February 2008 Backtalk

I was completely enthralled with Marilyn Sadler's stories on the murder of Emily Fisher. I grew up at St. John's Methodist Church and volunteered in the church nursery as a young teenager. Adrian Fisher was one of the toddlers I cared for in the nursery. The stories were well-researched and written, and cleared up the confusion I had on the acquittals at the first trial and why a second trial was held so many years later. By the time I got to the end of the second story I was ready for a good cry. So tragic — the tangled story really stays with you.

~ Christi Shaw

"Still Fishing Around" [December] reminds me of my father's prescience upon announcement of the Pyramid project. He was a dedicated Memphis cheerleader but had predicted failure of the Mud Island tourist project and saw the same fate for the Pyramid.

I was perplexed that at a moment when basketball courts were taking the shape of inverted pyramids, the Pyramid was touted as a home for a Memphis State basketball team then planning its own campus court.

I saw a possible project stopper: pointing out that an Egyptian pagan monument copy was hardly appropriate for a good Baptist town. Unfortunately, procrastination left that potent letter unwritten.

I was sorry to see the list of Memphis literary works not include William D. Miller's deserving Memphis in the Progressive Era and his definitive biography of Ed Crump.

~ William H. Slavick
Portland, Maine

I enjoyed reading Michael Finger's recent article on Overton Square's evolution over the years. As times change, it is important for your readers to know the history of our city and how these areas evolved. I must say, however, I was saddened to see his complete omission of The Public Eye Restaurant. As a cornerstone of the Square for over 20 years, we were the launching pad for many of the fun-filled evenings described in the article. We hosted EVERY Liberty Bowl team for years to introduce them to "Memphis-style barbecue." We were the launching pad for the many Channel 5 New Year's Eve celebrations hosted in the Square, the host for every MSU Tiger Football recruiting class, and too many other annual, weekly, and monthly functions to mention. As the first president of the Overton Square Merchants Association (for five years), I worked hand in hand with Ben Woodson, David Broyles, and Jeanne Arthur to help accomplish the "atmosphere" we created. More importantly, we were one of two restaurants in the city to help establish the "Memphis-style barbecue" we see sold today on QVC and grocery shelves across the country. Without The Public Eye there would be no Interstate Bar-B-Q, no Central BBQ, and no Corky's. It was a shame to see it go; it is also a shame to see it forgotten.

~ David Sorin
Owner, The Public Eye (1975-1994)

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