This week in 1996, Senior Editor Michael Finger decided it was time to send many prominent Memphians off to summer camp. Not literally, like Gitmo, but figuratively, and with a little gentle humor.
The first Steve Cohen/Harold Ford Jr. contest for the 9th District seat was well under way, and allegations were flying. Finger thought young Ford should head off to "Camp Pop-Sed-Sow," where he would take classes in "Nepotism 101" and "The Pitfalls of Puberty." Finger suggested Cohen would enjoy "Camp Needa-Bea-Kon-Gris-Man," where he could study "Inside the Beltway" and "Gambling: A Sure Bet."
Former Commercial Appeal cartoonist Mike Ramirez was slated for "Camp Gay-Bash-In," with classes entitled "It's Only Balanced When It Leans Right." Recently deposed radio-talker Mike Fleming was set for a few nights at "Camp Rush-Wanna-Be."
Mayor Herenton was off to "Camp Smak-A-Ford." Former state senator John Ford had a rendezvous with "Camp Pah-Lee-Mon-Eee." Har. Har.
Local TV news reporters were all traveling to "Camp Blo-Dry-Ah," where they would take classes in "Sincerity: How To Get It; How To Use It to Your Advantage" and even the Flyer staff went to "Camp Muck-A-Week" for courses in "Lawsuits: Proof That We're Popular" and "Ethics: Cash, Check, or Gift Certificates?"
Ah, those were the days. And, for the record, Michael Finger is still "Won-Fun-Eee-Guy."
My stepdaughter, Agatha, has moved back from Brooklyn to live in our garage apartment until next summer. She's a law school grad and clerking for a federal judge in Memphis. I love her dearly, but she has one habit that has caused me stress. She takes in foster dogs ...