Wednesday, February 22, 2012: Santiago Casas
Today was a busy day, and it’s only the beginning of the Mid South Trip. I have been to Memphis before, but today was a new adventure. There is so much to do here, and only one day to do it in. The trip getting here wasn’t much of a “sleep in” day. The odyssey began at 3:00 am as we made our way through Texas, Arkansas, and, finally, the Volunteer State. The ride wasn’t bad, especially since I slept through most of it. I was, however, one of the few troopers who volunteered to get out of the car to take pictures at the Arkansas state line.
While in Arkansas, we also briefly visited the childhood home of our 42nd President, Bill Clinton, in Hope.
From Hope we drove to Memphis and grabbed a quick lunch at this down-home cooking restaurant called Gus’s World Famous Chicken. This is one southern-style restaurant that all non-natives to the city should try.
Our next destination was the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Lorraine Motel, where the National Civil Rights Museum is located. The museum chronicles monumental episodes of the American civil rights movement and the legacy of this movement–to inspire participation in civil and human rights efforts globally–through its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs.
We then drove to and toured Sun Studio. It was REALLY good. Our tour guide, Jayne, showed us some old record-making equipment, but the main part of the tour was in the studio itself. We listened to the very first ever recording of Elvis Presley, a jam session between Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, and we got to see the drum kit used on three tracks of U2’s Rattle ‘n Hum album.
Later in the evening we went to the King’s Palace Café on Memphis’s famous Beale Street. I ordered the Shrimp Po’Boy and shared some Gumbo, which was the house’s specialty. Both were delicious, offering a zesty taste to satisfy your taste buds.
Today was a fun-filled day. It was a nice chance to get to know my colleagues better and, as the newest member of the Junior Fellows, helped me gain sense of unity, and the feeling that I can rely on them. Interestingly, in going away on a trip like this, it makes us a better team, which helps us become more effective in carrying out our mission at SHSU and in Huntsville, too.