It’s always great to see Morgan Freeman at an event. The Academy Award winning actor, who’s been in so many movies, adds more than a touch of class when he attends a party. Freeman, who attended with Dr. Linda Keena, was at Pat Kerr Tigrett’s Moonshine Ball, which was held November 22nd at Graceland Exhibition Center.
I first took Freeman’s name at an event for a newspaper story when former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela was in Memphis to receive the National Civil Rights Museum's International Freedom Award in November, 2000 at The Peabody.
I’ve run into him at restaurants, including the old Madidi, which he owned in Clarksdale, and Chez Philippe. I was at his Clarksdale club, Ground Zero, which he owns with Bill Luckett, when it opened in 2000.
Tigrett says she’s known Freeman for 10 years. “I’ve known him for quite a while,” she says. “Many years he’s been at our Blues Ball, primarily over at Gibson’s.”
She has “an adorable” photo of Freeman playing the drums at his short-lived second location of Ground Zero, which was across the street from Gibson Guitar Factory.
“He’s been (to the Blues Ball) several times and he’s been up here (Tigrett’s downtown penthouse) for cocktails with friends.”
And, Tigrett says, “We were both on a documentary being done on the Mississippi River.”
Asked how she’d describe him, Tigrett says, “A fun, smart gentleman.”
Moonshine Ball guests would agree. Freeman graciously posed for photographs with fans. He also was served chicken and dressing from The Cupboard at the Moonshine Ball buffet, which featured area restaurants.
And Freeman asked me at one point to give him my hair.
It was cool getting to interview Blue Angel at the Memphis La Lucha Libre Wrestling event, which was held November 10th at 3766 Ridgeway Road.
And Blue Angel, a Mexican wrestler or luchadore, is cool. And he kept his cool while we talked. This was after he was in two back-to-back matches, where he did backflips, front flips, tossed his opponent, Hijo de Fishman, and was thrown around.
He was fun to watch. And the crowd loved him. "I'm fortunate enough to go over with the crowds," says Blue Angel as we talked after his second match. "I've been told multiple times I have an angel on my side. So, I always come out the fan favorite. And that's a big boost for me to just come out here and put on a great show."
La Lucha Libre is fun to watch. (See my cover story in this week’s Memphis Flyer And there’s a video.)
Mexican wrestlers wear masks. The one Blue Angel wore had a winged design, which was made by Memphis's own Enrique Reyes.
Reyes, who puts on the Memphis La Lucha Libre Wrestling events in Memphis, made three masks for Blue Angel. "I cherish every one of them," Blue Angel says. "It's hard to let go when people want to buy them. But I still have all three."
Napa Cafe and Stax Music Academy teamed up for another “Heart Full of Soul,” which was held November 11th at the East Memphis restaurant.
Stax students performed during the multi-course wine dinner. So, guests were treated to some Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, David Porter, and Otis Redding with their grilled swordfish and Dusty Springfield, Candi Stratton, and Elvis Presley with their pepper-crusted pork tenderloin.
Owner Glenda Hastings opened Napa Cafe for the eighth-annual Stax Music Academy fundraiser presented by Radians Inc. Bergevin Lane Winery provided the wines.
This year’s Heart Full of Soul was a tribute to the Memphis Horns.
Those lucky enough to attend the October 30th soft opening of Miles Tamboli’s restaurant, Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza at 1761 Madison, got to order from the full menu - gratis. And, as his invitation read, “All dishes will be served at full portion size, so come hungry!”
So, guests could order everything from “creamy bucatini with pecorino cheese” to “Tamboli’s famous meat lasagna” to “panna cotta with salted caramel and pistachio brittle crumb.”
Tamboli’s restaurant now is open to the public.
Eric Bourgeois hosted “Jarty Party,” which was held behind his apartment on South Main.
They called it a “Jarty Party” because it was “jean/denim themed,” Bourgeois says Everybody was supposed to wear denim.
“We decided on a Jarty Party theme because it would be a fun departure from the normal themes - ‘80s, neon, jersey, etc. - while allowing people to be creative and have fun at the same time with something they likely already had in their wardrobe.”
They usually throw some type of big function at their place, but, Bourgeois says, “This was the first time doing a daytime party outside. My landlord recently redid the back lot behind our building, and this gave us the opportunity to bring in some talented friends for food - Glaze Hardage with the paella - and music - Ryan Haskett as the DJ.”
Hardage’s paella was delicious! And it served as a birthday cake of sorts for Bourgeois, who says the event also served as a party to celebrate his 26th birthday.