Tuesday, September 2, 2003



Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Sandy Levine points out Don and Martha

The Carnegie Deli at 7th Avenue and 55th St. in midtown Manhattan offers what might be the largest and most edible sandwich portions of any eatery anywhere (the pastrami is mountain-sized; the Reuben, swimming in a homemade succulent sauce, redefines the species); it also serves up some passing large coincidences. Take about 5 p.m. last Tuesday night, when a few handlers from the Howard Dean campaign led a busload of journalists into the place, which was already crowded and would stay that way. This was a chance for the group, who had been touring the country with Democratic presidential candidate Dean, to light for a while in the company of one or more of the bountiful snacks. No sooner were they seated than a large, gregarious man who introduced himself as Sandy Levine, the manager, came stalking in to ask, “Anybody here know Governor Sundquist or Governor Musgrove?” Now, Tennessee’s former governor and Mississippi’s present one were both known to at least one member of the visiting party -- moi -- but, even as I acknowledged the fact, I couldn’t fathom why he should have named just those two. Half of our group hailed from New York, a goodly part of the remainder called D.C. home, and the rest were from points north or from urban areas of Florida (the next closest thing to north). And while, as it turned out, framed and autographed photos of both Don Sundquist (with wife Martha) and Ronnie Musgrove were attached to the wall of the room we were seated in, so were hundreds -- if not thousands -- of other such photographs, from political and athletic and entertainment celebrities of every kind, from every point of origin under the sun. Whatever the reason, Levine had pushed my button, and once he’d ID’d me, went on to point out the photographs in question, then said, “You know Senator Persons? I got something to show you from him!” Now, that had to be Curtis Person (not Persons), the state senator who represents portions of East Memphis, Cordova, and Germantown, but now the coincidence was turning uncanny. I do indeed live in Curtis Person’s senate district. And, sure enough, just around the corner in another room was another wall covered from side to side and top to bottom with framed photographs and mementoes, and Sandy (he was one of those specimens who get to be on first-name terms with you right away) proudly showed me the certificate, signed by Curtis Person and other state officials, which made him an honorary citizen of Tennessee. Moral of the story? There is none -- unless it is that the political skills of the formidable Senator Person -- who has been opposed for reelection only once since 1966 -- extend to midtown Manhattan. Or that Governor Sundquist, the frustrated tax-reform advocate whose tenure has been put somewhat in the shade by the legislative prowess of budget-cutting successor Phil Bredesen, still has boosters in the Big Apple. Or that Governor Musgrove, locked in a close battle this year with Haley Barbour, is running ahead in the Carnegie poll. Or that, indeed, it is a small world. But one with prenaturally large, delicious sandwiches. The Carnegie Deli -- even without Sandy’s several teeming walls -- is not to be missed.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Cohen, 5 House Colleagues Launch Impeachment Effort Against Trump

      Among the articles cited: Obstruction of justice, improper receipt of foreign and domestic emoluments, undermining the role of the judiciary and the rule of law, and undermining the freedom of the press.
    • Dorothy "Happy" Jones, Legendary Activist, Dies

      Involved in progressive causes of all kinds, Jones worked tirelessly across political, racial, and social lines to empower the disestablished and broaden the rights of the larger Memphis community.

Speaking of School Consolidation


Readers also liked…

  • Cohen to Introduce Articles of Impeachment against Trump

    Ranking member of House Judiciary subcommittee, says, apropos Charlottesville and Trump's apparent defense of the white nationalist fomentors there: "There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen."
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • UPDATE: De-annexation Bill Killed for Session

    Senate State and Local Committee votes 5-3-1 to send bill to summer study -- in other words, has put off action on measure until next year.
    • Mar 30, 2016

Most Commented On

© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation