Friday, December 01, 2006

Beale Street

Last I left you we were on our way to dinner, discussing finishing school (and me thinking about leaving the girls in Memphis so they grow up to be polite)...

Dave and I wanted to have real Memphis barbecue while we were there so we opted for a well-known restaurant called The Rendevous. It was not quite what I expected... to get to the restaurant we walked through an ally and past several garbage dumpsters. I mentioned to BFWW (who had warned me about this, but I guess I just didn't expect it to be quite so "dumpy" ha!) that the food must be really fantastic if people were willing to walk through an ally and past the garbage dumpsters to get there. It was - the food was great and as we were leaving Jer noticed that the health inspector scored them at 76 - the lowest Jer had ever seen. That was quite reassuring:)

And so we were on to the rest of our evening. We decided to spend the rest of the night on Beale Street which was a short walk from the restaurant. Dave and Jer were several paces ahead of me and BFWW. We noticed a homeless man pass by them pretty closely. I also noticed Dave discreetly moving his wallet from his back pocket to his front pocket (something he does often when we're in crowds so I knew he was doing it - it was pretty discreet if you didn't know to watch for it). So Dave was careful enough to move his wallet, but he and Jer decided that the homeless man walking closely behind their wives wasn't of any concern...

We stopped in a souvenir shop in which BFWW tried to get me to buy an assortment of Elvis memorabilia - including a guitar fly swatter for $2.00. Since I really detest Elvis I opted to not buy any of the items she was showing me in the store. We moved on to the actual street. I think we were there a little early so it wasn't so "happenin" yet, but we moved our way down the street to just take in what was going on. We also spent some time trying to figure out which club we wanted to go to.

In the midst of the discussion we noticed A Schwabs - the oldest dry goods store in Memphis. I began to cross the street to go check it out and heard behind me, "I don't want to go in a stupid store!" from Dave. I wanted to check it out - and I'll just announce that we were all happy that we went in. Oh my - there are things in that store that you would never imagine. Tacky. Funny. Unthinkable.

Dave spent some time trying on hats and looking for the perfect walking stick. BFWW pointed out many things that some of us *needed* - such as "Dave, you NEED that shotgun". I very politely asked Jer to buy me a set of brass knuckles and when he asked why I needed them, I looked at him and said, "I'm a mom" - Duh. I was on a mission to find a conversation piece for my kitchen and BFWW pointed out several Mammy cookie jars, which was not quite what I was looking for. I think the real excitement was when Jer and I found a bin of retro candy. I bought a bag of tootsie rolls and a bag of bit o' honey's and Jer bought some Laffy Taffy, salt water taffy and candy sticks.

From there we crossed the street to find a club to hang out in. We were specific in what we were looking for - No cover charge. We ended up in a club that had an Elvis impersonator. Remember - I detest Elvis, so this was not exactly what I was going for that night, but Dave seemed quite excited about it and so we went. He said his name was Redford Elvis (but I can't find him on google) and told us that he was the third person to find out that Elvis died. He was there with Elvis' girlfriend and Jerry Esposito when they rolled him over on the bathroom floor. Dave and I thought he was full of it because he didn't look old enough to be there. BFWW thought that he was being disrespectful to the memory of his friend by impersonating him.

Redford Elvis' fan club (which further perplexes me as to why I can't find this guy on the www) was there and they cut up the dance floor with all of their moves. They requested that Redford Elvis serenade a friend in the audience, Pocahontas. We still don't know why she was called Pocahontas, but she was less than thrilled to go up there. While he was singing to her she was terribly embarassed and played with his sash the entire time. I would have felt sorry for her if it wasn't so fun to laugh at her.

When our waitress came and checked on us I asked her if she thought this guy was for real and if he really was there when Elvis was rolled over. She said she didn't think so. Then I asked her if he talked like that (in the Elvis voice) even when he wasn't on stage and she rolled her eyes and said yes. We got quite a laugh out of that:)

Then the fan club president requested a song and the fan club members made a good showing at how well they knew all of the words. It was apparent at that point that it was time to move on so we hunted down our eye-rolling waitress and left.

