There are roadsigns on the freeway between Memphis and Nashville calling it the Musical Highway. Memphis is the home of Sun Recored where the Million Dollar quartet recorded their early songs. Nashville is the home of the Grand Ole Opery. In between them is a city called Jackson,which instantly makes me recall June Carter Cashes song ” We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. We been talking ’bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out. I’m goin’ to Jackson…”
Before we got on the Musical Highway, Tofu and I had our morning walk. We completed a large loop. We headed South 20 yards and went West along a street that quickly became very quiet. We were coming onto a healthcare Center.
We turned North and found ourselves in a park like setting.
It looked like this on the other side of the street.
Then we headed East.
Then we turned South on the highway that would take us back to Motel 6. But we had gone much further North than I had suspected; which means we had a long walk on. Road with no bike lanes. Come to think of it I haven’t seen any bike lanes in a long time. After walking on the road awhile, I turned and took a photo of where we had been.
I’m glad it was Saturday. Continuing South we came on these beauties. It was challenging to keep Tofu from expressing her opinion of them.
And here is our approach to Motel 6. After you look at it I’ve got some city comments.
I’m really having some negative feelings about the cities I’ve seen. The traffic is horrendous in the proximity of all of the ones I’ve been by. On several occasions I’ve taken the plunge looking for the historic town. Memphis, my most recent experience, is a complete mess. Getting anywhere is an arduous, dangerous expedition if you’re not a local. When you get to the periphery of these cities they all look the same… strip Malls with the same chains you see in every other city, and the traffic is awful. I’ve decided to stay out of these messes as much as possible.
Now that rant is over and let me tell you, Tennessee is the most beautiful state with the prettiest countryside that I’ve seen since leaving home. Tennessee is all rolling hills with trees, grass, and broad lawns. As I went East it became more and more lovely. As we passed by Jackson, I was singing Johnny and June’s, “we been talking ’bout Jackson ever since the fire went out.”
(Dear Reader’s I just now excised a page worth of material based on my marriage. I’ve saved it as a draft, and will probably be offering a Bonus Blog, at another time for those who are interested. It may contain some X rated material, so I better think about it some more. In the old days my editor (Lynnie) would offer her opinion and I would obey. These days I still consult her but she speaks more quietly and less firmly).
East of Jackson I came upon a Civil War battlefield. I spent an our at the site, remembering the battles I had read about before in Shelby Foote’s 3 volumes Narrative of the Civil War.
The battle at Parker’s Crossroad, was one of those turning points in the war. The Union had captured Nashville and Memphis. Confederate Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men, marched North, pushing Union troops back, tearing up RR tracks, in an attempt to isolate Memphis from Nashville. Eventually the Union turned Bedford back. As the Confederates retreated, it was their desire to cross the Tennessee River. At Pockets Crossroad a battle ensued, in which the Confederates were able to hold off the enemy, and escape, with most of their troops. If memory serves me right there were more than 2000 killed. Time to get back on the road.
I decided not to go into Nashville, but to skirt it to the South and land in Murfreesboro, the site of another terrible battle. The Civil War remnants are all over this state. Battles were fought all over it.
An hour out of Nashville I picked up a radio program called “Elvis Only”. The DJ picked out some great tunes, except for Rock A Hula, but I’ll forgive him. The next program was Kasey Kasam’s top 40 from 1976, which I didn’t need to hear. Besides the station was fading. Scanning through lots of country, right wing firebrands and preachers I was searching for NPR. So as I swept to the south of Nashville I was listening to Liszt and Mozart. It’s a good thing as the traffic became very heavy. It seems the tentacles of Nashville have overwhelmed Murfreesboro. I crossed the freeway and descended into the newest strip malls, with everything but grocery stores. Grocery stores are rare and mostly Walmart’s in these places. And off I drove into the countryside searching for and finding the Stone Bridges Battlefield.
We drove into the visitor’s Center. I left Tofu in the car. The air Temperature is 61 degrees, and I left the sunroof open to keep her cool. But she was barking. After a few minutes I heard people complaining about the poor little dog barking in the car. I spoke to the Ranger and said I would check on her. When I went outside she had given up and was quiet. So I spent a few more minutes before leaving.
So Tofu and I walked to the Union Cemetery. This battle was fought over 3 days, starting New Year’s Eve, 1862. The confederate we’re trying to move on Nashville, which was the heart of Union power in the South. As a result of this battle the door was open for Sherman to March through the South (remember the burning of Atlanta. Many thousands died. The Union dead were buried on site.
Too many graves. I decided I’d had enough of the Civil War for the day. We headed to our Motel 6, buried in the Arb’s, Wendy’s, Panera Bread, Chick a Fil, mcDonalds, etc.
And tomorrow we head Souther. We’ll touch Alabama, and then drift toward southern Georgia. We won’t make it to Plains in time to go to Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School. But we should get there Monday.
Goodnight and Love to Y’all.