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VOL. 133 | NO. 121 | Monday, June 18, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: Scooter or Bike, Clapp's Flip and Found Memphis Belle Footage

By Bill Dries

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If this past weekend is any indication, Bird scooters are a thing in Memphis and they have also had a spillover effect in increasing the use of Explore Bike Share which has about a three-week head start. In many Downtown locations the scooters and bikes are in close proximity to one another. And that was offering some choices to those looking for a quicker way around in the heat. Well dressed wedding parties just a bit early for the ceremony in Court Square -- scooter. Intrepid explorers in t-shirts, cargo shorts and floppy hats regarding the sites to be seen in Memphis as Lewis and Clark -- bike.

As long as the heat holds up, the question of scooter or bike is likely to crowd out the traditional quandary of Memphians at leisure in the city with those not from Memphis about what kind of barbecue they want.

The scooter and bike networks are part of what is called the “demand economy” – as in you see the option and you use it and it is convenient then and there without you having to own and store a scooter or a bike. All of which brings us to “The Art of War” -- that military strategy text that is an entrepreneur’s Bible in the 21st century.

Here is The Week Ahead which includes the formal arrival of summer which snuck into town early for its engagement with some remnants of budget season still underway. That would be on the county government side of the Main Street Mall. And we should have some answers on how close the budget season there is to a resolution during Monday afternoon’s session. So stay up to date @tndpols.

Among the summer camps all over our city is a camp by NFL lineman Dontari Poe that isn’t what you might think at the outset. It is a camp for entrepreneurs of a very tender age when no-limit dreaming often combines with some very practical and surprising ambitions.

No pads or helmets in the Memphis summer camp organized by NFL player Dontari Poe. It's all about entrepreneurship.

Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp's transition from Redbirds icon as a player to Cardinals player to Redbrids manager has been an interesting journey that continues.

Stubby Clapp’s back flip on his way to play second base for the Memphis Redbirds defined the new franchise and its then-new home. With much less attention, Clapp is now devoting himself to the art of coaching and managing as the skipper of the same Memphis Redbirds. And that is the cover story by Don Wade in our weekly, The Memphis News.

This is an excellent must-read in which Clapp talks about the game's change just in the time from when he was a player to his second season as manager of the Redbirds. He also talks about “the wall” he had in his debut season back in Memphis and why that has changed. And there are his job prospects in the majors to review as well as why the flip has been retired. This is a story for the most dedicated baseball fan and those who know nothing of the national pastime. Yes, I said baseball is the national pastime.

Our “Around Memphis” reading list includes more on the new Harlan T. Bobo record and candidates in the Shelby County Schools board races on the August ballot weigh in on a number of topics around education.

Over the weekend, a new documentary about the World War II bomber The Memphis Belle titled “The Cold Blue” was premiered at The National Archives in Washington. It was made using a lot of footage of the bomber shot during the war that didn’t make it into William Wyler’s 1946 film. Here’s more from the National Archives blog on the film restoration process, which includes raw footage of the victory tour after the bomber and its crew completed 25 missions and footage in England during the missions as well as over Germany. In the process, Wyler's documentary has gotten a new look as well thanks to the restoration. The archives has more than 15 hours of film shot by Wyler and his team.

Wyler himself was frostbitten and lost his hearing from being on the bombing missions. And cinematographer Harold Tannenbaum was killed.

Once upon a time in the 1970s there was a Memphis band called Zuider Zee and then later just Zee. They had a record deal with CBS resulting in a debut album that is very hard to find these days but which you probably had in your album collection around Memphis at the time even if you stole it from your friend's record collection -- because face it he took your Edgewood or D. Beaver Combinations albums -- didn't he. Richard Orange, the guitarist and singer and songwriter for Zuider Zee is now a songwriter mostly in England with some impressive credits through his time working at Motown. Orange still finds his way back to the city and the results are always interesting.

Here’s a podcast from The Strange Brew, a website that specializes in British rock from the mid 60s onward in which Orange talks about the band, how it came to be in Memphis and what was happening here around the time of the album along with some unreleased stuff from the band and from Orange on his own. It also includes an all-out Beatles tribute he recorded and released in 2005 – “Beatlesque.”

The Memphis News Almanac: Fred Smith incorporates, Plough buys Coppertone, The “Pennsylvania” explodes and Calvin Henze for mayor?

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751