Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Monday Afternoon in Memphis: Checking the Sights

So every now and again, business, if you follow, takes me out of town on a trip and I've got to leave Dolly-girl at home minding the Ps and Rs--that's Ping and Ryman, a couple of strays me and her took in and who don't earn their keep except by sleeping all day and all night too. Or most of the night. Anyhoo, I had to head over to another river city, this one where Mr. E. A. Presley used to set his brake. Yep, Blues City, Memphis, Tennessee. I had to go investigate some suspicious fire activity.

I don't pay much attention to arrangements when it comes to travel. Thelma takes care of that, and she's good at it. She booked me on the morning Clipper to M-town, yep, the city on the bluffs. The Clipper set down on the river and a car was waiting to take me to The Peabody. Thelma told me "It's the place to stay, at least that's what Madeline at the travel agent's told me when I was talking to her on the blower." Could be. Last time I was in River City, me and Dolly-girl were in harder times and the only stars you could see at our hotel were the ones in the sky through the crack in the roof, follow? This place is different than that one.

I was walking out the door at D'Mestiere Investigations when Thelma handed me my satchel. "I left you a note in there--gives you all the arrangements. Watch those Fire Crackers..." I opened the note when I got to my room. "Drown a couple in the lobby at 5," was all it said. A mystery. No one has to tell me to drown two more than once. I headed for the lobby so as I wouldn't miss whoever it was that I was supposed to be eyeballing. Trouble, I suspected. Blues City's seen its share. There was a crowd, so I was keeping an eye peeled. Something would show. It did.

So that was the ticket. Marching ducks. Go figure. And there was the trouble. One duck wasn't playing along. There's always one, isn't there? That's what Dolly-girl says, at least. After the ducks walked, I figured I'd take a jaunt myself. See what I could see. First thing you gotta like is a town with a newspaper called The Commercial Appeal.

It's also a town where people are said to take BBQ very seriously. I spotted this chicken leg bone on the street. Maybe people are right. People take music serious too, me and Dolly-girl found out the last time we were here. Big Jerry and his band were pretty serious, alright.

Lots happened in M-city that had to do with music. Stax was here. So was WDIA, the first all-Black radio station in the country. Wait, WDIA is still here... Sun Studios is here too. Lots of history there.

You don't have to look far to see the old days--there's a Cotton Museum, the fantastic National Civil Rights Museum

And, of course, Graceland

And lots of towns are bringing back streetcars. Blues City never lost them.

Well, enough about sightseeing, I gotta get done with my caper here so I can catch that Clipper, watch the river disappear below me, and head on back to see that welcome home through the wave...


Elisabeth said... is just ducky!

This town has just enough "kétaine" to be worth the détour!

Must see those ducks...and Stax records....and WDIA...and the famous Motel...and of course, Elvis.

Anonymous said...

True, that. You feel me?