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VOL. 133 | NO. 112 | Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Bill Dries

Last Word: One for Graceland, Randy Boyd in Millington and Green Eyeshades

By Bill Dries

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From the distance of 50 years – half a century – it’s hard to relate what it was like to grow up in the 1960s – in particular the year 1968 in a city that figured prominently in the year’s turbulent trajectory.

So, I will tell you that seeing lots of images of the last days and hours of Senator Robert Kennedy’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination through the Twitter account of presidential historian Michael Beschloss and others takes me back to a late spring morning. My older brother who was watching us while Mom and Dad were working and the school year had ended was sleeping late for some reason beyond being a teenager. One of my nine-year old chores for the summer was sweeping the front porch. For some reason the newspaper was still on the porch, folded over. With the broom, I gave it a slightly contemptuous swipe and the page above the fold was fully opened to the assassination the night before in California while I slept.

I avoided picking up the paper, not touching it at all – crouching over it and reading it as it lay open. And once absorbed, looking around at how the world continued to turn around me like this was normal. I could hear the trucks on the highway, the sound of birds in the trees, see the dew on the grass. I scanned the Frayser neighborhood I knew so well for any sign of changes and at least on the surface found none. But I already knew things had changed and were changing still. There was no other world where these things happened or from which they were hurled at our world. They were all part of the same world – constantly pushing and shoving against each other – even killing each other.

It was just two months after coming in following a phone call to the adults and turning on the television to see a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announcing his death in our city. Five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, each time I thought I want to remember as much of this as possible because my memories of the 1963 assassination were in bits and pieces and primarily about the reactions of other people in the room. I know now that I needn’t have worried about remembering.

City council chambers await action on another council Tuesday at City Hall.

Council day Tuesday at City Hall includes a vote on the One Beale development and could include a final vote on a $3.19 city property tax rate.

Continuing on that theme, here is the round-up of Monday’s Shelby County Commission meeting topped by the approval of the resolution Graceland has been shopping at the county building and City Hall. It gives a very conditional green light to Whitehaven arena plans provided a court – probably at the appellate level – rules the arena doesn’t violate the FedExForum noncompete clause with the Grizz.

Republican gubernatorial contender Randy Boyd campaigns in Millington Monday.

A fire overnight at Blues City Café on Beale Street. The popular restaurant at Second and Beale expects to be open Tuesday evening for dinner after cleaning up from a ventilation fire on the roof Monday evening.

Candace Steele Flippin is the new chief communications officer of FIrst Horizon National Corp.

Republican contender for Governor Randy Boyd in Millington Monday says he supports the countywide effort for an expansion of prekindergarten. And other campaign notes.

In our Banking Emphasis:

The new chief communications officer at First Horizon talks about the banking company’s $4-billion five-year Community Benefit Plan. Candace Steele Flippin says the effort is about putting the word out and establishing connections in a city and region rich in people and organizations striving.

Trustmark National gets the highest marks in the region including Memphis for customer satisfaction from J.D. Power.

Pinnacle Financial’s ongoing growth plan includes growing its staff as well as it loans and deposits.

The Memphis U.S. Attorney’s office gets two new prosecutors – one criminal and one civil – out of the 311 nationwide that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday would be hired by the Justice Department.

Ruben Garcia Jr. wins the Memphis 150 this past weekend at the Memphis International Speedway.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Attorney Larry Laurenzi, a career federal prosecutor, has gone to work for Baker Donelson.

Pete Wickham rounds up the Memphis 150 results at Memphis International Raceway over the weekend.

This fall a van called the “Delta Care-a-van” will be providing medical services in seven Delta towns in Arkansas. A group of 60 to 80 medical students will participate in the federally funded program that is about unmet medical needs but also about preventative health care.

Finally, we have done very well in the annual Green Eyeshade Awards among newspapers in an 11-state region. Here is the rundown of the awards announced as the weekend began with links to the stories that earned the honors. It’s another reminder that what happens here matters. When reporters from other places recognize the importance of those stories, it’s an indication that we are on the right track. We already knew that but it’s nice to have another set of eyes on that. I should point out that much to my chagrin, the award itself is not a green eyeshade.

PROPERTY SALES 64 87 1,429
MORTGAGES 39 60 1,107