Photo by Brandon Dill
The folks on the tv show Cheers turned their Boston bar into a place where “everybody knows your name.” Memphis had the real-life equivalent of that with the P&H Cafe, the landmark watering hole on Madison.
Not only did longtime proprietor Wanda Wilson always know your name, she knew more about you than you’d ever imagine, and she helped turn the little bar into a home away from home for journalists, actors, artists, bankers, politicians — pretty much anyone who stepped through its doors. It was a unique place, with a special charm and unusual atmosphere, which we captured in a recent feature in our magazine, “The Beer Joint of Your Dreams.” Go here for the story of the special person who kept it humming.
Suffering from poor health in recent years, Wilson passed away Friday night at Methodist Hospital. Although she seemed to know everything about us, there was one thing no one ever knew about Wanda — her age. “I’m not allowed to put her age even on her tomb marker,” her daughter, Julia White, told The Commercial Appeal.
A visitation takes place today (Sunday) from 1 to 4 p.m. at High Point Funeral Home, 3788 Summer. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 3, at Iron Hill Pentecostal Church in her hometown of Parsons, Tennessee. Another memorial will take place on February 14 (Valentine’s Day) at 4:30 p.m. at Playhouse on the Square.
Rest in peace, Wanda. We’ll sure miss you, your wit, your charm and friendliness, and — let’s face it — your hats.