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MARCH 2014




page 5 new look for landscape Cooper-Young’s gazebo and surrounding plaza are getting a facelift after more than 20 years.

page 11 What’s going on Arts, events and more in and around Cooper-Young this Month.

page 17 vox populi Columns by Dr. D. Jackson Maxwell, Mary A. Burns and Corey Mesler.

LampLighter March 2014





LampLighter March 2014

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT: Life looks different in wide-screen march 2014

Staff&Volunteers Founder Janet Stewart Editor David Royer Layout Artist David Royer Webmaster Patrick Miller Business Manager Chris McHaney Distribution Rich Bullington Ad Manager Susan Jaynes Contributors: Ben Boleware, Leah Beth Bolton, Mary A. Burns, Tamara Cook, Noopy Dykes, Kristan Huntley, June Hurt, Kathy Katz, Renee Massey, D. Jackson Maxwell, Corey Mesler, Wes Williamson

Deadlines for the april LampLighter Article submissions: March 15 Advertising copy: March 21 Distribution beginning:March 28

If I remember correctly, I have written here before about embracing change ...

don’t know how to use. I’ve since made peace with the new TV, and it inspired me to try more changes. Mom always said that I wasn’t a “hat” person, but I proved her wrong with the or not embracing change ... or possibly purchase of my new, blue, doggie hat hating change, but not fearing change. with ears that wiggle when you pump It may just depend on how I’m feeling the strap. It is all things awesome and I that moment, I guess. At this particular don’t even care that doggies aren’t blue. moment, let’s say that I am tentatively (So there, you prepubescent Alex P. Keaoptimistic about not totally hating every ton who questioned my fashion sense in single aspect of change. Maybe. Kroger!) More change, please! It all started when one of my dogs Would I like to accept more help with ate the original remote for my wonderplanning and collecting donations for fully ancient, non-high-definition, CRT the art auction this year? Yes, please! television, generously donated by Black Am I ready to get my lazy rear end back Lodge Video after my last non-flat-screen on my bike and get back in shape again? TV died. Hope it’s not too cold. How about going After at least four different universal to Mulan and NOT ordering the same remotes failed to even recognize its exissushi that I order every single time I’m tence as anything remotely electronic, it there? Let’s not go overboard here. occurred to me that my plan of replacing “So there, you prepubescent Alex P. Keaton who quesCome on out and help me embrace all future broken TVs with even-older tioned my fashion sense in Kroger!” more change at one of the many cool versions callously discarded by my neighMarch events including an Engraving Day bors was probably not the best plan I’ve ever had to continue watchat the CYCA office (featuring our new and improved parking lot), a ing New Girl. Simply said, I was a flat screen hater. If I wanted to see community cleanup, a Dog Day at the park, and our Artist Recepsomething in wide-screen format, I would go to the movie theater. tion! Long story short, I reluctantly let a friend lead me down the slippery slope of flat-screen ownership, which eventually led to a new - June Hurt/CYCA president receiver, surround sound, a switch box and four remotes that I still


Please send all articles and submissions to For advertising rate sheet, or to submit ads electronically, please email

March 1 Engraving Day. Get your belongings engraved with your name and information to keep it safe, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at CYCA office, 2298 Young. Free event

Content 901-297-6527 | ad sales 901-652-7092 | distribution 901-726-4635 |

March 11 Neighborhood meeting, 6 p.m. at CYCA office, 2298 Young. Everyone welcome (snacks available; meeting starts at 6:30). Topic: pet safety

Cooper-Young Community Association Kristan Huntley, Executive Director 901-272-2922 | Cooper-Young Business Association Tamara Cook, Executive Director 901-276-7222 |

March 17 Beautification meeting, 6 p.m. at CYCA office, 2298 Young. For information call 272-2922.

CYCA Board Officers President June Hurt Vice-President Mark Morrison Secretary Renee Massey Treasurer Kevin Ritz

March 22 Cooper-Young cleanup, volunteers needed. Meet at the gazebo at 9 a.m. (See page 5 for more information.)

CYCA Committee Heads Art Auction June Hurt Beautification Demetrius Boyland Beer Fest Mark Morrison Block Clubs Liz Royer Building Debbie Sowell Code Awareness Vacant Communications Patrick Miller Festival 4-Miler Richard Coletta, Michael Ham, Chris McHaney, Libby Flynt Finance Kevin Ritz Safety Wes Williamson Membership Vacant At-Large Board Members


April 6 Artists’ reception and preview party for annual Art for Art’s Sake Auction, 4-6 p.m., Otherlands Coffee.

The LampLighter is published by the CYCA. The opinions and information presented here are those of the volunteer authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of LampLighter staff or the entire Cooper-Young community. The LampLighter assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. However, we commit ourselves to providing current and accurate

CORRECTIONS In our February Insider’s Guide Cooper-Young business listings: - We omitted Michael Taylor Interiors, 1972 Elzey Ave., 901-272-0264, - The correct phone number for Colours, 881 South Cooper, is 901277-4877. LampLighter March 2014


Cooper-young news

CYCA proposes change to bylaws The Cooper-Young Community Association Board of Directors is proposing changes to the by-laws of the organization. These changes will reflect both the addition of a full-time Executive Director and expansion of that role as well as changes to address the changing needs of the community. To view the proposed revised by-

laws, please go to http://cooperyoung. org/2014/02/by-law-changes/ or come by our office during office hours for a paper version.  Should you have any thoughts or concerns about these changes, please contact the CYCA at 272-2922 or email us at info@ - Kristan Huntley/CYCA

MPD colonel, county judge seek public’s help to keep CY safe from crime, blight Two heavy hitters in the city’s fight against crime and blight told Cooper-Young residents recently they need the public’s help in keeping the neighborhood safe and vibrant. Col. Russell Houston, precinct commander of the Memphis Police Department’s Crump Station, said recent crime rates in the precinct are not out of line with historic rates, but “any crime is too much crime.” From Jan. 1 through mid-February the precinct logged five residential burglaries and 18 thefts, Houston said. There were also three cases of robbery from an individual, including one reported armed robbery at the recycling bins at Cooper and Walker that caused a stir among neighbors recently. The precinct, whose boundaries surround the L shape of South and East Parkway and include Cooper-Young, keeps close tabs on incident reports to spot trends early. That means residents shouldn’t hesitate to report crimes, even if they don’t file an insurance report, because it helps the department track trends and concentrate patrols where needed, Houston said. The precinct’s phone number is 636-4600


LampLighter March 2014

and the non-emergency number for Memphis Police is 545-COPS. Judge Larry Potter, who heads the Memphis and Shelby County Environmental Court, told residents that he is working to make it easier for neighborhood groups like the CYCA to bring property owners to court for code violations and blight cases against vacant or unmaintained properties. Quality of life issues can have a major impact on crime, he said, and he is working with Memphis Police to have officers working some cases. “When you reduce blight, you reduce crime, because blight and crime go hand in hand,” Potter said. The court, which was only the third of its kind in the country when Potter established in 1982, hears some 50,000 cases each year and is expanding so that Potter will hear only environmental cases, he said. When blight cases are cleared, property values go up in neighborhoods, too. “People are getting the message, you don’t come to Memphis, to Cooper-Young, and mess it up,” he said.

Cooper-young news #COOPERYOUNG Here’s what people are saying about Cooper-Young lately. Follow the LampLighter on Twitter @cylamplighter.

The gazebo and plaza at the corner of Cooper and Young was installed in 1991-92.

