Handling Panhandlers in Memphis

April 25, 2008

Nothing turns off a visitor to a city–in Tennessee or anywhere else–faster than getting verbally abused by a homeless or deranged person. Aggressive panhandling poses a challenge to city governments. People have a right to walk on sidewalks, and being poor is not a crime. Yet tourists and locals have a reasonable expectation of coming downtown and not getting involved in a confrontation.

Memphis panhandler washing the windows of a vehicle

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Mini-menus great for visitors

April 25, 2008

Ever come to a new town and want to find a restaurant? If you go to a hotel, you sometimes get a notebook with menus in “Do not remove from room” notebooks or an unwieldy stack of laminated menus and take-out sheets at the front desk–not much help at all. While spending the weekend in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, TennesseeWife and I ran across a great idea called “Mountain Menus.” We saw them in the Amtrak Station in this display:

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How do you get a job like this?

April 25, 2008

I follow three Tennessee writers regularly for their articles and columns on Tennessee history: Jack Neely of Metro Pulse in Knoxville, George Zepp in the Nashville Tennessean, and Vance Lauderdale in Memphis Magazine.

All three of these guys get paid to write about local history. Jack Neely produces the most substantial work in his weekly “Secret History,” and has published several books consisting of collections of his columns. George Zepp and Vance Lauderdale respond to reader queries about forgotten people, places, and lore.

George plays it straight while Vance creates the persona of a wealthy roué who interrupts his squash lesson and gin & tonic mixing to deliver his answers. Of the three, he is the only one with a blog.

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.