The Arkansas state trooper pulls over a pickup truck on I-40. He says to the driver, "Got any ID?" The driver says, "Bout what?"
20.05.2010 - 21.05.2010 84 °F
Room 412, "Hailton Gayrden Ayinn", Conway, nr Little Rock, Arkansas 5:42pm 21/5/10
Arkansas jokes seem to be much the same as Irish jokes and Polish jokes. Poor souls.
Back to Nashville:-
Off to work:-
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has so much that we'd need to to go back to take just a fraction of it in. It is the national resource on many forms of music, not just Country. Unfortunately it suffered somewhat in the recent floods and some song archives were lost. Also, the Hall of Fame, which is actually just a small part of the set up, was closed for "drying out".
The history of "Country" music is related in videos, music and exhibits. Such as Elvis's Cadillac...
and many, many historical and priceless artefacts:-
Bottom of the bill: Elvis!
A special Brenda Lee exhibition:-
Finger Lickin' Good!
On the way back we spotted, and recorded for Eric:-
We had to dodge into a Honkytonk to get out of the rain. Another great singer for a $2 drink and $1 tip, each.
After a break in the room, we got the car out for a drive round the homes of some of the stars. I'd pre-prepared this on TomTom. Unfortunately we had to guess which house was whose as TomTom did not tell us when we got to each "waypoint". There must be a way of doing this. Anyway we think we saw the ridiculously brash homes of, amongst others, Al Gore, Chet Atkins, Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney (unfortunately he was not in) and the redoubtable Brenda Lee, who had the biggest house of all in an "old money" district nearer to Nashville. It's the most $1m+++ houses we've seen since Charleston!
On the way back, we had dinner at a "Cracker Barrel", menu here. John had the Cracker Barrel Sampler, "A hearty sampling of our Chicken n' Dumplin's, Meatloaf and Country or Sugar Cured Ham" with mashed potatoes, fried okra and turnip greens. Bob had the daily special of Turkey n' Dressing. "Our very own roasted Turkey n' Dressing (=stuffin')" with sweet potato casserole and turnip greens. Good "home cookin'". Very good it was too.
It is very odd that at every restaurant where we have eaten, we were never offered dessert. They all do desserts but assume you don't want one. Very odd given the money making ethos in this country. Good for us, though as we have mostly gone along with this policy.
Another oddity throughout the nation which we tend to forget until we get here, is you cut your food up holding the fork as a spear, then eat the whole lot using the fork as a shovel without touching the knife again. If you don't want to stand out as some nancy-pie European, you'd better just join in with this.
This morning we drove out of Nashville on I-40 and into Memphis just to see where Graceland is (we think we'll come back to Memphis one day and take in Graceland). The city is a lot more edgy than Nashville but we felt fairly safe when we stopped at a gas station and Bob went in to buy coffee.
We were acutely aware of the violence here though when the TV was giving out the news that two police officers had been shot dead last night in a Walmart car park in West Memphis, just across the Mississippi.
Then on, to Little Rock, Arkansas. We took a quick drive round the city centre and it really looked quite pleasant.
The places we have visited, Birmingham Alabama, Memphis and Little Rock are names which conjure up bad feelings from the 60s, and they're places we thought we'd never visit. Times have certainly changed and, whilst racism no doubt still exists, it is much further under the surface.
The I-40 is one of the main arteries across the country so was extremely busy with trucks and cars. But only round the cities did the traffic get "hectic".
Now in a modern "motel" though they call it a "Hilton Garden Inn". We had a swim and hot tub. Went to the US Post Office to post back books and maps we no longer need, and called into a Walgreens (wonderful, like a giant Superdrug but much, much better).
Bob's done the laundry while I did this Blog and it's now time for dinner.
Tomorrow Kansas City for one night then we fly to Las Vegas. To quote Harvey, bless her: "YES!"