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Hotties 2008

The Flyer's Annual Hotties Issue is back, and we're looking better than ever.

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For the fourth year in a row, the Flyer has scoured the city, looking for all the pretty people. And did we ever find them.

But they're not just pretty faces.

Poet and Memphis Music and Heritage Festival emcee Benjamin "IQ" Sanders might be the last of the romantics. As vice president of Graham's Lighting Fixtures, Bo Graham is one guy who really knows how to light up a room. Lyndale Smithson is an advertising executive by day and a blocker for the Memphis Roller Derby's PrissKilla Prezleys by night. And market analyst Linda Phan has the most surprising hidden talent we've ever heard of.

So join us now in our annual celebration of Memphians who truly bring the heat.

Dee Griffin, 37

OCCUPATION: television news anchor/reporter

SIGN: Virgo

STATUS: single and proud

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS?

Humble, compassionate, a steel magnolia.

NIGHT OWL OR EARLY BIRD?

Total night owl. I've never been an early bird, not even when I was born. My mom kept it that way on purpose. My sister and I were two years apart, and she would keep me up late so that in the morning, I was sleeping and she could take care of my sister.

GUESS IT'S A GOOD THING YOU'RE ON THE EVENING NEWS.

It works out well. In Tupelo, I was on in the mornings, and it was an adjustment.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BLIND DATES?

I go on them all the time. You would be surprised. My friends are always saying, oh, I have a great guy I want you to meet.

ADVICE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO DATE YOU?

Be a great communicator. I'm a sucker for a man who can carry on a great conversation.

And be understanding of a demanding career.

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Failure.

HAVE YOU EVER GONE SKYDIVING?

No, I always wanted to. My hair would go all over the place, but it would be fun. I love taking risks. Hard times and risks mold your character. They make you who you are.

WHAT KIND OF RISKS DO YOU TAKE?

Moving to different cities for my job. I may not know anything about the place. I just step out there on faith. This is the fifth city I've lived in.

DO YOU PLAY ANY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS?

Despite eight years of piano, nope. My parents forced me and my sister to play for eons, but we don't play a note.

FOOTBALL OR SOCCER?

Football. I'm a Georgia girl. SEC all the way.

IF YOU WERE ARRESTED TOMORROW, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR?

Nonviolent protest. At Northwestern University — which is a very liberal school — they teach you to stand up for mankind. That's the way I was raised. You fight for people.

Eric Vernon, 33

Dee Griffin - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: manager of the Bar-B-Q Shop

SIGN: Leo

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: recently married

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Eccentric, friendly, aggressive. ... I'm aggressive when I need to be.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

The ability to mix with anyone. A lot of times, I bring people together who don't have a lot in common.

NIGHT OWL OR EARLY BIRD?

I'm very much a night owl. My wife is amazed. She'll get up at two in the morning, and I'll be cleaning. I think it has something to do with being in the restaurant business for so long.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SKYDIVING?

I've gone parasailing. You can say I've never been closer to God. I was in Jamaica. They took me over a mountain and over the Lido deck of a cruise ship. I looked down, and everyone on deck was waving at me.

WHAT'S YOUR BEST FEATURE?

My smile.

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

Foo Fighters. Mary J. Blige. Jill Scott. Kanye West.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DRINKING GAME?

There's no one better than me at taking tequila shots. I am the king of tequila shots.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

I did customer service for GE, taking service calls. The customer would be waiting for the service men to come. When they didn't show up, they had the pleasure of chewing me out on the phone.

Grace Askew, 21

Eric Vernon - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: receptionist/musician

SIGN: Scorpio

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Intuitive, independent, easy-going.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

I was a receptionist when I was 16.

BUT YOU'RE A RECEPTIONIST NOW.

I was too young. I freaked out. I would always transfer people to the wrong extension.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE YOUR DEAL-BREAKERS?

If he didn't offer to pay.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO DATE YOU?

Don't get too clingy right off the bat.

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

I can't stand roller coasters.

GUESS YOU HAVEN'T BEEN SKYDIVING.

No, and I never will.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST FEATURE?

My trademark is my hair. People won't remember my name, but they remember my hair.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A DATE?

A true gentleman.

