Memphis Flyer - 3.16.23

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you are seeking a career with challenges and opportunitiesjoin a company that will offer you both, come join us! OUR 1777TH ISSUE 03.16.23 F ree JOSEPHINE ALEXANDER FIGHTING THE ANTI-TRANS BILL P5 • PEABODY RECORDS P15 • HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART II P20 Sisters of e Soil Celebrating women farmers of the Mid-South.
2 March 16-22, 2023




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OUR 1777TH ISSUE 03.16.23

I stalked her in the grocery store: her crown of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip, her erect bearing, radiating tenderness, the way she placed yogurt and avocados in her basket, beaming peace like the North Star. I wanted to ask, “What aisle did you nd your serenity in, do you know how to be married for 50 years, or how to live alone, excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess some knowledge that makes the earth burn and turn on its axis.” But we don’t request these things from strangers nowadays. So I said “I love your hair.”

You may have noticed I took a week o from writing in this space. To be honest, a few weeks of pouring heavy feelings onto the page turned out to be pretty draining. ere was nothing much le to pour. Many thanks to our managing editor, Samuel X. Cicci, for covering for me with a light-hearted column about … well, bugs. A dose of humor every once in a while never hurts.

Anyhow, the above poem came to mind in my o time, as I’ve spent several days alone in the home in which my grandparents lived before they both passed away last summer. It’s a modest trailer near the county line in Greenwood, Mississippi, where the sky is wide and the stars are bright and the thunderstorms shake the ground and echo for miles between the trees across the atlands. A er writing “Death is a Door” a couple weeks ago, I found myself longing for some serenity — the kind that perhaps only comes with age and grace and a change in perspective. So I thought maybe I’d try to tap into some of that knowledge that makes the Earth burn and turn on its axis.

e rst weekend, I waded in a creek and learned that quicksand is a real-life threat, not just something people stumbled upon in treacherous landscapes in 1980s movies. I naively thought I’d be ne trotting through in my rainboots and hadn’t thought to wear something other than jeans. A cousin brought an extra pair of leggings, and as I navigated the murky, shin-high water around a little bend to change pants in private, three-fourths of my le leg was sucked right under. It startled the heck out of me, but my family got a good laugh (it’s okay; I’m sure I looked ridiculous struggling to rescue my leg and boot from two and a half feet of mud).

Over the week, I made a few trips to County Market, a grocery store that changed names to Greenwood Market Place at some point, but it’ll always be County Market to the locals. “Hey, Mr. Clark,” someone said as my father and I approached the deli for a plate lunch. “Mr. Clark, we miss seeing your daddy around here,” an employee said on our way out. ere aren’t many strangers in a town whose population sits right at 14,000. Even I felt right at home in the eateries, shops, and convenience stores, where everyone smiled and spoke as if they knew me. “Did I jump in front of you in line?” one man asked as I queued up to pay for some snacks at the gas station. “No sir, but thanks for checking,” I replied with a grin. I thought about how in Memphis, it’s every man for himself, whether in line or on the road or anywhere else, really. With more than 620,000 of us, we’re practically all strangers, and everyone’s too hurried and impatient to be considerate or cordial.










MUSIC - 15





FOOD - 19

TV - 20



I’m writing this now from a wooden deck, overlooking a pond with wispy clouds streaking the sky beyond. It’s peaceful out here, calm, but I do miss Memphis. In a few days, I’ll be back in the bustle, traversing Poplar Avenue tra c, and following online comments from neighbors who swear they just heard gunshots.

I don’t expect to come back beaming peace like the North Star. But hopefully I can bring a little of this Southern serenity home with me.

Either way, I love your hair. Shara Clark shara@memphis

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e view from my o ce

THE fly-by

MEM ernet

Memphis on the internet.


Questions, Answers + Attitude

TikTok Targeted

Last week, e Tennessee Holler broke news that Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) le several comments on steamy Instagram posts from a young, gay male named Franklyn McClur. McNally did so from his veri ed Insta with the username @ltgovmcnally.

McNally’s press team red back, saying the Holler implied “something sinister or inappropriate about a greatgrandfather’s use of social media.”

“Does he always use the proper emoji at the proper time?” the comms team asked. “Maybe not. But he enjoys interacting with constituents and Tennesseans of all religions, backgrounds, and orientations on social media. He has no intention of stopping.”


Memphians got real about how much money they make last week on the Memphis subreddit with the “salary transparency thread.” Here’s a sample: u/EbbFit4548: “Late 30s, 10 years teaching experience, high school social studies teacher, 3 Masters degrees, $56,000/year.”

u/angusbethune: “Just south of 40, nance director, BBA, MBA, CPA, $210,000 (salary and target bonus) plus stock incentives that vary.”

u/SkydroLnMEyeball: “FedEx aircra mechanic, ~$145,000 before [overtime].”

u/PoppaRayngo: “Lawyer … Practicing for six years. Law degree. Early 30s, $120,272.”


Spring sprung early this year no matter what your calendar says.

Tennessee lawmakers and the Tennessee attorney general are putting extra pressure on TikTok in the wake of a report that showed some of its employees stole data from American journalists. e popular app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance and has been a center of controversy for months on data safety concerns.

O cials, including FBI director Chris Wray, have warned lawmakers that the app could be used to steal personal information, creating a national security concern.

ose concerns earned bans on the app from devices used by the White House, U.S. defense agencies, and the U.S. Senate. In December, Tennessee joined 18 other states to ban the app for state uses in some way. Here, the app is banned from all state-owned devices.

In December, TikTok admitted that four of its employees accessed and stole information from U.S. journalists. ose employees were promptly red, and TikTok maintains its app is secure and poses no threat to U.S. national security. But the report ramped up suspicions about the service and calls for it to be banned.

Tennessee House members recently passed a bill that would ban TikTok and WeChat, a Chinese instant messaging service, on public university Wi-Fi networks. e bill would deny access to any platform operated or hosted by a company in the People’s Republic of China to anyone — students, faculty, sta , or the public — on those university networks.

from arti cial intelligence to nuclear energy. Lundberg said the facility has a partnership with the University of Tennessee and suggested that by “the amount of information that is collected, we do not need to open that door.”

A House committee is set to review the bill soon.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti believes TikTok may be in violation of state consumer protection laws. He said the social media site may be providing and promoting its platform to minors, children, and young adults here, “causing profound harms to these vulnerable users.”

“We are asking the court to order TikTok to preserve and produce evidence for our investigation into social media’s impact on children’s mental health,” Skrmetti said. “In light of the urgent importance of this issue, TikTok’s obstruction is unconscionable. If TikTok continues to out the law, the state attorneys general have the tools to respond accordingly.”

In his presentations on the bill, Sen. Jon Lundberg (RBristol) did not explicitly state that China could use the apps to access university data. But he called them a “security threat.”

“We do not need to provide access [to the apps] on our university websites for that because our universities are conducting a great deal of research,” he said.

As an example, Lundberg noted that Senate Speaker Sen. Randy McNally’s (R-Oak Ridge) district is home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. e facility is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, working on topics

Last week, Skrmetti led a motion to force TikTok to preserve documents and produce internal messages in a requestfor-information motion served on the company by the AG’s o ce nearly a year ago.

He said the company’s lawyers con rmed that TikTok allowed its employees to keep active a feature on its internal communication network, Lark, to delete messages within seven days. Skrmetti said this increases the chances that employees have deleted information relevant to the AG’s investigation. For this and more, Skrmetti said the company “has engaged in a pattern of delay” in the investigation and led a motion for the court to hold regular status conferences with all parties.

4 March 16-22, 2023
One lawmaker called TikTok a “security threat.”
to restrict access to the app across the state.
Lawmakers and the state’s attorney general want
PHOTO: STATE OF TENNESSEE TikTok could be banned from public university Wi-Fi networks, and the state’s attorney general thinks it might cause “profound harms” to minors. POSTED TO INSTAGRAM BY @FRANKLYNSUPERSTAR AND @LTGOVMCNALLY

Fighting On

Groups promise to stand against new anti-trans healthcare bill.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Tennessee, and Lambda Legal, a national organization “committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV,” issued a statement where they have promised legal action against the Tennessee law that will prohibit gender-a rming care for minors.

“We will not allow this dangerous law to stand,” said the statement. “We are dedicated to overturning this unconstitutional law and are con dent the state will nd itself completely incapable of defending it in court. We want transgender youth to know they are not alone and this ght is not over.”

own unique needs related to gendera rming care.”

e report said about 84 percent of transgender respondents from Tennessee said that “when they were under the age of 18, having access to gender-a rming care was important to their overall well-being.”

“Restrictive laws and policies related to gender-a rming care can lead to increased stigma for transgender people, resulting in delays or avoidance in seeking necessary medical care, ultimately resulting in worse health outcomes for this population,” the study stated.

