Every month, at least every month during the ‘season’, the last Friday is reserved for openings, and trolley rides.
This past Friday was marked by the opening of Memphis College of Art MFA students Catherine Blackwell-Pena and John Gutierrez showing their work, as well as the launch of a project by Dwayne Butcher, for the 10th anniversary of the Urban Arts Commission.
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., which was marked by a series of events, including a Recommitment March, lead by the Rev. Al Sharpton, ending at the Lorraine Motel, where King was gunned down, now the National Civil Rights Museum.
A vigil, to commemorate King and his legacy was held from the former motel balcony, where speakers, including his son Martin Luther King III, daughter Bernice King, and Jesse Jackson, spoke about King, his work, and his ongoing legacy.
Last night, over a dinner with several CODA students, Charles, John Weeden, and Hamlett Dobbins, Hamlett told us about a documentary that I definitely must see, about entertainer/actor/performance artist Andy Kaufman’s wrestling career. While I was aware of his foray into professional wrestling (I’m even old enough to remember it before seeing Man on the Moon), I did not realize that Memphis played such an important role.
Kaufman came to Memphis, and went out of his way to belittle the citizens of Bluff City, as well as the entire South. It was all part of his act as the ‘bad guy’ to the local ‘good guy’, former art student, turned professional wrestler, who also happened to secretly ‘get’ Kaufman’s act: Jerry Lawler.
This gives you a taste of Kaufman’s critique.
Hopefully I haven’t made any similar faux pas (intentional or not).
If I have, Mr. Lawler and the good citizens of Memphis, please don’t hurt me.
Last summer, while we were in Memphis, I had this idea of trying to talk Charles and Kerstin into a short trip down to Clarksdale, Mississippi, to go find the crossroad where Delta Blue’s legend Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the Devil.
To be honest, considering that I’ve never been a rabid fan of the Blues, or even the Rolling Stones for that matter, I’m not really sure why I wanted to go. I suppose I can blame Ralph Macchio.
On the way to Clarksdale.
Surveying the swelling banks of the mighty Mississippi on Mud Island.
A billboard piece by Greely Myatt, part of the Urban Art Commission‘s 10th anniversary exhibition, pretty much sums up the initial weeks of my stay in Memphis.
Nearing the end of the road.
This is Holland is not full.
The parable of the fig tree and some grain elevators to add more grist for Charles theory mill.