Memphis Flyer 6/9/2022

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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 1737TH ISSUE 06.09.22 I was going to write something sad and ranty in this space, something to the effect of arg! everything is terrible — because, frankly, it feels that way. But I don’t need to detail at length all the horrific stuff going on in the world or how the dollar no longer means much and we’re being bled dry just to eat, put gas in our cars, and have roofs over our heads. I’ll spare you the talk about how our essential workers are — still, and maybe even more than ever — overworked and underpaid, and how our bodies and livelihoods will soon be (more) at the mercy of politicians and corporations while the rich get richer and the rest of us scrape by and hope that we can access affordable healthcare and homes and have the freedom to choose what’s best for ourselves. Things just feel a little … precarious. But we won’t talk about that. I recently went to visit family down South in my hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. My pawpaw Clark was set to have surgery the following week, and such procedures are trickier on the elderly. I’d hoped to watch Dirty Dancing — the original with Patrick Swayze, of course — with my granny Clark (it’s our favorite movie), but she wasn’t feeling up to it. We instead spent time chatting and catching up. Things are much quieter there, simpler, slowed-down. Not that crime and drugs and inflation and rising rent and home prices haven’t touched the small community. The place isn’t what you’d call idyllic, to be sure, but there’s a big difference between meandering through a country town inhabited by fewer than 14,000 people and traversing the daily grind in a sometimes rough, always-on city like Memphis. I spent a couple nights with my dad and brother while I was there. My brother is a wheelchair-bound 32-year-old with severe cerebral palsy. My dad takes care of him — baths, diapers, feeding, outings, entertaining and supporting in the best ways he can. Their address is on one of the “county roads” on the outskirts of town. My dad built (literally) the house he lives in, on my pawpaw’s land. It’s not your typical house. To me, it always looked like maybe it was supposed to have been a big garage or shop at first, but became an actual living space with a kitchen and bathroom and bedrooms. It has concrete floors and is filled with antiques and road finds — a real hodgepodge — and the yard looks a bit like Sanford & Son Salvage. My dad can’t work much these days since he cares for my brother with only a few hours of outside help from the “sitters” (they’re nurses). One afternoon, my dad and I climbed into a beat-up ATV, and he drove us over to a nearby creek. I held onto the “oh shit” bar while he zoomed up the gravel road and down the side of a little-too-vertical (for me) levee. Unafraid, that man. No reservations. In his already muddy PHOTO: SHARA CLARK boots, he walked right through the My dad shares sage advice. water, in places up to his knees, as I, unprepared, maneuvered the muck in my city shoes. We talked about the state of things, how I sometimes have trouble navigating days, especially since the pandemic basically dismantled everything we thought we knew. In the wake of all that was flipped upside down, some of the pieces no longer fit. Whatever normal was, it isn’t that anymore. So many things seem … broken. He talked about prayer and gratitude, and I said I might give the former a try. There’s peace to be found there somewhere. Not specifically in that creek or the Delta town itself, but in that state of mind. Live gently and simply and without fear, love the life you have, give thanks. I know I said I wasn’t going to write something sad in this space, but I’m known to be overly sentimental. My pawpaw ended up canceling his aneurysm surgery. He’s not one to slow down much and has decided, it seems, he’d rather go on his own terms — while feeding his dog out at the hunting camp or hamming it up with folks at the grocery store — than risk losing his life or mobility on a surgeon’s table. In the weeks since our visit, my granny received a tragic diagnosis — cancer in her lungs and liver — and was put on hospice. It doesn’t look like we’ll get NEWS & OPINION in another viewing of Dirty Dancing. THE FLY-BY - 4 But I’m grateful for the many times NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 we watched it together, and for all the POLITICS - 8 precious memories with my Clark AT LARGE - 9 grandparents; for my brother and dad COVER STORY “INCREDIBLE EDIBLES” and what they’ve taught me through BY CHRIS MCCOY - 10 positivity, perseverance, and the wisWE RECOMMEND - 14 dom that only comes from living in the MUSIC - 15 present, not clouded by material wants CALENDAR - 16 or looking too far beyond the scope of FOOD - 19 what we can control. FILM - 20 Just faith, hope, and love. CL ASSIFIEDS - 22 Shara Clark LAST WORD - 23 shara@memphisflyer.com

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THE

fly-by

MEMernet

June 9-15, 2022

Edited by Toby Sells

W E E K T H AT WA S By Flyer Staff

Memphis on the internet.

Trump, Gender Pay Gap, & Gas Prices

TIKTOK HOLE

Council members: no MPD escort for DJT, men still paid more than women here, and more pain at the pump.

POSTED TO TIKTOK BY TRAYNOR JENNINGS

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Questions, Answers + Attitude

A Memphis man climbed into a hole in the road and into viral fame. Traynor Jennings’ TikTok video had nearly 250,000 likes and 5,300 comments at the end of last week, and his story had been picked up by news organizations across the country. The text of the video says, “Hey Memphis! Repair the holes in the road.” Then, Traynor climbs into a large hole and says, “Hey city of Memphis, there’s holes like this everywhere. We’re like in the middle of the street … on Waring Road.” The city responded with an “um … actually” Facebook post that aimed to “clear some things up” about this “TicTok [sic] video.” At first, city officials even claimed Jennings removed a metal plate over the hole to climb in it. Nope. They removed that reference. Then, even though Jennings nor his post ever said the word “pothole,” the city Facebook post teed off on the idea, pushed its glasses up its nose, and govsplained something about erosion and the hole being a “cavity” not a pothole. It also humble-bragged that the city is great at filling potholes and that “this TicTok [sic] may be funny to watch, but it was unwise to place yourself into the cavity of washed away soil in the middle of a street.” WTF?

PAY GAP Memphis-area women earned 83 percent of what their male counterparts earned in the workplace from 2000-2019, according to new research from the Pew Research Center. The pay gap in Memphis narrowed during that time, according to the research gathered from census records, based largely on the fact that pay for men in the area fell over those 19 years. For all male workers 16 years old and older, median annual income fell from about $54,000 to around $47,800. PHOTO (CLOCKWISE): LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ON UNSPLASH, ERIK MCLEAN ON UNSPLASH, IGAL NESS ON UNSPLASH Income for males in the No MPD escort for Trump, higher gas prices likely, pay for women lower than for men 30 to 49 age bracket fell sharpest here, from a median of about $58,500 to about $49,600. The resolution was slated to be heard in the council’s Public Pay for all female workers fell slightly from 2000 to 2019. Safety committee and voted on at the full council meeting on Pew says the median annual income for women in 2000 was June 7th. Results were not available at press time. around $40,000 and fell to about $39,600 in 2019. GAS PRICE RISE LIKELY The city’s gender pay gap (83 percent) was one point above the national average of 82 percent. For the gap, Gas prices will likely rise again after a brief respite with the Memphis ranked 86th out of the 250 metros Pew studied for Memorial Day holiday, according to AAA. the report. Even with a bit of stabilization at the pump, Tennessee Napa, California, where women make 98 percent of that drivers paid the highest gas prices on record during of their male counterparts, ranked at the top nationally. The Memorial Day weekend, AAA said. The state’s average gas Houma/Thibodaux area of Louisiana, where women earn 58 price is $4.28, nearly 39 cents higher than a month ago and percent of males, ranked last. $1.41 more than a year ago. Memphis-area drivers saw record-setting prices at NO TRUMP ESCORT stations two weeks ago. That’s when the average price of Two Memphis City Council members planned to request gas in Memphis ran $4.32 for a gallon of regular unleaded. that the Memphis Police Department (MPD) decline to Average unleaded prices a year ago in Memphis were $2.89 escort former President Donald Trump during an upcoming per gallon. visit to the area. “We could be looking at the calm before the storm for gas Trump is slated to speak during the American Freedom prices,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA — The Tour stop at Landers Center on Saturday, June 18th. Council Auto Club Group. “Renewed upward pressure on pump members JB Smiley and Martavius Jones announced last prices likely means additional increases in pump prices for week that they planned to issue a resolution at Tuesday’s drivers in the next couple of weeks.” council meeting to request that the MPD decline escorting Prices may also rise on ongoing fears of further global Trump to the tour stop. supply constraints caused by a European Union (EU) ban “As we know, the Memphis Police Department is on Russian oil exports. U.S. gas demand may again start to already experiencing a shortage of officers to patrol our climb as drivers fuel up for the three-month-long summer communities,” Smiley said in a statement. “I do not believe travel season, which began last weekend. that it is a prudent use of police manpower and Memphians’ taxpayer dollars to escort the former president to an event Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for fuller versions of in Mississippi.” these stories and more local news.


