Page 1

Imagine Ball

Military Masquerade Ball

Night to Unite

1146 Irwins Gate Drive

1273 Marsh Springs

2036 Flowers Oak Cove

Collierville, TN 38017

Collierville, TN 38017

Germantown, TN 38138




This home's open floor plan and spectacular outdoor cooking area & living space are the perfect setting for entertaining family and friends. The outdoor cooking area includes gas grill, Big Green Egg, granite counters, breakfast bar, TV and cozy fireplace. Braystone Park features a neighborhood pool, playground, tennis courts, and soccer field. This beautiful home was under contract the first day on the market!

The gorgeous home located in the sought after Creekside subdivision features 5 bedrooms/4.5 baths with upgrades & architectural details throughout including a gourmet kitchen, wrought iron staircase, 2 story foyer, nail dn HW floors, upgraded cabinetry, plantation shutters + more! The second bedroom or office down has a private bath & large walk in closet. The second floor includes 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths plus a spacious playroom & bonus room. Nice yard w/ covered patio! 3 car garage!

Amazing French Country home In The Heart of Germantown , Minutes From Saddle Creek and East Memphis, this home is Move in Ready with Master and second Bedroom Down this Home has Beautiful Hardwoods, Chef's Kitchen with Large Hearth Room which over looks Park Like Setting in well Landscaped Backyard . covered Patio, 3 car garage, Irrigation, Large Bedrooms throughout, Large Bonus Room and Office upstairs Home has been Professionally Staged by Pop of Color.

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist ©

Nancy Cunningham 901.569.2389 cunningham@

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist ©

Sissy Vaughan 901.870.6227 vaughan@

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist ©

Nancy Huddleston 901.484.9494 huddleston@

3458 Kel Creek Cove Memphis, TN 38122


Cathy Banks 901.606.2374

Marina Brinkley 901.619.4023

Laura Clark 901.483.2117

Tammy Davis 901.626.6674

Jason Gaia 901.338.6677

Sally Isom 901.219.8882

Jill McKnatt 901-828-5035

Janey Outlan 901.487.3292

Alta Simpson 901.484.6040

Marty Smith 901.674.1031

Barbara Weir 901.412.7489

Mary Williams 901.283.7795

Fabulous home in this beautiful & gated community! 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, (Jack and Jill bath) for the 2 bedrooms. Beautiful hardwood floors, 10' ceilings, keeping room off kitchen, den with fireplace, play/media room, large master bedroom with luxury bath & 13x10 closet. Beautiful back yard with wonderful covered patio perfect for entertaining. Co-listed with Meredith McDonald, Hobson Realtors, 901-761-1622 Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist ©

Bill Maury 901.751.4311 maury@ 5865 Ridgeway Center Pkwy Ste. 105 Memphis, TN 38120 901.259.8550

3276 Goodman Rd. Southaven,MS 38672 662.548.2000

968 Civic Center Drive Ste. 103 Collierville, TN 38017 901.259.8500

A boutique for the selective shopper

CONTENTS May 2019 Features

Signature Memphis • 12 Bob Berry

Carnival Memphis King

StreetSeen • 16 Erling Jensen

Chef and owner of Erling Jensen The Restaurant

StreetSeen • 20 Kristin Jones

Building a fashion design business

RSVPhillippi • 49

Reunited And It Feels So Meh Spending a night interacting with people not an attractive possibility


Chris Kellmeyer and Amy Fortune

Memphis Moments • 14, 18, 19, 28, 29, 36, 37, 38, 39, 44 & 46

Dion and Emily Chavis

Renee and Kayla Acuff

Night to Unite • 22

Imagine Ball • 30

Night to Unite commemorated the 95th anniversary of United Way of the Mid-South.

Hundreds of supporters came together to raise money for American Cancer Society.

Cover Photo: Ann and Joe Bishop at Imagine Ball. Photo by Don Perry Contents Photo: South Main Street, Memphis TN. 4


May 2019

Ronnie and Michelle Morris

Military Masquerade Ball • 40

Spirited fundraiser designed to raise money to help veterans and spread awareness.


Happy Happy Graduation Mother’s Day 4615 POPLAR AVE.•SUITE 3•MEMPHIS•901.590.3647•COTTONROWUNIQUES.COM MONDAY CLOSED•TUES-WED 10-5:30•THURS 10-6:30•FRI 10-5•SAT 9-4•SUN 10-2

RSVP Staff


Volume XXV • Number V

Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue

May 2019 Publisher Roy Haithcock Editor Emily Adams Keplinger Copy Editor/Accounting Ruth Cassin Contributing Writers Bill Bannister Virginia M. Davis­­­ Dennis Phillippi Gaye Swan Art Director Kim Coleman

Chris Pugh

Account Executive 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.

Photographers Baxter Buck Don Perry Steve Roberts Account Executives Chris Pugh Carter Davis 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 Visit us online at:

Could you host a Golden Guest? ●

For a weekend or a couple of weeks

All medical care covered

For information email or call 901-755-5607 and leave a message

Carter Davis

Account Executive

Carter is native Memphian and a veteran of the broadcast industry, and magazine publishing. He is also a freelance voiceover talent and can be heard on WKNO 91.1FM on Sundays. Carter is an avid animal lover and likes to work with aquariums as a hobby. He enjoys his East Memphis home with his wife and 2 dogs, and 6 cats. 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 Fax: 901-276-7785 Follow us on:

Kim Coleman RSVP Memphis Magazine

Copyright 2019 Haithcock Communications, Inc.

Art Director

Kim oversees all visual aspects of the magazine — advertising and editorial. Her career encompasses working with both print and digital media for magazines, newspapers and e-publications. Kim and her husband are raising their two children in the Cooper-Young area where their family enjoys the artistic atmosphere and entrepreneurial spirit of Midtown.

