Hooo Boy, I had a good time. As the song goes, “I have had my fun, if I don’t get well no more.” Check this out. We were goin to do four days on Beale Street, so I decided to ride my bike from Tallahassee to Memphis and back home – a journey of 2000 miles. What an adventure.
As I was finishing up at the Blues City Cafe, I heard that the very next day, The Honorable Reverend Al Green was going to be preaching at his church, The Full Gospel Tabernacle. What a poor sinner to do when he can get the Word from the real deal source of spiritualistic funk? And so I putted down to the church bright and early Sunday morning, ready to get some religion, and Son, did I ever! Before the Rev. even showed up, I was feeling the Spirit. What a beautiful scene this church is. The opening music was truly inspirational. However, when Al began his sermon, all heaven broke loose. There was singing and praising, rejoicing, and thanking, crying and hollering, and feeling the Spirit like nobody’s business. I was just about to throw all my credit cards in the plate when the good reverend said, ”I know that times have been rough for you folks, so today, don’t bother putting any money in the basket. I have taken care of it for you”. I ask you, Brothers and Sisters, when was the last time you heard a preacher say that?
I left Memphis with a good feeling way down in my soul. I needed it for I was about to ride straight into a hailstorm. First I hit the heavy winds. Then I rode through a dust devil – a mile high cloud of dust and debris. Visibility was about fifty feet, sometimes less. I was looking for a funnel but none appeared. And then the rain and hail came down clackity clack on my helmet. By the time I reached the next overpass, I was drenched. “This is the life”, I said to myself, almost believing it. However I met some nice people under the bridge and I had time for a little nap before continuing to Hot Springs, Arkansas. A couple of days soaking in the hot springs had me ready for my next adventure.
I headed south to Greenville, Mississippi for the Leland Blues Fest. I was able to catch heard Honey Boy Edwards doin the real blues in Leland down by the railroad tracks. It don’t get no bluesier than that. Deep in the delta I hit the blues mother load. While embedding myself in the local scene I heard that B.B. King was in town.
So on Saturday night I was sitting with my boots up on the stage at the Club Ebony, eating a bbq pork chop samich. And incidentally, the food at Club Ebony is very good at a very reasonable price. I hear the catfish is to die for. So anyway, I’m chowin down on my BBQ pork chop samich, watching B.B. King hold court at his hometown juke. He finished the show and walked right by me. He took my hand and I helped him with the steps. All I could say was, “Thank you. Thank you.” The photo here is B.B. as he leaves the stage. Truly a magnificent personality, he has done so much for so many. Thank you Mr. King.
So after all this blues and gospel, it was time for me to head for the house. My trusty steed was waiting patiently as I mounted up for the 10 hour ride back to Florida. But do not fret. I’ll be sliding back to Mississippi to soak up some more of the real deal another time.