Gazebo gets a major makeover Crews have been digging into the corner of Cooper and Young in recent weeks, replacing landscaping, repaving the plaza and renovating the neighborhood’s signature gazebo. The Cooper-Young Business Association, which maintains the property, is replacing four locust trees with five male ginkgoes about 3 inches around and 9 to10 feet tall, said Tamara Cook, executive director of the CYBA. The organization saved some of the original yaupon hollies and will add about 52 new dwarf yaupon hollies and several dozen new Crimson Fire loropetalum bushes. “We have to plant items that can handle the heat and drought of Memphis weather,” she said. Some of the cobblestones that line the sidewalk also are being replaced. The original manufacturer has gone out of business, so CYBA is adding a close match Cook found from former neighborhood business Christie Cut Stone. Once the landscaping is finished, CYBA will paint and re-roof the gazebo with the same diamond-shaped shingles, or something 1920s-period appropriate, she said. Finally, street banners featuring the new “Cooper-Young, Historically Hip” logo should be installed along Central, Cooper and Young. Cook said the project grew, and was delayed, because of damage from the trees’ root system. “It was the tearing out of the trees and root system that has made the project so much bigger,” she said. “We could not replant on top of grinding stumps for three years. The root system was way out of control and we are surprised that it hasn’t uprooted the brick work and concrete work in the beds and that corner area.” A rounded, redesigned corner, the gazebo, flowerbed plantings, ginkgoes that line the street and period streetlights were installed back in 1991 and completed in1992 with money from a federally funded Oasis Grant that was a joint effort between the CYCA and CYBA and spearheaded by Bill Stemmler, who then worked at Boatman’s Bank with the Community Reinvestment Act, Cook said.

Jan 31 Dustin Starr @DustinStarr Congrats to my buddies at Memphis Fitness Kickboxing - Midtown for all of their success! Feb 1 Amber Colvin @historynpearls Chicken and waffles at Sweet Grass Next Door. Holy wow. #chickenandwaffles #cooperyoung #memphis Feb 17 Christian Brothers U @FromCBU Musicians needed for CY Night Out - Bucs, let’s rock our neighborhood! Feb 22 Josh Spickler @joshspickler The ‘hood is positively bustling today. Get over to @cooperyoung and buy/eat/drink/walk by something! #ILoveMemphis Feb 22 Susan Wallace @SusanShutle Oh what a beautiful Morning! CU at Cooper-Young Farmers Market. Lots of vendors today (veg, meat, eggs, crafts) + seed swap.

Musicians needed to play Night Out The Cooper-Young Business Association is looking for local artists and bands to play music at the gazebo during this year’s popular First Thursday Night Out in Cooper-Young events. First Thursday Night Out is when over 40 of the area’s retail shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars stay open late and offer up live music, drawings and discounts on food, manicures, drinks, records and clothing. Night Out is held the first Thursday of every month between 5 and 9 p.m. Local musicians are showcased at the gazebo located at the corner of Cooper and Young Avenue between 6 and 9 p.m. This is a paid performance. If you are interested in playing at a First Thursday Night Out event this year, please contact Tamara at 901276-7222 or

Cleanup volunteers to meet at gazebo Show some neighborhood pride and help the neighborhood look its best with a neighborhood cleanup! Meet us at the gazebo at Cooper and Young at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 22. We will designate clean up areas from there. The possible to-do list includes: general trash cleanup, cleaning out under the railway underpasses near the murals, cleaning out storm water drains and raking up a couple of places on bike lanes that have decaying, slick leaves. Please bring gloves! You are also welcome to bring any tools that you think might be handy, but please remember to label them with your name so that we can make sure that they go back with you at the end of the cleanup. Water, coffee and doughnuts will be provided. Questions? Please call 272-2922 or email Kristan at LampLighter March 2014


cyca news

Fix coming for Trestle Art technical glitch By Kristan Huntley/CYCA You may have noticed that the lights on the Trestle Art above Cooper Street were out or very dim for several nights in February. Thanks to the dedication of Daurie Schwartz of Schwartz Electric, we may have discovered the cause and hence, a solution. The original system designed by Sharp Manufacturing Company is an off-the-grid rechargeable battery system. In other words, the system is not tied to the power grid and generates all of its own power which it stores in a rechargeable battery. The battery will power the lights overnight and recharge when the sun comes out. What seems to have occurred though during these past few weeks of cloudy weather is that the battery gets so low that it does not have the necessary charge in reserve to initiate the recharge process once the sun is out again. Schwartz would then have to apply a trickle-charger which charges the battery at a low voltage over a day or two. That would allow it to have enough charge to operate properly, but only until the next span of cloudy days. We requested a technician from Sharp Manufacturing to come back out to check the system they specified. Schwartz’s suggestion, which the technician concurred with, is to install a battery cut-off controller that would turn off the lights at a certain remaining voltage level so that the battery would be guaranteed to have enough voltage to then charge itself back up when the sun was out. Additionally, since it is possible that the existing battery has been damaged from being depleted so many times, it will be replaced. Both the controller and the replacement battery will be


LampLighter March 2014

Daurie Schwartz installs energy efficient LED bulbs on the Cooper Street Trestle Art in February 2013. A problem with the display’s solar array kept it dim after cloudy days, but Schwartz and Sharp Electric are installing a solution that will keep the artwork lit. The solar array to power the lights was installed with community support last year and the installation is maintained by the CYCA. (Photo by Daniel Scruggs)

provided from Sharp free of charge. We apologize for the hiccup and hope to have it corrected soon. Daurie Schwartz and Sharp Manufacturing have

both been invaluable in this process and with their help, the environmentally friendly Trestle Art will shine brightly again very soon!

cyca news

Doris Porter keeps Cooper-Young cool since 1972 By Renee Massey/CYCA Cooper-Young resident Doris Porter has been contributing to the neighborhood’s vibe for literally decades. You’ll find her at most every CYCA meeting, social gathering, and volunteer event. When asked if she’d answer a few questions for the CYCA volunteer spotlight, she responded in typical Doris Porter fashion, “Well, why not!!” How long have you lived in Cooper-Young, Doris? I moved to CY 2-28-72. (Happy 42nd Cooper-Young anniversary, Doris!) How long have you been volunteering for CYCA events? Can’t remember how long I have been volunteering, but I can remember my first volunteering for the 4-Miler. It started at Peabody Elementary School, and I gave out the race packets. Betty and I rode in the Pace Car one year. Can you imagine two little old ladies riding in the Pace Car? What was your most recent CYCA volunteer event? My most recent volunteer job was the membership mailing. What other CYCA events have you volunteered for in the past? Any favorite events? I am always available for any duties at the CYCA office. Can’t remember when I started delivering the LampLighter, but it was sure good exercise, and I loved meeting the people, cats, and dogs on the route. Worked on the Art Auction many years. I

recall cleaning (with Karen Capps) the vacant building where Mulan is now when we were allowed to use it for the Art Auction. Also served as a cashier. Stuffed bags for the police and firemen when we only needed around 35 bags. Worked the festival for many years too. What are your favorite things about Cooper-Young? What do you think makes Cooper-Young special? Cooper-Young is the place to reside because of the wonderful people who live here, and they are the most partying bunch of people I have ever seen. They celebrate everything, and most of all, they come together to help each other when they are needed. We also take care of each other’s pets. What motivates you to volunteer at CYCA events? All of the volunteer jobs are enjoyable because all of the co-workers are fun to be with and are as interested in the community as I am. I don’t need any motivation, just happy to live in Cooper-Young. It’s my “HOOD” and we have all these wonderful restaurants. Think you can get close to that kind of cool? If you just said, “Well, why not?,” join Doris and the other interesting hipsters who work so hard — and have a good time doing it — to make life good in Cooper-Young. To volunteer for the Cooper-Young Community Association, email or call the CYCA offices at 901-272-CYCA (2922) and leave your name and number. Here’s to you, Cooper-Young! Cheers!

