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OUR 1674TH ISSUE 03.25.21 Did you read the online Vanity Fair article about a few Memphis Country Club types who supposedly took a private jet to Washington, D.C., on January 6th, to help “stop the steal” and participate in that day’s fun-filled and riotous activities at the nation’s Capitol building? The story, by Abigail Tracy, was called, A PRIVATE JET OF RICH TRUMPERS WANTED TO “STOP THE STEAL”— BUT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO READ THIS. Not exactly a subtle headline, or even a good one, but it got circulated like the hot gossip it was, fueled by viral Memphis social media reposts and tweets. The story was classic “helicopter journalism,” in which an out-of-town reporter touches down (in the land of the Delta blues, in this case), scrapes together a little history, (shaky) local geography, racial demographics, some socio-economic tropes pulled from helpful local academics, and uses them to underpin what is basically an anonymously sourced story about something possibly outrageous that may have happened. What we do know — and VF reported accurately, via flight logs — is that a jet owned by wealthy Memphis businessman John Dobbs flew to D.C. and back on January 6th. A photo of Dobbs and a group of seven others posing beside that plane was posted for a brief time on an Instagram account of one of the alleged passengers under the tag @memphispatriots. It quickly spread in certain circles. The presumption being that these eight Memphis bluebloods boarded the plane and flew to D.C. to participate in the insurrection promoted by former President Trump. Within a few days, the photo had been anonymously leaked to local media, including to me. I’m assuming other editors in town did the same thing I did: look to see if we could create an accurate, factual story around the photo. It proved a tough task. Nobody wanted to talk to us. One person did tell me the names of four of the people. She didn’t know the others. Calls to the individuals did not get a response. So, we had a photo of eight people standing GARY BRIDGMAN beside a plane. We had an identification of four of Can you get Bluff City Bingo? them. (A couple days later, we IDed two of the others; none returned calls.) The photo would indicate that these people were about to board the plane. Whether they did, we didn’t know. And if they did go to Washington, D.C., we had no way of knowing if they marched on the Capitol and assaulted cops or spent the day in the hotel bar. Presumably, if they were active participants, the FBI would come calling at some point. But we didn’t have a story, just rumors and gossip, and media outlets that run unverified photos and unsourced gossip about the people in them often end up in court answering tough questions from libel lawyers. Vanity Fair has deeper pockets, but they encountered the same stonewall. Then the VF reporter got very lucky. When she called Dobbs, he denied any knowledge of the incident, but he accidentally left his phone on for seven minutes after talking to Tracy, during which time he was heard to say: “Well, I told ’em, I said, I don’t know what you’re talking about. … You must be talking about my dad or something. … God, the last thing I want to do is talk to them.” Busted. The magazine had enough verification that it felt it could run the story, such as it was: Some rich Memphis people probably flew to D.C. in a private jet on the day of the Capitol riots. Also, they participate in the annual Cotton Carnival, a putrid vestige of white male privilege and mock royalty silliness for millionaires. Tracy did get some good background quotes from local historian and professor N E WS & O P I N I O N Charles W. McKinney of Rhodes College THE FLY-BY - 4 (who expounded accurately upon the racial NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 inequities in the city), and other academic POLITICS - 8 types. But there were a lot of unnamed FINANCIAL FEATURE - 10 sources quoted and the usual pantheon of COVER STORY “NATURE NEXT DOOR” Memphis tropes used by drop-in reporters BY JULIE RAY - 12 were trotted out: Sun Studio, B.B. King, Elvis WE RECOMMEND - 14 Presley, Stax Records, Beale Street, GraceMUSIC - 15 land, and the National Civil Rights Museum. CALENDAR - 16 To which I guess we can now add: rich white FOOD - 19 guys who cosplay revolution, then fly home FILM - 20 and don’t want to talk about it. C LAS S I F I E D S - 21 Bruce VanWyngarden LAST WORD - 23 brucev@memphisflyer.com

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THE

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MEMernet A roundup of Memphis on the World Wide Web. STUNNER Photographer Russ Schaffer took and posted these amazing photos of a Memphis sunset last week, which he tweeted “stayed for six minutes.” POSTED TO TWITTER BY @RUSSTODAY

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Memphis-based singer-songwriter Julien Baker had a “massive honor” of singing “some Georgia music” with icon Jason Isbell last week. In a tweeted photo, “You can’t see how hard I’m cheesin’ but trust,” Baker said.

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NEON GRAMMY Memphis bassist and true original MonoNeon got big ups last week for playing on two Grammyrecognized songs. King’s Disease by Nas won and Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier was nominated. POSTED TO INSTAGRAM BY @UNAPOLOGETIC901

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Questions, Answers + Attitude Edited by Toby Sells

W E E K T H AT W A S By Flyer staff

Weather, Twitter, & COVID-19 Memphis dodges a bullet, “Memphis” banned, and restaurants get a break. COVID-19 RESTRAINTS RELAXED Restraints on restaurants got even more relaxed under a new health directive that went into effect Saturday, March 20th. Here are the key changes: • Increase in number of people at tables to 8 instead of 6. • Persons seated together must be of the same family unit or close contact group. • Bartenders are encouraged to wear a face shield or double mask while serving multiple groups at the bar, but are not required to do so. • Operating hours for dine-in service end at 1 a.m. (customers may stay until 1:30 a.m. to complete meal/ payment arrangements). • Two-hour limit for food service is removed. • Any location that serves beer or alcohol must serve food as required by state law (and have a permit to do so). • Removes the requirement of maintaining contact tracing records. “These revisions are deemed allowable now because our community has experienced reduced transmission of the virus for a period of greater than 14 days,” reads a statement from the health department. “Viral reproductive rate in Shelby County is currently estimated at 0.84 and has remained less than 1.0 since early January. Case numbers have continued to decline since early January. Weekly COVID-19 test positivity rates are the lowest they have been since October.” “DANGEROUS WEATHER” The National Weather Service (NWS) warned of “danPHOTO BY DREW BEAMER ON UNSPLASH gerous weather” for the area last week, though it missed Memphis. The area woke to thunder and rain Wednesday, The Mid-South braced for — and Memphis avoided — severe March 17th. The NWS predicted the possibility for weather, and COVID restrictions are relaxed for restaurants. severe weather Tuesday and said hazards could include large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes. Weather officials here doubled down on the prediction Wednesday many users’ attention early in the day when trying to use the morning in a tweet saying, “Dangerous weather is expected.” platform to talk about Dutch professional soccer player MemThe weather threat was enough for city of Memphis officials to phis Depay. Even just an isolated mention of “Memphis” would cancel all COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Wednesday. land a suspension. Users jumped on the bandwagon, egging each other on or MEMPHIS BAN HAMMER trying to goad others into saying Memphis. Even the Grizzlies The ban hammer shows no mercy. And on Twitter, it can befall Twitter account joined in on the shenanigans. anyone who uses hate speech, spreads disinformation, or … Eventually, Twitter came out with a statement, blaming the types out “Memphis”? whole fiasco on a “bug,” and promising that all the affected acLast week, many Twitter users found their accounts counts had been restored. Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for fuller versions of restricted with a short-term suspension because their tweets these stories and more local news. contained the word “Memphis.” The strange event came to


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Tennessee GOP lawmakers target transgender children.

