Back home again.
Posted by Exile on June 12, 2006
..and all ‘blues’ed out’ as one Chicago musician put it. What a great trip. We drove from Chicago to the mighty Mississipi Delta, north to Memphis, and finally back to Chicago for the blues festival. Wow. I am worn out.
Here are a few unforgettable quotes I picked up along the way..
In Chicago talking to a guy in a bar, he was a bit the worse for wear and we were discussing the King Tut exhibition in Chicago..”Like the ancient gynæcologists used to say, if you’ve seen one sarcophagus, you’ve seen ’em all…” I think he meant archæologists but he was incapable of coherent thought by then.
In a motel in Rantoul, 120 miles south of Chicago trying to check in..”Denmark? Europe? Oh, that’s in France, right?” OK, honey, you’re blonde, it’s in France.
In a motel in Memphis, I heard someone banging on the next door to ours. It went on for a long time so eventually I looked out to see what was going on. There was this real redneck and his girlfriend. I asked what the problem was.. ” We’all dun locked arse’ves aht y’all y’no?” I asked if there was anyone inside the room. He thought hard for a second or two and then replied “Ah dudn’t thank so. We’all aht heeah”
Mentally challenged? No, just from Arkansas.
Huge black man in Clarksdale. “..you’re cool, for a white guy..” Thankyou God….!
Muddy Waters, quote: “You don’t have to have a white face to be a gentleman”. (On his memorial at the Clarksdale blues museum).
And I met people that proved it.
I talked to “Homesick” James Williamson, the writer of Homesick Blues (1950). He is 97 years old, from Tennesee, still singing the blues and we sipped Jack Daniels together in a bar at the Essex inn in Chicago. “You from Denmark? Hell boy, I been there. Man, I been everywhere..!” And I believe him too. I will never forget that half hour with him.
There were doubtless others, but I am too tired to remember them right now.
It was great. We laughed, I cried tears of joy, and I am a wiser man for having made the trip.
“Man, it’s good to be home.” Me.