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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mississippi Musing 2

I've always associated John Grisham with Oxford, Ms. You know -- Ole Miss, etc. Well it turns out that one of his first law offices was here in Southaven -- in the building which now houses our insurance agent. Mike says that they have some Grisham movie posters on the walls. So, with no offense to Mr. Grisham and with names eliminated to protect absolutely everyone -- I present The Clients.

One of our recent tax clients was a fellow Mike says is legendary and has played with "everyone" including Rita Coolidge and 15-20 years with Kris Kristofferson. He appeared in several Kristofferson movies including Honeysuckle Rose.

Speaking of movies, the guitar player with Mike's current band used to play in a jazz trio. They were hired to play in the rooftop party scene in The Firm filmed here in Memphis. They were supposed to play three tunes so, being smart musician fellows, they sat down and wrote three songs which they used in the movie. Result -- they're still making a little money off that gig.

And speaking of movies again, there's our friend the seven-foot tall painter. Even with my vision, I always recognize him when he walks in the office door. He's the only client who has to duck. When Mike first hired him to do some painting years ago, Mike looked around at the equipment and asked about the absence of ladders. Our friend explained that on indoor jobs, he just doesn't need one.

Anyway, when Grisham's Painted House was being filmed in Arkansas, our client's name came up and he was hired to paint sets (skill, not height). As a result, he's frequently hired by movie companies that are filming in the South.

Not a movie -- yet. A nice couple saw our ad in the paper and came in -- Hurricane Katrina survivors. They made it a point that they're not from the City, but from the bayou country. . . which was obvious from their familiar, strong accents. They'd been on their own after the storm for several days when they got to the airport. She told me that "they" kept putting the couple in different lines, and they never knew what the line was for.

After enough lines, they finally were able to board a plane. They'd gotten out with only the clothes they were wearing and didn't know where the plane was taking them. As it turned out, the plane was headed to East Tennessee and Al Gore was on board. They finally got themselves to the Memphis area where she had a relative, but they want desperately to go home. She said that it's too cold here and she can't find what she wants in the grocery store. He was a commercial fisherman and now works as a forklift driver in a warehouse. She said that 12 hours a day cooped up inside is driving him crazy. They're saving their money and hoping to get back down to the coast.

And finally. I promise this is true. There was a visit from clients Mary and Joseph. Mike figured their taxes and the refund came out to $666. He said to himself, "No way." Refigured, changed some numbers and came up with a much more appropriate refund for the two.

And that's how it goes today in Mississippi.


Anonymous said...

Was Kristofferson in Honeysuckle Rose, starring Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon, and Mrs. Stephen Spielberg - at that time anyway - aka Amy Irving? I'd like southern (you can count Texas as southern, can't you) movie players for $300, Alex.
Whenever we're in downtown Memphis, one of my favorite places to eat is Blues City Cafe on the Corner of Beale and I think 4th street. It's across from Silky's. Blues City started life as a Doe's. Doe's was made famous in Little Rock by the Clinton Presidential campaigns. But perhaps they just made the original one in Greenville, MS famous.
Anyway, there's a scene in The Firm where Tom Cruise's character is first approached by the FBI agent (Ed Harris). Cruise is eating and reading. In the Grisham novel it was in a deli. In the movie, it is in fact a table along the 4th St. wall of the Blues City Cafe. You can go eat there today!
If you do, I recommend the tamales and the steak. But they brag most about their ribs. Enjoy.

Scarlett said...

Oh ye of little fairh. Although Mike has known the bass player Tommy McClure (oops, I said his name) a hundred years, I asked Mike to verify for your comfort. Yes, Kristofferson and his band were in the movie along with Willie Nelson, Leon Russell and a cast of thousands. Hang your head in shame. Or just keep us honest. Thanks a bunch.