TBA Law Blog

Posted by: William Haltom on Jan 1, 2009

Journal Issue Date: Jan 2009

Journal Name: January 2009 - Vol. 45, No. 1

I am a big fan of Bruce Pearl, head coach of the University of Tennessee Gentlemen Vols basketball team. He is, in my impartial opinion, the second greatest basketball coach in America. The first, of course, is the legendary Pat Summitt, coach of the Tennessee Vols basketball team.

You will note that I do not refer to the University of Tennessee women's basketball team as the "Lady Vols." Based on the comparative success of the two programs, I believe the women's team should be referred to simply as the "Vols," and the men's team should be referred to as the "Gentlemen Vols."

But while Bruce Pearl is no Pat Summitt, I am a big fan of his for several reasons. First, under his leadership, the Gentlemen Vols win a lot of games, particularly over evil teams such as the Kentucky Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores. (For the record, I am actually a big fan of the Commodores. Not the Vanderbilt Commodores. Lionel Richie and the Commodores.)

I also like Bruce Pearl because he wears an orange sports jacket from time to time, as a tribute to the legendary Tennessee coach Ray Mears. I wish I had the courage to wear a Tennessee orange blazer. I also wish I had the courage to wear a white jumpsuit like Elvis wore in his "Aloha from Hawaii" concert in 1973. An orange blazer and a white Elvis jumpsuit are both tacky. But they are tacky chic. In fact, they are so tacky, they are cool. (Elvis and Ray Mears may have been the coolest Tennesseans ever.)

But I now have a new hero to add to my list along with Elvis, Pat, Ray Mears and Bruce. Her name is Kim Shrigley, and until recently, she was the First Lady of the Tennessee Gentlemen Vols. For more than 25 years, Kim was married to Bruce Pearl. They have four children, including a son, Steven, who is a forward for the Gentlemen Vols, and a daughter, Jacqui, who often sings the National Anthem before Gentlemen Vols games.

But in September 2007, two days after the couple's silver wedding anniversary, Coach Bruce sued Kim for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce became final last March shortly after Bruce took the Gentlemen Vols to the "Sweet Sixteen." (Insert your own joke here.)

I don't know the circumstances that led to the irreconcilable differences between Coach Bruce and Kim Shrigley. All I know is that after a full court press, the divorce action was settled. Bruce apparently got to keep his orange blazer, and Kim walked away with alimony, apparently a whole lot of it.

The interesting part is what Kim Shrigley did next. Kim is apparently one tough gal who could never be mistaken for Tammy Wynette. She knows how to deal with adversity. According to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Kim has recently opened "Alimony's Hair and Nail Salon," a unisex salon on Kingston Pike in Knoxville. She reportedly funded the new business with the proceeds from her divorce settlement, and she now offers her clients beauty services, including trims, manicures, and pedicures. She hopes to someday add Botox, facials and waxing. If Coach Bruce shows up, she will probably give him a free fanny waxing.

And here's the really cool part. Kim offers a 15 percent discount to clients who receive alimony.

Well, I don't claim to be an expert when it comes to the topic of unisex beauty salons. About once a month, I get my hair cut by a gal named Becky, but she never waxes or manicures me, and she has never seen my toes. Becky has been cutting my hair now for more than 20 years. I guess you could say she does my "color," since when she first started cutting my hair back in the 1980s, I was a brunette, and now I am a blonde.

I don't spend a lot of time in Becky's beauty salon. I am like the great Phyllis Diller who once said, "When I go to the beauty salon, I generally just get an estimate."

But sometime this winter when I am in Knoxville to watch either the Vols or the Gentlemen Vols play basketball, I intend to stop by Alimony's. Fortunately, I will not be entitled to a discount, as I remain happily married to Judge Claudia. (If I ever leave Judge Claudia, she will no doubt open a beauty salon called Homicide's. Fifteen percent discount to clients who shoot their ex-spouses.)

But I would love for Kim Shrigley to give me a trim and a color touch-up for my increasingly blonde locks. It is not that I need a new hairstylist, as Becky does a very good job. I just want to meet Kim Shrigley and shake her hand. I'll bet it will be a really firm handshake. From what I have read about her, she is tough enough to play for Pat Summitt.

Bill Haltom BILL HALTOM is a partner with the Memphis firm of Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell. He is past president of the Tennessee Bar Association and is a past president of the Memphis Bar Association.