by Mellissa Thomas
“Peace on the Streets.” The radio show name sounds catchy, but for Memphis, it’s more than just a phrase — it’s a lifestyle and brand. The Memphis-born personality uses his show, which launched on JoyGospelRadio.com in August 2013, as a hub for consumers and businesses each weeknight from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. by conducting brief interviews with local businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs. He also discusses tough social issues on his show, including domestic violence, suicide, and romantic relationships, welcoming expertise from life coaches, counselors, and ministers.
If you’ve got something to promote, you’re certainly interested now, but here’s why he should be your next best friend: because he genuinely enjoys helping people like you. “I want people to get exposure without breaking the bank,” Memphis told me in a recent phone interview. “No matter how big the show gets, we will still have a discount for people who can’t afford [to pay a lot for] marketing.”
The Uphill Climb
As the second oldest raised by a single mom in a household with seven sisters and a brother, Memphis said his mother raised him to be respectful and honest, but firm, cultivating him to raise his siblings. He even taught them how to drive. She was the fuel behind his determination. “We went for three months without lights one summer,” he shared. “Mom didn’t let the kids make excuses. She taught us to deal with it.”
That’s now translated to his adult life. “I don’t like complainers and whiners. I have short patience for excuses,” he explained. “If there’s a problem, let’s figure it out and keep it moving. If you focus on the problem, it’ll become a part of you.”
While that sounds dismissive, here’s the context: Memphis’ childhood goal was to help people, and he’s been a listening ear and counselor in his own right since the age of seven, when his pastor vented to him about his frustrations. Any counselor worth his salt needs a balance of compassion and a firm sense of accountability.
He maintains that balance as a greeter and security guard for FaithWorld Center, a popular church in Altamonte Springs, FL. “I’m always looking for that one person to connect to,” he said of church newcomers. He said he likes making them feel comfortable and seats them in VIP to make them feel special.
Memphis studied at HBCU Langston University in Oklahoma for which he’d scored a scholarship. “It was one of my best but broke-est times of my life,” he admitted. He eventually left and went to a two-year tech school, juggling a full time job and five classes each weekday. “I had no life for a year and a half.” During that time, he got into landscaping; and since he loved working with kids, he eventually studied to be a physical education/gym teacher, and became a coach.
Memphis bounced around the country a bit, working in Ohio, Louisiana, and other states, even managing a corner grocery store for a while, working from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. He had put his “career on the back burner” for his family.
The Orlando Transition
Memphis brought his kids to Orlando on vacation from Louisiana, and decided to move to Kissimmee and formed his landscaping company, TLC Flower Bed Specialists. While working lawns and coaching, he also emceed for different parties and events, which cracked the deejay door open. “While I was coaching, I got recruited as commentator, [and] I gave myself the ‘Prince of the South’ name.”
His popularity escalated, landing him gigs in clubs, and an initial gig with JoyGospelRadio.com (JGR) called “1 800 Whatever You Need,” which served as a directory program. He was coaching the Osceola Panthers football team and conducting business with JGR when he received his second show offer, and “Peace on the Streets” was born.
Peace on the Streets Now
Though the show hasn’t yet reached its one-year mark, it’s already improved. Memphis recently hired veteran event and celebrity photographer Sophia Jones as his Executive Producer. She sets the show up, schedules the interviews and manages the show’s social media presence. Show fans can see the difference on the Facebook page: there’s an increase of on-location photos with Memphis and local business owners or employees he interviews on the show. In addition to Facebook, “Peace on the Streets” also has an Instagram account.
Now that his children are adults, Memphis focuses most of his energy on his landscaping business and the radio show. “I want to leave a legacy for my kids and grandkids.” He sees his children less often now, but still makes time to unplug with them doing fun activities like bowling and playing video games.
Listeners can tune in to the stream on JoyGospelRadio.com or call (401) 347-0395 and press 1 to listen in. Businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs seeking promotion can email email@example.com.
Images courtesy of Peace on the Streets, Ready Inc., and Sophia Jones.
About the Author:
Downtown Orlando Fashion Week Chief Editor Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
She’s currently available for hire, writing content for websites, blogs, and marketing material. She also writes poetry, screenplays, and ghostwrites books.
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Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness Coming March 2023
WINTER PARK, Fla. (Florida National News) – Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness, inspired by the children’s TV host and icon, comes to Orlando in March 2023. This week-long series of events was announced today at the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park.
“Fred McFeely Rogers devoted his entire life to reminding us of some of the most important ideas of what it means to be human among humans: love, respect and kindness,” explained Buena Vista Events & Management President & CEO Rich Bradley. “Many of us find that nearly 20 years after Fred’s passing, it is important to focus on his teachings once again, perhaps now more than ever. This is a week to re-engage with his massive body of work with some folks, and to introduce his teachings to others.”
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness begins March 20, 2023, the date which would have been Fred’s 95th birthday, and concludes on Saturday, March 26 with the Red Sweater Soiree, a community dinner to recognize ten ordinary members of the community who inspire and exemplify the affinity that Fred Rogers had for showing kindness to our “Neighbors”.
Activities planned for the week will include early childhood education activities and faculty training, as well as events open to the public.
