Flyer Flashback 

To mark the Flyer's 20th anniversary, we're looking back at stories from our first two decades.

click to enlarge flashback1-1.jpg

"The planners say they want to revitalize Mud Island. The mayor says he wants a family-oriented attraction. Excuse me, but isn't Mud Island already family-oriented? How do we make it more family-oriented? Maybe some big cartoon characters — Mickey Memphis or Ricky Riverboat or Cathy Catfish. I can visualize them greeting the hordes of squealing little children at the doors of the already cartoonish Welcome Center, skipping gleefully, hand-in-hand, across the new land-bridge to the same old Mud Island theme park. ...

"Before I go any further, let me go on record: I like Mud Island. I realize that's kind of like standing up in church and admitting you'd like to boff the preacher's daughter. More often. But, hey, Mud Island is probably the only intelligent and well-designed piece of civic architecture this city has come up with since ... well, since. That doesn't mean it wasn't a flawed idea to begin with, just a well-designed flawed idea. Intelligent tourist attractions don't work. Tourists aren't intelligent. If they are, they're not in Memphis.

"You want a bold, innovative plan for Mud Island? Okay. Bulldoze it. Level it. Tear down the damn park and give the silly airplane [the Memphis Belle] to whoever is dumb enough to take it. Eat your losses and chalk it up to experience."

From "An Immodest Proposal," a September 26, 1996, commentary by Cory Dugan addressing yet more ideas to lure visitors downtown.

Dugan, former Flyer art director and art critic for the paper, was known for his frighteningly smart style.

As for an update: Mud Island was not bulldozed; the idea for the land-bridge may finally be dead; and the Memphis Belle was moved to Ohio in 2005.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

Tennessee Wants More Hemp Farmers

News Blog

Airbnb Marks Its Biggest Memphis Weekend

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Lisa Mac

From My Seat

NBA Draft Doldrums

Hungry Memphis

Pete & Sam's returns!

We Saw You

When it rains, keep pouring the BBQ sauce

Politics Beat Blog

Keeping Score in Strickland's Tent at the Barbecue Fest

Music Blog

Quintron Brings Weather Warlock to Bar DKDC

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Susan Ellis

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

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