Memphis Flyer 7/4/2024

Page 1

Ice Cream Dreams

The Gonzalez brothers have grown La Michoacana to seven shops in the Mid-South.





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CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor

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Contributing Columnists


CARRIE BEASLEY Senior Art Director

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NEIL WILLIAMS Graphic Designer



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THE MEMPHIS FLYER is published weekly by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 Phone: (901) 521-9000 Fax: (901) 521-0129



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Controller/Circulation Manager

JEFFREY GOLDBERG Chief Revenue Officer

MARGIE NEAL Chief Operating Officer

KRISTIN PAWLOWSKI Digital Services Director

Ice Cream Dreams e Gonzales brothers have grown La Michoacana to seven shops in the Mid-South.


Hoffman Leans



e singer nds her community through emotionally resonant songs. p14

We Saw You At Church Health’s Cra Food & Wine Festival. p17

- 14



THE fly-by

MEM ernet

Memphis on the internet.


Many Memphians reacted to the Memphis City Council’s recent hikes on taxes and fees with one question: Why are residents getting charged more while we hand out tax cuts to businesses all the time? Daniel Duckworth took this question to Nextdoor.

“Shelby County raised the wheel tax in hopes of bringing in $17 million,” he wrote. “In the meantime, businesses got $41 million in tax breaks in the county. We’re giving large businesses and corporations welfare and guaranteed income.”

Jay Limbaugh said, “ e Memphis market is not as attractive as Nashville or Knoxville. We have to bribe companies to come and invest. Simple.”

Some suggested we have to use corporate handouts because our labor pool sucks. Other neighbors wondered if the city could save money with a consolidated government, like Nashville. One just wanted her yard waste picked up on time.



Amid the death and destruction you’ll nd if you ever search YouTube for “Memphis,” you also occasionally nd just some really nice love letters to the city from outsiders. Travel vloggers Adam and Madalyn visited recently; ate barbecue at Cozy Corner, Central BBQ, and e Bar-B-Q Shop; and wandered around Bass Pro and Beale Street. If you need a refresh on the city, check it out.

Questions, Answers + Attitude


Trump, Hate Groups, & Brooks

Ballot open for Trump here, four hate groups here, and Brooks cleared for construction.


Donald Trump can appear on Tennessee election ballots in November a er the Tennessee attorney general refused to issue an opinion on the matter last week.

Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville) requested the opinion from Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti, a Republican, earlier this month.

Dixie pointed at Trump’s recent convictions and to a Tennessee law that says anyone convicted of an “infamous crime” is “disquali ed from qualifying for, seeking election to or holding a public o ce in this state.”

Skrmetti’s o ce said the state law doesn’t include the U.S. president’s o ce. Also, the o ce said it could only render opinions to o cials “in the discharge of their o cial duties.”

“ is just highlights the broken criminal justice system in this country,” Dixie said in a statement.


More than 10,000 women have le Tennessee to receive abortion care in the two years since Roe v. Wade was overturned, according to Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi (PPTNM).

e healthcare group marked the anniversary of the decision with a news conference last week. PPTNM health centers now provide patient navigation services to those in Tennessee and Mississippi who need to travel out of state for abortion care. e group has provided assistance to over 800 patients. Seven women and two providers are suing the state because they had to receive the procedure elsewhere, the group said.


The number of hate and anti-government groups operating in the Memphis area last year held at four, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), amid a record wave of white nationalist and antiLGBTQ groups.

In Tennessee, 37 hate groups operated here last year, according to the report. ey include “racist skinheads,” white nationalists, militia movements, neo-Völkisch groups, neoNazis, the Ku Klux Klan, anti-Muslim groups, a hate- lled

gi shop, and more.

In Memphis, four groups made the SPLC’s annual report. Two groups — Moms for Liberty and Proud Boys — remain active here. Two Bartlett radio stations — Blood River Radio and e Political Cesspool — also made the SPLC’s list.


e Supreme Court of the United States announced last week it would hear a challenge on Tennessee’s ban on gender-a rming care for minors in the state.

“If the court sides with Tennessee’s unlawful ban, the state can and will escalate its discrimination against trans people and the broader LGBTQ+ community,” said Molly Quinn, executive director of OUTMemphis.


Shelby County Chancellor Melanie Taylor Je erson denied a request from Friends for Our Riverfront (FfOR) to stop construction of the Memphis Art Museum last week. e group has long contended that land at the top of the blu , where the new museum is being built, is public.

e group sued the city and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in September to halt construction. e court ordered the group to post a bond of $1 million to o set damages to the project should it be temporarily halted. e group never posted the bond. e judge dismissed its request to stop construction.

Visit the News Blog at memphis for fuller versions of these stories and more local news.

Two years ago Roe v. Wade was overturned; Southern Poverty Law Center identi ed four hate groups here in Memphis.

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hile the city of Memphis allocated $30 million to Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) for scal year 2025 (FY25), questions remain on the organization’s $60 million de cit.

During the June 2024 MATA Board of Commissioners meeting last Wednesday, several members of the public expressed their concern for the de cit. Prior to the meeting, organizations such as Citizens for Better Service and Memphis Bus Riders Union said they were unhappy with MATA’s previous ways of addressing the issue.

“MATA owes the city of Memphis, especially bus riders, an explanation of how it is going to solve the de cit without hurting bus riders,” Johnnie Mosley, founding chairman of Citizens for Better Service, said.

ese comments came a er MATA’s administration presented their budget proposal earlier this month to the Memphis City Council for consideration.

and we’re going to spend smarter on the right things at the right time.”

She added that they are putting safeguards in place in order to ensure they’re being “good stewards of all the taxpayer’s money.”

During the meeting, the transportation agency did not directly address the de cit. Instead, MATA said they were committed to increasing revenue and “re ning [their] process of spending.”

At the board meeting, MATA interim CEO Bacarra Mauldin said the council would be “more involved” with all organizations and agencies receiving money from the city.

Mauldin also said, with the city being their primary funding source, they want to make sure they are being as “transparent” as possible.

Shelby County government has allocated $1.2 million toward MATA for FY25, which Mauldin said is “consistent with where they’ve been for the past few years.” She noted that while it may seem like a small amount, their consideration in the budget means there is still the “opportunity to move forward.”

As the city has wrapped up its budget season, Mauldin said she is focused on building relationships with county commissioners and administration to procure a “higher level of funding” in the future.

“We know that the money that we have from the city of Memphis as well as Shelby County will not plug the entire hole,” Mauldin said. “We’re going to continue to work with those funding partners, but in addition we’re going to look into some other ways to get funding to close that gap. Most importantly, we’re going to look in the mirror and we’re going to tighten our own belts,

Hamish Davidson of J.S. Held LLC has been retained by the organization as an external CFO and presented on “ nancial controls” during the board meeting. Davidson remarked thatnance is “an area where if you don’t have the proper controls then your nance department can leak like a sieve.” To prevent this, Davidson said they are working to “spend smarter” and make sure they know where every dollar is spent.

Davidson said they currently have an understanding of MATA’s “historical processes and procedures” as well as their accounting systems. ey also have gained the trust of employees.

However, he said they still need to identify their risk pro les and “current and future state of their budget and head count,” and “determine the appropriate controls, reporting, and policies necessary.”

“A lot of these processes need to be updated,” Davidson said. “ ey’re totally out of date and more importantly they also need to be followed to the letter.”

Davidson said when he was retained in February, he thought they would be “long nished” by now in addressing these things, but he said it’s been put on the back burner due to more “pressing issues” related to MATA’s nancials such as preparing the budget for FY25.

He said over the next few weeks they could create a timetable to present to MATA’s Board of Commissioners.

Close to the end of the meeting, the board opened the oor for public comment. ey noted that this portion was for receiving comments and that they would not engage in a “spirited debate.”