Trestle Tenders

Facility Fund

Laura Gates Bill & Faye Stemmler Douglas Campbell & Lauren Pugh Joseph Carson Lynda C. Sowell Monte Morgan Sharron & Rex Johnson Wes Williamson & James Sparks

Monte Morgan

LampLighter Benefactors

Household and Senior Adam Remsen & Louisa Koeppel Amy Millsap Angela Wallick Astrid & Tylur French August Layne LeVangie Ben & Samilia Colar Bob & Sylvia Gallaher Bob Isgren Bonnie & Peter Haub Christopher R. Long Conrad Brombach Cooper-Young Business Association Danny Thompson Demetrius Boyland & Imhotep Kyser Dennis Dominioni & Phillip Hamilton Duane Cleveland Earle Donelson Edna Gabriel Eliza Warren Eloise Wood Gabriel Ragghianti III Gail & Jim Joblin George Grider & Beverly Kirner

The Cooper-Young Community Association says thank you to all these residents and business owners who chose to make C-Y a better place by renewing their memberships or becoming new members for 2014. Glen Stovall Hank & Betsy Widdop Heather Conklin & Tom Leitzell Heather Thompson James and Rosie Meindl Jennifer Tucker Jeremy & Asuka Yow Jill McCullough Judith Long Judy Card Kerry Vaughan Kristan Huntley & Patrick Miller Kristi Frisch & Trent Pitts Larry & Sandy Rutledge Lindsey Bray Lynn Jackson & Lori Connolly Marcus Stafford & Tatia Johnson Marjorie Palazzolo

Martha Jane Reed Mary Catherine & Zack Moore Matt & Betsy Sights Michael Ham & Michelle Naef Michelle & Sarah Stuart Patricia Hyatt Patrick & Laura Helper-Ferris Reginald Milton Rik & Jan Anderson Ryan Wojcicki S T Campbell Sable House Sarah Wilson Susan & Emma Hesson Ted & Kathryn Schurch Teresa Ward Wes Williamson and James Sparks

Other donations In Honor of Robin Marvel In Honor of Jennifer and Andrew Brunson of HUB Automotive In Memory of Doug Grooms Monte Morgan

Beautification Heather Conklin and Tom Leitzell Patricia Hyatt Monte Morgan

LampLighter Eloise Wood Monte Morgan

Mavis Estes Beverly Greene – in memoriam Chris and Jill Kauker Jenni, Andrew, Elena, and Cora Pappas June Hurt Tura and Archie Wolfe Doris Porter Ellie the Basset Hound - In Honor David Huey Robin Marvel, former editor of the LampLighter - In Honor Emily and Steve Bishop Blair and Brandy DeWeese Frank and Sue Guarino Betty Slack - In Honor Chip Sneed Missy Barnhart Robin Marvel - In Honor Beverly Greene - In Honor Midtown Massage and Bodywork Bejamin Rednour Kristin B. Sullivan Kim Halyak & Bill Schosser Bob Isgren Harry Freeman Laura Terry and Jim Brasher Marjoire Palazzolo Robin Marvel - In Honor Todd Shields - in memoriam Rosie and James Meindl LampLighter March 2014


Cooper-young news

Neighborhood comes together to help child after diagnosis By Leah Beth Bolton

2189 Central Ave. (901) 725-4766

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$8 off oil change $25 off brake service

10% off maintenance 8

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Five-year-old Derek Vincent’s life changed dramatically on January 21, when he was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor. But Derek and his family are fighting back, with help from Cooper-Young neighbors. Brian Vincent, Derek’s uncle, said that his nephew was an average kindergartner days before being admitted to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Derek had been complaining of headaches for about two months prior to his diagnosis. Doctors would send his mother, Jami NeSmith, home with instructions to give her son Tylenol to treat his aches, but he wasn’t improving. NeSmith became more concerned when she began to notice her son’s stability was faltering. “He would fall down on the basketball court,” Vincent explained. “Jami kept thinking, ‘Well, the other kids are doing that, so he’s probably just being goofy. But then he started to miss his seat when he would go to sit down on the couch, and she knew that wasn’t normal.” Derek’s family was referred to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for an MRI, and shortly after he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. He was admitted to St. Jude one day later. “This has been like a rocket taking off. He was diagnosed on a Tuesday, in St. Jude on a Wednesday and he started treatment the following week,” Vincent said. Derek is now undergoing radiation for the tumor, which will continue for six weeks, and Vincent said he’s adjusting to the hospital well. “We’re very fortunate that we live in the area, so Derek is able to go home and be in a place that is familiar to him and that provides him some additional comfort when he’s not receiving treatment, “ Vincent said. “In the beginning it was difficult for him. He didn’t want to go to the hospital. He’s a fiveyear-old boy who didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “But he’s made a 180 over the last week. He’s in a routine. He’s becoming more and more comfortable with the surroundings there. “ Since news of his diagnosis spread, the Cooper-Young community, with the help of local businesses, friends and neighbors, has helped to raise over $14,000 to aid in his treatment. Heading up the community aid is Midtown Market owner Kevin Park. Derek and his father, Jeffrey, a New York Street resident, quickly became friends with Park and his son, who is a year younger than Derek, because they were regulars at the store. “Derek and his father have been coming in here for a long time,” Park said. “Our sons play

together when they visit the store. Jeff and I were always laughing about them playing and thinking, ‘They are gonna grow up to be trouble makers together.’” Park said Jeff Vincent visited the store after he heard about his son’s diagnosis. “We were devastated,” Park said. “We really didn’t know what to do.” Park said he was crying when a Miller Brewing Company salesman stopped by the store. “I told him about Derek and how upset we all were, and he just handed me $20 and said, ‘Give this to Derek’s family. I want to help.’” Park was inspired by the donation and decided to set up a fund to aid the family. Instead of crying, I knew we needed to do something about this,” he said. “We started a donation box at the store, which has raised about $600, and a couple of our beer suppliers like Budweiser are donating a portion of their sales to help Derek.” On March 15, Park plans to have a benefit at his market to help assist the family further. Beer tastings, a small concert and raffles will help with the donations. Vincent said that the family’s YouCaring page along with their Facebook page called “Prayers for Derek” have helped them to raise over $14,000 for the family. Family friends have also organized T-shirt and bracelet sales for Derek, which are for sale at Midtown Market at 836 S. Cooper St., Bangkok Alley at 715 Brookhaven Circle West and via All local Chili’s locations are taking part in the fundraiser, too. By presenting a flyer, which can printed from their website or from the family’s Facebook page, 10 percent of your sale will go to benefit Derek’s care. Vincent is also planning a benefit tentatively slated for May 25, which will be held at Bangkok Alley and will feature a 5K for Derek in Overton Park. “A lot of people are pulling for him, “ Park said. “We’re praying for Derek, but really Derek is blessing us.”