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NEW EXHIBIT Coming Soon Memphis Proud : The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ + Community. Coming June 4, 2022

June 9-15, 2022

FROM THE NEWSEUM/FREEDOM FORUM

+ image courtesy of Pride Archives c.2016

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University of Memphis ranks (again) as safest Tennessee campus.

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he University of Memphis (U of M) is again the safest large college campus in Tennessee, according to a new report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). This is the seventh time in the past 10 years that the university has been ranked the safest of the state’s 10 large campuses. “The [U of M] continues to have a strong safety record by putting students first and making campus a safe and welcoming place to be,” said U of M President Bill Hardgrave. Crime on all Tennessee college campuses fell 4 percent from 2020 to 2021, with 3,827 offenses reported in 2020 and 3,675 offenses reported in 2021. Crime has also decreased by 32.5 percent since 2018, with 5,446 offenses reported in that year alone. More than 28 percent of campus crimes were larceny and theft offenses, with a 4.8 percent increase of reported thefts between 2020 and 2021. On the U of M campus, there were a total of 45 theft offenses, with 18 of those being theft of motor vehicle parts. U of M’s chief of police Derek Myers said most of those thefts targeted catalytic converters, which became a national problem during the pandemic. Myers said his agency is working with the Memphis Police Department (MPD) and other agencies to “identify and apprehend those responsible.” He said his department is also limiting access to parking lots to “slow down” motor vehicle theft parts. TBI’s 2020 report said there were a total of 57 criminal offenses at U of M, with 17 of those being theft from a building. Myers states that these stats have gone down as a result of the pandemic, with limited people on campus from spring break 2020 until the fall of 2021. “Last year we did a $400,000 upgrade to cameras, improving the

Image courtesy of Pride Archives c.2016

PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS/FACEBOOK

U of M named safest TN large campus. image quality and adding advanced analytics which can help notify us of suspicious activity,” Myers said. Assault offenses increased by 18.7 percent, with aggravated assault offenses seeing an 89.7 percent increase for the state’s campuses as a whole. U of M has reported 22 assault offenses, with burglaries (nine) and aggravated assaults (eight) having the highest reported occurrences. The report also stated that incidents on the university’s campuses decreased 14 percent from 8.1 per 1,000 student population to 6.9. The university states that students and other members of the campus community are encouraged to download and use the LiveSafe app, which provides an avenue for students to directly communicate with police services on campus through text, pictures, video, and audio. “LiveSafe continues to be an important two-way communication tool which allows us to alert the community quickly to any dangers whether it be a crime or weather event or other emergency,” Myers said. “The students use it regularly to text the dispatchers about issues from suspicious people for us to investigate on down to maintenance problems that we hand over to [the physical plant department]. It can be used to send us pictures from the cell phone camera as well, which can be a great help in finding and identifying vehicles and people.” Some of the university’s other key safety initiatives also include preventing sexual assaults and harassment, emergency alerts, and the Tiger Patrol escort program. “We continue to monitor trends both on and off campus and deploy resources appropriately. We also continue to examine and explore new technologies and best practices in law enforcement,” Myers said.


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At long last, after at least two years of steady contentiousness between the County Commission and the Shelby County Election Commission, a resolution may have been reached on the matter of what kind of voting method should replace the currently used outmoded machines. But that auxiliary verb “may” is necessary. At several points during threeand-a-half hours of intense disagreements and outright verbal combat, various commissioners would invoke the prospect of reconsideration — that parliamentary device which allows voters for a majority position to call for a revote later on. Though a flurry of secondary issues became part of the argument, the essential debate at Monday’s commission meeting was between proponents of hand-marked paper ballots and defenders of the Election Commission’s preference for electronic ballot-marking devices. The commission had voted twice previously in favor of hand-marked paper ballots and had specifically rejected ballot-marking devices, but the resolution before the body on Monday called for almost $6 million to purchase ballotmarking machines from the Election Systems & Software company. It also allowed for a “compromise” procedure whereby voters could either ask for paper ballots or use the ballot-marking machines. Partisans of hand-marked paper ballots tended to be skeptical regarding the bona fides of that provision. At the end, in any event, the resolution would pass, though at various intervals a series of amendments that would have transformed it one way or another were introduced and then withdrawn. The final version targeted November as the changeover date, though Election Administrator Linda Phillips and Election Commission chairman Mark Luttrell had asked for action before the August county election on grounds that the county’s existing machines were on their last legs. At one point, the commission gave serious consideration to a motion from Commissioner Van Turner to rebid the entire voting-machine contract with a new RFP (request for proposal) but backed away from it — perhaps in recognition that back-and-forths on the issue and failure to agree in the past had created an atmosphere of mutual

intractability. Disagreement on voting methods had traditionally been on party-line grounds, with the commission’s Democrats favoring hand-marked paper ballots and Republicans aligning themselves with the Election Commission’s preferences, but the acceptance by two Democrats, commission chair Willie Brooks and Michael Whaley, of the proffered compromise agreement finally broke the stalemate. Both Brooks and Whaley would complain on Monday that they had been the targets of telephone threats for their change of mind.

PHOTO: JACKSON BAKER

Sohelia Kail and Dan Michael • At a press conference a week before last, Tarik Sugarmon, candidate for Juvenile Court judge, went on record in favor of the establishment of a second elected judge for the court. A proposal to do just that gained a positive vote by the County Commission back in 2006, but a state Appeals Court later overruled the action on separation-of-powers grounds. The court decision specifically ruled invalid a state law that the former commission had relied on, but Sugarmon maintains that the Shelby County charter permits the creation of a second judgeship. Incumbent Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael had not been heard from on the issue until Sunday, when he was asked about it at judicial candidate David Pool’s annual crawdad boil event. Michael’s verdict? The Appeals Court’s rejection of a second judgeship still stands, but “If you’re going to do something like that, you wouldn’t need two judges, you’d need 15.” (The latter number approximates the number of “referees” appointed to help adjudge cases under the current Juvenile Court system.)


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Hold On, He’s Coming The country’s biggest grifter brings his show to Mississippi.

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where the “American Freedom Tour” is slated to play the Landers Center on June 18th. Opening acts include Donald Trump Jr., his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, former paintball salesman and now sheriff Mark Lamb, plus other as yet unnamed “Top American Conservatives.” Tickets start at $45. Cultists and other suckers are advised to jump on these before they drop to, oh, I don’t know, free? The “crowds” Trump has been luring lately are not his best people. He’s got the usual six Black guys who sit behind him, a couple hundred Trump-heads who travel and never miss a gig, plus whatever assorted moronic locals show up to feed their id. It’s a party. And there’s a Memphis angle now. After his speech at the NRA convention last week, Trump read the names of the 19 victims of the Uvalde shooting (mispronouncing many of them). Then, as one does following such a somber moment, he broke into a dance. That was bad enough, but making it worse was the fact that the music Trump was dad-dancing to was “Hold On, I’m Coming,” the iconic Stax tune penned by David Porter and Isaac Hayes. Porter was not amused. He tweeted: “Someone shared with me Donald Trump used the song ‘Hold On, I’m Coming’ for a speaking appearance of his. Hell to the No! I did Not and would NOT approve of them using the song for any of his purposes! I also know Isaac’s estate wouldn’t approve as well!” Such legal niceties will not stop Trump from using the song, and no doubt he’s doing so without paying royalties. But there may be a way to get a little payback. Memphis city council members Martavius Jones and JB Smiley have introduced a measure that would prevent the Memphis Police Department from escorting the Trump caravan from the Memphis airport to the Landers Center. They rightfully point out that Trump routinely stiffs local governments for any costs his visits incur, so why should Memphis put itself on the hook for those expenses? Trump’s a private citizen now. He’s got Secret Service protection. Let Mississippi take care of it. I couldn’t agree more. When Trump lands in Memphis, let’s send him this message: Hold On, We’re Not Coming.

