Sunday, July 13, 2008


Posted from 819 PM CST

I am not sure if I have ever been through Memphis but if I have I do not remember. It seems like a very old town with tons of old vintage Mountain Dew signs like the ones you would find in Hutch and Jen’s house. They are faded and announce stores that have been abandoned for what seems like decades. I wonder if there was a time where these storefronts were bustling with activity. I wonder what happened to all those people.

Many of the beautiful old warehouse buildings in downtown are also abandoned and missing windows like teeth. It feels like things happened there but then one day it was just left for time to do its thing to the buildings, roads and landscape.

Places like this make me sad that there are not tons of people downtown rehabbing the buildings and enjoying a little city with such a nice skeleton…. Not to mention that the city is bordered by the amazingly huge and ominous Mississippi River.

As part of our venture into Memphis we wanted to stop at the Lorraine Hotel where MLK Jr. prematurely left us. The museum was closed but I don’t know if anything could top my first visit to the MLK Museum in Atlanta anyway. But at the Lorraine Hotel you can stand only a few yards away from Room 306 on the second floor where someone thought it was there place to make their own statement on social change by killing one of our visionaries. Now as I reflect on it – it just plain pisses me off that people can be so stupid! Ok, enough of that.

Scott was so super excited to cross the Mississippi River (I will let him tell you why) that he made us cross it THREE TIMES and then we found a way down to the riverbank. 

While down there I could only think of the time that I saw Juliana Hatfield play a brand new song live that was sweet and melancholy and sounded really important. I listened carefully. She got to a line that said “And the Mississippi River has a mean undertow” and I started to tear all up because I knew she was talking about the departed Jeff Buckley who earlier that summer in 1997 had thought it would be a good idea to go swimming in the powerful waters that are now below us.

I paused.


So far Memphis meant the loss of two of our beloved optimists. But there are more of us, right?Optimism can be contagious if you let it be.

I met Jeff Buckley on several occasions when he was in Texas. His drummer used to be in a band with my bands keyboardist or something like that. He told me he thought I was funny. I blushed and that sealed itself as a flashbulb moment I will always remember.

Bless you JB and MLK.

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