Cooper-young news

LEFT: Jenna Stonecipher, 26, began renovating her Evelyn Avenue residence, a triplex, in July. In December, she bought the apartment house across the street and is renovating that building, too. BOTTOM LEFT: Stonecipher looks past a pile of sheetrock into a bathroom that will need plenty of restoration after a flood. Despite the challenges, she hopes to have the four units move-in ready in six months. BOTTOM RIGHT: 2165 Evelyn, built in 1947.

Evelyn Avenue resident investing in neighborhood Where most neighbors saw an eyesore, Jenna Stonecipher looked across the street and saw opportunity. The 26-year-old executive assistant to Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell lives in an Evelyn Avenue triplex she has been renovating with her fiancé, Eric Williamson, since moving from the University area last July. While she loved her new neighborhood, every morning she looked out her bedroom window at a brick fourplex apartment across the street. It was dilapidated, with only one remaining tenant, missing floors in one unit and squirrels peeking out from holes in the eaves. A downstairs bathroom had sat waterlogged and moldy after it was flooded by a water leak. Stonecipher knew it could be hurting her property’s value. Even worse, the building was about to come up for tax sale. Fearing the next buyer could have been an outof-town investor with little reason to improve it, she took action. “If that property had gone to tax sale … it would’ve sat there looking bad for at least another year and then, who knows what kind of an investor would’ve bought it,” she said. In a last-ditch effort, she rounded up the money to purchase the property, closing on a Dec. 31 deadline to pay the back taxes. Now, less than a year into her real estate career, she’s tackling her second renovation project, and hopes to move new tenants into the rehabbed 3,100-square-foot building in a few months. It’s a big project, but the 67-year-old apartments still retain some solid original features such as hardwood floors.

“It’s been a learning curve,” she said. Stonecipher said she hopes to become more heavily invested in the neighborhood and increase her holdings as a landlord but, as a resident and native Memphian who describes herself as “passionate for the community,” she’s also seeking to add value. “That’s what’s so appealing about Cooper-Young, is that there are good people here and good people want to be here,” she said. You can follow Stonecipher’s progress on 2165 Evelyn, along with her real estate advice, through her guest posts on the blog. LampLighter March 2014






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calendar Good trashy fun at Circuit Playhouse this month

Author, peace activist to speak at First Congo

The Circuit Playhouse revels in all things trashy this month as it presents “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” directed by Courtney Oliver, through March 23 (adult language advisory). Sparkling like aluminum siding, this campy, caustic musical fable is rife with adultery, strippers, murderous ex-boyfriends, Costco, and the Ice Capades. Complete with a trashy Greek chorus of trailer park divas, Armadillo Acres is Florida’s most exclusive mobile home community. But when a stripper on the run comes between an agoraphobic housewife and her tollbooth collector husband, the hurricane of laughter begins to brew. Tickets are $22 opening weekend (Feb. 28 – March 2), $35 Thursdays and Sundays, $40 Fridays and Saturdays; $22 seniors/students/ military; $15 children under 18.The pay what you can performance is March 6 at 8 p.m. The Circuit Playhouse is located at 51 S. Cooper. For more information or to make reservations, call 901-726-4656 or purchase tickets online at

Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author Father John Dear with speak at First Congregational Church April 8 at 7 p.m. Dear, an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence, the author/editor of 30 books, including his autobiography, “A Persistent Peace” was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2008. He formerly served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States and worked with some 1,500 family members who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 attacks, all the while speaking out against the US bombing of Afghanistan.

Free Memphis Symphony concert in Evergreen Come out and show the musicians of the Memphis Symphony a little love at a free fundraising concert March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Evergreen Presbyterian, 613 University St. The program will include works by Copland, Sarasate, Vivaldi, Haydn, Bernstein and more. The symphony will be joined by special guests, Susan Marshall, Marcella Simien, and Richard Todd Payne as well as violinist Barrie Cooper, Chris James, piccolo, and conductor William Skoog. The suggested minimum donation is $10.

Trailer park art reception Works by Cooper-Young artists Karen “Bottle” Capps and Carol Robison will be on display at the Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper, through March 23, coinciding with the run of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” Robison will be showing her urban landscapes and Capps has made “cool vintage trailers, a lake house, a swamp trailer and a food truck nightmare with troll dolls,” some of which are interactive. The reception for the show, with “trailer park food,” will be held March 8 from 3:30-5 p.m.

Poet publishes book, will appear at Burke’s Poet Heather Dobbins will be at Burke’s Book Store March 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to sign and read from her first book of poems, “In the Low Houses” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing, $14, paperback). This event coincides with The Cooper Young First Thursday Night Out. Dobbins has taught middle and high school in Memphis, where she lives with her husband, and where she founded River City Scribes, a creative writing workshop for teens.

Detroit food activist to speak at CBU symposium The Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium in conjunction with Grow Memphis will present food justice activist Malik Kenyatta Yakini, “Fostering a Just Food System,” at 7 p.m. March 27 at Christian Brothers University’s University Theater. Admission is free. Yakini is founder and executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. He views the “good food revolution” as part of a larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. The program will include presentation os the Vanderhaar Student Peace Award. Visit for information.

S.E. Harris works on display

FROM TOP: Circuit Playhouse presents “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”; Karen Capps’ “trailer park” art; Carol Robison’s streetscape; S.E. Harris’

Gallery Fifty Six, 2256 Central, presents paintings by S.E. Harris through March 28. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 276-1251 or visit for information.

LampLighter March 2014


cover story

“... In order to make it viable for the vendors and in order for us to get what we need, which is that pavilion, we’re gonna have to take it to the next level.” - Julia Hicks, CYCFM board member

Dana Wilson and Huckleberry, of Tanglewood Street, pick up lettuce, snap peas and kale at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market seed swap Feb. 22.


LampLighter March 2014

cover story

Market stays planted in Cooper-Young digs Season kicks off April 5 Back in January, the four-year-old Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market caused a stir when news broke that it might be considering a move from its namesake home to Overton Square. The burgeoning entertainment district up the road was offering covered space in its new garage, an improvement over the nomadic tent city erected for vendors each Saturday in the parking lot behind First Congregational Church on South Cooper. But after reconsidering the move and reconnecting with its First Congo partners, the CYCFM’s board instead decided to double down with a renewed commitment to its Cooper-Young location. A “Feeling Cooper-Young Again” summer season kickoff event is set for Saturday, April 5, with a crawfish boil, added tables for Cooper-Young community groups and vendors, a beefed-up musical lineup and demonstrations of holistic therapies from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. “We’re also trying to reach out to more of the different organizations and companies around the Cooper-Young community and invite them in and have our organization more intertwined with everything that’s going on in the community,” said Nate Folse, market manager. The Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, with 20 or so regular vendors (the group’s website lists more than 40) selling everything from organic produce and pasture-raised meats to goat’s milk soap, artisan breads and artwork, has made its home at First Congo since 2010. It’s smaller than some markets, but board members said they see their market as different, more of an incubator for small producers. “We just love the laid-back atmosphere. It’s really friendly,” said Josephine Alexander of Tubby Creek Farms in Ashland, Miss. The former Midtown resident has sold produce at the Cooper-Young market for three years. But financially, board members said, the market needed visibility, traffic and a weatherproof pavilion. The Overton Square offer was tempting.

“We just love the laid-back atmosphere. It’s really friendly,” said thirdyear vendor Josephine Alexander of Tubby Creek Farms.