May 2019



From the Editor



his issue showcases quite a few of the Carnival Memphis parties. Although “Carnival Week” does not kick-off until the end of this month with the annual Crown & Sceptre Ball on May 31, the Grand Krewes of Carnival Memphis have been busy holding their coronations and announcing their royal courts. But these groups are more than just showy pomp and pageantry. Sure they thrive on fun, but they also function as support groups for Carnival Memphis. “These organizations, currently called Grand Krewes, have members from many walks of life and throughout the Memphis area,” explained Ed Galfsky, Executive Director of Carnival Memphis. “Each Grand Krewe is an autonomous organization, having its own board of directors, royalty and members. But they all come together to help raise funds for our Children’s Charity Initiative (CCI).” Galfsky continued, “Each year since 1999, Carnival Memphis has selected different agencies that work to improve the quality of life for children throughout the community to receive funds. The 2019 Children’s Charities are The Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc., Palmer Home for Children and Porter-Leath.” Living up to its slogan, “Party With a Purpose,” Carnival Memphis has donated over $2,800,000, including matching funds, to local children’s charities since the inception of the CCI (a 501c3 non-profit organization). Additionally, the mission of Carnival Memphis continues to recognize and promote an industry that has a major economic impact on the Mid-South community. The 2019 Business and Industry Salute honors the Home Furnishings & Decor Industry. Bob Berry, Worlds Away co-founder, is serving as Carnival Memphis King 2019. Get to know more about him through our profile feature, Signature Memphis. There’s more fun on tap this month. Our very own Memphis in May International Festival, one of the leading festivals in North America, offers a month-long celebration. And this year, in celebration of Memphis’ 200th anniversary, the festival is honoring the colorful history, rich culture, food and music of Memphis. In addition to the well-known weekend events, like Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the Great American River Run, there’s also a new event — Celebrate Memphis. Make plans to join in “Celebrating 200 Years and a New Century of Soul!” To see the full calendar of events, including sanctioned events, go to the “2019 Salute” tab on the festival’s website,

Emily Adams Keplinger



May 2019





Signature Memphis


Bob Berry King, Carnival Memphis/Founding Partner Worlds Away LLC/ Founding Partner BBC, LLC/ Partner WoodBerry LLC/ Partner BobaLu LLC Hometown: Clarksdale, MS Favorite Song: I love Music! There are too many to just pick one song, but the last thing I played on Pandora was a song by John Prine.

Your Lucky Charm: Lucy Woodson Your Best Quality: My sense of humor A Nonliving Celebrity/Role Model You Would Invite to Dinner: It’s a toss up between Jonathon Winter or Robin Williams.

Your Favorite Memphis “Thang”: All the great music that started here in


Favorite Place to Travel: Europe Best Memphis Hangout: Would have to be my kitchen or the golf course First Car You Owned: “The Fat Man” - a 1982 maroon Toyota Celica Place You Go to Think: My bed at 3 a.m. Favorite Southern Idiom: “There is a fine line between a Hair of the Dog and a two-day drunk” — this was told to me years ago at a wedding in South Carolina by the bride’s grandfather

Best Advice You Ever Got: “Work hard, be honest and fair, and the rest will work it self out.”

Special Moment During Your Year as King of Carnival: It is a Photo by Steve Roberts

very special experience and I am honored to have been chosen to be King. Carnival Memphis is an 88-year-old Memphis tradition with and incredible history of supporting our city. I have been around Carnival for a lot of years and seen how much good it does in the community. I really look forward to our Day Runs with the Boll Weevils — where we visit schools, retirement homes and hospitals during the week of Carnival.



May 2019













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Memphis Moment


Courtney and Jon Neal

Dr. Ching Hon Pui, Dr. Arnel Pallera, Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon, Dr. Kurt Tauer, and Dr. Lee Schwartzberg

Babbie Lovett and Charlotte Neal

Courage Thru Cancer Celebrating Heroes


new event for the Courage Thru Cancer organization brought a crowd to The University Club of Memphis to honor a group of Mid-South oncologists, each who has made a difference in the lives of so many people. Testimonies from patients of each honoree warmed the hearts of oncologists Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon, Dr. Arnel Pallera, Dr. Ching Hon Pui, Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, and Dr. Kurt Tauer. Additionally, a new award was announced, the Nancy and Glenn Crosby Service in Hope Award, which honored the couple for living their lives through service to nonprofit organizations and through medicine. The award recognized Virginia Steele, a 2016 Courage Thru Cancer honoree. Jon Neal, founder of Courage Thru Cancer, explained, “Courage Thru Cancer is a Mid-South nonprofit organization that makes certain that any person diagnosed with cancer does not face their crisis alone.”

Mark Crosby, Andrew Crosby and Scott Crosby

Katie Gronostaj and Katie Maxwell

Kim Culbreath and David Claunch

Sommer Collins and Heather Edgeworth

Lauren Wiener with Mitch and Kelly Jo Graves

Jack and Leighanne Soden with Jon Thompson

Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger



May 2019



Chef and Owner of Erling Jensen The Restaurant Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Steve Roberts



“I love being a part of people’s special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries. Many times I’m now serving the second generation of some families. And I love to see people happy when they leave.”


riginally from Frederikshavn, Denmark, Erling Jensen started down the culinary path at a young age.

“I started cooking at the age of 14 when I enrolled in a culinary school,” explained Jensen. “It is very different in Europe. Students can go to a regular school and to a trade school, like a culinary school, at the same time.” And that is just what Jensen did. After four years, he graduated and said that like many Europeans, he wanted to come to America. He contacted the Danish ambassador who told him to chart his course to Washington DC. Once there, Jensen became a chef at the Danish Embassy. He remained at the embassy for about a year and a half before being hired as Executive Chef at the Prince Hamlet Restaurant by Jorgen Mueller, a Danish Chef/Restauranteur, in Miami, Florida. “I loved it there,” recalled Jensen. “I started doing my own thing, cooking old European dishes like schnitzels and pickled foods, as well as seafood.” As Miami changed, Jensen started to look for a new opportunity. He said that he picked up a copy of The New York Times one day and spied an ad placed by Glenn Hayes, then owner of a restaurant on Monroe in Midtown, La Tourelle. “I gave him a call and got hired over the phone,” said Jensen. “I was at La Tourelle from 1988 until 1996. Glenn was what we now call a

‘foodie.’ We grew together, teaching each other a lot of things — we really put out some good food there. Our menu was more modern than most, with fresh fish from Hawaii and Florida, foie gras, and sweetbreads. We won all kinds of awards for our cooking.” Indeed, during Jensen’s tenure at La Tourelle, the restaurant received the highest culinary ratings in its history. In addition to being the Chef at La Tourelle, Jensen also became First Tennessee Bank's Corporate Executive Chef. “But, I’d always wanted to have my own restaurant,” said Jensen. “That time came in 1996 when I opened Erling Jensen The Restaurant in East Memphis. I chose the location because it was

situated just off Poplar Avenue. I knew it would always have a lot of traffic. Plus the actual building had been an antiques shop previously and was full of inherent charm.” Jensen continued, “My goal has been to give people what they want. Oh, I may bend things little at times, try a few new things and see how people respond, but I still serve some favorites that I started with 22 years ago such as pasta with shrimp and scallops, crab cakes, and rack of lamb.” Jensen’s methods and skills speak for themselves. He has been invited, not once, but twice, to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. And locally, he has earned such accolades as “Best Chef in Memphis,” “Best Restaurant in Memphis,” and “Distinguished Restauranteur of the Year.” When asked what he enjoys about his work, Jensen quickly responded that he feels every day is special. “I love to be with people, some who have followed me for the last 30 years,” replied Jensen. “I love being a part of people’s special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries. Many times I’m now serving the second generation of some families. And I love to see people happy when they leave.” “I’ve always been lucky to have a really good staff,” continued Jensen. “In fact, some of my wait staff has been with me since we opened 22 years ago. And we have a strong kitchen. It is a great feeling to wake up each day and still feel excited about going to work. And now that I have a 5-year-old son, I’m likely to be working until I’m 102.”

