VOL. 129 | NO. 134 | Friday, July 11, 2014
We’re All Invited
By Dan Conaway
MEMPHIS, SERVED IN THE SHELL. Following up last week’s column, this from a reader:
“We have no civic pride, half the population is intent on killing as many as they can and the other part lives behind walls or gates. There was a time in the fifties when you could leave your front door unlocked and keys in the car.”
My church recently threw a party – beer, wine, barbecue and dancing priests – I love the Episcopal Church. The city came – a city made up of all kinds, colors, sizes and shapes. Brand-new babies to folks even older than me. Black and white. Straight and gay. Kids and dogs. Democrats and Republicans. Spread across a green hill as “Green Onions” rose from the stage, coaxed from the keys and strings of Stax Academy, students in the delivery room of the Memphis sound.
There are 50 parties every year at the Levitt Shell, and my church is just one of many who make them possible and make them free. Take a look, and take a minute to say thanks:
A2H, Adams Family Foundation, Archer Records, ArcSight, Ardent, ArtsMemphis, Askew Nixon Ferguson, Assisi Foundation, AutoZone, The Avenue, Baker Donelson, Banes Capital Management, Bank Tennessee, Ed Boseman, Boys & Girls Clubs, BPI, Brass Door, Breakaway, Buckeye, Burch, Porter, George & Bena Cates, Central Gardens Association, Central Gardeners’ Club, Charles Blatteis, Christ City Church, Church of the River, Church Health Center, Commercial Appeal, Commercial Bank & Trust, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cricket Communications, Crossbeam Systems, Deloitte, Deupree Family Foundation, Duncan Williams, Farmhouse Studios, FedEx, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First Tennessee Foundation, Folk Alliance, Mary Lee & Peter Formanek, Forsythe Solutions, Grace-St. Luke’s, Gerber Taylor, GiVE 365, GoGreen, Goldsmith Foundation, Terry Graves, Grinder Taber Grinder, Harwood Foundation, Barry & Bonnie Hillyer, Hobson Realtors, Hope Church, Huey’s, Hyde Family Foundations, Langston Enterprises, Legacy Wealth Management, Lexus of Memphis, Lichterman-Loewenberg Foundation, Loeb Properties, Looney Ricks Kiss, McAfee, Mahaffey Tent & Party Rentals, Makowsky, Ringel & Greenberg, Memphis Dermatology Clinic, Memphis Flyer, Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Music Commission, Memphis Parent, Memphis Parks Services Summer Camp, Memphis & Shelby County, Menke Foundation, Mercer Capital, Mercury Investment Group, Microsoft, Mortimer F. Levitt Foundation, National Hispanic Professional Organization, Overton Park Conservancy, Oxford American, Park Friends, Pittco Management, Plough Foundation, Prodigi Arts, Bryson and Laretha Randolph, Bill & Lyn Reed, Rhodes College, Roadshow BMW/MINI, River Arts Fest, Running Pony, Schadt Foundation, Rudy & Honey Scheidt, Katie Smythe, Soul Classics, Sowell Realtors, Stax Music Academy, Temple Israel, Tennessee Arts Commission, Thompson Dunavant, TRANE, Tual Graves Dorkowski, Lynn & Henry Turley, United States Navy League, Urban Child Institute, Victory Bicycle Studio, Visible Music College, Whole Foods, Worldwide Packaging, Wunderlich Securities, Yarnell’s Ice Cream, YMCA.
I remember that reader’s mythical time – figuratively, literally and separately in black and white. What I don’t remember are things as colorful, as hopeful, as representative of who we really are and what we can be as our time together on that hill.
I’m a Memphian, and, in this town, civic pride is a party.
Dan Conaway is a lifelong Memphian, longtime adman and aspiring local character in a city known for them. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.