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Old 03-07-2009, 04:37 PM   #15
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2004 34' Classic S/O
San Antonio , Texas
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Made it to Memphis

I had a wonderful trip getting here. I had the normal aggravations, but saw some neat stuff and no flats or other mishaps.

Thanks to everyone who recommended Central BBQ. Not only was it not far from my son's apartment, but the food was delicious. Last night we had the ribs, and today had the pork sandwich for lunch. My son doesn't have a car so he walks everywhere, and he said it would be worth the walk to get some more ribs after I leave. Really good.

The Tom Sawyer RV park in West Memphis is just as nice as I remembered. The rig is about 20 yards from the Mississippi. I can sit outside with my cold beer, and watch the barges go up and down stream. Too bad it's supposed to rain every day through Friday. But that won't keep us from continuing on our BBQ eating, and seeing other sites.

I've posted the first leg of my trip to my blog, see the link in my sig. I'll post more on Tuesday, which is a designated day of rest.


'04 34' Classic S/O lounge, dome king, twin a/c, faux fireplace to keep the wife warm , equa-li-zer, prodigy, 4 birds, dog - no kids allowed!

'05 Excursion 4x4, 6.0 PSD, magnaflow, helwig anti-sway, air lift springs.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #16
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2003 31' Land Yacht 30
Old Hickory , TN
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Good start...

Enjoy the 'Q and have fun. Your weather should be warm, but sorry about the rain. At least you did not arrive for the snow last week! Tell Elvis & the ducks I said Hi.

Ralph & Margie Day
Lizzy the Borderline Collie
Old Hickory, TN
Between 'steams...
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:17 PM   #17
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Collierville , Tennessee
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Originally Posted by reday View Post
I almost forgot...

When parking downtown, watch out for a man posing as a parking lot attendant asking for a fee of "Five Dolla Please". Most lots are unattended with a box to deposit your money. You generally find this man standing so that he is blocking your view of the the sign explaining this procedure...

While we are at it, you have probably seen similar lists for other cities, but this one is so true. The list is somewhat dated... it is a shame that you can not see the Pyramid... There is talk of Bass Pro leasing it.

Last, there is an alternate pronunciation for Memphis found below. It is "Mum-fuss".


1. Downtown Memphis is comprised entirely of one-way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Memphis is to turn around and start over when you reach Arkansas or Mississippi.

2. All directions start with, "Go down I-240..."

3. I-240 has no beginning and no end.

4. Coca-Cola is bottled in Memphis. That's all we drink here, so don't ask for any other soft drink. And, by the way, it's pronounced "Co'Cola".

5. Memphians only know their way home and their way to work.

6. Gate One at the Airport is 32 miles away from the Main Concourse.

7. It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls it a "scenic drive".

8. The 8 a.m. rush hour is from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The 5:00 p.m rush hour is from 3:30p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

9. Reversible Lanes (for example, Union Avenue) are not understood by anybody.

10. "Sir" and "Ma'am" are used by the person speaking to you if there's a remote possibility that you're at least 30 minutes older than they are.

11. "Sugar" is a more common form of address than "Miss". So is "Honey".

12. "Presley" can only be properly pronounced by a native Memphian, so do not attempt the pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you with their mouths open.

13. The falling of one raindrop causes all traffic to immediately come to a screeching halt. So will Daylight Saving Time, a girl applying eye shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over. Should (God forbid) one snowflake fall in Memphis, all drivers on the roads immediately lose any ability to control a car. Or, if in a pickup truck or SUV, they will drive as though the roads are dry.

14. If you're standing on a corner and a Metro Bus stops, you're expected to get on and go somewhere - although no one actually knows where the buses go.

15. Memphis is pronounced "MEM'-fus".

16. Construction on I-240 is perpetual, a way of life, and a permanent for of entertainment for the road construction companies.

17. Construction crews aren't doing their job properly unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.

18. Memphis' traffic is the friendliest around. The commuters spend hours mingling with each other twice a day. In fact, Memphis' traffic is rated number 1 in the country. You will often see people parked beside the road and engaged in lively discussions.

19. I-240 is the southern equivalent of the Autobahn. You will rarely see a semi-truck on I-240, because the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized SUV-wielding housewives racing home after a grueling day at the salon or the tennis match to meet their children at the school bus.

20. The 95 pound woman driving the Ford Excursion (the largest vehicle ever produced in the world) absolutely MUST come to a complete stop, then proceed at 2.5 mph over any railroad track. Let's face it, this vehicle was built to invade small countries, and she's worried about the darn railroad tracks!!!

21. Hard and fast rule of the road in Memphis: Never use your turn indictor when changing lanes on any freeway. Use it randomly on surface streets.

22. Pedestrians in Memphis have the right-of-way....but it is a driver's duty to take out the pedestrian when crossing the street.

23. The parking lots at all the malls rotate once every hour, thus ensuring that visitors will be unable to find their cars.

24. Most native Memphians do not know how to get around downtown.

25. Even though I-240 is known as a "loop", you cannot drive the entire circumference of the loop without taking several exits.

26. Even though it is the largest indoor arena in the region, there is no easy way to reach The Pyramid. You must drive under a series of interstate off-ramps and through the back of a concrete company in order to park. Once you reach the building, you must climb up dozens of steps, even if your seats
are at floor level, which means you will be climbing back DOWN dozens of steps after entering the arena.

27. A typical set of Midtown directions may include, "take North Parkway East until you reach East Parkway, then take East Parkway South until you reach South Parkway, then take South Parkway West until you reach..."

