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VOL. 127 | NO. 45 | Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jeremy Park

More Defining Memphis

By Jeremy Park

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Last week we spotlighted a variety of heartfelt responses to the question: “What does Memphis mean to you?” Over the last few weeks, we have been focused on this question and asking readers to share their personal thoughts as we work to create a community narrative that will help us align efforts and market our city. This week let us continue to share some responses that I think capture the essence of what makes Memphis so truly special and unique.

Bruce Meisterman: “Memphis, more than any other place I’ve lived, is the most responsive to new ideas. Obviously some will be good or even great, other perhaps not as much. But, and this is the main thing here, you can get your ideas acted on and realized. In a very good sense, Memphis was Silicon Valley before Silicon Valley: ideas abounding … but with a greater variety of successes.”

Hud Andrews: “I have lived in Memphis all but one of my 63 years. Memphis, to me, is the spirit and heart of her people. We are the city which survived the death of Dr. King to become far stronger and closer-knit than we were the day he died. I like to say that everyone in Memphis is just one degree of separation from everyone else. Memphis is Rhodes College and the U of M. It is LeMoyne-Owen struggling to survive in a very difficult economy. It is Tiger basketball and the resurgent Grizzlies. One day I hope it will be the home of a very good Tiger football program and a winning program at Rhodes. It is Beale Street, B.B. King and Elvis.”

Charli Sanders: “For a small-towner like me, Memphis is place for me to find the opportunity to grow. Nowhere else in the world can a person find the headquarters of numerous international businesses mixed with a Southern accent. I love it! The best part is that community and business leaders want graduating college students to stay right here and make a life for themselves. Memphis writes its own rules when it comes to … everything! It is truly unique.”

Eric Brey: “Opportunity. There is something about this city; not something you can easily identify, but a feeling to the city that has been growing over the past few years. Call it culture, a vibe, a change in perspective that seems to be happening throughout the city. It’s a feeling that there is an opportunity for something great, if you (or we, as a city) reach out and grab it. It’s almost impossible to put it into words, but there is something about this city, an opportunity for those who want to pursue it.”

What does Memphis mean to you? Join the effort by emailing your thoughts and stories so we can share them with the world.

Jeremy Park, director of communications at Lipscomb Pitts Insurance and director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com.

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