Part 4: The Car Diaries, Summer Tour 2015

Mike Grabman

So I recently went on a tour of the southern United States along with my child and my wife.  This is that story.  It waited until I got back so I didn't have my house broken into.  The story, or blog, is being broken into several parts—this is part 4.


Tour Stop 4:  Memphis
So in order to preserve both my own and my father-in-laws' sanity, I decided to take four days to go to visit Memphis.  My wife and I had spent 4 years living there while she was in medical school and I still have lots of friends who live there.
Two of my Memphis friends will be getting married this October. I'm an ordained minister and will be performing their ceremony. Years ago, I lived at the NotSo Hostel on Spring Street when a friend owned it. The hostel was just getting off the ground and she let me rent a room in the middle house. I thought being able to marry people might provide me with a little extra money, so I became ordained. It's never made me that much money, but it has allowed me to marry a handful of friends.
My friends who are getting married also just bought a house in Memphis. There was the intention of me helping them with some repairs around the home, along with some yard work. I initially was going to drive my pickup truck on this trip, but with all the packing my wife did, we ended up having to drive her sedan. Also, due to reasons we'll get into later, no actual work besides poorly mounting a towel rack was completed.  
I left early in the morning from Knoxville. I had a bag full of clothes and a cooler full of local Charleston products to bring my friends—beer from Holy City and Westbrook, coffee from Camino Coffee, and tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation.) I made fantastic time (thanks again Waze!) and ended up getting there a little early. To pass the time before my friends got off work, I went to a bar called Celtic Crossing where one of my all time favorite bartenders, Allan Creasy, works.
Allan, his customers, and I began to talk about the shooting that took place at Emanuel AME in Charleston, slavery, the Confederacy, Nathan Bedford Forest, and a host of other topics which are of importance. I've always enjoyed talking with Allan. He's quick with wit, educated, and often will bring up a perspective that differs from my own because of his educational background (although we both have degrees from the University of Memphis). He also hails from the Mid South. And while I love Memphis and consider it along with Charleston to be tied for my favorite city, the view point shared by people living there is somewhat different than it is living on the coast. So, with all of this going on, one pint turned into three or four, and I hadn't eaten lunch. My friend called to let me know that she was off work and we ended up walking down the street to get some food. We ended up at The Slider Inn where we ate and had a couple more drinks.  Then we went to another bar to see another friend who was bartending (see a pattern here?)
This is how Memphis turned out—my friend getting married and me deciding to turn the weekend into his bachelor party since I wasn't going to be able to go to his actual one. There were shots of tequila. There was shopping for comic books. There was spaghetti and wine. We even made a fancy brunch one morning. We watched stupid action movies. We did all the things I can't do or don't have time to do now in my real life. 
And the whole time I missed my daughter.  With red eyes and a cup of coffee, I made my way back to Knoxville and reality.
To be continued...