FAVORITE MOVIE?

Probably The Shining. I love scary movies, and that's a classic.

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

I cannot get enough of the new Cat Power covers album and the new Radiohead album. That's all I Iisten to. And my new EP, Wasted Lipstick, of course.

Bo Graham, 35

Grace Askew - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: vice president of Graham's Lighting Fixtures

SIGN: Pisces

STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Opinionated, eccentric, introverted.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

I delivered food for a Chinese restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. I had to clean up leftovers at the end of the night. I cleaned up some pretty gross things.

WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN ASPEN?

Being a ski bum.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER A DEAL-BREAKER?

Cross-eyes, being unemployed, any kind of nose ring, too many piercings.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BLIND DATES?

I've never had one. I'm not against them.

ANY HIDDEN TALENTS? I can break dance like a mofo. I could give Kanye West a run for his money. I'm also a mediocre skateboarder.

ARE YOU A NIGHT OWL OR AN EARLY BIRD?

Early bird, absolutely.

ADVICE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO DATE YOU?

Be very opinionated or be ready to get opinions.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'RE AFRAID OF?

Heights. Spiders. I'm not afraid of them, but I can't kill anything, so it's kind of an invasion of space. ... The recession right now makes me a little nervous.

FOOTBALL OR SOCCER?

One hundred percent SEC football, but I just made a lighting fixture for Manchester United, so I'm getting more soccer-oriented.

FAVORITE DRINKING GAME?

I take my drinking very seriously. There are no games involved.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A LOVER OR A FIGHTER?

I love to fight. I'm an opinionated person. I love an argument. But I love making love. I'm not going to fight that.

IF YOU WERE ARRESTED, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE ARRESTED FOR?

Undoubtably for being nude. Every morning I run out and get the paper naked. I get up pretty early, so I make a mad dash for it every morning. It's either a short walk for the paper or a long walk for a robe.

Linda Phan, 26

Bo Graham - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: market analyst

SIGN: Pisces

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: single, in a relationship

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Curious, random, perfectionist.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

I was a waitress for five years at Steak 'n' Ale, but I loved it. It was like one big family and the clientele was older, but they were really sweet.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

I can play Tetris with my toes. ... I can get up to level nine.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN DATING YOU?

Be persistent. That's usually how they get to me.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SKYDIVING?

No, I haven't. I bought a skydiving package for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day, but he doesn't know it yet.

DO YOU PLAY ANY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS?

No, but I used to sing. I was in a choir from first grade to my senior year. I miss harmonizing.

WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?

A wheat bagel.

THAT'S IT? NOTHING ON IT?

I ran out of peanut butter and cream cheese. I ate half of it before it got disgusting, and I threw the other half away.

WHAT'S YOUR BEST FEATURE?

Brains. ... I'm a dork.

FAVORITE DRINKING GAME?

I'm allergic to alcohol. I turn red from head to toe.

FAVORITE FOOD?

Steak, by far. I'm a big carnivore.

ARE YOU AFRAID OF ANYTHING?

Heights. That's why I'm not going skydiving.

Ken Lumpkin, 38

Linda Phan - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: chef/owner of Umai

SIGN: Gemini

STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Meticulous, laid-back.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

I haven't had any bad jobs.

ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

I can throw pottery. I can paint, I can draw. I've been doing martial arts since I was 4 or 5 years old.

FAVORITE FOOD?

I'm around food so much. It would have to be the chili dog at Young Avenue Deli right now. That's my Sunday thing. I go there, have a chili dog, drink a couple of beers, and play a game of pool.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO DATE YOU?

Be honest and sincere.

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?

I listen to all kinds of music. I've been listening to Calypso pioneers from 1912 to 1937. It's a calypso/ska mix. I spent eight years off and on in Jamaica, playing and cooking. I have a great love for that island.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SKYDIVING?

No, but I've been scuba diving and mountain climbing. I would love to go skydiving, but I haven't had the opportunity. These days, I don't have much time.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'RE AFRAID OF?

Heights.

IF YOU WERE ARRESTED, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'D BE ARRESTED FOR?

Trespassing. There's nowhere in Memphis really to climb, so I tend to climb buildings. I've been kicked off people's property before. Climbing is how I challenge my fear of heights.

