i arrived in the afternoon to the nashville area from north carolina. boy, was that one long and boring drive. i came from the south so that i could stop in leiper’s fork for a late lunch. i ate a pimento cheese sandwich and sweet potato fries with an iced tea at puckett’s grocery. yum, yum. there wasn’t much in the little town so i kept going into nashville. i didn’t know i would be driving through the uber ritzy neighborhoods to get there. wow! a couple million dollars can build a pretty big house.
the next day, i decided to go into full on tourist mode and visited the country music hall of fame. i spent about two hours go through the entire museum. luckily, i had bought the premium package which included a tour of RCA studio b. that was fascinating and the guide was so knowledgable. it was a religious experience to be in the same recording room as dolly parton and elvis presley. that night, i met up with some musicians from amarillo at a songwriters’ night. one of the guys plays around town and the other one is my cousin’s brother-in-law. they were both playing. the talent was amazing. but unfortunately, one of the guys i was with started to get a little too friendly. i had a couple of beers so i let him flirt with me even though i had a funny feeling about it. well, i learned to always go with my gut because when i talked to my cousin about it the next day, she told me that he is married. i was so pissed and embarrassed and also really relieved. i cut ties with him digitally then and there. unfortunately, i still run into him in town when i go out for music. he hasn’t gotten the hint yet even though i am pretty clear about ignoring him and leaving when he’s there. it’s a little awkward…anyway, i wish i had another day in nashville. and it was a place that i would like to have had some of my peeps with me. it’s the only place i visited that really needed it.
i passed through memphis on my way to little rock. i was on a mission. i wanted to visit the national civil rights museum and eat some bbq. that’s all i had time for. well, both were awesome. i was able to stand on the balcony where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and say a prayer for him and our country. it was incredible. the museum was very well thought out. i didn’t know much about the assassination going in, but i learned a lot. on the way out, i asked a cop that was standing outside keeping an eye on some protesters where i should go to get some great memphis bbq. (the protesters, i learned, were angry because they think the museum is all about the killer and not about MLK and his work. they have a point, but the museum is still a great place. and they’re expanding to include more topics.) the cop pointed me to a place right across the street. easy enough! he wasn’t lying either. i had a pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese, green beans and a real dr. pepper. no diet stuff that day! the busboy kept coming by and asking me if i needed anything or was done because i kept stopping to take breaks. i was determined to finish all of my food and enjoy every moment of it. mission accomplished.
i really only had one thing i wanted to see in little rock. the central high school museum. it was another park service museum. those guys are not messing around! it’s all interactive and story based. so good. the museum is across the street and down from the school, which is still in use. i didn’t realize that. i kept wondering what it would be like to actually go to a school with such an interesting and tumultuous history. so after the museum, i walked over to the school. first of all, it is a really beautiful and large high school. now, there’s a reflecting pool and nine benches (one for each of the little rock nine students). i sat on elizabeth eckford’s bench and just thought about everything for awhile. i couldn’t imagine being one of the teachers of the school. some of them were fired or threatened because they supported the african american students. i truly think i would have been among them. i’m not afraid to take a stand on things i believe in. it would have been hard. but it would have been important.
when i posted on facebook that i was driving though arkansas, a friend from high school reminded me that she lived in hot springs. i had been reading her blog and keep up with her on facebook, but we had kind of lost touch over the ten years we had been out of school. she’s married with two kids and lives part time in an rv. she works online where ever they happen to be. we met downtown and walked up and down the main street. we talked for over two hours straight like we had never been apart. that’s one of the things i’ve always liked about robyn. we just pick up where ever we left off. as we sat on a bench still talking, there was a motorcycle accident just a little ways down the road. it was sad when we found out that someone had died in the accident. just another weird event.
after saying goodbye to robyn and leaving hot springs, i made another very boring drive to waxahachie and back to my sister and brother-in-law.