Tuesday, October 26, 2004

October 26, 2004

7:25 PM On the road in Tupelo, Mississippi A great American was born in Tupelo. I’m speaking of Elvis Presley, of course. Several of his relatives still live in the area. We’re here visiting my brother Alan who has lived in Tupelo for about 13 years. He’s a plastic surgeon. This is our first visit in well over a year, although Mark and Nick have been here quite a few times, often to stay with “Uncle Alan” on football weekends, and sometimes to bring friends down from Chicago so they can get a taste of the Deep South. And this is truly the Deep South. You see lots of pickup trucks, lots of kudzu, and you hear lots of country music on the radio. By the way, you would hardly know there is a national election judging from the lack of yard signs. None of the major candidates will visit Mississippi. This is definitely a red state. But even though we are down South, we haven’t had much Southern cooking. Last night we took Nick to P. F. Chang’s in Birmingham and ate on the outside patio. Today we did the same at On the Border Mexican Restaurant. Good food, but we could have done that in Chicago. I’m still hoping for some chicken-fried steak and fried catfish before the week is gone. But we have had a unique Southern staple called “Sweet Tea.” When you ask for tea, they bring you “Sweet Tea,” which is tea already sweetened. If you add sugar, it’s almost too sweet. We’re here in Tupelo today and tomorrow, then it’s on to Florence, Alabama. By the way, it’s still hot. Right now it’s 84 degrees. Hot and muggy and it’s almost sundown. Great biking weather, if only I had my bike with me. I told Alan he needs to buy a bike, so tomorrow we’re going to a bike shop to see what we can find.

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