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February 2013


Toy Bash Blues Ball Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala A Magical Night at Overton Park Q&A with Stephen Carpenter


Contents February 201 3

From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Signature Memphis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Dr. G. Scott Morris, the founder and executive director of the Church Health Center, which is currently celebrating 25 years of service to Memphians, invites RSVP to the center’s medical and dental clinic.

Blues Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 The Memphis Charitable Foundation honored the 25 inaugural inductees of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame at the Gibson Guitar Factory.


StreetSeens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 & 20 He’s taking the music of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra to the Soulsville neighborhood. She’s all about promoting film, music and community in the Bluff City and is currently bringing her biggest project to date, a bluesical, to the stage. StreetSeens highlight Joseph Salvalaggio and Marie Pizano.


The Ambassador Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 F E B R UA R Y 2 013

Anne Kirkpatrick’s Due Process Her career in law enforcement has carried her from Memphis to Washington State, and recently, she took on a new appointment from the sheriff of King County/ Seattle.

A Magical Night at Overton Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 The Overton Park Conservancy celebrated 111 years this past fall with a grand affair underneath the trees.


Vox Popular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Q&A with the Kroc Center’s director of operations, Stephen Carpenter.

12 BLUES BALL Dawn Stiles and Neal Pope

Onsites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32, 60, 61 & 62 Gatherings that have earned an honorable mention.

RSVP Wedding Fashion Shoot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

56 LIBERTY BOWL PRESIDENTS’ GALA Daphne and Clayton Fosburgh

We headed to the Memphis Yacht Club to photograph our bride and groom wearing the latest wedding fashions.

RSVP Featured Weddings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Real Memphis couples share their big day with us.

Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Tulsa and Iowa State might have duked it out on the football field the next day, but the night before, a party at The Peabody had everyone in high spirits.

Toy Bash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis sweetened club members’ holidays by donating toys at a benefit held at Minglewood Hall.

24 A MAGICAL NIGHT AT OVERTON PARK Scout Anglin and Melissa McMasters

RSVPhillippi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Becoming Joe Cool Dennis Phillippi dishes on his time in the spotlight as a children’s TV personality.

Cover Photo Ginny Galloway and Collins Coltharp Jr. at Hedge Farm in Red Banks, MS Photo by AM Photography

58 TOY BASH Edwyna Bonner and Trinna Herron



Number V

February 2013 PUBLISHER

Roy Haithcock EDITOR

Leah Fitzpatrick

A great place for romance and romantics!


Ruth Cassin Kelly Cox Jeannie Mandelker Dennis Phillippi Eugene Pidgeon Lesley Young ART DIRECTOR


Chris has been exercising his talent in the advertising world since 1999. He joined the RSVP team in 2009 and brought with him a love for laughter and creativity. Originally from New Albany, Mississippi, Chris has settled in Memphis and enjoys being active in the fashion community.


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Nathan Berry Baxter Buck Don Perry Steve Roberts ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Chris Pugh Kristen Miller ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE 901.276.7787, EXT. 104


R achel Warren




Ruth Cassin


Fran Barnett ... 485-1646 Jim Black ... 483-3478 Cathleen Black ... 483-3476

Courtney Murrah ... 493-9536 Katie Nichols-Cook ... 628-3065 Mike Parker ... 277-7275

Aleesa Blum ... 581-2775

Juanna Phillips ... 485-2079

Melody Bourell ... 461-4016

Barby Perlberg ... 619-8543

Camilla Brinner ... 569-0343

Mary Frances Pitts ... 355-5038

Leanne Brooks ... 292-4332

Jimmy Reed ... 461-1868

Margaret Burke ... 550-1959

Greg Renfrow ... 283-2899

Ramona Chapman ... 550-2396 Eileen Cherny ... 682-1868

Sheldon Rosengarten ... 483-0546

Jon Dickens ... 496-5702

Paula Sansom ... 335-7909

Barbara DuFour ... 292-5055

Myra Sheddan ... 870-0154

Rip Haney ... 351-2190

Alta Simpson ... 484-6040

Lita Hurston-Reed ... 351-1119 Linda Kaplan ... 482-6473

Jim Simpson ... 484-0792 Melonie Simpson ... 921-6986

Laurence Kenner ... 351-4210

Teri Trotter ... 647-4018

Jerry Lucius ... 355-3076

David Tester ... 351-3439

RSVP Memphis is published monthly by Haithcock Communications, Inc. First class subscriptions are available for $55.00 per year. Send name and address with a check to: Haithcock Communications, Inc. 2282 Central Avenue Memphis, TN 38104 For advertising information contact Roy Haithcock Phone (901) 276-7787, ext. 101 Fax (901) 276-7785 e-mail WEB For editorial information or to request coverage of an event, please contact RSVP Magazine one month prior to the event. Call 901-276-7787, ext. 105 or fax to 901-276-7785. e-mail Follow us on &

Christie May ... 233-3096

Ward Walthal ... 634-6900

Having worked in print advertising for nearly eight years, Kristen Miller felt it was a natural fit to join the RSVP team as an account executive. Kristen, who lives in Arlington with her husband and four children, loves to cook, fish, watch college and Arlington Tigers football, spend time with her family and advertising, of course.

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Rachel is passionate about print media and has covered many local events in Jackson, Mississippi in the past. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Millsaps College, and in 2011, she moved back to her hometown of Memphis. She is delighted to be part of the RSVP team as an editorial intern. She loves writing about all the amazing people and places in Memphis, enjoying a great book and chasing a good story.

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March 4 - 9

From the Editor

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chill might be in the air this time of year, but so is love. Everywhere you turn, there are reminders of it in the giant red hearts in many a florist’s window, on TV commercials for chocolate and matchmaking sites, on the Kissing Cam at Memphis Tigers men’s basketball games, in Valentine’s-themed confections at local bakeries and even in Facebook posts, as about everyone I know either got engaged during the holidays or is in the middle of making wedding plans, including our former editorial intern, Maggie Giffin, who got engaged last fall. These reminders of love hopefully warm your hearts, but if not, you can see beautiful examples of our readers’ lifelong commitments to one another as husband and wife beginning on page 45 with our RSVP Featured Weddings. In preparation for this special issue, we here at RSVP challenged ourselves to come up with a location for our own wedding fashion photo shoot that could top last year’s, which is pretty hard to do by the way considering that we had access to one of New Ballet Ensemble’s studios, complete with some of its dancers dressed in gorgeous costumes. However, I think we hit a homerun this time around when we decided to do a nautical-themed shoot at the Memphis Yacht Club. Having done a StreetSeen interview with the Memphis Yacht Club’s first female commodore, Terry Saunders, back in 2008, I recalled what a fabulous backdrop the club’s marina provided for Saunders’ photo, not to mention how accommodating Saunders, her fellow Yacht Club friends and Demetra Gordon, who provides administrative and technical support for the club, were. Well, I’m happy to report that those affiliated with the Memphis Yacht Club remain steadfast in their good will and graciously allowed us to invade their territory on the last beautiful day in October of last year. A big thanks goes out to Gordon for finding us a very amenable and affable boat owner in Tom Lewis, who took the RSVP team out on a Mississippi River adventure to Honeymoon Cove, which you might notice in the right-hand side of the big opening shot for the wedding fashion shoot on page 37. Sandy Coles, a man who knows more about boats than anyone I’ve ever come across, also assisted us on this excursion and gets props for providing much comic relief and conversation throughout the day. Established since 1902, the Memphis Yacht Club has become a true treasure in the downtown community and is to be commended for promoting safe boating practices on the Mississippi. Venture down to the cobblestones on Mud Island if you want to find out more about this special group, or visit The views are priceless, and so are the people…just look at the young man pictured below who stopped off at the Memphis Yacht Club during his kayaking trek along the entire length of the Mississippi. Our model Savannah White was elated to meet the kayaker and insisted her photo be taken with the modern-day version of Tom Sawyer. Until next month, enjoy this issue because a lot of love was put into it!

