Earlier today I was looking through some old photo albums on my desktop, happily remembering a trip taken to Memphis,TN during the Summer of 2008 with a former boyfriend, when I came across a few favorites images, those that had survived a 2010 hard drive crash – two are now hanging in a local library on display for the public. At the time of this trip I was madly in love and eager to show my then ‘new’ beau off to my dearest friends and share with him one of my favorite American Cities, a city that I once called home.
I had graduated from Memphis College of Art (MCA) in 2003 and can honestly say that my 3 years in Memphis were some of the best in my life, they inspired me to be the artist that I am today. Many people had warned me about the dangers of moving to Memphis, its often tumultuous history leaves it with somewhat less than desirable reputation amongst some who thought that I was a naive mark; but I didn’t care. I visited the Mid Southern city years earlier and loved its energy. When I was looking to transfer to a different college I was thrilled to learn that Memphis had its own Art College and the rest is history.
I am always excited to visit my old stomping grounds and during this particular 2008 trip I took my former partner all over Memphis. Exposed him to Beale street, Graceland, art museums, rode the Main Street Trolley, ate some local fare – well he did, I’m the vegetarian and Memphis is definitely not known as the Veggie capital – and spent a memorable evening listening to some genuine juke joint blues.
These images below were my favorites because they were passing strangers, individuals that left an imprint and in their own way define the essence of an adventure. Contact is sometimes minimal but the impact is always strong and memorable.
The bartender at the juke joint, serving from a simple menu and enjoying the best perk of his job, the music.
The Blues Musician, playing his heart and soul out to a packed and energetic joint.
Mike, a transient man passing through Memphis. when I spoke to him he was unsure where he intended to go
The Trolley Man. He was very much focused on his job.