Memphis Flyer 5/19/2022

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CONTENTS

JESSE DAVIS Editor SHARA CLARK Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER, BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Senior Editors TOBY SELLS Associate Editor CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor ALEX GREENE Music Editor SAMUEL X. CICCI, MICHAEL DONAHUE, JON W. SPARKS Staff Writers ABIGAIL MORICI Copy Editor, Calendar Editor LORNA FIELD, RANDY HASPEL, RICHARD MURFF, FRANK MURTAUGH, MEGHAN STUTHARD Contributing Columnists AIMEE STIEGEMEYER, SHARON BROWN Grizzlies Reporters ANDREA FENISE Fashion Editor KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher

OUR 1734TH ISSUE 05.19.22 Like all homeroom teachers, managers, parents, and, yes, editors, I have a few axioms to which I return with regularity. One is that each issue of the Flyer needs to be a buffet. There should be something for everyone’s own particular tastes, and, ideally, we will tempt the news hounds with an arts column they might not usually seek out, feed the music lover some politics coverage. So this week, I find myself not needing to comment on much of the larger stories making the rounds. It would be overkill, a buffet with three different kinds of Brussels sprouts. “At Large” columnist Bruce VanWyngarden covers the tragic shooting in Buffalo, and the way media echo chambers amplify the poisonous rhetoric of white supremacy. Jon W. Sparks looks at Ukraine in this issue’s excellent cover story, and film editor Chris McCoy does double duty by covering last weekend’s abortion rights protest. Toby Sells has the history and potential economic impact of the fabled third bridge over the Mississippi River on lockdown, and politics writer Jackson Baker unpacks the geographic intersections at the heart of the District Attorney race. And, in “The Last Word,” frequent Flyer freelancers Bryce W. Ashby and Michael J. LaRosa are absolutely on top of the situation with regard to immigration and education. To return to my buffet analogy, we have ourselves a healthy and comprehensive news diet this week. So, with a deadline looming, I’m going to share an anecdote, something I had originally thought was Just for Me, an experience to be enjoyed but not recounted. Last weekend, I took a walk. That’s not unusual. I take more walks than a retiree with new tennis shoes. This walk was something else, though. Almost a year after I moved back into my childhood neighborhood, I decided it was time to be hopelessly self-centered and walk past my childhood home while listening to the song I wrote about it. Was it needlessly sentimental? Without a doubt. Somewhat gauche, self-mythologizing to the point of egomania? You better believe it. But it’s not as if anyone would ever know about it, right? (Again, deadlines will make one do strange things — like confess to your entire print readership that you are a sad, sappy sucker.) So, headphones on and music cranked, I walked past a particular house on Faxon. I thought about climbing a certain tree, watching for pill bugs in my dad’s flowers, about my sister’s old habit of eating my crayons. Do the new tenants still see orbweaver spiders in the hedges, I asked myself. And I remembered my eighth birthday party, when I got a set of cheap toy walkie-talkies, and I wondered if kids still go wild for the things. In the age of smartphones, I imagine the shine has worn off. The memories aren’t all centered on that house either. I walked past the Pham family’s house across the street and thought about Mailan and me chasing my fox terrier around the yard. Further down Faxon, I passed under the mulberry tree, the sidewalk stained in a Jackson Pollock spray of purple, where I used to pick berries with Aunt Sue, who wasn’t my actual aunt. With fuzzed-out Fender guitars jogging my memory, I thought about baby albino raccoons walking in a line behind their mother, about being chased by a dog after school, about walking to Overton Park to catch tadpoles in Rainbow Lake. I remembered a one-legged cardinal splashing in a bird bath, season after season. On the other end of the street, I passed the newly renovated house where Mr. Ben used to live. He was the man who first took my dad to donate blood, a tradition that my sister and I continue to this day. In a way, anyone who was ever helped by a pint of my O- is part of Ben’s legacy. I got to experience something that was vanishing even then, though I was too young to realize how precious it was. I grew up knowing my neighbors, learning from them. I grew up, at least for about eight precious years, with a sense of community. I was within walking distance of public green space. I knew who in the neighborhood made the best cookies, who bought the fancy fireworks for July 4th. There are places I could turn this column — the need for walkable neighborhoods; the way automobiles rewrote the built landscape; how “grind” culture and income inequality keep folks too tired and busy to enjoy that most wondrous of Southern pastimes, the NEWS & OPINION leisurely porch conversation; that any THE FLY-BY - 4 demagogue who spreads fear and hate NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 in a calculated attempt to fracture POLITICS - 7 a community is the antithesis of all AT LARGE - 8 FINANCE - 9 that’s good about humanity — but COVER STORY why bother? “COMBAT MEDIC” If you can’t read between the lines, BY JON W. SPARKS - 10 I don’t want to beat you over the head WE RECOMMEND - 14 with those ideas. Besides, I’ve hit my MUSIC - 15 word count, and once we get this CALENDAR - 16 FOOD - 19 paper off to press, I think I’ll have FILM - 20 time for another long walk around CLASSIFIEDS - 22 the neighborhood. LAST WORD - 23 Jesse Davis jesse@memphisflyer.com

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THE

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MEMernet Memphis on the internet. FORMULA SHORTAGE A Facebook group, called Memphis Formula, was organized this weekend to help families find baby formula during the shortage. This is the MEMernet at its best. POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY SHANDALE SANDERS

GRIZZ The Memphis Grizzlies’ season ended Sunday with a Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the semiconference finals. NBA on ESPN summed it up nicely with this tweet: “What a season for the Grizzlies. The future is bright in Memphis.”

May 19-25, 2022

BARBECUE

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Last week, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest brought thousands of people from 212 teams, tons of charcoal, piles of pork (and more), plumes of smoke, a heaping helping of good times, and dozens of locals complaining about the fireworks on Nextdoor.

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Questions, Answers + Attitude Edited by Toby Sells

CITY REPORTER By Chris McCoy

Roe Protest Abortion rights protestors rally in Downtown Memphis. Hundreds gathered in the hot sun to rally in support of abortion rights on Saturday, May 14th, in Downtown Memphis. The crowd was protesting the anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision that would reverse the 50year precedent of Roe v. Wade, the decision that affirmed women’s constitutional right to abortion via their right to privacy. A Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi official declined to estimate how many attended the Bans Off Pro-choice marchers gathered in Downtown Memphis on Saturday to protest the anticiTennessee protest, pated reversal of Roe v. Wade. beyond noting more than 1,200 had signed up and told the crowd he was with them “one million percent.” for the event through the organization’s online organizing Volunteers handed out water bottles as the protesters mixed portal. The rally crowd spilled out of Ida B. Wells Plaza, dwarfing the dozen or so Proud Boys counter-protesters, about, sharing their stories of experiences with abortion who flashed white supremacist hand signs at the line of and their personal awakening to the cause. No violence or feminist protestors facing them across Beale Street. arrests were observed. Among the speakers at the hour-long rally were Should the court overturn the decision, it would trigger a Tennessee House Representative London Lamar, scientist Tennessee law that would ban abortions in the state within and Shelby County Democratic Party chairwoman Gabby 30 days, said PPTNM CEO Ashley Coffield. The decision Salinas, Planned Parenthood organizers Antoine Dandridge would likely also lift a temporary injunction on a law passed and Aerris Newton, Shelby County Commissioner Tami here (but now blocked by a judge) outlawing abortions after Sawyer, and candidate for Tennessee State Senate Ruby six weeks. Powell-Dennis. Preparing for this since 2019, PPTNM is hiring and After the rally, most of the attendees braved the heat training patient navigators, to help those they serve get access to legal abortions outside of Tennessee and Mississippi. to march down Beale Street, where tourists and revelers These navigators will help patients remove financial and watched and took pictures of the throng. At one point, a transportation barriers to finding legal abortions. street singer incorporated the marchers’ chant “My body, Should the decision be overturned, Coffield said my choice” into a blues song. Tennessee residents in Memphis and Nashville could find The marchers turned onto Main Street, where their access to an abortion in Illinois. Those in East Tennessee chants of “No justice, no peace” echoed through the urban could find abortion access in North Carolina, Virginia, and, canyons. While taking pictures of the crowd, this reporter perhaps, Florida. almost ran over Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis, While Coffield painted a grim reality of a future most who was cheering on the marchers from the south sidewalk. pro-choice citizens have dreaded, she vowed PPTNM would By this time, the tiny counter-protest had melted away. continue its work. Beyond the occasional thumbs-down along the route, there “First and foremost, abortion is legal today in Tennessee were few signs of dissent from the marchers’ message in and our doors remain open,” she said. “We will continue to support of women’s rights to make their own reproductive provide abortion care up to the very minute when we no health decisions. longer can do so.” The energized crowd arrived for a second rally at the National Civil Rights Museum, where organizer Newton led Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for even more local chants. Cohen thanked the marchers for braving the heat news.