May 2019



Memphis Moment


Les Passees 2019 Cabaret Ball


es Passees brought guests to the Memphis Botanic Garden for its 2019 Cabaret Ball, Havana Nights. After a welcome from masters of ceremonies Ron Childers and Joyce Peterson, Les Passees president Suzanne Oliphant and 2019 Cabaret Co-Chairman Kacie Cooper and Missy Green were recognized for their roles, and in turn, they recognized the efforts of all of the Les Passees volunteers. The evening began with a cocktail reception and a silent auction co-chaired by Ginny Dunn and Anca Marr. Then Childers and Peterson announced the presentation of the Living Ads, daughters and granddaughters of Les Passees members, as the young women and their escorts took center stage to represent this year’s sponsors. This year’s Living Ads were Madison Elizabeth Anton, a senior at St. Agnes Academy; Annie Laurie McPherson, also a student at St. Agnes Academy; and Savanna Theresa St. John, a senior at St. Benedict at Auburndale Catholic High School. Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger

Glenn and Martha Carr with Len Pennock


Bill and Julie England

Missy and Phillip Green

Kathy Wilson, Nancy Petree and Judy Ashby

John Bartholomew and Reagan Bugg

Stephen and Kacie Cooper

Dr. Richard and Santhese Meekins

Donna Fields and Virginia Mathis

Dr. Jon Robertson with Julie Stonebarger and Sara Stonebarger

Sarah Pratt and Jenny Pratt

Will and Loghan Taylor

August and Glenn Goerke


May 2019


Memphis Moment

River Oaks Garden Club Oscar Night

O Nancy Cowan, Allison Ann Gusmus and Ann Gusmus

scar Night, often touted as the biggest night in entertainment, was certainly a night to remember for members of the River Oaks Garden Club and their guests. Joan Heflin, party chairman, made sure that party-goers at the Paradiso Cinema in East Memphis felt much like the stars making their way inside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, with a stroll down a red carpet to a private screening of the 91st Academy Awards. Guests dressed for the star-studded evening, with women in gorgeous gowns and gentlemen looking dapper in suits and tuxedos. In the side lobby, a photo backdrop provided a perfect place to capture the moment before going inside to watch the show. Adding to the elegant ambience of the watch party, Carol and Sylvester Thornton catered a lavish selection of beef tenderloin, miniature stuffed potatoes, spinach dip in phyllo cups, dried apricots, seasoned pecans and assorted cheeses. A dessert buffet was provided by club members. Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger

Powell and Harriette Jenkins

Kay and Jim Liles

Patricia Meyers and Ron Cohen

Glenna Flautt and Greg Campbell

LaVerne and Peggy Lovell

Sue and Stephen Lightman

Maggie Cobb Boyd and Deborah Matthews

Kip and Nancy Klepper

Mike and Joan Heflin

John and Gwen Montague

Dr. John and Paula Buttross

May 2019



Kristin Jones Building a fashion design business Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Steve Roberts




ristin Jones is part of the emerging culture of “Makers” in Memphis. As someone who once might have been called a “hobbyist,” the term “maker” has taken on a much deeper meaning as people like Jones use their creative talent to make a living.

“I was born and raised in Memphis, then moved away for college,” said Jones. “A lot about Memphis changed in that time. Memphis had become (and still is) an incubator for the creative community. I’m lucky that I moved back when I did so I could be a part of it.” Jones grew up in southeast Memphis and attended Germantown High School (GHS). Her creative spark began to develop as she worked for GHS TV and the Poplar Pike Playhouse. Rather than play a part on stage, Jones worked behind the scenes; as House Manager for the theater and in Guest Relations at the TV station. She studied theater production at Elon University in Elon, NC; however, after graduation she found herself producing television rather than theater, in New York City. “I began working with reality and documentary shows as an associate producer,” recalled Jones. “It was the hectic pace of my work that made me realize that I needed a better balance in my life. I chose to start knitting and sewing — that’s how I found my passion for fashion design. As I completed my projects, I decided to start a blog. It was a way of saying, ‘Look what I made!’ From responses to my blog I discovered that there was a very big Do It Yourself community. That’s how I met other makers, many who gave me tips and pointers.” Jones moved back to Memphis in 2015. She continued to work remotely for the NYC office of Radical Media, but switched from producing shows to writing their scripts. Once settled in her East

Memphis home, Jones also began building her own fashion design business. “I started working with magazines, submitting my designs and creating clothing — mostly for the home knitters and people creating their own clothing,” explained Jones. “Now I create patterns for DIY magazines, like ‘I Like Knitting’ based out of Chicago and ‘Amirisu’ in Kyoto, Japan.” Jones retains exclusive ownership of the patterns, but the magazines are able to lease them to run in their publications. After the lease is up, purchases for instructions must be made directly through Jones. Through her business arrangement with a number of publications, Jones’ designs have an enormous global audience. For instance, the magazine “Knitty” has 1.5 million monthly readers. “Amirisu” is sold across 14 countries and Prime Publishing, the owner of “I Like Knitting” and other DIY magazines, has 25 million monthly viewers and 2.5 million subscribers. And for those potential customers who like the look of Jones’ fashions, but don’t want to craft themselves, Jones offers the service of custom-making selected items for clients. In addition to her more local following, Jones’ fan base includes people from as far away as Australia, Austria, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan and the UK. One woman from New Zealand who spins and dyes her own yarn even sent Jones several skeins. “The DIY community has been growing for several years, and my design offerings fit right in,” said Jones. “What people want is to make something

interesting and unique, something that they feel ownership of and that isn’t off the rack. The appeal is ageless — from teens to seniors. For younger people, I love to help them enhance their skills, build their confidence and inspire them to succeed. For seniors, it comes down to giving them a social outlet, as well as a way to feel productive.” To learn more about Kristin Jones and her designs, visit her website

