VOL. 131 | NO. 32 | Monday, February 15, 2016
Last Word: Love and Glory and Guitars, New Frost and Scalia's Passing
By Bill Dries
To each his or her own on Valentine’s Day observances Sunday that become Valentine’s Day memories with the arrival of Monday.
The Majestic Grille, for instance, had the movies Roman Holiday and Casablanca back to back on the screen of the movie theater turned restaurant.
No sound, but you really don’t need sound for the scene where Audrey Hepburn takes the throne with Gregory Peck and a beatnik Eddie Albert among the press corps at the rope line.
And The Majestic saved The Second Line in Overton Square with a loaner of some champagne after Second Line ran a bit short.
Chef Kelly English thanked the Majestic via Twitter for “saving our sweet Valentine’s Day asses.”
Then there was an item in the Chicago Tribune that originated with Associated Press on the recent discovery of the autopsy reports from the Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929. We chose the Tribune’s use of AP because it includes some links to how the paper covered the event in 1929.
I guess the song is right, “It’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory, a case of do or die.”
Meanwhile, at the Racquet Club Sunday, a four-peat for Kei Nishikori at the Memphis Open tennis tournament.
Nishikori defeated Taylor Fritz in Sunday’s finals at the Racquet Club. All he needs now is a drummer and he can start a band with his four guitar trophies.
That’s how we roll here. (Sorry, but I’m too old to use the term “crunk” properly.) Not a crown. Not a trophy. A guitar.
The open is 40 years old this year and in a transition that Don Wade wrote about last week as the tournament began.
Sports, specifically the business of sports, seems as if it is never easy in Memphis. It’s always a struggle because it is always about a bottom line issue – money. And Memphis is not a city where there is a lot of that at the disposal of a lot of people who would buy seats to events like the open, not to mention sponsorships.
Some of this, as Southern Heritage Classic founder Fred Jones mentioned at our recent Daily News seminar on the financial impact of sports, is about recognition of the value – financial and cultural – of these events.
Shelby Farms Park has been changing in some large ways on the northern side of Walnut Grove Road for quite a bit now. And some changes just beyond the northern boundary of the park may create some debate about the direction of the park and its influence on what happens around it.
The “Heart of the Park” changes enlarge Patriot Lake and will soon see Farm Road replaced as the southern entrance to the park.
We review those changes and others in Don Wade’s cover story for our weekly, The Memphis News, which hit the streets over the weekend.
So far there has been little debate about the changes at the Park.
But that will probably change based on the comments we’ve seen on our stories by Madeline Faber since last week on three apartment towers planned on the other side of the northern border of the park.
The Parkside at Shelby Farms Park plan cleared the Land Use Control Board last week with some changes to the height of the buildings. And it cleared the LUCB with the backing of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy on its way to the Memphis City Council.
The supermarket wars continue with word that Kroger is looking at an acquisition of Fresh Market. And there are some early thoughts on what that means for real estate in a local market that has gone in just a few years from Kroger dominating the market to its competitors entering the market. Too many “market”s in that one?
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen in Memphis last week with some thoughts on the more vocal critics of the state-run Achievement School District as she visited one of the ASD schools in Memphis, Lester Prep. We also talked with her about what she is looking for during her classroom visits. This after watching McQueen over the year she has been state commissioner. She watches teachers and students closely for the methods they use and the consistency of those methods from class to class. Lester's principal also acknowledged the concerns some have about the ASD schools.
In the Press Box, Don Wade on the idea of the Grizzlies signing Kevin Durant and trading Mike Conley.
A second bite at the apple for OneJet? The CEO of the carrier says there is still a chance Memphis International Airport could become a focus city down the road or down the runway despite last week’s announcement that Pittsburgh would be OneJet’s new focus city.
Three years after Frost made its debut in Laurelwood, the owners of the bake shop are ready for another frost – must … avoid … weather puns … MUST … avoid. The new one will be in Collierville and could include hosting cooking classes when it opens in the summer by which time none of us will be in the mood to make weather jokes or puns.
The first word from Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators is no word on how they feel about President Barack Obama’s plan to nominate a successor to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia before Obama leaves office at the end of this year.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s written statement Saturday evening was to express his condolences to Scalia’s family.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, traveling in Germany, reacted Sunday morning with his condolences as well and no statement on what should happen next.
There will be plenty of time for them to weigh in on that question. And by then the “what if” game should have run its course with legal experts spelling out all of the different ways this could work over the weekend.
Congress is in recess this week, which caused lots of Sunday speculation about a recess appointment until the White House said Obama has no intention of nominating anyone this week.
Scalia spoke in Memphis several times during his 29-year tenure on the highest court in the nation.
In each of those appearances, Scalia’s outspoken and conservative ideology was center stage. So was Scalia’s influence on the nature of a Supreme Court Justice’s life and comments off the bench.
Andy Meek weighs in on covering two of Scalia’s Memphis appearances.
No dragon but just about everything else associated with the Chinese New Year at First Tennessee Bank’s Downtown branch last week. And our photographer, Andrew J. Breig, was there to record the event.
As you will notice in the photos, the First Tennessee lobby and ground floor is something of a local and unexpected treasure with its display of the bank’s considerable art collection. That includes the 1,600 square-foot 51-panel mural by Ted Faiers as well as the early drafts of other panels for the mural and a section of the lobby that includes sculptures and paintings honoring the culture and history of Tennessee, commissioned by First Tennessee.
That and a walk through the lobby of The Peabody on a cold winter’s day will warm your soul. But you still can’t touch the lobby piano at the Peabody especially while it is playing Lady Madonna.