As we were leaving I asked the doorman/bouncer if he thought that guy was for real. He said he didn't know since he wasn't there, but then went on to tell me that he lived in the same building as Elvis when he (the doorman) was a baby and Elvis was 15. His mom taught Elvis to waterski and had a picture of Elvis holding him when he was 2. Jer and I shook his hand and went to find BFWW and Dave.

Our next stop was the patio outside of King's Palace. A band, 2 weeks notis, was playing and the patio was empty with the exception of a man in a wheel chair right in front of the band and a family of 4 - Mom, Dad, and two teenage daughters. The girls were dancing next to their parents and even went and danced with the wheelchair guy for one song. When the band played a song about drugs (i think - I don't know these dumb songs) the mom got up and danced, too. It was a very attractive show...

Shortly after the dancers left, the band asked who our favorite band was. I yelled out, very seriously, "Two Weeks Not!" And Dave almost peed his pants while he was laughing at me. Despite what you may think, I was not drunk or high (like the lead singer), but the sign behind them was blocked by the singer and all I could see was 2 weeks not. I thought it was a very odd name for a band, but hey - what do I know about naming bands? So I yelled it out and Dave almost wet himself.

I think the band was less than amused with my suggestions for them to play Copa Cabana or something by Liberace and decided to take a break as a subtle hint that we should make our way onward.

As we were walking down the street a man was doing backflips down the length of half of the street. This was his performance and he was depending on tips. We stood on the curb to watch and then we saw someone who looked just like BFWW's brother, Jefferson, but since he wasn't staying with us that weekend we figured it probably wasn't him.

Moving on we stopped at an outside courtyard and listened to a real blues band. BFWW and I stood there and tried to figure out if one of the other girls there was fat or pregnant. Dave went inside the club to use the bathroom and was told he had to wait while the floor dried - so we watched him wait through the window. Jer walked over to watch a guy drawing a portrait of a couple and came back and told us that the guy (in the couple) was really hating every minute of it, but the girl was loooooving it. So I decided to go watch, too. He was so right on - she was posing with a HUGE smile on her face while her boyfriend was wishing it would be over soon. We also heard one of the fans yell out "Joliet" and were a bit stunned that there was someone there from our area proudly yelling out "Joliet". Jer pointed out that he was likely yelling out the name of his prison. So we didn't make fun of him anymore.

Since we were leaving so early in the morning we decided that it was time to relieve the babysitters and go home. Dave and Jer walked back to get the car and BFWW and I went for shakes and fries to go at Dyers Burgers.

BFWW and I ate some fries and talked a little while longer before going to bed. It was our last few minutes together and it was nice to end the weekend together - by ourselves - at the island in the kitchen just talking. Like things were meant to be. Not worrying about doing the dishes. Not worrying about getting this done or that done or where we need to go next, but just talking, spending time together and enjoying each other.

We had the best time that night (and all weekend). I miss my BFWW:)


Carol 8:04 AM  

How do you remember all those details. I can't even remember what I did last night! You are a witty and wonderful writer, JD. I love reading your stories!

Jen 1:51 PM  

I'm with Carol! Did you take notes all night long?

Great stories. The Rendevous is awesome and Beale Street is fun. They didn't take you to Swig? That's my new favorite place down there!

Seriously, reading all of this makes me want to head to Texas for my BFWW!

i am not 3:38 PM  

Swig was our plan b if Beale street sucked. as you can tell - it far from sucked:) The only thing we didn't do that we wanted to do was see the drunk goat.

Also I forgot to mention that after the blues band with the joliet prison guy and before Dyers we walked down to the end of the street and we saw some bouncers carry a really, really drunk girl out of a movie theater. She tried to get up and fell right over. The bouncers in the bar next door were making fun of her and we felt sorry for her, but wow she was really drunk... and had on low rise jeans and was not skinny.

Schaffiro 10:41 PM  

Merry Christmas!

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Heaven Sent 11:37 PM  

You seriously make me laugh! You calling out the wrong band name is by far the best.

I loved this little stories series. Does it have to be over yet???

Mommy Brain 2:04 PM  

Sounds like you guys did some serious eating! Two Weeks Not! Love it!

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