Some participants made comments about bad service from both the agency and bus drivers; however, most complaints were about the agency’s nances.

PHOTO: JUSTIN FOX BURKS MATA got $30 million from the city of Memphis.

Mulroy Responds

Ouster actions against him are “pure partisan politics,” DA says.

Some six days a er District Attorney Steve Mulroy was verbally eviscerated at the Shelby County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day banquet, Mulroy had the opportunity, before a Democratic audience, to be celebrated instead and to respond to GOP calls for his o cial ouster.

Mulroy had arrived as an attendee at last Wednesday night’s monthly meeting of the Germantown Democratic Club at Coletta’s on Appling when the event’s designated speaker, state Senator Sara Kyle, temporarily ceased speaking and invited him to come to the front of the room and address the large crowd on hand.

He began by thanking the audience for an extended round of applause — “It sti ens my soul” — and acknowledging his current predicament — “ ese are trying times right now.”

Even before the events of the last

few weeks, he said, “Strangers come up to me all the time. And they say, ‘Man, I wouldn’t have your job.’ I get it. ere’s no lack of stress in the job. But, you know, obviously, things have ratcheted up lately.”

He pronounced a vow by Republican state Senator Brent Taylor to launch an ouster mechanism in the next General Assembly as “pure partisan politics” and continued, “It’s unprecedented in Tennessee history to remove somebody over what are essentially policy di erences. It’s never been done. Under what we call the ‘for-cause standard,’ you have to identify speci c acts or omissions that are o cial misconduct, or wholesale dereliction of duty.

“You know, the triggering event” — a tentative proposal to o er o cial diversion to nonviolent felons caught with illegal rearms — “was a program which I’ve now withdrawn. So as far as I’m concerned, there’s no need to talk about it anymore. But if anybody wants me to explain it, either now or one-onone, I will, but the main takeaway is,

don’t get caught up in arguments about these discrete little issues here and there. ere’s a lot of misinformation out there. But the overarching theme is there’s no o cial misconduct.”

Mulroy professed to be “o ended on behalf of my sta … because I happen to have 230 hardworking sta in those courtrooms every day, doing the best they can to keep Shelby County safe.”

“But, you know,” he said, “nothing’s going to happen for another six months. Six months is a long time. A lot can happen in that time. What I would ask you to do is spread the word. ere’s going to be a lot of BS on social

media. Over the next six months, I’d like to deputize you all to be my social media warriors, as it were, and counter the BS because at the end of the day, either Shelby County’s district attorney is chosen by the voters of Shelby County or is chosen by politicians in Nashville.” e governing politicians of the Republican supermajority came in for criticism as well from Kyle, a candidate for re-election this year, when she resumed her remarks. She condemned a variety of alleged GOP misprisions, including corporate tax rebates granted at the expense of maternal healthcare, inaction on gun safety bills, and Governor Bill Lee’s push for student vouchers.

Although she didn’t address the matter in her speech, the senator is devoting signi cant time these days to caring for her husband, Chancellor Jim Kyle, who is a icted with CIDP (chronic in ammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) and has had to suspend his judicial caseload. More on this anon.

DA Mulroy in Germantown

Give It a Rest

Summertime ... and the living should be easy.

The French have a saying: “ e less you work, the more you produce.” I would translate that into the original French for you using the online Duolingo course skills that I’ve honed over the past three years, but it would take too much time. Besides, it’s summertime and il fait chaud and the living is supposed to be facile. I’m old enough now to realize how fast the days of our lives y by — or have own by. And I’ve come to understand that in American life you have a couple of broad options: You can work hard, push your way up a career ladder or try to grow a business, and spend at least ve of your seven allotted weekly days with your nose to the wheel of “achievement” until you’re 65. A er that, well, you’re on your own. Hope you saved some money or can say, “Welcome to Walmart.”

e other option is that you can be a damn slacker, avoiding things that cause sweat or weariness or irritation, and spend your days just getting by in the easiest way possible. is lifestyle is called “laziness” by most Americans and is not much respected in the U.S. of A. Retirement for a slacker can also be di cult, though the “not working” part isn’t as much of a transition.

e truth is, in America for better or worse, most people buy into the “work hard” ethic — the Puritan gospel that was pounded into our wee brains from an early age: We’re put on this Earth to achieve something, dammit, not to loll around eating bonbons and drinking frosty mimosas. Remember the example of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep grinding, suckers.

e dei cation of hard work is everywhere. ere are literally hundreds of quotes about its bene ts: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” “ e greater the e ort, the greater the glory.” “Nothing will work unless you do.” And so forth and so on, ad nauseam. It’s a religion, of sorts. And I get it. We’re just following the lead of the Christian deity, who, according to the Book of Genesis, worked six long hard days putting all this together for us, then rested. But here’s the thing we forget: It’s not like God worked six days a week for the rest of eternity. He (or whatever their pronouns may be) is probably smart

enough to chill whenever he/she feels like it these days.

Millions of Americans, on the other hand, have learned to be content with 10 or 15 paid vacation days each year. at’s way less than one day out of seven, meaning most of us work harder than God did in creating the world. Jaysus. And too o en, when we do go on vacation, we don’t relax. We’re too busy making plane and train connections, zipping from city to city in a vain e ort to see an entire country (or continent) in two weeks.

I know we all have to pay the bills and we need to take care of our families and there’s no question that hard work does pay o in many ways. But we need to be better about knowing when to buckle down and when to call it a day. We need to remember to give ourselves some time for napping, reading, daydreaming, eating, shing, walking, drinking, stargazing, partying, lovemaking, staring into space — whatever relaxes us, whatever allows us to renew our hearts and souls.

We Americans should take cues from other cultures. Go to France or Italy or Spain in the summer and you’ll nd entire businesses shut for the season. Europeans will stretch out their summer break for a month or even six weeks. It’s all about the joie de vivre, not the joie de travail

Work gets all the glory, but working hard and relaxing fully are both essential skills for achieving a ful lled and happy life. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Albert Einstein on the subject: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” And for the record, this quote, handwritten on a piece of paper, sold for $1.3 million. at’s genius. You could look it up.

MY HEALTH is our


Since welcoming little one, life expanded while my world contracted.

More complexity, less time

Every day I advocate for my baby whether it’s at daycare or the doctor’s office.

And every day, I push off one thing—my own health.

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of new moms, with risks can last for months post-partum.

So, I’m taking action and starting the conversation, with not just my doctor, but with other moms I know, too.

Because not only do I want to be a great mom I want to be a mom for a very long time.

Locally supported by

Ice Cream Dreams

Rafael Gonzalez’s dream of owning an ice cream shop never melted.

He got the idea when he was 4 years old, living in Chihuahua, Mexico. “I knew I was going to do this for life,” says Gonzales, 36.

He and his brothers, Ari and Alberto Gonzalez, are now owners of seven La Michoacana ice cream shop locations in the Mid-South.

On a recent ursday evening, customers streamed into the La Michoacana at 4091 Summer Avenue. ey stood in a long but fast-moving line that stopped at a sign reading, “Wait here for your turn!” e walls on the almost-cafeteria-size room were painted pink, blue, and white. People began lling up the numerous tables and chairs, frozen treats in hand.

It Began in Michoacán

The La Michoacana story began in the 1900s when a group of people from Italy moved to Mexico and taught residents of Michoacán how to make sandals, guitars, and ice cream, Gonzalez says. “This was in a little bitty town, Tocumbo, in

Michoacán, Mexico.”

e sandals were made out of rubber and leather, the acoustic guitars were built out of wood, and the ice cream was chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. “So, basically the rst ice cream in Mexico was in Michoacán,” he says.

Roberto Andrade was one of the rst people they taught to make ice cream in Michoacán, Rafael says. at was the start of the “La Michoacana” ice cream shops. Andrade then began putting the shops “in every single state of Mexico.”