May 2019



Night to Unite


Night to Unite


Deborah and Adrian Merrill

Raymond and Carolyn Henderson

United Way of the Mid-South

sold-out crowd enjoyed the colorful and festive Night to Unite, celebrating the 95th anniversary of United Way of the Mid-South. In the heart of downtown Memphis, The Columns was aglow with bright colors and orchids, complemented by the fun touch of flashing sparkling sunglasses and rings – which many guests promptly donned and wore throughout the evening. A lavish spread of heavy hors d’oeuvres from Caesar’s Entertainment featured lobster mac and cheese, pimento crostini with candied bacon, mini seared crab cakes, spiced pork tenderloin, and fruits and cheeses. The mouth-watering dessert shooters, tropical fruit tarts, and petit fours had guests coming back for more. Over in the VIP Lounge, Chef Kelly English delighted tastebuds with delicacies and signature drinks from Iris Etc. Catering. A special treat was his Shakshuka Shrimp and Grits, a Southern take on a North African dish. Open bar stations poured wine, beer, and popular tropical themed cocktails such as Blue Hawaiian and Passion Fruit. Live artist Jamond Bullock worked in acrylic on canvas to create a special mural, while an installation from Memphis College of Art explored an “Interpretation of

Poverty.” The highlight of the evening was the musical lineup, curated by Boo Mitchell, owner of Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios. Guests danced to the amazing sounds of DJ Al Kapone, DJ Oona Mitchell, Carla Thomas, Vaneese Thomas, Marcus King of the Marcus King Band, Hi Rhythm Section, and The Bar-Kays. Katrina Rankin co-hosted and emceed the event, joined by Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson M.D., President and CEO, United Way of the Mid-South. “Since 1923, United Way of the MidSouth has been committed to improving the quality of life for Mid-Southerners by mobilizing and aligning community resources to address priority issues. United Way began with the vision to support local agencies, and the first year we raised $450,000 for 20 agencies,” said Dr. Robinson. “To date, United Way of the Mid-South has raised over $800 million and granted millions of dollars to Mid-South agencies. This event helps us further that mission by raising money to support our Community Impact Fund, which allows us to pool the resources of this community to attack local challenges—like poverty— at its roots. It puts your dollars to work where they can do the most good.”

See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

Sanjeet Rangarajan and Laura Wichman

Scott Maclntire and Lia Lansky



May 2019

John Dunavant and Julie Crawford

Aline Shibata and Chuck Hutton

Story by Gaye Swan Photos by Don Perry

Leslie and John Daniel

Stephanie Douglas, Leslie Dale and Susan Dale

Al Kapone and Oona Mitchell


Night to Unite


overlooking beautiful Greers Ferry Lake in exclusive Enchanted Bluff Estates

THE BEST PLACE TO RETIRE IN ARKANSAS The Premier Lakeview Development on Pristine Greers Ferry Lake, Arkansas Pictured above is the gorgeous view from Tract #5. It is approximately eight acres with a unique, large cave and bluffs. Spectacular! Seller financing for 10% down and the balance over 20 years with no prepayment penalty. Other tracts available Enchanted Bluff Estates is 20 minutes west of Herber Springs, Arkansas, and 65 miles north of Little Rock on all paved roads. Public utilities and protective, restrictive covenants.


Darryl Cleaves and Geraldine Mims

Nick and Jean Morton


Keisha Merritt with Kush and Pooja Shah

Jessica and Matthew Culp

Larry Williams and Robyn Smith

Corey and Michelle Epps

Nick House and Victoria Brayer

May 2019



Night to Unite


Mark and Tanya Hart

Chun and Trykeitha Alexander

Jennifer Jakob and Alix Spencer

Jeremy Crooks and Alex Fountain

Ruby Nichols and Timikia Gibson

Tommy Blaylock, Devin and Jequie Dixon with Eboni Gill



May 2019

Michael and Sheila Young

Tim and Sara Braun

Kurt and Bonnie Voldeng

Harold and Dawn Graeter

Amelia Thompson, Philip Gattas and Elizabeth Packard

Now Dazzling Germantown

9155 Poplar Ave. Suite 18 • Shops of Forest Hill in Germantown • 901.474.7427

Night to Unite


Adam Ryan and Camillia Moore

Nick Kelley and Alexandra Porto

Dion and Emily Chavis

Patrick and Chantel Alexander

Tracy Mitchell, Sherral Mitchell, Dionne Phillips and Willie Mitchell



May 2019

Zach Glover and Karen Lott

Kenya and Corey Layrock

Brianna Guarino and Michael Whaley

Ben and Jane Amaba

Susan and Josh Tulino

Pam Jackson and Janice Hodges with Lori and Jeff Peterson

Memphis Moment


Literacy is Key A Book and Author Event


ook lovers and literacy supporters gathered at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis for the ninth annual Literacy is Key event, presented by the Memphis Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association as a philanthropic endeavor. Literacy is Key is a book and author event, with a luncheon and presentations by three nationally acclaimed authors. Janie Lowery and JJ Keras co-chaired this year’s event and Heather Grosvenor created the floral centerpiece arrangements. Emcee Darrell Greene, of WBHQ Fox 13 News, brought authors Kristina McMorris, Brad Taylor and Anne Bogel onstage to tell their personal stories and share background about their books. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Literacy is Key go to organizations like First Books and other local literary, non-profit organizations.

Kaura Beau, Suzanne Bives, Lynn Slater and Sharon Saia

Story and Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger Cecil and Summer Godman with Liza Grant and Mark Davis

Brenda West and Mary Malone


David Brown and Jay Perkins

Pam Montesi and Debbie Pryor

Gay Landaiche, Samantha Towne and Sarah Laucirica

Carole Pruett and Lillie Kay Mitchell

Betsy Cohen, Dee Stephens and Kim Leonard

Janie Lowery, JJ Keras and Charlotte Bray

Pat Massengill and Tommie Pardue

Bettycarol German, Mark Greaney and Ann Henson

Maggie Cobb Boyd, Melinda Rothenberg and Anne Wesberry


May 2019


Memphis Moment

Carnival Memphis Business and Industry Salute

A Albert Markle and Lillie Kay Mitchell

Bob and Sherry Chimenti

pproximately 500 guests gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Memphis Hilton as Carnival Memphis held their annual Business and Industry Salute Luncheon. This year’s honorees were from the home furnishings and décor industry and included some of the most well-known names in the business. Speakers included 2019 Cook Halle Award winner John Simmons, King’s Award winner Bernice “Buzzy” Hussey, President’s Award winner Jim Graham, and Chairman’s Award winners Greg Campbell and Erick New. Other honorees present were Lee Wang on Creative Co-op, Fourteenth Colony plant manager Bo Graham, Skyros Designs President Kathy Pitts, Bob Berry and Lucy Woodson from Worlds Away, Metal Museum Executive Director Carissa Hussong, and Jamie and Stephen Smith, co-owners of McCarty’s Pottery. Lunch was a chef salad, complete with smoked chicken, cheddar cheese, cucumbers and grape tomatoes, along with desserts of chocolate pie and cheesecake. Carnival-themed centerpieces were available for purchase with proceeds going to this year’s Children’s Charities. Story and Photos by Bill Bannister

