Thursday, July 21, 2005

Memphis Makes You Feel So Good

I did something today that I've never done before in my 35 years of working downtown. I felt "cool."

About 2:30 this afternoon, fighting a losing battle with a big-time case of writer's block, I grabbed up the stake of papers that was the source of my aggravation, and I decided maybe a change of scenery would help.

With file in hand, I walked to Beale Street. Actually to Blues City Cafe on Beale Street. There, I commanded a table facing the door. After ordering my drink (soft) and my plate of catfish, I returned my attention to the papers, which I spread all over the table.

There was the persistent backbeat of Memphis soul and Sun music, as fresh today as it was decades ago when it was recorded. It was the spark. Suddenly, the words began to flow. I stayed there for about 90 minutes and by then, I had all that I needed, and in addition, I had struck up conversations with a number of tourists who were interested in knowing what I was doing and for my advice on what to see since I was a "real" Memphian.

It was a uniquely Memphis moment. Sitting on Beale Street, listening to the music inspired by it, watching the waves of tourists, listening to the music inspired by it, and generally, feeling lucky to be in a city where only four blocks from our office, we can be part of a place where Memphis' authenticity was invented.

It was with a satisfying feeling that I strolled...slowly...back to the office, but with a resolve to try this again. Soon.

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