Whirlwind trip to the upper South, the Mississippi Delta region. We started at the Abbey of Gethsemani Wednesday evening. Caught Compline, then left for our hotel in Cave City. Mammoth Cave Thursday morning, then Memphis for its barbecue festival Thursday night. Hurricanes were pretty strong; so was Beale Street; probably my favorite jaunt of the trip, though the trip to Graceland Friday morning rocked. I always get a kick out of Elvis. He strikes me as the laboratory test for what happens to a genuinely good person when he gets too much fame and fortune. I wish he had given me one of those Cadillacs. Then we went to Oxford, Mississippi to check out the Ole Miss campus. The football stadium is pretty nice . . . its top notch class of new recruits will probably be happy there. We also checked out Rowan Oak. I told my family about how Walker Percy and Shelby Foote drove hours to the house, just to meet the famous author, but Percy couldn’t muster the nerve to get out of the house. Foote spent a long time on the front porch, talking with the master and drinking lemonade. I guess Percy sat in the car the whole time. We also checked out the city’s famous town square and world-class bookstore. After that, we went to Tupelo, Mississippi, where we met up with family for my niece’s wedding on Saturday in New Albany, Mississippi. I didn’t go to Elvis’ birthplace, because I’ve been there twice before and, though worth one visit, there’s not much to see. Nice wedding; nice groom for my niece. We’re very happy for her, though Sunday’s trip back home was brutal: 12 hours, with a pounding (pounding, pounding) 45-minute thunderstorm in the hills just outside Nashville.
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