Bruce is on vacation this week. Y'all let the man fish.
Some thoughts on this week's issue and more ...
• Last Monday, on my walk to the Big River Crossing from work, I crossed over the pedestrian bridge near the south entrance to Tom Lee and emerged into a cage, literally. What with all the rogue beavers and bears and zoo babies and new Blue Suede Brigade, the situation was if not startling then definitely weird.
It was, of course, just Memphis in May shoring up the park and preparing for load in for this weekend's fun. You can read all about the Beale Street Music Festival in this issue, including a trio of features about Snoop Dogg, Booker T. Jones, and Dead Soldiers and a full rundown of all the acts performing. Fingers crossed for good weather.
The Flyer's building happens to be very close to Tom Lee. Even with all the Memphis in May-induced traffic hassles (which promise to be worse this year with all the construction at the Brewery ... already feeling pre-rage), it's a pretty ideal location. I've been a vegetarian for 14 years, but one of my greatest pleasures is taking the bluff steps down to the park during Barbecue Fest and giving the park a loop-around or two. (There's also plenty of junk to eat, so don't you worry about me.)
One new development with Barbecue Fest this year is that Wednesday night will now be open to the public. Wednesday has been, for as long as I can remember, friends and family night, just sort of a chill evening before all the craziness. According to a Memphis in May rep, there were so many folks in the park on Wednesday already, it made sense to open it to the public.
But the new NEW development is that there is a new event. Are you sitting? Sauce wrestling. Word is, there will be an actual wrestling ring covered in a tarp covered in barbecue sauce. So gross. I love it.
• How does so much dog hair get in the fridge?
• Michael Freakin' Donahue, everybody!
• I just saw a commercial of a lady shaving her armpits ... with a huge, huge grin on her face as if swept away in the bliss of shaving one's pits. This does not happen. Nope. Stop it.
• I finally found a 901 Rock. Is this still a thing? Is Railgarten the new 901 Rock? I was told I need to put it back in the wild, but since I found it in a semi-scary, litter-strewn alley, I feel like I earned it. Can I throw it at somebody?
• Also in this issue is a viewpoint by Martha Park. She wrote the Flyer's cover story on the Ell Persons lynching last year. In the viewpoint, she writes about student involvement in the Lynching Sites Project, which "shin[es] the light of truth on lynchings in Shelby County, Tennessee." One teen said, "We learn about Martin Luther King all the time, but we didn't learn this history" — a notion shared by others in the viewpoint. At a time when Trump was quoted as saying, "People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?," the more hard facts out there the better.
I'm not the first person to point out the parallel stories of Civil War monuments and the Lynching Sites Project. A statement from the city of New Orleans, which recently took steps to remove its Civil War monuments, reads, "[the monuments] failed to appropriately reflect the values of diversity and inclusion that make New Orleans strong today." Shouldn't we able to make that same statement here?