Ask Vance May 2011

Remembering Bob Berryman's Tourist Court

Years ago, most Memphians knew the name of Bob Berryman. Well-known as a local playboy, gambler, and man-about-town, Berryman was also a convicted murderer, who once killed a bouncer at a downtown bar... more »

May 30, 2011 8:36 PM Ask Vance

The Mystery of Bab Beckwith, John F. Kennedy, and Howard Hughes

Several years ago, I attended an estate sale on the outskirts of town, where I purchased the photograph shown here. Almost 20 inches high, it is a striking image of Bab Beckwith, a woman who was once ... more »

May 26, 2011 2:20 PM Ask Vance

Singing the Blues During the Floods

Blues singers, it seems, can use any heartbreak or tragedy as an excuse for a song. Maybe your momma done you wrong, or your old daddy's been hangin' with a bad woman, or maybe you just need a spoonfu... more »

May 20, 2011 10:37 AM Ask Vance



The Great Flood of 1912

The Mississippi River Flood of 2011 will certainly go down in history, and in recent weeks people have compared it to the devastating floods of 1927 and 1937.For some reason, the great flood of 1912 i... more »

May 17, 2011 1:57 PM Ask Vance



The Cannon in Court Square

While I was roaming through the Lauderdale Library, searching for photos of the floods of 1927 and 1937, I came across photographs that were not flood-related, so to give you a bit of reprieve from th... more »

May 13, 2011 3:16 PM Ask Vance

Looking Back at the 1927 Flood - TIME Magazine

We're keeping our fingers crossed, of course, but except for certain low-lying areas of north and south Memphis, most of our city has — so far — been spared from what everyone is calling "The Flood of... more »

May 11, 2011 2:58 PM Ask Vance

Terrible Flooding in East Memphis!

With so much attention focused on the Mississippi River, I'm rather surprised that so few people are paying attention to the flooded parts of East Memphis.This view, taken yesterday, shows Colonial Ro... more »

May 10, 2011 12:50 PM Ask Vance

Lauderdale Mansion Deemed Safe from Flooding

I appreciate all the letters of concern, but wanted to reassure my half-dozen readers that the Lauderdale Mansion, Lauderdale Library, and Lauderdale Sn0-Cone Parlor are — for now — safe from the risi... more »

May 6, 2011 2:37 PM Ask Vance

The Memphis Flood Protection Walls

Most people realize that our city is perched on high bluffs that will keep most of downtown safe in case of a flood. And to the south of the city, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has erected a levee ... more »

May 5, 2011 12:01 AM Ask Vance

The End of "The Lovin' Kate" — the S.S. Kate Adams

With all our attention nervously focused on the river these days, I thought I'd lighten the mood by telling the story of the Kate Adams. It's not a happy story, but compared to what happened to her, i... more »

May 3, 2011 10:22 PM Ask Vance

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