Friday, November 24, 2006

Elvis, Vernon Presley Homes for Sale

Posted on Fri, Nov 24, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Another home that Elvis lived in is up auction on eBay. The four-bedroom/two-and-half bath house is in Killeen, Texas. Elvis lived in the home in 1958 when he was stationed at Fort Hood.

Reserve is under $175,000, and the auction ends December 16th.

Also up for sale is a Memphis home owned by Elvis' father, Vernon, from 1961 to 1965. The four bedroom/three bath home is located at 3650 Hermitage Drive, approximately one mile behind Graceland. Priscilla Presley lived in the house before she married Elvis.

The house has been appraised at $146,000.

Santa Outsources Job To Memphis

Posted on Fri, Nov 24, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Staff members of the Children's Museum of Memphis are helping Santa answer letters this year. All letters sent to the museum by December 20th will receive a reply and a free pass to the museum.

Letters can be sent to the Children's Museum at:

Santa Claus

c/o The Children’s Museum of Memphis

2525 Central Avenue

Memphis, TN 38104

Now, just for giggles, check out this gallery of photos capturing kids scared out of their wits by Santa.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hey, Memphis is Integrated! Holy Crap!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 23, 2006 at 4:00 AM

"I was in Tennessee yesterday, scene of this year's most racially-charged Senate race. I got the holiday gluttony off to a roaring start with a stop at Interstate Barbecue in Memphis. It was my first time, and I now mourn all those lost years. If you ever get the chance, it's a must-stop. You can't go wrong with the pork ribs.

"The family that runs the joint has a little girl, the same age as my daughter, who was helping out for the holiday. ..."

You know where this is going, right? His li'l white daughter and the owner's li'l black daughter actually got along! In the South! And the restaurant was integrated! Read the rest of Talking Points Memo's David Kurtz's journey to enlightenment here.

Panda Porn: It’s Working!

Posted on Thu, Nov 23, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Somebody alert officials at the Memphis Zoo. According to, the video Chinese officials showed of mating pandas in hopes of getting them to procreate may have been a factor in the panda baby boom in China. The Memphis Zoo’s pandas, Le Le and Ya Ya, have been decidedly disinterested in each other. Worth a shot.

MPD Launches Operation Jingle Bells

Posted on Thu, Nov 23, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Just in time for Black Friday — the biggest shopping day of the year during which everybody gets up at 4 a.m. to cram themselves in their local big-box store to get a .99 cent DVD player — the Memphis Police Department has launched "Operation: Jingle Bells." To protect area shoppers from the inevitable increased criminal activity, officers will be patrolling retail centers and malls.

In addition, the MPD offers the following tips:

Leave purses at home or place them in the trunk of your vehicle before you leave

Be aware of your surroundings while walking to and from your vehicle

Avoid shopping alone

Park your vehicle in well lit areas

Do not count money while standing at an ATM machine or show lots of cash in the check-out line

Remove cell phones, lap top computers, briefcases and other items inside your vehicle

Secure packages in the trunk or other part of the vehicle where they cannot be seen

If a robber wants your wallet or purse, hand it over to prevent possible injury

Should you be involved in minor vehicle crash, do not exit the vehicle until a Deputy arrives to prevent a “bump and rob” scheme

Automatic Slim's Birthday Party Friday

Posted on Thu, Nov 23, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Automatic Slim's Tonga Club celebrates its 15th anniversary this Friday with music by the Coolers, the restaurant's former house band, with the Wild Magnolias as the opening act. Diners can order off the original menu and pay the prices from 1991, when dishes were in the $9 to $16 range and had peculiar names such as the Cowboy Travis Steak.

Although Automatic Slim's actual anniversary date was on July 18th, owner Karen Carrier chose not to celebrate it then because she felt that too many people would be on summer vacation and thus wouldn't get a chance to be part of the party. Then, just three weeks ago, it occurred to Carrier that many of those people would be in town for Thanksgiving, so the party was on.

What was Automatic Slim's like 15 years ago? "Crazy. It was just crazy," says Carrier. "People literally went nuts. The Coolers played every Saturday, and when they started playing, the restaurant transformed into a wild nightclub in a matter of minutes," Carrier remembers. "The band had this thing they called the 'love train.' Everybody would jump up and start dancing, and people danced out the door up on Second, around the block, down on Union, and back to the restaurant -- partying like that until 2 a.m."

