SEPTEMBER IN MEMPHIS IS ALL ABO I can remember when I first asked Fred Jones Jr. for an interview. It was back in the early 2000’s when I was working for a local print media publication. I was amazed by the sheer talent the man had and was almost shattered when he asked me, “What could I possibly say that hadn’t already been said?” Little did Mr. Jones know, I was too amazed about having the opportunity to place yet another positive article regarding a black man who had pulled himself up by his own boots straps in my local publication, to worry about what had and hadn’t already been said. I went to Mr. Jones office and although I can’t remember anything but meeting his lovely gatekeeper secretary, I know we must have connected somehow as afterwards I was honored to attend a pre-show event at the Orpheum and an original Tyler Perry play. Nah, I must have been still amazed because everyone who knows me knows I’ve met some of the great entertainers and all, but it never once crossed my mind to meet Tyler Perry. I was enjoying myself with a former co-worker who was also in attendance far too much to be focused. Besides, I wasn’t asked to work, I was given a much needed and appreciated chance to relax and to enjoy some of the finder things life has to offer. To this day, I still thank you for that opportunity Mr. Jones and that is why I am always happy to see you doing what you do in and for our community (but please don’t let the cat out of the bag as I’ve never once in my 34 years of residency in Memphis been tailgating or to a Southern Heritage Classic B. 18

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