Dee Dee and Larry Bryan

Greg Herring and Luke Brown

Laura Cofield and Ashley Reid

Katherine Dobbs with Paula Sansom and Barry Marshall

Burk Forester and Cindy Meade

McKay Dockery with Jenny and Jamie Smith

Hugh Mallory with Claudia Haltom and Randy Noel

Kim Shelby and Holly Bailey

Martha Kelley with Charles Chandler and Lucy Woodson

Kathleen LaFlore with Sam Zalowitz and Norann McManus

May 2019



Imagine Ball


American Cancer Society

T Ricky and Florence Busey

Victoria and Chris Burdeshaw

Imagine Ball

he American Cancer Society (ACS) held its 2019 Imagine Ball at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Hundreds of community and corporate supporters came together to raise money for ACS and its Harrah’s Hope Lodge. The event was co-chaired by Ann Marie Heaslett and Jill Finkey Lucchesi. The evening began as guests mingled in the Carousel Pavilion for a cocktail reception, with Nelson and Newman providing musical entertainment. Appetizers of lollipop chicken and bacon-wrapped dates were passed as attendees circulated between tables to bid on silent auction items, The event’s theme “The Big Top” came to life as fire twirlers and a stilt walker set a carnival atmosphere. A dancer suspended in an inflatable ball performed acrobatic-like feats, and a palm reader told fortunes for all who entered her tent. Additionally, Phancy Photo Booth offered zany props for guests to use while having their pictures snapped as event mementoes. As the program began, gala-goers found their places for a seated dinner catered by Horseshoe Casino. Jeremy Park served as emcee for the event and welcomed the crowd to the gala. The 2019 Imagine Ball honoree was Ricky Busey, Regional Vice President of Human Resources for Caesars Entertainment in Tunica, MS. Recognized as a See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

big advocate for the American Cancer Society Harrah’s Hope Lodge, Busey called the facility the “Statue of Liberty for cancer patients.” As part of this year’s celebration, guests were able to pay special tribute to someone with a Star of Hope. Each dedicated star, in honor or in memory of a loved one touched by cancer, was placed on one of the horses of the fully restored 1909 Dentzel Grand Carousel. Brett Strobbe served as the auctioneer for the event’s live auction, spurring on bidding wars for items like a Wine Cellar Five-Course Dinner for 10, a vacation in Mexico, a trip to St. James’ Club Antigua, and a Iive action painting by Joseph Boyd. Also up for bid were two cage side tickets, along with a pair of MMA gloves and the chance to present the championship belt for V3Fights. As the program came to an end, Bob Nelson & Natchez brought guests to their feet to dance the night away. The 2019 Imagine Ball was presented by Horseshoe Hotel & Casino Tunica. Other event sponsors included West Cancer Center, Baptist Memorial Healthcare and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. The evening’s proceeds will be used to support Harrah’s Hope Lodge, the ACS’ home away from home for cancer patients who travel to Memphis to undergo treatment.



May 2019

Linda and Gus Lauer

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger Photos by Don Perry

Deborah and Adrian Merrill

Natalie and Wayne Sanders

David and Shanae Edwards

Robert and Phyliis Mashburn

Jill Finkey Lucchesi, Ann Marie Heaslett and Connie McIntyre

Lisa and Rodney Douglas

• Imagine Ball


Hank and Helen Bertlesen

Keri and Doug Gage

2110 MERCHANTS ROW • GERMANTOWN, TN 38138 901.385.3115 • TWODOORSDOWNGIFTS.COM Sarah Glaser and Hartwell Strain

Andre Jackson and Tammy Young

Meg and Nick Johnson

Davi LeDet and Tracee Ridley

Stephanie and Dana Haywood

Eric and Jamie McMahon

May 2019



Imagine Ball


Cynthia Smith and Tamika Bonds

David Smalley and Trish Cisarik

Neal Heaslett and Steve McIntyre

Simeon and Shelby Brown

Christina and David Gray

Patrick Collins and Valerie Morris with Linda And Lloyd Lauland



May 2019

Tracy and Julie Flanery

Brooke and Mike Williams

Philip and Lillian Lammers

Tommy and Lauren White

Tammy Hansen with Sabrina and Chris Williams


Logan Welk and Alison Baumen

Imagine Ball

Mickey Cameron

Sherlene Young, Charmaine Freeman and DeAngella Quinn

Allison McCormick and Tammy Sneed

Kelly Lackey and Heather Frame

Demone and Teresa Dickerson

Kimberly and Daniel Pesce

May 2019



Imagine Ball


Meredith and Jeremy Park

Lisa Borden and Carol Bubnick

C.J. and Christina Wiatr

Brett and Veronica Batterson

David Anthony, Renee Acuff and Patrick Doyle



May 2019

Tracy and Jon Trotter

Jo Gilmore and Gokcen Yamandag

Latrice Mclin and Lynn Smith

Parker and Amanda Harris

Justin and Lesa Vernon

Sherlene Young, Charmaine Freeman and DeAngella Quinn

May 2019



Memphis Moment


Grand Krewe of Ennead Coronation Ceremony


hush among their subjects preceded the stately entry of Queen Sahara XXIX and King Ennead XXIX upon the occasion of their coronations as rulers of Ennead, one of 10 groups affiliated with Carnival Memphis. Ennead’s new rulers are also known as Carol Wasielewski and Stephen D. Grushkin, respectively. Their formal coronation ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of Holiday Inn – University of Memphis inaugurated Carnival’s annual whirl of social and philanthropic activities. Memphis Funk-N-Horns provided entertainment during the event. Founded in 1990, Ennead embraces dual purposes: It holds all manner of social gatherings for its members’ enjoyment; as with its fellow Carnival organizations, Ennead’s events raise financial support for Carnival’s Memphis Children’s Charity Initiative. Local nonprofit organizations Neighborhood Christian Center, Palmer Home for Children and Porter-Leath are 2019 beneficiaries of the collective of fund-raising efforts by Carnival Memphis and its affiliated organizations. Story and Photos by Virginia M. Davis Carol Wasielewski and Stephen D. Grushkin