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Anti-transgender bills continue to progress through the Tennessee House and Senate, bills some say are part of a national effort by “opponents of LGBTQ equality across the nation.” Three bills now moving through the committee processes in Nashville target transgender children, specifically, and are called the “Slate of Hate” by opponents. One would mandate student athletes to play on the team “determined by the student’s sex at the time of the student’s birth.” Another would stop sexual identity change therapy to minors who have not yet entered puberty, something at least one physician said is not happening at all in the state currently. A last bill would, again, mandate transgender students use the bathroom determined by the sex listed on their birth certificates. Cathryn Oakley, the state legislative director of the Human Rights Campaign, said during a press call Thursday that bills like this pose economic costs “from the inevitable litigation that” would follow their passage. There’s also a reputation cost for states like Tennessee that “persist — and Tennessee does persist — in innovating anti-transgender legislation.” But Oakley said such bills have a human cost. “We also see the harm these bills perpetrate even when they’re just introduced,” she said. “Even if they’re not passed into law, the harm that folks go through watching their legislators debate the existence of trans youth is crushing.” One Tennessee transgender youth, Adam, spoke during the HRC’s press call

HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

Tennessee legislation persists in targeting transgender students. and said he’s a “pretty normal kid” who likes video games, music, and art. The Mt. Juliet 8th-grader used to go to a public middle school and was offered the bathrooms in the nurse’s office, the guidance office, or the faculty bathroom. They were not close to his classes, he said, and using them just made him stand out more “and alienated me further.” “So, I started not to drink anything during the day and holding it until I got home,” said Adam, who did not give his last name during the news conference. “Everyone goes to the bathroom. So, why should it be more difficult for trans kids who already have enough to worry about?” Dr. Kristin Rager, a pediatrician in Nashville, said she cares for a number of transgender patients. She opposes the legislation that intervenes in healthcare and said there is “zero evidence to suggest there are dangers within our current system of care in Tennessee.” Rager busted some transgender myths on the call. No one is performing sex reassignment surgeries on the genitals of anyone under 18, she said. Transgender kids who have not hit puberty are not being treated with hormones or hormone blockers. However, those treatments are “safe, effective, and fully reversible” in youths that have started puberty.


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POLITICS By Jackson Baker

The Battle of Byhalia County Commission debates pipeline risks and benefits. Blocks land sale.

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As the saying goes, you can win a battle and lose a war. That adage also works in reverse. Opponents of the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline ultimately triumphed at Monday’s meeting of the Shelby County Commission, but only after an early defeat. The first vote took on the pipeline matter broadly, via a resolution requesting “that the Federal Government review the Byhalia Connection Pipeline permit.” At this point, the would-be partners in the pipeline, Valero Energy Corporation and Plains All American Pipeline, still possess a go-ahead from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Invited to make the case for the pipeline, Katie Martin, a spokesperson for Plains, attempted to defuse criticism about environmental hazards and potential dislocations of the lowincome area of southwest Memphis the proposed pipeline would pass through. She said the project had experienced “unconscionable bullying” by an unfriendly and biased media. Justin Pearson, the youthful leader of anti-pipeline activists and founder of MCAP (Memphis Community Against the Pipeline), responded with warnings about the very matters Martin had attempted to debunk. Commissioner Michael Whaley, co-sponsor of the measure with fellow Democrat Tami Sawyer, focused on “risks that exist with this pipeline” — alluding to one of pipeline opponents’ main fears, the threat of potential pollution of the Memphis sand aquifer, source of Memphis drinking water. “I have yet to really hear a truly compelling reason why we need it,” said Whaley, who argued “that it would be more beneficial, for the sake of the community, to build climate-friendly infrastructure instead of additional fossil-fuel infrastructure.” And, he said, “Quite frankly, climate-friendly infrastructures could also be drivers of the economy, drivers to create jobs — but not at the expense of quality of life for people in the field.”

Mick Wright, a Republican commissioner, described himself as “torn” by the issue, seeing both sides of it, but said he wasn’t totally convinced by opponents’ arguments. “I’m just not ready on it. We obviously still rely on oil-based transportation, and oil-based transportation has provided a huge benefit. I certainly have benefited from being able to have a vehicle and have traveled throughout the county and throughout the country. I definitely agree that we want to get to a place where we have fuel sources that are there possibly cleaner. So I struggle with this. But I’m just not there yet.”

One of the pipeline opponents’ main fears is the threat of potential pollution of the Memphis sand aquifer. Nor, on the general case at hand, was the commission. The resolution seeking federal scrutiny needed seven votes to pass but went down by a vote of five to six, with all five GOP members of the commission voting no. They were joined by Democrat Van Turner, who made it clear that he was joining the prevailing side in a tactical maneuver that would enable him to call for a parliamentary reconsideration of the matter at the next meeting. Things went differently on the more concrete matter that was actually key to the resolution of things on Monday. This was a vote on whether to sell two properties, owned by the county as the result of tax defaults, which the pipeline proprietors need to pursue construction. That vote failed by the overwhelming vote of nine votes against and only two votes for, those of Republicans David Bradford and Amber Mills, and that was the ball game, though the pipeline companies have not yet formally surrendered. (Yet another resolution to remove a small portion of the 38109 ZIP-code area from a moratorium on property sale had lost much of its relevance and passed easily, eight to two, Commissioners Sawyer and Whaley voting no.)


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arren Buffett is known as one of the great investors of all time. At the end of 2020, his 55-year record at Berkshire Hathaway was an annualized 20 percent return per year exactly. Redditors chasing after crypto and meme stock returns might scoff at 20 percent a year — or 1.53 percent a month — but they’re wrong to laugh. Anyone can earn 1.5 percent or even 100 percent in a good month, but consistently solid returns over years and decades without big drawdowns is the real magic that identifies world-class investing. I once attended an evening golf workshop where I struggled on the fairway with about 10 other students. The instructor correctly sensed we weren’t PGA tour material and said something I’ll never forget: “I hereby grant each of you lifetime permission to pick your ball up off the fairway and put a tee under it, now and forever.” He sensed that the minor accommodation, though against the rules, would greatly improve our experience and might make us more likely to enjoy a lifetime of golf. He was right. In golf, holesin-one are like big wins in crypto and meme stocks: celebrated but not reliable or repeatable. What matters is boring, consistent, long-term performance, with as long a time in the market as possible. Sooner is usually better in investing, but it’s never easy to get motivated. So I have something to offer you: I hereby grant you the right to count contributions to your investment accounts as part of your performance, now and forever. For example, if you have $5,000 in your Roth IRA, decide to contribute $5,000 throughout the year (that’s just a little more than $400 a month), and at year-end see $11,000 in the account, don’t try to figure out whether you earned 10 percent or 20 percent — give

yourself credit for the full 2.2x or 120 percent increase. Averaging 20 percent returns each year — like Buffett — is not likely in the future, but it’s much more likely to happen when you count the money you put in as part of your returns. Growing your account by 20 percent a year means it will double every four years, regardless of where the money came from. Just as a real golfer eventually stops using tees on the fairway, over time the impact of new money will be crowded out by actual investment returns as the driver of your account’s increasing size. Keep at it, though, and someday you’ll see the real magic: returns on an investment portfolio in a typical year that rival your annual expenses and even exceed your salary. At that point the idea of financial independence comes into sharp

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focus, maybe years before you otherwise might expect. Thinking about contributions as returns has helped me build up my own investments through some discouraging times — it turns out markets go down sometimes, too! Counting contributions as part of returns might sound like a gimmick, but if it nudges you in the right direction, your future self will thank you. Who knows? Thinking this way might help you retire early and take up golf. Just don’t use tees on the fairway until you get permission from my old coach. Gene Gard is co-chief-investment officer at Telarray, a Memphis-based wealth management firm.


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COVER STORY BY JULIE RAY / PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS Aerial views of T.O. Fuller State Park show acres of fields and forrest.

