Blight Bomb



On Saturday, Memphis was bombed.

Around noon, about 50 people gathered in the Washington Bottoms area to help artist Tommy Wilson do some guerrilla gardening.

Wilson, who we interviewed as part of last week's cover story on blight, filled balloons with a mixture of paint, wildflower seeds, and compost, and, with the assembled crowd’s help, both threw and launched the bombs into a vacant lot near Washington and Watkins.


After letting the crowd throw the balloons, Wilson set up the rocket launcher.


With the cold temperatures the night before, the cannon had cracked, and Wilson fixed it with duct tape. But he warned that, even with the repair, the bombs probably wouldn’t go as far as expected.

Wilson also warned the crowd that the rocket launcher might sound like an elephant screaming.


When it launched for the first time, it didn’t sound so much like an elephant screaming, but more like an elephant trumpeting in surprise, as if it had its toe stepped on … which prompted a surprised laugh from the crowd.

And did I mention there were snacks?


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