In 1980, Rafael’s family moved from their home in Michoacán to

Chihuahua, Mexico. Rafael’s dad, Alberto Gonzalez, began working for La Michoacana. Luis Andrade, the grandson of the founder, taught Alberto how to make the ice cream and the paletas — frozen fruit- avored treats on a stick.

Four years later, Alberto opened his own La Michoacana shop in Chihuahua.

“I was born in an ice cream shop,” Rafael says. “I learned to walk in one of them. I learned to speak in one of them.”

And, he says, “When I was a little bitty kid, I said, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to open a store.’”

Once he was 8 years old, Rafael

The Gonzalez brothers have grown La Michoacana to seven shops in the Mid-South.

began helping his father in the store. “I was one of those kids asking my dad, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘What is that for?’ at’s how I learned. He had a lot of patience and he explained to me everything I asked.”

e recipes weren’t written down on paper, Rafael says. Somebody just teaches you how to do it “and it kind of sticks in your mind.”

His father wanted to put Rafael through college. “I said, ‘No, dad. I’m not going to college.’’’ He already had his life figured out. “I knew what I wanted to do and I’m still doing it. I graduated from high school and I was ready to come to the United States and open a store.”

A Sweet Move

In 2006, Rafael, who was 18, and Ari, who was 15, moved by themselves to Horn Lake, Mississippi. “To study English was one of the main reasons we came to the United States,” Rafael says. ey moved to Horn Lake because one of their cousins lived there, Ari says. He and Rafael and their brother Alberto now live in the area, he says. Ari “fell in love with the idea of opening La Michoacana in Mississippi,” Rafael says.

Rafael Gonzalez

Two years later — on March 7, 2008 — Rafael and Ari opened their rst La Michoacana store at 1038 Goodman Road in Horn Lake. ey opened without any advertising on TV or radio. “We were nervous,” Rafael says. “We just opened it and started working.” ey thought, “Let’s see where it goes.” e rst day was a success. “ ank God there were a lot of customers that day. ey were waiting for it to be open.” Customers told them they’d been waiting 10 years for the type of ice cream La Michoacana makes. It tastes like the ice cream they used to eat in whatever little town in Mexico they were from, Rafael says.

“I said, ‘No, dad. I’m not going to college.’ I knew what I wanted to do and I’m still doing it.”

When they opened, they were making 18 avors of ice cream and close to 30 avors of frozen treats. Today, La Michoacana makes 36 avors of ice cream and 50 avors of frozen treats.

eir shops, like their avors, grew.


Rafael Gonzalez at 9 in his dad’s ice cream shop in Chihuahua, Mexico

“A er the rst year we opened in Horn Lake, we opened the one on Winchester [6635 Winchester Road]. en the next year, we did the Summer Avenue location, the biggest and busiest one.”

e rst Summer Avenue location was in a 1,400-squarefoot space at 4075 Summer. Five years later, they moved a few doors down to their current 5,000-square-foot space on Summer Avenue.

e next store was at 830 North Germantown Parkway, Suite 105106, in Cordova, Tennessee. at was followed by two shops in Little Rock, Arkansas. ey then opened one in Jackson, Tennessee, but, Rafael says, “A er Covid, we had to close that one up.” Hopefully, he says, they’re going to open another shop in Jackson within the next two years.

paletas — and one flavor of sherbet (lime) — at their 3,000-square-foot factory in Walls, Mississippi. They begin making everything at 6 “every morning,” Rafael says. It’s “ready to go” by 4 that afternoon.

Rafael and his brothers, along with eight employees, work at the shop Monday through Friday. ey deliver the ice cream and paletas to the stores

just about every a ernoon. Saturdays and Sundays are strictly delivery days. “We all work together and we all do the same thing.”

Each day they make 150 15-liter buckets of ice cream and 3,000 to 4,000 paletas. “We split all the avors into continued on page 12

PHOTO (ABOVE): MICHAEL DONAHUE (le to right) Alberto, sons Ari, Rafael, Alberto, and wife Socorro Gonzalez

three days.”

Rafael starts working at 6 a.m. And he’s the last one to go home at 10 or 11 p.m., he says.

Fresh and Authentic Frozen Treats

eir ice cream is still made in “small batches,” Rafael says. Some businesses keep ice cream on the shelf for a long time. And that’s a er it’s already been in a warehouse for a long period. Plus, it may have been made some time before it was delivered to the warehouse. La Michoacana ice cream “has never been in the freezer more than three days,” Rafael says. It was made either “the day before or the same day.”

eir ice cream “doesn’t have any preservatives and it’s all natural. e cream is a mixture of vanilla, butter, and coconut cream.”

“A lot of the fruit comes from Mexico,” Rafael says. Like nance, which are yellow berries, but not as sweet as fruit like apricots.

Other fruits they use in their ice cream and paletas include mamey, which is “like papaya. It also grows in Mexico”; pine nuts, which “almost taste like pecans”; and prickly pear, a “seasonal avor” with a citrus taste.

eir other brother, Enrique Gonzalez, who lives in Chihuahua, helps them get supplies they can’t get in the United States.

Rafael, Ari, and their brother Alberto want to open more La Michoacana stores. “ e idea is, yes, to keep growing.” But they don’t want to open stores all over the United States. “I would like to keep it around here. Just in the Mid-South.”

Rafael doesn’t want the stores to be too spread out because his customers, who he’s become friends with over the years, want to see him. And he wants to be able to get to each store each week. “We’d like to grow, but to grow into something I can handle.”

Ari “fell in love with the idea of opening La Michoacana in Mississippi.”

We All Scream

As for his product, Rafael admits he eats “plenty” of ice cream. “I have to make sure that it’s good.”

His wife Ana, though, “can go through a quart of ice cream a day. Every day. She loves ice cream. She says marrying an ice cream guy was a blessing for her.”

eir daughters Shayla and Ellie also are big ice cream fans.

Strawberries and cream made with homemade jelly is Rafael’s favorite ice

PHOTOS: MICHAEL DONAHUE (above) Part of the ice cream selection at La Michoacana on Summer Avenue

(right) A busy ursday night at La Michoacana on Summer Avenue

cream avor. And it’s been his favorite since he was a child. It’s “one of those avors that stick in your mind.”

He prefers the spicy- avored frozen fruit treats, including spicy lime, mango, cucumber, and pineapple.

La Michoacana also makes a “frozen sour spicy fruit treat,” which comes in a paleta or in a cup. “It’s just frozen mango with sugar. It’s got this sauce, chamoy, which is a mixture of peppers and limes. at makes it not as spicy, but makes it sour.”

Every once in a while they’ll “pull up a new avor” of ice cream or paleta at La Michoacana, Rafael says. e “German,” one of their more recent ice cream avors, is their take on a German chocolate cake. It’s made with almond, coconut, and pecans and comes in a chocolate or a vanilla base.

La Michoacana also sells salty food, which balances the sweetness of the ice cream. ey sell nachos, corn on the cob, and elotes, or grilled corn on the cob with mayonnaise and cotija cheese. ey also feature chicharrones, pickled pork skins, in a salad made of cabbage, avocado, cheese, sour cream, tomato, and hot sauce. e ingredients are put in a our shell and fried.

A Family A air eir dad, who is retired, visits “every two or three months” from his home in Chihuahua. He and his wife Socorro

doing everything right. “He was strict with us and still is. If he doesn’t like it, he’s going to throw it away: ‘You’re not going to sell this.’ He wants to make sure everything is run the same way in each store.”

ey’re busy year round, but tra c is heavier, obviously, in the summertime. “I counted last Sunday. It was 42 15-liter buckets on Summer. And I want to say more than 3,000 [paletas] a day.”

