Hello from Memphis

It’s Memorial Day in Memphis.
That’s where we are, frittering away the dying sunlight in a McDonald’s off Highway 61. I’m in the grip of a serious writing funk. That’s the bad news.
The good news is we’re all fine, and I have no shortage of people and places to write about, should I ever get off my figurative ass and do something.
Yes, we’re back at McDonald’s, and I can barely bring myself to write that much. Max is playing Herotopia on the little laptop and badgering Becky and me to play, too. Becky’s trying to download the latest episode of Mad Men but keeps getting kicked off the Internet and incurring wave after wave of frustration.
Oh Banality, I am in your service!
Since I last posted to this journal, we’ve traveled New Orleans to Opelousas, narrowly missing out on twisters in Morgan City, La. In Louisiana, we wandered from Opelousas to Eunice to Ville Platte to Cottonport and to Ferriday, the home of cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart.
Then we crossed the Mississippi to Natchez, Miss. We spent some time on the Natchez Trace, then made an ill-fated visit to Vicksburg National Military Park. The park happened to be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the siege of Vicksburg when Becky drove into the entrance booth and we got pulled over by a gun-toting ranger named W.C. Fields who betrayed no sense of humor at all. Before that, I ran into a marine superintendent at a Mississippi River overlook who in a previous life played linebacker for Bear Bryant at Alabama.
I’m so far behind I could weep. Today we took a detour off U.S. 1, aka the Great River Road, into Friars Point, Miss. The legendary bluesman Robert Johnson apparently was quite taken by a Friars Point girl, and that’s what led us there. At least that’s the idea you get from listening to “Traveling Riverside Blues.”
We didn’t meet the Friars Point lass who squeezed old Bob’s lemon for all it was worth, but we did meet an astounding 96-year-old woman named Nettie Greer. Miss Nettie’s old enough to have cavorted with Robert Johnson, but she assured us she didn’t mess with the blues.
As far as this ramshackle travelogue goes, I’m backed up all the way to Tallapoosa. It’s a staggering backlog, and I despair. I will catch up, however. Everyone from Jasper Gilmer to Johnny Devere to Chicken and Beefy and Turkey to Wally and Polly and Roderick Deluna and Tiny Arlene and all the wonderful Williams of Tallapoosa and onward to Miss Jessie Vardano to Ben Davis of the Treme and all the way across Louisiana and up the Mississippi Delta to Miss Nettie Greer will have their day in this absurd journal. (And I realize that last sentence is a grammatical horror show.)
Just you wait.

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3 Responses to Hello from Memphis

  1. Arnold Lytle says:

    When it comes to reading Travels with Wally, I’m as patient as a ’40s Phillies phan.

  2. Bongo Fury says:

    bout time you stopped suckling at the teat of the combine and enjoyed some of this trip

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