(below) Snake charmer? No, that’s Ranger Jessica Gossett.

NATURE

T.O. Fuller State Park is a hidden natural gem in Memphis’ own backyard.

“W

— Next Door —

March 25-31, 2021

ho cooks for you?” might be the number one question asked at T.O. Fuller state park in South Memphis. It won’t be asked by visitors. It will be asked of visitors — from a resident barred owl, aptly named Hero. Barred owls are indigenous to this area and have a distinctive call that sounds like a question to many, specifically the question, “Who cooks for you?” This inquisitive bird found a place at the park’s interpretive center, formerly the golf clubhouse for the old course that closed in 2012. Four years later, this state-of-the-art nature center opened, where injured animals are nursed back to health and released back to the wild. Hero sustained injuries that would not allow him to be released. He shares the center as his home with a screech owl, a turtle, and a corn snake with similar 12 stories. To earn their keep at the center, the resident animals are employed by park

rangers for teaching opportunities on and off the park grounds. Also earning his keep is the fourth park manager in the history of T.O. Fuller State Park, Jimmy Warren, who took the reins from Ranger Calvin Robinson in March 2017. Nearing his four-year anniversary as park manager, Warren, a retired Memphis police officer, talks about park features, activities, and possibilities. He has a personal vested interest in the park, as the first park manager with roots in the area. “This state park was built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and was the first state park opened for African Americans east of the Mississippi. It was named after Dr. Thomas O. Fuller in tribute to the man who was an African-American educator, leader, and pastor for our community,” Warren says. “After 30 years as a community officer, I wanted to come back to my neighborhood

and do what I could for my park, my neighborhood, and my community,” Warren continues. Warren grew up one block from T.O. Fuller Park and attended nearby Mitchell High School. The park was his backyard, the place where he and his family enjoyed all the amenities it had to offer. His memories include a classmate who lived in the area where the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa stands now. The area was called Chucalissa Village in recent history while Native Americans still lived on the property. The Choctaw Nation tribe, led by Chief Grady Jones, made their own clothes and jewelry, among other things. Warren remembers the daughter of Chief Grady, Mitchell High School classmate Sandra Jones. Her family gifted Warren some bowls made by their tribe. He laments that after seeing an Antiques Roadshow episode where similar bowls were appraised

at a high value, his gifts were long gone.

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fter four years under his leadership, what has Warren done with the park? And what does he have planned? Increasing foot traffic was a goal at the top of Warren’s list. At the interpretive center, a program has been implemented called Conservation Consequences. It serves the students in local public schools — specifically those in the 38109 ZIP code and Whitehaven. Topics are focused on preservation (including the resident critters) and life skills. Rangers talk about conservation and preservation, while community leaders engage students in conflict resolution skills — and the consequences of not using those skills. A Tires to Trails grant was recently awarded to the park. It combines efforts to clean up the area with creating ADAcompliant usable trails by recycling old tires


Who cooks for you? Ranger Decoda Muller and Hero the owl

(above) Ranger Jimmy Warren poses while holding a terrapin.

M

any of the plans to increase park traffic have been put on hold or have been transformed to fit current health mandates. Ranger Jessica Gossett is tasked with maintaining and implementing evolving programs as the pandemic rules and regulations wax and wane. Leaning on her educational background through AmeriCorps and substitute teaching, Gossett says, “Through play, children learn about the environment. Play is learning. Programs focus on hands-on and recreational play. Sometimes that means I just go out there and play games, have fun,

and run around with young park visitors.” Some programs Gossett has in the works, awaiting relaxed health mandates, are a program teaching about light pollution, a weather teaching program (developed by a University of Memphis intern), and a geology teaching program. Future activities she hopes to initiate as more people get vaccinated, include LARPing, yoga, and fieldwork. Look for tree-planting opportunities in April and a program in development called Backyard Greens that showcases plants at the park — and in your backyard — that were brought by settlers to our area. These include purple deadnettle and henbit, two very similar plants in the mint family. One is invasive. Both are edible. Participants will learn to identify and use these plants, as well as other common weeds, in salads and for medicinal purposes. For now, most programs are still virtual or on-demand. Gossett recently initiated some virtual programs on T.O. Fuller Park’s Facebook page, which include a Black History series, a Living History series about enslaved and free women, and a Black Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee presentation, in honor of the centennial of the 19th amendment. Gossett says he has noticed a drop in park visitors who may not know that the day-use area is open. “The day-use area is great to view wildlife. If you are still and

quiet, you’ll meet great blue and little blue herons, as well as the occasional beaver.” Catching a beaver at play one day in the day area, Gossett videoed the semiaquatic rodent and posted its activities on the park’s Facebook page. She’s also come face-to-face with a beaver during a survey of the wetlands. “Beavers are territorial. While surveying the wetlands for an upcoming wetland hike that is in the works, I was stopped by beavers. By ‘stopped,’ I mean they rammed my kayak. Earlier that same day, I accidentally scooped up a diamondback water snake in shallow waters with my paddle.” In case you are wondering, Gosset said that the beaver was more concerning. Diamondback water snakes are nonvenomous.

R

anger Decoda Muller works in tandem with Gossett but uses a different skill set. Muller, who has a carpentry background, has designed bat boxes with donated supplies. While there are many bats who call the park home, Gossett says she wants more, because she was bitten by a mosquito recently. She hopes to find students or scouts who want to put together, paint, and install more bat boxes throughout the park under Muller’s direction. Muller is currently presenting the birds of prey and reptile programs on

demand. Weed wrangles, traditional hikes, kayaking, plant programs, tree-planting, and birding programs will be scheduled in the near future. As of now, the pool and basketball courts will be closed this year. Other areas that host low-contact sports are open, including soccer fields, baseball fields, and tennis courts. Reading programs that can be accessed virtually and that feature park storyteller Mother Wit (Joy Scott) and the rangers will be added, as well as prerecorded Native American history presentations. The 1,138 acres of parkland have lots of self-guided activities, Gossett says, especially after a rain, when the ephemeral creeks (temporary creeks) are flowing. “Along the Discovery trail near the visitor center, these creeks pop up after a rain. At this time, visitors can find crawdads in the muddy silt and see raccoons who come out to feast on them. Native American homestead features like brick and ceramic remnants can be found while the creeks are running,” Gossett says. T.O. Fuller is the only state park within the Memphis city limits. The park protects and showcases a unique natural habitat while offering a wide range of outdoor recreational assets. Rangers Warren, Gossett, and Muller invite you and your group to come out and experience 13 the magic. COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

that were gathered during a recent MLK Day of Service. A company in Bristol, Tennessee, grinds them to concrete consistency for usable trail-building material. Current park amenities include a baseball and soccer field, basketball courts, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. Where the golf course used to be is now open grassy and hilly land, an area perfect for watching wildlife. Warren says that when he was a kid, he used to watch Eddie Peyton — the brother of the former Chicago Bears great, Walter Peyton — play golf where the grassy area is now. He vividly remembers Eddie running around the golf course to intimidate his opponents. The intimidation tactic, Warren says, was due to the fact that Peyton liked to bet on his golf game but was really bad at golf. “He [Peyton] had these huge legs like tree trunks and wore shorts, so he could run around the course and try and scare his opponents,” reminisces Warren, with a chuckle. “The end result is that I witnessed him lose money, a watch, and various other personal items. He was just bad at golf.” Warren is happy that the public can now enjoy watching eagles, deer, ducks, and numerous other wildlife species where Eddie used to run.


steppin’ out (& stayin’ in)

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Diggin’ It

PHOTO BY MARKUS SPISKE ON UNSPLASH

By Julie Ray

Fossil Fest is on!

