We arrived in Memphis in the middle of the afternoon. We are here to act like tourists. The Center for Southern Folklore was closed, so we walked along the bank of the Mississippi River, and saw the cobblestone landing where river boats have been landing for the past 150 years. Carol found W. C. Handy’s small little shotgun house — W. C. Handy! I couldn’t believe it! — and she took a picture of me sitting stiffly on the front porch. We ate dinner at B.B. King’s Restaurant, hoping to hear Blind Mississippi Morris, but he was feeling under the weather and when two young men started playing Eric Clapton, we left. We took photographs of the Purple Martin houses on Memphis rooftops, and I watched the the Common Nighthawks swooping overhead calling, “peent, peent.” We talked to a guitarist in Central Station, the old railroad station still used by Amtrak; he was waiting for the City of New Orleans, and playing his guitar in that huge cavernous space while he waited. And after the sun went down, we walked down Beale Street at night, listened to the blues pouring out of the windows of the clubs, and watched the people walking up and down the street.
It was a satisfyingly touristy day.