In response to the signing of the bill into law, Emma Chinn, co-author of the “LGBTQ Tennesseans” report, special projects coordinator at the Campaign for Southern Equality, and a master of public policy candidate at the Humphrey School of Public A airs, said research states that “access to transgender-related healthcare is critical to the physical and mental health of transgender people and their ability to thrive in their daily lives.”

Senate Bill 1 was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on ursday, March 2nd. e law will prohibit healthcare professionals from administering gender-a rming care to minors. is makes Tennessee the fourth state to ban this care for people under the age of 18.

is legislation will make gendera rming hormone therapy and puberty blockers inaccessible, and trans people in Tennessee will not have access to this care until they reach the age of 18. Similar restrictions have been made in states like Arkansas and Alabama.

A report entitled “LGBTQ Tennesseans: A Report of the 2021 Southern LGBTQ Experiences Survey,” released by the Campaign for Southern Equality in January 2023, de nes gender-a rming healthcare as “an individualized experience for all trans and nonbinary people.

ere is no single surgery or standard path that all trans people access and each transgender person has their

As the law does not go into e ect until July 1, 2023, advocates are also o ering resources and steps for families to take action now.

A resource guide provided by the ACLU of Tennessee, Inclusion TN, and Campaign for Southern Equality lists the following recommendations:

• See current provider as soon as possible to discuss current needs and options for continued care.

• If you and your family have been planning to pursue gender-a rming care, try to initiate care before July 1st when the law takes e ect.

• Fill current prescriptions with regard to gender-a rming medical care.

To view a list of trans-a rming providers in Southern states, visit the Trans in the South guide at For other questions, you can email TennesseeResources@

e Campaign for Southern Equality and Inclusion Tennessee have also partnered to give out rapid response emergency grants of $250.


Splitting Legal Hairs

On residency requirements for Memphis mayor; plus: Shelby Dems to reorganize.

e matter of residency requirements for election to the o ce of Memphis mayor and service in that position has suddenly become enormously signi cant. It has, in fact, become the crux of the election matter, even as three of the most highly touted mayoral candidates have for several months already been competing and raising money feverishly for the right to serve.

ose candidates are Shelby County Sheri Floyd Bonner, NAACP president and former County Commissioner Van Turner, and former longtime Mayor Willie Herenton. ough each of them has lived many years in Memphis prior to this election year, each of them also has, at some point in the recent past, lived outside the city limits of Memphis and would be ineligible to serve as mayor under an 1895 city

charter clause explicitly requiring mayoral candidates to have lived within the city for ve years “next preceding” their election.

at charter would be amended in 1966, a year before Memphis held a city election for a newly adopted mayorcouncil form of government. e new charter did not use the words “next preceding” to de ne the terms of residential eligibility, nor did a judicial decree of 1991 regarding election criteria, nor did a subsequent 1996 voter referendum based on that decree explicitly de ne mayoral residency requirements in the sense of the 1895 charter.

Since then, there has remained a sense of ambiguity regarding the residency requirements for a mayoral candidacy, and an opinion last year by city council attorney Allan Wade became the de facto ruling on the matter.

Addressing queries from county Election Administrator Linda Phillips, Wade argued that the 1996 referendum — technically a home rule

amendment — changed the residency requirements for city council members, eliminating any speci c prior term of residency, and that the prior charter of 1966 linked the mayor’s residency requirements to those of the city council.

In another opinion made public last week, however, former Election Commission Chairman Robert Meyers, responding to city attorney Jennifer Sink, argues that voters in 1996 voted merely to change the residency requirement for city council, and were not aware that such a change would trigger the mayor’s residency requirements as well. His bottom line was that a mayoral candidate still had to abide by the need to have lived within the city for ve years preceding an election.

Both opinions split more legal hairs than can be indicated in this space, but clearly the aforementioned candidates

for mayor (and their opponents) have a vested interest in what a court might rule on the matter, and suits to force a de nitive ruling can be expected, probably in short order.

• Partisans of the Shelby County Democratic Party will convene at First Baptist Church on Broad this Saturday to elect new members of the party’s grassroots council and its executive committee. ose persons so elected will meet again at the same site on Saturday, April 1st, to elect a new party head to succeed current chair Gabby Salinas, who is not running for reelection.

e two known candidates for party chair are activists Jesse Huseth and Lexie Carter. ey, or whoever else might seek the chairmanship, will take part in a public forum, probably on the intervening Saturday, March 25th.

6 March 16-22, 2023

Rush’s Leftovers

e cold heart of the right just keeps on ticking.

I’m guessing you may have missed it: the second anniversary of Rush Limbaugh’s death on February 17th. ere were no parades or anything. At least, none that I heard about. His death was little noted or remembered, except for a couple shots red on Twitter. “Try to live your life so that ‘rot in hell’ isn’t trending at the mention of your death,” posted one. Good advice, says I.

Limbaugh was widely seen as the godfather of today’s vitriolic, hyperbolic, right-wing media subculture, the life force that spawned Fox News and its host of creepy hosts: OAN, the Daily Caller, Breitbart, and dozens of other “news” turdlets on the web and elsewhere.

Capitol? is guy looked through 40,000 hours of videotape and didn’t see any real violence, or at least chose not to put any on the air in his “documentary.” at’s like showing only the starry sky in a lm about man landing on the moon, and saying the lm proves it never happened.

When it comes to smoking, TC actually ramps it up a notch from Rushbo, declaring not only that smoking won’t kill you, but it’s actually good for you, it’s “all-American.” And he’s a ceaseless promoter of Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so much so that clips of his shows are featured nightly on Russian television. Most troubling, perhaps, is that he is a promoter of the “great replacement theory,” warning his viewers that “If we continue on this trajectory, eventually there’ll be no more nativeborn Americans,” i.e. white people. Cue immigrant-bashing from next guest. It’s hardly worth mentioning that Tucker is a frequent promoter of Donald Trump’s Big Lie on the 2020 election.

e question with these kinds of propagandists is always this: Do they believe their own lies or do they just expect the idiots who make them rich to do so? e money’s good either way, but maybe the slight moral edge, if there is one, goes to the propagandist who actually believes his own drivel. We’ll never know if Limbaugh bought the garbage he spewed into America’s airways every day. But given the revelations in the ongoing Dominion lawsuit against Fox News, it is quite provable that Carlson and his employer are lying all the way to the bank.

Limbaugh spewed lies by the thousands over the course of his career, taking delight in coming up with terms such as “feminazi,” and was a clear inspiration for a certain former president. e homeless were “compassion fascists,” environmentalists were “tree-huggers.” He made fun of Michael J. Fox, imitating the tremors that were a symptom of the actor’s Parkinson’s disease (sound familiar?).

Limbaugh ran a segment called “AIDS updates,” mocking the deaths of gay men by playing Dionne Warwick’s recording of the song “I’ll Never Love is Way Again.” A lifelong smoker, he told his listeners that tobacco doesn’t kill people. He died of lung cancer two years ago as karma tap-danced on his grave.

Current parallel to El Rushbo? Maybe Tucker Carlson, the guy on Fox who thinks Russia is the victim in Ukraine, and says the January 6th riots were just a bunch of peaceful tourists visiting the

And it’s all because ol’ Rushbo discovered America’s dirty little secret: ere is a dark, racist, proudly know-nothing subset of our citizenry that only wants to have its bigotry and anger reinforced. ey are like addicts who want to hear sobriety is for losers, smokers who want to believe smoking makes them healthy, ignorant mouth-breathers who want to believe their skin tone makes them superior.

e whole ecosystem needs to die, beginning with those organizations who reap millions of dollars knowingly spreading the venal lies that are ripping this country in half. e public airways need to be brought back to the preLimbaugh days of the Fairness Doctrine, when some semblance of truth was required of news organizations, when “equal time” on an issue was required.

e current Wild West of “news,” with its blend of anger-tainment, disinformation, propaganda, and pro t over truth, needs to die. Karma is waiting.

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Sisters of e Soil

With every day being declared a national day of something lately, celebration fatigue can set in, but there’s one such event that should be taken more seriously: National Women in Agriculture Day, slated for next Friday, March 24th. To nd the rationale for such a recognition, one need look no further than one’s own mind. “We think of old-fashioned farming as a man’s occupation,” says one local female farmer, re ecting on the unconscious, mythic gures that populate most people’s mental landscape from the rst time a child sings “Old MacDonald.” Meanwhile, the reality is considerably more complex and always evolving.

e agricultural world has been catching up to this fact for some time, most likely beginning with the formation of the group Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE) in Nebraska in 1976. at led to a liated groups forming in other states, and by 1987 WIFE was suing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over a woman’s right to continue receiving bene ts for farmland she owned even a er marrying. at caused the federal agency to take women’s roles on farms more seriously, and today the USDA actively promotes that mindset with an o ce dedicated to the concept.