Leah Fitzpatrick

Executive Director, Church Health Center/Associate Pastor, St. John’s United Methodist Church

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia. Best Dish You Cook: Coconut cake. Place You Go to Think: My elliptical. Your Best Quality: Dogged perseverance. Biggest Pet Peeve: Being late for a Tigers game. Your Most Annoying Habit: Spilling food on my shirt. What You Cannot Live Without: My wife, Mary, and my dogs. First Job: K & S Painting Company (as in Ken and Scott). This was a summer job in Daytona Beach, Florida. Who Inspires You: William Sloane Coffin; patients of mine who work two jobs, care for their families and never complain. First Car You Drove: A 1970 GTO Judge. It would idle at 40 miles per hour—no joke. Best Memphis Hangout: “The Way”—a service of recovery on Friday nights at 6 p.m. at St. John’s United Methodist Church. Proudest Moment of Your Life: Beating Geoff Calkins in the [Outdoors Inc.] Canoe and Kayak Race. Favorite Southern Idiom: “Bless her heart,” which means “she has no idea what she is doing.” Best Advice You Ever Got: Always be aware of the difference between charity and justice. Best Gift You Ever Received: A voice-activated remote control. Who doesn’t need one? Coolest Thing About Memphis: If you care about Memphis, Memphis will care about you. One Goal You’d Still Like to Accomplish: Moving the Church Health Center into the Sears Crosstown building. Photo by Steve Roberts



Dr. G. Scott Morris


Blues Ball


“Awesome Auction and Holiday Music Melee”


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Mandi and Grant Burke

Lauren Lee and Cole Giovannetti



raditionally held in early autumn, the Memphis Charitable Foundation’s annual Blues Ball celebrated its 19th year after Thanksgiving, and all in attendance agreed it was well worth the wait! Honoring the 25 inaugural inductees into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the festivities commenced early at the Gibson Guitar Factory and carried on till the wee hours. The evening kicked off in the Mylar streamer-festooned lobby, where cocktails and appetizers (courtesy of The Half Shell and Felicia Suzanne’s) were served. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, both of whom were full of praises for Pat Kerr Tigrett, founder and general chairman of the foundation, gave opening remarks. Tigrett exuberantly welcomed guests and encouraged them to bid high and often in the silent auction, which featured more than 100 one-of-a-kind items generously donated by local and national merchants. As partiers moved to the dining area, many celebrities were spotted in the crowd, notably former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Otis Redding III and members of Three 6 Mafia. The evening’s cuisine was over the top and included such delectables as crawfish beignets from Circa, Majestic Grille’s smoked salmon nachos, Mesquite Chop House’s prime rib sliders and Gulf shrimp bruschetta from Spindini. Soul Classics FM 103’s Henry Nelson, FM 100’s Ron Olson and writer/producer/musician Joe Mulherin shared the evening’s master of ceremonies duties. Blues Ball Award recipients were the late Sam Phillips—Lifetime Achievement Award; Big Star–Pyramid Award; FreeWorld–Memphis Sound Award; Graceland–Corporate Award; Liberty Church of God in Christ—Gospel Award; and Michael Moore— Volunteer of the Year. Then, there was the music performed by the crème de la crème of today’s Memphis sound. Entertainers were The Bo-Keys, Preston Shannon, Di Anne Price, Susan Marshall, Jason D. Williams, Al Kapone, William Bell, Will Tucker and Ruby Wilson, all of whom treated guests to their top-notch musical talent. Charities benefiting from the night’s proceeds include the Baddour Center, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Madonna Learning Center, the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission, NARAS/MusiCares, the Memphis Police and Fire Departments, local musicians and music scholarships. As always, the Blues Ball was a resounding success thanks in large part to the enthusiastic support of the foundation and its benevolent corporate sponsors. See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

John Fry and Jerry Phillips

Story by Ruth Cassin Photos by Baxter Buck

Rudi and Honey Scheidt

Freddie Young and Mayor A C Wharton

Buzz Aldrin and Pat Kerr Tigrett

Will Tucker and Shelby Stallsmith

Dan Otten, Vickie Downing, Callie Ford and Sal Vasireddy

Otis Redding III and JW Whitten


Kris and Meg Gavin

Elizabet and Tim Clark

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Brad Newcomer and Courtney Gray

Bill and CC Brewer

China and Ryan Jenkins



Stewart and Erica Gafford

Tavita Stewart and Henry Nelson

Mike and Maureen Wittke

Molly Fitzpatrick and Jacki Lindsay

Sara and Bill Walden

Lauren Phillips and Halley Phillips

EVENT Maria Moore and Daphine Tate

August and April Myers

Jo and Carey Jones

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BLUES BALL Nataliya Bobylyova and Tim Kellum



Kathy and Roger Sapp, Carleton Blunt and Winifred Henry

Angela Copeland and Anastasia Wiseman

Teresa Hall and WW Herenton


Olivia Friddle and Bret Max

Robert and Patricia Barnett

Pat and Mayor Mark Luttrell

Doris Axton Fredrick and Fred Fredrick

Vincent Jackson and Tonya Sledge

Nick Scott and Tamara Goldstein

Davis and Kelly Lindsey

Tom and Anna Palazola

Dr. Kenneth and Sheila Whalum

Jon and Sarajane Dillard

Robyn Birch and Ami Austin

Shannon Morgan and Elly Deyhle

Ned Biggs and Hallie McKay

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David and Diana Winters

Kristin Bell, Kayla Stentz, David Winker, Marcus Grandberry and Nathan Summers





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Joseph Salvalaggio Soul of the Symphony

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anadian native Joseph Salvalaggio, or “Joey” to friends, has made his mark on the local music scene for 12 years as a principal oboist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, however during this time, he noticed there was one area of town where professional musicians don’t often venture: the Soulsville neighborhood surrounding the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. But rather than wait for live music to infiltrate the neighborhood, Salvalaggio and his MSO counterparts decided to bring their sound to Soulsville. More importantly, Salvalaggio felt that the musical talent pool surrounding him is something worthy of sharing with others. He says, “The most inspiring experience of my career has been working with the music director [Mei-Ann Chen] here; she’s demanding, but the quality [of the MSO] has risen to a level I thought we’d never achieve.” Enter the Symphony Soul Project, a joint effort between the MSO and the nonprofit Community LIFT (Leveraging Investments for Transformation) to further elements of Soulsville’s redevelopment proposed in the Memphis Music Magnet plan by offering a full season of free MSO concerts and helping improve the neighborhood’s music-centric infrastructure through music education. The partnership began in February of last year, and by last June, the invested parties proceeded with their efforts after receiving a grant from ArtPlace, an alliance of 13 national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks that invests in revitalization through the arts. Salvalaggio credits the MSO’s director of grants and innovation, Rhonda Causie, for her ability to help co-secure the ArtPlace grant with Community LIFT, and says that the MSO has credibility with granting organizations because of its history of being innovative—clearly evident through programs like the groundbreaking Opus One concerts that feature MSO musicians playing alongside local popular artists in cool venues—and also because of its community work; Salvalaggio himself was involved in designing a corporate leadership development program with FedEx called Leading from Every Chair. “We have a very similar mandate as ArtPlace in that we’re about making an area of town more viable for small businesses…if you can make a community an arts hub, it brings in business and makes something a sustainable community,” he adds. Well aware of the Symphony Soul Project’s potential impact, Salvalaggio gladly came on board during its development phase and currently serves as the musician ambassador, with Soulsville advocate and former resident Joseph Nelson as the project manager. To promote the project, Salvalaggio manages a Memphis Symphony Soul Project Facebook page that provides concert updates and related special events, like the video karaoke contest that had students competing for a chance to sing Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” with the accompaniment of the MSO at the last Symphony Soul concert. The word must be spreading because those in the neighborhood and beyond have eagerly flocked to the Magnet, a new performing arts space located at 879 East McLemore Avenue, for the first three concerts. According to Salvalaggio, the response for all has been overwhelmingly positive. He shares, “I helped a woman out of her car and thanked her for coming, and she said, ‘Thank you so much for having this in my neighborhood.’ People are so proud.” Three more concerts representing a cross-section of music genres are scheduled to take place at the Magnet, beginning with “A Memphis Gospel Celebration” show on February 17 and others following on February 26 and April 20. Go have a listen, and come ready to be engaged in what Salvalaggio refers to as a “diversity of experience.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts



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Marie Pizano Making a Memphis Style Musical

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hen Marie Pizano, CEO/founder of local entertainment company MVP3, met actor/writer/director Daniel Martine, she not only found Martine’s more than 6-foot tall frame imposing, but she soon learned that he had an even bigger story to tell with “Kidd Diamond and the Devil.” Set in Clarksdale, Mississippi and in Memphis, Martine’s short story was published in 2010 alongside those by authors like John Grisham and Ace Atkins in the “Delta Blues” collection, but what intrigued Pizano was that it had an element of the Robert Johnson crossroads tale, in addition to it being a narrative of love, redemption and forgiveness—things she says we all experience at one time or another. Sold on the story nearly from the get-go, Pizano now finds herself on the cusp of bringing the “Kidd Diamond and the Devil” play/bluesical—an outright Memphis-made production—to the stage later this month as both its producer and executive producer, with the latter role falling under the auspices of MVP3. “Of all my projects, this is the ‘Star Wars’—it has serious legs,” she implicates. The bluesical is set to run for three weeks, beginning on February 21 at Cooper Walker Place (1015 Cooper Street); view showtimes and other info at Pizano couldn’t be more ecstatic about the venue since the church marks the spot where Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three first performed in Memphis, not to mention the whole idea of people going to church to seek redemption. Many other elements have since fallen into place, including getting Pat Halloran of the Orpheum Theatre and attorney Bill Luckett on the advisory board; partnering with Pat Kerr Tigrett and the Memphis Charitable Foundation for the pre-party and opening night after party; and hiring a cast and crew of 99 locals who are majority African-American, while namely finding the perfect leading man for the character of Kidd Diamond in Memphis actor and musician Travis Stone. Described by Pizano as a triple threat for his ability to act, play a mean guitar and sing, Stone will display each of his talents on stage during “Kidd Diamond,” which he wrote nearly all of the original music for, with Martine helping co-write the lyrics. Obviously a vital piece of the production, the music component was given an extra boost of local credibility by Royal Studios’ Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, who allowed Bishop Wright’s Gospel Choir (of Liberty COGIC) to come in and record a call and response part for the bluesical. Pizano mentions that Mitchell isn’t the only big name in the music industry involved, as Memphian Niko Lyras of Cotton Row Recording, who has produced acts like Three 6 Mafia and been instrumental in many gold and platinum records, is finishing up the soundtrack for the blusical. In addition, David Z, an engineer and producer regarded for his work with artists such as Prince, Etta James, Billy Idol and Buddy Guy, is coming on board to help with the soundtrack. “I feel like with those three kings on my side, we’ll have a pretty awesome soundtrack,” Pizano declares. “I also have planted the seed and joked with Morgan Freeman, who wrote the forward to ‘Delta Blues’ that he has already played God and now he needs to play the devil in the film version of this movie.” Though, as opening night for the play draws closer, Pizano shifts her focus away from plans for the movie and toward the success of “Kidd Diamond” the bluesical. “I don’t see failing,” she says. “I want to see Memphis win! What I hope for this bluesical is that people want to come to Memphis and see it, just like they would an attraction.” Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photo by Steve Roberts



