Eighth CASA roast takes aim at county sheriff

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Even in its eighth year, the CASA Roast was a sure fire success since Sheriff Chris Curry was at the stake this year.

The only shining star at the event was the badge on the Sheriff&8217;s chest, as his &8220;so-called&8221; friends enjoyed a fun-filled evening at his expense. Tom Smitherman, Jerry Turpin, Butch Ellis and Beth Chapman fired more shots at Curry than his shooting range could hold.

Turpin portrayed Curry as a former apparel sales man and outfitted him with a purple velvet makeshift Sheriff&8217;s hat and a rubber baseball bat in honor of Sheriff Buford Pusser of the acclaimed movie, &8220;Walking Tall.&8221;

Smitherman shared Curry&8217;s extensive background in hostage negotiation training with the FBI and how he had to sit around for years waiting for a hostage situation to even occur in Shelby County. When it did, the story of Chris speaking somberly, sincerely and deeply into the microphone saying, &8220;&8216;Jerry&8217;, this is Chris, come out and let&8217;s talk,&8221; over and over again for several hours was hysterical. Finally, &8220;Jerry&8221; came out, but not due to Chris&8217; pleas, but because of the tear gas agents shot into the house. Chris of course, was confident that it was his words and expertise with negotiating skills that charmed &8220;Jerry&8221; out of the house.

Butch Ellis railed Curry about how inconsiderate the County Commission had been not to buy him the important weapons he so desperately needed to fight crime in Shelby County such as AK-47s, Black Hawk Helicopters, tanks and heavy artillery.

Beth Chapman who created the event eight years ago was in usual form in that she roasted Sheriff Curry, the others on the stage and some in the audience as well.

Being the only woman involved in this year&8217;s roast gave her a right of passage that the others did not have. She got to roast without ever being roasted.

Debuting at this year&8217;s event were some old names with new titles, newly elected School Superintendent Randy Fuller and appointed County Commissioner Dr. Robbie Hayes were on hand as well as newly appointed Commissioner Corley Ellis.

One of the roasters commented that Shelby County needed another Ellis in politics about like Dolly Parton needed implants – referring of course to Corley&8217;s father former Senator and County Attorney Butch Ellis.

The three new government officials winced at the prospect that they too, may someday be roasted by CASA.

Sheriff Curry gave a rebuttal that would rival that of a good trial lawyer.

He gave back to the roasters all that they deserved and ended the evening with a humble thank you to the roasters and attendees on behalf of CASA – &8220;an outstanding organization that helps abused and neglected children.&8221;

This year&8217;s event produced approximately $40,000 for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, of Shelby County, and hosted a large group of supporters as well. For more information on CASA of Shelby County, please visit www.CASAofshelbycounty.org