It’s not every day you have the chance to dig for fossils millions of years old like a real paleontologist. This weekend is your opportunity to try your hand at paleontology — the study of life on Earth based on fossils. This bone-rattling festival will feature intriguing stations, talks, games, and hands-on activities inside and outside the Pink Palace Museum. Stations include the pewter casting activity station, where the kids can cast dinosaur teeth while you watch master metalsmiths forge a variety of bones and claws and create archeology tools. Dig for fossils and shells at the Coon Creek Science Center station. Don’t pooh-pooh the next activity at the Lichterman Nature Center station, where there will be an owl pellet dissection activity and plant fossils. Check out fossil tables hosted by the museum’s collections department and discover specimens like a 400 million-year-old fossilized trilobite from Morocco. Compare the teeth of the mammoth, mastodon, and saber-toothed cat. At the Dino Walk, see how their footprints measure up to prehistoric giants. Speaking of giants, the unveiling of a new giant metal mosasaur sculpture created by the Memphis Metal Museum will be big fun. “It’s a great chance to experience prehistoric times through demonstrations, videos, exhibits, and talks,” says Bill Walsh, the museum’s marketing manager. “Plus, your ticket includes admission to all our exhibits inside the museum.” If you are aged 21 years or older and enjoy something from a time more recent than the Jurassic period, try something from a two-week fermentation period. The new Museum of Science & History (MoSH) beer made by Ghost River Brewing Co. pairs perfectly with food trucks that will be on-site, including Mempops, Moe’s/Humdingers, and Cousins Maine Lobster. Make no bones about it, this weekend’s festival will be fossil colossal. FOSSIL FEST, MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL, SATURDAY, MAR. 27, 10:30 A.M.-5 P.M., AND SUNDAY, MAR. 28, NOON-5 P.M., $20 MEMBERS, $25 NONMEMBERS.

March 25-31, 2021

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES March 25th - 31st

DO GOOD. BETTER.

901.726.5725 momentumnonprofit.org 14

We help Mid-South nonprofits succeed.

Canvases Art Auction benefiting MidSouth Sober Living Online from MidSouth Sober Living, midsouthsoberliving.org, Thursday, Mar. 25, through Sunday, Mar. 28, free with registration Art auction showcasing work by community artists to support housing for those in recovery.

Hoop Fitness Shelby Farms Visitor Center Lawn, 6903 Great View, Saturday, Mar. 27, 9:30 a.m., free Get 30 minutes of fitness followed by open “flow” time to practice, play, express yourself, and ask questions. Hoops provided on a first-come basis.

Lucero Family Drive-In Malco Summer Drive-In, 5310 Summer, Saturday, Mar. 27, 5-11 p.m., $40 The annual picnic turns into a live and in-person drive-in concert featuring special guests American Aquarium and Cory Branan.

Easter Egg-Stravaganza The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 800 E. Parkway, Saturday, Mar. 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m, free for members Join RJ, the Easter Bunny, and your friends at the Kroc for a special Easter outing in the Pearson Garden.

65th Anniversary: The Ten Commandments Malco Paradiso, 584 S. Mendenhall, and Collierville Town Square Cinema, 80 Market, Sunday, Mar. 28, 1 p.m., and Wednesday, Mar. 31, 7 p.m., $15 Sweeping epic Biblical saga directed by Cecil B. DeMille. This 1956 film is a cinematic masterpiece with a legendary cast including Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, and Anne Baxter. Shell Health & Wellness Series: Girls On The Run + Twilight Yoga & Pilates Levitt Shell, 1928 Poplar, Monday, Mar. 29, 4:30 & 5:30 p.m., free Mindfulness and good health practices featuring classes and workshops added weekly. Visit Facebook page for full schedule. Register to attend.


MUSIC By Alex Greene

Luna ’68 The City Champs take you to outer space and get you back in time for grits ’n gravy.

It’s used sparingly, a perfect complement to the combo’s core sound. And it’s a flavor keyboardist Al Gamble has grown increasingly fond of in recent years. As drummer George Sluppick notes, “We always bring the influence of whatever other projects we’ve been doing. So Al, playing with St. Paul and the Broken Bones, gets to play synth in that band.” After Restivo brought the title track to the Champs, Sluppick recalls Gamble saying, “‘Man, what if I put some synth on this tune?’ And Joe and I were both like, ‘Hell yeah! Please!’ It’s an analog thing anyway. So to any of the traditionalists who say, ‘That’s not traditional soul jazz,’ well, we’ve never been a traditional soul-jazz band. Even though we leaned farther into that than anything else, we’ve always had our own voice. The fact that Al wants to play some synthesizer, I think is great.”

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

JAMIE HARMON

The City Champs

Gamble’s newfound love of oldschool analog textures dovetailed nicely with Restivo’s musical interests. “I’m really into Piero Umiliani, an Italian film composer, a piano player, and synth player,” the guitarist says. “The stuff he did in the late ’60s, early ’70s had a futuristic sound to it. And he definitely had a funk thing, and a jazz context, and kind of a bossa nova context. Really pretty themes. And Al and George are just really open to working on things, so when I bring in original stuff that is not in the Jimmy Smith vein, they’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s try it!’” None of which is to say that the City Champs have abandoned their fundamental love of soul-jazz boogaloo. Hearing tracks like “Mack Lean” or “Skinny Mic,” you’d think these astronauts had re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down into a plate of fried chicken. In some ways, these tracks expand the band’s sound as well, with Restivo’s guitar tone sporting more grit than ever. And on “Freddie King for Now,” Gamble’s organ is served with a huge dollop of glorious distortion. “We made sure the organ was just screaming,” says Restivo. “We developed that song years ago and just kept it around. That song’s like going 100 miles an hour with the top down kind of vibe. A total face melter. Which is not really on any of our other records quite like that. Aggressive. We do that live and we go crazy. We go for it.”

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

W

e’re a band that likes to rehearse. We like to get together and play.” Guitarist Joe Restivo is telling me about The City Champs, and what makes the soul-jazz trio unique. “We’ve had that chemistry from day one. We just have. It’s easy when we play. In some cases, we haven’t played together for years, but we get together and it’s just like the first day.” For the Champs, that first day was some 15 years ago, but now, listening to Luna ’68 (Big Legal Mess), their first album in over a decade, that chemistry is as palpable as when they started. One reason they continue to inspire each other may be their determination to keep things fresh. Although their stock-in-trade has been a sound that could easily become formulaic — the organ-guitar-drums trio in the groove-heavy Jimmy Smith vein — they’ve never been constrained by it. Though even that sound is hard to pull off well, the group has brought a more venturesome, explorative approach to that basic foundation from the beginning. Now, on their long-awaited third album, their explorations have taken them to stratospheric heights. This January, fans got a taste of this from the title track and lead single, which evokes the space-bedazzled “futuristic” sounds of a half-century ago. The same goes for the album closer, “Voyage to Vega (For Felix).” Yet there are no rockets or radio telemetry sounds in evidence: The group creates such otherworldly atmospheres in their own minimalist way. In the right hands, even cymbal rolls and a Hammond B3 organ can sound futuristic. And sitting comfortably in this minimalist mix is a new sound for the Champs: a synthesizer.

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CALENDAR of EVENTS:

March 25 - 31

T H EAT E R

Hattiloo Theatre

The Women of Color Monologues, featuring monologues written and performed by Ruby Bright, Judy Maina, Beverly Sakauye, Maritza Davila, Mahal Burr, and Yancy Villa-Calvo. hattiloo.org. Ongoing. The Night Watcher, the story of a woman who chooses not to have children, only to be pulled into the real-life struggles of kids of all ages, races, and backgrounds. $150 for four seats. Fridays, 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Through April 4. 37 S. COOPER (502-3486).