Meredith Smith, 23

Ken Lumpkin - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: high school special-education teacher with Teach for America

SIGN: Pisces

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: single and looking.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Creative, feisty, chef.

CHEF? SO YOU LIKE TO COOK?

I love it. I'm from Louisiana so I make all the Louisiana dishes. And I started making desserts because that's one thing my momma couldn't cook.

DO YOU BELIEVE THE WAY TO A MAN'S HEART IS THROUGH HIS STOMACH?

I've heard other theories, but I'm sticking with that one.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER A DEAL-BREAKER?

Racists. Dirty fingernails. It seems trivial to put those two things together.

Also, I'm 5'8", so I like my men to be at least 6 feet tall.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BLIND DATES?

They're okay, as long as they're through reputable sources. I'm not a huge fan of the Internet blind date, because I'm not interested in getting killed. No ax murderers. That's a turn-off.

ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

I make greeting cards. I can make them pop up.

I used to teach LSAT classes, and when you go to apply for the job, you have to teach them how to do something. I went and found a book that taught how to make pop-up greeting cards and learned how. Then I really liked it.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

Chicken. That's kind of boring, but it can be prepared any way.

HIGH HEELS OR FLATS?

It depends on the man I'm with, but I prefer high heels.

EVER GONE SKYDIVING?

No, but I thought of a hidden talent. I'm a pilot. I haven't been the pilot when people jumped, but the air strip I fly out of when I'm in Louisiana sells lessons. So I've been in close proximity to skydiving.

FOOTBALL OR SOCCER?

Football. My little brother plays football for LSU. Soccer is not even an American sport.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BEST FEATURE?

My hair. I got voted "Best Hair" in high school.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A LOVER OR A FIGHTER?

A fighter. Both of my parents are lawyers and that was a problem. They said we could always have free speech. When I went to school, though, the teachers didn't always agree. I'm a firecracker but a very sweet firecracker.

Terance Brown, 36

Meredith Smith - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: construction worker/artist

SIGN: Aquarius

STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Industrious, somewhat introverted, and a fool.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD.

Checkout clerk at Big Star.

Actually, no, the worst was processing geoduck [pronounced gooey-duck] in Alaska. It was a horrible job. I had been processing salmon, and when the season was over, I stayed on to process geoduck, which is a type of clam. It burrows underground and has this long neck that sticks up and looks like a big penis.

HOW COULD YOU FORGET THAT?

It's like people who have been through traumatic events. Repressed memories.

DEAL-BREAKERS?

Any sudden movements. No, I'm pretty easy.

DO YOU GO ON BLIND DATES?

I'd love to go on a blind date. Not only would she be less superficial and more likely to accept me for who I am, but all her other senses would be heightened.

ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

I can pour bronze. I've been doing construction so long no one knows that I do sculpture anymore.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? GEODUCK?

Actually, it isn't. We'd have to clean the silt out of what would be the geoduck's urethra. We had this hose, and we would shoot water though it to blow the sand out of it. This was on the night shift, so it would be some ungodly time in the morning, and inevitably, someone would stick a geoduck down his pants and through his fly and "pee" on everyone. It happened every night. You'd never know which geoduck was down someone's pants.

So, favorite food, ceviche and sushi. Memphis is too far from the ocean.

DO YOU PLAY ANY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS?

My friend and I have this electronic band called Overjoid. We play experimental electronic music. I play the drum machine.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BEST FEATURE?

My eyes. That's what "survey says."

DO YOU WORK OUT?

I do construction. It's inherent.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A LOVER OR A FIGHTER?

I'm more of a watcher.

Tally Hill, 21

Terance Brown - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: legal assistant

SIGN: Aries

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Creative, outgoing, silly.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD.

Probably working at Walgreens. I worked there for a day, and I quit.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

Anything Asian.

ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO DATE YOU?

Be upfront and honest.

DO YOU PLAY ANY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS?

I do. I can play the guitar and the piano. I played violin when I was little, but I gave that up.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST FEATURE?

My eyes or my smile.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRINKING GAME?

I don't know. Probably Beer Pong.