D M R S . PO S T G I F T C A R


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o f $ 500 o r mo r e d ur in g FFee br uuaa r y 201 2




The Ambassador Series By Eugene Pidgeon


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eferring solely to physical distance, there is no direct route from Memphis, Tennessee to Seattle, Washington. If you are not possessed of the corporate or creative élan of Bill Gates, or Eddie Vedder, who with the snap of a micro-chip, the flip of a sweaty bang, can conjure the resolute and entitled quark speed of a magic carpet or a Gulfstream G650 private jet, your journey will be involved at best. Nonetheless, Anne Kirkpatrick, a native Memphian, arrived in Washington State and Seattle almost 30 years ago. Kirkpatrick walks and talks quite softly. She also carries a very big stick. More precisely, the stick in question here is better defined as a billy club. Though, after six years of celebrated public service, she retired her position as the Chief of Police of Spokane, Washington in January 2012. As busy as she is, Kirkpatrick is most accommodating. By compiling bits and pieces of time in between obligations, she spoke candidly via telephone interview about the due process of her life after Memphis. A very accomplished woman, Kirkpatrick has a resume that is impressive, bearing the appointments and notations of Chief of Police, Master of Science, FBI Agent and Juris Doctorate (Attorney at Law). Although, these hard fought credentials are hand-sewn and fit her well, a more puzzling question emerges. How does a girl from East Memphis, who was destined for junior cotillions and magnolia-tinted debutante balls, tea parties and finger sandwiches, wind up flashing a badge in Washington State? Quite simply she admits, “I got here by accident.” In 1982, after completing a fouryear stint at King College in East Tennessee, Kirkpatrick came back to Memphis. Her intention was to acquire a master’s degree in psychology/counseling. “I was looking for a job, too,” she says. “I flipped through the classified ads in the newspaper and saw where the Memphis Police Department was offering a complete education package as a perk of joining the force. So, I applied and went through the academy and then spent three years as a beat cop in Orange Mound and in South Memphis patrolling the areas near Elvis Presley Boulevard.” As Officer Kirkpatrick navigated the most perilous and crime-ridden corri-

dors of Memphis by day, she pursued her degree via night classes at the University of Memphis. After three years, she completed her studies. Not one to shy away from a challenge, it was then that Kirkpatrick decided she wanted to get a law degree. This endeavor required a bit more maneuvering. “When I looked into getting my law degree in Memphis…there were no classes being offered at night,” she tells. “I would have had to become a full-time stu-

dent in order to get my degree, but I couldn’t afford it. I had to work. So, I needed to find a school that offered a law degree through a program of night classes…so I could work a job during the day!” Upon conducting a grueling search, Anne discovered the University of Seattle Law School. She says, “It was run by the Jesuits and was one of only a handful of schools which could accommodate my scheduling requirements.” Because of her experience as a police officer in Memphis, she was able to land a corresponding law enforcement position in Washington State without having to repeat the course at the Seattle Police Academy. “I left Memphis in October of 1985 just to go to law school,” Kirkpatrick says. “I had no intention of staying! It just happened.” After three years of intense study and police work, she finished law school, graduated and got her degree. Intending to employ her skills as an attorney in the fields of corporate and real estate law, somehow she remained steadfastly tethered to opportunities offered in law enforcement. When Kirkpatrick’s great American crusade led her to Washington State and

the Pacific Northwest, she followed it openly. Her plans may have been to return to Memphis, but the universe had knitted another design, altogether, for her. One brick at a time and by one accomplishment at a time, Kirkpatrick has built a beautiful place for herself in Washington. The call of her name is ripe with awards and accolades that are in accordance and appropriate to a life spent in service to others. To the Pacific Northwest, she brought a smart and breezy Southern demeanor. To Washington State, she brought the best of what she had learned from family, from Hutchison School where she graduated in 1977 and from her time spent with the Memphis Police Department. Succinctly, she brought the best of Memphis to Seattle and both cities are, now, much better places as a result. Though Kirkpatrick retired in January of last year, her retirement didn’t last long. She has just accepted an appointment by the newly elected sheriff of King County/Seattle, John Urquhart, who has asked her to be his deputy in charge. Urquhart never even considered any other candidate for the position. Her appointment comes in a crux of history. With the entire nation embroiled in a debate over fair and balanced gun control legislation and the legalization of marijuana, Washington State stands in the vanguard. Kirkpatrick adds, “You have to remember, there is a difference between the decriminalization and the legalization of marijuana. There are still many details to work out. You can legally possess marijuana in Washington, but you still cannot legally purchase it unless you have a valid medical prescription.” As for gun control, she cites her concerns are with those who have mental health issues. The state of mind of the potential shooter is what needs to be addressed, according to Kirkpatrick. “But, ultimately, my role today in law enforcement is to enforce the law and not to make them,” she says. “I must enforce the law evenly and regardless of whether or not I support the law politically!” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a noted Harvard professor, once declared, “Wellbehaved women rarely make history.” Well, Professor Ulrich, meet Deputy Sheriff Anne Kirkpatrick. She may have just become the exception to the rule.

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A Magical Night at Overton Park Celebrating 111 Years of Overton Park

T Steve Cohen and Laura Adams

Elizabeth and Mike Rodriguez



hough Overton Park turned 111 in 2012, the city’s 342-acre public green space looked anything but tired during its anniversary celebration, A Magical Night at Overton Park. In addition to having vitality on its side, the park also had the good fortune of experiencing uniquely warm temperatures during the Art Nouveau-themed event, which was hosted by the Overton Park Conservancy in early November of last year. Held to benefit the upcoming renovation of the Rainbow Lake Playground, this night was actually meant for adults to come out and play, with 230 gladly obliging by heading to the park’s formal gardens for a time of dancing, imbibing and mingling under the stars. Volunteers even got in on the fun by dressing in Art Nouveauinspired attire and warmly greeting patrons, who made their way to one of two tents for live music by jazz group Breeze and Jamille “JAM” Hunter. A Moveable Feast offered impeccable edibles in both tents as well, from meatloaf sliders and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with bleu cheese to black-eyed pea cakes and salmon-stuffed deviled eggs. Dessert bites in the form of mini key lime pies, chocolate chip cookies and magic cookie bars satisfied sweet cravings, but the sweetest touch of all came from the magnificent surroundings, which truly shone this night. From the soaring crepe myrtles that were illuminated with pale lavender lights to the manicured plantings highlighted by the glow of tea lights housed in mason jars, the setting couldn’t be beat. As guest Jonny Ballinger put it, “This doesn’t even feel like Memphis.” Many did feel as if they had been transported to a special place right in the middle of an urban park, which soon will be ready to show off its newest enhancement with the reopening of the Rainbow Lake Playground this year. For those whom felt the call to contribute to the playground, several donation options for different playground features were presented at the affair. So, instead of a live or silent auction, guests previewed a large-scale mock-up of the playground and pledged $11,700 to general or specific park features. For instance, a $100 contribution could go toward landscaping, while a $5,000 donation could help purchase a merry-go-round. What better gift could one give anyway than the chance for area children to grow up loving Overton Park just like the adults in their lives did (and still do)?

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Robert and Courtney Frazee

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Baxter Buck

Diane Webb and Sharon Thorpe

Aimee and Chris Haggard

Shelley and Todd Bell

Steve and Tracy Rone

Maysey Craddock with Carol and Mike Palazola

Paul and Sharon Fryman


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Marcella Houseal, Pam Blair and Heather Cooley

Jim Holt, Brooke Tweddell, Leigh Shockey and Jim Meeker RSVP


Charmaine Buffong-Shinault, Aaron Shinault and Barbara Stone

Kym and Josh White with Tom and Katie Midgley


Daphne and Clayton Fosburgh

Mary Phillips and Wes Riddle

Madeleine Edwards and Stacey Greenberg

Steve Cantor and Karen Lebovitz

Paul Jewell and Carol Ptasienski



Bill Ferguson and Anne Frassinelli

Mary Morris and Belinda Anderson

Lauren Taylor and Gretchen McLennon

Kimberly Hinson and Sophia Livingston

Katie Cole and Charley Foster

Denise Trowbridge and Jacque McGee



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Vox Popular Q&A with Stephen Carpenter

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Photos by Don Perry


et to open February 23, the Salvation Army Kroc Center will not only transform the physical landscape of the former Mid-South Fairgrounds, but plans to edify the people of the many diverse communities surrounding the facility as well. Stephen Carpenter, the Kroc Center’s director of operations, met with RSVP editor Leah Fitzpatrick on the 110,000-square-foot site as it was still under construction to show off what will be the center’s arts, education, recreation and worship components—all were stipulated by the late Joan Kroc (the wife of the founder of McDonald’s), who left $1.8 billion to the Salvation Army for 27 Kroc Centers to be built nationwide. From a giant fire pit, courtyard and soccer fields outside to unique challenge areas, a theater and aquatics area inside, the center has a host of spaces where members can grow physically, spiritually and mentally, and the list of services will continually evolve to meet the community’s needs. Carpenter promises, “We’ll change with what people want to do.” RSVP: I know that you previously were the headmaster of New Hope Christian Academy, so how has that experience impacted your role as the Kroc Center’s director of operations thus far?