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The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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New project pushes for third Mississippi River bridge.

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CITY REPORTER B y To b y S e l l s

901-252-3434

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emphis business leaders hope to reignite the urgency for a new bridge — a third bridge — across the Mississippi River in a project they’re calling America’s River Crossing. The Greater Memphis Chamber hosted a call with business leaders, politicians, and transportation leaders from Tennessee and Arkansas last week to make their case for the need of a new bridge. The crossing at Memphis is now served by two bridges, the Hernando De Soto Bridge on the north and the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge on the south. The importance of the crossing (and the need for a new bridge) was demonstrated last year, the group said, when the Hernando De Soto Bridge was closed for months after a crack in the structure was discovered. West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon said the closure clogged his city with 18-wheelers using neighborhood streets to bypass traffic. Children couldn’t play in their yards. Road-rage shootings stressed an already stressed police force. Curbs, gutters, and more were damaged and destroyed. “If that didn’t do anything else, it underscored how critical the need for a third bridge is to our nation’s supply chain, critical military, and the ability of tourists to move north to south and east to west in our area,” McClendon said. The disruption was widespread for weeks last summer as crews worked to repair the bridge. Opinion pieces were published in the daily newspapers and the issue was debated at length on social media, although much of the volume turned down as the bridge reopened. The idea sounded far-fetched to some. But the idea has been studied

PHOTO: CLAUDIA BOTTERWEG | DREAMSTIME.COM

Will the Hernando De Soto Bridge always be the “new” bridge? times before. Collins cited the 2006 Mississippi River crossing feasibility and location study. A 2009 regional infrastructure plan by the Chamber included a third bridge in its recommendations. The Southern Gateway plan once again looked at a new bridge here in 2010, but the plan was put on hold indefinitely in 2014. Those studies suggested a new bridge at the Mississippi/Tennessee border, and at the Pidgeon Industrial Park, at the north loop of I-240. Another study suggested simply replacing the I-55 bridge with a new one. “People have short memories and the bridge closing is in the rear-view mirror, no pun intended,” said Bill Dunavant, CEO of Dunavant Enterprises, a cotton merchant with divisions dedicated to logistics and development. “But when you look at a crisis, it creates an opportunity.” That opportunity is that third bridge, he said. While the bridge project would likely take years to begin (after environmental studies, finding a new location, designing the new bridge, and getting a host of federal approvals), the time to begin funding the project is now, the group said. “This is a bridge of national significance and one of the most critical crossings in America, as it relates to freight transportation and logistics at the city that is the most critical in the hemisphere or the world for transportation — America’s River Crossing,” said Bobby White, the chamber’s chief public policy officer.


POLITICS By Jackson Baker

Location, Location … The D.A. race: Does where you say it matter as much as what you say? assemblage of suburbanites at Weirich’s headquarters event, her crowd was somewhat more varied than that, including such pillars of the law enforcement community as Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael, Bill Gibbons of the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission, and Buddy Chapman of CrimeStoppers. And she was introduced to the crowd by Stevie Moore, an African American whose son was murdered 19 years ago and who subsequently founded the justly celebrated F.F.U.N. (Freedom from Unnecessary Negatives), an organization whose stated mission is “to provide the at-risk community holistic alternative solutions regarding their social issues (i.e., drugs, alcohol, low self-esteem, crime, gangs, lack of educational and basic daily survival needs).”

Moore vouched for Weirich as “a person who’s in our communities, and I can call her any time. The problem I had with most our political leaders, they don’t come out to our communities. But she’s in the community, and that’s why I’m here for her today.” In her own remarks, Weirich defended her efforts to control and punish crime and lauded such developments as the Tennessee legislature’s passage of “truthin-sentencing” legislation. She said she intended “to focus our energies and our work and our mission, on protecting the victims in this community, on protecting the families in this community whose lives have been forever destroyed by the violence. So don’t fuss at me about being too tough on crime.”

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Weirich with F.F.U.N. founder Stevie Moore at the CarreFour center

NEWS & OPINION

The two candidates for Shelby County District Attorney General held near-simultaneous events on Monday, at sites roughly 20 miles apart. Incumbent Republican D.A. Amy Weirich opened up her campaign headquarters at 6645 Poplar in the CarreFour shopping center and addressed a group of supporters and other attendees there. Democratic challenger Steve Mulroy, meanwhile, was conducting a press conference Downtown outside the Shelby County Justice Center at 201 Poplar. The location of Weirich’s event was essentially the subject matter of Mulroy’s. The incumbent D.A. had sent out an announcement of her HQ “grand opening” Monday morning via an email, the subject line of which was “Don’t forget to stop by on your way home.” That prompted Mulroy to call his press conference, where he noted the location of the venue, just inside the Germantown city line. In a press release that paralleled his press conference statements, Mulroy said, “The Werich HQ opens in one of the wealthiest, least crime-ridden ZIP codes in the county. This is not only tone-deaf, it’s emblematic of what’s wrong with that office, where 90 percent of the attorneys and supervisors are white, in a 55 percent Black county where criminal defendants are almost 90 percent Black.” Those numbers are basically the same ones he put forth in another press conference in early April, at which he charged that the lack of racial diversity was a problem with the Weirich-run D.A.’s office. And he offered some new “background stats” to buttress his remarks on Monday. “The Germantown ZIP code is the third-wealthiest ZIP code in Shelby County, with a median income of $101,000. The U.S. Census says it’s about 5 percent Black. The website crimegrade.org gives it an A+, the lowestcrime category.” In other words, Mulroy seemed to be saying, Weirich’s injunction to “stop by on your way home” implied that her political constituency, in East Memphis and outward into the elite suburbs, was far removed from the actual urban landscapes where most crime occurred, with the further implication that Weirich’s concerns would be otherwise than focused on crime in the inner city. Other speakers at the Mulroy press conference conveyed similar messages. While there was certainly a fair

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A T L A R G E B y B r u c e Va n W y n g a r d e n

Saving Grace We’re on an elevator ride to hell.

