Dan Conaway Op-Ed

Conaway: Bonds and toilet seats

A University of Tennessee fraternity brother invited me to lunch the other day, he said, to share my experience writing a column with his son. Instead, he turned to me and opened with, “Tell him the toilet seat story.”


Conaway: Christmas was a piece of cake

This is about respect for time-honored process in a short-cut world, about pride in completion, about creating something for others. As chef Hallie said, “Baking is hard.”

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    Conaway: Christmas time

    In a small town outside of London, in a pub known only to locals, I found myself standing next to someone I was in the third grade with at Memphis State Training School.

  • Subscribers Only Op-Ed

    Conaway: Promise

    This is and always has been a city of promise, and a city that fails to live up to it time and time again.

  • Subscribers Only Op-Ed

    Conaway: A few of us

    What these people have in common is Memphis – a place from which seemingly ordinary people send extraordinary things to the world.

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    Conaway: A taxing lesson

    On Oct. 3, we voted in a half percent sales tax increase, raising our sales tax to nearly 10%. The police and fire unions campaigned to get the issue on the ballot, promising to restore benefits cut in 2014, but other city employees would be cut out of the tax increase windfall. 

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    Conaway: New incentive, old-school pork

    Raymond James, headquartered in St. Petersburg, gets in a fight with their landlord Jacob Sofer, headquartered in New York, over elevators in their Downtown Memphis office building, and the next thing you know, EDGE has given Raymond James $3,238,440 of your and my money to move to East Memphis. 

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    Conaway: Read local

    Kroger serves as a good corporate citizen in its many communities, and its generous support of the Mid-South Food Bank here is one example. However, Kroger can be truly tone deaf about truly local connections.

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    Conaway: Your papers?

    How many of the people around me in waiting rooms at the driver’s center and the SSA office can find all the things they need to get their driver’s licenses, or their benefits, or the REAL ID required by October of 2020?

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    Conaway: It’s all connected

    Now United Way requires the agencies it funds to connect with each other, and to guarantee that connection in their funding requests. In turn, United Way nurtures and facilitates those connections.

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    Conaway: Building better boxes

    We are just a president’s cruel tweet away from Baltimore, a look in the mirror at a majority-minority city reclaiming its historic buildings, its downtown swimming in development and promise while the city struggles with how to share that promise with so many drowning in poverty.

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    Conaway: Learn. Don’t return.

    Nostalgia can be fun and comforting. It can’t be a destination. Don’t long to go where you can’t go, long to make where you’re going better.

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    Conaway: A bright blue night in 1964

    This was Memphis in the early '60s. You could see Elvis at a stoplight, Jerry Lee in a restaurant, and listen to "Wooly Bully" on the radio waiting in line for auto inspection right in front of Sam the Sham’s club.

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    Conaway: Those in charge of saving our lives can’t seem to save information

    My doctors seem to have no idea who I am. I had back surgery in November and follow-up appointments since, but I’m still asked to fill out a complete online personal medical history, family medical history, and identity check including photos, front and back, of all requisite cards and documents in advance of my next appointment.

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    Conaway: We are killing ourselves

    There is no excusing the murderer who took Glenn Cofield’s life or Brandon Webber’s self-destruction. There is also no excuse in the richest nation on Earth for the poverty and despair our policies produce, and the pressure that puts on law enforcement and support systems.

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