Like his forebears, Rafael never wrote down any recipes. “Everything is in my mind. Basically it’s a tradition. And, hopefully, my daughters will continue. And I will teach them how to do it so they can learn the way to make it.”

For about a decade, Jim and Virginia Cavender have been stopping at La Michoacana on Sundays for ice cream or paletas. “We just love all the avors, the quality of the ice cream,” Jim says. “It’s always top-notch.”

e ice cream or paletas will be their

they visited the Summer Avenue store on the night of Rafael’s birthday celebration. ey were invited to stay for the party. “ ey’re just such a great family,” Jim says.

Virginia, a former school teacher, even tutored Rafael’s oldest daughter at one time.

ey surprise Virginia with something di erent every Sunday she visits La Michoacana. “I take a picture and put it on Facebook every Sunday night,” she says.

Out-of-town friends are captivated by Virginia’s photos. “When they come to Memphis they want to get something like I had.”

“ is is my life,” Rafael says. “ is is my place. And I would like to come to my shops every day and hang out and work. Because, having been doing this all my life, even if I retire, I’ll still be doing it. I’ll still be coming in. I’ll be the one opening and the one to close.”

steppin’ out

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

The Naked Truth

At the corner of South Main and Huling, on the sidewalk around Urevbu Contemporary, look down. You’ll see tiles marked with titles like Tulsa 1921; Johnstown, PA, 1923 Massacre; and Memphis Massacre 1866. Scan the QR code with your phone, and you’ll be led to a page revealing the history behind the titles.

All of this is part of Ephraim Urevbu’s e Naked Truth Art Project, a project, he says, that’s been nine years in the making. “What we wanted to do was [ nd a way to] use the arts to ignite conversation,” Urevbu says. “While I was doing this project, I was asking people questions like, ‘Do you know anything about Memphis Massacre of 1866?’ A lot of Memphians who live here don’t even know about that. I have to come from Africa to just to share it. … But how can we genuinely begin to address some of these di erences we have if we don’t know what is causing it? So, I wanted to go back to the beginning, bringing up all these stories.

“Let us talk about these stories, engage each other about them. And maybe we can have a common space where we can really begin to reason together. at is what this project is all about. … e reason we’re doing tiles is because not too many people come to galleries and museums, so we created tiles with QR codes on them.”

e project goes beyond the tiles, though, as it’s an ongoing collection of over a hundred works exploring American history — the history that America is most ashamed of — its violence, racial injustice, mass shootings. “American history is a rich history,” Urevbu says. “ ere is the good; there’s the bad; there’s the ugly. [ at’s true for the] history of every other country in the world, but every other country in the world embraces their stories. America wants to run away from their story, which is disastrous in the end, because if you don’t know your stories, there’s a tendency for us to repeat them.”

In that vein, layers of mixed media, including newspaper and magazine print, in the tile art indicate a need to uncover what’s underneath. “Our stories our embedded, hidden,” Urevbu says. “So, what I’m doing [with the tiles] is … I’m encouraging people to peel [back the layers]; as you peel, things like this begin to show up. … Each of these events ended up with blood being spilled. at’s why you see the red dots. It’s like spilling of blood. Sometimes I have to go real graphic to get people’s attention.”

As of the o cial unveiling of the tiles on June 19th, e Naked Truth Art Project has installed 12 tiles, all of which were manufactured in Italy to last 100 years of weather and foot tra c, but the goal is to install more in Memphis and one day have them all over America. “We have a big ambition here,” Urevbu says. “Memphis should be proud of this project. Memphis should own this project. Memphis should run with this project because this is a project that a lot of cities would be dying to have.”


VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES July 4th - 10th

Cooper-Young Fourth of July Parade

Peabody Elementary, 2086 Young, ursday, July 4, 10 a.m. Join the Cooper-Young Community Association for a very chill 4th of July block party and mini parade around the block. Bring your kiddos and their little wheels, and enjoy frozen treats, music, face-painting, and a special appearance by the Memphis Fire Department. Take in one another’s company while celebrating this Cooper-Young summer tradition.

Puppy Yoga

Wiseacre Brewery, 400 South B.B. King, Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m., $20 Happy Tails Canine Rescue brings a new meaning to downward dog. Yep. It’s time for puppy yoga.

Shoot & Splice: TV and Screenwriting with Brandi Nicole

Green Room at Crosstown Arts, 1350

Concourse, Tuesday, July 9, 7-8:45 p.m., free

Indie Memphis and Crosstown Arts o er a presentation and conversation on TV and screenwriting with writer Brandi Nicole (Showtime’s Your Honor, Amazon’s Ballard, Paramount+’s Happy Face). Nicole will discuss her writing career and provide advice and practical tips on both the creative and business sides of the lm and television industry. Being the daughter of a juvenile detention o cer mom and second-strike convicted felon dad led Brandi to writing characters that explore duality. An advocate for criminal justice reform, she works as a licensed private investigator while in between writers’ rooms.

Alley Dayz

Barboro Alley, Wednesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m., free

Join the Downtown Memphis Commission for Alley Dayz, an exciting new event designed to bring music, vendors, and community spirit to the heart of Downtown Memphis by activating alleys and unique spaces in di erent neighborhoods. Groove to a live DJ. Discover unique products and cra s from local vendors, perfect for a bit of shopping while you enjoy the festivities. Enjoy special experiences and dining deals at nearby restaurants Sage, Aldo’s, and Local on Main. Learn about the history of the block from local historians to add an educational twist to your evening.


Happie Hoffman Leans Into Love

e singer nds her community through emotionally resonant songs.

When imagining a musician on tour, a series of stock images probably go through your mind: a scru y van loaded with gear, T-shirts in bad need of a laundromat, fast food wrappers stu ed in the back of an amp. But in reality, musicians have their antennas out for any venue that works, traveling not only by road, but by rails, air, and even on the high seas. Take Memphis native Happie Ho man, aka Happie, a singer/songwriter in the indie-pop-folk vein who recently played a cruise ship. at alone isn’t that novel — there are many musically themed cruises of the Caribbean — but this one le from Tromsø, Norway, bound for the Arctic Circle.

“This album is about different cases of love in our lives, whether they be romantic, or dear friends, or familial.”

If that sounds like a dream vacation to any Memphian oppressed by the current heat wave, there was far more to it than that, and it’s emblematic of Ho man’s unique commitment to community. She describes her fellow passengers not as fans or patrons to be entertained, but as “about 150 friends, friends of friends, and creative entrepreneurs.”

Uniting all these friends was a desire to heal the world in multiple ways. e many friends on the tour came together under a few organizations that approach the issues of our day in complementary ways. “ e cruise,” says Ho man, “was in partnership with a morning dance company called Daybreaker, the Pachamama Alliance that’s working on saving the Amazon and the rain forest, and the Belong Center.

eir mission is to help end loneliness.” e Daybreaker organization may be unknown to some, though word of their unique mission — “to dance with reckless abandon at daybreak, sans substances, turning nightlife on its head” — has rapidly spread over the past decade. And it’s evolved beyond dancing, with multiple global destinations and “immersive expeditions to the most tender parts of the planet … raising millions of dollars for climate initiatives,” as their website explains. Along the way, co-founder Radha Agrawal wrote the book Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life and founded the Belong Center. And, given that the poles are indeed some of the “most tender parts of the planet” in this age of climate change, Ho man’s journey makes more sense. “I have played on four voyages to Antarctica over the past two and a half years, that started with this group of friends traveling, and this was our rst time going to the Arctic,” she says.

It all dovetails nicely with Homan’s concern for community in all its manifestations. As detailed in our 2022 feature on her, her melodious voice rst found an outlet at Temple Israel, eventually leading to her being named cantorial soloist there. “I’m a fully integrated part of the clergy team at Temple Israel,” she said at the time. “My aim is to move people spiritually, and my mode of doing that is music.”