“When we heard they were thinking about moving, we’re like, ‘No, we don’t want you to,’” said Julia Hicks, of First Congregational Church, who said the market is a perfect fit with the church’s mission of food justice. “This has been a cherished relationship from the get-go.” The church benefits from rent payments for office space, but also through the increased visibility the farmers market brings and donations by vendors to the church’s food pantry program, Hicks said. In its original agreement with the church, the market was supposed to pay 10 percent of its revenues to the church for its use of the lot. But revenues haven’t been high enough to make that possible, and the church hasn’t held them to that agreement, Hicks said. After hearing of the potential move, Hicks responded by joining the board of the farmer’s market, bringing much-needed nonprofit experience to the organization and establishing more direct communication between the groups. Board members said her involvement, along with the process of evaluating its location, has strengthened the market’s

mission and its connection to the neighborhood. Cooper-Young “It was kind of like an injection of Community energy to have First Congregational Farmers MarChurch just re-enter the conversation, ket’s “Feeling and then to have Julia is invaluable to Cooper-Young us,” said Lauren Boyer, CYCFM board Again” summer member. “We’re a pretty young board season kickoff at will be April 5 and somewhat inexperienced, and I from 8 a.m. to 1 think the process of going through p.m. with comand looking about potentially moving, munity groups, it was a huge learning experience for crawfish boil, me personally and for our board as music and holiswell.” tic therapies. The market is now trying to establish partnerships with groups and businesses in the Cooper-Young area, while increasing consumer awareness of its home-grown offerings outside Cooper-Young. “I think there’s a bigger market share out there for us than we’re taking advantage of,” Boyer said. While the Overton Square location would have offered cover, Boyer said it also had logistical challenges for vendors with trucks and walk-in coolers and wasn’t well received by some who wanted to set up in a more open environment. With its Cooper-Young site settled, the need for a permanent pavilion is front-and-center among the group’s goals. Hicks said the pavilion has been discussed since the beginning, but will require outreach with partners in the community because “that costs a lot of money to do it right.” “As far as what it brings to the neighborhood, I think the market is successful,” Hicks said. “I think Cooper-Young is delighted to have it in their neighborhood and they love walking over and all that stuff, so it has nothing to apologize for. “But, in order to make it viable for the vendors and in order for us to get what we need, which is that pavilion, we’re gonna have to take it to the next level.” Find out more at or on Twitter @cycfarmersmkt

The Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, with vendors selling everything from organic produce and pasture-raised meats to goat’s milk soap, artisan breads and artwork, has made its home at First Congo since 2010. LampLighter March 2014


Cooper-young news

Little Free Libraries promoting literacy in Memphis By Leah Beth Bolton Driving down the streets of Midtown, you may have mistaken your new local library for a dollhouse. The Little Free Library movement, a project based on the idea of promoting literacy for free, is spreading across MidSouth communities, including Cooper-Young and nearby neighborhoods. The idea came to fruition in 2009, when founder Todd Bol of Hudson, Wis., built a small replica of an old schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother. He put the schoolhouse outside his home and filled it with books. After his friends caught on to the idea of “leave one, take one,” he decided to expand his mission. Bol teamed up with Rick Brooks, co-founder of the movement, and began promoting the idea of Little Free Libraries throughout the world. The mission of the Little Free Library organization, according to their website, is “to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide” and “to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.” The team was inspired by Andrew Carnegie, who supported the establishment of 2,509 public libraries at the turn of the 20th century. By August 2012, a year and a half before their actual target date, the pair had far exceeded their goal of creating 2,509 libraries. By January 2014, they expect between 10,000 and 12,000 Little Free Libraries to be registered throughout the world. Throughout the Midtown area, the libraries are popping up left and right.

This Little Free Library is located on New York Street north of Young.

There is one on New York Street just north of Young, another on Cox north of Central and another on Peabody near Slider Inn. Laura Lemly, a junior kindergarten teacher at Grace St.

Luke’s Episcopal School, started her own Little Free Library in 2012 in front of her home at 1628 Carr Avenue in Central Gardens. “I saw an NBC report on the libraries and then I kept seeing written reports pop up in the news, too,” Lemly said. “The idea immediately piqued my interest since I’m a teacher. After talking with the school librarian, I knew this would be something I would love to see in Memphis.” Lemly’s library was the second Little Free Library in Memphis to be registered with the organization. However, it’s the first library in the city to be geared exclusively toward children’s literature. “We don’t call ourselves owners, but rather, stewards,” Lemly said about establishing the library. She shares “stewardship” with the librarian at Grace St. Luke’s. The news of Lemly’s library eventually caught on in her neighborhood and now she says it’s a staple. “We have a lot of neighborhood families that take advantage of the library now. Many children have made this their path to and from school just to get books.” There are now more than a dozen libraries registered throughout the city, and Lemly is thrilled the idea is spreading. “It is nothing but positive,” she said. “We’re happy to keep children reading.” For a map of Little Free Libraries near you, go to www. Leah Beth Bolton is a Cooper-Young resident and University of Memphis journalism student.

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LampLighter March 2014

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Cooper-young news

CYCA’s annual Art for Art’s Sake Auction coming soon By Kristan Huntley/CYCA

WMC-TV Action News 5 meteorologist Ron Childers will be the emcee and auctioneer for this year’s Art for Art’s Sake Auction, April 12 at Young Avenue Deli. Proceeds from the event sponsor community enhancement such as the solar array that powers the Trestle Art on Cooper, bike racks and trash cans. (Photo via Twitter)

The Cooper-Young Community Association’s annual Art for Art’s Sake Auction is set for 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at Young Avenue Deli. The annual Art for Art’s Sake Auction is a celebration of the local art and small business community and showcases a wide range of paintings, jewelry, gift certificates, fiber arts, gift baskets and more, all of which are donated in support of ongoing beautification and community enhancement projects. In past years, proceeds from the have allowed us to take the Trestle Art piece solar, create custom ginkgo-shaped bike racks for business patrons and residents, purchase trash cans to cut down on litter and ensured the LampLighter would be freely available to all. Local supporting local is what creates a community to brag about! As in prior years, there will be both a live and silent portion of the auction, so there is sure to be something to pique everyone’s

interest. To keep the night fun and lively, Ron Childers, meteorologist for Action News 5, will be the emcee and the auctioneer for this year’s event. Tickets to the 2014 Art for Art’s Sake Auction will go on sale soon, so keep a watch out. If you haven’t renewed your Cooper-Young Community Association membership, now is the time. Members receive $5 off the price of their ticket! All auction attendees will be offered complimentary food and beverages and are eligible for the door prize drawings. Last, but definitely not least, come join us at the Artist Reception at Otherlands Coffee Bar on Sunday, April 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. Many of the pieces of art to be offered at the Art for Art’s Sake Auction will be available for viewing by the public. Local artists will be in attendance to talk about their work and meet guests. Beer will be provided by Memphis Made Brewing. The public is invited and this is a free event. Don’t miss this unique Cooper-Young event!

A recipe from the kitchen of Kathy Katz at Cooper Street 20/20

Zucchini Fritters 6 Tbsp corn oil 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped 4 medium zucchini, trimmed and grated on large holes of box grater 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 Tbsp flour Salt and freshly ground black pepper Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside and cool. Strain zucchini of excess water from zucchini and transfer to a medium bowl. Add onions, egg and flour to zucchini, season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix well with a spoon until combined. Heat remaining 4 Tbsp oil in same nonstick skillet over medium heat. Gently form zucchini mixture into 8 patties about 1/2’’ thick. Working in batches, fry patties in hot oil until browned and crisp, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer fritters with a slotted spatula to paper towels to drain and season with salt while still hot. Cooper Street 20/20 is located at 800 S. Cooper

LampLighter March 2014



It’s more common than you think... • About 50% of people will experience a traumatic event in their life. • About 8% of people will develop PTSD Dr. Valerie Arnold and the team at CNS Healthcare are conducting research for people who may have PTSD. Those who take part will receive medication and study-related care at no cost. Schedule a confidential consultation today.