NEWS & OPINION

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ou know, I’ve really tried to avoid writing about the most-recent former president. I was the Flyer editor during his tumultuous four years in office, and I had to write about him a lot, mainly because a week seldom went by without some sort of outrageous, over-the-top, unprecedented presidential antics. We were in a continuous reactive mode. He did what??? I had to write the column at the last possible minute, just to keep up. Emotions were high from the very beginning of his term. (You may remember the Flyer’s infamous “WTF?” cover, which led many people to call our office to tell us they would never buy another Flyer. Yes, we’re free, but you know …) Now, as Congress’ January 6th committee finally prepares to hold public hearings on the remarkable attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, I suspect emotions are about to kick into high gear again. The cast of characters in the plot includes generals, cabinet members, several congressmen, a few senators, sleazy lawyers, crazy lawyers, a pillow salesman, the wife of a Supreme Court justice, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, and the former president himself. The supporting cast includes Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, and other white supremacists, plus several thousand assorted idiots from around the country who actually believed they could get away with pillaging the U.S. Capitol because the then-president told them to do it. (Not to mention that some of them actually thought they were going to hang thenVice President Mike Pence.) The schism in American politics was always there, but Trump drove a thick wedge into it, widening the divide like never before. Healing is going to take a while. With any luck, the former president will resist the temptation to run again and just keep operating the ceaseless “fundraising” grift he’s been pushing since he left office. It’s not as much work and there’s more time for golf, so I’m somewhat hopeful. As you may have gathered from various billboards around Memphis, Trump is bringing the circus to town, or rather, to Southaven, Mississippi,

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COVER STORY AND PHOTOS By Chris McCoy

Incredible Edibles

HOW DELTA-8 IS SHAKING UP THE CANNABIS BUSINESS.

A

Bercier became an outspoken advocate. “You can find videos of me and my mother online talking to the news about marijuana legalization in Louisiana,” he says. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act made both psychoactive cannabis and nonpsychoactive industrial hemp effectively illegal in the United States. For the rest of the 20th century, cannabis was demonized in America, particularly after Richard Nixon, who associated it with leftist hippies, declared a “war on drugs” in 1971. Nevertheless, pot remained popular. In 1996, after a long campaign by a coalition of cancer, AIDS, and epilepsy patients, California became the first state to legalize it for medical purposes. Medicinal marijuana is now legal in 37 states, and recreational use is legal in 19 states. Louisiana legalized medical marijuana in 2015, shortly before Bercier’s mother passed away in 2016. “I went after a license in Louisiana and was not successful in that,” he says. Instead, he set his sights north to Memphis.

June 9-15, 2022

s the Beale Street Music Festival crowds pressed in, a college-aged man with a bag turned from the Ounce of Hope tent. “It’s probably bullshit, but I’m going to try it,” he said to the next person in line. “It’s not bullshit,” the person replied. “It works.” “It” was a chocolate bar infused with delta-8 THC. Products containing the chemical derived from the cannabis plant are now available everywhere from convenience stores to cannabis dispensaries. For recreational users, like the anonymous music fest attendee, it promises a safe and legal high. For the growing ranks of medicinal users, it promises relief from a variety of ailments, from anxiety to chronic pain. Even as debates about the legal status and effectiveness of delta-8 have swirled, one thing is certain: It is increasingly popular. “We’re seeing a humongous switch in the marketplace,” says Collin Bercier, founder of the Memphis-based cannabis company Ounce of Hope. When Ounce of Hope opened two years ago, CBD products were flying off the shelf. Now, gummies, brownies, chocolates, and cookies containing delta-8 THC are all the rage. “It just has blown everything else out of the water,” Bercier says.

Cannabis Chemistry

Hemp History

Bercier, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, decided to enter the cannabis business after his experiences caring for his mother, who was stricken with multiple sclerosis. “One of the things that always perplexed me was, why does my mom not have access to even try marijuana?” he says. “Because it was illegal, and still, to some extent, is illegal in some of these Southern states. So I watched my mom live the rest of her life in a nursing home on 14 different medications, where 10 one medication seemed to just be for remedying a side effect from another

medication. And as her quality of life really deteriorated, she didn’t even have the option of trying a more holistic approach. Look, would it have cured her MS? No. But would it have made her quality of life better? Absolutely.” Cannabis has a long history of medicinal use. The first evidence of its cultivation dates back more than 10,000 years, making it one of the first plants domesticated by humans. It was prized for its analgesic properties and for its ability to calm stomachs and enhance appetite. Not

PHOTO: COURTESY OUNCE OF HOPE

Ounce of Hope grow room only that, but the plant’s long, strong fibers were ideal for making rope and fabric. The psychoactive aspect, achieved by smoking the flowers of the female plant, made it a staple of religious rituals. Hindu scriptures say ganja was a gift from Shiva to ensure the happiness of his people. Scythian priests were known as “those who walk on smoke clouds.”

Because of its legal status, cannabis has not been extensively studied by scientists. Cannabidiol (CBD) was first isolated in the mid-1940s. In 1964, Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Since then, hundreds of additional “cannabinoids” have been isolated from the cannabis plant. Humans produce our own cannabinoid-like chemicals, and nearly every organ in our body has receptors which respond to them. The endocannabinoid system remains mysterious, but it seems to help maintain the delicate balance of chemical reactions which influence sleep, cognition, memory, and emotion. Different cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, bind with


The Edibles

Curious about cannabis edibles? Here are some of the best products available in Memphis. Stoned Ninja Delta-8 Gummies Produced with Ghost Kitchen’s recipe, these 25 mg gummies take effect faster than most edibles. A good, basic delta-8 gummy for both the experienced user and newbies. Ounce of Hope Delta-8 Krispy Squares

different receptors and thus create different effects in users. Delta-9 THC was identified as the psychoactive chemical which produces marijuana’s distinctive euphoria. In 2018, Congress implemented a major overhaul of agricultural regulations. One clause in the Farm Bill was intended to legalize industrial hemp — the cash crop George Washington grew at Mount Vernon — by specifically limiting the content of delta-9 THC to less than 0.3 percent by weight. No other cannabinoids were mentioned in the legislation. This allowed products containing other cannabinoids such as CBD to be sold, and a gold rush ensued. Today, cannabis is in a legal gray area, permitted in some circumstances and prohibited in others. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people, many of them Black and Hispanic, are still in jail for marijuana possession. Bercier, a University of Memphis alumnus, returned to the Bluff City to open Ounce of Hope. Today, the company operates a hydroponic growing operation in South Memphis, where they create products for their stores. “When the hemp Farm Bill went into effect, Tennessee had their arms wide open and was allowing businesses to thrive at the time. Now, there is a thriving hemp industry in Tennessee.”