Greg Parker, Ellen Patrick and Richard Raichelson


Anne Manning and Ron Swaffer

Oliver Scoggin, DeAnne Gammon and Sam Bomarito

Jean Oliver and Liza Monaghan

Laura Dearman and Donna Renard

Dottie Crihfield, Lydia Sullivan and Sally Gentry

Eva Clay and Jeff Box

David Gearhardt and Cathy Walsh

Todd and Carmen Hethmon

Leigh McDaniel, Thomas Holmes and Tara Bodansky

Mary Alice and Jom Royko


May 2019


Memphis Moment

Grand Krewe of Sphinx Coronation All Things Southern


he Grand Krewe of Sphinx crowned King Horus LXXIV (Christopher Morledge) and Queen Tiaa LXXIV (Kathleen Mallory LaFlore) in a festive affair at the clubhouse at TPC Southwind. Guests, including past royalty, were on hand to witness the coronation and carry on the tradition of “partying with a purpose.” Outgoing King and Sphinx Chairman Sam Zalowitz said “I thank the Board and Royal Court for their hard work in making this year so successful in supporting this year’s children’s charities; Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc., Palmer House and Porter-Leath.” Party-goers enjoyed libations and hors d’oeuvres as they assembled for the presentation of the flag. Master of Ceremonies Bradford W. Flynn introduced Ken Zimmerman who performed the Star Spangled Banner. Presentation of the Royal Banner by flag-bearer Bill Raiford was followed by the presentation of the 2019 Royal Court. After the Royal Toast and Proclamations, the evening was crowned by the Royal Dance. Story and Photos by Bill Bannister

Sam Zalowitz and Kathleen LaFlore

Kim and Brad Flynn

Becky and George Hawkins

Sarah Bettendorf and Leslie Darr with Taffy Jo and Martha Mayers

John Harknett and Susie Dugger

Nan Buck and Annette Scott

Linda Tripp and Bill Raiford

Bryan Darr and Annie Taylor

Dennis and Ellen Meyer

Michelle Whitley and Christopher Morledge

Dr. Kristin Prien with Edward and Norann McManus

Pam and Michael Wells

May 2019



Memphis Moment


Luxor Coronation The British Are Coming


he Grand Krewe of Luxor prepared for a British invasion in this year’s coronation held at The Esplanade. The red, blue and white table decorations and floral arrangements gave a nod to the flag of the United Kingdom, while small posters and other accents celebrated British contributions to entertainment. Ladies were delighted with the lovely fascinators available on each table and wore them proudly throughout the evening. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres and dancing to live music provided by the Jerry Braxton Band. A breakfast buffet followed the presentation of the royal court, led by King Ramesses XIV David Gearhardt and Queen Nefertari XIV Cathy Welsh Walsh. The evening’s theme was chosen by the Queen. “I am a lifelong anglophile, a lover of all things British,” said Walsh.

Joe and Virginia Lopresti with Kathleen LaFlore and Sam Zalowitz

Story and Photos by Gaye Swan John Flanigan, Mike Honeycutt and John Koshak

David and Mace Gearhardt

John McCormick and Anne Wesberry

Valerie Morris, Cathy Welsh Walsh and Marsha Hardin

Ann Newell and Cindy Hawthorne



May 2019

Susan and Donnie Angel

Chuck and Snookie Newman with Dona and Ron Packer

Aleesa Blum and Frank Garavelli

Vicki and Charles Fioranelli

Sarah Bettendorf, Susan Beaird, Linda Tripp and Ally Luciano

Tracie and Lee Webber

Chip and Sarah Trouy


Memphis Moment

RaMet Coronation Caribbean Nights

T Ellen Meyer, Dr. Donnie Owens and Joann Chumney

he Grand Krewe of RaMet celebrated this year’s Coronation with a tropical twist. The theme of Caribbean Nights was carried out in the delightful centerpieces featuring brightly colored parrots and palm trees, festive floral arrangements, and pirate costumes for the Queen’s pages. “My husband and I missed a Caribbean cruise that our krewe took, and I decided we deserved a Caribbean Night,” said Lillie Kay Mitchell, presented as Queen Maat LXXVII along with her husband Albert Markle, King Ra LXXVI. Carnival royalty and their guests enjoyed an open bar and the lively sounds of the band Memphis Funk-N-Horns. A delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres buffet catered by Me and My Tea Room featured a beautiful charcuterie board and grilled and chilled vegetables, with whiskey moon pies and key lime shooters among the popular desserts. The annual event was held at Opera Memphis. Story and Photos by Gaye Swan

Norann McManus, Susan Jones and Patti Russell

Kaiden Kisner, Zane Kisner, Ann Graham, Elizabeth Quinn and Katherine Quinn

Albert Markle and Lillie Kay Mitchell

Susan and David Orabone with Cindy Mire

Lauren Barr and Charles Piersall

Dennis Meyer and Robin Owens

Cheryl Pennock, Judy Ashby and Susan Beaird

Vickie Carwell and John Goodyear

Sam Zalowitz and Dianne Day

Leslie Darr and Carol Wasielewski

Sarah Bettendorf and Bill Raiford

Dr. Patricia Millikin and Paula Stack

May 2019



Military Masquerade Ball


Military Masquerade Ball

G Pat and Jan Dickey

Maria and Ray Beliles

Alpha Omega Veterans Services

uests attending the third annual Military Masquerade Ball knew there was a fun evening ahead of them as they were greeted with flutes of champagne and performances by stilt walker Mickey Cameron and aerialists Abby Crenshaw, Aubrey DePew and Emily Dison. The spirited fundraiser, held at Memphis Botanic Garden, was designed to raise money to help veterans and spread awareness about Alpha Omega Veterans Services (AOVS). Alpha Omega Veterans Services was one of the first private, nonprofit charitable corporations in the United States to serve homeless and displaced military veterans. Since the Memphis office opened its doors in January 1987, the organization has served nearly 11,000 veterans in the local community, of which over 90 percent have totally reintegrated back into society with secure housing and income. In keeping with a Mardi Gras theme, guests were encouraged to wear masks with their party attire. Colorful strands of beads and fanciful masks decorated the dining tables in Hardin Hall. Chef Kelly English of Cafe Iris, showed off his Creole cuisine with traditional dishes of red beans and rice, chicken andouille jambalaya, crawfish pies, hammock hushpuppies and bread pudding. Chef English also offered deviled eggs, See all the party photos at Password: RSVP

braised chicken thighs and roast beef po’ boys with mushroom debris. For guest Sarah Kilbert, Operations Director of Shelby County Veterans Court, she said that the food, coupled with the opportunity to support AOVS, was a big highlight of the evening for her. The Mighty Souls Brass Band kept things lively and led a second line procession though the venue’s hallways. Party-goers had the opportunity to add to the evening’s coffers by bidding on silent auction items such as a pair of Vera Bradley totes, a basketball autographed by Penny Hardaway, a wine collection from Athens Distributors, autographed photos from Grizzlies players Tony Allen and Mike Miller, a round of golf and lunch for four at Ridgeway Country Club, and a Tailgater’s Delight package that featured a grill coupled with seasonings and sauces from Germantown Commissary, The Rendezvous, and Huey’s. Cordell Walker, executive director of AOVS, said, “We thank everyone who supported our gala. AOVS is a nonprofit organization that helps homeless and disabled military veterans reintegrate into society by providing them with housing and other essential supportive services. Proceeds from this gala will be used to continue our mission of serving our military veterans.”

