Courtesy of the 2011 Vance Lauderdale calendar, some facts to amuse and amaze your friends:
• On March 14, 1949: "The 'Old Master Says' restaurant opens on Poplar, topped by a 14-foot sculpture of the owner's head."
• On May 27, 1968: "The Lakeland sky ride jams, stranding 55 passengers for nine hours."
• On October 18, 1877: "First telephone call is made in Memphis."
And those are but a few facts out of many that dot this calendar, officially titled Vance Lauderdale's 2011 Scrapbook: The Best Images from the Pages of Ask Vance, Memphis Magazine's History & Trivia Expert. Each month comes with a summary of a long-forgotten trend, much-missed restaurants, or since-shuttered industries, and each is illustrated with old postcards, pictures, and newspaper clips. It's a fascinating read.
Lauderdale's column first appeared in the pages of the Flyer in 1991 and moved to Memphis magazine in 1995. His popular book Ask Vance was published in 2003. But the most important date, according to Lauderdale, and one he says is important to Memphis history as well? "My birthday, August 1st."
And there's one more date to remember: Tuesday, January 11th, when Lauderdale signs his calendar at Davis-Kidd.
Vance Lauderdale calendar-signing, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, 6 p.m., Tuesday, January 11th. Calendars are $10 and come with a free subscription to "Memphis" magazine.