AUDIO: Geoff Calkins CA stories from over the years

92.9 Featured Podcast
Monday, May 21st

Geoff Calkins relives some of his favorite stories that he wrote during his 22 years covering the city of Memphis and Memphis sports figures.

00:18:26

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

The most fun I've had. And I'll be out west I don't think people like me to the extent they liked me enough you don't but you don't. But the extent that I've been successful at all as accounts of commercial appeal. It's 'cause it's not 'cause my hot cakes on. A particular game or particular coach. It's because I write about Memphis people. That we care about. And who should be written about I was just looking last night and have gone through some of the stories I'm just gonna name some of mine some of the people that I've written about over the years. I don't know how many clicks these cars are generated in the world of clips. But when short when George lapidus was diagnosed. With what would prove to be a fatal respiratory disease. He told me. That his goal he at a bail he has or he had a bottle of Bordeaux. From 1964. And he wanted to make it to drink Abdullah Bordeaux with his wife on his fiftieth what yours. And by the way you do it. When Allie Prescott. Was rebuffed. The obvious candidate. To be the Memphis athletic director. When he was rebuff from a job. Literally picked for the job by the committee but then overlooked anyway over rule as they went around again RC Johnson. Allie Prescott said fine. And he rolled up the slaves. And he went to work for the red birds and he helped create a minor league ballpark downtown. That has changed the trajectory. Of downtown. I did a common claw comfort Claude Humphrey obviously to great. Defense lineman for the Atlanta Falcons who was inducted him profile Pro Football Hall of Fame. After. His wife Sandra had died Sandra had been his biggest supporter. Any it really mixed feelings about going into the hall of fame without Sandra and I asked him if he had a favorite picture offer call. He was totally stop he said every picture she ever took my wife never took a bad picture. She was beautiful. Did come on Larry bread mantown. Kidder dropped out of school at thirteen. Literally became a bread met. The littered Brent let's let's that he did it also became one of the best golfers in the area he would of terror and up to a golf course in his bread truck. Before the start of around one of the best of amateur golfers in the area also had a son named Bob. That's some was killed. In any car accident car was hit by trying. Ancillary bread main cab Connolly started one of the great junior golf tournaments. In the country in the Bubba come. Golf tournament. Bristling Amy. Bruce lame as the Memphis tiger football fan. Just. Just the guy. He loved to play golf. He was diagnosed with our cancer. And in the end when his days were run in alone. His friends sprang him out of hospice. So he can go play one last round of golf. The Angela Williams. I think my favorite me and it D'Angelo Miller Williams memory and there's a lot of com. Was the day that he decided to come back to Memphis. Even though let's be honest for running back with his pedigree. Running backs take a certain amount of pounding on them they're done. It made no sense at all for him to come back to Memphis. But he got up there and he says. He absolutely would wanna be anyplace else he's hand there's nothing like run through that tiger had when it's inflated. And people laughed because of course that was the year when a couple times it had not been inflated. Julie clarity. Is the daughter of my plan. Former athletic director at Rhodes. She was diagnosed with breast cancer that subsequently moved to her brain. And she called me from Houston. MD Anderson is Houston. Talked to me about a column I was doing at the time she didn't know the results of her scams for the next morning whether the camps and have after brain or not. But she talked to me about the goodness that she had experienced through the entire. Process. How she had gone to get away. And I guess the most expensive wakes. Are made of natural hair and her mother said you know what we're just gonna. We're gonna make this possible for. And so they went out. And they picked up this incredibly. The nicest way I could find me to realize there. And I think that's true. And they went down and Julie took on her credit card. And a person behind the desks dead. Your friends have taken it taken care of it for. Liz Lemon. Liz Fleming is a woman who was diagnosed with cancer. The same time. Her daughter. Was discovered she had triple its. And so it was this unbelievable story of life and a half. And the best of life Adam. An artist parcel. And she was she made that trip with her born. And there were nights. She got weaker. Where they would go on walks around the neighborhood. And