Remembering Monk - Real Name: Tony Cassatta

One of the most famous Memphians was an unforgettable character.




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Monk AKA Tony Cassatta

We lived on High St. Our house faced High the house on the other corner faced our house. That is where Monks brother and sister lived. He came home every night and left early the next morning. Monk thought the world of my Mama Dorothy Curtis, she was born blind and was raising 6 children. She would us not to call him Monk it was wrong but to call him Tony or Mr. Tony. thanks for bring back the memories of that time in my childhood

Joannie Curtis 68 days ago


My father was the manager of the Greyhound bus station from the 50's through mid-1980's. I remember Monk who would occasionally find his way inside to panhandle the waiting customers. My father would chase him outside handing him a dollar bill on the way back. Monk would shake his stick and mutter something in Italian. He was a fixture of downtown.

Tami 139 days ago

We knew him well

My father would occasionally give Monk a ride, and my brothers and I, having a natural apprehension of him, would all scatter to the back seat. We have a picture of Tony sitting at my father's law desk in the 100 N. Main building, with a big cigar in his mouth. He always approached my father, saying, "Let me hold something", which always elicited a five dollar bill from my father. Monk was a part of the fabric of this big ole interesting town, and from him and the way father treated him, we learned acceptance and valuing every human being.

Cary M Schwartz 145 days ago


I just sent you a picture of Monk's Magical Medicine Water, sold to benefit Save Our Shell.

Scott Banbury 145 days ago


Vance Lauderdale

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of four books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine’s History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine’s History Expert (2011), Vance Lauderdale’s Lost Memphis (2013), and Vance Lauderdale’s More Lost Memphis (2014). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards (including “Best Blog - 2017” from the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards), the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den.