CHAPTER FIVE - Monday Means Memphis & Nashville

We were now a full day behind, so we had to mosey up to Memphis, and head to Nashville for the night if we were going to even be close to getting home on time. But once again, our previous night of shenanigan's left the majority of our gang a bit hung over and bewildered. After hotel showers and some food, we finally left Jackson, and arrived in Memphis around 3:00 p.m. on Monday.

Memphis is Mecca for some of our crew; Elvis is a God to them. There was no way on this earth that we were going to be within a 500 mile radius of Graceland and not go visit the place. So when we arrived, the first order of business was to visit ‘The King's’ mansion. We proceeded to get tickets to the last showing (the place closes at 4:00), and took our trip to Graceland.

Graceland is one of those places you must see. The way Elvis lived, the things he purchased, and what he meant to people is astonishing. The place was incredible. From the untouched decor of the home, to the room with all of Elvis' awards, to his burial ground, the place left a mark with all of us. It was especially meaningful to T-Mo, who in my mind is the greatest Elvis impersonator of all-time.

After Graceland, we visited the obligatory souvenir shops, and grabbed something to eat. Meanwhile, JC went back to the RV to check out some electrical problems we were having. Some of the items, such as the microwave and refrigerator, were sketchy at best, so JC decided to analyze the situation. As he inspected the components of the electrical system, flipping switches and turning various knobs, things started working, he was not sure how, but he seemed to have fixed the problem.

It started to get dusk, and it was time to go, so we packed into the Rambler and proceeded to Nashville. On the route to "Music City" again we began to experience electrical and generator problems. We pulled off the road to determine our situation. JC is a mastermind at vehicle repair, so after some additional tinkering, things seemed to be better. We pushed on hesitantly.

We arrived in Nashville late, and parked the RV in the heart of the city. We weren't even stopped 5 minutes when someone came up to the Rambler and told us that we needed to pay for parking. After asking the cost, we paid the man his fee, and he left. A few minutes later, a different man came up and asked us for money as well. It seems as though this was a nifty little scam going on, and neither the first or second guy were parking attendants! The bums were alive and well in Nashville that was for sure. We were scammed by the first character, but this one wouldn't get our money. He left, but now we were a bit scared to leave the vehicle there without supervision. Who knows what could happen to it or our belongings inside. As it happens, Don was feeling a bit under the weather, and did not want to venture out that night, so he decided to stay and watch the RV while we headed out into the Nashville nightlife.

And what a nightlife it was, by the time we got there most of the places were almost ready to close. But we had a really fun time that night, especially those of us that had never visited Music City. Every bar was a dive bar; and every band played both kinds of music: Country and Western. We even slipped one of the bands some cash to let T-Mo get up and sing an Elvis tune with them. For $20, T-Mo was up on stage shaking his hips, curling his lips, and singing "Teddy Bear". It was a good time, but it was a Monday night, and most of the places were barren. After our little bit of fun, we headed back to see how Don made out.

The RV was still intact, and to our surprise Don was alive. We all piled in, and got ready for a long night's sleep, when all of a sudden a bum jumped up on the front bumper. The bum proceeded to wash the windshield of the Rambler, and nearly scared the crap out of all of us. Kostival wasn't having any of this, and was ready to rifle the vagrant off of his perch. The guy begged for money, but we weren't in the giving mood at that point, so he left. We figured we would be screwed if we left the RV there for the night, so it was decided that we would move the vessel out of the city, and into a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Don drove, and we proceeded out of Nashville. On the way to Wal-Mart, T-Mo wanted to fill the RV up with gas so we wouldn't have to do it in the morning. We stopped at a gas station, and he filled the old girl up to the top.

We then stopped at a White Castle burger joint to snack on some late night food. The drive-thru was the only part of the fast food restaurant open, but the RV couldn't clear the overhang at the window, so JC walked up to the window and proceeded to order 30 burgers. The jackass attendant replied "Sorry, but this is a drive-thru window, not walk-thru" and told JC that they couldn't serve him! How ridiculous, we were going to slap a nice chunk of change down for some much needed late night food, and they were willing to lose that money because he walked up to the drive-thru? Surely White Castle management wouldn't approve. Distraught, we proceeded to Wal-Mart and fell asleep with growling stomachs.