Local Heroes Gabriel DeRanzo discovered marijuana the way many people have. “When I

graduated high school, we were having field parties over in Middle Tennessee. Let’s park our cars and get somebody to buy us booze, and that’s a Saturday night. I just couldn’t cram another Zima down my throat, but dammit, I wanted to have fun. It seemed like a magical thing to me — instead of drinking these three to five containers of liquid. I can just take a couple of inhales off of that magic cigarette.” Pot didn’t come with hangovers and could even be useful. “It helped me to get in my own head. So while I was riding my skateboard, I was in the zone, you know? I was focused.” Inspired by his experiences on the board, DeRanzo teamed with artist Greg Cravens to create Stoned Ninja, a comic book character whose martial arts skills are improved by a mystical strain of cannabis. Soon, the brand expanded to include rolling papers, T-shirts, and, in 2019, CBD products. Late last year, another opportunity came along. The chemical formula for tetrahydrocannabinol is C21H30O2, but those carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules can be arranged in different configurations, called isomers. The cannabis plant produces mostly the delta-9 isomer, distinguished by a double carbon bond in the ninth position of the carbon chain. But in recent years, more THC isomers have been discovered. Delta-8 THC features a double carbon bond in the eighth position of the carbon chain. Chemists discovered that delta-8 fit the same receptors as delta-9, but the psychoactive effects were subtly different. “It’s a more mellow experience, and therefore, it allows you to be more functional while you’re kind of getting

the benefits of the less anxious and the more calm and relaxed elements of cannabis,” says DeRanzo. DeRanzo’s friends Bryan Kiestler and Bobby Coomer had been experimenting with cannabis edibles. For Kiestler, it was a way to deal with his anxiety disorder. “I couldn’t even sit in a room with people without severe panic. I was having seizures. I dealt with that my whole life. … I grew up in a very rural, very conservative area that taught me nothing but the bad parts of [cannabis]. But as I grew and learned and studied the plant, I was like, wow, this stuff was amazing! Out of personal necessity, I started playing with it and developed quite a few things for myself.” Kiestler had culinary training and developed his own edibles by studying classic candy-making techniques. He says his proprietary recipe enhances the bio-availability of the cannabinoids. Kiestler and Coomer started Ghost Kitchen 901, a company to produce cannabis edibles, and teamed up with DeRanzo to produce a line of Stoned Ninja delta-8 gummies. “Delta-8 is federally legal in complying with the 2018 Farm Bill, as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent delta-9,” Coomer says.

The Nicer Cousin The cannabis plant naturally produces continued on page 12

Kush Burst O.M.G. Whatever Shop reports the orange/ mango/ guavaflavored gummies are its most popular edible. Containing a powerful mixture of THC-0 and delta-8, these 50 mg edibles are not for the faint-hearted. Ghost Kitchen Lemon Freeze HHC Gummies HHC is touted as the next big thing in cannabis. These 25 mg gummies produce a mild euphoria but leave you clear-headed and productive.

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

Ginger Dean at Ghost Kitchen factory

These tasty treats contain a 2 to 1 mixture of CBD and delta-8 THC, creating an anxietyfree experience that comes on smooth.

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continued from page 11

TN Roots is the Mid-South’s #1 producer of legal (hempderived) cannabis edibles, salves and tinctures. Our products are hand made in a commercial kitchen, with third party testing for potency and foreign materials to ensure our products are top tier quality. We are licensed through the TDA and have been serving the midsouth for four years. Presenting our new Infused Cooking product line! Features Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Butter, Honey, and Syrup (Zyzurp). You can find these magic elixirs at:

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more delta-9 THC than delta-8, and over the years, breeders have created ever more potent strains. In the late 1980s, most street marijuana contained less than 10 percent delta-9 THC. Now, there are strains on the market that contain upwards of 30 percent. Those higher doses of THC can cause anxiety and paranoia in some users. “Some people don’t want to get that high,” says Bercier. In January 2022, the University at Buffalo and the University of Michigan released the results of a joint study on delta-8 THC. After surveying more than 500 users, researcher Dr. Jessica Kruger says, “We found that people who are utilizing delta-8 THC feel fewer negative side effects, and they are using it in modalities that are safer, like vaping or edibles or using topically.” One of the participants in the study called delta-8 THC “delta-9’s nicer cousin.” Many sources claim delta-8 is half as potent as delta-9, but that can be deceiving. The effects vary by individual user and are dependent on many factors. “I’m a 44-year-old man, I weigh 230 pounds, and I literally can’t take more than 5 mg of delta-8 THC,” says Bercier. “You meet some of my employees, females who don’t even weigh 115 pounds, and they’re eating 100 to 200 mg of delta-8 THC a day with no problem.” A THC overdose won’t kill you — unlike alcohol, no deaths have ever been reported — but it can cause panic attacks, confusion, paranoia, and nausea. Delta-8 is primarily consumed via edibles, and unlike smoking, it can take time for the first effects to be felt. A user who isn’t feeling anything yet can be tempted to try another tasty gummy or brownie, only to find later that they have eaten way too much. DeRanzo says, “If you’re not an avid smoker, or if you’re trying out new cannabis products, just take a bite out of it. Eat half of a gummy, wait about 30 minutes, and see if it’s doing anything for you. If you like where it’s going, pop the rest of that sucker. But I will definitely tell people, don’t take a whole pack of Stoned Ninja gummies and face all five of them out of the bag all at once because it will hit you pretty hard.”

The Legal Fight

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Since 2018, the number of cannabis products has proliferated. It’s not just CBD and delta-8 — many other “minor” cannabinoids, such as THC-0 (said to be more potent than delta-9) and hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) have been identified and marketed. This has caused some state legislatures to attempt to crack down on the trend. Evan Austill is an attorney and president of Southern Biomedical Industries, the parent company of Ghost

Kitchen. He has been on the forefront of lobbying the Tennessee legislature to clarify the laws, legalize cannabis, and tax and regulate the industry. He says cannabis’ legal limbo has created complications for businesses trying to go legit. “A lot of people think cannabis is a wonderful place to make a bunch of money, but it’s really challenging. Imagine trying to be in a line of work where you weren’t allowed to have a bank account, you couldn’t take credit card payments, you were not allowed to advertise, you couldn’t use e-commerce, you couldn’t use social media. You can only pay in cash, and everybody thinks your cash is dirty.” It’s a lesson Ounce of Hope recently found out the hard way. “We had no issues with credit card processing for two, almost three years,” says Bercier. “Then all of a sudden, the credit card processor just cuts us off overnight, doesn’t really tell us why, and won’t even return our calls.” The problems have taken their toll, says Bercier. “When I got into the industry in Tennessee back in 2019, they had about 4,000 licenses. Currently, in 2022, we’re operating in Tennessee with about 750 licenses — and I don’t believe the majority of those are actually active anymore.” Earlier this year, state Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) introduced legislation that would have effectively outlawed all cannabis products in Tennessee. “It was a very carefully considered plan,” says Austill. “That legislation was written to kill the entire industry. Manufacturers and retailers had no idea. There was no collaboration, and no work was done around that legislation with the Department of Agriculture.” Austill and other cannabis industry representatives successfully lobbied to stop the bill. “The people who suffer the most in an unregulated market, when there are bad actors out there, are the guys who are actually trying to do it right,” he says. “Let’s regulate this. Let’s license this. Let’s tax it like every other thing in Tennessee that we sell. We had an agreement at one point, but I guess the deal kind of fell apart at the end. So the legislature leaves delta-8 out. This is an unregulated product, which is scary to some people — and there’s some reason why there should be concern. Cigarettes, alcohol, firearms, we’re only too happy to tax and regulate. Yet this, we seem to want to sort of leave outside as the bogeyman.” Still, Austill believes there is hope for progress in the next legislative session. The momentum is certainly on the side of legalization, as the data from states like California, Colorado, and Virginia show that the scariest predictions of the drug warriors haven’t come to pass. “We don’t see opioid deaths going up. Bank robberies don’t go up. DUIs don’t go up. Usage by teenagers does not go up. Why is it that the negative consequences never seem to take place?”


High Memphis! Disposables are here! We now have Delta 8-THC disposables that really pack a punch with 850mg/1ml. Purchase in store or online.