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t was in late June 2015. I was on president to give permission to the white vacation, visiting my son Andrew people who are decidedly not “America’s in New York City. The news had best” to voice the angry, suppressed, been filled for days with the horrific evil part out loud — and act on it. In a events in Charleston, South Carolina, few short years, the specter of white where a racist teenager named Dylann supremacy has gone from anonymous, Roof had walked into Emanuel AME ignorant men burning crosses in the Church and gunned down nine Black Southern woods to the mainstream parishioners in cold blood. of the Republican Party — and into We decided to drive out to Montauk the brains of who-knows-how-many for a few days to try and change the vaca- disturbed young men with easy access tion narrative. The first night, we went to high-powered weapons. to watch an indie film being screened The latest rallying cry is the “white in a local park. It was a perfect summer replacement theory” — the belief that evening and a small crowd was spread people of color are going to somehow about on blankets and folding chairs, pour across the border by the milwaiting for the film to begin, chatting, lions, register to vote (even though they staring at their phones. I was one of the wouldn’t be citizens), and take over the latter, scrolling idly, when a tweet with electorate, thereby making white people a a video of President Obama caught my minority. It’s a fiendishly clever plot, no? attention. It was the moment when the Laughable or not, it’s now the principal president broke into topic on Tucker Carl“Amazing Grace” at the son’s racist fever-fest funeral for Rev. Clemon Fox News. And enta Pinckney. Obama mainstream Republibegan singing alone, cans have taken the cue, then a few parishioners openly espousing the joined in, and then theory, even using it in the sound swelled like their ads. The message a great wave cresting, isn’t subtle: Poor, dirty, as everyone in the non-English-speaking congregation lifted their brown and Black people voices. As I watched, I are going to “replace” felt tears flooding my you noble white people cheeks. The president and take all your stuff. PHOTO: OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO had somehow tapped And the Democrats are BY PETE SOUZA, PUBLIC DOMAIN, into the unspeakable behind it all! VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS pain of that moment The 18-year-old who Barack Obama and transformed it into murdered 10 people at a hope, into love, into supermarket in Buffalo, catharsis. I will never forget it. New York, last weekend wrote 180 pages Just 10 days earlier, the man who of drivel citing the replacement theory as would become Obama’s successor had justification. It’s just the latest iteration of ridden an elevator down to the basethe American white supremacist horror ment of Trump Tower and announced show, which also includes the murders of his intention to run for president. His worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, first words into the cameras were a lie: the killings of Hispanics at a mall in El “Wow,” he said. “That is some group of Paso, and the deadly “Jews will not replace people. Thousands!” Puzzled reportus” march in Charlottesville, Virginia. All ers looked around, noting the several were committed by white men citing the dozen spectators, some of whom, it was replacement theory bullshit. later discovered, had been paid $50 to Trump began his campaign with a attend and wave signs. Trump then went racist trope, and he continued to stoke off on one of his now-familiar verbal racism at every turn for five years, inrambles, concluding by saying of Mexico: cluding after the nazi march at Charlot“They’re sending people that have lots tesville, where he notably cited “good of problems, and they’re bringing those people on both sides.” problems with us [sic]. They’re bringing That whirlwind has hit the barn. drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re We live in a country where baseless rapists. They’re not sending their best.” fear-mongering and racism spark mass Trump didn’t invent the stubbornly murder, a country where it’s easier for a embedded strain of American racism teenager to obtain weapons of war than that still plagues this country, emerging a beer, a country gravely in need of healand receding through the centuries like ing, and yes, maybe even a hymn. We are a blood tide. But Trump was the first an Amazing Disgrace.

Image courtesy of Pride Archives c.2016


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

PHOTO: SHARON MCCUTCHEON | UNSPLASH

if you redeem before five years you lose three months of interest. I Bonds aren’t even great for an emergency fund due to that one-year lockup, and it’s very likely you will get less than 9.6 percent holding for one year when the second six-month rate (and early withdrawal penalty) is factored in. • If we all had unlimited time horizons and no short-term cash needs, we probably wouldn’t own any bonds. One of the main reasons to buy bonds is so that if stocks drop significantly, yields are likely to fall and bond prices go up. Since these are floating rate bonds, you don’t get that potential increase in your bond price, which is a reason it’s not a substitute for a traditional bond allocation. • You can only put $10,000 a year into I Bonds per person, so chasing this high interest rate means you’re only hoping to make hundreds of dollars (not even $1,000) the first year. By the time you can put more money in, yields probably won’t look this good. For investors with larger portfolios, I Bonds won’t make much difference. If $10,000 is most of your portfolio, you’re probably younger and should reconsider going 100 percent bonds to begin with! There’s nothing wrong with I Bonds, they just aren’t the panacea that some would have you believe. At the end of the day, it’s hard to imagine a long-term scenario where an investor would be better off buying I Bonds rather than adding to a well-planned diversified portfolio. There will always be one-size-fits-all investment ideas, but in the end we believe it’s worth navigating a little complexity to make the best decisions toward a secure financial future. Gene Gard is Chief Investment Officer at Telarray, a Memphis-based wealth management firm that helps families navigate investment, tax, estate, and retirement decisions. Ask him your questions or schedule an objective, no-pressure portfolio review at letstalk@telarrayadvisors.com. Sign up for their next free online seminar on the Events tab at telarrayadvisors.com.

Subject to credit approval. Rates valid as of 05/02/22. Some restrictions may apply. After the introductory period the 3.25% APR will increase to a fixed rate of 15.25% APR. Earn 2 CU Rewards Points for every $1 spent on travel related expenses such as gas, dining, flights, cruises, lodging, rental cars and more. Points will not be awarded for Cash Advances, Balance Transfers or Convenience Checks.

southeastfinancial.org southeastfinancial.org | 901-751-9351 | 901-751-9351

NEWS & OPINION

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here is a great instinct to try to distill complex investment matters into simple solutions. For years, online experts insisted that you could get all the benefits of the market by just investing in one index like the S&P 500. Now that the shine of U.S. large cap growth is wearing off, a new reductionist approach is gaining traction — U.S. Treasury Series I Savings Bonds, or “I Bonds.” The siren song is simple — why expose yourself to the ups and downs of the stock market if you can buy a principal-protected investment with a current high yield? How could anyone disagree? There’s nothing wrong with I Bonds, but there are good reasons why they’re not a substitute for your diversified portfolio — or maybe even your bonds and cash:

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C O V E R S T O R Y B y J o n W. S p a r k s

COMBAT MEDIC

PHOTO: COURTESY TIM SCALITA

Ukrainian squad trained by Tim Scalita on combat life-saving techniques and battlefield tactics. Scalita is wearing sunglasses next to the soldier sitting on the vehicle.

MEMPHIAN TIM SCALITA GOES TO WAR IN UKRAINE.

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May 19-25, 2022

wo weeks ago in Lviv, Ukraine, Tim Scalita stepped out of his hotel, propped up his phone for a FaceTime call, and fired up a cigarette. “It’s a nice town,” he says. “The Russians have been blowing it up a little bit the past couple of days, but nothing too terrible, mainly just aiming for power stations.” He’d been in Ukraine for just under two weeks, ready to pitch in as a combat medic. Scalita has the experience. He did it in the U.S. Navy, including working with the Marines in Afghanistan a few years ago. He’s a Memphian who is a writer and indie filmmaker. Now he’s been in Ukraine about a month and is near the town of Dnipro with a mostly Canadian tactical medical evacuation team. “We have trained two Battalions on combat life-saving techniques as well as battlefield tactics,” he said early this week. “We are basically training the front to fight and 10 care for the injured soldiers until we can arrive and extract the wounded and

transport them to the hospital.” In the four weeks he’s been in Ukraine, there have been some false starts, a few surprises, and plenty of rigorous training. He’s gotten to know his team and he’s observed a country that sometimes seems perfectly normal until the air-raid sirens split the air. He’s been ready to get at it, although the worn-out (but accurate) phrase “hurry up and wait” has been fully realized. Until he finally got to Dnipro with his team, it was all about the logistics, sometimes hit or miss. Early in March, he posted his intentions. THE JOURNEY March 9th Facebook entry: My military friends. How do I get to the Ukraine? It was on that date that a Russian air strike hit a maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol. “Children are under the wreckage,” raged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “This is an atrocity!” Scalita also felt the rage then, as well as days later when Russian forces bombed a theater/shelter in the same city, killing about 300 people. News reports

PHOTO: SAMUEL SUTHERLAND

Tim Scalita say the Russians are making at least two attacks a day on the country’s healthcare infrastructure. “The moment they started blowing up civilian targets,” he says, “I was like, you know what? I have skills. I was a corpsman with the Marines in Afghanistan and I was very good at my job. And I don’t have a family. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be doing this.” He didn’t dawdle.

