November 26, 2004

The Day After

Dinner at the Crafton's was great fun. The cuisine of a house in which the brand 'Stovetop' is anathema is always incredible. Gramma Crafton introduced me to oyster dressing (stuffing is called dressing down here), green bean bundles (bacon wrapped, french cut strands in a sweet red sauce), and southern pecan pie.

Mrs. Crafton and I spent the night before making calligraphy welcome gifts for each family represented at the table (10). I can tell now where Dailey gets his creativity. Then Casey, Alex and I went out late to see downtown Memphis all lit up and throbbing with life. Memphis seems to go on and on forever. When you see a big white dot representing Memphis on a wheather map it is probably to scale.

Speaking of wrong side of the river, one might think that both sides of the Mighty Mississippi would be bustling in an urban, commercial area. Nope. Arkansas is accessible from Memphis via bridge. Crossing that bridge is like falling out of the milky way into the abyss. There is absolutely nothing but dim farm land across the river. It is the most bizare landscape I've ever seen. The drive to Memphis from Arkansas, however, is far better. The reflections of the city in the river are intensified by the lifelessness of its neigboring state.

The next morning we helped set up for the guests, finished cooking a few things, and then partied as people came and ate. There was so much food! Gramma Crafton bragged to me over her daughter-in-law's excellent cooking with sound evidence for her praise. I got to meet some more of the family and hang out with the little cousins in between watching to football game and grabbing another plate of food.

Eventually we went to a friend's house to ride a '92 Cherokee on steriods and monster tires through the swamp to shoot at stuff. And finished the night out with PS2 and 'Apples to Apples' while talking about which modifications to certain cars are best and the glories of turbo and nitro and hydrolics.

Life in the mid-south seems to be as quintessentially american as you can get.

Today I'm taking it easy: sleeping in, slowly chipping away at the left-overs, and getting to know the city a little better. I'm in the new Shelby County Library making use of the free wireless and doing a little research for papers and projects.

I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow.

Posted by timf at November 26, 2004 06:04 PM
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