they'd be cushion. Liz and her wheelchair. And the three kids at Austral. And the whole neighborhood come out and join them. On this walks around the neighborhood. Ma am. They ended up as it worked out. Has passed away. And the same weekend. That she was buried. The three triplets. Work Chris. Donte' Davis is a thirteen year old kid. His mother was a drug addict who disappeared. Never really. Father took off at. We'll make it to stop. Raised the way a lot of too many people are raised in Memphis. By a whole lot of fan abide by his grandmother. Going from house to house. In the hardest cost way possible. He happened to be a talented artist. And he stumbled into something called the carpet or our garden in bing Hampton which is across the street from the school. And. They were trying to raise money to buy take a sold converted falling down house and turn it into an actual house where they could. Have this. Art hardware for rain can sort of place to do their art and have study halls and that kind of thing. So they're trying to raise money and that they came up this idea he set how modify paint these grizzlies yard. Hearts is what they call hearts planted in the ground with grizzlies face. I'm gonna take that money. I mean I give it to the covered our garden. To help raise money for the house difficult for us. Peaceful thousands and thousands. And thousands. Of those grizzlies hearts. You seem everywhere downtown. Every one of those hearts ladies and gentlemen is anybody who's been thirteen year old he's older now. Donte' Davis. Every once in awhile. Aaron Harris who runs the dark wood where insist that some of that money. Go to Don. His charisma cult. And he'd take out some money every once in awhile. And use it for. For something that she should use it for some doubts. So the first time he dead he said is plastered to dwell on an English. Is that I wanna get wings too much at my class with my charisma. That's what. Other time he wanted to take. The whole family bowl. So use some of the money that the whole family bowling including paper to get. Finally senator want. And about a bottom. And the bike was so use an overused in the neighborhood. That. Got destroyed very quickly because he'd let anyone use. As said the folks from. The group bikes studio over their abroad. They gave him a brand new fabulous. What are the police think. It was still. Since that it has developed that they have started by prepare business. Over a Binghamton. And dot they've Donte' Davis can help prepare your bike is in jail and have little. By our repair business. This lay it out as a member Jimmy keep it at a common Jimmy Key Jimmy keepers there. World War II veteran. Iwo jima who became friends with that Brenda. Because he loved the way it's at the boss people's asses. Jade Rogers one of our favorites. We've had a run the show. Jade Rogers has cerebral palsy. Agree as spam. She would. If she ever got to feel like life was too much for her she would play grizzlies. Highlights. And say you know what they're tired and look how hard they keep working and if they can do it. I can do it too. Phil camp started volunteering. At this golf tournament when he was a kid. He wound up coming head of the golf tournament he lost his first wife to an two two and and terrorism. Fellow love again. And was diagnosed to cancer. And and died too young I believe at the age of 63. I asked him if he ever felt sorry for himself. He said he can't fit Phil felt sorry for yourself very long when you look at all the baseball little girls. Mean the saint Jude kits Eric McMahon. And Amanda Odom. But he's the guy immigrants uniform. He was diagnosed with cancer. And spent a year fighting and you don't think of very bears getting cancer. But honestly the stories that he told about the way that all the other mascots around the league supported him. I don't know chose you don't need a tripling to bounce back Dennis Freeman used to be the better the flyer I remember. When he was. And some of these stories too many percent. But when Dennis Phelan was was in his last days he made a videotape. Of himself talking. And giving advice to his daughter for rose. I ran into froze on the street the other day she's in her twenties now and she's doing great Morris fair Morris fair. County commissioner. Republican. On a county commission. In the midst of the grizzlies fight. As to whether we should can build FedEx Forum it was always gonna pass City Council know on that argument past the City Council. But would it pass industry county commission. Nobody knew Maurice ferre Republican. Fiscal conservative. All of his constituents said. RS. Vote against that. He looked at the numbers. You thought they made sense. He voted for. In the next Republican primary because of that vote. That vote which proved critical for the passage and one of the reasons the grizzlies are here today. He lost