Postcard from Memphis


Greetings from the land of the Delta Blues, Home of the King, etc., etc.

I stay in Memphis for every Ole Miss road trip because it’s the closest major airport, about 70 miles east of the city. Memphis is one of my favorite southern cities because of the mix of blues and jazz Music on Beale Street. The Mississippi River lazily rolls along, separating Tennessee and Arkansas, with a few steel suspension bridges and slow-moving barges dotting the landscape. It’s a town with great character and a few characters.

Of course, an SEC road trip wouldn’t be complete without another rib stop. This time I dined at Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous, where I ordered the full slab of charcoal-baked ribs.

The Rendezvous, of course, was home to a few scenes of the movie adaptation of John Grisham’s classic, “The Firm.” My favorite scene in “The Firm”is when Wilford Brimley’s character reveals some compromising photos involving Tom Cruise’s character. Who knew the Quaker Oats guy had such a dark side? Of course, Wilford gets his come-uppance at the end, a punch in his ample gut courtesy of Cruise, now America’s most notorious Scientologist.

I did Graceland when I first visited Memphis as a reporter close to a decade ago and have no desire to go back. I guess it’s just one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Memphis is home base to FedEx, and everywhere you look there are FedEx trucks and FedEx planes flying overhead. The new downtown arena, where the Memphis Grizzlies play, is called the FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies are off to woeful 10-28 start, which has caused much angst in the town. There is talk on the local airwaves of trading Pau Gasol and former Gator forward Mike Miller in an effort to rebuild the franchise.

That’s it from Memphis. Time to watch Florida play Ole Miss.