Heading South

Trip Start Dec 19, 2006
Trip End Feb 22, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, January 22, 2007

(Susquehanna PA >Memphis TN, Monday, January 22, 2007)-We get Sunday night off at the house in Susquehanna, pack up our stuff and get ready to head South for the rest of our stay in the USA. Monday is a full-scale travel day: first we drive a couple hundred miles east to the little airport near Newburgh NY, turn in our rent-o-car and board the plane for Atlanta, where we'll spend a few hours waiting for our plane to Memphis that evening. There's a great soul food restaurant in the Atlanta airport that makes these enforced layovers easier to take, and we take full advantage of the availability of blackened catfish, collard greens, corn muffins and black-eyed peas with iced tea while we're waiting.

We don't get into Memphis until 11:30 pm and it's too late to pick up the Enterprise economy car for our month-long sojourn in the South, so we book an economy room near the car rental office and spend a quiet night there. We sign out the car at noon and pause for a fantastic meal at the nearby Catfish Cabin that's even more fulfilling than the airport meal of the previous evening. Properly fortified and looking forward to our time in the sunny Southland, we strap ourselves in and head out for Oxford MS where we'll be in residence until February 12th at the Two Stick sushi restaurant and music bar just off the town square.

We miss stopping to visit with our pal Laurence Hall at his beautiful pad in Memphis, but Laurence reports that he's found a producer for his long-awaited film project titled Skinny Dipping in America, and they've driven out west to attend the SunDance Film Festival and see what they can get into.

My main man in Oxford, Chad Henson, who owns and operates the Two Stick with his brilliant wife Allison Borders, is also desperate to make a film, but the story and its myriad sub-plots keeps expanding beyond his ability to get it down in writing or on film either one. But it's always entertaining and even educational to listen to Chad rant and rave about his cinematic visions and the earthly events in which they are rooted. Somehow I've evolved into a central character in Chad's story, but the action is so dense and multi-faceted that I always end up with my mind totally boggled before I can figure the thing out.

We're greeted and quickly engulfed by Chad & Allison and the vibrant collective of young persons who make up the Two Stick workforce, and we settle into our room at the rear of the building where we'll be staying for the next three weeks, with the exception of a quick side trip to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit my pal Dottie Oliver at the Little Rock Free Press and hook up with our East Coast comrades, Eero Ruuttila and Simon Pettet, for a poetry throwdown at a site yet to be determined.

-New Orleans
February 19, 2007
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