You have a table, and on each side you set up 10 cups that are half-full with beer. They throw a Ping-Pong ball across the table, and if they get it in one of the cups, you have to drink it.

YOU DRINK THE CUP THE BALL IS IN? SOUNDS KIND OF GROSS.

If you're a germophobe, you shouldn't play.

It's kind of silly, because you're trying to get the other team drunk.

WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU GOT YOUR HEART BROKEN?

I was 16 years old. It was my first long relationship. Little did I know it would end up being a really long relationship. After we broke up, we got back together and were together for five-and-a-half years. We broke up a few months ago.

FAVORITE MOVIE?

I have a lot. Currently, Superbad.

Tadd Feazell, 38

Tally Hill - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: owner of Lux in Cooper-Young

SIGN: Aquarius

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Fun, energetic, caring.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

When I was a teenager, I was a stockman at Wal-Mart. I had to clean the bathrooms.

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?

Techno is my favorite, but I like all kinds.

DO YOU HAVE ANY DEAL-BREAKERS?

I like someone who listens as much as they talk.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN SKILLS OR TALENT?

Afraid not. Of course, with the store, I'm good at giving fashion tips and makeovers, but that's not hidden. That's what you expect when you come in. I'm doing what I'm good at.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT?

Tight Diesel jeans and a sexy shirt.

ARE YOU AFRAID OF ANYTHING?

I'm afraid of horror movies. They give me the heeby-jeebies.

HAVE YOU EVER GONE SKYDIVING?

No, no. With a big push, I might.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A LOVER OR A FIGHTER?

A lover. I don't want anyone to hit me.

Lyndale Smithson, 38

Tadd Feazell - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: advertising executive

SIGN: Virgo

RELATIONSHIP STATUS: blissfully single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Unexpected, independent, positive.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD? Wrapping gifts at Christmastime in high school. Shoppers are evil at Christmas. I really hated it. That and cutting meat at Arby's.

FAVORITE FOODS?

Thai or Mexican. It's a toss-up.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

I can cross one eye. It's kind of creepy.

WHAT DID YOU EAT FOR BREAKFAST?

Coffee — four cups of it.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?

Anything Hitchcock. I minored in film in college.

FOOTBALL OR SOCCER?

College football. I hate the NFL, but I grew up in Alabama where you have to pick a team.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A LOVER OR A FIGHTER?

I'd say 50/50. Why else would I be in roller derby?

WHEN YOU'RE NOT WEARING SKATES: HIGH HEELS OR FLATS?

High heels, all the time.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO DATE YOU?

Be considerate. I'm a Southern girl, and we're all about manners. Don't be rude to the waiter. Don't chew with your mouth open. And don't ask me to hip-check you.

Benjamin "IQ" Sanders, 33

Lyndale Smithson - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

OCCUPATION: poet, artist-in-residence at the Memphis Theological Seminary

SIGN: Libra

STATUS: single

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS.

Inquisitive, mercurial, hypercubic.

WHAT'S THE WORST JOB YOU EVER HAD?

Having to shovel manure ... that gave the phrase "a shitty job" a whole new meaning.

So yeah, worst job was spreading natural fertilizer. Been there, dung that.

DEAL-BREAKERS?

I think they must be able to look at themselves in the mirror. You must be able to like and dislike parts of yourself.

Everyone tells you they're not a racist. I don't believe them. It's better to say, "I'm learning to love humanity even more."

Oh, if you try to make me eat a steak. I'm a vegetarian.

DO YOU GO ON BLIND DATES?

Every single day is a blind date to me. We're allotted a certain number of breaths each lifetime, and each day we choose who we share those breaths with.

A date to me is getting to interact with another person's mind and soul.

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

I'm afraid of my hometown not realizing how truly wonderful it is. Memphis is the most majestic metropolitown on the planet.

EVER GONE SKYDIVING?

No, I would like to. Obviously, with a working parachute.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BEST FEATURE?

I think I live a life of intense passion and intense compassion simultaneously. You have to care while you breathe, know why you live.

GIVEN THAT, WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A LOVER OR A FIGHTER?

I believe in fighting injustice. I don't believe in fighting in a relationship: I'm definitely a lover. I'm ruled by Venus. But that doesn't mean I can't throw down when I need to take care of my business.

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