Kudzu Playhouse

Kudzu Playhouse Virtual, join Kudzu social media for donation-based classes, games, scholarship opportunities, and more. Download the app for more fun theater activities and information. Ongoing. P.O. BOX 47 (888-429-7871).

Memphis Black Arts Alliance

Doubt: A Parable, a story of suspicion at a Catholic school surrounding a charismatic young priest and his interest in the school’s first and only African-American student. memphisblackarts.org. Fri., March 26, 7 p.m., Sat., March 27, 7 p.m., and Sun., March 28, 4 p.m. 985 S BELLEVUE.

The Orpheum

Orpheum Virtual Engagement, join Orpheum staff, artists, and students for activities, interviews, and more on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Visit website for more information. Ongoing. 203 S. MAIN (525-3000).

Playhouse on the Square

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Nat Turner in Jerusalem, a man faces execution at sunrise for leading a slave rebellion in Southampton, Virginia, August of 1831. Attorney Thomas Gray seeks to journal the account. playhouseonthesquare.org. Fri.Sun. Through March 28.

“Learning to be Astonished,” exhibition of impressionistic landscapes created during the COVID-19 pandemic by Jimpsie Ayres. Through April 4. “America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution,” exhibition of work by late nineteenth century to World War II American impressionism painters. Through May 9.

66 S. COOPER (726-4656).

Theatre Memphis

Online on Stage, a Theatre Memphis Facebook group that serves as a clearinghouse for performers wanting to share their talents. Featuring storytime, readings, or performance art. Ongoing.

4339 PARK (761-5250).

Eclectic Eye

“Queens,” exhibition of photo-realistic portraits of empowered women by Becca Hand. The series draws inspiration from traditional playing card iconography. Viewed by appointment. Through March 31.

630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323).

OTH E R A R T HA P P E N I N G S

242 S. COOPER (276-3937).

Fratelli’s

3rd Space Online

“Beauty in Isolation: Perspectives from a Father and Son,” exhibition of watercolors and pen and ink work by father and son artists David and Jared Rawlinson. Through April 30.

Visit Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn for exciting activities and relief efforts from the local creative community. Ongoing. 3RDSPACEARTS.ORG.

Artsavvy: Self-Portraits

Learn how to draw a face outline, sketch facial details, mix colors, and paint a self-portrait using watercolors with artist Angi Cooper. For ages 15 and up. Materials provided. $40. Sun., March 28, 2-4 p.m. GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 1801 EXETER (751-7500), GPACWEB.COM.

Make Your Own Candles with Brooke Williamson

Make soy candles with New Harbert Candles. Hand-pour three 8-oz. candles, learn candle-making techniques and best practices. $65. Fri., March 26, 6:30 p.m. ARROW CREATIVE, 2535 BROAD, ARROWCREATIVE.ORG.

750 CHERRY (766-9900).

MidSouth SoberLiving Art Auction, through March 28th, featuring works by Jennifer Williams and others Canvases Art Auction Benefiting MidSouth Sober Living

Art auction of work by community artists to support housing for those in recovery. Free with registration. Through March 28. MIDSOUTHSOBERLIVING.ORG.

Memphis Flyer Coloring Book

Order your book today benefiting local artists and journalism. $35. Ongoing.

March 25-31, 2021

MEMPHISMAGAZINESTORE.COM.

Metal Museum Online

Peruse the art and craft of fine metalwork digitally. Featuring past gallery talks from previous exhibitions, interviews with artists, and demonstrations. Free. Ongoing. METAL MUSEUM, 374 METAL MUSEUM DR. (774-6380).

The Peace Project

Hear the peace offerings made up of artists’ voices, instruments, ambient noises, and reverberations in a healing space featuring work by Hank Willis Thomas. Ongoing, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. MEMPHIS PARK (FOURTH BLUFF), FRONT AND MADISON, MEMPHISRIVERPARKS.ORG.

Gallery 1091

O N G O I N G ART

Binder Projects

“Bright Lites,” exhibition of work under $1K by Jim Buchman, Roger Allan Cleaves, Nancy Cheairs, Phil Donohue, Taylor Loftin, Whitney Lorenze, and others. binderprojects.com. Through April 30. 74 FLICKER (634-1698).

Crosstown Concourse

“Nightlife,” exhibition of an outdoor light installation by Lake Roberson Newton. Ongoing.

Artists’ Link Spring Showcase and Sale, exhibition of over 100 pieces of art by more than 40 artists. Online viewing only. wkno.org. Through March 31. WKNO STUDIO, 7151 CHERRY FARMS (729-8722).

Jay Etkin Gallery

“Riverscapes,” exhibition of selected works by Marc Rouillard. Through March 31. Permanent Collection: “The Flow Museum of Art & Culture,” Ongoing.

1350 CONCOURSE.

942 COOPER (550-0064).

David Lusk Gallery

The Salvation Army Kroc Center

“Wonderstruck,” exhibition of new paintings by Beth Edwards. Through May 1. 97 TILLMAN (767-3800).

Local Black Artists, exhibition in honor of Black History Month featuring conventional

FOSSIL FEST PINK PALACE

16

Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to calendar@memphisflyer.com or P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY.

Travel back millions of years at Fossil Fest for a two-day paleontology party at the Museum of Science & History,

MARCH 27th & 28th


CALENDAR: MARCH 25 - 31

Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis/Germantown Art League Spring Exhibition, Through March 30. 750 CHERRY (636-4100).

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

“Power and Absence: Women in Europe,” exhibition explores the representation of women in Europe from around 1500 to 1680. brooksmuseum.org. Ongoing. “Arts of Global Africa,” exhibition of historic and contemporary works in a range of different media presenting an expansive vision of Africa’s artistry. Through June 21. 1934 POPLAR (544-6209).

Memphis Heritage

“Newman to Now” Virtual Exhibit, exhibition of historic photographs taken by Don Newman between the 1940s and ’60s and contemporary photographs of the same sites taken by photographer Gary Walpole. memphisheritage.org. Ongoing. 2282 MADISON (272-2727).

Metal Museum

“Tributaries: Ben Dory,” exhibition of works paying homage to traditional granulation, an ancient and intricate technique of fusing primarily gold spheres. Through April 3. “Measured Making: The 150mm Challenge,” exhibition of a curated selection of 150 metal objects created by amateur and professional blacksmiths from around the world. March 27-July 3. 374 METAL MUSEUM DR. (774-6380).

Mid-South Artist Gallery

Mid-South Artist Gallery Artists, exhibition of work by Becky McRae, Sandra Horton, Jean Wu, Jon Woodhams, Marina Wirtz, Michelle Lemaster, Pat Turner, and others. Ongoing. 2945 SHELBY (409-8705).

Tops Gallery

“An Angle to the Place I Live In,” exhibition of sculptural paintings by Ezra Tessler that contend with both the physical and ontological limits of the medium. Through April 10. 400 S. FRONT.

“We Deliver for Memphis” Exhibition of work honoring essential workers, on digital billboards along I-55 near Downtown Memphis at West I-55, I-55 at Hwy. 61 (Third Street), and 240 at Airways. uacmem.org. Ongoing. SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

OPERA

“Opera Speed-Runs” Series by Jake Stamatis

Tales of Hoffman on YouTube by Handorf Company artist. Free. Ongoing. OPERA MEMPHIS, 6745 WOLF RIVER (257-3100).

