A crowd of 600 on hand for the Rotary Club of East Memphis 8th Annual Bobby Dunavant Public Service Awards today.
The awards are sponsored by The Daily News and The University of Memphis. We’ll have more in Wednesday’s edition of the paper.
The honorees this year are Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich which we noted in a story last week.
The keynote speaker was Gov. Bill Haslam who offered some more behind the scenes material from President Obama’s visit one week ago today.
When the President got off Air Force One, he talked with Haslam and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. for a minute or two about flooding and other weather related disasters in the state before deciding he wanted to hear more during the ride to the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
Haslam recalled Wharton remarking as the President moved on to meet the public at the Air National Guard base, “Did the President say he wanted us to ride in the car?”
As they took their seats in the car, Haslam accidentally turned on the seat warmer for the seat where the President would sit. Before he could react, Obama got in the car.
“And so, I had that instant quick decision, do I reach over and turn it off or do I just ignore it and act like it was already on,” Haslam said. “I reached over just as non- chalantly as I could and switch off his seat warmer. He looked at me like, ‘What are you doing?’
Haslam also said the atmosphere at the last Grizzlies game of the post season at FedExForum was the “most electric” sports environment he had ever witnessed.
Haslam was on hand for the seventh and deciding playoff game between the Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder that saw the Grizzlies season end.