Other independent groups have organized around the principle as well, namely the National Women in Agriculture Association, with chapters in every state, not to mention countless local and regional support groups. And it would seem the recognition and organization of women are having an impact. e USDA Economic Research Service found that by 2007, women operated 14 percent of all U.S. farms, up from 5 percent in 1978. More recently, 51 percent of all farming operations in the United States had at least one woman operator, according to the 2019 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), and women were

the “principal operator,” meaning they are primarily responsible for the day-to-day operation of the farm, on 14 percent of operations. In 37 percent of operations, women were the “secondary operators.” And the conversation continues; Successful Farming magazine now lists more than a dozen conferences on the topic of women in farming this year alone.

All of which has prompted the Memphis Flyer to see how these trends have played out closer to home. Here, then, are

three examples of strong women farmers of the Mid-South who are contributing to the above trends in signi cant — and unexpected — ways.


For those who frequent the CooperYoung Community Farmers Market, Josephine and Randy Alexander have been familiar faces since 2011, bringing a wide variety of “certi ed naturally grown”

produce to the market, to local chefs, and to members of their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In some ways, the Alexanders represent how women are typically involved in the farming game, as half of a couple committed to raising a family in the countryside. Yet they buck such trends as well. Due to injuries sustained in his early 20s, Randy is a quadriplegic and relies on a wheelchair for mobility. He’s developed ingenious work-arounds, but this fact alone means the couple de es any simple gender-based conventions of farm labor.

Luckily, Josephine has risen to the occasion with a philosophical disposition that leads her to question conventional gender roles. “ ere’s a lot of fraught territory when you start talking about gender,” she muses. “You don’t want to make generalizations about one person’s experience.” Alexander also notes that women in farming is nothing new. “Don’t you think women were tending the vegetable gardens on the old homesteads?” she asks. “At the farmers market, I do get some of the classic ‘Did you grow all this?’ questions. I don’t know where that question’s coming from. Is it women as farmers or women as businesspeople that folks nd surprising?

What is it that we nd unique now about women as farmers? When we think about farming as being a man’s arena, and I think we have for a long time, is it because we don’t see women as business owners and business leaders? Or is it the act of producing and driving tractors and doing all the other non-feminine things?”

In any case, Alexander doesn’t let others’ perceptions slow her down. “To say that I don’t encounter sexism in rural Mississippi would be ridiculous, but I think I get around a lot of it by being the kind of woman who lives outside normal gender roles anyway. I present myself more as a person who works. I’m usually muddy; I don’t pay a lot of attention to my appearance. Maybe that serves to

8 March 16-22, 2023
COVER STORY By Alex Greene PHOTOS (ABOVE) : COURTESY TUBBY CREEK FARM Celebrating women farmers of the Mid-South. PHOTO: COURTESY TUBBY CREEK FARM Josephine Alexander

make me seem more legitimate, especially now that we’ve been farming a while, and we’ve established ourselves as a successful farm. I don’t think anyone thinks twice about it. It’s accepted that women can be successful farmers. And certainly in the farming community, there’s lots of successful women.”

If sexism ever rears its ugly head, Alexander says, it’s most o en related to being a boss. “I have at times had to direct men who are not open to taking instruction from a woman, which led to bad results. It wasn’t because I was a farmer; it was because I was a woman. ese men were unwilling to see me in a leadership position, and then deferred to someone who didn’t know what they were talking about and ended up costing us extra money.” Yet even that issue is minimized by who tends to work for Tubby Creek. “Another interesting trend: We almost exclusively employ women. We just have more women apply. Certainly there are exceptions, but we get mostly women who work for us for multiple seasons.”

Beyond that, there is that special issue that women farmers with families face: motherhood. Yet the Alexanders have managed to raise their 5-year-old son Cooper with aplomb, partly because their farming methods were in place for years before Josephine’s pregnancy. “We made a lot of plans ahead of time and tried to think about the things on the farm that only I have the capacity to do. What can we do to make this so anyone could do this job? Because we didn’t know, never having had children, how much my mind would be in the game. Would my thinking be impaired, and for how long? Not only would we not have my labor; we also might not have my brain.”

As it turned out, Alexander credits motherhood with actually preserving her mental health. “Having a kid, for me, was really good in terms of putting things in balance,” she says. “On the one hand, I need to be out there farming. I need to get away from my kid, and from cooking. At the same time, I can’t be married to the farm. You can’t do crazy farm stu like you did in the early days, when you slept outside with the chickens or the goats. But I have a lot more balance in my life now because of Cooper. I can’t abuse myself for the farm. And I don’t want to because I don’t want him to resent farming as something that takes his mom away from him. I want it to be something he enjoys. So I think that having a kid has made me a better farmer.”


In contrast, Eva Brewer is both a single mother and a relative newcomer to farming. But she’s making it work as well, on her terms. When her career as a member of the local International Alliance of eatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) chapter was disrupted by Covid in 2020, she decided to add ower farming to her repertoire of income streams. “When I found out about

this house,” she recalls of nding a rental west of Millington, “and the prospect of having an acre of sunny land, I thought about growing vegetables. en I realized it’s just so complicated, ghting wildlife that’s eating the same things I eat. So I went with owers.”

Over the past three years, she’s made it work, despite having little help with childcare from the fathers of her two children.

“I want to tell them, ‘Co-parenting is a thing!’” she says. With a teenage girl and a

9-year-old boy, she relies on her experience as a “professional organizer” — another income stream — to keep up. “I’m all about timers. I time myself on everything because I have so much to do. I write out my plan for the day and follow a schedule. I’ll set my timer for 20 minutes to do

seedlings, and then I’m like, ‘Okay! Let’s do this!’”

She’s also developed a knack for creative marketing. “Last year I did farmers markets, but at one, I was directly across from another ower farmer and we had the same owers. And she was not friendly! So I got out of there and I got out of farmers markets. I started doing pop-up sales at co ee shops instead because there’s no one else — I’m the star. Another thing is ower crowns. I weave them and sell them at festivals and things. Which has been shockingly lucrative. I’ve also been making ceramic vases and stu on the wheel, to put owers in. It’s all about the hustle.”

Brewer notes that the isolation of country life is one challenge of farming as a single mom. While she has many neighbors only a stone’s throw away, she says people keep to themselves. And part of that is due to her ambiguous place in the local social order. “Once my truck got stuck,” she recalls. “Someone went by on a four wheeler and I agged him down. ‘Can you help me? Do you know anything about trucks?’ He said, ‘Ma’am, I’d love to help you, but my wife would be real unhappy with me if I sat here and talked to you.’ And he drove o ! Nobody trusts me because I don’t have a dude around. Yet there are also women around here that love to tell me about their miserable marriages. ey corner me because they see me as free. Which only makes their men hate me more.”

While Brewer is a stage hand adept at power tools and other skills, she nds the gender gap alive and well in the realm of farm equipment. “Machinery is a big problem on a woman-run farm,” she notes. “Getting it, keeping it up, using it, all of that is a problem for me. Just nding someone to work on the tiller is scary. It’s hard to know if you’re getting ripped o . ere are no women who do that. No one! It’s so weird. Why is that? Why are there no women small engine repair people?”

And yet she soldiers on. is weekend, March 18th, she’ll reopen a shop next to Cafe Eclectic near Rhodes College, having given it a trial run last fall, where she’ll be selling her owers, jewelry, and pottery. “ e shop is going to be called Eclectic Gi s, with owers brought to you by Blackspring Farms,” Brewer says. “I’m bringing in other people to sell there as well. Tara Henderson has all native plants and does landscaping. She sells both plants and landscaping plans. And Nancy Morrow also sells plants. She’s helped me out a lot, and she makes beautiful terrariums.” roughout all this, she has had one reliable partner: “When I moved in here I just had a little Jeep; then I bought this truck,” she says, pointing to her large pickup. “It’s my spirit animal.”


Brewer and Alexander, a single mother continued on page 10

PHOTO: ALEX GREENE Eva Brewer PHOTO: COURTESY DRIA AND HALIMA Dria Price and Halima Salazar PHOTO (RIGHT): EVA BREWER Flowers from Blackspring Farms

continued from page 9

and a mother with a nuclear family, are only two examples of a whole host of women farmers in the area. Down in Oxford, Mississippi, one can nd yet another variation on the theme: two married women who have pooled resources across their families’ separate plots of land to pursue a common vision. Dria Price and Halima Salazar own Justevia Teas, selling their custom blends at a local farmers market and at Oxford’s Chicory Market shop. For them, tea is not just an a erthought, but a way for sustainable agriculture to have impacts on health and well-being.