DA N C E

5 x 5: Senior Dance Showcase

Featuring live outdoor performances (masked and distanced) and streaming on Friday and Saturday, March 26-27. Free. Through March 27. UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS, UNIVERSITY CENTER THEATER, 499 UNIVERSITY, MEMPHIS.EDU/THEATRE.

L E CT U R E / S P E A K E R

“Oakwood Cemetery: A Cemetery Full of Life

Join executive director Robin Simonton online as she discusses not only the history of one of the South East’s premiere garden cemeteries but also the role it continues to play as a community center. $10. Tues., March 30, 6 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212), ELMWOODCEMETERY.ORG.

Reader Meet Writer: Mary Lawson

Author discusses A Town Called Solace via Zoom. Free. Tues., March 30, 5 p.m. NOVEL, 387 PERKINS EXT. (9225526), NOVELMEMPHIS.COM.

Virtual Munch and Learn: “Keeping Common Birds Common: The Spectacle of Migration and the Awe of Abundance” Bob Ford, Partners in Flight coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service, speaks on topic. Wed., March 31, 1 p.m.

THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS, 4339 PARK (761-5250), DIXON.ORG.

TO U R S

MASK UP TO BE SAFE.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland Virtual Live VIP Tours

Enjoy behind the scenes highlights of the mansion, presented live through a private, closed Facebook group. $100. Thurs., March 25. GRACELAND MANSION, TICKET OFFICE PAVILION ON ELVIS PRESLEY BLVD. (332-3322), GRACELAND.COM.

C O M E DY

Chuckles Comedy Club

Darren “Big Baby” Brand, $20$35. Fri.-Sun., Mar. 26-28, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1700 DEXTER.

The Comedy Junt

Rated R 14 Friday, featuring Timbo, Ray Stackz, Basial, Azizah, LaToya Tennille, Jackson Maness, and Dave Jones. $20. Fri.-Sun., Mar. 26-28, 8 p.m. 4330 AMERICAN WAY (249-4052).

E X PO S/ SA L E S

Outdoor Pop-Up Flea Market

Shop local artists and enjoy food trucks outdoors, 751 Brookhaven Circle. Free. March 27-28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

continued on page 18

COMMUTE BY CARPOOL OR VANPOOL FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.SHELBYTNHEALTH.COM

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

800 E. PARKWAY S. (729-8007).

Hoop Fitness at Shelby Farms Park, Saturday, March 27th, at 9:30 a.m.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

and unconventional techniques with a variety of paintings, illustration, and mixed media. Through March 26.

17


CALENDAR: MARCH 25 - 31 continued from page 17 WE Consign

Featuring a large selection of items benefiting the Woman’s Exchange of Memphis. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Through April 16. WOMAN’S EXCHANGE ART GALLERY, 88 RACINE (327-5681).

Fossil Fest

Try your hand at paleontology and enjoy a festival featuring intriguing stations, talks, games, hands-on activities, food trucks, and more. $20 members, $25 nonmembers. Sat., March 27, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., March 28, noon-5 p.m. MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL (636-2362).

S PO RTS / F I TN ES S

Fast & the Furriest 5K and Walk

Visit website for virtual and inperson options. Registration fee includes the race and a T-shirt. $30. Through March 27. HUMANE SOCIETY OF MEMPHIS AND SHELBY COUNTY, 935 FARM (937-3900).

Greatest Show on Dirt: Rodeo of the Mid-South

Featuring bull riding, rope tricks, crowning of the MidSouth Rodeo Queen, and more. $19-$46. Sat., March 27, 7:30 p.m., and Sun., March 28, 2 p.m. LANDERS CENTER, 4560 VENTURE, SOUTHAVEN, MS (662-280-9120), LANDERSCENTER.COM.

Hoop Fitness

Get 30 minutes of fitness followed by open “flow” time to practice, play, express yourself, and ask questions. Hoops provided on a first come basis. Free. Sat., March 27, 9:30 a.m. SHELBY FARMS PARK, VISITOR’S CENTER, 6903 GREAT VIEW DRIVE N. (767-7275), HOOPWITHHEIDI.COM.

IHRA Bracket Series

Sat., March 27, 9 a.m., and Sun., March 28, 10 a.m. MEMPHIS INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY,

March 25-31, 2021

A pre-dinner seder led by Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein and cantorial soloist Happie D. Hoffman featuring on-screen Haggadah and selected for this service. Free. Sun., March 28, 5:30 p.m.

1MISSISSIPPI.ORG.

TIMEMPHIS.ORG.

Registration Open for 2021-2022 Step Ahead Scholarship

Mindfulness and good health practices featuring classes and workshops. Register to attend. Free. Mon., March 29, 4:30 & 5:30 p.m., and Wed., March 31, 4 p.m.

Recognizing and providing financial support for promising young women from the greater Memphis community who are committed to public service in the areas of academic success and effective, responsible life planning. Through April 2.

LEVITT SHELL, OVERTON PARK (272-2722), LEVITTSHELL.ORG.

M E ETI NGS

ASTEPAHEADFOUNDATION.ORG.

As We Are

United Way of the MidSouth: Driving The Dream

A social support group for trans/ GNC people of color over the age of 18. The group meets biweekly via Zoom. Fourth Thursday of every month, 6 p.m. OUTMEMPHIS: THE LGBTQ CENTER OF THE MID-SOUTH, 892 S. COOPER (278-6422), OUTMEMPHIS.ORG.

Churches from the Presbytery of the MidSouth: Sunday Worship Livestream

Combined livestream worship. Visit website for more information and livestream link. Sun., 11 a.m. IDLEWILDCHURCH.ORG.

Virtual-T

Weekly Zoom gathering for anyone 18+ who identifies as a member of the trans or GNC community. For login information, email ahauptman@outmemphis.org. Tuesdays, 6 p.m. OUTMEMPHIS.ORG.

S P EC I A L EV E N TS

Countdown to 100

Join Theatre Memphis on their social media and count down to the theater’s 100th birthday. Follow using #TM100 or #SHINEONTM. Through May 20. THEATRE MEMPHIS, 630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323), THEATREMEMPHIS.ORG.

“Dinosaurs in Motion”

Featuring 14 recycled metal dinosaur sculptures with exposed mechanics inspired by actual fossils. $15. Through May 2. MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL (636-2362).

Lenten Preaching and Waffle Shop

Some speakers will participate via Calvary social media. In-person speakers will have advance sign up. Waffle Shop will serve through pre-orders and take-out food. Wed., Fri., 11 a.m.-1 p.m., noon & 5:156:15 p.m. Through March 26. CALVARY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 102 N. SECOND (525-6602), CALVARYMEMPHIS.ORG.

Let’s Go to the Garden

Enjoy daily spring break activities for the family. Free with admission. Through April 2. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN, 750 CHERRY (636-4100).

Resilience Tuesday, March 30th, at 7 p.m., via facebook.com/ liveunitedtn Lucero Family Drive-In The annual picnic turns into a live and in-person drive-in concert. $40. Sat., March 27, 5-11 p.m.

MALCO SUMMER 4 DRIVE-IN, 5310 SUMMER (681-2020).

Outdoor Spring Crafts Fair

Find treasures from crafters. Sat., March 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

ELLENDALEUMC.COM.

Golden Egg Scramble

Enter to win $500 in a random drawing or second prize, two tickets to the Theatre Memphis 100th Birthday Celebration. Winners announced April 6. $10-$25. Through April 5. THEATRE MEMPHIS, 630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323), THEATREMEMPHIS.ORG.