“The events will be offered free or at low cost,” continued Bradley. “This week-long celebration is not a series of fundraisers, but rather about once again remembering and sharing some of the great work that Fred Rogers created, not only in early childhood education, but in reminding us that we are all part of one big ‘neighborhood’. Fred taught us the importance of accepting our Neighbors just the way they are and engaging in kindness with our interactions. I can’t think of another period in my lifetime where we needed to reflect on those messages again more than today.”
“There are three ways to ultimate success,” Fred Rogers was once quoted as saying. “The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”
Many of the activities of Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness will be attended by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 – 1975, and again from 1979 – 2001. David Newell, known as “Mr. McFeely,” the “Speedy Delivery” man, appeared at today’s media conference via video, and looks forward to visiting Central Florida next March.
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is supported by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, the Fred Rogers Institute, and Fred Rogers Productions. Details regarding the specific activities and venues will be released over the next few weeks.
For more information on the events, visit https://www.BuenaVistaEvents.com or https://www.MisterRogersWeekofKindness.com.
A Quick Primer on the Team Solving Orange County’s Affordable Housing Crisis
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange County faces a growing affordable housing crisis, and Mayor Jerry Demings has taken notice–and action. Shortly after his inauguration, he formed Housing For All, an affordable housing task force to face the challenge head-on.
The Housing For All task force doesn’t meet monthly like the County Commission–in fact, their next meeting won’t be until October 4, 2019–but they do work when they’re not meeting. The task force is made up of three subcommittees, Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee and Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee. These three subcommittees meet twice a month to come up with ideas and plans to fix the affordable housing problem.
Each subcommittee has a specific focus on ways to help solve the problem of affordable housing. The Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee is focused on the design of new affordable housing projects, the renovation of current affordable housing that might need fixing and land development for affordable housing units. The Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee is focused on making sure affordable housing is accessible to the major economic zones of the city, develop partnerships with groups and focus on outreach in the county. The Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee is focused on finding ways to increase the supply of affordable housing and how to preserve affordable housing.
At their next meeting in October these subcommittees will update the county on what they have accomplished and what they plan to do in the future. For information from previous Housing for All Task Force meetings or the meeting schedule, visit the Orange County Government website.
Leyton Blackwell is a photojournalist and Florida National News contributor. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Biopic ‘Te Ata’ Sets High Bar for 2016 Orlando Film Festival
ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) – Orlando Film Festival kicked off at Cobb Theaters in Downtown Orlando Wednesday night. The red carpet came alive with excited filmmakers and actors ready to showcase their projects to the Orlando community and, in some cases, to the world at large, including Nathan Frankowski, director of this year’s opening feature Te Ata.
About Te Ata
Frankowski’s biopic feature chronicles the true story of Chickasaw actress and storyteller Mary Frances Thompson, whose love of stories and the Chickasaw Nation fueled her to share the Chickasaw culture with new audiences in the early 1900s, a time when the United States was still growing as a nation and clashed with Native American peoples in the process.
Viewers are immediately swept into the saga from the film’s opening scene with a voice-over folk tale told by Mary Thompson’s father, T.B. Thompson (played by Gil Birmingham). Ironically, though his storytelling places the seed of inspiration in her, it slowly becomes a source of friction between them as she ages.
What makes the film engrossing is the sprawling backdrop upon which Thompson’s journey takes place. While young Te Ata (which means “The Morning”) flourishes with each solo performance and eventually sets her sights on Broadway, the Chickasaw Nation is fighting to secure the funding due them from the U.S. government in the face of ethnocentrism and religious bigotry–to the point that the government passed a law forbidding the sale of traditional Native American textiles and creations, which caused further financial struggle for the Chickasaw Nation. Viewers even experience the Thompsons’ fish-out-of-water feeling as the Chickasaw people’s territory, Tishomingo, shrinks significantly to become part of the newborn state of Oklahoma.
The political tensions are counterbalanced with Te Ata’s experience. Te Ata does her first performances among family, but chooses to leave home for the first time in her life to attend the Oklahoma College for Women (known today as University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma), despite her father’s wishes for her to find a job at home. Viewers immediately empathize with Te Ata’s awkward experience upon her arrival at the predominantly Caucasian-attended College, but cheer her on when that one connection is made, because all it ever takes is one.
Te Ata’s jumping off point occurs when she meets drama teacher Frances Dinsmore Davis, who encourages her to join her class and to share the Chickasaw stories for her senior presentation instead of the usual Shakespeare recitation. From there, Te Ata’s career blossoms from one serendipitous connection to another, taking her performances across the country. She eventually makes it to New York City, hustling to find her place on Broadway, and finds love in the process while performing privately for Eleanor Roosevelt, whose husband was then Governor of New York. The heroine’s journey continues with well-placed highs and lows, keeping the viewer visually and emotionally engaged.
Te Ata is touchingly channeled through lead actress Q’orianka Kilcher who, like Te Ata, has stage experience, and brought it to bear in the role. Kilcher’s magnetic singing, with the help of the film’s sweeping score and indigenous songs, imprints the true Te Ata’s passion for her people onto the viewer’s heart.
Frankowski, who worked closely with the Chickasaw Nation in creating the film, honors Te Ata’s memory and legacy in a cohesive, sweeping tale that will edify audiences everywhere.
Florida National News Editor Mellissa Thomas is an author and journalist, as well as a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with degrees in Entertainment Business and Film. She also helps business owners, CEOs, executives, and speakers double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book.