Arriving late on a Thursday evening, we drove our motorhome to a small RV park just outside Memphis. Actually, it was just over the line in Arkansas. It was like many RV parks in the area, clean, easy to get in and out of, yet not much in the way of family entertainment. Perfect. Just what we were looking for. Our first action past dropping the levelers and plugging in A/C power, was to visit the office for a map and some tips about fun places to visit.
Headin’ Down to Memphis
I won’t lie to ya, it was probably not going to be one of our favorite stops, or so I thought, but pleasantly surprised as we drove our Jeep downtown to find this crazy street party going on. With da blues music resonating in the streets, we decided to dive right in and see what we saw.
At the first spot, my camera wanted to look UP at the local movie theater box office. You don’t see this where I live, some handmade heaven up there, with worn & weathered brass appointments, the center chandelier gets no love at all, as small as it was. But I saw the symmetry and the detail, just couldn’t resist.
Next we headed down the street to the King’s Palace Cafe, where they say the have the best Gumbo in the world, proclaiming “Home of Champion Gumbo” four years running in the Gumbo Cookoff Championship.
I had to have some.
We sat at a small round table in the center of the main dining room while our friendly waitress handed us the menu. Fried Crawfish Tails, Southern Catfish, Voo Doo Chicken and the Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee all tried to sway me from my mission: to have the Champion Gumbo. I held tight; I ordered it… and a short stack of ribs, just to round out the meal. It took a bit longer than I thought it would for our food to arrive, as anxious as I was to chow down that legendary recipe. Finally, there it was, a big round bowl, steam trails in her path, as she made her way to my anxious trembling soup spoon. I dove in, byte after incredible byte, explosions of pleasure in my mouth!
Yes, Martha, it was the best Gumbo I ever had! “Four more containers to go, please…” all destined for the freezer so I could space out my joy over the next few months.
As we walked down the street, so many interesting places to visit, as the Blues echoed through the hallowed streets and alleyways of downtown Memphis after dark.
The Stores Were Open!
It’s ten o’clock at night, the streets were a buzz with activity, the restaurants were serving Ribs, Catfish, and Gumbo like it was the last night of the celebration! Even the stores were open strutting their stuff. Now, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen much of this kinda merchandise around where I live… You?
Turning to my new wife, I asked with a loose sense of sophistication; “Would you like a painted skull or a fluorescent bong, my dear?” She laughed as she raised the Mr. Money Bubble Bath in one hand and the Buxom Blonde Plastic Savings Bank in the other. “No thank you honey, but here’s something you might like!” and I did, I loved everything, it was so far out and wonderful, I wanted to buy it all.
Leaving empty handed, but thrilled with our shopping discoveries, it was almost time to head back to our little bungalow on wheels.
One Last Thing…
I said as I handed my iPhone to the face-painted middle-aged woman with pink hair holding a beer in one hand, “can you shoot one for us?” And she did as her companion was kind enough to hold her cup.
The Last Stop
After we were in the car and headed in the direction of our RV park, I remembered the advice of the bartender who said “Ya gotta go up to the roof of the Madison Hotel at night…” Never one to bypass a hot tip, I asked my darling if she were up for it. “Hell Yeah, let’s go!” and off we went. “No tripods allowed” snorted the doorman as I promised him (yeah right) I wasn’t going to use it.
That Memphis sun had set, the blue light was perfect, the amazing Sony A7rII coupled with my Sony FE 24-240 zoom lens, captured the evening, and I watched and composed as the sky said goodnight. See that bridge? Five minutes after I made this exposure, I crossed that very spot on my way back. Now, finally… I was done fo the night, time to go back and get a good night’s sleep somewhere in Arkansas all tucked in and comfy, to be ready for what tomorrow will bring.
Wait a minute, just hold on there buster, you think you are leaving without signing up for my stories?
Can’t be true! You gotta sign up or, or, or, I dunno, I think you’ll love it. Really, I wouldn’t tell no lies. 🙂