Richie Pierce was once just some guy who lived in Frayser and spent his days getting high on the porch with his "fools from the neighborhood." These days, Pierce still gets high on his porch, but larger responsibilities rest on his shoulders as the self-proclaimed mayor of Frayser. His Web site, Frayser.IsFun.net, outlines a plan to turn his Memphis community into the coolest place in the city. The mayor took a few minutes from his busy schedule to talk with the Flyer about that plan.
Flyer: How'd you become mayor of Frayser?
Mayor of Frayser: Frayser's always been the butt of a bunch of jokes. I don't see where it's much different than any other place in town. I used to get pissed off about it and try to defend it. One of my buddies started calling me the mayor of Frayser as a joke, and it caught on.
When did Frayser.IsFun.net come about?
Me and Forrest [Pruett, the Web master] got together and worked on it in 2001. It started off as my platform on certain issues. Now it's almost become a character. I spoof on shit that happens and make fun of what goes on, but I'm still right there with [the people of Frayser]. They're some of the best people in the world, and if we can laugh at ourselves, then what other people say can't fuck with us.
So what's so great about Frayser?
There are so many diverse people who live together and get along. You can see three gangster guys and three redneck guys all wearing overalls and hanging out drinking Busch 40-ouncers. That's Frayser. It's beautiful. It's God's country.
What are some things you're trying to improve in Frayser? Do you have a plan for the homeless?
With my Mini-City Project, we'll take all the broken-down vehicles in Frayser and park them in one big lot. Then homeless people can live in them. If you want to be a crackhead and out of work, at least I'll know you'll have a roof over your head.
What do you plan to do to boost Frayser's economy?
On my Web site, I talk about trying to get more liquor stores and adult-video stores and stuff like that in the community. There have been two new liquor stores in Frayser since it was launched. In Frayser, we don't cash our checks at banks. We cash them at liquor stores.
Don't you have an annexation plan?
I was looking on the map one day. It looks like if you crop Mud Island into where it would have broken off, it'd be in Frayser. I'm going to try and take it back. I could put a 24-hour craps game down there.
Is it true that you want to change Frayser's beer laws to allow beer sales 24/7?
Having a limited time when I can purchase alcohol is stupid. If they'll let you drink until 3 a.m. and then re-buy at 7 a.m., I don't see what the difference is. As for Sundays, I don't know why one day of the week I'm not allowed to buy anything until noon. Plus, church gets out at noon, and you've got every drunk in Frayser racing to get to the store. You're just waiting for an accident to happen. Let us get it at 9 a.m. while they're in Sunday school, and there won't be anything to worry about.
What's your beautification plan for Frayser?
A lot of people get on people in Frayser for leaving their Christmas lights up, so I say, hell, turn them on every night. Let's light that son of a bitch up. People have a habit of hanging their laundry on the fence. There's no problem with that. Just make it color-coded-- red, white, and blue or something. If you're going to be trashy, you can still coordinate and make it look okay.
I've heard you have a plan to increase law enforcement by building more Mapcos. Could you explain?
You go into these convenient stores and there's always cops around. I say, hell, let's just get one built on every intersection. That way if you ever need a cop, you can just holler at them. They're there anyway, so they might as well work out of there.
What's the Frayser Blunt Recycling Program?
That's my biggest initiative right now. There's a lot of marijuana smoking in my neighborhood, and the preference is you buy Swisher Sweets or Phillies and you split them down the middle and knock the tobacco out. If you look on the ground in Frayser, that shit is everywhere. So if we made little recycling cans that you could put in your mailbox, you could just empty it in there. Then we can re-sell the tobacco to tobacco companies, and they can re-roll it. We can put the money into the beautification project.
I've heard you're considering running for the mayor of Memphis in the next election. What can you do for the city?
I think it's bullshit when any politician talks about what they can do. There's not shit they can do. You've got so many other people who have to vote things in, in the first place. I'll run shit the way I want my shit to be ran, and I'll try to put those initiatives into place. If it's voted down, then there's nothing I can do with that. If it's voted for, well, good for that. But I ain't going to promise you shit 'cause it ain't going to happen.
You know, we're also interviewing the mayor of Covington Pike for this issue. Is there any rivalry?
I'd like to issue a wrestling challenge to the mayor of Covington Pike. We'll wrestle for titles, and if he wins, he can be the mayor of Frayser. If I win, I'll be the mayor of Covington Pike and I want a new car. Shit, I'll even give him a $20 gift certificate to Harpo's [if he wins]. You know how much beer you can get for $20 at Harpo's? You can buy a woman, a bag, a 12-pack of beer, and still have some left to play on the gambling machines. •