FO O D & D R I N K EVE NTS

Cook Well, Be Well

For those impacted by COVID-19. Puts callers in contact with essential services. MondaysFridays, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (888-709-0630), CALL.DRIVINGTHEDREAM.ORG.

CHURCH HEALTH CROSSTOWN, 1350 CONCOURSE, CHURCHHEALTH.ORG.

H O LI DAY EVE NTS

F I LM

Easter Baskets

Combination of goodies for adults and/or children as a special way to celebrate and support Theatre Memphis. Shop in-person during spring photo sessions or online any time. $35-$50. Through April 2. THEATRE MEMPHIS, 630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323).

Easter Egg-Stravaganza

Join RJ, the Easter Bunny, and your friends at the Kroc for a special Easter outing in the Pearson Garden. Free for members. Sat., March 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. THE SALVATION ARMY KROC CENTER, 800 E. PARKWAY S. (729-8007).

Pandrol Job Fair

Featuring photos with the Easter Bunny, Easter candy, and prizes for the adults. $10. Sat., March 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

PANDROLHIRING.COM.

Join Ellendale United Methodist Church in Bartlett, 751 Centalia, for a picnic. Bring flashlights and baskets. Free. Sat., March 27, 5 p.m.

Learn to build meals and flavors, stock a healthy pantry, and cook on a budget. For ages 16 and up. In-person on Tuesday and virtual on Wednesday. Wed., 5:30-7:30 p.m., and Tues., 10 a.m.-noon.

BARTLETT UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 5676 STAGE (384-4035), BARTLETTUMC.ORG.

A global leader in railroad infrastructure is looking to fill jobs in South Memphis, 611 Winchester. Sat., March 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt and Bonfire

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Drive-In Movies

Bring canned pop-top food for Pop Top ministries. Free. Saturdays, 6:30 p.m. Through April 2. ST. MARY’S EPISCOPAL CATHEDRAL, 700 POPLAR (626-6763), STMARYSMEMPHIS.ORG.

Oxford Virtual Film Festival

A lineup of 158 films in an online/in-person hybrid. Screenings in person March 2428 at special outdoor theaters. $40-$175. Through March 28. DOWNTOWN OXFORD, TOWN SQUARE, OXFORDFILMFEST.COM.

Resilience

Documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. Free. Tues., March 30, 7 p.m. Visit facebook.com/ liveunitedtn for screening link. UWWT.ORG.

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Passover | Let Freedom Ring After a Year of COVID

A four-person team will attempt to break the Guinness World Record canoeing the entire 2,300 miles of the Mississippi River. Learn about the river, record, logistics, and preparation via Zoom. Free with registration. Mon., March 29, 6 p.m.

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A Very Tasteful Food Blog Dishing it out at .com.


FOOD By Michael Donahue

[ NOT ICE TO BI DDER S ]

A Memphis Jewel La Baguette to celebrate 45th anniversary. by French bakers. “All the recipes were from the number-one bakery in Paris, Lenotre, which is really famous for all its pastries. In order to be true to Lenotre’s recipes, we had to follow exactly the correctness for good pastries. So … natural butter, natural ingredients. Everything was really well studied.” The pastries included croissants, pain au chocolat, Napoleons, and the still-famous almond croissant. “They take older croissants and put a custard in it. It’s the way French were able to use up croissants that didn’t sell the first day.” When they opened, there was “no French bread, no baguettes, no authentic pastries” in Memphis, Teresa says. “People are used to it now.”

SEALED BID I000643 DUE DATE

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28TH, 2021 @ 2:00 PM CST (SB-I000643 Big Creek Park Construction- Phase 3) All bids will be opened and read via teleconference by Shelby County Government at the time mentioned above. Please use the following information to join the bid opening:

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/742851909 You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.) United States: +1 (571) 317-3122 - One-touch: tel:+15713173122,,742851909# Access Code: 742-851-909

The bakery became a “cultural phenomenon,” Teresa adds. “We had friends who wanted to come down and work there. They thought it was a privilege to be able to sell some of these goods. It was just a really nice happening at the time. Those first few years were a lot of fun. Then it got to be a lot of work.” La Baguette opened “satellite stores” in Memphis. The bakery also began serving soups and sandwiches. Reginald taught French and Teresa taught in the English department at Memphis State. In the early ’80s, Reginald took a job teaching French at Memphis University School, where he stayed for 30 years. “He loved the school and realized his true vocation was teaching.” The Dalles sold their share of La Baguette in the mid-’80s. Paul Howse, an investor, became sole owner in 1987. “We really felt like we left an institution,” Teresa says. “I felt like we left something good for Memphis.” La Baguette is at 3088 Poplar Avenue in Chickasaw Oaks Plaza.

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/512551293 You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.) United States: +1 (312) 757-3121 - One-touch: tel:+13127573121,,512551293# Access Code: 512-551-293 Respondents may also contact Shelby County for information at the following numbers, TTY Number (901) 222-2301 or for information in Spanish 901-222-4289.  Shelby County is an equal opportunity affirmative action  employer, drug-free, and with policies of non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or military service. Shelby County encourages participation from WBE, MBE, LOSB, and Section 3 firms and vendors under this CDBG-NDR response. By order of LEE HARRIS, MAYOR SHELBY COUNTY GOVERNMENT

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

PHOTO BY MICHAEL DONAHUE

Bob Cooke, Teresa and Reginald Dalle

Mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting – All interested respondents are invited to participate in this meeting via teleconference on Thursday, April 8, 2020 at 9:30 am (CST). Please use the following information to join the pre-bid meeting:

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

S

o, how did La Baguette French Bread and Pastry Shop come to be? The iconic bakery, recently sold to Tashie Restaurant Group, was the brainchild of Reginald Dalle. Dalle, who is from near Lille, France, got the idea for the bakery while he and his wife, Teresa, were graduate students at the University of Arizona. A French bakery was located around the corner. “It’s like a dream for every French person to have a bakery,” Reginald says. “So I was really intrigued. Of course, I started to befriend the owner. He was French, from Paris. He had a bakery there.” The baker said he’d help Reginald learn the business. “He said, ‘Why don’t you come in nights and I’ll show you the job and we can talk about the machinery and how it works?’” The Dalles planned to move to Memphis, where Teresa is from. Reginald thought about opening a bakery here if he didn’t land a teaching job. In 1975, Reginald got a job teaching French at Memphis State University, now University of Memphis. But, Teresa says, Reginald “loved that idea of the bakery. He started getting information on equipment, and he made contacts in Paris.” The Dalles and their friends Bob and Brenda Cooke, Memphians who were at the University of Arizona when the Dalles were there, formed the group of five people interested in investing in a French bakery. They moved into the current location in Chickasaw Oaks Plaza in 1976. Some equipment was handmade, including a huge marble-top table, still at the bakery, which was “perfect for making pastries and croissants,” Teresa says. The late Guy Pacaud, a French baker who moved to Memphis, was head baker. “He was the one who started the bread.” The group chose the name La Baguette. In addition to being the little diamonds on rings, “baguette” is the “famous bread. It just rolled off your tongue.” The French word for bread is “pain,” which didn’t sound like a great name for a bakery, Teresa says. La Baguette was an instant success. “There was a line out the door. We had no clue it would happen. People were walking out the door with a baguette under their arm for the first time.” Pacaud brought in a chef and other bakers from Paris, so all the pastries were done

Shelby County Government has issued Sealed Bid number I000643 Big Creek Park Construction- Phase 3. Information regarding this Bid is located on the County’s website at www. shelbycountytn.gov. At the top of the home page, click on the dropdown box under “Business”, Click on “Purchasing” and “Bids” to locate the name of the above described Sealed Bid.

