The Trip (Part II)

This part of the trip is all about music, meeting new people, eating some great food, and considering the possibility that adversity is really discovery.

From Albuquerque to the beginning of the Discovery Expedition

Going East

I left at 4AM since the trip to Memphis would take 14 hours. I watched the sun rise as I crossed into Texas at 8AM.

Early morning going east


It’s impossible not to notice the shift in attitude as one goes east from New Mexico into the South. Masks were just not in style.

I’m just an okie from Muskogee

Memphis: Local Beers

I arrived in Memphis after dark and had a local beer named for one Buddha’s best-known disciples. I began collecting local beers, but forgot Ananda.  

“Ānanda, the preserver of the Dharma,
Will pay homage to the buddhas
And ultimately attain complete enlightenment”

Jarad and the Swim Meet

Toured Jarad Bingham’s innovative project serving homeless in Memphis, watched his son compete in a swim meet, and dropped another son at the climbing gym.

Across the country, we have more in common with each other than we think


Jarad and I had lunch at Crumpy’s, highly recommended by Young Dolph. We shared our roots in evangelical Christianity and our arrival in housing work.

I had dry wings and catfish


Later, after a beer, Jarad dropped me off at the Rendezvous for dinner, also recommended by Young Dolph. It was as good as it looks.

The sauces are worth taking home

Memphis Blues

On Beale Street, I listened to these guys. The young guy is Palestinian and he told me he’s probably the world’s only Palestinian blues guitarist.

Great music on Beale Street

The Lorraine Motel

I can’t think of a historical marker like the Lorraine Motel. The façade has a dreamlike quality; it felt like I’d traveled back in time.

It’s like walking into April of 1968

George Jones

Heading into Nashville, I stopped at George Jones’ grave. Do I love his songs because I lived them, or live them because I love them?

Step right up, c’mon in


Broadway as active as the first time I visited in 2019. Music was everywhere, and even at lunchtime on a weekday the talent was startling.

An average singer in Nashville is better than the best anywhere else


I did my best to rile up real estate investors from around the country at the Wolf Lodge outside Cincinnati. I’m not sure I succeeded.

Where’s the outrage?

Putting the “natty” in Cincinnatty

Two investors, Laura Guy from Indianapolis who is battling eviction bans and Adam Terpstra a wiz with eviction data, appreciated my memory for country lyrics.

“Bougie like natty, in the styrofoam, squeak, squeaking in the truck bed all the way home”

Saint Louis: Sugarfire

Pappy’s was my objective, but time was limited. I headed toward Sugarfire and wasn’t disappointed. Saint Louis is noted for sweet sauce, and it was.

I took the cornbread with me


Ashley McBryde is a hero. I had no idea she was part of this show when I walked in. And there she was like Beatrice.

“…vestita di color di fiamma viva…”

Camp Dubois

Lewis and Clark departed from Saint Louis, crossed the Mississippi, then followed the Missouri. The ending of one thing is always the beginning of another.  

Near the site of Camp Dubois on the Mississippi River

Link to Part I Link to Part III