Sears Crosstown in Memphis

When it opened in 1927, Sears Crosstown, now Crosstown Concourse, was the southeastern regional warehouse and distribution center for the Sears Catalogue mail-order empire. Each day, more than forty-five thousand orders were processed by more than 1,500 workers. As a result, Sears Crosstown became known locally as “the Wish Building.” For more than half a century, the iconic building and its surrounding neighborhood flourished until the decline of Sears in the 1980s. For decades, the once dynamic destination for commerce was vacant and shuttered. Then a unique group of Memphians emerged to resurrect Sears Crosstown with a plan most thought was impossible.  In his latest book, Bill tells the story of “the Wish Building”—its past, present and future.

Click here to order your copy! »

Bill's Blog

More Posts »
CIVICS CLASS, "SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK" DIDN'T PREPARE US FOR MODERN POLITICS

The following is my column from today's issue of The Tennessean, and it is reprinted with the permission of the Tennessee USA Today Network.  

Between partisan fights and filibusters, bills face previously unimaginable roadblocks to becoming laws on the state and federal levels.

Read More »
MEMORIES OF MY SPACESHIP

In 1961, when I was 9 years old, I built a spaceship.  It was made of cardboard, and it sat on a launching pad in the driveway in front of my house.  My mother and father parked on the street in front of our house for several days before the scheduled launch so as to avoid running over my space craft.

Read More »
TOO MUCH NEWS, TOO LITTLE JOURNALISM

I am a news junkie.  I read five newspapers each morning, not from cover to cover, but from screen to screen. 

My favorite time of the week is early Sunday morning.  I get the big thick Sunday newspaper (that’s a news Paper, not a news screen!), crawl in it, and read my way out of it! 

Read More »

Bill's Books

More Books »
Why Can't Mother Vote?
Why Can't Mother Vote?

On August 18, 1920, thirty-year-old Tennessee State Representative Joseph Hanover walked through the lobby of The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville to be greeted by cheers and jeers. Joe Hanover had become the nation’s leading male voice in the fight for woman suffrage. The most powerful forces in Tennessee opposed him. But Joe Hanover, a Polish immigrant, was not going to back away from the fight. He asked, “Why can’t Mother vote?” And then he set about to take care of the unfinished business of Democracy.

In his latest book, Bill tells the inspirational story of this unsung hero of woman suffrage.

Available December 23, 2019. To order email Bill at Whaltom@comcast.net or Jacque Hillman, Publisher, hillhelengroup@gmail.com, or call 731-394-2894. Mailed orders: $28 includes shipping.

The book will also be available at Burke’s Books and Novel Memphis, and online at Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Read More »
Full Court Press: How Pat Summitt, a High School Basketball Player, and a Legal Team Changed the Game
Full Court Press: How Pat Summitt, a High School Basketball Player, and a Legal Team Changed the Game

In his latest book, Bill has teamed up with a brilliant young writer—Amanda Swanson—to tell the story of a game-changing lawsuit, Victoria Cape v. the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. 

Read More »