RSVP: What are the partnerships the Kroc Center is forming with organizations or youth groups in the area?

Carpenter: Well, New Hope started with one person, which was me. Then, it grew to 70 employees and 420 kids, so one of the benefits of that experience was starting a program from the ground up, which is a lot like working on this project [the Kroc Center]. The Salvation Army definitely has a lot of employees already throughout the world, but not for this particular project. I also learned a lot about hiring people, particularly in learning to look for good people who are motivated and passionate about the organization they’re going to work for. We’ve been successful so far in hiring for the Kroc Center and have about 25 people on staff. We’ll end up hiring about 50-60 fulltime staff in the next month or two.

Carpenter: Before the Memphis City Schools merger with county schools, we had worked with several people on the board there who were very excited about it [the Kroc Center]. Their desire was for all fifth graders in Memphis City Schools to come through the challenge area at the Kroc Center, where we have hands-on, educational learning experiences, so that’s a great partnership. We have the benefit of having two soccer fields, and a lot of schools around here don’t have access to sports fields, like Fairview [Middle School], so we’ll be probably forming some partnerships with people to use the fields. When we were doing the needs assessment, we met with a lot of churches and neighborhood associations to find out what their desire was for the Kroc Center. In the estate, Joan Kroc’s desire was that there be arts, education, recreation and worship, but it wasn’t specified what those four components entailed, so we met with all of these different groups to see what was available and to see how we could support the neighborhood. We can be a place where people can come together, like the neighborhood associations, which are divided maybe by land space, but talk about the same things. If they meet here, they can hear things from each other, as opposed to fearing other neighborhoods because they don’t know the people in them. We also have a partnership with Memphis Athletic Ministries, and they’ll have full-time staff here during afternoons and evenings to operate some functions with our recreation manager in the gym.

RSVP: How has your hometown connection to Memphis aided in your role as director of operations? Carpenter: It’s been very helpful having grown up here and knowing a lot of people in the city already. These connections all helped out when the Salvation Army received from the Kroc estate a challenge really. Half of the money donated went to the endowment and half to the construction of the building. But, we had to raise a matching portion for the endowment, so already having relationships with people helped when trying to raise $25 million for the matching portion. It’s interesting growing up here and thinking about coming to the [Memphis] Fairgrounds to the [Mid-South] Coliseum for concerts and Memphis basketball games, the Pipkin Building, professional wrestling, the Liberty Bowl…everything was here. It’s amazing now being here with the Kroc Center because at that time I never realized how many neighborhoods touched the Fairgrounds; you’ve got Orange Mound, Cooper-Young, Central Gardens, Chickasaw Gardens, the Beltline, Binghampton, etc. There are about 125,000 people within a three-mile radius of the Kroc Center.

RSVP: What in particular stood out about Memphis to the national Salvation Army office when deciding if a Kroc Center should be built here? Carpenter: For the Southern territory, Memphis is probably the largest city that has a Kroc Center; there is a small Kroc Center in



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Atlanta, but that one is a little bit different of a center because it is only on a couple of acres. If you look on a map, the piece of property we have is dead center in the city geographically, and when you look at the neighborhoods that surround it, there’s nowhere else that has the wealthiest and the poorest and the diverse racial mix we have—just the diversity in general is something the Salvation Army liked. RSVP: What are the different activities kids and adults can engage in at the Kroc Center?


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Carpenter: If you think of our arts, education, recreation and worship model, we do education in all the different components. So, we have aquatics with regulation lap lanes and masters swim classes for older adults. We’ll also teach swimming lessons for any age. We’ve got the soccer fields that can also be used for other types of outdoor sports like lacrosse. For the performing arts, we have a 300-seat theater that’s state of the art and will be used for worship on Sundays…the Salvation Army came out of the Methodist Church and Minister William Booth, who went into the streets and taught the gospel and really focused on people who had drug and alcohol problems. You get that background with the Salvation Army currently; there are three women’s shelters and a men’s shelter in town, and the organization is still about preaching the gospel. So, on Sunday, there’s the worship component. It’s open to anybody. Then, we have groups like New Ballet Ensemble excited about the stage. They have a great rehearsal space, but because of their parking, they can’t have performances there. They like to do a lot of things with schools, 30 so this is a great space for that. We’re going to have spaces to do music lessons, but we’re not going to focus on offering music lessons. There are a lot of churches and homes where people teach music lessons, but those people often don’t have the opportunity to do a recital. One of the things we want to do is bring a lot of those people together and offer them days to do their recitals here on a big stage. Back to recreation…we have an NBA size basketball court and cross-courts that are middle school size. There are other things people can do on the courts too, like play pickleball. These courts will also be a site for some of the MAM games. We have a sport court, which has a hockey wall and is a place for people to do indoor soccer. We also have a fitness center for people to take fitness and group exercise [classes]. RSVP: If you could name your favorite component of the Kroc Center, what would it be? Carpenter: Really the most exciting thing is the people who will come, and building those relationships with them. There are so many positive people in Memphis. One might read about negative things in Memphis, but a lot of those things are just to get attention. My job here, and in my previous job for the past 10 years before, has been working with all types of people who I find have the same hopes and aspirations. RSVP: Can someone still become a charter member of the Kroc Center? Carpenter: Yes, we’re still accepting charter members, and a total of 2,000 people can be in the building at a time. We kept memberships low across the board, rather than having high memberships, low

memberships and pro-rated memberships. We decided to be equitable and have the lowest rates possible for everybody, so it’s $30 a month for an individual and $50 per month for a household of four, and it’s $10 for each additional person after that. We are also going to try day passes, which are $5 Monday-Thursday and $10 FridaySunday. The hours will be 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 6 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, we’ll have the worship services in the morning, and then we’ll have regular hours from 1-4 p.m. We’ll send out three program guides a year to keep members informed about what’s going on. RSVP: What kind of environmental impact will the building have? Carpenter: It will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. We will have a lot of natural light, and the pool is placed on the southern corner of the building, and tilted the way it is and with all the glass, you will get the southern exposure of the sun during the wintertime, so we don’t have to use as much heat or light for the building. We collect all the rainwater on the roof that we’ll use to irrigate the soccer fields and the plants outside. We have a lot of lights that turn on and off depending on if there is occupancy in the room. The pavers outside aren’t typical brick. They’re actually porous and will allow the water to seep through and go into the ground, rather than there being a lot of run-off. We will have a lot of recycling in the building, and for example, the pavers in the courtyard are made from recycled glass and concrete. When we dug up the site, the old Fairgrounds Pool had been buried, so we took all the concrete from that, and it was recycled and reused as concrete when we poured the new pool. RSVP: What are the activities that will be held in conjunction with the Kroc Center open house on February 23? Carpenter: We will have some headliners come to try and showcase the different areas, such as fitness, recreation and the theater. The mayors will be here, and there will be kind of a taste of Memphis with various foods. We have some surprises that will occur at different points. R.J. Kroc, the Kroc Center mascot, will be here. That following Sunday morning, we will have our official ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by our dedication service. People sometimes talk about having a third place to go, with the first place you go being work and the second being your home. That third place is where you go and spend most of your time building relationships outside of home and work…we want that third place to be the Kroc Center. There are also people in the city who are unsure about how to get involved and don’t know how to do it. So, if they want to become a volunteer here or get involved with something the Salvation Army is doing, those opportunities will be made known here. RSVP: What is the experience you want anyone who visits the Kroc Center to take away? Carpenter: That they have met so-and-so and that they’re coming back! You never know how different things impact people’s lives. RSVP: If you had three adjectives to describe the Kroc Center, what would they be? Carpenter: Wow [laughs]…no, joyful, exciting and life-changing. Everything will be so positive here.

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Onsite I



Breath of Life Gala

Signature Chefs Auction

Methodist Hospital CEO Kevin Spiegel was the guest of honor at the West Tennessee Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Breath of Life Gala, held at the Tower Center. Spiegel’s wife, Judy, and son, Josh, joined him, as did 250 CF supporters. The evening began with hors d’oeuvres in the silent auction room, where tables were laden with sports memorabilia, luxury goods and a standout memento: a check signed by Marilyn Monroe. Many auction items had rose motifs, including jewelry from James Avery, since children often refer to cystic fibrosis as “65 Roses®.” Throughout the night, guests quenched their thirst by visiting one of three tasting bars offering bourbon, vodka and wine, respectively. After cocktails, people migrated to the Tower Room for a dinner of lobster bisque, tortilla soup and beef tenderloin and a dessert of doughnuts, refried to order, and ice cream. With Karen Perrin acting as emcee and DJ Funn cranking out the music, singer La Don Jones kicked off the entertainment. Elvis tribute artist Denis Gourgeot Jr. brought people to the dance floor, and by night’s end, the event had raised about $40,000 for the foundation.