Tawana and Booker Fleming

Susan and Steve Vescovo


P.Z. and Selby Horton

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger Photos by Don Perry

Diane and David White


Brian and Kayla Hillhouse

Barron Mewman, Sara Helmig, Deni Trone and Brady Ondra

May 2019

Linda and Ron Craver

Military Masquerade Ball


Danielle and Napoleon Bryant

Nick and Ashley Rice

Jimmy and Kentra Sanford

Teresa and Steve Bernhardt

Chuck and Lisa Ward

Olivia Potter, Anna Wohrman, Alexis Myers and Claire McRoberts



May 2019

John and Kirsten Ancona

Caleb Romo and Alyson Young

Dr. Matt and Carol Fields

Elizabeth and Charles Mitchell

Austin Easley, Nick Seccombe and Tyler McClendon


Luis and Colleen Orbegoso

Dennis and Rachelle Hart

Jemela and Neal Zamore

Chris Ware and Sarah Klibert

Louisa and Patrick Munson

Peggy Larkin, Cordell Walker and Rieta Selberg

Military Masquerade Ball

Shelley and Thomas Owens

Abby Crenshaw and Aubrey DePew

Mayor Jim Strickland and Stephanie Beliles

Jerry and Susan Morrison

Stephanie Busby with Christopher and Jacqueline Garner

May 2019



Memphis Moment


Whiskey, Wine and Chocolates Perfect Pairings


uests were greeted with a signature cocktail as they entered Memphis Botanic Garden’s annual Whiskey, Wine and Chocolates, a unique Valentine’s event. This year, both Hardin Hall and the Goldsmith Room were festively decorated with lights, greenery and florals. The main attraction was the sampling of gourmet designer chocolates from chocolatier Phillip Ashley, paired with select whiskeys donated by Old Dominick’s Distillery, a craft beer from Diamond Brewing Company, and delicious wines. The lively sounds of Nick Black had partygoers dancing, while the Amazin’ Grayson strolled from table to table performing magic tricks to great applause. Catered buffet stations offered a wonderful array of hors d’oeuvres including assorted dips, bruschetta, beef tenderloin, and prosciutto. A fireside lounge was open on the patio for those wishing to sample cigars from BeLeaf Cigar Company or to simply enjoy a toasty fire on a very cool evening. Story and Photos by Gaye Swan Kandis and Mark Webb

Brigitte and Josh Baucke

Shelby Towers and Brooke Harrell

Amy and Chad Haberstroh with Jeff Bonds and Deborah Minemoto

Michael and Patti McClain



May 2019

Migueal Grandberry and Felicia Knox

Greg and Danielle Smith with Lindsay and Eric Wolfe

Ramon and Shanita Brown

Kim Frye and Daniel Bickley

Cary and Carly Crain with Julia and Aaron Petree

Eli Savoie and Rosemary Carroll

Steve and Jeanette Martin with Grayson Smith

Memphis Moment


Rock the Ribbon The Beat Goes On To End Breast Cancer


ink, silver, black and white decorations presented a spectacular scene at Rock the Ribbon, a dance party held to benefit the Memphis-MidSouth Mississippi affiliate of Susan G. Komen. A pink ribbon is the signature image of Susan G. Komen, a worldwide foundation that works to end breast cancer. Its efforts encompass education, research, community outreach, screening and treatment. Donations and fund-raising events are among Komen’s major sources of financial support. Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster performed rock, disco and soul hits from the 1970s and ‘80s. The annual event at Germantown’s Great Hall also featured a silent auction of donated items. Presenting sponsors were Baptist Memorial Health Care and Landers Ford. Chili’s, Donut Hutt, Huey’s, Lenny’s Grill & Subs, Marco’s Pizza, and One & Only BBQ provided munchies. Affordable Party Rental and Big League Movers also contributed sponsorships. Story and Photos by Virginia M. Davis

Chad Gilliland, David Cole, Christopher Schmidt and Chris Gilliland

Catherine and James Young

Greg and Caroline Somes with Samantha and Mark Towne



May 2019

Donna Wolf

Taylor Huffman, Nikki Huffman and Vicki Tickle

Jim and Pat Hayes

Stephanie Haglund

Elaine Hare and Macey Johnson

Teresa Wilkes, Brenda Grace and Barbara Gaston

Pat McWilliams and Richard Smith

Jenna Cousino and Jordan Elliott


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May 2019





RSVP Crossword Edited By Ruth Cassin


1 Flightless birds 5 Book of facts 10 Some miliary women, until 1978 (abbr.) 14 Agreement 15 Egyptian capital 16 Diffuse 17 Vacaton spot 18 ___ and dangerous 1















22 24

30 36





25 33

38 43





50 54


21 23






51 57











59 64


ACROSS 1 Flightless birds 5 Book of facts 10 Some miliary women, until 1978 (abbr.) 14 Agreement 15 Egyptian capital 16 Diffuse 17 Vacaton spot 18 ___ and dangerous 19 Folk tale 20 Color changing reptile 22 Elicit 23 Memphis to Mobile dir. 24 Expression of discovery 26 Dr. Dre genre 27 Letters found in an official USA email address 30 Fencing sword 33 Part of a circle 35 Afloat 37 Oxygen transporter 42 Traveled by airplane 43 Throw



44 45 49 50 51 53 54 57 59 61 63 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77

19 Folk tale 74 Egyptian river 20 Color changing reptile 75 Old Mets' stadium 22 Elicit 76 Leafy salad green 23 Memphis to Mobile dir. 77 Women's fashion magazine 24 Expression of discovery 26 Dr. Dre genre 27 Letters found in an official USA email DOWN address 30 Fencing sword 1 Saga 33 Part of a circle 2 Crush 10 11 12 13 35 Afloat 2 Crush 3 Home of the Bruins 37 Oxygen transporter 4 Plant stalks 16 Bruins 3 Home of the 42 Traveled by airplane 5 Jellyfish or sea nettle Plant stalks 4 19 6 Weight of a container 43 Throw Promnettle night rental, maybe 44 List of meals5 Jellyfish or7 sea Stadium 6 Weight of a8container 45 Predictor of weather 9 Turf 26 49 Enjoy the sun maybe 7 Prom night10rental, Join metal 50 "Who _ _ _ " (Saints' fans' 34 11 Love, Italian style 8 Stadium cheer) 12 Approximate date 39 40 41 51 Potato sprouts9 Turf 13 Sharp slope 53 Native American metal 21 Memphis to Huntsville dir. 10 Jointrible 44 54 Pouch 22 style Lester's banjo partner 11 Love, Italian 49 25 Old crone 57 MGM's Lion 12 Approximate 27date Fish hook 59 Irony 53 61 Demanded 13 rightSharp slope28 Scandinavian capitsl 29Huntsville Swerve 60 63 Grapes of Wrath 21 Memphis to 31 Snaky fish author dir. 66 67 68 32 Ham it up 69 In addition 34 Tool for arranging hair Lester's banjo partner 22 71 70 Oak seed 36 Stunned 71 Baking site 25 Old crone 38 Follow 74 72 Sheet of matted cotton hook 39 Boyfriend 27 Fish 77 73 Unit of electric 40 An academy or school, i.e. (abbr.) Scandinavian capitsl 28 capacitance 41 Cook in microwave oven, slangily