She now lives full-time in New York City and is no longer as involved in

Temple Israel services, singing mainly during the High Holy Days here, but the quest to move people spiritually has remained. Lately, her approach to that has not been through Jewish spiritual music or protest songs about the petroleum-based economy, but through her own observations about love.

Indeed, her latest songs, dropping as singles throughout this summer and ultimately culminating in an EP this fall, focus solely on love. Still, that leaves a lot of emotional territory for her to explore as she travels and performs, single-mindedly pursuing her secular music career. e rst single, for example, which dropped last month, is all about her father.

“ is album is about di erent cases of love in our lives, whether they be romantic, or dear friends, or familial,” she says, adding, “and familial love is a beautiful aspect of that, a very real one.” It’s evoked beautifully by the album’s title track, “Shooting Star,” a meditation on how eeting our lives are, even as the love between a parent and a child endures. e video for the song is being released on Wednesday, July 3rd, and it’s a work that comes very much from the heart.

“I wrote the song when I was home

for the holidays, in a songwriting session with one of my best friends and cowriters, Ori Rakib. And as we began to write the chorus, he did a thing that people writing music o en do. He said, ‘ is song is about your dad.’ And I immediately started crying. And then the song poured out of us.”

Songs that pour out from that emotional place are what Happie Ho man is all about, and these days, with the world in turmoil and climate disasters looming, she may well have found the key to the higher sense of community that we’re capable of, one that can span the globe: the many faces of love.

PHOTO (LEFT): ANN MARGARET HEDGES Happie today (above) and as a child with her father

AFTER DARK: Live Music Schedule July 4 - 10

DJ Hush

DJ Hush is a beatmaker/ producer/turntablist/vinyl collector from Memphis. Friday, July 5, 9 p.m.



Future-Everything label heads Strooly and TEHKAL will deliver deep house. Saturday, July 6, 9 p.m.


Live At The Tracks:

Amber Rae Dunn

Amber Rae Dunn and Linda Weseman play live music on the upper deck at Central Station Hotel. ursday, July 4, 6:30-9:30 p.m.


Peabody Rooftop Party: Formerly Known As Also featuring DJ A.D. ursday, July 4, 6 p.m.


The Central BBQ Sessions

Saturday, July 6, 6-8:30 p.m.


Wendell Wells & The Big Americans

Honky tonk, cowjazz, barn burnin blues. Saturday, July 6, 5 p.m.


Laser Tom Petty Laser shows accompany your favorite music at the AutoZone Sharpe Planetarium. Friday, July 5, 7 p.m.


Alexis Jade and the Gemstones

ursday, July 4, 7 p.m.


Almost Elton John & The RocketMen

Pianist/vocalist Jerred Price and his band. Friday, July 5, 7 p.m.


Blues, BBQ, and Brews

With Brimstone Jones, Will Tucker, and a hot dog eating contest. Proceeds go to Wounded Warriors Project. ursday, July 4, noon-7 p.m.



With DJs Open Decks, FERB, Scotty B, P for Parker, and Selector Jack. Expect club sound with extra low end support, projector visuals, and some laser action! $15. Saturday, July 6, 10 p.m.


Devil Train

Bluegrass, roots, country, Delta, and ski e. ursday, July 4, 10 p.m.


Dub-ster Dive

With DJs Selector Jack, Plain Jane, Flowtus. Friday, July 5, 9 p.m.


Duwayne Burnside Friday, July 5, 8 p.m.


El Chavos

With Shorty and e Grooves, Anna Rose Baker, Amour Neveah [Small Room-Downstairs]. Friday, July 5, 7 p.m.



With Los Psychosis, Stay Fashionable [Small RoomDownstairs]. Tuesday, July 9, 8 p.m.


Further North

With e Storyline, Pan de Meurto, e Ellie Badge [Small Room-Downstairs].

Sunday, July 7, 8 p.m.


Grit & Grind Music Machine

Friday, July 5, 10 p.m.


Jazz Saturdays with Memphis Jazz Workshop Hear some of the city’s most gi ed music students play live jazz at your art museum! $15/adult, $10/adult 55+, $8/ student, $8/youth. Saturday, July 6, noon-2 p.m.


Joe Restivo 4

Sunday, July 7, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


June Henry

With I’ve Never Been Here Before, Pity Invite, Little Baby Tendencies [Small RoomDownstairs]. Monday, July 8, 8 p.m.


Lacey Sturm Tuesday, July 9, 7 p.m.


Memphis Knights Big Band

e 17-piece orchestra (plus two popular vocalists) features standards and popular hits in driving arrangements. Monday, July 8, 6 p.m.


Memphis Unplugged Stripped down and acoustic classic tunes, with a cool, laidback, and serene atmosphere. Saturday, July 6, 5 p.m.


Modern Masters Jazz Series: Fareed Haque and The Ted Ludwig Trio

Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso, steeped in classical and jazz traditions. Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 p.m.


Portugal. The Man With Spoon Benders. Friday, July 5, 8 p.m.


Queen Ann Hines Saturday, July 6, 8 p.m.



Thundergun With Limit Switch and Concrete Paradise. All ages. Friday, July 5, 8 p.m.


Vibes: Reggaeton

DJ Mala Leche and DJ DY3 bring an epic mix from cumbia to hip-hop and everything in between. Friday, July 5, 9 p.m.


Vinyl Happy Hour

With Guest DJs every ursday. ursday, July 4, 3-5 p.m.


Radar Blips With e Narrows [Small Room-Downstairs]. ursday, July 4, 8 p.m.


Rath and Social Infants

With e Gunpowder Plot [Small Room-Downstairs]. Friday, July 5, 8 p.m. HI TONE


With Window and Optic Sink. Friday, July 5, 9 p.m. BAR DKDC

The Long Run - A Tribute to the Eagles is Florida band reproduces the sound that made the Eagles so successful, capturing the Eagles’ energy, guitar technique, and vocal harmonies: ve voices blending together that will please even the most critical of Eagles fans. $25/ general admission. Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m.


The MDs (Booker T & the MGs Tribute) is seasoned band recreates the classic Stax band’s records, but with their own freewheeling soul added to the mix. Always danceable, not to be missed! Friday, July 5, 9 p.m.


The Pinch Sunday, July 7, 7 p.m.


The Royal Blues Band Jam

Featuring Jack Rowell Jr., a blue-eyed, soulful blues singer with blazing guitar licks to match. Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m.


The Subteens

With River City Tanlines, Deaf Revival, Trashgoblin. Saturday, July 6, 9 p.m.


The Super 5 Saturday, July 6, 9 p.m.


WYXR Stereo Sessions: Robert Clayborne Power to Overcome e 1987 album is a unique treasure in gospel funk and boogie. Free. Wednesday, July 10, 6 p.m.


Few Miles South Friday, July 5, 8 p.m.


Live In Studio A:

Summer Series with 926 Stax Music Academy Alumni Band

Visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music each Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. for live music from 926, the Stax Music Academy Alumni Band. Tuesday, July 9, 2-4 p.m.


Luke Callen

Wednesday, July 10, 8 p.m.


Randy Steele with the Delta String Band Saturday, July 6, 8 p.m.


Shake the Monday Blues with Yella P

Enjoy great food and drinks and one of a kind vibes created by Memphis’ own Yella P, an internationally celebrated blues artist and multi-instrumentalist. $10/general admission. Monday, July 8, 6-8 p.m.


Memphis Blues Society Weekly Jam

Hosted by Jackie Flora & Friends. ursday, July 4, 7:30 p.m.


Richard Wilson Soulful Blues at Jackie Maes

Friday, July 5, noon-2 p.m.; Sunday, July 7, noon-2 p.m.


Singer Songwriter



Live in Studio A at the Stax Museum

Enjoy some of the area’s best local musicians every Sunday. Sunday, July 7, 4-6 p.m.



