Nine Kinds of Happy

I had to pick up an interview today for a program segment I don’t usually work on. It wasn’t an imposition, especially when we got to the location. We were at a doctor’s office to interview the doctor and a patient, and the patient arrived at the same time we did.  Her jaw dropped when she saw Will, the videographer. Turns out they had worked together at WHBQ a few years back. While she was dealing with that surprise, she looked to her left, and it looked like her eyes were going to pop. She and I had worked together even further back, when I was still at WREG.

The lovely Mrs. Dunning

Many of you who live in the Memphis area should recognize the lovely and talented Tish Clark from her time on television. And if you live or work anywhere in northern Mississippi, you probably know her whether you’ve ever seen her on TV or not. When Tish first came to Channel 3, sometime in the mid-90s as an intern, the assignment desk sent her out with me and now-chief photog Scott Sutherland. We were going down to Hernando for some story. Neither Scott nor I really knew Tish when we got in the car, but she’s so incredibly outgoing, I think we knew most of her life’s story by the time when got to the courthouse in DeSoto County. And then it seemed that she knew everyone in the building!

One of the smarter things the bosses at Channel 3 did was to give Tish a job on the assignment desk. If you’ve ever done that job, you’ll quickly find out that the people who answer the phones in police stations don’t want to tell you anything when you make beat calls. That wasn’t the case when she worked the phones. I’d make beat calls the next night and the dispatchers would ask me how she was doing!

12 years ago

The last time I had actually seen Tish was at my going-away at Jeff “Bubba” Woods house in 1998. You can tell it was twelve years ago, first because I was a little heavier than I am now. I also seem to have had a lot more hair. Boy – I miss those days! Not just because of the hair thing, although I miss have something on top of my head. One of the cooler things about coming back to Memphis after being away so long is getting back in touch with people, catching up, seeing what’s changed and all that neat stuff. Running into a wonderful person and good friend completely so unexpectedly not only made my day, but probably my month. It’s got me feeling 9 kinds of happy. That’s pretty happy.

On the Horizon

Unfinished Business

The cover story on this week’s Memphis Flyer is on the big empty building on Riverside Drive at the end of Carolina Avenue. It was a good idea, but talk about bad timing. Just as the Horizon was nearing completion, the bottom dropped out of the real estate market.

One of the things brought out in the piece was that a lot of the early buyers were somehow associated with the developer. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Another point in the story was that it’s believed that all the initial buyers got their down payments back, which was a very good thing for those folks. It would have been bad if the building wasn’t finished and they lost their money.

I’ve blogged on the potential and lack of activity at the Horizon, which actually blocks my view of said horizon. I just want to note that I used the Capital One “hey, what’s in your wallet,” line last July, months before the Flyer got to it. I do give them complete props for “Lost Horizon.” It’s going to be a shame if a brand new abandoned building joins all the old abandoned buildings in downtown Memphis.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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