In 1991, you better believe that there was nothing like Slim's downtown, much less Memphis. The menu reflected an eclectic mix of Southern, South of the Border, Asian, and Cajun/Caribbean cooking: a seemingly tame corn chowder served with grated cheese and roasted poblano peppers ($2); coconut mango shrimp that has since made its way from menu to menu to menu for 15 years and is still one of the restaurant's top sellers ($6.75); the Caribbean Voodoo Stew, described as an island bouillabaisse ($13.95); and the Huachinanga, a whole crispy red snapper with marinated tomato, red onions, and jalapenos ($15.95).

The restaurant's interior was recently revamped with a newly designed mezzanine by Wayne Edge, new seating (except for the oh-so-loved bar stools), lighting, and a stage for the bands (finally!).

Over the past 15 years, Automatic Slim's has become a downtown institution, and Carrier has since put what a reviewer called her "ingenious, wacky, and very dedicated" mark on Cielo, the Beauty Shop, and DŌ. What patrons find at the restaurant could be described as wacky and eccentric, but Automatic Slim's remained consistent in its eccentricity for 15 years. Now, if that isn't a reason to celebrate ...

Automatic Slim's owner Karen Carrier during the early days
  • Automatic Slim's owner Karen Carrier during the early days

Automatic Slim's Tonga Club's 15th Birthday Party is Friday, November 24th. Dinner service starts at 5 p.m.; live music starts at 9:30 p.m. and continues, as Carrier puts it, "'til the cows come home."

Automatic Slim's Tonga Club,

83 S. Second (525-7948)

by Simone Wilson

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oops! The CA Edition

Posted on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Looks like someone over at the Commercial Appeal had a problem with the shift key today. An errant curse word appeared in the headline of an online story about the U of M Tigers. The error was corrected quickly, but not before one internet site got a screen capture. Click on the headline to see a larger picture.

Memphis Annexation Is Still Up in the Air

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The Memphis City Council has delayed annexation of two areas for at least one year, giving homeowners a tax reprieve and forcing school planners to scramble to find answers to overcrowding in the Berryhill and Bridgewater areas near Cordova.

The key vote Tuesday was a 5-5 deadlock on a procedural motion that bumped the timeline for annexation beyond January 1st, 2007, the effective date in the original proposal. Council members will vote December 5th on whether to take in Bridgewater and Southeast Extended, with a total of 36,000 residents. The new effective date would be January 1st, 2008.

But approval is uncertain because of recusals by two council members, citizen opposition, and a “no-recommendation” stance by Mayor Willie Herenton. The mayor did not attend the session but sent his chief administrative officer Keith McGee. Council members Joe Brown and Carol Chumney unsuccessfully tried to smoke out the mayor’s position and his level of confidence in the optimistic financial projections for the annexation.

Coincidentally, the city got some good news from Fitch Ratings which restored an A+ mark to its bonded debt. Annexation is a gamble that in the long run taxes and fees will exceed the cost of providing services.

If there was a silver lining in the council’s action it was the patient and civil tone of the meeting (led by chairman TaJuan Stout Mitchell), which ended with a final speaker having his say at 6:30 p.m. Opponents of annexation outnumbered supporters, but both sides made reasoned arguments and many took pains to say that Memphis is in a difficult spot and will probably complete the annexations next year.

In other action, the council enthusiastically endorsed a living wage proposal that will apply to certain city contracts. The vote was 11-1, and council members gave living-wage supporters a standing ovation after it was recorded. The biracial group of proponents included several ministers and dozens of people carrying red-and-white signs. — John Branston

President Bush Offers Pardon to Flyer

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Not us, sadly. A turkey named Flyer. It happened today at that corny annual Thanksgiving ritual in which the president of the United States takes a break from screwing up the world for a few minutes to officially "pardon" a turkey.

Don't ask us why. We have no clue. All we know is that there was an online vote (Somehow we missed that. Was Diebold involved?) and America chose to name its mock-sacrificial turkey "Flyer."

In an ironic twist, we here at the Flyer also pardoned a turkey today. We haven't decided what to call him yet. We're torn between "Decider" and "F**king Idiot."

A Penguin Named Memphis

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

In Happy Feet, the animated feature film that danced and sang its way to the top of the box office last week, Elijah Wood plays Mumble, an emperor penguin with a tap dancing problem.

But even in Antarctica, there’s a Memphis. Mumble’s father, voiced by Hugh Jackman, is named Memphis. So what does this Memphis sound like? According to The New York Times, “Jackman throws his voice into the deep-fryer and comes up with something that’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll.”

Sounds about right.

