“Grace Card” movie comes to DVD

“The Grace Card,” the motion picture about two Memphis police officers that stars Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr., will be available on DVD Aug. 16.

The faith-based movie was made in Memphis and conceived by Dr. David Evans, a Memphis optometrist who had support from his local church, the Calvary Church of the Nazarene in Cordova.

(Link above takes you to Amazon’s page for the DVD)

The Ford Family Has A Writer

 

A link to a simply amazing New York Times piece on a member of the Ford family. Here is the story of Victoria Ford.

You really have to read this for yourself. The only thing I’ll say is for decades the Ford family has been regarded by many as a monolithic political entity that, oh by the way, also happens to be a family. Some Memphians don’t even bother to distinguish one Ford from another. That includes those seeking the family’s help as well as those who scorn the family.

There is another side to that. It is a very private side maintained by a family with a very public life in other regards. Only rarely in the last 40 years have we had more than a glance at the dynamics and inner workings and conflicts of the city’s most storied political family. There is a public life that goes up to a certain point and then there is a formidable barrier. All families have this kind of barrier. Few have this kind of public life that serves as the front yard to that wall behind which are the answers about key events in that public life.

Well, politics and public service may be the Ford family calling. But there is a writer in the family and she has written about the family.

 

 

Traffic Countdown

 

You’ve heard about the bike paths and walking trails. The Memphis urban environment is getting another signal that the city is more pedestrian friendly.

It is, literally, a traffic signal.

I spotted it this morning at the corner of Danny Thomas Boulevard and Poplar Ave., an intersection that can be intimidating to even the most watchful pedestrian.

One of the crosswalk signals now includes a numeric countdown that counts down the number of seconds you have to cross.

It’s a big change from the still more dominant crossing signals that begin flashing after just a few seconds even though there is still plenty of time left to cross without running afoul of the flow of the motorized in Memphis traffic that is increasingly becoming more diverse.

 

Memories of CNBC Anchor Mark Haines (1946-2011)

Mark Haines, CNBC’s likeable curmudgeon of an anchor, died this week.

Traders at the New York Stock Exchange observed a spontaneous moment of silence Wednesday.

Tributes poured in from around the nation’s business community, including from the likes of the chairman of Boeing and from former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan .

Memphis financial advisor David Waddell was interviewed by Haines on CNBC. Waddell said “he was a very good interviewer and never let you get away with an unsubstantiated comment … I really appreciated his integrity.”

Chris Low, chief economist for FTN Financial (a unit of Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank), is interviewed frequently in the financial press. In a note sent to his email list Thursday morning, Low said his first TV appearance many years ago was with Haines on the CNBC show “Squawk Box.”

“Impeccably dressed above the desk in a blue suit jacket, white shirt and solid tie, Mark was wearing faded blue jeans and scuffed basketball sneakers under it,” Low said. “He was as tough with me as he was with any of his guests, but he also recognized the deer in the headlights fear in my eyes, because, before we went on air, he told me to relax.

“Then he said, ‘I’m going to come at you hard, but if you believe in your forecast, come right back at me. That’s good TV. Don’t take it personally, and don’t worry about hurting my feelings.’ It was just the right thing to say to a rookie, and was typical of the man. I will miss him.”

Memories of Lehrer

This news about Jim Lehrer leaving his anchor job at ‘PBS NewsHour’ in June reminded me about the behind-the-scenes look I got at the legendary anchor when I covered the presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., in September 2008.

I was with a group of journos from around the world who were settling into position a few minutes before the appointed time when Barack Obama and John McCain would begin their debate.

Jim Lehrer always seemed to have a low-key, relatively quiet presence in the broadcast chair. He was anything but that as he strode onto the stage in Oxford a few minutes before the debate was supposed to begin, on his way to take a seat in the host’s chair.

With about five minutes to spare, Lehrer addressed the crowd.

“It’s going to require my absolute concentration, and I don’t want to worry about anyone cheering and hollering behind me,” he snapped. “This is not a competing pep rally. If I hear (anything), I’ll raise my hand. And that means hush.”

He said there would be five-minute periods of open discussion between the candidates sprinkled throughout the 90-minute debate.

“That’s when it’s going to get hairy for me and for everybody,” he said. “This has to be a credible debate. It has to be fair, and it has to appear to be fair.

“And. No. Cell phones. If you’ve got a cell phone, throw it away or turn it off.”

He then took his seat in the chair, with his back to the crowd, appearing to shuffle some papers.

“Thirty seconds,” he bellowed to the crowd. “The next words you hear from me will be the real ones.”

And then, as promised, “the real ones.”

Announced Lehrer: “Good evening from the Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.”

Dansette

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