March 20th Facebook entry: I’m making it official. As soon as my passport comes in (which will be a few weeks) I’m leaving for the Ukraine. They are in desperate need of experienced field medics and I refuse to do nothing while the innocent are being slaughtered. Scalita didn’t want to wait around for the passport to come through, so he contacted U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) to see if the process could be expedited. March 30th Facebook entry: Passport came in. Thank you Congressman Cohen for pushing it through. But there was still more to be done, not the least of which was acquiring funding to deal with travel and equipment. And he is planning for an indeterminate stay in hostile territory. April 3rd Facebook entry: Central BBQ is buying my plane ticket to Poland! Scalita has been working at the catering kitchen at Central BBQ. The restaurant’s Elizabeth and Craig Blondis stepped up to effectively be his sponsor,


PLAN B Scalita finally got to meet with Legion officials and told them he was there to work as a medic. “They said, ‘Ah, a combat medic — that’s great. So, you want to join a special ops team and go behind enemy lines and kill Russians in their sleep?’ And I’m like, no — gotta save lives when stuff ’s blowing up. That’s my thing. And they’re like, ‘Cool, cool, cool. So you want to go behind enemy lines and kill Russians in their sleep?’” Scalita assured them that he was not interested in commando infiltrations. He’d already trained with them doing interminable fire team drills in the swamps, but he could see they didn’t put a priority on what he was offering. “I’m sure once I’m on the front line, I may not have a choice in certain situations, where I have to pull a trigger on somebody.

But I didn’t come to fight another man’s war. I came to make sure everyone gets home okay.” Disappointed, he ditched the Legion, gathered up his gear, and went looking for a Plan B. On a FaceTime call two weeks ago, he said, “At the moment, I’m waiting. Tomorrow there’s a paramedic team coming in from Canada that I’m going to join. We’ll be taking casualties from the front line and then rushing them to aid stations and hospitals.” Scalita is hoping the arrangement will work out, but everything is fluid. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, especially with a lot of these paramedic groups,” he says. “They come in and they’re like, oh, we’re only

PHOTO: SAMUEL SUTHERLAND

From left: Speedy (French Canadian), Harry Bennett (U.S.), Zach England (Canadian), Samuel Sutherland (Canadian), Chase Webb, Sean Malone (U.S.), Tim Scalita (U.S.) here for a month. And I’m like, I plan on staying here at least till Christmas. I want to go to London for Christmas and then go home.” ON THE GROUND Meanwhile, he’s been gathering impressions and memories as he hurries up and waits for his opportunity to get into the field. Over the last several days, Scalita has been sending his impressions and observations. For one thing, the language barrier, he says, has been intimidating. “People do speak a decent amount of English here, so I’m not completely lost, but it’s still just

strange. It’s like I’d rather take on a legion of Russian soldiers than go to the grocery store, because all I can do is point and hand cash.” And yet Scalita was surprised at how un-foreign things often seem. “It looks like everywhere,” he said. “I was expecting to land in Poland and it just be like this alien landscape. But it all looks like Pennsylvania. Driving through Poland and coming into Ukraine and it looks exactly like everywhere I’ve ever been.” When Scalita’s team finally came to Lviv, it looked like his Plan B was going to happen. “We met up at the Dream Hostel in Lviv,” he said. “Let me tell you, it was nice to have some guys to hang out with. I met with the whole team at

an outdoor cellphone kiosk a block or so from the hostel. The streets were teeming with, honestly, the most beautiful people I’d ever seen. I don’t think myself a super attractive person, but I never felt more butt-ugly.” The team leader is a Canadian named Zach England. “He was happy to have a corpsman on his team and I was glad to have the gig,” Scalita said. “The gig: hard/high-risk extraction of casualties from active engagements on the front. I will be one of two medics to receive the casualties. We will have a driver and two to four shooters depending on the vehicle. We race in, receive, and run like hell to the nearest field hospital.” Soon, the team would be on a train to Dnipro. “The bonding was good and honestly important, because a situation arose that needed to be addressed, and this next part is important,” Scalita said. “Especially for people who are thinking of coming over here.” One of the team members was Farva, a nickname in reference to the movie Super

Troopers. “He was showing disturbing signs of not having the mental stability needed for the task ahead,” Scalita said. “This began to be recognized by others days before it became very obvious the more he drank. It came to a decision that he would be reassigned when we arrived to Dnipro. He was obviously upset, so as a stranger to the situation and as a ‘doc,’ I sat him down one-on-one and explained that a team must feel safe with their teammates and trust that their teammates are there for the team. Our concern is that he was looking for a blaze of glory in which to leave this world. We refuse to facilitate that. To be successful, we must be professional. Being he was a former Marine, he trusted me enough to listen and understood. He is now with a humanitarian aid group, and I hope he finds peace in it. “I only go into great detail on that story because I’ve read accounts, and since I’ve been in Ukraine I’ve encountered twice now, those who come here with ill intentions. They either want to just kill people out of blood thirst or see it as a good opportunity to take their own life and be remembered a hero and not the person they see themselves as.” “MY HEART GOES OUT FOR THE LOST” Meanwhile at the train station, Scalita noted that there are many tents and services for refugees coming from the east. “And a lot of volunteers which we were thankful for. A couple of good people brought us up to the military lounge where we were well fed and allowed to store our gear while we waited for the train. They also helped with our tickets. They fed us a feast of spaghetti with meatballs and pickled radishes. The mixture didn’t work. It was interesting. They also brought fresh bread, apples, potatoes, and individually wrapped sandwiches to take with us on the train. We were all very thankful.” As they were waiting, Scalita got his first call for “doc.” “At first I thought I was being summoned to come out for a smoke and chat, but once I was outside I saw that on the platform two tracks over was a man holding another man having a seizure. We rushed across the tracks. The convulsions had stopped by the time I got to him. The man holding him, I would come to learn, was his brother who was trying to protect his head, which is really all you can do at that point. I checked his vitals and then asked about the medics. It was obvious from his disheveled state that the man didn’t have any meds with continued on page 12

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

providing the ticket and some money for gear — medical supplies, flak jacket, helmet, safety equipment — and other expenses. It was coming together. April 15th Facebook entry: Alright guys. Hard going away party at Hi Tone lower bar starting 8ish. Honestly last chance for most of you to see me before I’m off to save the world. April 21st Facebook entry: And I’m off ! See you when I see you. Now, in the first week of May, Scalita says, “I’m feeling pretty good. My goal was to get here, join the Legion and be a combat medic.” The International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine was founded on February 27th, three days after the Russian invasion. News reports say that up to 20,000 volunteers from around the world have signed up. Scalita followed the instructions on the organization’s website but it didn’t take long to encounter bumps in the road. The first one was immediately after he landed in Poland where he was to be met by Legion representatives. April 22nd Facebook entry: Hitch hiking into Ukraine like a boss. The Legion apparently no longer picks up in Poland. I have to enter the country on my own. They need to update the website. From there, things didn’t improve much. April 25th Facebook entry: Not going to lie. Conditions in the Legion camps are pretty terrible. Apparently the one I’m in is the Hilton compared to the others and it should be criminal. Things like drinking water we have to buy ourselves.