- 10

Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to



“Incognito” Art Auction

Over 100 Mid-South artists are creating a collection of original, unsigned works. rough July 28.


“It’s All Relative” Morgan Lugo uses permanent materials to speak to the e ects of past experiences. rough July 7. METAL MUSEUM


Sowgand Sheikholeslami’s show ranges from enigmatic gures set within interior spaces to boldly painted still lifes and abstract landscapes. rough July 7.



Christmas in July- First Fridays on Broad

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas in July! Friday, July 5, 5-8 p.m.


Super Saturday Food, art, fun. Free. Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m.noon.



Botanicals and Bezels Jewelry Class Brandy Boyd leads this adults-only class on

silversmithing, utilizing sterling cast botanicals sourced from master cra ers. $80. Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.



Prescott Comedy Showcase e hilarious Prescott Gilliam and the insane Smokey Suarez. $20-$60. Friday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. | Friday, July 5, 10 p.m. | Saturday, July 6, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, July 6, 10 p.m. | Sunday, July 7, 8 p.m.



All-American Weekend at Graceland Celebrate America at Graceland. $350/All-American ticket package. ursday, July 4, 6 p.m.


The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Thursday, April 4, 2019


“Watch out!”

Tributary of the Rio Grande

Gandhi and others, for short

Much of the back of a baseball card

Follower of debate in the General Assembly, in

Caterer’s container

Thunder, but not Lightning


QB’s accumulation: Abbr.

Without exception

Like a crisp picture, say

Private info, for



Brandy Boyd leads an adults-only class on silversmithing at the Memphis Botanic Garden.


Fireside Fables

Stories from Collierville’s haunted history. With spooky camp re storytelling, a “pet ghost” cra , and more. For youth entering 6th to 12th grade. Tuesday, July 9, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.


Summer Splash e Overton Park Conservancy is popping up water slides on the Greensward. Free. Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.



A Wider Angle Film Series: Over the Limit

A sports documentary about a Russian rhythmic gymnastics competitor named Margarita Mamun. Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind e classic lm tracing disparate individuals who are called to witness a visit by extraterrestrials. Sunday, July 7, 4 p.m. | Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m.


Shoot & Splice: TV and Screenwriting with Brandi Nicole Brandi Nicole (Your Honor, Ballard, Happy Face) will discuss her writing career and provide advice on the lm and television industry. Tuesday, July 9, 7 p.m.



Sunday Blues Lunch

Indulge in a meal while cruising down the Mississippi River. Enjoy the tunes of the Blues Band. $50. Sunday, July 7, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.


Grand Cabernet Tasting

Join the Memphis Wine Society for an unforgettable evening. Wednesday, July 10, 5:30 p.m.



Writeous Soul: Poetry for the Soul Hosted by Comedian Rob Love, Poetry for the Soul will showcase a variety of amazing artists. 21+ only, adult content. $25. Sunday, July 7, 5 p.m.



All Elite Wrestling: AEW Collision Boasting an impressive roster of diverse male and female wrestlers, AEW features a wide variety of wrestling styles and twist- lled plots. Saturday, July 6, 6:30 p.m.


First Saturday Wolf River Paddle

A 6.4-mile section of the Wolf River between the Fayette County cities of Rossville and Piperton. Participants on this trip will be paddling a wide portion of the river. $25. Saturday, July 6, 9 a.m.


Redbirds vs. the Norfolk Tides Tuesday, July 9, 7 p.m. | Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m.



Catch Me If You Can Based on the life of Frank Abagnale Jr., this musical jet sets audiences on a high- ying wild ride through the life of a young con artist pursued by the FBI. rough July 14.


We Saw You.


Brandon Claybon, a native Memphian now living in Los Angeles, was one of 636 guests at the h annual Cra Food & Wine Festival, which was held June 23rd at e Columns.

e fundraiser for Church Health featured more than 30 food-related businesses.

“It was my rst time at the event,” Claybon says. “I thought it was amazing. Absolutely extraordinary for Memphis to have something like this. And bringing people from all walks of life to come together, break bread, and drink wine. It was amazing.”

Asked how many stations he frequented, Brandon says, “I probably stopped at about 20. And then I ate a hamburger a er. I waited the entire day for the festival, so I didn’t eat before.”

Claybon and event organizer Cristina McCarter were best friends at Bolton High School. “ is year, it was just in the cards. So, basically, I had wrapped up a shooting with Tyler Perry in Atlanta.”

is year’s Cra Food & Wine Festival raised about $7,000, McCarter estimates. at brings the total raised over ve years to “close to $60,000” for Church Health, she says.


above: (le to right) Jervette Ward and Jason Hendrickson; Betty Joyce (BJ) Chester-Tamayo; Chastity Pointer-Gibson and Courdria Pointer

below: (le to right) Brandon Claybon and Cristina McCarter; Marcus Hamilton, Kula, Debra Westbrook, Verlisa Westbrook, and Verles Westbrook

bottom row: (le to right) Caleb Knight, Vino Wright, and Josh Mutchnick; Justin Gallagher and Veronica Gomez


By Emily

The Fiery Energy of July

Finding the spiritual lessons of summer.

t’s o cially July and we are now half way through 2024. July is a month rich in spiritual symbolism and signi cance. As the heart of summer, July represents a time of growth, abundance, and inner illumination. In many cultures and traditions, the seventh month of the year holds deep spiritual meaning, connecting to themes of transformation, creativity, and personal empowerment.

July, named a er Julius Caesar, carries the legacy of leadership, power, and transformation. e very essence of its symbolism is intertwined with the zenith of summer, where the sun’s energy is at its peak, illuminating our lives with warmth and vibrancy. is period represents growth, fruition, and the manifestation of all the hard work put in during the earlier months. is month stands as a beacon of hope and a reminder that no matter the challenges faced, the light of endurance shines brightest in the warmth of this month.

emerge victorious in our personal battles. In July, we move out of Cancer season and into Leo season. e astrological sign of Leo brings its passion and re to the forefront this month. By embracing this inner re, we can tap into a wellspring of courage and determination, allowing us to overcome obstacles and reach new heights of personal growth. e unwavering spirit of the sun during this season serves as a guiding light, inspiring us to stand tall in the face of life’s challenges and to never surrender in the pursuit of our dreams.

Since we are more than halfway through the year, it is also a good time to check in on the goals that we set in January. Are we making progress? Have we reached those goals? Do we still want to pursue those goals? If you are still working on manifesting things that you set your intentions for earlier this year, use the energy of July to help you refocus and make those dreams a reality.

July’s symbolism is also marked by the celebration of independence and freedom in various parts of the world. It’s a time when we re ect on the concepts of liberty, self-determination, and unity. is brings a deeper understanding of the sacri ces made for the freedoms we enjoy and the ongoing struggles for liberation across the globe.

with Georganne Chapin, MPhil, JD

Executive Director of Intact America

Author, “This Penis Business: A Memoir”

July is a testament to the bountiful gi s nature has to o er. e lush landscapes and the plentiful harvests that characterize this time of year symbolize a spiritual abundance that extends beyond the material realm. is invites us to shi our focus from scarcity to gratitude, acknowledging the wealth of blessings that surround us. Whether it’s an abundance of love, health, or happiness, July reminds us to approach each day with a spirit of openness and appreciation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024


Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

Meeting Room A 3030 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN 38111

By embracing this mindset of prosperity, we can cultivate a deeper connection with the divine and nd joy in the simple pleasures of life. e generosity of nature during this season serves as a powerful inspiration, encouraging us to share our own bounty and upli those around us.

e intense heat of July presents a physical but also spiritual challenge. e Southern summer requires us to tap into our inner reserves of strength and resilience. is month serves as a reminder that the ames of adversity can forge the steel of our character.

e ery energy of July symbolizes the passion and drive that fuels our actions, urging us to confront our fears and

Astrologically, July is dominated by the signs of Cancer and Leo, each bringing its unique energy and lessons. Cancer, represented by the crab, emphasizes the themes of home, family, and emotional depth. It teaches us the importance of nurturing our relationships and creating a safe and loving environment for our growth and the growth of those around us. Leo, symbolized by the lion, roars with the energy of leadership, creativity, and self-expression. is sign encourages us to embrace our personal power, to shine our light boldly, and to pursue our passions with courage and con dence. e astrological signi cance of the month thus lies in its invitation to balance our emotional depths with our desire for expression and visibility, weaving a tapestry of personal and collective growth.