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

MIDTOWN MEMPHIS | EAST MEMPHIS | OUNCEOFHOPE.COM

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Live music at

steppin’ out

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Ageless Art june 9th Cyrena Wages and Rob Baird

june 10th Mark Edgar Stuart

june 11th Neighborhood Texture Jam

june 17th

June 9-15, 2022

Marcella Simien and Her Lovers

june 18th Cedric Burnside

june 19th Father’s Day Party

railgarten.com

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

PHOTO: COURTESY CREATIVE AGING

By Abigail Morici

Gary Beard

At 16, you get your driver’s license. At 18, you are an “adult.” At 21, you can drink. And then what are you supposed to look forward to when it comes to age-determined milestones? Surely not that, at 45, you’re due for a colonoscopy. At least, here in Memphis, once you turn 65, you are eligible for Creative Aging’s programming, which, through partnerships with local artists, arts organizations, and senior communities, offers affordable arts classes and special performances and events just for seniors. “There’s a lot of scientific evidence that active arts engagement can do amazing things to stimulate the mind and improve vitality, the sort of social-emotional outlook in older adults,” says Creative Aging director Mia Henley, who adds that older adults with an active arts engagement, when compared to those without, are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to experience falls, and less likely to have a decline in motor skills like strength, speed, and dexterity. With Shelby County’s population above the age of 65 predicted to grow from 135,281 in 2020 to 161,747 by 2030, programs offered by Creative Aging are becoming more and more vital to what will be 17 percent of the total population by the next decade. “Being a senior today is not what it used to be,” says Henley. “It’s a long time. It’s 65 to 105. That’s 40 years, and you’re changing, and your interests and your abilities and maybe your health and family situation continue to change during that period. … We have these wonderful assets in Memphis. And a lot of times they’re busy in the afternoon with kids, but they’re silent during the day, and that’s when seniors want to do things.” Currently, the nonprofit has more than 120 artists, all of whom are paid, teaching classes and workshops, ranging in topics from creative writing to playing the dulcimer to learning tap dance. In addition to classes, the group sponsors performances in various senior communities and throughout Memphis. For Wednesday, June 15th, Theatre Memphis and musical director Gary Beard have put together a musical revue with performers from past and present productions singing tunes from shows performed during Theatre Memphis’ 100-year history. This show will mark the last in Creative Aging’s sixth season of the Senior Arts Series of theatrical and musical performances on the Theatre Memphis stage. The 2022-2023 season is set to begin in August with a performance by Swingtime Explosion Big Band. For more information on upcoming events or how to volunteer and donate, visit creativeagingmidsouth.org or check out the nonprofit on Facebook (@camemphis) and Instagram (@creativeagingmidsouth). CURTAINS UP! THEATRE MEMPHIS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS & BEYOND, THEATRE MEMPHIS, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH, 1:30 P.M.-2:30 P.M., $5.

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES June 9th - 15th Million Dollar Quartet Halloran Centre, performances through Sunday, June 12th, $47.50 On December 4, 1956, four young musicians — Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins — gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest rock-and-roll jam sessions ever. The Tony Awardwinning smash‐hit musical Million Dollar Quartet brings that unbelievable musical moment to life, featuring timeless and enduring hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “I Walk the Line,” and more. Don’t miss your chance to experience this red-hot moment in rockand-roll history! Performances are at 7:30 p.m. through Sunday, June 12th. Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Purchase tickets at orpheum-memphis.com.

The Tin Drum Crosstown Theater, Thursday, June 9th, 7:30 p.m., $5 Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careens toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly on his beloved tin drum and perfects his uncannily piercing shrieks. The Tin Drum, which earned the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, is Volker Schlöndorff ’s visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’ acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire.

8th Annual Literatini Benefiting Literacy Mid-South Novel, Saturday, June 11th, 7 p.m.10 p.m., $50-$75 Sample cocktails from top local bars and restaurants and crown this year’s Literatini champion! Enjoy music, stock up on books, visit the photo booth, and check out a locally curated silent auction. A portion of the profits from the night of the event will benefit Literacy Mid-South’s Adult Learning Program, which connects one-on-one tutors with adults in our community reading below a sixth-grade level and/or learning English as a second language. Each ticket includes a welcome cocktail from Old Dominick Distillery, drink samples, snacks from participating bars/ restaurants, and two drink tickets for full-sized cocktails.


MUSIC By Michael Donahue

‘Weird Rock’ Nothing is off limits for Killbozby.

PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE

David White, David Shull, and Eric Potasky of Killbozby place. I’m up in the crowd hitting the guitar, making crazy faces. Like, ‘This guy is not okay.’” They planned to record last summer, but Shull was injured in a car accident. “Somebody pulled out in front of us. I’d dropped my phone or my lighter. I was reaching for it and we hit a car and my neck snapped on the dashboard. Luckily, the guy driving the car called out my name right before it hit. I threw my arm up. If I hadn’t thrown my arm up, I’d probably be dead.” Shull had spinal fusion surgery. “So, I have two pieces of metal in my C4 and C5. It’s the two vertebrae in the mid-neck area. The surgery went well. At first, I was losing feeling in my left arm. I couldn’t lift it up. I couldn’t pick up anything with my left arm. “The day before the first show, I went to my orthopedic doctor and he took an X-ray and he said the bone has healed. So I’m not broken any more.” Shull’s accident enhanced his stage presence. “I’m a little more stiff than I used to be. If anything, it just adds to the character of when we’re performing. The stiffness makes it a little stranger, you know.” To hear Killbozby’s new releases, visit killbozby.bandcamp.com.

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

White says. “We have this air of nonchalance. Kind of makes it seem like we don’t care, but we very much do. It makes it more fun. It’s garage rock, man. We get in there. We thrash. We go at it.” Potasky likes Killbozby “’cause it’s full of riffs. We get riffy with it, for sure. You can just throw us in a room and end up making a song that day. That kind of thing happens.” All the members write songs, which, in general, feature “loose storylines,” Shull says. “Almost like we’re telling a story, but it’s really all over the place. We try to keep it like that, loosey-goosey when writing words.” “No Dice” is about “someone who is overworked, underpaid, and underloved.” “Late Night Honey” is “pretty much just about getting fucked up. ‘Honey’ refers to cocaine, alcohol. Trying to get the honey.” The upbeat “Snake Pit” is about a “weekend getaway party” at a lake. Everybody builds up the idea of the party and the setting, but the lake turns out to be “nothing but a snake pit. This shithole of debauchery, actually.” Describing one of their stage shows, Shull says, “David was wearing full eyeliner, fishnets, and a dog collar. Potasky is “your classic jeans, Thin Lizzy T-shirt, and some Vans. And he’s also the hair.” Wearing “all black,” Shull says, “My energy is really intense. I’m all over the

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

K

illbozby doesn’t need to worry about another band having the same name. It’s pretty unique. “It started off as a joke with all that Bill Cosby shit going on,” says lead vocalist/guitarist David Shull. “I was trying to create, not make light of it. It’s an antithesis to it. Unrelated. I started messing around with the letters.” Instead of referring to Cosby’s sexual assault cases, Killbozby is anything people want it to be. Like a “robot of the future” or a “mercenary,” Shull says. “Really goofy stuff. Or he’s a killbot from the ‘Bozby Corporation.’ “It’s fun ways of looking at it. We’re all nerds. So at the end of the day if we can squeeze some of that nerdness into the music, we’re doing our job.” Killbozby, which includes David White on drums and Eric Potasky on bass, released three demos June 8th: “No Dice,” “Late Night Honey,” and “Snake Pit.” The band is “a blend of different genres. Punk to rock-and-roll to blues and metal. Justin Toland from Dirty Streets called it ‘weird rock.’ He recorded the three tracks. “There’s nothing that’s off limits. There’s no preconceived notions what the sound should be. It’s fun. It’s lighthearted. It’s nerdy. It’s goofy. This is music for the wallflowers.” “We’ve found a way to not take ourselves so seriously, but taking it seriously, if you know what I mean,”

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CALENDAR of EVENTS:

June 9 - 15

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

“Fragments”

Exhibition of work by Chuck Johnson exploring the oftenconflicted relationship between the decorative traditions in geometric patterns found in other cultures and Western modernism. Through July 10. L ROSS GALLERY

“Memphis Proud: The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community”

Explore the history and culture of Memphis’ LGBTQ+ community. Through Sept. 26. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY

“Michael Ngo Exhibition”

LA-based fashion and pop culture designer Michael Ngo is known for creating one-ofa-kind pieces that celebrate freedom, sexuality, and strength. Through Sept. 30. ART MUSEUM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS (AMUM)

“RINGS! 1968 - 2021” A remarkable collection of contemporary rings that reveal the wide-ranging creativity of artists working in this timeless jewelry form. Through June 12. METAL MUSEUM

“Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement”

Exhibition of artifacts and images that shed light on important milestones of gay rights history. Through Sept. 26. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY

“Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign”

Exhibition that explores the little-known history of the multicultural movement to address poverty and social justice in the nation. Through July 31. NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM

“Spoiled”

June 9-15, 2022

Group exhibition exploring pleasure — the ways we seek it, the ways we bar ourselves from experiencing it, and

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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.

the ways we contextualize it. Viewer discretion is advised. Through July 16.