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continued from page 11 him. They took me to the doctor who was at the aid station where I learned the man had been there for days and had had many seizures but refused treatment, and that pretty much tied my hands as well. I left my guys with him in case they needed an extra hand with him. He was coming around and after a few minutes was able to continue on his own. We then just returned to the lounge.” The team finally boarded the train and headed out. “It was nice,” Scalita said. “It was my first time on a cross-country train ride. We were able to secure spaces together on the sleeping car. But when it came time to sleep, I remembered why I love living alone. People snore, and did they. The volume was unrealistic and I seemed to be the only one who couldn’t sleep through it. Utterly maddening. I got a couple hours after everyone started to wake up, but it wasn’t long before we arrived in Dnipro. Once off the train, we set up in the parking lot and waited for our ride. There was a similar relief setup at the train station, but we found ourselves being approached by people that aggressively pleaded for money. We tried our best to lead them to the tents but they weren’t interested. That’s when we noticed people giving these poor people food and supplies and they would hide what they received and just continue

to beg for money. I thought back to the man at the train station. Then I thought back to the homeless in Memphis and realized that you can’t help everyone no matter how much you wish you could. I was reminded that it’s a hard world even without this terrible war. My heart goes out for the lost.” IN DNIPRO Finally, the team got transport to a hospital and Scalita noticed the differences between

PHOTO: COURTESY TIM SCALITA

Tim Scalita filming one of his video projects in 2021 Lviv, an old and beautiful city, and Dnipro. “It has a nice downtown but is a poorer area. The people are just as nice and were very welcoming to us as volunteers coming to help against Russian aggression. They tell of the horrors committed to them and their loved ones by the Russian soldiers.

The stories of the rape of women and children are true and terrible. The stories of murdering civilians are true. It’s in their eyes.” Such a situation is also a call for introspection. “I read that there are a lot of American vets over here because we all feel like we need a little redemption from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Scalita said. “I mean Iraq, which is now widely accepted was a horrible and illegal war, was basically what Russia is doing to Ukraine. We did to Iraq, and the irony is not lost on anybody here. And the way that Afghanistan ended, which was the only way it was going to end. When I was there in 2012, they were just like, oh, what’s gonna happen when America leaves? And we’re like, ‘You’re toast. They’re waiting in Northern Pakistan.’ It was inevitable. A lot of us are looking for a little bit of redemption. We don’t exactly feel like the good guys, so we would very much like to be the good guys now, you know?” And that has become just another part of Scalita’s motivation. “Our spirits are good although we are tired. We are a good group and have more that will be joining our team as the conflict continues. Let’s hope it ends soon. Glory to Ukraine and to its heroes.” Editor’s Note: We will follow Tim Scalita throughout his tour in Ukraine.

PREVENT OPIOID OVERDOSE

CARRY NARCAN (Narcan provided at no cost)

May 19-25, 2022

Free Individual and Agency trainings are available Qualifying Agencies are: • Health Organizations • Treatment Centers • Churches • Schools • Local Businesses • Non Profits • Restaurants/Bars/Clubs • Hotels etc... To schedule training, please call: David Fuller (901) 484-2852

memphisprevention.org

If you need help, support, or referral to treatment, please call Lincoln Coffman (901) 495-5103

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This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.


CORDOVA I N T E R N A T I O N A L

FARMER’S MARKET

Open everyday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1150 N. Germantown Parkway, Cordova, TN 38016 901.417.8407 •

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

THE BEST PRICES

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Live music at

steppin’ out

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Ta Da! may 19th Take Me To The River All Stars

may 20th Southern Avenue w/ special guest The PRVLG

PHOTO: COURTESY ORPHEUM THEATRE

By Abigail Morici

Hayden Childress

“Want to see a free mind-reading trick?” magician Hayden Childress asks on his website. “Whatever you do, DON’T read this sentence. Amazing isn’t it? You couldn’t help read but the sentence! Also, you probably didn’t notice ‘but’ and ‘read’ were switched in the sentence above, did you? Magic!” “Is this some kind of mind game?” you might ask. “Surely, this isn’t ‘magical.’” Well, according to Childress, “Magic is just inherently tricks on your mind, something that’s messing with your perception of the world.” But Childress’ on-stage tricks go beyond switching words around in a sentence. He prefers to use everyday, practical props. “Like, I might borrow a phone from the crowd,” he says. “Everything I do is very interactive. A lot of it involves me bringing a person up. It’s sleight of hand, comedy, and psychology with a lot of these tricks — messing with how people think or the decisions they’re going to make.” And if you think that there’s no way someone can trick such a smarty as yourself, think again because Childress has been practicing his sleight of hand since he was 10. “I got into [magic] the same way most people got into it,” he says. “I saw some magic on television. Right away I went to the public library and picked up a bunch of books on magic and studied them front to back. And when I was about 11, there was a magic shop at a shopping mall about an hour from where I lived. I used to go there, and the magic shop owner saw that I was really into it and just let me work for tips doing tricks outside the shop. I would walk up to people at a table in the food court and say, ‘Hi, can I show you a magic trick?’ I did that pretty much every weekend.” Childress also picked up gigs in high school, working parties. “I knew I could make some money doing it,” he says. “I wasn’t sure how doable it was to do it full-time because I didn’t know many people who did it at the time.” So, by his late teens, he was stuck between choosing college or pursuing magic, but as fate would have it , two established and successful full-time magicians (one of whom was David Copperfield), upon meeting him, advised him to do both. “Because if you fail with the magic, you have a fallback of a normal career so that way you can take more risks.” So, instead of going to college parties, Childress took any gig that he could while pursuing his degree in business. Oddly enough, some of his business lessons have applied well to his magic — particularly in learning about consumer behavior, he says. “So like how does Amazon make you buy this brand of pen? A lot of it is the same psychology. Like how did Hayden make me think of ace of hearts? It’s kind of like using those same techniques in the show, but I use them for magic. It’s less marketable but it’s more fun.” Now a full-time magician, Childress says of his work, “I hope that after someone sees it that it might make them think of the world differently. But if they don’t, they can just enjoy any magic trick.” HAYDEN CHILDRESS, HALLORAN CENTRE, FRIDAY, MAY 20TH, 8 P.M., $28-$35.

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES May 19th - 25th

may 21st

May 19-25, 2022

brook fair and Alvin Youngblood hart

5/26 Mighty Souls Brass Band

5/20 Emily Wolfe

railgarten.com

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2 1 6 6 C e n t r a l Av e . Memphis TN 38104

Mississippi Goddamn Circuit Playhouse, performances through June 5th, $42 In 1963 Jackson, Mississippi, the stirring of the Civil Rights Movement is beginning to rally a nation of long-oppressed people. But on a particular street, which is home to a civil rights pioneer, not everyone is pleased to see it begin. Get your tickets to the regional premiere of this gripping work, running through June 5th, at playhouseonthesquare.com or by calling (901) 726-4656. Bluff City Fair Liberty Bowl Stadium, Friday, May 20-May 30, various times, $10 Exciting attractions and shows. All your favorite fair food. Spectacular carnival rides and kiddie rides. Learn more at bluffcityfair.com.

Memphis Greek Festival Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Friday-Saturday, May 20th21st, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. More than 15,000 people will attend this two-day festival, where attendees can embrace Greek heritage and culture. The fest will include tours of the church, a marketplace, inflatables and games for kids, and live entertainment by the Kostas Kastanis Band and the Athenian Dance Troupe. Of course, the festival wouldn’t be complete without your favorite Greek foods, from moussaka and spanakopita to baklava and koulouria. Admission is $3 or three cans of food to donate to the Mid-South Food Bank. Free shuttles will run to the festival for those parking at Poplar Plaza Shopping Center or Life Church.

Sunset Goat Yoga Overton Park Shell, Saturday, May 21st, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., $30 Yoga with 901Goats at Overton Park Shell! Goat Yoga is where you can relax your body and mind while surrounded by little goats. It’s a kind of a “go with the flow” session where it’s a little bit of exercise and a lot of fun! You don’t have to worry about your flexibility or if you’re doing each pose correctly knowing that everyone’s eyes are on the goat’s fun shenanigans and not on you. Some of the goats will even jump up on you while you’re doing yoga poses. But don’t worry, the goats are lightweight and very friendly. You’ll be sure to have a lot of laughs and leave feeling relaxed and entertained. Yoga mats are provided. Bring a bottle of water and avoid wearing loose/dangly jewelry. Register at overtonparkshell.com.


MUSIC By Alex Greene

Conjuring Souls from the World’s Edge Thomas Dollbaum’s poetry and his songs are populated with uprooted characters, hard circumstances, and folks in need of a fresh start.

