John and Tyrina Browning bring romance to Cooper-Young involvement


By Renee Massey/CYCA

Do you love a good romance?

When life-long Midtown resident Tyrina Browning was approached about being the subject of this month’s volunteer spotlight, she responded, “Rather than making it about me, could we make it about John and I? You see, typically we do everything together. If you see me, he is there; typically if you see him, you see me.”


And she has a point. This Cooper-Young couple is constant in its support of the Cooper-Young Community Association’s mission to make this neighborhood a safer and more desirable place to live, worship, work, and play. You’ll see them supporting local businesses, attending the monthly CYCA meetings that occur on the second Tuesday evening of the month, and volunteering at CYCA events. They are exactly the type of residents that make this extraordinary neighborhood a true community. They are an active part of their local environment.

 Here, Tyrina shares her thoughts on her and John’s community engagement:

How long have you lived in Cooper-Young?

I have lived in Cooper-Young with John for a total of 22 years.  We closed on our first house on March 13 — a Friday — on Elzey Avenue and lived there for 17 years; closed on our second house on February 13 — a Friday — on Nelson, moved in on Halloween!

How long have you been volunteering for the CYCA?

We started volunteering approximately 10 years ago, starting out with the greatest block party ever, the Cooper-Young Festival.

Please tell our readers about your most recent CYCA volunteer experience.

The most recent CYCA volunteer experience was this year’s Art for Art’s Sake Auction, monitoring the first table. This is one of our favorite events — great food, great entertainment and most importantly, FANTASTIC ART.

What other CYCA activities, if any, have you volunteered for in the past? Any favorites?

We participate in the yearly cleanup in preparation for the Cooper-Young Festival, booth duty on the day of the Cooper-Young Festival. John volunteered to landscape the front yard of an elderly couple on Young a couple of years ago, deliver the LampLighter, helped prepare and paint the train underpass on McLean, St. Jude marathon water station, food drive. Also, if [CYCA President, June Hurt] calls, we try to be there!!!!

 The Festival is our favorite with the Auction a close second.

What motivates you to volunteer with the CYCA?

The driving force to our participation is making our little part of the world a better place. I have lived in Midtown all my life, and I want this area to overcome the stigma that many people associate with Midtown. After all, a bad day in Cooper-Young beats a great day anywhere else.

What are your favorite things about Cooper-Young? What do you think makes Cooper-Young special?

The people, the food, the activities, the COMMUNITY. Cooper-Young residents are involved with our neighbors, with a genuine concern for their well-being. We have an aura that surrounds us. It beckons uniqueness that brings life, love and a passion for living.

Do you have a best friend that you do everything with? Consider volunteering to make this little piece of heaven we call Cooper-Young even more heavenly, and bring your friend. The Cooper-Young Community Association can be contacted for volunteer opportunities via email at, by telephone at 901-272-2922, or in person during office hours at 2298 Young Ave. Your volunteer work will help ensure that life is good in Cooper-Young!

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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