Blaq Ron

$22.50-$55. Thursday, June 9, 8 p.m.; Friday, June 10, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 11, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Sunday, June 12, 8 p.m.

TONE

“Sweet 16”

Each of the Dixon’s 16 gallery spaces will feature an independent, Dixon-organized exhibition. Through July 10.

CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE

Brian Regan

Regan started out doing standup comedy in the 1980s and made his television debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1991. He has done two Netflix specials with the most recent being in 2021. $45-$65. Saturday, June 11, 8 p.m.

THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS

“The Art of Science”

Over 30 local artists will present a piece of art inspired by the work of area researchers and clinicians, which will also be on display alongside the works of art. Through June 30.

GRACELAND SOUNDSTAGE

CROSSTOWN ARTS AT THE CONCOURSE

C O M M U N I TY

“Thomas Campbell: Corollary”

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism 5th Anniversary Party

Exhibition of work by fifthgeneration steelworker Thomas Campbell, who shapes both the form and function of his work while blending tradition with innovation. Through July 17.

Put on your dancing shoes and join MLK50 as it toasts five years of impactful journalism and showcases local Black excellence. $50-$75. Saturday, June 11, 7-10 p.m.

METAL MUSEUM

“Vital Signs”

Exhibition of work by Pinkney Herbert, known for his expressive abstract paintings and pastel works on paper comprised of dynamic gestures and multi-dimensional forms in sharp color. Through July 1.

BRICKWOOD HALL

FAM I LY

Explore Memphis

Million Dollar Quartet at the Halloran Centre celebrates four rock-and-roll icons.

DAVID LUSK GALLERY

ART HAPPE N I NGS

Art Opening for Anna Bearman and Dimitri Stevens

See new works by Anna Bearman and Dimitri Stevens, two dynamic, young artists who are rapidly making an impression on the Memphis art community. Sunday, June 12, 3-5 p.m. JAMES LEE HOUSE

“Charcoal Portraits by Anita Biriya” Opening Reception

Exhibition of charcoal portrait drawings by artist Anita Biriya from Herat, Afghanistan. Thursday, June 9, 5-7 p.m. BUCKMAN ARTS CENTER AT ST. MARY’S SCHOOL

I Scream, You Scream Odd Market

Clutter from the crypt for the hard-to-shop-for ghouls! Vintage and new horror merch, creepy artists, witches, and magic! Saturday, June 11, 5 p.m. HI TONE

B O O K E V E N TS

A Novel Book Club

This month’s book: Memphis by Tara Stringfellow. In person and online. Email kleache@ novelmemphis.com for more information. Wednesday, June 15, 7 p.m. NOVEL

Meet the Author: Diane McPhail Novel welcomes Diane C. McPhail to celebrate the

launch of her latest novel The Seamstress of New Orleans. Thursday, June 9, 6 p.m. NOVEL

Meet the Author: Wright Thompson

The Rendezvous welcomes ESPN senior writer and NYT-bestselling author Wright Thompson (Pappyland, The Cost of These Dreams) for an evening of barbecue, brews, and books in partnership with Novel. $45. Friday, June 10, 6-8 p.m. CHARLIE VERGOS’ RENDEZVOUS

hundreds are best for your spot? Or how to take care of the different types? Have no fear, Jason Reeves is here. Free. Saturday, June 11, 10-11 a.m. THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS

Practicing with Playback: Non-Judging

Silence your inner critic with the final session of the Practicing with Playback series: Non-Judging led by Holly Lau, professional ensemble member. $5, $10. Wednesday, June 15, 5 p.m. FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

C LAS S / W O R KS H O P

Lecture: Hydrangea Hysteria

Do you have a thing for hydrangeas but panic at the thought of which of the

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Join MPL for Explore Memphis 2022 where an “Ocean of Possibilities” awaits. All ages are invited to register for MPL’s reading challenge. Be on the lookout for more Explore Memphis. Through July 31. BENJAMIN L. HOOKS CENTRAL LIBRARY

H2Oh! Splash Park at CMOM

This garden-themed exhibit provides over 7,700 square feet of cool fun. Through Sept. 4. CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF MEMPHIS

Kids in the Garden (ages 7-10) This fun, hands-on gardening workshop teaches kids the basics about horticulture and the flora around them. Supplies are provided. Free. Saturday, June 11, 10-11 a.m. THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS

CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE

continued on page 18


MUSIC + THEATRE SERIES

THE MUSICAL HISTORY OF ROYAL STUDIOS NARRATED BY BOO MITCHELL AUGUST 26, 2022

JESSE COOK JANUARY 28, 2023

KEITH SYKES SEPTEMBER 9, 2022

TROPICAL FUSION LATIN BAND SEPTEMBER 30, 2022

MCCRARY SISTERS FEBRUARY 24, 2023

CROSS THAT RIVER FEBRUARY 10, 2023

TEQUILA ROCK REVOLUTION OCTOBER 1, 2022

VAN DUREN APRIL 1, 2023

FRANK FERRANTE IN AN EVENING WITH GROUCHO MAY 6, 2023

ILLUSIONS SERIES

MIKE SUPER 2.0H™ JANUARY 14, 2023

THE MAGIC OF MICHAEL GRANDINETTI MARCH 18, 2023

LYN DILLIES APRIL 22, 2023

APRIL 28, 2023

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022 NOVEMBER 10, 2022 FEBRUARY 16, 2023 MARCH 16, 2023 APRIL 13, 2023

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CALENDAR: JUNE 9 - 15 continued from page 16 F EST IVAL

Anime Blues Con

Anime Blues prides itself on offering fan events for all ages celebrating the arts and culture of Japanese anime, manga, and cosplay. Friday, June 10-June 12. RENASANT CONVENTION CENTER

MidSouth Nostalgia Festival

An annual event honoring classic and Western TV and movie personalities. Thursday, June 9-June 11. THE WHISPERING WOODS HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER

F I LM

Dystopia Night

A screening of Repo! The Genetic Opera, followed by music by Summore. $15. Friday, June 10, 7:30 p.m.

Shoot & Splice: Case Study of “Floating Pilgrims” with David Goodman

Free filmmaker forum featuring a case study of 2020 Indie Memphis Film Festival awardwinner “Floating Pilgrims.” Tuesday, June 14, 7 p.m. CROSSTOWN THEATER

The Craft Movie Night with Discussion

A viewing of The Craft and a panel discussion afterward with local Wiccan Clergy. $5. Wednesday, June 15, 7:30 p.m. BLACK LODGE

The Tin Drum

Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. $5. Thursday, June 9, 7:30-10 p.m. CROSSTOWN THEATER

BLACK LODGE

Neptune Frost

Neptune Frost tells the story of a cosmic romance between an intersex hacker and a coltan miner that seeds revolution. Free. Wednesday, June 15, 7 p.m. CROSSTOWN THEATER

Overton Square Movie Nights: Luca

Bring a blanket or a chair to watch this motion flick. Free popcorn provided! Thursday, June 9, 8 p.m.

8th Annual Literatini Benefiting Literacy MidSouth Sample cocktails from top local bars and restaurants and crown this year’s Literatini champion! Enjoy music, stock up on books, visit the photo booth, and check out a locally curated silent auction. $50-$75. Saturday, June 11, 7-10 p.m.