19


FILM By Chris McCoy

Oxford Film Festival 2021 The 18th annual event features a weekend of pop-up and drive-in screenings.

A

outdoor locations on March 24th-28th. “We want to be very clear about the aggressive steps we are taking in order to make our film festival safe so our patrons can begin to get back to enjoying the movie-going experience in the company of other people again,” Addington says. “Therefore, we are being very careful with a measured approach utilizing the open-air theater we have designed specifically for this purpose, with safety always first, so we all can enjoy one of the best groups of films we have ever had this year.” Opening night films will screen at the Oxford Commons lawn tent, located across the parking lot from the Malco Oxford Commons Cinema Grill. The Passing On is a documentary by director Nathan Clarke about the tradition of Black funeral homes in San Antonio, Texas, and the conflict that In Jake Mahaffy’s Reunion, a pregnant woman returns to her breaks out when embalmer James Bryrecently deceased grandparents’ family home. ant taps a gay man, Clarence Pierre, to take over his business. A short drive away, the Oxford High School will host a pop-up drive-in theater in the east parking lot. There, the festival opener will be Drought, directed by Megan Petersen and Hannah Black. Set in 1993, Drought tells the story of Carl (Own Scheid, who is on the spectrum in real life) who, during the historic North Carolina drought of 1993, discovers his uncanny ability to predict the weather. The third screen, located at the Oxford Conference Center, will open with Murder Bury Win. Writer/director/producer Michael Lovin’s film takes place

March 25-31, 2021

year ago, Melanie Addington, executive director of the Oxford Film Festival (OFF), was faced with a terrible choice: cancel the annual festival, throwing away months of planning and jeopardizing the survival of the 17-year-old Mississippi cultural institution, or go ahead with the event as planned, which would pack people from all over the country into movie theaters and risk spreading a deadly disease about which very little was known. Thanks to the timing of the spring festival, Addington was among the first people in America faced with that decision, but she wouldn’t be the last. Days after she announced Oxford’s postponement, the gargantuan South by Southwest festival followed suit. OFF would go on to become one of the pioneers of the virtual festival, teaming up with the Memphis cinema services company Eventive to stream the films online for a quarantined audience later in the spring. Hundreds of other festivals followed, to varying degrees of success, including Indie Memphis and Sundance. Now, a year later, with the pandemic still dangerous but the vaccine campaign going full steam, OFF is back in hybrid form for its 18th year. Films will screen in three

Cassie Hay and Amy Winston’s Queens of Pain follows the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league. in the world of board games, where three young men have created a game whose object is to get rid of a body. Then, when they are suddenly involved in a freak accident, they try to apply the corpse disposal methods they learned while researching their game. “The events of the past year have required that filmmakers and festivals alike find creative and innovative avenues for storytelling,” says OFF programmer Greta Hagen-Richardson. “With a narrative feature lineup composed almost exclusively of filmmaker submissions, we spent the year truly embracing our role as a discovery festival. Our filmmakers have taken limited resources and made exciting, fresh, and compelling work for our audience. The unique perspectives presented speak to who we are as a community in a time when circumstances have forced us to exist separately.” Among the documentaries that will screen throughout the weekend are Queens of Pain by Cassie Hay and Amy Winston, which follows the women of the Gotham Roller Derby league through a season of wheeled combat, and

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EMPLOYMENT After the in-person weekend, the festival will continue online for the entire month of April, with films streaming on the Eventive platform. The kickoff party for the virtual festival will be held on Friday, April 2nd, with a pop-up drive-in at Cannon Motors with Labyrinth, the fantasy film starring David Bowie considered by many to be Muppet creator (and Mississippian) Jim Henson’s masterpiece. Check memphisflyer.com for ongoing coverage of OFF throughout the in-person weekend and continuing through the month of April. Tickets and passes are available at oxfordfilmfest.com.

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Bleeding Audio, director Chelsea Christer’s portrait of pop-punk band The Matches, who achieved cult success in the ’00s, only to get lost in the transition between the CD era and streaming music. On the more experimental side, Oxford’s Powerhouse venue will play host throughout the weekend to a series of video projection installations. The program includes 5000 Space Aliens by animator Scott Bateman, a featurelength experimental film that promises some eye-popping visuals that will have its world premiere at the festival on Friday night.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

FILM By Chris McCoy

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T H E L AS T W O R D B y Ke n n e t h N e i l l

Cult of Ignorance

THE LAST WORD

I was driving through southern Georgia on Tuesday afternoon, when I first heard of the murders in the Atlanta/Cherokee County massage parlors, and noted that the suspect, a young man named Robert Aaron Long, was apprehended while trying to get to Florida, some 150 miles down I-75, probably not far from where I was at that exact moment. Now that we have more info, it appears likely that Mr. Long is yet another name to add to the country’s long list of young white male mass murderers. I wasn’t on I-75, however. Some of you here may remember William Least Heat-Moon’s book, Blue Highways, and I oftentimes feel like I’m following in his excellent footsteps. When traveling by car, I mostly meander, often taking a day or two to travel distances that might take five or six hours on the interstates. That’s how I found myself on the back roads of south Georgia on last Tuesday’s tragic afternoon. To call that part of the world a vacant place, sadly, is an insult to vacant places. The word that came to my mind while twisting and turning on these bleak roads of a series of rural counties was “forlorn.” More than a few now-aging Trump signs still stand along STEVEHEAP | DREAMSTIME.COM these back roads; some of the more elaborate ones look like Dispatches from Trump land bizarrely abandoned Christmas creches. And all along the highways, there’s almost no sign of sentient life, around houses both occupied and abandoned. Until you get to the county seats, where at least actual human beings were occasionally visible. Today, everything in these small towns is refocused, not around the town square and the court house, but around the Walmart, and around the local interstate exits (in this case, the ones along I-75), where cookie-cutter Days Inns and Comfort Inns and Wendy’s and Applebee’s pass for an odd kind of cultural tourism in this, our country. Wherever you go now, it seems, there you are — and there you have been before. I’m sure there are wonderful people in these rural Georgia towns, but I dare say living in these places would drive many of us stark-raving mad, maybe even leading us to grow Amish beards and shoot up the women (and men) working in massage parlors in whatever Sin City is just 50 miles away. … I have a suggestion for President Biden: Why not consider creating an agency within the Department of Agriculture; give it a nice name, of course, but one charged with bringing rural America back to life. For now, let’s just call it the Office to Combat Rural Disintegration (OCRD). I know, the name’s a non-starter, but it’s a fair description of what’s happening in the country’s non-urban spaces these days. Such attention might help us as a nation break the cult of ignorance that overlays virtually everything in rural America. Of course, He Who Must Not Be Named — the ultimate city slicker, ironically — had the twisted genius to infect every corner of the hinterland, all the “there” that’s really not there between our urban centers, with his know-nothing xenophobia and anger against the “other.” Never forget that Joe Biden carried just 16 percent of America’s 3,006 counties last November. That’s not a good omen, for either Republicans or Democrats. But it’s not all You Know Who’s fault either; he’s just one part of a rural trinity of forces, along with clerical (and racial) claustrophobia and, perhaps most important of all, the existence today of a digital universe where every man and woman can create their own version of reality. And wake up and change it 100 percent the next day. QAnon is the grand creation of rural America — and of its growing cult of ignorance. Kenneth Neill is the former (and founding) publisher of the Memphis Flyer.

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

A journey down Blue Highways into deep red country.

23


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Memphis Flyer - 3/25/2021