With Price’s roots in Mississippi and Salazar’s in Nigeria, they’re unlikely partners, but Oxford’s international appeal has brought them together. “We met the same farmer, but at di erent times,” recalls Price. “He invited us out to his farm, and we just happened to go to his farm on the same day. at’s when we met. His family had been farming that land for generations, all the way back to slavery. We did work on that farm for a couple of years, and then we decided to branch o and start our own thing. As we began to learn more about farming and the importance of regenerative agriculture, we realized that our missions didn’t necessarily align.”

For Salazar, learning how to farm partly involved remembering the practices of her grandfather, an herbalist and farmer known for using herbs to heal members of the community. “I came to the U.S. to go to college, and I eventually got married,” she recalls. “I didn’t think anything of agriculture at all, even when I was a child watching my grandfather. I was just processing it subliminally. en, as an adult, I went back home a er being in the U.S. 13 years.” at homecoming, she says, was transformative, as she saw her grandfather’s knowledge di erently. “I’m going, ‘Oh my gosh, these are the things that people are craving in other cultures, that I have all this access to.’ Plants growing in the wild, things you can just pick here and there to mix in your cooking. I missed that, being here [in the U.S.]. en I thought, ‘Now I’m going back to the U.S.; how can I take this knowledge back with me?’ at’s how I got back into agriculture.”

For her part, Price came to agriculture through her interest in nutrition. “I was nishing up my master’s in nutrition when Halima and I met,” she says. “I thought it was interesting, how you can give someone a bean and they might not even know what a bean plant looks like. We’re so disconnected from our food that people don’t know where it comes from.”

Unlike many local farmers, the two focus more on herbs for their custom

tea mixtures, but produce is also a part of their practice under their Gimbia’s Kitchen brand, through which they cater and host dining events (including one in Clarksdale on March 24th and 25th). It combines Salazar’s training as a chef and Price’s expertise in nutrition. “We grow a wide variety of herbs, mainly for the teas because that’s our biggest seller,” Price notes. “Last year we got into infused avocado oils. Some of the herbs and produce we grow, we also dry and infuse into our oils. We do produce for Gimbia’s Kitchen, like peppers, onions, tomatoes. And we use the herbs in that part of the business, too. We’re also seed keepers for a company called Truelove Seeds. eir mission is to connect people with seeds that are culturally relevant to them and their ancestors. So we’re growing a combination of Southern and West African seeds such as egusi, ewedu, Mississippi butter beans, white velvet okra — things that are very relevant to us and our culture.”

Beyond that, they’ve begun acting on a more international level. “Dria and I just started working with a farm in Nigeria, and we went there for about a month late last year,” says Salazar. “ eir goal is to help more young women and mothers become farmers and own land and make a pro t that can sustain their families.” is dovetails with their mission back at home as well. ese two women are playing the long game. As Salazar puts it, “I want my children and my greatgrandchildren to grow up seeing people like me growing their food because I think that represents who has ownership over food. It’s such an integral part of our lives. Being farmers is a massive responsibility that Dria and I take very seriously because we know that, being Black farmers, we are representing such a minute population in the country. And we want to be paid well as farmers so people can see they can make it as farmers. We want kids to grow up and say, ‘I want to do that.’ Because this helps hold families together. at’s our goal.”

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PHOTO: COURTESY DRIA AND HALIMA Justevia’s tea blends can be purchased bagged or loose.



Shelby County Department of Housing (SCDH) will hold public hearings to provide feedback on the proposed plans for Fiscal Year 2024 including the Annual Action Plan 5 (AP5, HUD Program Year 2023) and HOME-American Rescue Plan (ARP) Allocation Plan on ursday, April 13, 2023 at 12:00 pm and 5:30 pm and provide both inperson and virtual attendance options.

In Person Attendance Option: Shelby County Code Enforcement, Training Room, 6465 Mullins Station Road, Memphis, TN 38134. Attendees should enter the Code Enforcement Building through the Training Room entrance; upon walking up to the building, attendees will need to follow the signage that leads to the Training Room.

Virtual Attendance Option: A virtual option to join is also provided, and participants can join the meeting with a computer, tablet, or smartphone at or dialing in from a phone +1 (224) 501-3412, Access Code 169-900-933 at the above noted meeting time.

If you plan to attend the public hearing and have special needs, please contact the Department of Housing at (901) 222-7600 by 4:30 p.m. ursday, April 6, 2023 and we will work to accommodate you. Resident input and public participation are strongly encouraged. e proposed Annual Plan for July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 will be available for public review from April 1, 2023 through April 30, 2023 online at ese documents are accessible from a computer, smartphone, or tablet and are also available to access through public library branches in Shelby County including Benjamin L. Hooks Library Branch; Arlington Library Branch; Bartlett Library Branch; Collierville Library Branch; Germantown Library Branch; and Millington Library Branch and at SCDH o ce, located at 6465 Mullins Station Road, Memphis, TN 38134.

Overview: e consolidated planning process for FY 2020-2024 serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and community development priorities that align and focus funding from the Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula block grant programs Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program. e FY 2023 Annual Action Plan establishes within this broader Consolidated Plan (FY 2020-2024) the basis for the use of entitlement funds for the period of July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023. e primary purpose of this hearing is to receive comments on the proposed FY 2024 Annual Action Plan. Shelby County received notice of the formula allocations on February

28, 2023 for the upcoming program year. Shelby County expects to submit the Annual Plan for FY 2023 to HUD on or before May 15, 2023 following a 30-day review and comment period.

Budget Considerations: e above budget summary represents the formula allocations announced February 27, 2023. No expected changes from HUD are anticipated.

Allocation Plan: Shelby County Department of Housing has also prepared an Allocation Plan to utilize HOME American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds intended to assist individuals and households that are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, and other vulnerable populations. SCDH will provide an update on this process and highlight its approved Allocation Plan that was developed in coordination with community input and stakeholder engagement a er receiving notice HOME-ARP CPD-21-10 published September 2022. is public hearing serves as opportunity to share program initiatives and gather feedback on meeting the needs of any and all types of quali ed populations.

e hearing will also provide an update on current activities under the CDBG and HOME Programs, information on Section 3 contracting opportunities, and will provide information on other programs operated by SCDH.

Persons wishing to comment on the FY 2023 Annual Action Plan, HOME-ARP Allocation Plan, or the Substantial Amendment to the FY 2022 Annual Action Plan may do so by writing to Dana Sjostrom via email (, or written comment via mail to Shelby County Department of Housing, 6465 Mullins Station Road, Memphis, TN 38134. For additional information contact the Department of Housing at 901-222-7600 or TTY at 901-222-2300.

e Shelby County Department of Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. Equal opportunity/equal access provider.

Para mas información en Español, por favor llame Dana Sjostrom al 901-222-7601.

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We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Master Narrative

At a young age, Harmonia Rosales fell in love with the Renaissance masters who wove tales from Greco-Roman mythology and Christianity in their paintings. “ ey tell a full story, corner to corner, like a children’s book where you don’t have to really have the text,” she says. “You can almost look at the image and know this is what happened. When I was younger, though, I never looked at the image and thought, ‘Okay, this is the story of the Great Flood,’ or what have you. I would make up my own stories. It wasn’t until my daughter that I then became more aware of what was missing. When I had my daughter, it was like I was reborn almost, with these really innocent eyes. And when I took her to see these beautiful paintings that I fell in love with, she didn’t fall in love with them. … She was like, ‘ ey don’t look like me.’ It just hit me that I didn’t want her to feel like her hair wasn’t beautiful, her skin wasn’t beautiful.”

And so Rosales took to the canvas to give her daughter the representation she was missing in the Western Renaissance paintings that have been celebrated for centuries. As an Afro-Cuban American, she turned to the Lucumí religion of her ancestors. “ ese gods [of Greek and Roman mythology] are very similar to the orishas I grew up with all my life, but took for granted because I grew up with them,” she says. “ ere’s no real images I can nd on the internet, and so I was like, ‘Let me tell a story, where it’s easy for the masses to understand, but also add in our history.’ And then when I say our history it’s from people from the African diaspora, the Atlantic slave trade, our life, and how we survived through the gods and how the gods survived.”

At rst, her peers discouraged her from painting these stories centered around African and Black gures in the Renaissance style. Her advisors told her she wouldn’t be able to sell them, but Rosales didn’t care. is work made her happy. “To see us in there, our ancestors, our history in a format where it’s just as time-consuming, looks just like the Renaissance paintings — the priceless paintings, the most beautiful paintings of the world, can’t touch ’em, can’t buy ’em — I wanted to do that in order to empower us and see our history in the same light,” she says. “Inclusion, it’s all about inclusion. Seeing this is what I want for my children.”