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LampLighter March 2014

dr. maxwell

Optional schools go beyond traditional classroom Editors note: Dr. Maxwell didn’t make it into last month’s LampLighter so we have a double dose of columns this month. Optional Schools began in 1976 with four schools. “The basic idea was to create high caliber schools that would specialize in either [sic] academic, artistic, or vocational subject areas,” states Marcus Pohlman in his book, Opportunity Lost. The Optional Program required applying students meet pre-determined standards. After in-district students were enrolled and space was still available, qualified students would then be admitted into the Optional School. Pohlman further states that Optional Schools provide “attractive educational alternatives and have allowed the city’s public schools to compete with area private schools for some of the most talented students available.” Today, the Optional Program has evolved into a system of 48 schools that offer a plethora of programs. Some of these choices include Enriched Academics, College Preparatory, Creative & Performing Arts, STEAM, International Baccalaureate, Environmental Science, and Technology. Despite the growth in numbers and models, the mission of the Optional School Program remains the same—to provide unique, rigorous educational opportunities for advanced students. Philosophically, most Optional Schools are designed to go beyond the norm to address learning for specifically identified students whose proclivities tend toward higher cognitive levels. These programs incorporate in-depth explorations of subject matter that encourages intellectual inquiry beyond what is found in traditional instructional materials and approaches. Optional Schools challenge students to take risks—to go beyond the expected and strive toward the exceptional. Students in Optional Schools are producers rather than merely responders to factual assignments. While different for each model and school, all Optional Schools require curricular rigor beyond what is found in traditional classrooms. Typically, topics are expanded and studied more in-depth. Further, explorations are not just of the topic itself but instead follow related tangents and entwining threads through questioning and research to discover where

these may lead. Students engage in open-ended tasks utilizing methods such as Shared Inquiry where more than one correct or valid answer is possible. The students do this through analyzing and evaluating data which they then use to brainstorm ideas and develop theories and create presentations and projects. In short, the methodology is to challenge and engage qualifying students at the outer limits of their abilities in order to trigger innovation and in turn push these students toward greater achievement. The Optional School teacher’s role is to make sure all students are challenged intellectually. Curriculum and lessons are presented at an accelerated pace that optionally qualified students can handle and quite often prefer. Project based learning experiences are the centerpiece of these classrooms. The design is to actively involve students in the learning process by having them do. Utilizing this higher order, differentiated instructional style allows students to better synthesize what they have learned. They demonstrate this by applying their newly acquired skills and knowledge through the creation process. Some of these student creations manifest themselves as science projects, plays, computer programs, games, music, publications, and the list goes on. To summarize, Optional School teachers start with a traditional subject-based standard. They teach this concept at an accelerated pace matching students ability to comprehend it. Students quickly move beyond this directed instructional phase into the realm of discovery. Here they demonstrate understanding and mastery by applying new knowledge. Utilizing imagination and creativity, Optional students expand upon traditional instruction and practice by engaging in hands-on activities and/or intellectual explorations. Before I end, let me say that while academics play a key role, the underlying rigor also applies to Optional Schools whose focus is different such as Creative Arts, Performing Arts, Montessori, or Aviation. For all models, the end results are tangible products and presentations that go beyond the norm to measurably show what students have learned. - Dr. D. Jackson Maxwell is an educator with over 25 years of experience. Please forward questions or comments to:

Grahamwood Elementary a Midtown educational option I recently had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to and touring one of Shelby County School’s (SCS) educational treasures. The shining star of which I speak is Grahamwood Elementary School. While I had driven by the school on Summer Avenue many times heading east from Midtown, I never took the time to stop in and take a look. That was my loss. Let me tell you what I discovered when I finally visited. Grahamwood Elementary is a growing pre-kindergarten to 5th grade school. Currently there are about 990 students and according to the Director of Optional Schools, Linda Sklar, it is the most requested Optional School in the SCS district. The Optional School focus is on Enriched Academics and it shows with 96% of the optional students scoring advanced or proficient on the 2013 TCAP (Tennessee’s Competency Test) in Reading & Language Arts and 97% advanced or proficient in Mathematics. These outstanding scores helped make Grahamwood Elementary an elite Level 5 school—the highest ranking awarded to schools by the Tennessee Department of Education. Grahamwood Elementary’s reputation continues to expand under the able administration of Principal Pete Johnson and Assistant Principals Donna Jo Miles and Tiffany Curry. Their commitment, along with all of the faculty and staff, is evident the minute you walk through the front door. The office staff is welcoming, courteous and helpful. The teachers are smiling and friendly, and most importantly you will observe that the students are purposefully engaged in the business of acquiring knowledge. The students’ work is displayed on every inch of the hallways and even a passing glance will tell you that it is of extremely high quality and rigor. Teachers obviously hold their students to exacting standards, and if asked the students will proudly tell you all about their displays—demonstrating their deep understanding of the purpose and knowledge gained through the assignment. The Grahamwood Elementary’s student population is very diverse with virtually every group and subgroup amply represented. This diversity provides students with an early exposure to the mix of cultures, ethnicities, and divergent views that make Memphis the internationally appreciated city that it is. In the microcosm that is Grahamwood Elementary, students are immersed in

this rich environment that daily provides them the social skills they will need to succeed in the increasingly global business world. By the happy looks on the students’ faces, it is evident that this inclusive educational environment is what our community needs more of to develop well adjusted, culturally aware citizens. Beyond these outstanding qualities, I learned that Grahamwood Elementary offers a number of in-house extension programs that help students and their families. Both before and after care are available to accommodate working parents’ schedules. Additionally, students can take advantage of a number of classes beyond the core curriculum. These include Chinese, karate, ballet, tap dancing, gymnastics, piano, guitar, strings, tutoring, cheerleading, and chess. Beyond the traditional chess class, there is a traveling Chess Club that competes at tournaments across the region. During the day, students take part in a number of enrichment classes that serve to enhance their overall educational experience. These classes are library, CLUE, Orff music, computer/keyboarding, character education, physical education, and art. Finally, some of the most unique features of Grahamwood Elementary are the three greenhouses that sit near the playground in back of the school. These house community gardens that provide fresh food not only for Grahamwood Elementary but also for surrounding schools and the community. In a true show of school pride, I was told that students recently painted the adjoining shed that houses the tools students need when tending the garden. I was constantly astonished throughout my tour of Grahamwood Elementary. I highly recommend that every parent of elementary age students give this school a look. It is conveniently located just minutes from Cooper-Young and all of Midtown. Whether you are looking for high-quality academics, looking to develop social awareness or just a well-rounded diverse educational experience for your child, Grahamwood Elementary School could be the place for you. I encourage you to drop by the school and take a tour. - Dr. D. Jackson Maxwell is an educator with over 25 years of experience. Please forward questions or comments to: LampLighter March 2014