It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and maybe guests should have limited their caloric intake, but who could resist small plates prepared by the best chefs in the Mid-South? Certainly not the 500 Memphians who attended the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction at Hilton Memphis. Lead Chef Erling Jensen of his eponymous restaurant plated tasty servings of pork loin and red cabbage, bison sliders and in the VIP room, a lamb ragout. Ryan Trimm of Sweet Grass prepared braised rabbit and Hoppin’ John, and Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen’s duck sausage dish included bacon chili jam. Steve Conley and Cindy DeBardelaben of 94.1 KQK emceed the night, which included a tribute to the late Patti Jensen, an active March of Dimes supporter and wife of Chef Jensen, and a silent auction as well as a live auction that was led by Brady Hammrich. More than two dozen chefs and food purveyors, such as Hugh Balthrop of Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream, happily donated food and hard work for a worthy cause.

Story and Photos by Jeannie Mandelker Story and Photos by Jeannie Mandelker

Judy, Kevin and Josh Spiegel

Best Buddies Champion of the Gala Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Best Buddies, a nonprofit that provides one-to-one friendships between a person with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and a person without IDD, held its inaugural Champion of the Year Gala in early November of last year at Esplanade Memphis. Two moms on a mission, Melissa Todd and Kristin Barek, are working to raise the funds to bring this organization to Memphis. This event was the end of a six-week challenge as nine candidates around the city competed to raise the most money for Memphis. The Champion of the Year winner, Brooke Swain, an eighth grade student from Arlington Middle School and the youngest candidate, was awarded a trip for two to Chicago. The event included keynote speaker, Bill Courtney, from the Academy Award®-winning documentary, Undefeated, and Grammy® Award-winning artist, Bruce Carroll. Guests were able to learn more about this organization, enjoy great food, live music and participate in a silent auction, but for those unable to attend, please visit Story Submitted Photos by Jeff Lappin Photography

Scott Edwards and Andy Finestone Melissa Todd, Ty Hawkins and Kristin Barek

Story Submitted Photos by Eric Swartz, Event One Media

Chris and Jan Cornaghie

Darryl Weiman, Kyle Wiggins and Judge Jon McCalla

Kathleen Stein, Vinaya Rao and David Stern

Claude Poppenheimer and Karen Perrin

As the University of Memphis observed its centennial last year, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law also recognized its 50th anniversary with a celebration hosted by the Law Alumni Chapter. The event was held throughout the historic law school building, which opened in 2010. Around 1,500 people, including alumni and former deans who traveled from as far away as California, Florida and Pennsylvania, attended the gathering, with proceeds from the celebration funding scholarships. A VIP reception overlooking the Mississippi River featured live music by singer-songwriter Caroline Jones. The celebration continued with a live music revue from the five decades of the law school’s existence, and a documentary about the history of the school was shown on monitors throughout the building and on special screens in the auditorium spaces. Gourmet food and beverage stations offered “Best of Memphis” cuisine from restaurants that are Project Green Fork certified. Title sponsors included the Firm of Glassman, Edwards, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox and the Glassman family.

Vicki Carayiannis, McKenzie Mears and Mary Washington

Brooke Swain and Raegan Middleton

Bob and Brenda Rachor with Patty and Bob Wood

Park McDaniel and Mallory McFarland

Angela Harris, Michael Joiner and LaKeisha Sisco-Beck


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RSVP Featured Wedding

Photos by Russell Hays Photography

TERRELL & HARDIN 5 • 12 • 12

Lindsey Terrell had known Chase Hardin since high school, but it wasn’t until her twin sister married his brother that she started thinking of him as more than a school chum. In fact, he was the perfect guy for her. Chase, an avid golfer, introduced Lindsey to the game during their courtship. After a romantic proposal at Mirimichi, they chose to marry there on May 12, 2012.

The couple worked with Airika Wallace at LEO Events to feature Mirimichi’s stunning natural beauty while creating a romantic setting with fun touches for their nearly 400 guests. Lindsey wore a fitted ivory couture gown from ENZOANI, and her bridal party wore short ivory dresses with black sashes. Lindsey’s sister Lacey, as matron of honor, wore the same style dress as the bridesmaids, but with an ivory sash. Chase wore an ivory suit, while the eight groomsmen wore black suits and ties. Rain moved the outdoor ceremony into the reception tent, where guests dined and danced to the music of Johnny Mac and The Heart Attacks. For the reception, Lindsey donned a short white cocktail dress by Bebe. The couple honeymooned in Ocho Rios, Jamaica before returning home to Memphis, where Chase works for his father’s State Farm agency and Lindsey works for the corporate office of Tan-N-Go.

RSVP Featured Wedding

Photos by C.M. Neal Photography

WILLIAMS & HARRIS 6 • 15 • 12


legance at its best, the black tie wedding of LaToya L. Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lenoris Williams, and Brian E. Harris, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Harris, was held on June 15, 2012 at the Esplanade Memphis, located in Cordova. Both the wedding and reception were held in the same location, beginning at 7 p.m., before 200 guests. The night before the wedding, a rehearsal dinner took place at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, while the next afternoon, decorators transformed the ballrooms at the Esplanade into an intimate formal wedding, which was coordinated by Ms. Veda Bankhead and Mrs. Marvia Balfour-Coleman. Dr. Frank A. Thomas (former Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church) performed the ceremony, and renowned Memphis artists Will Graves & Soul, Mark Baker, Mrs. Carla Tolbert-Taylor and Ms. Deborah Manning Thomas serenaded guests. A performance by Ms. Sue “Mama Sue” Roseberry from BET’s “Sunday Best” also surprised those in attendance. In celebration of their vows, LaToya wore a stunning, silk couture gown by designer Angelina Faccenda, while Brian wore a custom tuxedo from tailor Michael C. Thomas Bespoke of Memphis. The night concluded with the couple leaving in a white vintage Rolls-Royce. Afterward, the newlyweds honeymooned in Hawaii for 10 days.

RSVP Featured Wedding


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RSVP Featured Wedding

Photos by Ramblin’ Rose Photography

DEROUSSE & HEHN 07 • 14 • 12


risten DeRousse, daughter of Ms. Rebecca DeRousse and Mr. Larry DeRousse, and Richard Hehn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hehn, had a vision for their wedding, one of tradition, but one that also included a celebration to be enjoyed by their friends and family. The classic and elegant ceremony took place at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Memphis on July 14, 2012 and was followed by a reception at The Columns, where the party started with guests seeing beautiful flower arrangements by L&jay Productions and enjoying delicious food by Heart & Soul Catering. The night continued with entertainment by The Soul Shockers that kept the dance floor full all night long. The bride wore an Allure bridal gown that also held true to the theme of the wedding, with the top boasting a sweetheart neckline with beading to fulfill the classic vibe of the ceremony. The dress also had a full ball gown style skirt with ruffles—a unique and whimsical feature perfect for the “party.” Kristen and Richard had a large, Southern wedding party with 10 attendants on each side. The wedding turned out just as planned with a good time had by all. Kristen enjoyed the planning portion of the wedding so much that she and her mother have started an event planning company called Simply Perfect Weddings and Events.

F E B R UA R Y 2 013 RSVP


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RSVP Featured Wedding

Photos by AM Photography


Friends for years who eventually became a couple, Virginia Lynn Galloway and Thomas Collins Coltharp Jr. wed on September 8, 2012 at

Hedge Farm in Red Banks, Mississippi. Brother Barry Male Jr. of First Methodist Church in New Albany, Mississippi performed the marriage ceremony in a perfect outdoor setting surrounded by the wedding party and more than 300 friends and family. Virginia, who goes by “Ginny,” is the daughter of Craig and Frances Galloway of Germantown, and Collins is the son of Tom and Kelly Coltharp of New Albany. The ceremony was beautiful in every way, and the reception amazing with its “down-home” feel, both thanks to the assistance of John Loftin, owner of Hedge Farm, and John Carroll, wedding coordinator. DJ Stacy provided the music to keep the fun going for guests, who raved about the pies and cakes from Sugaree’s Bakery in New Albany and the delicious food by Diedre Anderson of Holly Springs, Mississippi. The couple left in a 1965 Mustang convertible with well-wishing guests ringing small white cowbells to end an unforgettable day. Ginny and Collins then celebrated their nuptials with a mini-trip to downtown Memphis with plans for a two-week trek exploring the mountains of Colorado while continuing from Montana to Washington State and Vancouver. The couple now resides in Memphis.

RSVP Featured Wedding

Photos by Steve Roberts Photography

MAROLA & BIGGS 9 • 29 • 12

Donald Biggs completely surprised Christine “Chrissy” Marola with a ring on Christmas Eve at what she thought was a family dinner. Shortly thereafter, wedding plans were set in motion. Christine enlisted the help of her friend and wedding coordinator Joelle Scholl, owner of The Barefoot Bride.

