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Taylor Steals Show at Herenton Roast

Democrats got more toast than roast this weekend at a Saturday night fundraiser for the local party billed as a roast of former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.
The crowd of 300 at Colonial Country Club included some past Herenton rivals but was mostly a group of political allies.
But as with any longstanding political icon, many relationships are a mixture of both over the years as circumstances change several times over.
Former Memphis City Council member Brent Taylor stole the show with already high expectations for some friction between the two. Several of those who went before Taylor referenced the stormy council committee session in which Herenton asked Taylor if he wanted to step outside.
The back story is Herenton and Taylor later become friends even though they continued to disagree on the role the council played in working with the mayor. They continue to come from very different political places – Herenton is a Democrat and Taylor is a Republican.
But Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism said Herenton urged him privately to support Taylor’s re-election efforts to the nonpartisan council. Chism and Taylor later served together on the Shelby County Commission when Taylor was appointed on an interim basis to fill the vacancy created by Mike Carpenter’s resignation.
Chism said Herenton’s momentary ire at Taylor during the council committee session, Chism would later learn was because Herenton said “he looked at me funny.”
“Hell has officially frozen over,” Taylor said after a few preliminary remarks. “The nation has a black president. Memphis has a white Congressman. Herenton is out of office and I’m speaking at a Democratic event.”
From there, Taylor pushed further with Herenton sitting just a few feet away.
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Ford on Obamacare and Boehner

Harold Ford Sr., the former Memphis Congressman and founder of the new Harold Ford Funeral Home, has been in town this week for the formal opening of the new business which we will be writing more about in Tuesday’s edition.
Ford, who now lives in Miami, left Congress at the end of 1996 choosing not to seek re-election and a bit uncertain that he would like becoming a consultant and lobbyist. Now Ford says he will gradually be getting out of that business, remain based in Washington and Miami and build what he hopes will be a group of funeral homes that include crematoriums as well as new types of park-like settings for the urns containing the remains of those who are cremated. The operation features computer links that allow for 24-hour remote viewing of services and even the permanent settings for the urns in the park.
Earlier this year, Ford closed on the shopping center at 1638 Sycamore View and the funeral home will take up the entire center. Ford is in Chicago this weekend to prepare for the opening of the same business there.
It’s a business Ford knows well. He has been in it all of his life. It is the family business through several generations. And he maintained his mortician’s license through out his storied and groundbreaking political career.
So, you can understand us asking his view of what will happen in Washington with the potential government shutdown and the future of Obamacare.
“It’s a tough call for Congress. I think the House just might be silly enough not to pass this. I’m not sure they are going to agree with the Senate. If not, we are headed for a shutdown,” Ford said Friday afternoon as he mentally reviewed where the votes appeared to be in the majority Republican house led by House speaker John Boehner. “I don’t think Boehner can get his votes. If he brings his bill to the floor there are 189 Democrats on the floor. All three of the Republican leaders in the House are in support of passing this and funding Obamacare. They don’t want to fund Obamacare but they are willing to let it go through and not have the government shutdown. So all they need is 25 votes. If Boehner can’t deliver that – what Boehner is really afraid of is that if he puts it on the floor they will get a Republican caucus and vote him out of office. … It’s a tough call for him. But I think he ought to be a statesman even if it costs him his speakership. He’ll go down in history as a brave and great guy.”

Malco opening new cinema in Oxford

Malco is opening a second location in Oxford in October.

The new Malco Oxford Commons Cinema opens Oct. 11 on Commonwealth Boulevard and will present art titles and independent features in its mix of movies.

The grill will include gourmet menu items along with old standbys like popcorn and Coke. And all auditoriums will be equipped with luxury seats, stadium seating, digital projection and Dolby Surround Sound.

Garrison Keillor bringing his radio show back to Memphis

The venerable host of “A Prairie Home Companion” is coming back to Memphis for another live broadcast of his long-running show.

Garrison Keillor will host the show live Oct. 26 from the Orpheum Theatre. On hand will be his usual cast of actors performing many of the show’s familiar bits and routines, like Guy Noir, Private Eye, plus Keillor’s signature monologue and the news from the fictional town of Lake Wobegon.

Tickets for the Memphis performance of the show – which is now entering its 40th season – are available for purchase online at the Orpheum website, www.orpheum-memphis.com, as well as by calling 901-525-3000, all Ticketmaster centers and the ticket counter at the Booksellers at Laurelwood.

Garrison Keillor and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band. Photo courtesy of A Prairie Home Companion.

Garrison Keillor and The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band. (Photo courtesy of “A Prairie Home Companion”)

Mellow Mushroom opening new Memphis location Sept. 30

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is opening a new location in Memphis Monday (Sept. 30) at 5138 Park Ave. in the parking lot of the Eastgate Shopping Center.

The new location was converted from a bank to the new restaurant, which will feature Mellow Mush’s menu of items like pizzas, hoagies, salads, calzones and more.

When guests walk in, there will be a classic sci-fi and space travel feel. An atrium will glow will color-changing meteor showers as a backdrop to a rocket entering the earth’s atmosphere, and there will be murals depicting space travel and fighter ships disguised as pizza slices.

Live music and trivia will be held at the restaurant some evenings. There’s also a full service bar, and the location will be open seven days a week. For more information, visit the store’s Facebook page.

Dansette

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