Rosales intended these pieces to be public-facing, wanting to reach as broad of an audience as possible just as the Renaissance masters she reimagines and reinvents have achieved. And thanks to the Brooks, she is one step closer to that goal as her rst solo museum exhibition, outside of her home state California, opened last week. Titled “Master Narrative,” the exhibition contains over 20 breathtaking paintings completed over the past few years. e exhibit will be on display through June 25th, with museum programming throughout its run. Learn more at



St. Patrick’s Day at Celtic Crossing

Celtic Crossing Irish Pub, Friday, March 17, 9 a.m.-2 a.m.

Public service announcement to save you from public embarrassment and unwelcome pinching: Remember to wear green this Friday. And while you’re at it, remember to head on over to Celtic Crossing for your St. Patty’s Day shenanigans.

e Cooper-Young St. Patrick’s Day Parade commences at 10 a.m., and music at Celtic Crossing begins at 11 a.m. and lasts till 2 a.m. Performing will be Crossing Chunes, Blu City Backsliders, Shakermaker, Twin Soul, and DJ Tree. Bagpipers from Memphis Pipes, decked out in their nest kilts, are also set to play at various times during the day, and Irish dancers will perform in the evening.

Cherry Blossom Picnic

Memphis Botanic Garden, Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free with admission

Ring, ring, ring, spring is calling, and it’s time to say hello with Memphis Botanic Garden’s annual Cherry Blossom Picnic.

e day will be all about Japanese culture. Attendees can enjoy familyfriendly activities including creating kimono dolls and koi windsocks, and learning shodo name writing and origami. e event also features performances by 901 Taiko, a koto performance from Maika Yamaoka, a tea ceremony demonstration, and guided tours of the Japanese Garden from horticulturist Robin Howell. Plus, there’ll be Asian-inspired food trucks on-site for a picnic lunch, and a signature cocktail and other spring spirits will be available from the cash bar.

Artist Trading Cards Memphis Inaugural Event

Wiseacre Brewing Company, Sunday, March 19, 2-5 p.m. Baseball cards? Pokemon cards? Cards with Garbage Pail Kids?

P t, those don’t compare to the next big thing that this group of local artists is up to: original art that you can t in your pocket.

For this event, several artists have created a ordable art for collectors to buy and trade as they please. Prices start as low as $10 (!). And if you happen to have any 2.5-by-3.5inch original works of art, feel free to bring it and make some trades with other art collectors.

Participating artists include Michelle Fair, Keiko Gonzalez, Mary Jo Karimnia, Tad Lauritzen Wright, Sara Moseley, Alex Paulus, Nick Pena, Matias Paradela, and maybe you.

14 March 16-22, 2023 2166 Central Ave. Memphis TN 38104 march 18th chinese connection dub embassy Live music at march 17th Lucky 7 brass band march 23 Jackie Venson march 25 Joslyn and The Sweet compression april 13 The reverend peyton’s big damn band april 21 soul rebels april 23 Zach person april 27 Ray Wylie hubbard april 30 Band of heathens

Peabody Records Flies Again

Selvidge family boutique imprint is back on the scene.

As anyone who read the recent music feature about MEM_MODS might have gathered, Peabody Records, the boutique imprint label founded in 1976 by the late singer/ songwriter Sid Selvidge, is once again releasing albums a er a decades-long hibernation. Naturally, this revival is being guided by Sid’s son, Steve Selvidge, the guitarist extraordinaire best known for his work with e Hold Steady and, more locally, Sons of Mudboy and Big Ass Truck.

Recently, the Memphis Flyer and the younger Selvidge took a deep dive into the ongoing vinyl revival during a 2022 interview centered on the vagaries of the small label game. Peabody has always been the epitome of the Memphis specialty record company, o ering but a few releases that nonetheless had a global impact in their day. In that sense, the humble label that Sid Selvidge launched 47 years ago, with its oddball duck logo reinforcing the “Peabody” connection (and echoing the classic Bluebird Records label of the 1930s), is the grandfather of today’s many independent imprints like Goner, Black & Wyatt, Blast Habit, Back to the Light, and others.

“Peabody was always a bespoke, curated label,” says Steve Selvidge. “A ‘we’re not going to worry about what you look like or how many units you’re going to shi ’ kind of thing. It was just what piqued my dad’s interest.”

of Christopher Idylls by Gimmer Nicholson. Well before Light in the Attic or anyone else put anything out. My understanding was that Terry [Manning] and Gimmer cut that stu in the ’60s, and it never found a home. So when my dad was up and rolling with Peabody, he was like, ‘Well, I’ve got the machine in place. I’ll put it out.’”

Later, Steve Selvidge-related projects like Big Ass Truck and Secret Service were released on CD, as were reissues of Like Flies on Sherbert. But MEM_MODS Vol. 1 marks the label’s rst vinyl product since 1986. And, according to Selvidge, the two projects — the label and the ad hoc band — went hand in hand.

at philosophy led Peabody to release some very unconventional material indeed, most famously Alex Chilton’s trash-rock masterpiece Like Flies on Sherbert. During the label’s 10-year heyday on vinyl, other releases included Sid Selvidge’s e Cold Of e Morning, Waiting On a Train, and Live LPs; Crawpatch’s Trailer Park Weekend; Cybill Shepherd’s Vanilla; and Paul Cra Warnings! by — you guessed it — Paul Cra .

And there’s one album that the younger Selvidge is particularly proud of: “Peabody had the rst vinyl release

A er he’d mixed tracks that he’d recorded during quarantine with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and Paul Taylor (New Memphis Colorways), Selvidge says, “We realized, ‘We’ve got a record!’ And we were very enthusiastic about it. But trying to see who could put it out became an endless conversation that was going nowhere, until I nally said, ‘You know what? I’ll just end this conversation and put it out. I’ll take it from here.’”

Getting back to the nuts and bolts of vinyl production and distribution

came naturally. “It turns out, I do know some things,” says Selvidge, “and I’ve got the stu together. We didn’t spend any money on the recording; we just did it ourselves. And once I had a project to do, that got the ball rolling with Peabody. Before that, I was always like, ‘Man, I should do that.’ Getting started was the hardest part; the inertia was so great. But the enthusiasm for MEM_MODS became a catalyst to get the whole label moving, nally. I was intrigued by the idea of, rather than saying, ‘Hey, I started up the label; here’s my dad’s records!’ saying instead, ‘Hey, we’re coming back with something new.’”

Now that the ball is rolling, or the duck is ying, as the case may be, look for reissues from deep within the Peabody catalog, and what Selvidge calls “other projects that I’ve been putting o .” Given his famously farung collaborations, those projects could be very interesting indeed.

“Once I had a project to do, that got the ball rolling with Peabody. … Getting started was the hardest part.”
PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE SELVIDGE Steve Selvidge with copies of Peabody Records’ latest release and rst release, 47 years apart.

CALENDAR of EVENTS: March 16 -


“Black Alchemy: Backwards/Forwards


A solo exhibition by photographer Aaron Turner. Through March 18.


“From the Studio”

Carl E. Moore’s response to the Tennessee Triennial theme of Repair. Through April 29.


Art, Cocktails and Conversation for the Art Curious

Enjoy and learn more about the artwork on view! Saturday, March 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Artist Trading Cards Memphis (ATCM)

At this event, you can buy and trade small works of original art at affordable prices. Sunday, March 19, 2-5 p.m.




Kathleen Madigan

Comedian Kathleen Madigan brings her tour to Memphis. $39.50-$69.50. Saturday, March 18, 8 p.m.


COMMUNITY Walkin’ In Memphis & Celebration for World Down Syndrome Day

Join Josh Greer as he concludes his 21-mile Down syndrome awareness walk with a celebration.

Tuesday, March 21, 5 p.m.



Sanson and Me

A reflection on migration, the notion of family, what it means to see one’s life on film, and the harshness and injustice of the U.S. prison system. Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m.


St. Patrick’s Day S**TFEST: Leprechaun in the Hood & Leprechaun in Space

Time for a few drinks, a few laughs, and a straight descent into some of the dumbest and funnest movies to ever be inspired by the Emerald Isle: the Leprechaun films. Friday, March 17, 6 p.m.


The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation

620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For


Memphis Botanic Garden hosts its annual Cherry Blossom Picnic this Saturday to welcome the season of spring.


Rainbow Rumble

Rainbow Rumble is a once-a-month drag and performer competition hosted by Moth Moth Moth. Saturday, March 18, 8 p.m.


The Magic of Michael Grandinetti

Legendary magic plots of levitation, escapes, sawing in half, teleportation, and more will be reimagined. Saturday, March 18, 7:30 p.m.



Cherry Blossom Picnic

Enjoy lunch from an Asian-inspired food trucks, take a tour through the Japanese Garden, participate in traditional Japanese crafts and games, and enjoy performances and demonstrations.

Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


St. Patrick’s Day at Celtic Crossing

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the pub. Friday, March 17, 9 a.m.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade

This year’s theme is Irish Heroes. Friday, March 17, 10 a.m.-noon.