Blast & Dash 5K

All participants receive a shirt, squirt gun, and one water bottle. Thursday, June 9, 7 p.m. SHELBY FARMS PARK

Canoes + Cocktails

Experience an unrivaled sunset with a guided evening paddle on Hyde Lake, followed by cocktails and snacks. Friday, June 10, 7:15-9:45 p.m. SHELBY FARMS PARK

Paddle the Greenway

This program allows Memphians to learn how to paddle a kayak or canoe, or for seasoned paddlers to free paddle. Free. Saturday, June 11, 9-11 a.m. WOLF RIVER GREENWAY - EPPING WAY SECTION

Spin-N-Out

Head on out to the dance floor for a high-energy, fun-filled mobile cycling class. Register at overtonparkshell.org. Wednesday, June 15, 6-7 p.m. OVERTON PARK SHELL

Sweat the Greenway: Barre with Peggy Jean Craig

Get fit along the picturesque landscapes of the Wolf River Greenway. Free. Saturday, June 11, 9-10 a.m. WOLF RIVER GREENWAY - MUD ISLAND SECTION

NOVEL

June 9-15, 2022

OVERTON SQUARE

FOOD AN D DR I N K

H E A LT H A N D F IT N E S S

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

S PO R TS

BIPOC Memphis Matters

Memphis Redbirds vs. Durham Bulls

Playback Memphis hosts a special BIPOC Memphis Matters in celebration of Juneteenth. $25. Saturday, June 11, 7 p.m. COLLAGE DANCE COLLECTIVE

S P E C IA L E V E N TS

High Expectations Aerial Arts Open House Free classes for adults and kids, giveaways, short performances, and informational sessions will be presented throughout the day. Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. HIGH EXPECTATIONS AERIAL ARTS

HOT ROD Power Tour Kickoff

Widely considered to be the finest high-end hot rod-based automotive tour. Monday, June 13, 10 a.m. MEMPHIS INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

Pride Day at the Zoo

Mid-South Pride and the Memphis Zoo are happy to have an Official Pride Day. Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. MEMPHIS ZOO

Twilight Thursdays

MBG will be open late for dog-friendly hours with food trucks and curious cocktails, plus special guests, vendors, performances, and more. Thursday, June 9, 5-8 p.m. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN

Monday, June 6-June 12. AUTOZONE PARK

Memphis Redbirds vs. Nashville Sounds Monday, June 13-June 19. AUTOZONE PARK

T H EAT E R

Curtains Up!

This performance is a musical revue celebrating Theatre Memphis. Featuring Gary Beard as music director and pianist and showcasing Theatre Memphis performers from past and present musicals. $5. Wednesday, June 15, 1:30-2:30 p.m. THEATRE MEMPHIS

Million Dollar Quartet

Inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock-and-roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. $47.50. Through June 12. HALLORAN CENTRE

Porgy & Bess

Legendary Gershwin opera set among the Black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina. Through June 12. HATTILOO THEATRE

Ragtime

Three distinctly American tales are woven together — a stifled upper-class wife, a determined

Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician. $35. Through June 26. THEATRE MEMPHIS

TO U R S

Backstage Experience Tour

Each week, the Shell is opening up the Green Rooms for an incredible and immersive guided tour that will take you from its 1936 beginnings all the way to the present and everything in between. $15. Monday, June 13, 2-3 p.m. OVERTON PARK SHELL

Explore the Greenway: Wildflower Wander

Wander a field of wildflowers and learn more about the native plants and wildlife of the Wolf River Watershed. Free. Saturday, June 11, 9 a.m. WOLF RIVER GREENWAY - EPPING WAY SECTION

River Quest: Nature Walks

A guided exploration to discover riverfront flora and fauna. Saturday, June 11, 4-5 p.m. RIVER GARDEN

True Crimes of Bygone Times

Who was accused of lacing her cookies with arsenic? Who married seven times and was accused of offing at least three of her spouses? Take the new walking tour to find out. Saturday, June 11, 10-11:30 a.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY


FOOD By Michael Donahue

Southern Graciousness Caterer Cindy Krag opens food boutique.

bring food and a blanket and everything you need for that dinner for your first night in your home.” She became co-owner of Wolf River Cafe in Rossville, Tennessee, which serves “home-cooked meals,” eight years ago. Krag provides food, but she doesn’t work in the restaurant’s kitchen. “They sell my chicken salad and pimento cheese.” Krag was thinking about opening a retail store when she noticed the space she’s now in was about to be vacated. “I saw the girls moving out of this building. I ran over here.”

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Her idea? “I think some people do not want to hire a caterer for everything. They have their own dishes they love. They just need someone to complement what they are serving. So I’m opening a gourmet shop. “I would rather try a business and say, ‘I didn’t make it,’ instead of ‘What if I could have or should have?’” She also wants to offer cooking classes. “I have so many brides that don’t know how to cook. We’re going to offer couples cooking classes.” Krag, who is raising two grandchildren, has future plans. “My goal is to have a bed-and-breakfast in Italy. That would be the true goal down the road. I just got dual citizenship for Italy.” When that happens, Krag will continue to operate her current businesses. “I love Southern gracious food. You just can’t get any better … beef tenderloin, fried chicken. I think Southern mashed potatoes, always.” And, Krag adds, “I want people to enjoy entertaining. I want them to enjoy the graciousness of Southern life. And I’m giving you all the tools to make that happen.” Cindy Krag Gourmet To Go is at 7511 Queens Court, #2, Germantown; (901) 512-6600.

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f you’ve been to a privately catered party and thought, “I wish I could buy some of that food at a store,” your wish has come true. Cindy Krag opened her retail store, Cindy Krag Gourmet To Go, May 31st in Germantown, across the street from Cindy Krag Catering. “I love good food,” says Krag, 64. “I love entertaining. I love wine. This shop is like a food boutique. You can get things to entertain. You can get lunch to go.” Krag also specializes in “good homemade casserole” take-outs. “We do the pasta, ravioli, Bolognese Alfredo, homemade chicken salad, pimento cheese.” Customers purchasing casseroles leave with a free baguette made by D&R Bakery in Cordova. And don’t forget the breadand-butter gifts; Krag offers pottery and other gift items at her shop. “You can get a ‘happy’ for someone,” she says. A native of Fayette County, Krag’s earliest cooking memories include watching her greatgrandmother make chicken and dumplings. She jumped in and began making cakes and pies when she was 8 years old. “I have taken cooking classes all over. I absolutely adore it. I love the presentation. I love getting it ready. I tell my clients, ‘You see it with your eyes first. And then it goes right in.’” Krag got into catering at 30 after helping a friend open a catering business. “I helped her for a year and then decided to open my own.” Before that she worked in customer service for Maybelline and in the travel section at American Express, but she continued taking cooking classes. “I had them in Italy, Greece, Paris,” she says. Finally, her husband told her, “I think you need to open your own business.” Her catering customers can choose from “all kinds of food,” Krag says. “We do American, Italian, Hispanic. The only thing I don’t do is Indian. “We do classic menus. Foods that never get dull. We might change the sauce on it.” She served her own style of meatballs at the recent open house party for The Kent. “Years ago, you did grape jelly. Now you have to get creative to reinvent it.” Krag, whose events include weddings, showers, and open houses, also does “move-ins” for new homeowners. “We

19


FILM By Chris McCoy

The Bob’s Burgers Movie The beloved animated comedy makes a great big-screen debut.

