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Flyer Flashback

To mark the Flyer's 20th anniversary, we're looking back at stories from our first two decades.

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Sometimes, when looking through back issues of the Flyer, it's déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra once said.

Ten years ago this week, for example, the Flyer's cover story was an in-depth look at the upcoming mayor's race. John Branston profiled Joe Ford, then seen as the most serious threat to incumbent mayor Willie Herenton:

"Is Joe Ford mayoral timber or just a promising young councilman with a famous family name? What has brought him to the point where he can seriously challenge Mayor Willie Herenton, a two-term incumbent with more than two decades of leadership in public service?"

We all know how it turned out for Joe Ford in that race. He lost, along with five others, to Herenton, who won in a landslide.

In the same issue, Jackson Baker surveyed the rest of the field, and again, the more things change the more they stay the same. There was Memphis wrestler Jerry Lawler, who's making noises about running in 2009, just as he did 10 years ago:

"'Man, [people are] just sick and tired of the same old rhetoric. I think I'm going to have to run,' pronounced the man who, a few months back, first floated the idea of running for local office in, of all places, the national magazine Time."

This time around, of course, Herenton will most likely not be a factor. But as the master of resign do-overs and surprise announcements, Herenton knows quite a bit about déjà vu.

The only thing missing is Prince Mongo. And no one would be surprised at this juncture if he returned from Zambodia and tossed his wig into the ring.

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