St. Patty’s Day Celebration

Live music, games, raffles, and $3 green beer all day. Friday, March 17, noon-10 p.m.



Grizzlies vs. Dallas Mavericks

Monday, March 20, 7 p.m.


Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors

Saturday, March 18, 7 p.m.


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets

Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m.


3 Fabric in theater curtains

4 Whole bunch

5 Instinctual

6 Detangle

7 Fifth-century military leader

8 Athlete/model Gabrielle

9 Beverage marketed as a blend of 23 different flavors

10 Bartlett alternative

11 Its highest score is 5, in brief

12 “Want help?”

13 Uncaged, perhaps

14 Fidget spinners or Furbys, once

24 Heavenly instrument

26 Pages, e.g.

27 An early withdrawal from this incurs a penalty, in brief

28 “The ___!” (insulted person’s cry)

30 Musician who won the 2016 Nobel Prize

Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year).

Read about and comment on each puzzle:


Freckleface Strawberry

Freckleface finds out what makes everyone special. Through April 15.


Lonely Plant

Written at the height of the AIDS epidemic, this play tells the story of two gay men who are forced to pay attention to the world around them. $20. Through March 19.


The Play That Goes Wrong

A play within a play with actors missing cues, breaking character and the fourth wall. Where could disaster befall? Through March 26.



The Irish & Scots of Elmwood Cemetery

Celebrate the lives of the Irish and Scottish people who created the city we live in. $5. Thursday, March 16, noon-12:30 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY

16 March 16-22, 2023
22 Send the date, time, place, cost, info,
a brief
and photos — two weeks
advance — to
ACROSS 1 Skintight swimwear for a surfer 10 National park west of Calgary 15 Bump into 16 Works 17 It’s a start 18 Participant in a joust 19 Issue 20 See 34-Across 21 Grant 22 ___ home 23 Non-English letter used in set theory 25 ___ Blakely, Spanx founder and self-made billionaire 27 Old TV actress Swenson 29 Noodle dish served with bean sprouts 31 Treat rarely prepared indoors 34 With 20-Across, “Well done!” 35 + 36 Winter event near a beach 40 Event studied in eschatology, with “the” 41 Beef alternative 42 Aconcagua is its highest point 43 Hose, e.g. 45 Word before and after “a” 47 Heavenly instrument 48 So-called “hippiemobile,” for short 50 Place where mud and stones might be found 53 Where many snowbirds winter, for short 55 Some crust contents 56 Protest loudly 57 Noted name in whiskey 58 Symbol of time elapsed in “Beauty and the Beast” 60 Extraordinarily 61 “Well done,” in Italian 62 Landlady on “I Love Lucy” 63 When to go on a run DOWN 1 Direct 2 Jungian principle
in Literature
Give a breather
Where cash goes to waist?
Mature, as a forest
___-de-Marne (French department)
Wally’s sitcom brother, with “the”
Mental notes?
Game with a four-colored deck
Clichéd company claim
Breakfast bowlful
Doesn’t leave hungry
Upright, maybe
Actor Alfie of “Game of Thrones”
Asia’s shrunken ___ Sea
Platinumcertified country album of 1988
Poet who wrote “We loved with a love that was more than love”
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE 1234567891011121314 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 2425 26 2728 2930 313233 34 35 36 3738 39 40 41 42 43 44 4546 47 4849 505152 53 5455 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
Friday, January 17, 2020



Jean Merritt of Philadelphia has a special knack for spreading goodwill. She writes letters. According to Philadelphia magazine, Merritt solicits mailing addresses and then responds with a handwritten (“in meticulous cursive”) letter on captivating stationery. Her missive to reporter Victor Fiorillo mentioned that she has an overabundance of writing papers and postcards. “I’ve been writing letters since I was a little girl, and never stopped,” Merritt said. Along with requested letters, she writes to people in nursing homes through Letters Against Isolation and to people in prisons. “My mother collected stationery, and I’m still using the stationery I found in her house when she died in 2011. … I see stationery on clearance, and I can’t resist it.” Sadly, she said most people don’t write her back. But, she noted, “Doing this is also just really good for my brain.” [Philadelphia magazine, 2/2/2023]

Suspicions Confirmed

Varsity basketball coach Jahmal Street and assistant coach Arlisha Boykins were fired from their positions at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, after Boykins, 22, came off the bench as a sub in a Jan. 21 girls’ JV game, The Washington Post reported. The girl who was unavailable for the game was 13 years old. As a result of the incident, the team’s remaining games were canceled. Churchland investigated and held meetings with players and parents. “Coaches always preach to kids about integrity … so I was just shocked,” the father of the absent player said. He said his daughter will not attend Churchland next year.

[Washington Post, 2/1/2023]

Unclear on the Concept

Musa Hasahya Kasera, 68, has a problem, but he admits it stems from his own irresponsibility, Yahoo! News reported. The eastern Ugandan man has 12 wives, 102 children, and 578 grandchildren. “At first it was a joke,” he said, “but now this has its problems. … Two of my wives left because I could not afford the basics like food, education, clothing.” Most of the family live in a house with a rusting corrugated iron roof on a mere two acres of land. “I can only remember the name of my first and the last born, but some of the

children, I can’t recall their names,” Kasera lamented. Now his wives are using contraception; “I have learnt from my irresponsible act of producing so many children that I can’t look after,” he said. Horse, meet barn door.

[Yahoo! News, 2/2/2023]

Americans Abroad

American animal rights activist Alicia Day, 34, was arrested in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 1, according to Reuters, after she paraded a calf through Red Square, shouting, “Animals are not food!” In a Russian court, she was fined 20,000 rubles ($285) and sentenced to 13 days of “administrative arrest.” Although Day is in Russia on a tourist visa, she explained in court that she had a driver bring the calf to Red Square, so she could “show it a beautiful place in our beautiful country.”

[Reuters, 2/1/2023]

A 34-year-old California man was arrested in Florence, Italy, on Jan. 26 after he drove his rented Fiat onto the Ponte Vecchio, a stone bridge dating from 1345 that spans the Arno River and is now a pedestrian walkway and shopping destination. SFGATE reported that the unnamed driver told police he couldn’t find parking and didn’t realize he was on the historic bridge. He was fined about 500 euros.

[SFGATE, 1/31/2023]


The Rhode Island Department of Health played along with the Cumberland, Rhode Island, police department after it received a request from a little girl for DNA testing on a partially eaten cookie and some gnawed-on carrot sticks, the Associated Press reported. She was hoping for a conclusive match for Santa Claus, but alas, the department said it was unable to “definitively confirm or refute the presence of Santa” in her home. However, it did find DNA closely matching Rangifer tarandus, or reindeer, on the carrots.

[AP, 1/24/2023]

News of the Weird is now a podcast on all major platforms! To find out more, visit


© 2023 Andrews McMeel Syndication. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Entertainment by Donna Wolf, Violinist Pet caricatures by Greg Cravens

Tickets available at the Shelter or by calling 901-826-7123

Now On Sale • Order Yours Today! 901.537.2500 • Light Refreshments Will be Served Saturday 3.25.23 5-7pm The Pickering Center • 7771 Poplar Pike, Germantown TN
in Advance $20 $25 at the Door
Wines from
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the Germantown Animal Shelter
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): I highly recommend the following experiences: 1. ruminating about what you learned in a relationship that ended — and how those lessons might be useful now; 2. ruminating about a beloved place you once regarded as home — and how the lessons you learned while there might be inspiring now; 3. ruminating about a riddle that has long mystified you — and how clarifying insights you receive in the coming weeks could help you finally understand it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For “those who escape hell,” wrote Charles Bukowski, “nothing much bothers them after that.” Believe it or not, Taurus, I think that in the coming weeks, you can permanently escape your own personal version of hell — and never, ever have to return. I offer you my congratulations in advance. One strategy that will be useful in your escape is this idea from Bukowski: “Stop insisting on clearing your head — clear your f*cking heart instead.”