Christine and Donald were married on the rooftop of the legendary Peabody hotel on September 29, 2012 at six in the evening. Pastor Milton Carroll of Hope Presbyterian Church officiated at the ceremony. Christine was given in marriage by her mother and father, Elizabeth and Gary Morris. The maid of honor was Hollie Williams, and bridesmaids were Stephanie Wilburn and Mali Marola, Christine’s niece. Honorary bridesmaids were Jennifer Martin and Jennifer Wagner-Lewis. The groom’s son, Brent Biggs, was his best man. Groomsmen were Logan Biggs, son of Donald, Greg Marx and Jeff Pitman. After the ceremony, the reception was held in The Peabody’s Skyway Ballroom. The room was beautifully decorated with calla lilies and candlelight. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner and dancing, which was made possible by Ken Nelson, The Peabody’s event coordinator. “For us, everything about our wedding was perfect,” Christine said. “What made it even more special was being surrounded by our family and friends, who traveled from both coasts and many places in between to celebrate the beginning of our new lives together.”

RSVP Featured Wedding

Photos by Fredtography

HINTON & HASSEL 10 • 20 • 12

Dr. Danielle Hinton, daughter of Mrs. Helen Hinton of Hueytown, Alabama and the late Mr. Ebb Hinton, and Sean Hassel, son of Mr. and Mrs.

Mike Hassel of Bellefontaine, Ohio, were married in an intimate setting on the patio of the lake house at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Alabama. A harpist was the featured musician during the morning ceremony, which took place on October 20, 2012. The bride was dressed in a Badgley Mischka design, while the groom wore a tuxedo from Vera Wang’s men’s collection. Surrounded by black and white décor with red flowers, guests listened to entertainment provided by jazz recording artist Eric Essix. They also enjoyed mimosas and hors d’oeuvres before a luncheon of Southern-style dishes. In lieu of a groom’s cake, guests received favors of individually boxed cupcakes in the groom’s favorite flavor, lemon. As a tribute to the bride, a former cheerleader, and the groom, an avid Ohio State University sports fan, the guests bid them farewell while waving red pompoms. The couple rode away in a white 1959 Jaguar for a weekend retreat at a nearby spa resort. They later honeymooned at a luxury resort on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize.



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Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala Fun Before Football

Hardine and Michael Sadler

Judy and Ronnie Lee



ootball rivalries between the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane and Iowa State Cyclones were set aside (at least temporarily) to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the blockbuster AutoZone Liberty Bowl Presidents’ Gala. Held the night before the big football game, the black tie event at The Peabody capped a week of bowl-related festivities for 27,000 or so visiting fans as well as sportsloving Memphians. The evening began with cocktails in the Continental Ballroom, where many of the 1,000 guests were greeted by the charming Miss AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Jessi Young, who looked exquisite in a turquoise Sherri Hill gown. Spotted in the crowd were Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey; General Harry Montgomery of the Tennessee Air National Guard; Duane Wilson, chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Tulsa; former Boston Celtic and current Memphian Michael Sadler; and Greater Memphis Chamber board member Carolyn Hardy. Music was provided by “piano men” Hudson and Saleeby, whose rockin’ performance had couples filling the dance floor by the end of the cocktail hour. Dinner was served in the Grand Ballroom, where tightly packed tables sported black linens with alternating red and blue runners that matched the two colors of the competing teams. Bottles of Liberty School wine, placed on either side of the white dahlia centerpieces, seemed appropriate for a bowl game celebrating liberty. The room grew still as Memphis Mayor A C Wharton delivered a moving invocation that touched on the importance of liberty. Steve Ehrhart, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl executive director, continued the tradition of presenting the head coaches’ wives, Vickie Rhoads (Iowa) and Angie Blankenship (Tulsa). As Andy Childs and his band provided dinner music, guests dined, but without a doubt, the evening’s highlight came when The Temptations gave a dazzling performance. Guests crowded onto the dance floor to sway and sing along to legendary Motown hits such as “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do” and “Can’t Get Next to You.” Afterward, The Temptations were presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award by Ray Pohlman, president of the 2012 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Although the gala went late, and many guests faced a full day of other events, including the football game itself, people lingered as tables were cleared and once again took to the floor as Andy Childs resumed playing. Meanwhile, Hudson & Saleeby returned to the Continental Ballroom. The next day, Tulsa would beat Iowa State 31–17, but the night of the gala, everyone felt like a winner. See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Jenna Stonecipher and Eric Williamson

Story by Jeannie Mandelker Photos by Don Perry

Walter and Carolyn Bailey

Hemmy and Rick Patel

Mark and Tracy McFall

Vickie Rhoads and Angie Blankenship

Ned Biggs, Hallie McKay, Mary Alice Ruleman and Kevin Alexander

Ray and Anita Pohlman

EVENT Kim and Craig Fraser


Alan and Debbie Carey

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Pam and Jack Michael

Celeste and Mike Longo

Chris and Ashley Crawford RSVP


Jim and Barbara Phillips

Heidi Scartozzi and Ghee Alexander

Miss AutoZone Liberty Bowl Jessi Young

Pam Kimery, Anna Katherine Pickle and Dawn Graeter

Donna and Pat Hoffman

Ginny and Col. Mark Devine


Toy Bash


Benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs


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Patrick and May Walker

Eric Robinette and Jill Powelson



hristmas might have passed, but it wasn’t too long ago that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis’ staff and volunteers were working as hard as Santa’s elves to put the finishing touches on the organization’s annual Toy Bash benefit at Minglewood Hall. And, all the effort paid off, according to the BGCM vice president of resource development and marketing, Megan Klein, who said the event raised $90,000 and that 300 toys had been collected by night’s end. She added though that the BGCM would still collect toys by title sponsor First Tennessee at its banking locations for five days after the party. “Each of our gifts will be used to give one of our 3,800 members a very Merry Christmas!” said Klein. “We really appreciate everyone who came out to support the event.” In fact, some 700 partygoers came out to support the cause, showing their holiday spirit not only in donations, but also in the level of fun they had. For starters, many grabbed a Coke and had their picture taken with Santa or headed outside to have a pic snapped in the Amurica photo booth, which boasts lots of amusing props from a giant horse head mask to an Asian bamboo hat. Then, there was the amazing sweets display in the 1884 Lounge, dubbed “Santa’s Sweet Shop” for the occasion. Hyped up on sugar from mini cupcakes and cookies from Cookie Couture, chocolate confections from Phillip Ashley Chocolates and gooey doughnuts from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, some patrons headed to the dance floor to get down to the sounds of the Memphis Soul Revue, but still others remained in the dessert area because it also included a scotch and bourbon tasting, courtesy of The Corkscrew. When everyone finally made it inside to the main performance space at Minglewood, there was plenty more action to be had, as an extensive silent auction had been set up, in addition to a couple of open bars and appetizer stations. Hard Rock Café and Wade & Company provided many delicious munchies, including pecan chicken skewers with assorted dips, mac and cheese with several toppings and barbecue sliders with bacon and bleu cheese cole slaw, however the students of the BGCM Technical Training Center’s Garden to Groceries program really added a special touch to the menu by providing dishes they learned to make at school: a hummus tray with pita chips, vegetable towers with goat cheese and black olive tapenade and goat cheese on crostini. Klein remarked of the festivities, “We are extremely appreciative of our title sponsor, First Tennessee, our event chairs, Donna and Jon Van Hoozer, and Bella Baxter Special Events for creating such an incredible evening.”

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Maria Stewart and Joseph Doss

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Nathan Berry

Vance Veazey and Tenley Everette

Pryor Lott and John Watson

Donna and Jon Van Hoozer

Kevin and Betty Grothe

Vinny Borello with Lisa and Jeff Cook

Zanese and Charles Griffin

EVENT TOY BASH Ron and Tracy Morrison

Katie Goings and Shane Moton

Ted Gorman and Nicole Lauchaire

Guy and Leigh Guasco

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Jeff Edgeworth and Brooke Davis



Amy Richmond and Bob Elder

Annie and Ike Christoff

Katie and John Monaghan

Walter and Shirley Banks

Chandra Towler and Brittany Fisher

Mallory Raffensberger and Sam Podesta

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Onsite II



Methodist Cancer Center Luncheon

Art for Hope

“You are an organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of care for families and patients,” said Academy Award®-winning actress Diane Keaton at the 11th annual Methodist Cancer Center Luncheon. The truth of these words was clear to see in the faces of the hundreds of people who were present to donate their money and support for the Methodist Healthcare Foundation Cancer Center. Proudly sponsored by the West Clinic, the luncheon was held in the Grand Ballroom of The Peabody with special guest entertainment by Pat Register and, of course, Diane Keaton, who spoke about her own struggles with family illness and the saving qualities of love during dark times. The Methodist Cancer Center is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to offering physical, emotional and spiritual support to patients that need it the most. Savannah Stewart, a cancer survivor, spoke of her thankfulness for the Cancer Center during her diagnosis of breast cancer, moving the crowd to give a standing ovation. All proceeds went to the Methodist Healthcare Foundation Cancer Center. Story by Rachel Warren Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick and Rachel Warren

Savannah Stewart and Diane Keaton

Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon

Teach for America Sponsor A Teacher Event

Hope House board members like Celine Croce, Denise Fabian, Diane Leopold and Debby Stephens came out for the organization’s 11th annual Art for Hope, but so did a number of first-time attendees. Held at the Clark Opera Memphis Center, the event that boasted works by more than 50 local artists also attracted a new presenting sponsor, in Medtronic. Medtronic senior scientist Erick Vasquez, chairman of the Medtronic Triangle Alliance, an employee resource group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, said he was proud that his company was sponsoring Art for Hope and that Hope House’s mission [to serve children and families impacted with HIV/AIDS in the Memphis community] was near and dear to him. Featured items included everything from still lifes by new artist participant Jean Potempa to crochet hats by Luna Kelondra, with 40 percent of all art purchases benefiting Hope House. Total, nearly $17,000 was raised this night.