the primary to John willing. That vote cost the mystery. That is a profile in courage. Come on Mary from midtown and if you remember reply too young for marriage from midtown. Mary from midtown it was one of these radio voices. Who was just she called ship is incredibly raspy voice. If you call all the time on the radio. Mary from mid ten. The characters that make a city. Great stamp Bronson showed up once upon a time many years ago. His mother to know what to do them Stamberg Stan Branson was a kid who you'd I guess these days call special. And says mother said gosh one out of Memphis football. And and and got together with spook our feet and said this or anything you do to help me get my son something to do. A spooks say hey have you show up tomorrow. He showed up for more than fifty years. Became the bat boy for the Memphis tiger basket for the Tibetan Memphis tiger bat baseball team. And is in the Guinness world of world of world book of records for the longest serving. That boy. F. Scott Patterson. Leading scorer I believe he might still be the leading scorer at a US or one of and it roads. He lost his sight. To a brain tumor. Any subsequently lost his life to a different form of cancer. On I talked to his wife about it. He said you know he completely remade his life after. After he lost his sight. It's still go on run on her. On on runs and he'd come back totally scraped because he'd run into trees and stuff like that he would play golf as brother would stand over the whole. And I put his feet on either side of the hole and say and just talk so Scott can hit it may interaction. Below are member most his wife said they'd still go on long walks to look at tomorrow. And she set I tell where the moon was in this guy. It's like 2 o'clock. That I never roughly saw. But he always said he did. I am strong Tennessee football player moved to the owner who moved to Tennessee who moved to Memphis just to get some job. Stayed stayed stayed and stayed the whole generation Memphis football players meant about athletes who were woken up primary Armstrong. Who would give anything to be be woken up camera and strong Wal-Mart time he was almost everything else who said the dam. The dorm fought. I asked him why at Tennessee guys stayed in Memphis is that I came here and it just seemed like. Everyone laughed. Derek Bart and Eric Barton was say yeah. Great junior tennis player in England. Everyone thought he was gonna win Wimbledon it was easily the best junior tennis player inning. And. And the war game. And he went with serve another term as war was over. He. Was a Lawrence. Any never made it. He had assembled an attempt to Memphis. He became the coach at Rhodes. Worked for the university club for a long time pushed a lot of players touched on Ottawa. And then subsequently died and some got the idea like wouldn't it be cool if some of his ashes. Could be sent back to England where extra to be scattered and and so. Some I was here for the lead the series the speaker series downtown. And a British. Priest. And that British priest said. Pat I can take his ash Oscar. And so they get absolutely ashes. And then they didn't hear anything primitive near anything and anything could hear anything and I finally got an idea. Sent an email today and in with Derek sessions. They finally got an email back and said from the guys that I'm sitting in the royal box. At Wimbledon. With the archbishop of cant bear. When this match is over we are gonna spend and we are gonna spread Eric's ashes. At center court. So the guy who is are we supposed to and at Wimbledon. Them did it. I could go on like this. For another now war. Stories. About. Mentally that's for. Men. It's been the best part of my job. And it's why am I have fallen in love with this place and why all the one lead in the paper. I'm Ali Memphis. It's funny on that point. And later on I'm gonna grow overheard the five things I was most right about the five things I was most wrong about in my time in the commercial peels one of the things. Foreshadowing here it goes wrong about. Was that grand. Eric Thompson was the worst thing the grizzlies could do would be to bring back Rana and of course turn out to be absolutely. May be the best thing. And I talked to him about this. One day. And I talked about. Why is why did he feel. That was. About. The city what was the connection. And so I'll leave it cuts could Zach Randolph the greatest currently set at. But he was speaking for me he said I feel like I'm from Memphis. It's never felt like this any place else. Rim take a break when we come back. Let's examine whether I'm glad when I was talking to Gary perish about this on a Thursday it was a Jeffrey. Indeed it was sir on Thursday. Liar when I was talking to get embarrassed about this on there instead of doctor in nineteen NF amused.
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