Emily Guenther is a co-owner of e Broom Closet metaphysical shop. She is a Memphis native, professional tarot reader, ordained Pagan clergy, and dog mom.


ARIES (March 21-April 19): The “nirvana fallacy” is the belief that because something is less than utterly perfect, it is gravely defective or even irredeemably broken. Wikipedia says, “The nirvana fallacy compares actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives.” Most of us are susceptible to this flawed approach to dealing with the messiness of human existence. But it’s especially important that you avoid such thinking in the coming weeks. To inspire you to find excellence and value in the midst of untidy jumbles and rumpled complexities, I recommend you have fun with the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. It prizes and praises the soulful beauty found in things that are irregular, incomplete, and imperfect.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You are coming to a fork in the road — a crux where two paths diverge. What should you do? Author Marie Forleo says, “When it comes to forks in the road, your heart always knows the answer, not your mind.” Here’s my corollary: Choose the path that will best nourish your soul’s desires. Now here’s your homework, Taurus: Contact your Future Self in a dream or meditation and ask that beautiful genius to provide you with a message and a sign. Plus, invite them to give you a wink with either the left eye or right eye.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Last year, you sent out a clear message to life requesting help and support. It didn’t get the response you wished for. You felt sad. But now I have good news. One or both of the following may soon occur. 1. Your original message will finally lead to a response that buoys your soul. 2. You will send out a new message similar to the one in 2023, and this time you will get a response that makes you feel helped and supported. Maybe you didn’t want to have to be so patient, Gemini, but I’m glad you refused to give up hope.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): All of us, including me, have aspects of our lives that are stale or unkempt, even decaying. What would you say is the most worn-out thing about you? Are there parts of your psyche or environment that would benefit from a surge of clean-up and revival? The coming weeks will be an excellent time to attend to these matters. You are likely to attract extra help and inspiration as you make your world brighter and livelier. The first rule of the purgation and rejuvenation process: Have fun!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): On those rare occasions when I buy furniture from online stores, I try hard to find sources that will send me the stuff already assembled. I hate spending the time to put together jumbles of wood and metal. More importantly, I am inept at doing so. In alignment with astrologi-

cal omens, I recommend you take my approach in regard to every situation in your life during the coming weeks. Your operative metaphor should be this: Whatever you want or need, get it already fully assembled.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When Adragon De Mello was born under the sign of Libra in 1976, his father had big plans for him. Dad wanted him to get a Ph.D. in physics by age 12, garner a Nobel Prize by 16, get elected president of the United States by 26, and then become head of a world government by 30. I’d love for you to fantasize about big, unruly dreams like that in the coming weeks — although with less egotism and more amusement and adventurousness. Give yourself a license to play with amazing scenarios that inspire you to enlarge your understanding of your own destiny. Provide your future with a dose of healing wildness.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “Your horoscopes are too complicated,” a reader named Estelle wrote to me recently. “You give us too many ideas. Your language is too fancy. I just want simple advice in plain words.” I wrote back to tell her that if I did what she asked, I wouldn’t be myself. “Plenty of other astrologers out there can meet your needs,” I concluded. As for you, dear Scorpio, I think you will especially benefit from influences like me in the coming weeks — people who appreciate nuance and subtlety, who love the poetry of life, who eschew clichés and conventional wisdom, who can nurture your rich, spicy, complicated soul.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The coming weeks will be prime time for you to re-imagine the history of your destiny. How might you do that? In your imagination, revisit important events from the past and reinterpret them using the new wisdom you’ve gained since they happened. If possible, perform any atonement, adjustment, or intervention that will transform the meaning of what happened once upon a time. Give the story of your life a fresh title. Rename the chapters. Look at old photos and videos and describe to yourself what you know now about those people and situations that you didn’t know back then. Are there key events from the old days that you have repressed or ignored? Raise them up into the light of consciousness.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In 1972, before the internet existed, Capricorn actor Anthony Hopkins spent a day visiting London bookstores in search of a certain tome: The Girl from Petrovka Unable to locate a copy, he decided to head home. On the way, he sat on a random bench, where he found the original

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The Fates have authorized me to authorize you to be bold and spunky. You have permission to initiate gutsy experiments and to dare challenging feats. Luck and grace will be on your side as you consider adventures you’ve long wished you had the nerve to entertain. Don’t do anything risky or foolish, of course. Avoid acting like you’re entitled to grab rewards you have not yet earned. But don’t be self-consciously cautious or timid, either. Proceed as if help and resources will arrive through the magic of your audacity. Assume you will be able to summon more confidence than usual.

manuscript of The Girl of Petrovka. It had been stolen from the book’s author George Feifer and abandoned there by the thief. I predict an almost equally unlikely or roundabout discovery or revelation for you in the coming days. Prediction: You may not unearth what you’re looking for in an obvious place, but you will ultimately unearth it.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquariusborn Desmond Doss (1919–2006) joined the American Army at the beginning of World War II. But because of his religious beliefs, he refused to use weapons. He became a medic who accompanied troops to Guam and the Philippines. During the next few years, he won three medals of honor, which are usually given solely to armed combatants. His bravest act came in 1944, when he saved the lives of 70 wounded soldiers during a battle. I propose we make him your inspirational role model for the coming weeks, Aquarius. In his spirit, I invite you to blend valor and peacemaking. Synergize compassion and fierce courage. Mix a knack for poise and healing with a quest for adventure.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): What types of people are you most attracted to, Pisces? Not just those you find most romantically and sexually appealing, but also those with whom a vibrant alliance is most gracefully created. And those you’re inclined to seek out for collaborative work and play. This knowledge is valuable information to have; it helps you gravitate toward relationships that are healthy for you. Now and then, though, it’s wise to experiment with connections and influences that aren’t obviously natural — to move outside your usual set of expectations and engage with characters you can’t immediately categorize. I suspect the coming weeks will be one of those times.

Is Yorgos Okay?

Kinds of Kindness reveals director Yorgos Lanthimos’ twisted view of human nature.

More than 20 years into his lmmaking career, we know what to expect from a Yorgos Lanthimos movie. ere will probably be a cultish organization, with strange practices and unclear motives. e dialogue will sound simplistic on the surface, but conceal deeper meaning. e sex will be weird. ere will be mutilation, o en self-in icted. Someone will get licked. Emma Stone will do a little dance.

And yet, Lanthimos’ lms are always surprising. Even if you’ve seen everything he’s done, from his 2001 Greek debut My Best Friend to his 2009 breakthrough Dogtooth to last year’s masterpiece Poor ings, you’ll probably have no idea what will happen next when you watch Kinds of Kindness.

Lanthimos’ latest reunites key members of the Poor ings cast: Emma Stone, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Bella Baxter, the dead woman brought back to life a er having the brain of her unborn child implanted in her skull, and Willem Dafoe, the mad scientist who did the deed. Joining them is Jesse Plemons, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, and Mamoudou Athie. Kinds of Kindness is divided into three parts: Each segment is its own isolated story, with the actors playing completely di erent characters.