28. If you drive South from Shady Grove Road, you will end up on Ridgeway Road without taking any turns. If you continue South, you will eventually be on Hickory Hill Blvd, again without taking any turns. However, Ridgeway Road will be parallel to you about a mile to the East. Memphis' street names
change without warning.

Just go to Winchester Road out East, and try to distinguish between the intersections of Germantown Road, Old Germantown Road, and Germantown Road Extended/Riverdale.

29. There is an intersection of two streets near Midtown. The "two" streets are Summer Avenue, North Parkway, Trezevant Blvd., and East Parkway.

Again, names change at random. This situation (two intersecting streets with Four names) is not atypical.

30. Native Memphians cannot distinguish between the Mississippi River bridge named "Memphis-Arkansas Bridge" and "Hernando DeSoto Bridge". Nor can they distinguish between the "I-55 Bridge" and the "I-40 Bridge". They are ONLY known locally as the "Old Bridge" and the "New Bridge" (even though the "New Bridge" is almost thirty years old).

It's remarkable how many of these are really quite true. I've lived in Memphis and its surrounding environs for 25 years now and it can be a quite eccentric place. Try solving the riddle of the Parkways. None of them travel int he direction they are named for. I'll tell why they are named the way they are. Future city planning was very short sighted. East Parkway marked the eastern boundary of the city and so on for the rest of the Parkways.

On the barbeque front the places mentioned are all good. Rendesvous has history and great atmosphere worth going once and not at night on a weekend(the wait could be 1-2 hours) although there is better barbeque for less money and wait time. Neelys is good so is Central, Leonards is also excellent Que. Gus's Chicken downtown is very good fried chicken. There are tons of great Mom and Pop hole in the walls that serve up some ambrosia simply out of this world.

As noted above Memphis can be a very easy place to get lost for out of towners and there are parts of town you simply don't want to get lost in. Memphis is one of the top three most dangerous cities to live in for a reason. Your son should be careful riding the city bus and know his route very well (easy to get on the wrong transfer).

As someone noted the Ornamental Metal Museum is a cool place to visit so is the Center for Southern Folklore, the Civil Rights Museum and Gibson Guitar factory. Tons of cool places on Beale, get you a Diver at Silkys and plan not to drive.....or walk much. Ernestine and Hazels is a cool local dive/club it used to be a brothel. Lot of good Blues joints on Beale and vicinity. Martyr Park at the top of Channel three drive is a nice place to view the Mississippi from ( the park memorializes the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis).

I'll probably think of some more places later.

It has been my experience that most people pronounce Memphis as MEM fus or MEM fis. It is said kinda blurred together as 1& 1/2 syllables (MEmfus) with kinda of a deep tone like Elvis would say it.
Different strokes for different folks!

I never learned from a man who agreed with me.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by reday View Post
Enjoy the 'Q and have fun. Your weather should be warm, but sorry about the rain. At least you did not arrive for the snow last week! Tell Elvis & the ducks I said Hi.
The weather report last night was worrying. Winds up to 40mph heavy thunderstorms, and [gasp] large hail. Makes us guys with tin trailers shiver. I'm off to Bloomington with my Son this morning to get his sister's furniture out of storage. So I get to hit the road, towing a uhaul, in some wind that is pretty strong at 6AM.

My DW should have been a psychologist instead of a history professor. I told her of the weather, and was told "We've got insurance. Your just a worry wart." Well she's right on both counts, but still hail hitting the trailer gives me cause to worry.

'04 34' Classic S/O lounge, dome king, twin a/c, faux fireplace to keep the wife warm , equa-li-zer, prodigy, 4 birds, dog - no kids allowed!

'05 Excursion 4x4, 6.0 PSD, magnaflow, helwig anti-sway, air lift springs.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #19
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Sunrise Beach , Missouri
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Glad you enjoyed Central Barbeque. That's are favorite barbeque. That's are favorite pork bque in the US--so good.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:40 AM   #20
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Thanks Heinlein for the tip on riding the bus. My son's students had already convinced him to be selective about riding the bus. He's pretty much established a territory around his apartment that he can walk, about a three mile radius. If he really wants to go somewhere, or has to buy some large item, chair or mattress, he takes a cab. After driving through town, Watkins from one of the parkways past I-40, I agree he needs to be careful. After living in China for two years, he came home with both feet on the ground. So, I am more hopeful that he won't make any rash decisions.

Sunday morning we headed up to Bloomington, IN to empty a storage space our daughter had. There was some trepidation as to what shape the trailer would be in when we returned, because of the severe storm warnings. We also expected severe weather all the way up as well. The skies didn't open up until just South of our exit onto I-64 off of I-55. We skirted under the rest of the storm, and wound up with a nice drive up US 237 into Bedford and then to Oolitic. Spent the night and did the reverse back to Memphis. Boy was I relieved to see that the Memphis weathermen are no more accurate than anywhere else. No storms, or rain of any kind, had hit Memphis and the trailer was safe and dry. Yea!

Just kicking back today getting the kinks out of my back. Except for grocery shopping, I plan to just sit by the river and read a book. It appears that this may be my only chance since winter is supposed to return for the rest of the week. I'll put my tourist hat back on, and a coat, the rest of the week.


'04 34' Classic S/O lounge, dome king, twin a/c, faux fireplace to keep the wife warm , equa-li-zer, prodigy, 4 birds, dog - no kids allowed!

'05 Excursion 4x4, 6.0 PSD, magnaflow, helwig anti-sway, air lift springs.
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