dale were married, and they sang “Happy Trails To Us” from the back of a horse every week. Mom and Dad were married, and they spent the first year of their marriage in Arizona riding horses and doing cool-sounding things like punching cattle, shooting rattlesnakes and smoking Old Golds.

14. Christmas Coming Home -

CHRISTMAS TIME Every Christmas I tell this story, and in the telling Christmas comes home.

It was my first time to England and overseas, and prime time for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Soho.

15. Ginkgos and Band-Aids -

LOOK FOR THE WONDER. REPEAT. Right outside my window is a female ginkgo tree, her boyfriend is on the other side of the house, and every fall they engage in an ancient mating dance, a spectacular competition for attention. So exhausting is the effort, it doesn’t last long. So intense is the result, it’s explosive. And then it’s gone, leaving only a memory.

16. The Heart Beats -

THE HEART BEATS. AGAIN. A lifetime ago, screwdrivers with lifetime guarantees came from an art moderne castle, and screwdrivers with orange juice came from the only other Friday’s outside of Manhattan.

17. One Quiet Truck -

JUST SEND ONE QUIET TRUCK. My friend Joan White died a couple of weeks ago. You may not have known that.

In fact, if you aren’t a member of advertising’s old school fraternity, you may not know that Joan made the boys let the girls in and made the business, and us, better. In fact, if you aren’t a member of Temple Israel, you may not know how much she meant there, how her steady devotion gave steady evidence of, in the words of her rabbi, “a life worthy of living that enriched us all.” You may not know that she was Miss Holly to Mr. Bingle, trailblazer and mentor to generations of ad agency folks, and just the volunteer to talk to in the Temple Israel shop if you were looking for just the right menorah or kiddush cup. And because of her selfless work and life ethic, business women today will never have to know how tough it was in the ‘50s for a single Jewish mother from Chicago with a 2-year-old in tow to make it here.

18. Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Revisited -

CHRISTMAS TIME It was my first time to England, first time overseas and prime time for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Soho and the rocking HQ for the whole British invasion.

It was time to discover pubs, and Scottish eggs, bubble & squeak and spotted dick. Time to discover that bitter, served warm, is twice as strong as our brew, that a British pint holds 20 oz. instead of our 16, and that all of that explains why your knees don’t work after three of them.

19. Note to Self -

WE NEED ADVICE, FROM OURSELVES. About 25 years ago, I closed up my parents’ home at the end of their lives. Wandering through the empty house and the memories, I found myself in my old room, going through my desk drawers one more time. In the back of one, way back there, I found something I’d missed – a magnifying glass with a loose handle. Curious, I pulled the handle off and saw a piece of a paper inside. Unrolling it, I instantly recognized the note and laughed out loud, returning that sound to a place once filled with it, replacing a sense of loss with a sense of perspective.

20. Coming Home -

MEMPHIS FROM THE BEACH. As you read this, I’m probably on the beach, keeping the sand out of my beer and helping my dogs stare at the ocean. It’s a big ocean – big enough to help you forget whatever you were so worried about a couple of days ago.

21. Ghost of Christmas Past -

Christmas time. It was my first time to England, first time overseas, and prime time for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Soho and the rocking HQ for the whole British invasion.

It was time to discover pubs, and Scottish eggs, bubble & squeak and spotted dick. Time to discover that bitter, served warm, is twice as strong as our brew, that a British pint holds 20 oz. instead of our 16, and that all of that explains why your knees don’t work after three of them.