To Memphis, with bling

Trip Start Jun 23, 2008
1
9
Trip End Jun 30, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

At 9:50 pm, we're ensconced in a freezing cold hotel  room (58 degrees at check-in) at the Downtown Residence Inn--the fierce air conditioning a defense, presumably,  against 86 degree weather outside.  Jerry immediately turned on the heat.  We're huddling.

Our flight to  Memphis, via Northwest, an airline neither of us had even taken, was crowded and cramped.  My main distraction was a pack of people, 5 couples, done up in major bling (ice-cube sized diamonds at ears and on fingers), plus metallic gold ballet flats (if they weren't black patent) and handbags large and very leathery-rich.  Men in blue blazers and khakis, the kind of men who look like run the world or at least the country club.  My seatmate turned out to be the oldest of these gentlemen, 86.  He and his pals, major donors to a Memphis museum called the Dixon Gallery, had been to SF to go to art museums.  Apparently, the new head of the Fine Arts Museums,John Buchanan, headed that Gallery years ago, and his wife personally escorted them about:  the DeYoung, the Legion of Honor MOMA--many more than this gentleman seemed to appreciate, though he loved the trip to Napa for a wine-y lunch.  I was a bit daunted by the monied get-up of the group in the boarding lounge , and so many of them, but now that we're on the ground, Memphis looks like any other city, people of all types. 

Our hotel is a couple of blocks from the Mississippi River,  and tomorrow we may venture down to its shores before we leave town in our bright red Chevrolet.  Then we're off to Oxford, Mississippi, to see Faulkner's house, Rowan Oak, and then on to Starksville, which my seatmate on the plane assured me was a "nice town."  I'm a little dubious, after having read that one of the highlights of the wives' program is Barnes and Noble and Starbuck's.  We'll see.  Trying to keep an open mind.
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