W

June 9-15, 2022

hen The Simpsons premiered in 1989, cartoons were for kids on Saturday morning. After The Simpsons became a massive hit, the idea of animation as a conduit for sophisticated humor aimed at adults became acceptable, even ubiquitous. The family The Simpsons portrayed was based on creator Matt Groening’s childhood memories of a middle-class life in the 1960s: a father who worked a 9-to-5 job that paid the family’s bills, a mother who stayed home to keep house and care for the three children who went to public school. In 1989, this was already a self-conscious anachronism. The irreverent Simpsons were meant to be a commentary on the conservative model of the nuclear family found in older sitcoms like The Honeymooners and Father Knows Best. Now, 33 years into its run,

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the middle-class world of The Simpsons is all but extinct. Created by Loren Bouchard, whose series Home Movies is a gem of the early 2000s Adult Swim animation boom, the Belcher family in Bob’s Burgers looks a lot more like America in 2022. Father Bob (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and mother Linda (John Roberts) own a small burger joint catering to tourists in the waterfront area of an unnamed New England town. They live in an apartment above the restaurant along with their three kids, Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal), who help out at the restaurant when they’re not in school. Bob’s Burgers has run for 12 seasons on Fox, and the Belchers’ oft-delayed feature film debut has finally made it to the big screen. The whole family’s wants and needs

are neatly summed up in the film’s opening musical number, “Sunny Side Up Summer,” where they make their plans for what to do once school is out. Bob is nervously making a perfect speciality burger to give to his loan officer in the hopes that they can get a payment deferral. But when the banker is unpersuaded by quality fast-casual food, they have a week to get a loan payment together or risk repossession of the kitchen. Just as they’re brainstorming ways to make up their budget deficit, a sinkhole opens in front of the restaurant, making it almost impossible to attract the customers they need. Favorite regular Teddy (Larry Murphy) pitches in by building a food cart so they can take their operation mobile just as the summer tourist season revs up. Meanwhile, Louise’s beloved bunny

The Belchers hat has become a target of teasing from the other kids in her class. To prove she isn’t a “baby,” she ventures down into the sinkhole, where she discovers a skeleton that appears to be a murder victim. When Louise rallies the kids to try to solve the mystery, the answers seem to point in the direction of their landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline). The Bob’s Burgers Movie was produced at just the right time, with the writing staff at the top of their game and the core voice cast still intact. Of course, it’s easier to keep your cast intact when multiple parts are played by voice acting legend H. Jon Benjamin. He has provided the deadpan voice for everyone from the hapless Coach McGuirk on Home Movies to the dipsomaniac super-spy

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FILM By Chris McCoy Archer, and his perpetually exhausted but ever hopeful Bob provides the emotional core of the show. All three of the kids have distinct personalities, but they are all believably siblings. Tina, the oldest, is an 8th grader obsessed with boys but not really sure what to do with them. Gene, the middle child, is the most creative and a master of one-line quips. Louise is the ringleader but also the most insecure. While there are some expanded set pieces and fancier-than-normal animation, the film mostly plays like an extended episode of the show. In this case, that’s not a left-handed compliment. The writers deftly juggle individual story lines for the family, as well as Teddy and the Fischoeder family, which includes

Zach Galifianakis as brother Felix and David Wain as cousin Grover. I’m not sure this is a full-fledged musical comedy, but music has played a bigger and bigger part of the show for the last few seasons. The film leans into the welcome trend with standout songs, including a production number by a crew of carnies from the nearby boardwalk amusement park. The Bob’s Burgers Movie represents a rare success in translating TV animation to the big screen. It’s universal and bighearted enough to serve as an intro to the excellent series, but if you’re already a fan, it’s a must-see. The Bob’s Burgers Movie Now playing Multiple locations

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THE LAST WORD By Joshua Swiatek

United in Grief

THE LAST WORD

Ten people’s lives were stolen May 14, 2022, in a shooting fueled by white supremacy and bigotry. The wounds will never heal, and as a Buffalo native, I want to tell the story of Buffalo’s East Side before May 14th because this massacre isn’t the only tragedy it has faced. This is the product of decades of neglect, policy failures, inaction by those in power, and institutionalized racism. Buffalo has the oldest housing stock in the nation. Many people live in homes that desperately need repairs and are a century old. Buffalo is also the sixth most-segregated city in the U.S. Decades of national and local policies — from redlining to neoliberalization to gentrification — created the conditions of this massacre. In the ’60s, Robert Moses cut the East Side in half and destroyed Buffalo’s Olmstead designed park system by replacing Humboldt Parkway with the Kensington Expressway. The expressway was seen as necessary because, at the time, white flight was occurring. As Black people began to invest in rooting themselves in Buffalo, white people PHOTO: © ATOMAZUL | DREAMSTIME.COM departed to the suburbs. The continuity of the East Side was permanently ruptured, and in favor Buffalo’s East Side has faced tragedy throughout its history. of white commuters. The pollution still poisons generations of residents, but they got good news on May 6, 2022: Lawmakers announced over $1 billion in support of an infrastructure project to restore Humboldt Parkway. In the ’80s, the War on Drugs and policies of broken windows meant that many homes on the East Side were razed under the false pretenses of being suspected drug dens. Some homes were even occupied at the time, and their foundations still sit exposed underneath a layer of weeds that symbolizes a failure to address a racist past. In recent years, development via displacement has become the norm in Buffalo. Gentrifying forces slowly creep into depressed neighborhoods and increase property taxes. Lifelong residents, many living on fixed incomes, are pushed out. Residents I spoke with during my MA research in Broadway-Fillmore, an East Side neighborhood, told me the story of their fight for a supermarket. The investiture of a supermarket by the powers that be is a blessing for growth, and a sponsorship of a future. A supermarket shows a commitment to care for residents, as all people need affordable, healthy, and accessible food. The Tops on Jefferson Avenue services much of the East Side because it is one of the only commitments to food justice in the area. And still, for some residents, that Tops is a 15-minute drive, or 90-minute bus ride. No matter how people get there, the supermarket’s significance is priceless. Much of the national media attention has been focused on the Black community in the East Side, and that community has been harmed in ways I will never understand. But I’ve spent enough time in the City of Good Neighbors to know that the community extends well beyond race, religion, sexuality, gender, creed, politics. I have felt the love of people who are welcoming of everyone, including a naïve and green wannabe activist like myself. Buffalo’s East Side boasts a burgeoning immigrant and refugee population. At Public School 31 in Broadway-Fillmore, students speak a combined 24 languages. PS 31 is more cosmopolitan than some schools in New York City! BIPOC are an important part of Buffalo’s tax base and also the most underserved. These are people who have historically been the subjects of violence by hateful people, and May 14th is not the first instance of violence directed at minorities there. The city is $20 million in debt, and more than $11 million is the result of civil lawsuit settlements with the city and the Buffalo Police Department. The world saw what BPD would do to an elderly white man, Martin Gugino, on June 24, 2020. That violence is enacted on BIPOC in Buffalo every day, and it often goes unseen. I am pained by the fact that, weeks after this horrific massacre, our country seems to have moved on. And since, there have been more such tragedies. We need to continue talking about the societal ills that produce the conditions in which such hateful acts can occur. The problems that plague Buffalo are not unique — they are the status quo across the U.S. The history of the East Side I’ve shared is a broken record, and it should sound familiar to people here in Memphis. I imagine many Black parents in America had to explain to their children what happened on May 14th in Buffalo because the reality is too real. There are two reasons people have made their homes on the East Side: They care, and they hope for a better tomorrow. Citizens fought tooth and nail to get a supermarket, and the Tops on Jefferson Avenue became an oasis in a food desert. That place of respite, nourishment, and interaction has been permanently stained. I hope that stain can be overcome, but I also understand that the pain, and the fear induced, cannot be forgotten. We must make sure not to forget, too. Everyone on Buffalo’s East Side not only lost a loved one on May 14th — they lost a piece of themselves. Those lost were people guiding the future to something greater, and have been working for decades to better the lives of their neighbors. I am left asking myself: How much of ourselves can we lose before we’re damaged beyond repair? Will expressing our hurt ever close wounds, or are we doomed to continually reopen the trauma when the next racist massacre occurs? If we keep shelving necessary and uncomfortable conversations and continue to fail to give those most marginalized in our country a better future, we will only add to an always unfolding tragedy. Joshua Swiatek moved to Memphis in 2019 and graduated with his MA in anthropology from University of Memphis.

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If we shelve uncomfortable conversations, we only add to an always unfolding tragedy.

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