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini paleontologist Louis Agassiz (1807–1883) was a foundational contributor to the scientific tradition. Among his specialties was his hands-on research into the mysteries of fossilized fish. Though he was meticulously logical, he once called on his nightly dreams to solve a problem he faced. Here’s the story: A potentially crucial specimen was largely concealed inside a stone. He wanted to chisel away the stone to get at the fossil, but was hesitant to proceed for fear of damaging the treasure inside. On three successive nights, his dreams revealed to him how he should approach the work. This information proved perfectly useful. Agassiz hammered away at the slab exactly as his dreams suggested and freed the fossilized fish. I bring this marvel to your attention, Gemini, because I suspect that you, too, need to carve or cut away an obstruction that is hiding something valuable. Can you get help from your dreams? Yes, or else in deep reverie or meditation.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Will you flicker and sputter in the coming weeks, Cancerian? Or will you spout and surge? That is, will you be enfeebled by barren doubts, or will you embolden yourself with hearty oaths? Will you take nervous sips or audacious guzzles? Will you hide and equivocate, or else reveal and pounce? Dabble gingerly or pursue the joy of mastery? I’m here to tell you that which fork you take will depend on your intention and your willpower, not on the caprices of fate. So which will it be: Will you mope and fritter or untangle and illuminate?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I applaud psychologists who tell us how important it is to feel safe. One of the most crucial human

rights is the confidence that we won’t be physically or emotionally abused. But there’s another meaning of safety that applies to those of us who yearn to express ourselves creatively. Singer-songwriter David Bowie articulated the truth: “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re in the right place to do something exciting.” I think this is a wise strategy for most of us, even those who don’t identify as artists. Almost everyone benefits from being imaginative and inventive and even a bit daring in their own particular sphere. And this will be especially applicable to you in the coming weeks, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You are in the sweet, deep phase of the Receiving Season. And so you have a right and a duty to show the world you are ready and available to be blessed with what you need and want. I urge you to do everything necessary to become a welcoming beacon that attracts a wealth of invigorating and healing influences. For inspiration, read this quote by author John Steinbeck: “It is so easy to give, so exquisitely rewarding. Receiving, on the other hand, if it be well done, requires a fine balance of selfknowledge and kindness. It requires humility and tact and great understanding of relationships. … It requires a self-esteem to receive — a pleasant acquaintance and liking for oneself.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran poet

E.E. Cummings wrote that daffodils “know the goal of living is to grow.” Is his sweet sentiment true? I would argue it’s only partially accurate. I believe that if we want to shape our destinies with courage and creativity, we need to periodically go through phases of decay and decline. They make periods of growth possible. So I would say, “The goal of life is to grow and wither and grow and wither and grow.” Is it more fun to grow than to wither? Maybe. But sometimes, withering is educational and necessary. Anyway, Libra, I suspect you are finishing a time of withering and will soon embark on a series of germinations and blossoms.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): All of us have elements of genius. Every person on the planet possesses at least one special talent or knack that is a gift to others. It could be subtle or unostentatious, like a skill for communicating with animals or for seeing what’s best in people. Or maybe it’s more spectacular, like composing beautiful music or raising children to be strong and compassionate. I mention this, Scorpio, because the coming weeks will be an excellent time to identify your

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In describing her process, Piscean sculptor Anne Truitt wrote, “The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one’s own most intimate sensitivity.” I propose that many Pisceans, both artists and non-artists, can thrive from living like that. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to give yourself to such an approach with eagerness and devotion. I urge you to think hard and feel deeply as you ruminate on the question of how to work steadfastly along the nerve of your own most intimate sensitivity.

unique genius in great detail — and then nurture it and celebrate it in every way you can imagine.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The emblem associated with Sagittarius is an archer holding a bow with the arrow pointed upwards. This figure represents your tribe’s natural ambition to always aim higher. I bring this to your attention because your symbolic quiver is now full of arrows. But what about your bow? Is it in tip-top condition? I suggest you do some maintenance. Is the bow string in perfect shape? Are there any tiny frays? Has it been waxed recently? And what about the grip? Are there any small cracks or wobbles? Is it as steady and stable as it needs to be? I have one further suggestion as you prepare for the target-shooting season. Choose one or at most two targets to aim at rather than four or five.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): It’s prime time to feel liberated from the urge to prove yourself to anyone. It’s a phase when your self-approval should be the only kind of approval you need, a period when you have the right to remove yourself from any situation that is weighed down with gloomy confusion or apathetic passivity. This is exciting news! You have an unprecedented opportunity to recharge your psychic batteries and replenish your physical vitality.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I suspect you can now accomplish healthy corrections without getting tangled up in messy karma. Here are my recommendations:

1. As you strive to improve situations that are awry or askew, act primarily out of love rather than guilt or pity. 2. Fight tenderly in behalf of beautiful justice, but don’t fight harshly for ugly justice. 3. Ask yourself how you might serve as a kind of divine intervention in the lives of those you care about — and then carry out those divine interventions.

18 March 16-22, 2023

Mud Bug Master

Glaze Hardage cooking craw sh is as much a harbinger of spring as da odils, king cakes, and baseball spring training.

Unless it rains, Hardage cooks craw sh and shrimp outdoors on Saturdays at Max’s Sports Bar and, beginning March 19th, on Sundays at Lo in Yard.

Describing his opening March 4th craw sh boil at Max’s, Hardage says, “We sold everything we had. We did 150 pounds of craw sh and 60 pounds of shrimp.”

Now is prime time for craw sh, Hardage says. “Craw sh season is between Super Bowl Sunday to the end of May.”

A West Memphis, Arkansas, native, Hardage grew up with craw sh. He liked the taste of the spicy craw sh, but, he says, “Having that little lobster in front of you, there was something cool about that as a kid.”

Hardage learned early on how to eat

craw sh. “One of my friends taught me back when I was younger. He said, ‘You just gotta pinch the tail and suck the head.’ So, you twist the tail away from the body and kind of pull it. And it will separate the tail from the rest of the body. And then you can suck the head for the juice and spice and avor that are inside of that craw sh.”

You basically only eat the tail meat unless the claws are big. en you “can get some meat out of them as well.”

Hardage perfected his craw sh cooking skills when he was in Kappa Alpha fraternity at Arkansas State University. Some fraternity brothers taught him how necessary it was to get the craw sh good and clean. “And then you want to get your water hot and season it with a crab boil seasoning and lemons, onions, garlic, butter, and some hot sauce.

“Once you get the water seasoned and to a boil, you add your craw sh. And once you add your craw sh, you give it a stir and you wait till your water comes back to a boil. I would say light

boil. And then you cut it o . And you want to either put some ice or some frozen corn or something in that water to drop that water temperature. Because what that does is it shocks that shell sh and makes it kind of absorb that avor and sink to the bottom of the pot.”

He then lets the craw sh soak for about 20 to 30 minutes to absorb the avor. “A er that, you dump them in the cooler and you’re ready to go.”

Hardage experimented with di erent techniques over the years. Like “adding a little bit more cayenne and celery salt and stu like that to increase the avor and the heat.”

He began cooking at Max’s about eight years ago. “My wife works at the Arcade. We would hang out at Max’s.”

Owner Max Lawhon asked what Hardage thought about doing craw sh

boils at Max’s. “We started o boiling a couple of sacks.”

It “blew up” the next year with about 300 people showing up at his rst boil that season. “Word kind of got out, I think. We moved down into the pit area behind the bar and set up more tables and chairs. And it was a big party.”

He and his buddies, Ricky O’Rourke and Dax Nichols, team up to do the boils each week.

Hardage added shrimp because it’s “a little less spicy than the craw sh. We’ve got people that don’t really care for craw sh ’cause they say it’s a lot of work for a little bit of meat. e shrimp is more bang for your buck, if you will. More meat, less work. Whereas, I believe craw sh is a labor of love.”

And, you might say, Hardage is his own best customer. “I always have to test out the craw sh every batch I pull to make sure I know what I’m doing.”

Max’s Sports Bar is at 115 G.E. Patterson Avenue. Lo in Yard is at 7 West Carolina Avenue.

PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE Glaze Hardage Glaze Hardage cooks craw sh at Max’s and Lo in Yard.
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History of the World, Part II

Mel Brooks is the king of the dad joke. e 96-year-old writer/director/producer comes by it honest. He cut his comic teeth in the Catskill mountains of New York, where former vaudevillians could make a good living doing stand-up comedy for the mostly Jewish New Yorkers who would ee the city in the summer for a weekend at a lake resort. He was there at the beginning of TV comedy — his rst gig was in 1949, writing jokes for Sid Caesar on the now-defunct DuMont Network.

e Catskills style of comedy was quick, broad, and punchy. Designed to keep the attention of vacationers on their third martini, it translated well to television. One of the running bits Brooks did with his friend and cowriter Carl Reiner was “ e 2000 Year Old Man.” Reiner would ask questions about historical events, and Brooks would crack wise about meeting Jesus or the Dark Ages.

e bit, which always killed, would eventually evolve into the 1981 lm, History of the World, Part I. In the episodic skit lm, narrated by Orson Welles, Brooks plays four di erent characters — Moses, a greek philosopher named Comicus, the Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, and King Louis XVI. Brooks was coming o of a decade when he made some of history’s greatest comedies, like Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles

History of the World, Part I never quite reaches those heights, but it has some glorious moments, like Moses dropping one of the stone tablets God gave him and quickly revising the number of commandments from 15 to 10. History of the World, Part I was kept alive through endless reruns on cable TV,

but Brooks always denied he intended to do a Part II — the number was part of the joke.

en, almost 40 years later, Hulu picked up History of the World, Part II. e concept works much better as a 30-minute sketch show than it did as a lm. At 96, Brooks is more about attracting good collaborators than oneman-banding it. Wanda Sykes, Nick Kroll, and Ike Barinholtz produce and replace Brooks in the multi-role role.

e Mindy Project’s David Stassen is the showrunner, and the writing sta is enormous. In the rst episode, William Shakespeare pays a visit to his writers room, where a new recruit tries to hide that she’s actually a woman — a selfaware commentary on how this kind of traditional comedy has long been made.