PHOTO: CORA NIMTZ

Thomas Dollbaum ist poet’s vision is what Dollbaum has aspired to ever since. He first won accolades for his poetry, which in turn took him to the University of New Orleans. Having completed his master’s degree there, now laboring as a carpenter, he and friend Matt Seferian began recording the demos that grew into this album just before the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Work continued under lockdown conditions, as they slowly built up tracks that initially featured only acoustic guitar and singing. From those labors comes a painstakingly crafted album that sounds as airy, natural, and flowing as anything from the 1970s’ Golden Age of singer/songwriters. But this isn’t the California of a half century ago. The setting of Dollbaum’s debut is more like today’s America: a broken land that wanderers still flock to, in search of whatever they can’t find at home. Perhaps growing up in such a land gives you a sixth sense for uprooted souls and the desperate dreams that drive them. They’ve burned themselves into Thomas Dollbaum’s mind in ways he may never shake. Instead, he builds worlds for them and invites us in. Thomas Dollbaum appears with Bailey Bigger and Kate Teague at Bar DKDC on Saturday, May 28th, 8 p.m.

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

to start again. Everyone I knew as a kid was from somewhere else.” The melodies are as sparing and unsentimental as the words, delivered unhurriedly, as when he sings “I walk hand in hand with my death.” The final result has a freshly minted quality, even where influences are apparent. Though the songwriters Dollbaum admires are in the mix, from the Silver Jews’ David Berman to Townes Van Zandt, Joni Mitchell, or Neil Young, every move grows organically from the songs, Dollbaum’s own distinctive voice, and the lives he conjures up. As Dollbaum stresses, these songs are more than mere diary entries. “Even in poetry, everything’s moving more to confessional stuff. I just don’t have much interest in that. These are songs and characters coming from growing up in Florida, a mixture of my own life and some of it very fictional. Lou Reed does that too. A lot of it is made up, but he makes these interesting worlds. That’s always interested me.” Music has always fascinated him as well, though not the polkas his father played on accordion in his youth. “I played bass first, until fifth grade or so,” he recalls. “And then I wanted to write songs, so I moved to guitar. I’ve always been playing music.” Extended family in Indiana both taught him guitar and introduced him to the music of John Prine, and folk-rock graced with a real-

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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hough he settled in New Orleans to hone his craft as a poet, the faces and voices of Florida still haunt Thomas Dollbaum’s songs. “Nothing good comes from Florida, including you,” he sings with a weary croon, and he could be singing about himself or that hooker “riding high with some trick” — or both. Indeed, the song “Florida” is the perfect lead track on Dollbaum’s debut, Wellwood, out this week on Big Legal Mess Records. Imagine a Tampa kid who grows up seeing more than he bargained for. Caught between the metal and rap scenes, he holes up at home to write songs evoking the damaged, yearning souls around him. “Going to high school in Florida, heroin was becoming really big again,” Dollbaum says. “I wasn’t that involved with it, but a lot of my friends ended up getting addicted in the opiate epidemic. Seeing people you grew up with ending up lost, where you don’t even know where they are anymore, those kinds of stories have always been wild to me.” Dollbaum is a songwriter who completely inhabits his characters. Points of comparison might be Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, or other singers with a poetic bent, but unlike them, Dollbaum is writing from a land without a past. “Florida is cookie-cutter,” he says. “Everything’s new. Nothing’s got any history to it. People from all over move down there

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Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to calendar@memphisflyer.com. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY. FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVENTS LISTING, VISIT EVENTS.MEMPHISFLYER.COM/CAL.

CALENDAR of EVENTS:

May 19 - 25

ART AN D S P EC I A L E X H I B ITS

“Annabelle Meacham: Personal Space”

Exhibition of Meacham’s neosurrealist paintings about her dreams, her relationship with nature, and the relationship her viewers feel with the images. Through May 21. L ROSS GALLERY

“Small and Mighty”

Exhibition of work by Jill Samuels. Through May 30. MEDICINE FACTORY

“Thomas Campbell: Corollary”

Exhibition of work by fifthgeneration steelworker Thomas Campbell, who shapes both the form and function of his work while blending tradition with innovation. Sunday, May 22-July 17. METAL MUSEUM

“Where I Come From”

Exhibition featuring the recent creations of Theresah Ankomah, a Ghanaian artist from Accra whose amalgamation of techniques create bold, colorful works that reflect her origins and story. Through May 31. UREVBU CONTEMPORARY

In “Where I Come From” at Urevbu Contemporary, Ghanaian artist Theresah Ankomah reflects on her origins and story.

C O M M U N I TY

A Night in Tel Aviv

Join Memphis Jewish Federation and the next generation of movers and shakers in Jewish Memphis for a young adult fundraiser supporting Ukrainian Jews. $50. Sunday, May 22, 7:30 p.m.

ART HAPPE N I NGS

Craft Fair

MEMPHIS JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

Gallery exhibit benefiting “From the Heart.” Featured artist Wanda Bradley. Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cafe Du Memphis

Enjoy beignets, shrimp & grits, cafe au lait, and plenty of fun. Proceeds benefit the Dorothy Day House and the Memphis Rotary Foundation. Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

MID-SOUTH ARTIST GALLERY

Memphis Rhythm and Blues Fiber Art Show

Regional quilt/fiber artists display Memphis- and/or music-themed pieces. Friday, May 20-June 10.

MALCO SUMMER 4 DRIVE-IN

Putting on the Glitz

Theatre Memphis will be ‘Puttin’ on the Glitz’ as they celebrate their last 100 years and party on to bring in the next 100! Enjoy food, music, and performances. $175. Friday, May 20, 6:30 p.m.

WOMAN’S EXCHANGE OF MEMPHIS

B O O K EVE N TS

Meet the Author: Jan Shivley

Novel welcomes Jan Shivley to celebrate the release of A Pictorial History of Wedding Photography. Sunday, May 22, 2 p.m. NOVEL

Meet the Author: Julie Hines Mabus Novel welcomes Julie Hines

Mabus to celebrate the release of Confessions of a Southern Beauty Queen. Tuesday, May 24, 6 p.m. NOVEL

C O M E DY

Benji Brown

Comedy by Benji Brown. Friday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.,

10 p.m.; Saturday, May 21, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, 8 p.m.

THEATRE MEMPHIS

CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE

Heather Land: Age Gap Tour

FAM I LY

Heather Land’s specialty is finding the funny in the frustrating. $29-$49. Friday, May 20, 8 p.m. HORSESHOE CASINO TUNICA

Family Fun Day

The entire family will enjoy this event-filled afternoon with food trucks, metalsmith demonstrations, and hands-on

activities. Free. Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. METAL MUSEUM

We Rock the Spectrum Grand Opening

Families with children from all walks of life are welcomed for a full day of fun with full access to specially designed sensory equipment. $15. Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. WE ROCK THE SPECTRUM

F EST IVA L

Beale Street Artcrawl

Art market with a variety of art forms and merchandise from established artists, artisan businesses, and nonprofits. Saturday, May 21, 1-7 p.m. BEALE STREET

Bluff City Fair

Exciting attractions and shows with all your favorite fair food. Friday, May 20-May 30. LIBERTY BOWL STADIUM

DreamFest Weekend

This three-day event spotlights an impressive array of artists. Free. Friday, May 20-May 22. OVERTON PARK SHELL

Fido Fest

Meet a variety of animal rescue groups, who will all have

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C A L E N D A R : M AY 1 9 - 2 5 adoptable pups on-site. Free face painting for those who donate. Plus, Hollywood Feed will have goodie bags, games, and giveaways! Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. THE SHOPS AT CARRIAGE CROSSING

Memphis Greek Festival Enjoy delicious Greek food and pastries and entertainment for the whole family. Friday, May 20-May 21.

ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

F I LM

Beware of Adults: The Strange & Wonderful Cautionary Tales of Roald Dahl

Screening Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, The Witches (1990), and Matilda. Saturday, May 21, 7:30 p.m.

Ghanaian-American Sarah is all set to abandon her Ivy League doctoral program to follow her married lover across the country. However, her mother’s sudden death derails her plans. $10-$12. Wednesday, May 25, 7-9 p.m.

GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

S PO R TS

Wind Suits, Whiskey, & Wags

Memphis Redbirds vs. Iowa Cubs

Suit up for the very first Wind Suits, Whiskey, and Wags to benefit Alive Rescue Memphis and come together to conquer two things: the wind and giving dogs a home. $75. Sunday, May 22, 3-6 p.m.

Monday, May 23-May 29

Roll on over to meet up with friends and enjoy DJ Daniel Mathis (Reachin’ Out/ WYXR), Pok Cha’s Egg Rolls, Taste of D’s, and giveaways. Friday, May 20, noon-1 p.m. HEALTH SCIENCES PARK

Courage Thru Cancer 5k All proceeds benefit Links for Lungs & Allie’s Allies. Saturday, May 21, 8 a.m. SHELBY FARMS PARK

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AUTOZONE PARK

T H EAT E R

Free Fyre’s show at the Stax will mix sounds and songs from the Harlem Renaissance to now.

OLD DOMINICK DISTILLERY

Bike to Work Day Party in the Park

Grab the kids and your lawn chairs to enjoy dinner from Pok Cha’s Egg Rolls and live music by Honey Vincent before the movie. Saturday, May 21, 6-9 p.m.

An evening of your stories about when you had to make up your mind. Spillit is live storytelling told in front of an audience. Saturday, May 21, 6 p.m.

FOOD AN D DR I N K

Cemetery Cinema: The Parent Trap

Family Movie Night: The Princess and the Frog

Spillit Slam: Maybe, Maybe Not

BLACK LODGE

H EA LTH A N D F I TN ES S

ELMWOOD CEMETERY

SHELBY FARMS PARK

MALCO STUDIO ON THE SQUARE

MALCO SUMMER 4 DRIVE-IN

Enjoy the beauty of the cemetery with a fun, unique film series as the final light of the day washes away. $15. Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.

more. Thursday, May 19.

Queen of Glory

P E R F O R M I N G A R TS

Cosi fan Tutte

Ferrando and Guglielmo and their girlfriends swear absolute trust, loyalty, and devotion to each other ... until they are presented with an opportunity to test the bonds of love. $40-$60. Saturday, May 21, 7:30 p.m. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH MEMPHIS

Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.

S P EC IA L EVE NTS

THE HALLORAN CENTRE

Cooper-Young Garden Walk

The Rebirth Tour

A mix of live jazz and spoken word poetry that recounts the stories of the Harlem Renaissance artists. Free. Friday, May 20, 6-8 p.m.

Walk through some of the most vibrant and beautiful personal gardens in Cooper-Young. Enjoy shopping from art vendors, educational booths, speakers, live music, and more. Friday, May 20-May 22.

STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC

Porgy & Bess

MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN

Legendary Gershwin opera set among the Black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina. Friday, May 20-June 12.

Overton Square Karaoke Dance Party: One Direction Night

Admission is free. Singing is required! Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m.

HATTILOO THEATRE

OVERTON SQUARE

Hayden Childress: Rare Magic, Well Done!

Park After Dark

Special evening celebrating and supporting Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. Featuring cocktails, dinner, music, and

A show that combines magic, comedy, psychology, and audience participation. $28, $35.

Mississippi Goddamn

In 1963 Jackson, Mississippi, the stirring of Civil Rights is beginning to rally a nation of long oppressed people. But on a particular street not everyone is pleased. Through June 5. CIRCUIT PLAYHOUSE

Smokey Joe’s Cafe

Smokey Joe’s Cafe is sure to leave audiences dancing in the aisles. $27. Through May 29.

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The Moors

Two sisters and a dog live out their lives on the bleak English moors, dreaming of love and power, until the arrival of a hapless governess and a moorhen. $20. Friday, May 20-May 21, 8 p.m. THEATREWORKS

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May 19-25, 2022

Memphis Parent wants to highlight the region’s top student-athletes. Know a rising sports star?

NOMINATE your favorite athlete at memphisparent.com/playbook

*Student-athlete nominees must be in middle or high school. 18


FOOD By Michael Donahue

Chefs Do BBQ Is barbecuing second nature in Memphis?

Karen Carrier, chef/owner of restaurants, including The Beauty Shop: “Applewood smoked barbecued char siu salmon with crystallized ginger, candied lemon zest, and an avocado, watermelon, radish, and orange supreme relish.” Joseph Michael Garibaldi Jr., Garibaldi’s Pizza owner: “We use a combination of fine- and medium-chopped hickory smoked pork shoulder and combine it with just the right amount of our sweet and sour sauce for it to caramelize the brown sugar on top and keep the pork moist and tender. … Our fresh, handtossed crust, signature fresh-packed tomato pizza sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese provide a perfect base for the perfect barbecue pizza.” Andy Knight, chef at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: “Opening Loflin Yard and Carolina Watershed — both on Carolina Avenue — I attempted Carolina barbecue with a Memphis twist. I would cook the butts Carolina style — vinegarbased — then lather them up later with a rich Memphis-style sauce. Both locations were successful, but could never beat Memphis-style. From vinegar-based pork

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PHOTO: MILES TAMBOLI

Italian barbecue pasta at Tamboli’s

butts to 12-hour smoked beef brisket, nothing beats the dry rub and a rich barbecue sauce of Memphis-style barbecue.” Betty Joyce “B.J.” Chester-Tamayo, chef-owner of Alcenia’s: “Barbecued chicken. I bake it first if I’m doing it at the restaurant. Sometimes I marinate it overnight with my Italian dressing.” She also uses her eight seasonings, including Italian dressing, fresh rosemary, and even some of her homemade apple butter. She adds her barbecue sauce when serving. “I take barbecue sauce from the store and add my own ingredients: lemon juice, ketchup, Lipton onion soup mix, and other seasonings.” Jonathan Mah, chef/owner SideStreet Burgers in Olive Branch, Mississippi: “My signature is the Korean barbecue — Le Fat Panda. My favorite cut is the pork steak marinated in Korean flavors and grilled. It’s a soy-based marinade with honey and mirin, green onions, and sugar, as well as sesame oil. Red pepper flakes for a little spice. Chargrilling is my favorite so that you burn that sugar a little bit on the grill. That’s the best part, to me.” Jeffrey Zepatos, owner of The Arcade Restaurant: “We used to do barbecue at the Arcade. And we had a barbecued grilled cheese sandwich. So, I’d stick to something along those lines. Smoked pulled pork barbecue on Texas toast with a smoked cheddar cheese to top it off. Now we obviously don’t have smokers at the Arcade, so I was buying a great pork shoulder from a local vendor that we could heat up on our griddle. I think that was fun because it added flavor from our griddle to the barbecue, which gave it a unique taste from all the bacon and sausage we cook on it.” Mario Gagliano, Libro chef/owner: “I’m from Memphis and I only know pork ribs with that classic vinegary Memphis sauce. All I’d do is take some baby backs and massage them with a nice dry rub, lightly sear it on low heat so as not to burn the sugars in the rub. Flip them and render some of that flavor off the bone. Then halfway submerge the ribs in boiling pork stock. Cover in foil and cook in the oven for a couple hours on 400 degrees. Remove them, brush some Memphis barbecue sauce and broil for a few minutes. Essentially, braising the pork, but it falls off the bone, super tender and moist. And you can find it cooked just like this at Libro at Laurelwood all through the month of May, baby.”

