Stayed at a hotel near the airport to get an early start without killing myself. Did get to see parts of the football games, UConn women basketball and nap.
The day started early, 4:20 am the shuttle left for the airport. I was surprised at the lines that early.
My first stop was Detroit and the flight went well until we were told snow and mist were slowing us down. All I could think about was being held in Detroit and missing my connections with friends in Memphis. While in Detroit I noticed a guitar and player. Jimmy Graham from upstate New York will be in the Solo/Duo Challenge.
No problem landing and I made the next gate. It was to be a full flight as was the previous one.
Made it to Memphis on time and met my friend from high school who decided Memphis might be a fun trip.
Took the Riverfront Trolley, scenic start to any Memphis trip. As today was the King holiday, the Civil Rights Museum had a line going around the block. There seemed to be more people taking advantage of the day off than IBC visitors.
Got to Beale St. and had lunch at Blues City Café. The Street was quieter than at IBC but I was kind of a day ahead. Did the regular of visiting some of the shops on Beale.
One stop to make on Beale St is the Ernest Withers Gallery. The noted Civil Rights photographer and chronicler’s studio area has been transformed to display his works. Besides the Civil Rights work, he also has Memphis entertainment and the Negro Leagues. Had a chance to talk with his daughter Rosalind and Grandson. Will be going back to get some post cards.
Tas Cru was scheduled for a 7 o’clock show at the Rum Boogie, so that was the next stop. While sitting outside with a drink, who should across the street but The Balkun family. We also chanced to meet a player from the band representing the Lehigh Valley Blues Network.
Inside for dinner and Tas Cru. We were joined by a VaTech friend and his wife from Atlanta.
Tas and band were really on. Rocking the place like it was mid week. Tuesday he is hosting a jam at Rum Boogie.
Well, that ended day 1. A DJ, Penny Lane, from Indiana, sponsored by The Slippery Noodle is broadcasting live from the lobby of our hotel with different guests each day. Seems like more people are getting the blues from the IBC back home.