Grace (less) Land…


The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war

I’m going to Graceland
Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I’m going to Graceland
Poorboys and Pilgrims with families
And we are going to Graceland

But I’ve reason to believe
We both will be received
In Graceland

And my traveling companions
Are ghosts and empty sockets
I’m looking at ghosts and empties
But I’ve reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland
–lyrics from Paul Simon’s Graceland

Today, when we followed the Mississippi to Memphis, it was as cold and hard-looking as gun-metal. Beale Street was blocked off for a Corvette show of some sort. Both sides of the street were lined with flashy ’Vettes in every color you can imagine – tricked out, polished, top-down, music blaring. I opted to drive around for a few blocks to see if I could get street parking rather than pay $10 for the privilege. As luck would have it, I found a spot just two blocks away – and there’s no charge on the meters on Saturday – FREE PARKING!

I have to say that the weathermen in this neck of the woods are no better at prognosticating than they are at home. All the way over from Fort Smith, I kept wondering where the hell the sun was. It sure wasn’t beaming down on us, like it was supposed to be doing. The wind they got right, but that blue skies forecast just wasn’t happening.

When Max and I started walking towards Beale Street, I was glad for my long sleeve shirt, sweater, scarf, and jacket. It was really cold. The Corvette owners looked to all be guys – mostly hanging out in twos and threes talking and watching their rides. The blaring music which we could hear from a block away, was coming from one of the cars – mega-decibel gangsta rap.

Photo courtesy Beale Street Music Festival

We hadn’t walked more than a block before someone tapped me on the left shoulder, “Ma’am, that isn’t a…” I turned, ready to say, “He’s a Standard Poodle,” but the rest of the question was “Service dog, is it?”

When I admitted that he wasn’t, the very polite police officer told me he “wasn’t allowed on Beale.” You mean I can’t walk with him on the street? Why?

“I’m sorry, Ma’am. It’s a rule we got. No animals allowed on Beale, unless they’re service animals. I don’t really know why.”

If I was getting snarlish yesterday, I was ready to turn downright snappish today. I walked back to the car, muttering and cursing the whole way. What kind of frickin-frackin town is this anyway, that won’t even allow a dog to walk on the sidewalk??? I left early so we’d have time to walk on Beale Street, see the sights, eat some lunch…

I muttered words I won’t print here. I’m sure you all know some – maybe even used a few yourself from time to time. Max didn’t get snarlish or snappish. He just kept pace with me, occasionally nudging my right hand as if to say, “I’m still here. It’s O-Kay.”

Checking the iPhone, I found a place on S Main Street that allowed dogs on their outside terrace, so we set off to find that one. If it existed, we never found it. Probably just as well as the wind was fierce between the tall buildings. As we headed back to the car, I took us along a street that was closed to traffic. We got about halfway down the block, when another police officer shouted at us from the far end: “The street is CLOSED!”

“You mean I can’t even walk on it!?” I shouted back, incredulously.

THE STREET IS CLOSED.” was his terse reply, so we turned around and went back the way we came. By now, I was spitting fire, and the curses were getting louder. Max still was not snarlish, snappish, or peeved. He was just happy to be out and walking.

After all, what did he know about Beale Street, Elvis, or anything else Memphis? All he knew was he was out walking with his favorite person in the world. It was windy, which makes his ears fly, and he likes that, too.

The sun still isn’t out, and I’m feeling like this is not a very friendly town – dog or otherwise. I came all this way – leaving before 8AM (the earliest we’ve left anywhere since we started this adventure) – only to find I can’t even get some ribs on Beale Street with my dog.

Snarl.

Snap.

g-r-r-r-r-r-r…

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About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Eating out on a road trip, Musings, On the Road, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Grace (less) Land…

  1. oh no! you GOTTA taste those ribs, Mo! even if they’re hatin’ on you…those ribs are worth it! xoxo

  2. Boy, that’s frustrating! Grrr!

  3. guy oliver says:

    Maureen
    Now you know why the real old time performers left Memphis and Beale St. to move to St. Louis, hence the St.Louis Blues, ever heard of the Memphis Blues? We even have a championship hockey team, the St. Louis Blues. It was here Ragtime was born and the composer died here of a std. St. Louis was the biggest inland port in the nation and remains of the greatness of hides and cotton trade remains, or did til it was outsourced. Come up and see the world’s biggest croquet wicket in the world, (The Arch)

  4. hank says:

    knoxville is supposed to be a happening place nowdays. not gonna get there, though, if you’re trying to make savannah sunday

    wdvx community radio. i’m listening to it now ~:)

  5. Lori C. says:

    Been thinkin’ about you, Momo. Miss you bookoo. Got some fun things to share when you get home. Happy trails, dynamic duo! LC

    • Maureen Farr says:

      thanks Lori! I’m looking forward to being back – looks like sometime in the week after this one…

      and I’m a little sad about getting home too. The road has been fun. Guess I’m a Gypsy at heart.

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