A cup of coffee

All are welcome at shop’s open mic night tradition

When I heard there was a coffee shop opening in Cooper-Young back in 1992, I was excited but skeptical. I had heard talk from others about their pursuit of opening a coffee shop that didn’t come to anything. And when I drove down Young Avenue to check things out, it didn’t look like much was going on. Back then, I was hosting poetry readings once a month on Sunday evening at Deliberate Literate Bookstore, which resided next to Cafe Society on Belvedere, and I knew it was time to relocate the readings. Originally, Tom Diggs, who worked at Deliberate Literate, (now respected playwright) hosted the poetry By Mary A. Burns readings as way to get people in to buy coffee and sell books. One day I asked him if I could help out. His response, “Help me, girl, you can have it!” Young and overly enthusiastic, you know, the way young people can be, my excitement was contagious and the poetry reading grew in no time. The number of attendees was a bit overwhelming to the bookstore owner, but I think it was the sex poetry my friend Kendra read while rocking herself back and forth in a chair that put him on edge. When he said we needed to take a break for the upcoming holidays, I knew the way he said “break” meant indefinitely. I had no idea where I was going to find a suitable place to host the poetry readings. The Babylon Cafe was on its way to closing or maybe had even closed by then. There simply weren’t any coffeehouses in Memphis at the time not even a Starbucks. I didn’t think I could get midtowners to drive all the way to Germantown to read at The Coffee House. Besides, I was just discovering midtown, and it seemed like the place to be. Working at the hippest clothing store in town, U.S. Male, I kept hearing buzz about this Java Cabana Gallery. Weeks later, I drove back to Cooper Young and tried again. This time I noticed a vintage clothing store, Vintage Mania, across the street. Things were beginning to look promising. It was November of 1992 when I met Tommy Foster and first step foot in the Java Cabana. The coffee shop had orange sponged walls, 1950’s furniture for sale, dark Cuban coffee and unfortunately, cigarette smoke permeating the room. I asked Foster if I could host the poetry readings at his place. He said yes to the readings but no to Sunday, so the reading was moved to Thursday night. With the new venue, and maybe the ability to smoke cigarettes, what started as a monthly event became a weekly event. Foster called me up one night and said, “You’ve got to get down here. I’ve got a line out the door.” Open mic night exploded. The Commercial Appeal and The Memphis Flyer wrote stories. Channel 5 sent out a news crew. The reading kept growing. There was no Facebook or Twitter or blogs to get the word out. There was word in print and word of mouth which spread like a wild fire. People had something to say, but what made it magical was that they were getting heard. They were inspiring each other. College students, business professionals, artists, grungy kids, everyone crowded in the room together and shared their poem, their short story, their improvisation. Poetry turned into spoken word. Spoken word turned into poetry slams. Poetry slams turned into singing songs. And poetry found its way back again.



LampLighter March 2014

Thursday means open mic night at Java Cabana.

I crossed paths with exceptional singers, writers and poets at those readings, including some who have made a career out of their talents since then, but what I am most grateful for are the friendships I have maintained with many of the people I met during that time. Open mic night has changed hands with different hosts, and the ever-changing crowd continues to impress me, but one thing hasn’t changed. People of all ages still have something to say. Sometimes what they say is lyrical or poetic, and sometimes it seems like nonsense. What is magical about it though is that something really good is happening in your neighborhood every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m.; people of all walks of life crowd together in one little room to share their voice, and they are getting heard. Whether we realize it or not, sometimes that’s all we need, someone to bear witness. Open mic night is every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. with host Gabriel Valdez. All are welcome. Mary A. Burns is the owner of Java Cabana in Cooper-Young.

this reading life

Volume 9: Literary greats of 2013 bound for stony sleep

By Corey Mesler

How does one start a new year? With resolutions. So here is my resolution for 2014: I am going to read more. This is not that difficult to achieve for a semi-retired agoraphobiac but I am not into being overly challenged. Like Shane’s dentist I don’t want to work too hard. I could say that I want to read better books, or more genre fiction, or more biographies, but why make it demanding for myself? I could also say that I am going to give more of my time to working with the political party of my choice. Or that I am going to try to get down to the weight I was carrying when Carol DeForest thought I was cute. Or that I am going to scale K2. Eh. I’d rather talk about some of the writers who passed away (by this I mean died, of course) in 2013, especially those who touched

me personally. Seamus Heaney. Name a better poet of the latter part of the 20th century. There simply wasn’t one. Maybe Merwin. Richard Matheson. (See above statement about genre fiction). Matheson, sometimes a hack, also wrote the best of the Twilight Zone scripts and some indispensable science fiction/horror novels. The Shrinking Man is one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve read. Roger Ebert. In the 1970s and 1980s reading movie reviewers helped shape the reader/ watcher I became. Though, for me, Pauline Kael was the gold standard (she sat on the Movie Reviewer Mountaintop like a guru), the populist reviews of Siskel and Ebert taught me a lot about how to watch a movie. Chinua Achebe. Nearly everyone had to read Things Fall Apart in school. Despite my teachers the novel still had an enormous impact. (It also was my first inkling that Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” is the poem most plundered for titles.) Elmore Leonard. I’ve only read Mr. Majestyk and Get Shorty (a rare instance where the movie is as good as the book) but I respect him for his no-nonsense prose and his tough-guy protagonists. And for this piece of writerly advice: “Never open your book with weather.” Doris Lessing. When, in my late teens, early twenties, I started reading serious fiction her early novels, Briefing for a Descent into Hell and Memoirs of a Survivor, gave me that little literary buzz in my little literary private parts.

Lou Reed. Yeah, yeah, he wrote some poetry but who’s read that? Instead give me “Pale Blue Eyes” or “Rock and Roll.” Bob Clarke, who created Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Mass-market paperbacks of Ripley’s, along with collections of Mad Magazine and Peanuts, helped many long car trips go by quicker when I was a sprout. My sister and I, prior to each family vacation, got a couple comic books and a couple mass-markets each. This was before I read novels. Who had the world’s longest tongue? Richard Stern. Seriously undervalued writer. Try Golk, or A Father’s Words, or Stitch. He’s oh so fine. For fans of Bellow, Updike, Roth. Evan S. Connell. The Mr. and Mrs. Bridge books are luminous. WASPs in 1930s and 1940s middle America, handled with a master’s light touch. And, finally, Ray Harryhausen: Ok, he didn’t write anything but don’t you just wanna sit here for a moment and think about Ray Harryhausen? That’s my roll call of the dead. I am probably missing someone vital. I also lost my border collie Fly in 2013 but the only thing she ever wrote was a blazing band of sweet and joyful memory across my old tinkertoy heart. Now you may ask, what are you reading? As of this writing I am in my BIG Beginning-of-theYear Classic: Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End. As always it would be lovely to hear from you: Corey Mesler is the owner of Burke’s Book Store in Cooper-Young.

LampLighter March 2014



Thanks for the love, Cooper-Young My Cooper-Young neighbors, How often does one write a letter of thanks to a whole neighborhood? How many people find themselves in a neighborhood like ours? I have lived in Cooper-Young for forty years; ten years on Walker and here on Evelyn since Feb. 14, 1984. I was 28 when I fell in love with this neighborhood, and at 67 I love it even more. Recently a tragedy (life is full of them) visited my children. We have shared sadness over the years on Evelyn Avenue. Cancer, old age, deaths, expected and unexpected, storm damage, pet deaths, job losses, the whole panoply of human adversity .But when the thorny times have come, we have had the love and support of one another. Like a family at its best, like a church or community of faith, the people of Cooper-Young defy the 21st century and respond as we might

imagine villages did in the early days of this country. In my family’s hard time, the extended family of people on my street, my neighborhood, responded immediately with love and concern. A beautiful arrangement of flowers came from the Association and then an overwhelming display of flowers at the funeral from the people on my block. Calls, and offers of help, neighbors at the funeral for one they didn’t even know; that is what community looks like. That is what friendship and hospitality gives. And what it feels like to the recipient is “belonging.” If I had the money, I would buy a billboard … if we allowed billboards in our neighborhood … and it would say, “Caution: Love freely given in this area. Thank you, Cooper-Young for being home.” With more gratitude than I can express, Noopy Dykes

Have something you want to share with the neighborhood? Send it to or drop it by the office at 2298 Young.


