I'm a bad, bad blogger. I've been neglectful. There's no other word for it. So, I'll make one big post to cover the latest news.
The Mississippi trip
Graceland was surprisingly interesting. I've never been a big Elvis fan, but I recognize the man's talent and contribution to the music world. His life was complicated, his death tragic. His home is a testament to that. I was surprised how accessible it appears. The wall around it isn't formidable. You can see most of the estate from the street. The meditation garden where he is buried was something he built as a place of peace, I'm sure never intending for it to be his final resting place I took the photo at the right in the meditation garden, with a lovely little light anomaly to the right of the Christ's arm.
I heard a few people comment on how "tacky" much of the decor was. To me, it epitomizes the 1970s. That decade defined tacky. The decor they are talking about is representative of the times. I mean, he died in 1977, when that style was in full swing. Lighten up on the King!
We also visited another home of the famous. Rowan Oak was the home of writer William Faulkner, until his death in 1962. It's beautiful and fascinating. You can still see where he wrote the plotline for his Nobel Prize-winning A Fable...on the wall. See?
Rowan Oak is in Oxford, MS, which is a lovely college town. We spent a lot of time at the town square, where I met this helpful employee of the Square Books store.
She didn't think I really needed more CDs. She also told me the most disappointing news -- I'd missed the chance to meet Paula Dean at the same store, just the previous evening. Dang.
If you're ever in a town called Tunica, in Mississippi, be sure to visit the ladies of Ann-Tiques on Main Street. They are a force of southern hospitality and that shop is packed with treasures! Thanks for the books, ladies! (1251 Place is next door, but they are too expensive on everything but football scores.) And yes, it really is Main Street USA there, complete with a gazebo and a Piggly Wiggly. But beware of Johnny Law (see right) or he might use that one bullet he's allowed to carry.
I also learned all about the Delta blues at the museum by the same name in Clarksdale, MS, and a Morgan Freeman's blues club called Ground Zero. Dang, that's a great place. Great music, too. Pick up some genuine soul food at Hick's restaurant before you go, though.
This trip was an education in more ways than one. Yeah, there was a conference at the center of it and I loved that, too. There's a couple of men I enjoy flirting around with each year, and I got to spend some time with them. One of them had the good sense to wear Guinness shirts and drink Newcastle. Whata guy.
Oh yeah, and I learned alot of good professional type stuff, too. Being a conference and all. I was even approached about a job. See, someone out there thinks I'm a bad ass at my job. They want me to be a bad ass for their university. We'll see if they have a bad ass paycheck to make me move far away from what's been home for nearly 30 years. So stay tuned.
Okay, there's some news. I'll update more later.