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

S

ince May is the month of the big “B” in Memphis, more area chefs share their thoughts on barbecuing. After all, this is Memphis. Barbecuing is sort of second nature. Right? Miles Tamboli, owner of Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza: “I made a barbecue pasta sauce that I’m really proud of to this day. I broke down barbecue sauce to its basic flavors and recreated it from scratch using Italian ingredients. Tomato base, caramelized onions, garlic confit, red wine, balsamic vinegar, smoked paprika, anchovy, and some more stuff. Tasted just like barbecue sauce. We tossed bucatini in it and topped it with seared sous vide pork belly from Home Place Pastures and nasturtium micros. It was excellent.”

19


FILM By Chris McCoy

Dude, Where’s That White Girl? Emergency is a Black college comedy with a lot on its mind.

F

May 19-25, 2022

rom Animal House to Project X, the party movie has a long and distinguished heritage. There are a set of common ingredients for these comedies: There’s a high school or college-age main character, like Molly Ringwald’s Sam in Sixteen Candles, who is smart and kind but feels like an outcast. There’s the wild friend, like Ashton Kutcher’s Jesse in Dude, Where’s My Car?, who goads the straitlaced hero into a night of debauchery, usually on the last night of the school year. There’s a clique of antagonistic popular kids at the top of the school’s social pyramid who lord their power over our socially awkward heroes. There’s the secret, illicit party, ripe with the promise of drugs and sex, that our central friends are trying to find. Then there’s the rogues gallery of, in the immortal words of the school secretary in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, and dickheads,” who provide fodder for some over-the-

20

top comedy. The last great party movie was 2019’s Booksmart, which was one of the best comedies of the last decade. With brilliant direction by Olivia Wilde and a pair of inspired performances from Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as a pair of overachieving best friends who throw caution to the wind once they’ve been accepted to their first-choice colleges, they upended the bro-heavy Superbad formula by letting women be just as irresponsible as the guys — right down to Billie Lourd as the film’s druggie Spicoli figure. Now, director Carey Williams and writer K.D. Dávila bring the party picture to the Black college scene with Emergency.

Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and Sean (RJ Cyler) are roomies and best friends at the fictional Buchanan College. Their personalities are opposite. Kunle is a straight-A student with aspirations of pursuing a Ph.D. at Princeton. Sean, on the other hand, has skated through his four years of college untroubled by things like ambition and responsibility. They are united, along with their third housemate Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), by their love of good weed. As graduation approaches, Sean convinces Kunle to make an attempt at the college’s grand slam — attending seven fraternity and sorority parties in one manic night. He’s pulled strings, called in favors, and traded bud for invites to all the soirees,

(above, l-r) RJ Cyler, Sebastian Chacon, and Donald Elise Watkins on a wild ride in Emergency; Sabrina Carpenter (bottom left) but Kunle is predictably reluctant. Achieving a perfect GPA means successfully completing one last science lab experiment with some recalcitrant fungi, and Kunle wants to check to make sure his subjects are progressing as planned. That throws off Sean’s carefully considered schedule of revelry — and besides, who goes to the science lab on Friday night? When they drop by their apartment to pick up the passes, they find a surprise lying in a pool of vomit on their floor — a white girl (Maddie Nichols) overdosing on an unknown drug. Neither Sean nor Kunle know her, and Carlos, having already settled into his bedroom for a quiet night of bong rips and gaming, didn’t hear her come in. Kunle starts to call 911, but Sean stops him. What will the paramedics, the cops, and the Princeton admissions


FILM By Chris McCoy committee think when they see two Black guys and a Hispanic guy standing over an ODed white girl? They decide it’s better to drop her off at the emergency room and make a quick exit before people start asking questions they can’t answer. But once they get her in the car, they realize that, if they get pulled over by police, they run the risk of getting shot. Emergency sometimes plays their fear for laughs, and uses the everpresent threat of a bad encounter with a racist cop as another complication to throw into the plot. But the story, which was based on Williams’ and Dávila’s award-winning short film, makes subtle comment on other party/caper movies. If the protagonists of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had been Black, they would have

never gotten away with claiming to be the Sausage King of Chicago. Thanks to finely layered performances by Watkins and Cyler, the film puts you in the shoes of the college kids who just want to party, but for whom the potential cost of a little transgressive fun is much higher than the white college kids who let a high school girl get too wasted. Indeed, when the girl’s irresponsible sister Maddy (Sabrina Carpenter) finds out she’s in a car with three people of color, she assumes it’s a kidnapping. Emergency is a little heavier than your normal party movie, but it’s still a bongripping good time. Emergency Opens Friday Multiple locations

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LEGAL NOTICE • EMPLOYMENT • SERVICES

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What’s Next? PHOTO: RMARMION | DREAMSTIME.COM

A nation that places immigrant children in cages can certainly (attempt to) prevent those same children from attending public schools. Since 1982, in its decision Plyler v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited the state from discriminating against and denying children a public education based on their immigration status. That may be challenged soon. The recently leaked memorandum from the Supreme Court removes any pretense of an impartial, apolitical judiciary. The Supreme Court, we now know, is part of the torn fabric of American political society. And it’s never a good look to see our justices openly mislead the public in sworn testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee. Justice Kavanaugh called Roe v. Wade (1973) “settled law,” and Justice Gorsuch acknowledged that Roe was the “law of the land.” Now, as appointed justices for life, they’ve determined that 50 years of precedent has no actual value. The majority bemoans the schism it claims was created by Roe nearly 50 years ago but ignores the damage that the Supreme Court is about to do to our country by rejecting “settled law” and releasing a cornucopia of challenges to every decision that the right finds disagreeable from the past. For example, Texas Governor Greg Abbott — who joins the other two amigos, Florida’s Ron DeSantis and our own Bill Lee, in a race to see who can undo more rights for ordinary people — is looking closely at Plyler. This is Abbott’s next step on his quixotic anti-immigrant agenda. Last month, he bussed immigrants from Mexico and Central America out of his sparsely populated state to densely populated Washington, D.C., in a pathetic (and cruel) political act that showed his determination to score points with the anti-immigrant base. Such attempts at cruelty are popular with Abbott’s base, and he’s playing a political card, during a difficult re-election campaign against a viable opponent, a former representative from El Paso, Beto O’Rourke. Abbott needs to convince the “base” that he’s fighting to seal off Texas from migrant waves, caravans, illegals, masses, invaders — you pick the hyperbole that suits you — to prevail in November. He clearly believes that using this retro-activist Supreme Court to revisit free public education to undocumented school children is a way to do it. Border states like Texas share a disproportionate responsibility in educating children of the undocumented residing in that state as many migrants pass through on their way to “El Norte.” But Texas school districts receive federal education funds on a per pupil basis (not a “per American pupil” basis), and they receive extra funding based on the needs of that particular demographic. Moreover, Texas receives more than $1.6 billion in state and local tax dollars from undocumented immigrants. The motivation for this anti-immigrant wave is the same as it’s always been. It’s the sense that the nation is changing as we become more diverse. Every time in our history, when we face such change, we strike out at immigrants. Every time. Texas should forget the Alamo, and “Remember the 187.” In 1994, the good people of then-Red State California passed a noxious ballot initiative, “Proposition 187” the so-called “Save our State” initiative. The law attempted to remove undocumented children from California public schools. By 1999, the law was declared unconstitutional, and the good teachers of California refused to enforce it. Denying education to children is always bad policy. Offering free public education to all kids is one of the settled provisions of U.S. society, and our society has grown strong because we purposefully (not always perfectly) educate the youngest generations. We’ve entered strange times — where settled law sits on seismic faults. Demagogues, now aided by the Supreme Court, declare war on American historical traditions — immigration and education — concepts that ought to unify and energize a nation. Maybe the one thing the majority draft opinion in Roe gets right is that the power to change the direction in which we are heading rests in the hands of voters beginning this fall. Bryce Ashby is a Memphis-based attorney and the board chair of Latino Memphis. Michael LaRosa teaches history at Rhodes College.

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

Could Plyler v. Doe be overturned?

THE LAST WORD

After Roe, what other settled law might be on the chopping block?

23


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