What do you think about when you hear ‘Memphis, Tennessee’? Apart from Elvis, I mean? I thought of big f***-off highways, a forest of signs and billboards and maybe some run-down brick buildings standing forlorn in a sea of empty lots with weeds coming through the cracks and a homeless drunk sleeping in a twisted position.
Instead I found this:
You can walk for hours and hours and not see a single thing that isn’t beautiful (except cars). Best of all: This is the house I miraculously was invited to stay in:
Yes, reader, that was my bedroom. Unbelievable! The incredibly kind and Southern hospitality-minded host, Randle, friend of my travel companion Steve, had spent 28 years turning a condemned house into this Victorian wonder. Everything and I mean everything in it was beautiful and exquisite and just in the right place. The house was rightly pride of the neighbourhood and had featured extensively in various media.
Since then I’ve seen more beautiful houses than probably in most of my life put together, but nothing beats Randle’s gaff.
Ah, Memphis! Like Nashville, where live music is streaming out of every bar and speakers encased in metal stand on street corners blaring out country music, music is everywhere. Like these excellent US navy musicians
playing such catchy tunes we just had to dance. Later that night we stumbled upon Michael Jackson Night at a local bar (where they had beer with names like Fat Tire and Rogue Dead Guy) and more dancing ensued. I don’t even like Michael Jackson! But when in Memphis, one must phis with the Mem-ians. Oh, and we were asked for ID when we ordered beer! I thought it was very flattering as our ages were 60 down to 40…