In “ e Death of R.M.F.,” Plemons plays Robert, a corporate executive whose boss Raymond (Dafoe) issues daily memos which control every aspect of his life. When Robert is ordered to deliberately crash his car, he balks, and Raymond cuts him o . Unsure of what to do with his sudden freedom, Robert ails wildly.

In “R.M.F. Is Flying,” Plemons plays Daniel, a police o cer whose wife Liz (Stone) is missing at sea. His partner

Neil (Athie) tries to keep Daniel on track, but when Liz is rescued, his insanity only deepens.

In “R.M.F. Eats a Sandwich,” Stone and Plemons play Emily and Andrew, a pair of cultists whose leaders Omi (Dafoe) and Aka (Chau) have issued a prophecy about a woman with the ability to bring people back from the dead. It’s Emily and Andrew’s job to nd her.

Kinds of Kindness’ three segments may not have common characters, but they do have common themes. In each story, someone is rejected, either from a group or by an individual, and takes drastic action to try to get back into the fold. An obsession with control — who wields it, who is subject to it, who needs it — winds its way through the three stories. Stone, who has emerged as one of the best actresses of her generation, remains Lanthimos’ muse. Her three characters couldn’t be more di erent, and she is brilliant in all three roles. In the third segment, she even tries her hand at stunt driving.

Kinds of Kindness delves into three isolated stories, with Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, and more playing di erent characters throughout.

Plemons’ talent shines throughout the lm. In the rst segment, his disorientation at having to make his own decisions a er a decade of Dafoe dictating his every move is at rst hilarious, then poignant, then horrifying. In “R.M.F. Eats a Sandwich,” his vulnerability as a grieving husband gives way to a steely, destructive determination.

Dafoe, the consummate pro, works wonders with Lanthimos and co-writer E himis Filippou’s o en di cult material. In the hands of lesser actors, these stories might come o as silly. Filip-

pou also co-wrote e Lobster and e Killing of a Sacred Deer, which means Kinds of Kindness is a di erent avor from the visual extravagance of Poor ings. Instead of the fantastical steampunk cities of an alternate Europe, Kinds of Kindness was lmed on location in New Orleans. Cinematographer Robbie Ryan brings out the Crescent City’s threatening, surreal side.

As with all of Lanthimos’ lms, this isn’t for everyone. But if you’re already on board with his unique, o en disturbing world view, you will nd Kinds of Kindness ranks with the director’s best work.

Kinds of Kindness is now playing at Studio on the Square and Collierville Cinema Grill & MXT.

Our critic picks the best films in theaters.


Ti West and Mia Goth conclude their slasher trilogy which began with X and continued with the prequel Pearl Goth returns as Maxine Minx, the final girl who survived the Texas porn-star massacre. Now, she’s hit the big time in mid-’80s Hollywood, only to find herself the target of the infamous serial killer known as the Night Stalker.

Despicable Me 4

Steve Carell returns to voice Felonious Gru in the sixth installment of Universal’s seemingly unstoppable animated franchise. The voice cast also includes Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Joey King, Sofía Vergara, Steve Coogan, and Pierre

Coffin, who make the noises for Gru’s army of Minions.

A Quiet Place: Day One

Lupita Nyong’o leads this smash-hit prequel to A Quiet Place. She’s a cancer patient trying to eke out a living in New York City when blind, peopleeating aliens start to rain from the sky.

Inside Out 2

If you want to see a truly great animated film for the whole family, Inside Out 2 is where it’s at. Amy Poehler and Maya Hawke star as Joy and Anxiety, two emotions which are vying for control of their human Riley (Kensington Tallman). Gorgeously animated with a message that resonates for all ages, it’s another classic for the Pixar trophy case.

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Fun, but Not in the Sun

Staying cool this summer with art, lazy waves, and inspiration.

With this heat wave, we’ve had to nd ways to enjoy our summer, but stay cool at the same time. While my kids, now 16, 12, 12, and 10, would be content lying around the house in their pajamas, I just want them to do … something else. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to play video games as well (my current favorite is My Time at Sandrock), but that can’t be all that they do. is city is too vibrant and their brains are too bright to be only used for video games.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

If you haven’t been to the Brooks Museum’s latest exhibit, “People are People” by Christian Siriano, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. is exhibit displays some of Siriano’s contributions to fashion. My daughter’s mouth dropped in awe. (Best mom-feeling ever!) She guided us around the exhibit, reading the captions while exclaiming her opinion of each dress. We saw dresses worn by Michelle Obama, Ashley Graham, and Ariana Grande. e gowns are exquisite and absolutely amazing. My daughter gained a lot of inspiration and drive from this exhibit. She talked endlessly about the alterations she was going to make to some of her clothes and how she nally knows how she is going to nish the shirt she’s been sewing. But the best part was when my boys got excited. e Brooks Museum had a runway set up with clothes on a rack that they could piece together to make a fashion statement. Were they excited to play dress-up? No. But were they excited to play dress-up with their little sister? Yes! We all ran to the rack, donned the coolest attire, and walked the runway. We had the best time! Next, my hubby and daughter used fabric to dress a mannequin while the boys sketched clothes. e Brooks Museum is free Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. “People are People” by Christian Siriano will be around until August 4th.

Kroc Center

We have been members of the Kroc Center for a few years now, and the Kroc has this long hallway that displays the artwork of local artists. As we walked by, the eldest twin slowed his pace. He looked at the artwork, nodded, then moved along. He called our attention to several di erent pieces, noting content and technique. And then his world changed. Written in the bottom right-hand corner, on a small rectangular piece of paper, was the price the artwork was selling for. It then seemed like several dots connected together in his brain. “ is piece sells for $65! at’s more than my allowance!” I just smiled and said, “Yes, it is.” My husband and I have always told him that he could sell his artwork to earn money. Ever since he was 5 and he stated that he wanted to be a “starving artist” when he grew up, we explained to him that he could be an artist without the starving part. But sometimes a parent’s words don’t resonate with their kids until an appropriate moment. Seeing artwork comparable to his own ability for sale ignited something in him. (Insert proud mommy moment.)

My kids also love to swim at the Kroc. ey have a wonderful lazy river. (Yep, you read that right!) My kids are perfectly content going around and around and around, relaxing with each churn of the arti cial currents.

Summer Curriculum Update

Here’s a brief update on how the summer curriculum is going. e MATA bus ride is scheduled for July. As you’ve probably guessed, they aren’t excited. While they have mastered how to operate Google Calendar and have put several things on the family calendar, they have failed to learn the lyrics to any Aretha Franklin song or “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas with accuracy. I honestly didn’t think it would be hard, but they are seriously struggling. e grocery shopping and meal prep had an unexpected outcome. Yes, the kids created grocery lists and cooked meals. But we’ve also had to put a cap on “when” meals could be made. e kids were cooking the typical breakfast, lunches, and dinners, but also added “pre-lunch” and a “post-dinner” meals. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t “post-dinner” just dessert? No, not for them, “post-dinner” is the meal you eat a er dessert. Usually served a er you have stayed up too late and gotten hungry again. erefore, the kitchen now closes at 10 p.m. ( ose P-EBT cards need to hurry up and arrive!)

ey’re nishing up their autobiography/biography and school-assigned summer reading books, too. As you probably guessed, they decided to pace their time with books by only reading a chapter a day. I had to gently remind them that at this pace, they wouldn’t nish their books in time for school. And as you know, the summer reading books include a mini-project.

So far they’ve created and gained inspiration, added movement, and nurtured their brains. I think this deserves a video game binge day, but no “post-dinners.”

Patricia Lockhart is a native Memphian who loves to read, write, cook, and eat. By day, she’s a school librarian and writer, but by night … she’s asleep. @realworkwife @memphisismyboyfriend

PHOTOS: PATRICIA LOCKHART Contributions to fashion and enjoying the lazy river at the Kroc Center

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