“Celebrate the Joy” proved the perfect theme for the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon considering the time of year the auxiliary members gathered at the University Club. Chaired by Debbie Bryan, Charlotte Neal and Carol Wolff, the benefit truly captured the spirit of the holiday season with an uplifting musical program by Terri Theil, Lenora Morrow, the René Koopman Trio (consisting of Koopman, Dr. Tim Goodwin and Tony Thomas) and a group carol of “White Christmas.” During the occasion, Captain Barbara Rich also introduced the auxiliary’s 2013 officers, which includes Mary Ellen Chase as the incoming president, and Rich further announced that she was pleased with all the Salvation Army Angel Tree donations people had given for seniors and children at area malls. “We’re a conduit for generous Memphians, and they use our organization for their generosity— that’s what Christmas joy is all about,” Rich said.

Referred to as a “celebration of sponsors and teachers” by Teach for America Memphis’ executive director Athena Turner, the Sponsor A Teacher Event helped facilitate introductions between the nonprofit’s corps members and their respective donors. Those getting to know each other at the event, held at the Memphis Botanic Garden, included the likes of donor Julie Ellis, who met corps member Sophie Edwards, Louis Wittenberg, who engaged in conversation with corps member Jordan Simpson, and Willie and Mike Wood, who both got acquainted with the corps member they sponsor, Jose Bonilla. Interestingly, Bonilla, a native of El Salvador, is a teacher at Treadwell Elementary who was nominated last year for a Commitment to Excellence Award through the White House and a Prestige Award through Memphis City Schools. Bonilla serves as just one of many examples though of the kind of passionate educators who come out of the program, as evidenced when corps member Lauren Anderson, a local kindergarten teacher, spoke on the importance of the Teach for America experience. She remarked, “We’re here in a fight to make sure each child in this city is educated!”

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Betty Dupont with Jim and Bobbie McLaughlin Charlotte Neal, Carol Wolff and Debbie Bryan

Trudy Robertson and Amanda Golightly

Wynn Scott and Kelly Jo Graves

Story and Photos by Leah Fitzpatrick

Lenox Warren and Sarah Stedman

Athena Turner, Doug Edwards and Lauren Anderson Celine Croce, Denise Fabian, Diane Leopold and Debby Stephens

Helen Ruth Bourgoyne, Jean Breedlove and Martha Gardiner

Erick Vasquez and Kristi Frisch

Gloria Nobles, Mary Nelson and Hilda Mullen

Louis Wittenberg and Jordan Simpson

An old-fashioned tent revival, though not of the spiritual type, transpired last November in one of downtown’s most historic neighborhoods, which is why you can imagine that it was called the Victorian Village Tent Revival. Held in Victorian Village Park on Adams Avenue at Neely Street, the goal of the festivities was to spur neighborhood revitalization efforts and to add more members to the community’s nonprofit group, Victorian Village Inc. Guests also got a glimpse inside the newly opened Mallory-Neely House with their ticket, in addition to a yummy catfish lunch by Trolley Stop Market. And as volunteers “testified” to the power of the neighborhood, the sound of bluegrass music and gospel choirs filled the air. To learn more about Victorian Village redevelopment plans, visit

Savvy Santa’s helpers and earlybird elves kicked off the shopping season at the annual Memphis College of Art Holiday Bazaar Opening Night Reception. MCA’s Rust Hall in Overton Park was festively filled from floor to ceiling with original art and handmade crafts by MCA students, staff, faculty and alumni, and the people who came to purchase the pieces packed the space even more. Artists Funlola Coker and Kassey Pass injected a little bit of Halloween into the Christmas spirit with Day of the Dead calavera (skull) earrings and hand-knit monster hats. New this year was a featured piece chosen in a student contest to represent the MCA Holiday Bazaar: a sculpture by Evan Lebaroff entitled “My Favorite Things.” A portion of proceeds from all sales will be added to the MCA Scholarship Fund.

Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh

Story and Photos by Kelly Cox

Sister Myotis’ Karaoke Smackdown III (Holiday Edition) Beloved local comedic characters Sister Ima Lone, Sister Myotis and Sister Velma Needlemeyer helped usher in the holidays at a fund-raiser benefiting Theatre South and Voices of the South. Referred to as Sister Myotis’ Karaoke Smackdown III (Holiday Edition), the event took place Friday and Saturday night in early December at Theatre South, located inside the basement of First Congregational Church in Cooper-Young. Outgoing or shy, karaoke lovers with all sorts of personalities and of various ages, came to sing their hearts out along to tracks played by deejays from River City Karaoke & DJ Service. For instance, older ladies going as the duo “Bah & Humbug” ruled the stage on Friday night singing “Delta Dawn,” while a clerical worker won over fans the next night with a strong Bonnie Raitt cover. Eventually, attendees gave their voices a rest and enjoyed appetizers arranged by Voices of the South friend and volunteer Robert Tackett, as well as festive libations. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Chris Pugh

Leadership Memphis Alumni Holiday Party Mercedes-Benz of Memphis stayed open after hours for the Leadership Memphis Alumni Holiday Party last December. Corporate sponsors and community partners joined alumni at the celebration, which featured food truck fare of healthy menu items as part of Healthy Memphis Common Table’s Million Calorie Reduction Match—an effort that urges companies to offer nutritious food at business gatherings. Those participating food trucks included Rock ‘n Dough Pizza (with Jeremy Denno), Stickem (with Ermyias Shiberou), the Fuel Food Truck (with Chris Watson) and YoLo Frozen Yogurt. With the holidays approaching, Leadership Memphis also used the occasion to get people to donate nonperishable food items to the MidSouth Food Bank—something members began doing at the previous holiday party when they donated 1,000 cans. Story by Leah Fitzpatrick Photos by Don Perry

Peggy Lovell and Jewell Rosenberg Murray Riss and Shawna Engel

Sister Ima Lone and Sister Velma Needlemeyer Whitney Jo with Teresa and Bill Bullock

Harry Brown and Didi Montgomery Holly Ashmore and Matt Writt

Debra Streeter and DeKyndall Johnson

Jessie Dziorney and Iryna Kurylo

Alison Berry and Brian Fruits

Eddie Thomas, Yancy Villa-Calvo and Mauricio Calvo

Michael and Wesley LaRue

Donald Grayer, Nikki and Shane Evans and Roby Williams

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MCA Holiday Bazaar Opening Night Reception


Victorian Village Tent Revival


Onsite III

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Onsite IV



Mid-South AIDS Awareness Day

SPAYtacular Gala and Silent Auction

“Rev’s” Dinner

English Speaking Union Christmas Dinner

For the first time since joining forces in 2002 to form the MidSouth AIDS Fund, supporters of the nonprofit held a conference in Memphis in an effort to raise awareness about the HIV virus and support for those afflicted with it. The event was held in conjunction with World AIDS Day on December 1, 2012, and on its eve, community members gathered at the home of Paula and Cliff Barnes to kick off the event. “This is the kick-off party to our first Faith in AIDS Conference in Memphis,” said the fund’s executive director Dustin James. “We have the fifth largest HIV affected rate in the nation. We are trying to combat AIDS on a very local level.” The conference was held to address the alarming HIV/AIDS rates in Shelby County and to explore ways the faith community can create closer working relationships with people who have been infected. For more information, visit

Millions of stray dogs and cats are euthanized every year, particularly due to overpopulation. Mid-South Spay and Neuter Services hopes to combat the problem on a local level by providing affordable spay and neuter services to the Mid-South area, and since its inception in 2005, has performed 22,000 procedures. As a nonprofit, it relies on donations and fund-raisers, with the annual SPAYtacular Gala and Silent Auction being one of its biggest. Last year’s sixth annual event, held in December at the Jack Robinson Gallery downtown, had plenty to offer. In addition to its usual legion of silent auction items, there was an angel tree that supporters could take part in to sponsor a surgery for a lowincome pet owner. There was also a fine spread, and Vanessa Winter and Deering and Down entertained. “Poppy” and “Lancelot” even helped get everyone in the spirit, as they took time from their usual duties working for the Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option to greet everyone and get a biscuit.

Rather than force them to stand in line or fight over parking spaces, The Woman’s Exchange held a special dinner and gave all of its members an equal chance to try one of Memphis’ favorite dishes—Emanuel “Rev” Bailey’s famous tenderloin. “Everyone loves Rev’s tenderloin,” said Woman’s Exchange member Anne Piper. “It’s always a popular day when he serves it.” Held during the Christmas season, the special “Rev’s” Dinner was a members-only event, with everyone dressed in elegant holiday attire. The dinner was held in the organization’s shop and Tea Room, located at 88 Racine Street and open for lunch Monday through Friday. All proceeds benefited the 127-year-old consignment organization, which sells handmade goods for local artisans.