Teasing away Borscht Belt comedy’s sexism and homophobia while keeping

its vital technical aspects and still allowing some raunch is di cult, but for the most part, Brooks and co. are up to it. Brooks’ comedy was always deeply anti-racist, and episode 1 closes with the show’s brain trust posing as TV announcers at the Olympics commenting on “Hitler on Ice,” the infamous one-o gag that closed History of the World, Part I. Any comedy nerd worth their tight ve would give their schwartz to work with Brooks, so the show is studded with cameos. Jack Black slays as Stalin, who gets a musical number in the multi-episode story arc about the Russian Revolution that somehow combines Fiddler on the Roof with Reds. In a stroke of casting genius, comedian and national treasure George Wallace plays racist governor George Wallace opposite Wanda Sykes as Congress-

woman Shirley Chisholm. Seth Rogen is fun as Noah, who thinks God’s “two of every kind” plan is a lot of hassle, so he just collects an ark full of cute dogs instead.

Brooks has always been a “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” kind of guy, and History of the World, Part II is wildly uneven. e extended story of Ulysses S. Grant (Ike Barinholtz) trying to nd a drink is tedious, until it ends with a big musical number. If you’re a Brooks fan, or if you’re really missing Drunk History, History of the World, Part II is for you.

History of the World, Part II is streaming on Hulu.

Mel Brooks has still got it.
Jack Black plays a singing Stalin in History of the World, Part II.

Our critic picks the best films in theaters.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

When young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) says the magic words, he becomes Shazam (Zachary Levi), one of the OG superheroes who, many lawsuits ago, used to be called Captain Marvel. Now, he’s the star of the DC property that is the most fun, and we’ve got Memphis screenwriter Henry Gayden to thank for that. This time around, Shazam and his super-team take on the Daughters of Atlas, including Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu.

Scream VI

Wes Craven’s meta-horror just won’t die — this one made more money opening weekend than any of the previ-

ous five, which means we’ll be screaming for the indefinite future. They can thank spooky teen sensation Jenna Ortega for that one.


Willem Dafoe is an art thief who gets in way over his head when he accidentally locks himself inside a high-security New York penthouse. As he tries to get out with the art intact, things go from weird to bad.

Creed III

Jonathan Majors hits hard as Adonis Creed’s rival in Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut. The actor/director steps into Stallone’s boots to create a minor classic of the sports movie genre. Watch for the anime-inspired climax!



21st, 2023

Alcohol kills on average 95,000 Americans every year. Tobacco related deaths average 480,000 per year.

Once again, meth is back on the scene in full force and taking over US cities. Even recreational drug use is more dangerous than ever. Hear from local experts about current data and find out what we can do to help prevent unnecessary ATOD related deaths.

Students, Teachers, Therapists, School Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Peer Specialists, Addiction & Mental Health Professionals, Treatment Centers, Churches, Outreach Ministries, Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Law Enforcement, Judges, Media Representatives, Individuals In Recovery & Families


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or Malco

MLM Medical Labs

Volunteers to donate blood for a research study.

MLM Medical Labs is currently seeking Volunteers to donate blood for a research study.

MLM Medical Labs is currently seeking Volunteers to donate blood for a research study.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 80, weigh more than 110lbs, and are currently taking a blood thinner such as Aspirin, Brilinta, Eliquis, Lovenox, Plavix or Xarelto, or have been diagnosed with Kidney Disease, you may be eligible to participate.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 80, weigh more than 110lbs, and are currently taking a such as Aspirin, Brilinta, Eliquis, Lovenox, Plavix or been diagnosed with Kidney Disease, you may be eligible

This is a blood collection study only. No drug treatment will be provided.

Participants will be paid for blood donation.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 80, weigh more than 110lbs, and are currently taking a blood thinner such as Brilinta, Eliquis, Lovenox, Plavix and Aspirin, Xarelto, or Coumadin, you may be eligible to participate.

This is a blood collection study only. No drug treatment

For more information, call: 901-866-1705

Participants will be paid for blood donation.

This is a blood collection study only. No drug treatment will be provided.

For more information, call: 901-866-1705

Participants will be paid for blood donation.

For more information, call: 901-866-1705

This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. ($25 FEE) SHOP & SHIP Gift Cards & Gourmet Popcorn
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Wokeness Equals Kindness

Placing kindness in the foreground of our thinking can lead to a spiritual renewal.

“Wokeness” is what folks on the political right love to declare themselves as being against these days. But, what is it, really, that they oppose?

e term “woke” was derived from African American Vernacular English meaning alertness to racial prejudice. For those who have used the term positively, something I am not sure anyone actually does anymore, its meaning evolved to encompass awareness of other social inequities and forms of oppression such as sexism, misogyny, white privilege, the oppression of any minority person or community, and human and environmental predations of exploitative corporations. is is sometimes called “intersectionality,” another term that is o en denigrated.

e opposite of “wokeness” could be characterized as indi erence by those with privileged status to the su ering of others.

is is not to dismiss the criticisms of wokeness as excessive sensitivity to language anyone might nd o ensive and the demand that everyone change their usage to conform to the prerogatives of anyone who alleges o ense. Belittling and harshly calling out others in the name of wokeness is itself not woke at all.

For those on the right it has become a generalized pejorative, almost an expletive for any attitudes they attribute to those who see the patterns of oppressions in the world di erently than they do, who strive to bring those oppressions out of the darkness of ignorance, to ease the despair of those who dwell under their yoke, to contemplate how these cultural oppressions can be remedied, and to actively work to actualize those remediations. It is a placeholder term for rejection of thinking about both history and current social realities outside of the narrow descriptive con nes of the dominant biases most of us were indoctrinated with as children.

For an obvious illustration, we all learned about George Washington’s courage, dignity, and leadership. How much did we learn about his immense wealth which was largely comprised by the market value of the people he owned and traded as commodities whose freedom was not even accorded to them upon his death in his will? Emphasize that and you are “woke” and therefore wicked. Real education requires actual history, not an attempt to erase the mistakes made or the harms done to groups of people. When teaching actual history is branded as woke and therefore bad, our children are denied the truth that can make future mistakes much less likely.

In the words of the o cial transcript of his speech on January 3rd, Ron DeSantis, the ambitious culture warrior governor of Florida, said, “We reject this woke ideology. We seek normalcy, not philosophical lunacy! We will not allow reality, facts, and truth to become optional. We will never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die!” (Note the “royal we” and the exclamation points.) And yet, his own general counsel de ned wokeness as “the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.” So, why the crusade against this? DeSantis even decries socially responsible investing as “woke capitalism.” Some people prefer to invest their money in corporations that treat workers decently, value and promote women and minorities equitably, respect the environment and avoid polluting and try to ameliorate catastrophic climate change, do not produce assault weapons for civilian use or addicting products. But according to DeSantis and those of his ilk, this is “woke capitalism” and nearly half the states have passed resolutions or legislation forbidding pension fund managers from making investment decisions based upon environmental, social, or governance principles or any other concerns other than where they can make the most money free of any other values.

Elon Musk called socially responsible investing “the devil incarnate.” I guess that’s what “woke” is to these folks.

When I hear or read someone put down “wokeness,” I perform a simultaneous mental translation and substitute “kindness” for “wokeness” and this clari es their actual sentiment. Simple kindness: a recognition that we are all in our essential human nature of the same kind and it is imperative that we recognize we have far more similarities to one another than di erences between us, with equal entitlement to the essentials of a healthy and comfortable life, safety in our communities, and a sustainable environment in which to live and to bequeath to those who follow on. To oppose wokeness is to oppose all of this in preference for unbounded sel shness, tribalism, and the preservation of privilege for the few.

Kindness and its cousins — sympathy, compassion, and the recognition that we are all in this together — are not always so easy to practice, but they are the only antidotes to sel shness and ceding power to demagogues who would turn us against one another and exploit our di erences to extract power for themselves. Standing up to bullies requires courage and doing so is most noble when it is someone else who is being bullied, when your privileged position allows you to simply stand by and watch in silence, or skulk away. Kindness is not passive. It o en requires bravery.

Placing kindness in the foreground of our thinking, including opening to all the facts of our shared heritage, even those that may make some of us feel uncomfortable, can lead to a spiritual renewal. Opposing equal rights for those who may in some respect di er from us is not just anti-wokeness, it is anti-kindness. Jonathan Klate writes regularly about spirituality, political ideology, and the relationship between these two.

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