Mind’s Eye: Bob Williams

About this series: Memphis has played muse over the years to artists across the spectrum, from the music of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Al Green, and the collective at Stax Records, to the prose of Peter Taylor, Shelby Foote, and John Grisham. But what about visually? The look of Memphis has been described equally as gritty, dirty, active, eerie, beautiful, and captivating. 

In this series, titled “The Mind’s Eye,” Memphis magazine will be taking a closer look at some of this city’s most prominent photographers, a few homegrown, many transplanted, but all drawn in by that grittiness, that activity, that beauty. 

Is there something special about the look of Memphis? We’ll ask each and, along the way, learn what makes these photographers tick, what got them started on their professional paths, and what it is that keeps them looking around every corner and down every alley. We’ll turn the camera on the cameramen, as it were, capturing their portraits and seeing what develops. 

At the same time, we will be showcasing each photographer’s own remarkable work. Hopefully, that will speak for itself. 

Richard J. AlleyREAD MORE


Look at the bright side of impromptu winter holidays

We’re in the midst of the long run-on sentence of winter, punctuated only by a staggering MLGW bill, a stomach bug and the occasional icy holiday.

But spring break is a matter of weeks away. Say it with me: Spring break is only weeks away.

There is nothing better than Memphis in springtime, is there? The dogwoods bloom, the birds chirp, and the azaleas blossom. Then, of course, comes the pollen. The green stuff fills the air, covers our cars and invades our noses, bringing watery eyes and itchy throats.READ MORE


Mailbox full of milestones for oldest son — like taxes and college

My oldest son, Calvin, began working last fall at an East Memphis veterinary clinic. He goes in after school for a few hours a couple of days a week and on Saturdays. Last weekend, we logged on to TurboTax, and he filled out his first-ever income tax return. In a matter of weeks, $38 in refunded cash will be deposited electronically into his bank account.

Welcome to the real world of tax responsibility in the 21st century, Calvin.READ MORE


Teenagers don’t need theater class to be dramatic

My daughter is taking a theater class at White Station Middle School this semester. She’s staring down at the teen years, and someone is going to spend his time teaching her drama.

She’ll turn 13 later this year, but the teenage attitude has already let itself into our house, taken a seat at the dining table and asked me to pass the potatoes. “Whenever — it’s not like I’m starving over here or anything.”

Which came first: this inclination toward melodrama or the television shows that perpetuate it on Nickelodeon? I’ve never really sat and watched one of those shows, not on purpose anyway, but they’re constantly on, and I can hear them the same way I can hear the humming of the air conditioner or the traffic on the street. It’s background noise to 44-year-old fathers.READ MORE


In 8-year-old girls basketball, beware the no-look pass

Eight-year-old Genevieve recently started playing organized basketball. It is her first time playing a sport and her first real attempt at any organization whatsoever. She’s still a wild card.

We’re not a sports family. Oh, we enjoy rallying around the home teams — the Grizzlies, the Tigers, the Redbirds. But with the exception of 13-year-old Joshua, we don’t rally around “SportsCenter.” I understand just enough to know when Genevieve is in the paint or out, when she’s offense or defense, and when to cheer for her and when to pretend I’m there for someone else.READ MORE


Tired parents left to scrape together dinner at ‘The Fourth Line’


Over time, parents begin to look at life differently.

By time, I mean a week. And by life, I mean dinner. The beginning of a week — Sunday — is made for big family dinners such as pot roast with potatoes, a green vegetable and a starch; homemade banana pudding or cake for dessert. Perhaps spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread and salad is more to your liking, with homemade banana pudding or cake.READ MORE