September 1, 2015
Trennie Williams’ Take on Having Fun vs Being Fun
Three words that describe Memphis:
- Mighty- “Memphis is mighty fun, mighty exciting, mighty in strength.”
- Enjoyable- “People just want to see Memphis and enjoy Memphis. You can’t say you weren’t enjoying it. Not the food? Not the music? Not an event?”
- Motivating “The potential motivates me as an individual to do more.”
A perfect Memphis day:
- Start with a run
- Stop for coffee
- Lunch at Mesquite Grille, Flight or maybe Ms. Cordelia’s, depending on the mood
Tips to visitors:
- Don’t be limited to one dimension of fun
- Downtown has everything you might want – restaurants, sightseeing, museums, live performances, farmers’ markets
- Overton Square is an area nearby downtown with additional things to do
- Don’t forget about the barbecue
“I’m this kind of person: Everybody lives for the weekend. But never live for the weekend; live instead for every day. What’s wrong with a Wednesday picnic? Why do you have to wait ‘till Saturday?” Trennie Williams is committed to making the most of each day. Instead of reserving fun for activities that fit the traditional definition, he feels that real enjoyment comes from having a positive, steadfast mindset regardless of the action. Applying this rule adds many more enjoyable moments to Williams’ day, whether he is on the Memphis riverfront or tidying up the family’s suburban home.
Spending time with family and friends is one of Williams’ favorite ways to enjoy being on the riverfront and in downtown Memphis. He says the area is ideal for being with those who matter most. For Williams, attending the first game of the Memphis Grizzlies playoff run for his son’s 10th birthday is definitely a prized experience. Taking in musical performances along the river – from nationally acclaimed artists, such as Fred Hammond, at the Mud Island Amphitheatre to seeing Lecrae, Lenny Kravitz and George Clinton in Tom Lee Park during the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival – are also among his cherished memories. Although ticketed events are plentiful in Downtown, many others, such as the New Year’s Eve Guitar Drop on Beale Street or events at Mud Island River Park, are free. The Williams family especially appreciates that these activities primarily focus on interactions among people – from picnicking as a weekday dinner option, to spending an afternoon roaming Beale Street, or simply skipping rocks from the Mississippi River’s bank, Williams’ place for play and leisure often gravitates towards the Memphis riverfront.
Of course, fitness also draws Williams to the river. Black Men Run, a running club that Williams exercises with, runs through different areas of Memphis throughout the year, but frequents the riverfront during their preparation for the St. Jude Memphis 5K. This year’s 5K, slated for Saturday, December 5, 2015, follows the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which, for the first time, will be held in downtown Memphis on Saturday, October 31st. In addition to workouts with Black Men Run, Williams takes individual runs along the riverfront as well. He varies his route to enjoy different stretches of the Memphis riverfront’s 5 miles of trails.
Williams, now associate publisher and editor of Silver Star News, a minister at Christ Tabernacle, and president/CEO of Airways Lamar Business Association, has to juggle professional responsibilities in addition to the other obligations of living a well-rounded life. Still, he is intentional about including the Memphis riverfront as often as possible. Even his role as a scout leader also involves the Memphis riverfront as the troop annually volunteers to pull canoes out of the water during the Outdoors Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race. Williams has been performing this balancing act for quite some time. As a business student at Christian Brothers University, he worked at FedEx. Service with the military pulled him from Memphis for a time, but upon returning to the bluff city and FedEx he resumed his education at Lemoyne-Owen College. He has since earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and a master’s degree in economics and finance. Additionally, Williams has been writing for and helping to build Silver Star News since his dad started the newspaper 30 years ago.
South Carolina-born, Williams has lived several places but has claimed Memphis as home for more than three decades. Williams’ time spent in and outside of Memphis as well as his professional work has informed his perspective of the city and its future. He has identified areas both for opportunity and appreciation. Williams feels that economic development is an opportunity for growth. He focuses this point in regards to entrepreneurial opportunities and economic empowerment of individuals within the city. Another opportunity is in enriching collaboration amongst Memphis’ stakeholders. Despite our economic hardships, this businessman appreciates how fortunate we are relative to other places in the world. He would like to see Memphians exercise more appreciation for their city and its cultural contributions instead of harping solely on negativities. Williams suggests that the media should integrate this perspective into their news coverage of the area.
For those less familiar with Downtown and the riverfront, a Google search may be necessary, but however one finds them, opportunities for fun blanket Memphis and the Mid-South. “Memphis has a lot of things that are already here,” says Williams. To have fun you must constantly search for or create it, but by being fun, good times will follow you no matter where you are. Memphis is a great place to be fun because fun – especially on the riverfront – is found all around us.