Late this past week we were doing the New Student Orientations on my campus, meeting the incoming freshmen and giving them an overview of how and what our library can do for them. It is one of the signals that a new semester is about to begin. The fall is especially busy because the incoming body is always larger in August than January. The groups came in waves over an hour long period and in the five minutes or so between incoming sections we were b.s.ing about what we had done over our summer. I mentioned how if my father were still alive the Hayfoot and I almost certainly would have gone to Memphis for a few days during our visit. The River City is special not just for its own cultural importance–which is significant–but for its proximity to so much else. The first time I ever “visited” was in 1997 when I was passing through during my drive from Texas to New York during my move to Brooklyn. Needless to say,with all of my worldly possessions crammed into one automobile, a 1,500 mile drive, and a deadline to make to start a new job there was not much time or inclination to do any sightseeing. I vowed to make it back when time and circumstances allowed. Thankfully I did.
One thing I never realized until visiting Graceland was how close it is to the Mississippi line it is. These are the things you discover when you’re out there seeing it for yourself. In a piece written in recognition of Elvis Week Patrick Teegarden explains how Memphis is “an ideal ‘base camp’ for learning the ambiguities that are America.”
Enjoy your Sunday.