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Eddie and Eve Feb 15 2014We are native Memphians, back in River City after three decades plus. We didn’t plan to come home. To be perfectly honest, neither of us wanted to live in Memphis again. But God has a way of uprooting your life when you’re busy making other plans. (John Lennon said something like that, didn’t he? Only without the God part.)

Funny thing. We had barely breathed in the hot muggy soulful air wafting in across Big Muddy before we were both hopelessly besotted. Just like that. Who knew that our blood roots ran so deep?

Image credit: benkrut / 123RF 

Much has changed from the Memphis we knew before, of course. There are legitimate reasons for the whining, negativity, corrosive rants and incessant complaints we heard for years and years from our Memphis family and friends. But along with the heartbreak of things gone wrong, we also see a city of heart and soul and enduring beauty that is in many ways a better Memphis than the one we left behind.

There is a palpable spirit of determination and innovation among a core group of Memphians who love this city and are determined to stop its self-destruction. Many are bright, young new urbanists who intend to shape Memphis around their own hipper vision. Some are graying capitalists-cum-philanthropists who sincerely care about the city that gave birth to their wealth engines. And some are middle-aged Memphians who never left and never will, because blood roots run deep.

Much like the bumblebee that doesn’t know it can’t fly, we believe that Memphis’ most intransigent problems can be solved. Not quickly. Certainly not easily. And not without unceasing prayer and teamwork among people representing every economic and political stratum.

Not long after we returned, Eddie was offered a radio show to discuss public policy in Memphis on Bott Radio Network’s AM 640. We are eternally grateful to GM Todd Payne and our sponsor, Don Tredway of Tredway Financial Group for that early opportunity. (The show is no longer on the air.)

We originally created BackinRiverCity.com as a platform to expand the reach of Eddie’s monthly show.  Then we began to realize a greater vision, one that is still emerging.   We use this online space to engage Greater Memphis in thoughtful, civil, productive conversation, to explore those issues that affect our common life. We are not professional journalists. We are experienced, informed, fair-minded and engaged voters. We believe that Memphis can benefit from an alternative source of news that is factual, free, and unfettered with excessive ideological spin. (And we’re old enough to remember when the best journalism was all of those things.) 

You’ll come to know us – really know us – as we share our own personal stories and musings. Full disclosure up front: we are both evangelical Christians and politically conservative. Our worldview is fully informed by those facts and values. We have strong opinions and we will share them. That said, we will do our best to be open-minded. We promise to listen to and learn from different points of view. We will attempt to present all the essential facts on an issue – even the inconvenient ones – without intentional bias.

Eve considers herself to be politically independent, but votes conservatively. She is a former progressive who understands and appreciates many liberal viewpoints, even if she no longer embraces them. Eddie, on the other hand, is a dyed in the wool conservative Republican from his earliest days. We generally agree on basic values and many issues, but boy, do we have “interesting” debates!

Thanks for your interest in Back in River City. If you love Memphis, but hate the problems, come join the conversation!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2013 6:48 pm

    I’m still trying to love the present Memphis as I do that of 50 years ago. Good grief; can it be that long ago that I watched the AP news ticking in on the 1st floor of MSU’s Administration Building while the news came in of President Kennedy’s motorcade through Dallas–what a horrible afternoon of uncertainty.

    • February 18, 2013 11:26 pm

      It’s a different town, for sure, Carol. I miss the things we loved about the Memphis we grew up in. For me, the music of my teen years – Stax and the Memphis sound – is the tie that binds, and of course, the river and Victorian Village and Elmwood will always be here. Today’s Memphis is a true melting pot. Who would ever have dreamed that would be true? But it’s a much more interesting city because of the mix of cultures. They call Memphis a “gritty” town now (Whoa! “America’s Cleanest City”?). Yet with all the changes, and despite all the problems, Eddie and I have a love for Memphis that courses through our DNA. I’m glad I didn’t stay here; living in more cosmopolitan cities was way more fun and taught me things about life I could not learn in Memphis. But to be here, now, and to try to help fix what’s cracked or broken is clearly God’s plan for us. It feels right, and it feels good. Thanks so much for your comments. Hope you’ll be heading our way soon.

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