Cruising down the Music Highway

Yes, we made the fabled drive from Nashville to Memphis today, as many pilgrims before us have – with “Graceland” at full volume.  More on Memphis tomorrow, but for now, here’s a sidebar about a stop on the way,  Leaving Middle Tennessee, we are now in West Tennessee, a whole different kettle of barbecue and music, and we stopped in the city of Jackson.  Lots of things to recommend Jackson.  First of all, every single Pringle in the world is made here, and thus we have Pringles Park, their minor-league baseball stadium. (The team is part of the Seattle Mariner’s farm system.)

There’s even more.  The Miss Tennessee pageant is held here, and the town also boasts the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.  How’s that for a claim to fame?

But that’s not what drew us.  This is a big railroading center, and the home of Casey Jones, before his untimely death at the age of 42.  Think of Casey as the Sully Sullenberger of his day, only he died saving his passengers in a train crash.  He remains an American hero to this day for his outstanding engineering skills and his commitment to his train.  He could have jumped and saved himself, but our Casey stood on the brakes till he couldn’t avoid the stalled train ahead and no more could be done.

A museum to Casey properly commemorates him, and we toured every inch.  (Note the toy trains in his children’s room – ironic?)  I only vaguely remember the TV show, but can’t fathom how they handled the inevitable ending.  Maybe they got cancelled before that point came…

One more highlight of the day was finally finding a coonskin cap.  For some reason, they didn’t have an adult size in the gift store, but Don sported one for me anyway.  Those of you who saw him last winter in New York remember the great fashion statement he made with his beret, starting a bit of a craze, with at least two friends briefly considering getting one,  Well, heads up on this year’s coming style…we are determined to find one.

4 thoughts on “Cruising down the Music Highway

  1. Oh Donnie! This is SO you. Actually, the beret is MORE you–the dapper Manhattan-ite who plays that town like a violin–but the coonskin cap is the KID in you. (A hat for all Donalds, I’d say.) I hope you find one that fits. I vaguely remember the television series about Casey Jones and it was more about stories on the rails; never came close to touching the reality of his ending. The memorial is lovely. You are seeing all of them!!

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    • Would you believe we are only scratching the surface of some of these states? I think it would be possible to spend a full month in Tennessee. Who knew it was so complex and so interesting? I want everyone to wipe away their preconceptions about this state, and give it a try. We are trying to pave the way!

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