LampLighter March 2014


Fill out the coupon in the LampLighter, stop by the office, or


at Household memberships only $20!



AM Photography - $25 off headshot session (one time) & a free 11x14 fine art print for any other session booked (one time) Art for Art’s Sake Auction - $5 discount on ticket purchase Black Lodge Video - One free video rental per month Burke’s Books - 10% discount with any purchase all year (excludes text books, previously discounted or sale items) Cafe Ole - Buy one entrée get second entrée of equal or lesser value at ½ price Calming Influence Massage & Bodywork - 5% off with membership card all year (excludes gift certificates) Camy’s Food Delivery - Get a free dessert with any specialty pizza purchase Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest - $5 discount on tickets Hollywood Feed: Union Ave. - 5% discount every time you show your CYCA membership card The parking lot at the Cooper-Young Community Association offices at 2298 Young got a much-needed new coat of ashphalt and parking space stripes Feb. 22.

Hub Automotive - Free tire rotation and free courtesy checks (tires & fluid check/top off ) whenever card is presented InBalance Fitness - 10% off group classes (excludes personal training and specialty classes) June Hurt, Notary Public - Free services to current members

Our purpose is to form an association of residents and interested parties to work together to make our diverse and historic community a more desirable and safer place to live, worship, work, and play.

Maury Ballenger, Massage - 10% discount on massage services Memphis College of Art - 10% discount on Summer Art Camp and Saturday School tuition Midtown Massage & Bodywork - $5 off services with membership card (excludes gift certificates) Mr. Scruff’s Pet Care - 15% off purchase of the TLC Visit Package (incl. 24 TLC Visits) Mulan Asian Bistro - 10% off each time you present your membership card


The Nail & Skin Bar - 10% discount off a Spa Pedicure every time you show your membership card Enclosed is a check for my membership in the Cooper-Young Community Association New


Household – $20

Trestle Tender – $50

Senior 55 and older – $5

Name ________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________ Zip _____________ Phone ___________________________ Email ________________________________________ Yes, I want to hear about volunteer opportunities! Enclosed is my gift of $____________________ in honor or/in memory of: _________________________________________________________ Enclosed is my gift of $___________________ for the General Operating Fund Mail this form with payment to: CYCA Membership, 2298 Young Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 You can also join online at The CYCA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Otherlands Coffee Bar -1 free cup of coffee or coffee drink up to $3 value Outback Steakhouse - Free appetizer with the purchase of an entrée up to $7.29 Playhouse on the Square - Buy 1 get 1 ticket free up to four tickets for Thursday or Sunday shows The Polish Bottle - 10% off pedicures, facials and waxing services each time the membership card is presented Skunx Chef Pub - 10% discount each time card is presented Soulfish - 1 complimentary Lunch or Dinner Entrée when a 2nd of equal or greater value is purchased - Up to $7 Stone Soup Cafe - Buy one menu item and get a second item of equal or less value 1/2 off, one time only Sweet Grass & Next Door - 10% off a single entree every time you show your card Young Avenue Deli - Enjoy 30% off any one entree LampLighter March 2014


cy snapshots

TOP LEFT: Asa Annestedt, 3½, of Southaven has a good way to get around the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, as he’s pulled around in a wagon by dad Jamey Annestedt. BOTTOM RIGHT: Ashley Annestedt and daughter Jewell, 2½, make a purchase from Jones Orchard at the farmers market. TOP RIGHT: Author, and physicist Alan Lightman reads from his new book “The Accidental Universe: The World We Thought We Knew” at Burke’s Book Store recently. BOTTOM LEFT: The old gas tanks have been pulled out of the ground at the future home of Truck Stop, a food truck hub planned at the corner of Central and Cooper. The site was formerly a gas station.


LampLighter March 2014

CY safety

Crimes reported Jan. 23- Feb. 21 Map compiled by Ben Boleware The LampLighter is working with the CYCA to bring you meaningful crime information. In addition to the crime map, which details crimes within a one-mile radius of the Cooper-Young intersection, we also included a list of crimes that happened within our neighborhood. The list includes the case number, which you can use to get more details from police. The information is also available online at, with a link to further information from police. The Memphis Police Department offers a tool on its website ( that allows you to locate crime information. Crimemapper allows you to input an address and search in quarter-mile increments for a specific type of crime. It then returns the results of your search for the previous 30 days.

LampLighter March 2014



1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013: Wise and intense with a tendency towards physical beauty. Vain and high tempered. The Boar is your enemy. The Cock or Ox are your best signs.



The Chinese Zodiac consists of a 12 year cycle. Each year of which is named after a different animal that imparts distinct characteristics to its year. Many Chinese believe that the year of a person’s birth is the primary factor in determining that person’s personality traits, physical and mental attributes and degree of success and happiness throughout his lifetime. To learn about your birth among the 12 signs running around the boarder. If born before 1936, add 12 to the year you were born to find your year.




of the

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1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011: Luckiest of all signs, you are also talented and articulate. Affectionate, yet shy. You seek peace throughout your life. Marry a Sheep or Boar. Your opposite is the Cock.

1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010: Tiger people are aggressive, courageous, candid, and sensitive. Look to the Horse and Dog for happiness. Beware of the Monkey.


Bistro HORSE


1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015: Elegant and creative. You are timid and prefer anonymity. You are most compatible with Boars and Rabbits, but never the Ox.


1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012: You are eccentric and your life complex. You have a very passionate nature and abundant health. Marry a Monkey or a Rat late in life. Avoid the Dog.


1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014: Popular and attractive to the opposite sex. You are often ostentatious and impatient. You need people. Marry a Tiger or a Dog early, but never a Rat.


1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016: You are very intelligent and are able to influence people. An enthusiastic achiever, you are easily discouraged and confused. Avoid Tigers. Seek a Dragon or a Rat.


1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017: A pioneer in spirit, you are devoted to work and quest after knowledge. You are selfish and eccentric. Rabbits are trouble. Snakes and Oxen are fine.







1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018: Loyal and honest, you work well with others. Generous, yet stubborn and often selfish. Look to the Horse or Tiger. Watch out for Dragons.



1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009: Bright, patient, and inspiring to others. You can be happy by yourself, yet make an outstanding parent. Marry a Snake or Cock. The Sheep will bring trouble.


LampLighter March 2014



1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020: You are ambitious, yet honest. Prone to spend freely. Seldom make lasting friendships. Most compatible with Dragons and Monkeys. Least compatible with Horses.



1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019: Noble and chivalrous. Your friends will be lifelong, yet you are prone to marital strife. Avoid other Boars. Marry a Rabbit or a Sheep.

The LampLighter, March 2014  

The official voice of Memphis' Cooper-Young neighborhood

The LampLighter, March 2014  

The official voice of Memphis' Cooper-Young neighborhood