Memphis Marines Receive New Medals for World War II Service

Posted on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Seven Memphians who battled the Japanese forces during World War II have been awarded new United States Asiatic Pacific Victory Commemorative Medals. The medals honor Marines “who served with distinction in the Pacific island campaigns against the Imperial Japanese Forces from 1941 through 1945.”

The new medals — authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps — were presented during a special ceremony Tuesday evening at the Marine Corps Reserve Center, 3114 Jackson. The design commemorates “V-J Day” — August 14, 1945, when the Japanese forces formally surrendered and World War II came to an end.

The recipients included:

Frank Glankler — a noted Memphis attorney, as a machine gunner took part in the September 1944 invasion of Peleliu Island. Seriously wounded in action by a mortar barrage.

Otto Melsa — as a member of a Marine combat assault team, saw action in Eastern New Guinea, the islands of Peleliu and Palaus, and Okinawa. After the war, became a full colonel in the Tennessee National Guard.

Claud Wilkins — took part in three different landings on Okinawa. Wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart. Later became part of the occupational forces that controlled mainland China after the war.

Michael Zingale — After attending photography school, flew in B-24 Liberator bombers and, hanging out an open door, took reconnaissance photos of enemy installations at Guadalcanal, the Philippines, and other Japanese-held islands. After the war, became a noted director during the early days of television.

John A. Winsler — A Tech High graduate, served 28 months in the Pacific Theater, stationed on Guadalcanal and Guam.

Robert M. Landess — A Messick High graduate, took part in the August 1942 invasion of Guadalcanal and was credited with shooting down a Japanese fighter by manning the machine gun on his landing craft. Also saw active duty in the Korean War.

Charles L. Henry Jr. — Took part in the invasions of Tarawa Island, Saipan, and Marshall Islands, and also saw combat on Tinian Island and Guam.

Two medals were presented posthumously to two other Marines: William Fisher, who saw active duty on Guadalcanal and passed away earlier this year, and Charles P. Taliaferro, who fought in the battles of Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian Island, and Okinawa. Taliaferro died on the Fourth of July 2005.

Things We're Thankful For This Holiday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 AM

— The upcoming Mayor Herenton/Joe Frayser boxing match. Not only does it raise money for LeMoyne-Owen College, but we finally get to see the mayor taking on someone other than scrawny little Brent Taylor.

— Sweeps Week. Without it, the hours of secret audio tape from inside the Memphis Homeland Security office might never have seen the light of day. And we wouldn't have gotten to hear county public works director Ted Fox talking about getting his butt chewed so much that he doesn’t have any butt left. We should be so lucky.

— That the election is over.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fried Turkey? These Guys Want Your Grease.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2006 at 4:00 AM

A Memphis company called Deep Fried Rides wants your used cooking oil, so after you've deep-fried that turkey, give 'em a call. The company also converts diesel-powered vehicles to grease power. Online, they're at, or you can call them anytime at 901-289-6700.

Crunk Trumps Sexy?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Tonight's the night, music fans. The American Music Awards will be aired at 7 p.m. on ABC. What has us a bit confused is that our own Justin Timberlake was snubbed for a nomination in ANY category. Best male artist nominees Nick Lachey, Kanye West, and Sean Paul are up for the awards tonight, though we can't really see why. Seriously. Nick Lachey?

What might save this category for us is watching West react if he doesn't win the award. He's always such a good sport about these things, no?

We'd boycott the musical pat-on-the-back presentation altogether if it weren't for our other hometown heroes Three 6 Mafia, who are up against The Black Eyed Peas and Dem Franchize Boyz for Best Group.

And on a completely un-Memphis related side note, don't miss the rematch between Carrie Underwood and Faith Hill in the Best Female Country Artist category. Don't know why this is exciting? Watch this. Laugh. Repeat. For a list of all tonight's nominees, go here.

Last Week To See Sculpture Exhibit at The Brooks

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2006 at 4:00 AM

In "Material Terrain: A Sculptural Exploration of Landscape & Place" at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 11 cutting-edge, nationally recognized sculptors pay homage to the textures, smells, and rough-hewn lyricism of nature. Their work is a testament to the ability of artists to persuade without moralizing, finger-pointing, or heavy-handed eco-agendas.

Read more of Carol Knowles review of "Material Terrain," the adventurous new sculpture exhibit at The Brooks Museum.


Flyer Flashback

Looking Back at the “Best Of Memphis” List That Started It All

Tidbits from the 1994 "Best of Memphis" list.

Read Story

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