Meet the new LampLighter editor

Ah, Memphis in the winter. From 70 to snow in 72 hours.

As I write my introduction as the new Lamplighter editor, tiny white flakes are falling on my Cox Street house for the third time this winter. It’s a pretty minor event, except that I was wearing a Stax Records T-shirt three days ago. Some cities brag that they experience all four seasons; here, we get them in the same week.

It’s one of those little quirks about my hometown that gives people something to talk about, and man, are there things to talk about in Cooper-Young lately. Besides the weird weather.

My wife Liz and I moved back to our Midtown haunts a couple of months ago after almost eight years in Virginia. It was inevitable that we’d be back — I kept a 38104 sticker on my Jeep, waiting for this day — and it was comforting to see that some things haven’t changed. For example, one of the bartenders at Bosco’s remarked that she hadn’t seen us in “a while,” and asked me if I wanted my usual India Pale Ale. Yes, please.

But it’s even more comforting to see that, finally, some things did change. For the better.

I moved back to find that my neighborhood is the city’s epicurean epicenter, with new restaurants drawing crowds big enough they need valets to park all the cars. Burke’s Books is down here now and Goner Records, which opened after I left, is kind of a big deal.

Not all the news seemed good. Every local TV news camera zeroed in on us and hyped up a crime problem over the winter. But guess what: crime numbers are down here, not up.

Don’t let the perennial haters or some ranking in Forbes magazine discourage you. It’s a bright new day in one of the coolest cities in the country. It’s brightest in Cooper-Young, of course, where the sun is breaking through the clouds even as the snow coats my back porch.

I’m glad to be back and editing the Lamplighter. You’ll probably see me walking my hound dogs or hanging at Young Avenue Deli or playing drums with somebody in the neighborhood. Please say hey and send story ideas my way at lamplighter@cooperyoung.org. – David Royer

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi David, Am wondering if this is the same David Royer that was only about 5 years old when I met your mother, Susie, when we both worked with Fogelman Properties. You wearglasses, you like dogs and you are a good writer–three things that remind me of your mother, if you are that David Royer. You took drum lessons back then and from what I understand, are a very good drummer these days. I now live overseas and have been unable to get in touch with her–tried you on FB and they told me to contact you this way. Would love to hear from you whether I have the right David or not, and would love to be in touch with your mother. Thanks, Brenda Raines Orr

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