List of meals Predictor of weather Enjoy the sun "Who ___" (Saints' fans' cheer) Potato sprouts Native American trible Pouch MGM's Lion Irony Demanded right Grapes of Wrath author In addition Oak seed Baking site Sheet of matted cotton Unit of electric capacitance Egyptian river Old Mets' stadium Leafy salad green Women's fashion magazine

DOWN 1 Saga

May 2019

29 31 32 34 36 38 39 40 41 46 47 48 52 54 55 56 58 60 62 64 65 66 67 68 70

Swerve Snaky fish Ham it up Tool for arranging hair Stunned Follow Boyfriend An academy or school, i.e. (abbr.) Cook in microwave oven, slangily Serene Dined Resets the video Transgression Strike workers God of Islam Social level, in India Movie award Cut of beef Smidgen Ripped up Historical periods Cruel Jail room Patella NCAA league

46 47 48 52 54 55 56 58 60 62 64 65 66 67 68 70

Serene Dined Resets the video Transgression Strike workers God of Islam Social level, in India Movie award Cut of beef Smidgen Ripped up Historical periods Cruel Jail room Patella NCAA league




y wife has her fortieth By Dennis Phillippi high school reunion this month, which we will be attending because I used my last “Get Out of Jail Free” card on avoiding seeing Mary Poppins Returns in the theater. Also, it’s at a hotel here in town and there’s a bar. It’s not that I don’t want to go to her reunion. I don’t want to go to anything. The prospect of having to put on a sport coat and spend a night interacting with people isn’t an attractive possibility no matter who the people in question might be. It could be the New Orleans Saints and I’d start thinking about how soon I can politely leave the second I walk in the door. “Hey Drew, hell of a run you guys have been on. I think I’m gonna head to the bar in the lobby.” The only high school reunion of mine I have ever attended was my twentieth, and I had to travel all the way back to Charlotte, North Carolina to do so. Somehow my wife begged off on this one. I think it had something to do with our only nephew being born or some other lame excuse. I hauled myself all the way there, paid for a hotel room, and was recognized by exactly three people, only two of whom I recognized. I assume the event probably broke down into whatever groups people had been in back in school, but since I wasn’t in a group in my school I just sort of stood around milking two light beers, because I had to drive a rental car. It wasn’t that I was an outcast in high school. I didn’t care enough about high school for anyone to cast me out of anything. Honesty I have no idea why I went to that event, which is pretty much all I thought about while I was there. The word reunion has the root word “union,” which is from the Greek for onion. Or something like that. Basically layer after layer leading to a central core, which isn’t a bad metaphor for high school, except everyone disagrees on what the core would be. Obviously the popular kids would assume that they are the center, after all, they’re popular. But, I couldn’t name two kids in the popular group at my high school because they may have been popular with one another, but they certainly weren’t popular with me. Naturally the athletes probably think that they are the center of a high school, and to some people I’m sure that’s true. On the other hand I never attended a single sporting event in high school, and only

So, yeah, I’d see a big goon wearing a jacket that indicated they were on some team and I could safely assign them to the jock squad. And avoid them accordingly. knew someone was a jock because they made sure to wear something every day that demarked them as such. That, and they were mostly a bunch of meatheads. So, yeah, I’d see a big goon wearing a jacket that indicated they were on some team and I could safely assign them to the jock squad. And avoid them accordingly. I have no doubt the cheerleaders thought they were the center of our high school, and I won’t deny that there were days when she wore her uniform to school that Lori Thompson’s legs weren’t just the center of my high school, they were the center of my universe. But, when you factor in that Lori Thompson wouldn’t have given me a heads up if I were on fire, that puts the lie to that. Probably some of my fellow theater kids thought we were the core of the school,


but that was just one of their many delusions, like their absolute conviction they were going to make a living in theater. None of them did. If anything, the core of our school was probably the cafeteria staff. My wife and I honeymooned at one of my family reunions that took place at Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia where we stayed in a cabin that had no television. That was over three decades ago and we never went to another one. Every couple of years we attend one of my wife’s reunions which generally takes place in a church basement, and revolves around looking at the pictures from past reunions and taking new ones to look at during future reunions. It’s a slow documentation of our mortality, with barbecue. My wife’s school reunion will be a quadrennial gathering of people I didn’t go to high school with, and whom I barely know. They’re a perfectly pleasant group of people, and there will be alcohol, and in all likelihood, dancing. That may be the chief redeeming feature because at this point the only place I would even consider dancing in public is in a hotel ballroom exclusively with people my age or older. There comes a point when people of a certain age should not be dancing where it can be witnessed by anyone under, say, 50. This won’t be a boogie-all-night kind of thing either because most of us have at least one chronic medical issue that limits physical activity to no more than an hour. Then there will be sitting around round tables drinking and pretending I’m not itching to flee. People will rehash things that happened on senior cruises and homecoming dances. There will be discussions of the fact that now we actually go on Senior Cruises, during which we can’t wait for our own homecoming. There will be a lot of laughter about things I don’t remember because I wasn’t there. I’ll spend most of my time with another husband that didn’t go to their school talking awkwardly about college football. I’ll start clock watching. Again, it’s not these people. It’s all people. If reunion comes from the word union, which comes for the word for onion, then a reunion is similar to the act of trying to put an onion back together. Putting an onion back together contains many of the same elements; it’ll be messy, complicated and probably involve tears. Look for me at the lobby bar.

May 2019




RSVPast Memphis Cotton Carnival



h, the majesty of the Memphis Cotton Carnival, forerunner to Carnival Memphis, from 72 years ago. These four young men, who served as royal pages to Carnival Queen Daisy Fisher, stood proudly, ready to do their queen’s bidding. What fun! What plumes! What great shoes! From left to right: Tom Kimbrough, Scott Fisher, Richard Hussey and David Snowden. Photo from the archives of RSVP Magazine If you have a past photo you would like to share with RSVP readers, please contact Emily Adams Keplinger at 276-7787 ext. 105 or e-mail the photo and caption to All photos will be returned promptly.



May 2019

Profile for RSVP Magazine

RSVP Magazine May 2019  

RSVP Magazine May 2019