The English Speaking Union formed a branch in Memphis in an effort to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English. Hugo Dixon established the local chapter, and according to local club member Charlotte Neal, “did so much for this city.” To continue his legacy, club members hold an honorary dinner each year to acknowledge the good works of one of its own. This year, they selected Dr. Bill Long. “He’s also done so much for this city, and for the club,” Neal said. The dinner was held during the Christmas season at the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club and included Christmas music performed by René Koopman, Dr. Tim Goodwin, Tony Thomas and Doug Saleeby. “It’s a big night,” Neal said. The ESU offers speaking engagements, a Shakespeare competition and an English-American exchange program throughout the rest of the year.

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Story and Photos by Lesley Young

Marilyn Barbee, Emanuel “Rev” Bailey and Anne Piper

Paula and Cliff Barnes

Brandy Sims, Paige Walkup, Molly Foreman and Elle Perry

Susan and Dr. Bill Long

(Seated) Jean and Mike McSwain; (Standing) DeeDee Laughlin and Camilla Barber Dr. Edward Kaplan and Donn Southern

Liz Rincon and Jake Brown Valerie Smith, Sarah Tinkler and Bobby Carter

Madge Bares, Morgan Logerot and Jody Koster

Kelsey and Clayton Taylor

Bob and Jenny Richardson

Meegie Glass with Kay and Jim Liles


After Hours A photo collage of the latest business happenings

Indigo Grand Reopening Party

Christmas Mix & Mingle/An Evening of Private Shopping at James Davis Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Crye-Leike East Memphis Holiday Party

Eric Martin, Kelly Martin and Isabell Gault Megan and Carol Stout with Nan Lee

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Willie Brooks and Stephon Coleman

63 Tom Davis, Janie Hopkins and Walker Hays

Grand Reopening Celebration and Spring Trunk Show at The Pink Door

Bridgette Rawls, James Malone and Beverly Booker

Nick and Gail French with Jim Pascover Mimi Taylor, Ginger Collier, Semmes Humphreys and Claiborne Collier

Gracie and Rachael Cantrell

Sara Hall and Reginald French

Tom Kimbrough, Robin Fauser and Harold Crye


Terri Hornbeck and Joe Sharp






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Cosmic Effortless Unite Retort Acted Dined Pretentious Surfaced Document of ownership Midwestern state Yinʼs partner Chew out



64 65 66 67 68

You may pucker up for one Recess Domestic friends Austin novel Lack


1 Puffs 2 Adores 3 Elude 4 Join by heating 5 Little boy in cartoons 6 Mental sight 7 Edge 8 Beech 9 Smarted 10 Gratuity 11 Boxer Muhammad 12 Sleeping place 15 To make a search 20 Thought 22 Small and glittering 26 Changes 27 Stairway post 28 Marry secretly

29 Yangʼs partner 30 Traditional Valentineʼs Day gift 31 Mined metals 33 Large venomous snake 34 Do over

35 These are exchanged at a wedding 36 Pros opposites 39 Romantic Valentineʼs symbol 40 Half a dozen 42 Ogled 43 Military officer 46 White-flowered plant 48 Ceiling supports 49 Rationalism 50 Open mouthed 51 Strain 52 Sharp 54 Link 56 Baseballʼs Nolan 57 Recipe amount (abbr.) 58 Frost 59 Child 61 Masculine pronoun

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For underwriting information, call 901-678-2560 Visit us online at wumr


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1 Moved air 16 5 Soil 19 9 Poke 13 Itʼs in the air 23 14 Native ruler 15 Steps for crossing a 33 34 fence 16 Elliptic 38 17 Your title 41 18 Ancient Roman god 44 of love 47 19 Marriage ceremony 21 Black 23 Compass point 57 58 24 Stamping tool 63 25 City in W. Oregon 29 Affirmative 66 30 Outer garment 32 Eastern state (abbrev) 33 Common girlʼs name 36 We exchange them on Feb. 14 37 The other half of Jima 38 Against, slangily 39 Dear 40 Tier 41 Womanʼs partner 42 Allows to borrow 43 A bridal couple may walk up one




Edited by Ruth Cassin







RSVP Crossword


By Dennis Phillippi

to Orlando. We weren’t allowed to actually name the amusement park in question, but we rode on the monorail nearby, stealing footage of the outside of the park, and you know, honking the contest. Just the promotions guy and I were there, and we had a perfectly pleasant experience. And, that was it. The job was done, and it was back to auditioning for commercials for car lots and burger chains. Honestly, I don’t think I ever even saw any of the promos. But, then some guy decided to open up a fast food place, and he wanted Joe Cool to come to the grand opening as a draw for kids. He was informed, and rightly so, that there was no Joe Cool. That was just for the one contest, and it was over. The guy was apparently very persistent, so I get a call asking if I can show up and sign a few pictures for the kids, and pocket another couple of hundred bucks.

In the early days, since no one had anticipated doing a kid’s show in the offing, the cartoons were public domain stuff from the Forties, with stunningly politically incorrect content, much of which was World War II propaganda. Well, those “few pictures” turned out to be more than 400 Polaroids taken with kids who had made their parents drag them from places as far flung as Jonesboro and Jackson. As you can imagine, someone suddenly smelled money. In short order, a set was built in an otherwise completely unused studio, and I was yelling my head off half a dozen times a day in between cartoons. In the early days, since no one had anticipated doing a kid’s show in the offing, the cartoons were public domain stuff from the Forties, with stunningly politically incorrect content, much of which was World War II propaganda. Even with those as our main product, and an almost unbearably loud and pushy me hosting, kids tuned in by the thousands. The voice that some of you may remember was a raspy shout that seemed designed to strip my vocal chords of any long-term use. The ridiculous Hawaiian shirts, white pants and turquoise Chuck Taylor All Star high-tops were all leftovers from the camera giveaway concept, but no one ever thought to go in a

different direction, so I was stuck with them. This set in motion nearly a decade of leading a double life. At night, I was doing stand-up in comedy clubs, and during the day, I was Memphis’ only commercial television children’s personality. This meant that for a number of years I would never allow myself to be seen by kids in public doing anything that was inappropriate for them to see. That meant a lot of draft beers poured into soda cups and furtive smoking under the bleachers at a ball game. Fairly quickly, it became necessary to adjust the content of my comedy act so that parents wouldn’t go home in a bad mood from being made fun of at a comedy show and maybe have a few too many drinks and decide to tell their kid what “Joe Cool” was really like. Not that my behavior didn’t stop people from talking about what “Joe Cool” was really like, especially kids. During those years, rumors would sweep through the kids community of Memphis that Joe Cool hated kids or that he was really the guy in the big red pitcher suit. I spent plenty of time with the sweaty kid in that inflated pitcher costume, and believe me, he was no Joe Cool. He was a miserable intern being kicked from behind by 10 year olds. I got to do a lot of amazing things hosting Kid’s Club, and I’ll tell you the rest next month. Here’s a hint: We got to go to the Soviet Union.

This pic says it all for us this month!



t was supposed to be a one-time thing, not something that will be mentioned, probably prominently, in my obituary. It was just another audition, for just another commercial. It was 1986, and that audition led to something like eight years of leading a double life. It was the audition to be Joe Cool. Here’s what happened: Polaroid was marketing a new camera to kids. It was called the “Kid’s Cam,” and it came in pink for girls and purple for boys. The company was spreading around some national promotional money, and some of it landed at WPTY, back when it was an independent station. Simply put, there was money to put together a contest to get kids to notice these cameras, and the grand prize was a trip to Orlando to the big theme park there. The stations were free to set it up however they chose, and the promotions director at WPTY thought it would be fun to have a surfer character, with sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts and the like—someone kids might mistake for a teenager. Again, it was supposed to be a one-time thing. At the time, I had been in Memphis for a year or so and was working at a comedy club on Highland, the late lamented Sir Lafs-A-Lot, and there were a bunch of us young comics who were asked to audition. It was a motley crew of guys who were just trying to hammer out what they were going to be onstage. In those days, there were a couple of characters on television, one of whom was a computer generated thing called Max Headroom, and another was a shouting pitchman for a hamburger chain called, if I remember right, Cowboy Sid. In order to get noticed at the audition, I did sort of a combination of the two, a yelling, hyperactive goofball with crazy gestures and every bit of energy a 22 year old who drank a lot of coffee could pour into it. The thinking, of course, was since it was a one-off deal, it wouldn’t be something I’d have to live down for any length of time. Really, it was mostly the appeal of the free trip to Orlando to shoot the promos that made me do it, rather than the $250 the gig paid. As you’ve no doubt guessed, I did get the job, and spent a few days in sunny Florida, screaming into the lens about how kids could win a free camera or even a trip

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Posing with Elvis

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ormer Memphian Lee Secrest has fond memories of Elvis Presley and is pictured above at age 16 with the King himself at the Mid-South Fairgrounds. This photograph was taken early in the morning of August 16, 1962, which happens to be 15 years to the day of Elvis’ death in 1977. PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE SECREST If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Leah Fitzpatrick at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to All photos will be returned promptly.

RSVP Magazine February 2013  

RSVP magazine is like no other publication in the city of Memphis. What began as simply “The Society Pages” more than a decade ago has evolv...

RSVP Magazine February 2013  

RSVP magazine is like no other publication in the city of Memphis. What began as simply “The Society Pages” more than a decade ago has evolv...