Sen. Bob Corker and a panel of housing experts came to Rhodes College Wednesday for a give-and-take with 150 or so guests. It lasted two hours, which is usually an hour too long. But this one could have gone three hours. Hot topic, good host, wise panel, and an audience that was clearly engaged.
Apart from the investment in Memphis and the new jobs, that would be very good news. You gotta like Yuengling (with thanks to the Wall Street Journal and reporter Kesmodel, from whose story some of this information is taken).
It is about the WREG Channel 3 consolidation debate earlier this week and the performance of the anti-consolidation side in particular.
I had never heard her live before, but she has a big, sensational, soulful voice and a terrific stage presence. It was a perfect night, and she had lots of people dancing and clapping by the end of her 90-minute show.
The daughter of Rufus Thomas, Vaneese paid tribute to early soul and R&B singers such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Denise LaSalle, and Tina Turner with such songs as "Tell Mama" and "Nutbush City Limits," as well as some standards by Otis Redding and Booker T. and the MGs. Vaneese made sure to credit each artist, display their album cover or picture on the big screens, and tell us a little about their background.
It was one of those only-in-Memphis nights when good things seem possible. Thanks to Kirk Whalum and Carla Thomas for sitting in, and to Barry Lichterman and everyone connected to the Levitt Shell who made this season happen.
The prospects don't look good, and there is no point in beating up on Memphis any more when Memphis is going to have to live with itself on November 3rd regardless of what happens on November 2nd and in early voting, which started this week.
Enough people on the anti-consolidation side and in the national media and in the local Democratic Party are doing that already. When they emphasize the shortcomings of Memphis, consolidation forces are adding to the misery index, however well-intentioned their efforts. Like it or not, this is a referendum on Memphis, and the odds were stacked against consolidation from the get go.