I'm thrilled to announce that my next story will be published in the upcoming issue of North Dakota Quarterly!
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Welcome to 2016. It still feels a lot like 2015. I’m sure that will change. Last year I went to Europe for Christmas but was back in Texas for New Years. This season I stayed in Texas but went to Memphis, Tennessee, for New Years. I was sick the entire trip, but luckily I was able to drink enough cough syrup to keep me going.
On the drive there I stopped in Shreveport, Louisiana, to see my pal Chris who just recently moved there from Austin. Chris and I have known each other for almost a decade and are pretty close so it was awesome getting to see him again. Originally he wanted to show me a lot of the city, but because of a tornado (yes, a tornado!) I didn’t get to Shreveport until after 9:00. This made it a late start for carousing. Especially since I was feeling under the weather. Regardless, Chris showed me the boardwalk and the casinos and gave me a growler of local beer called ‘Awkward Uncle.’ It was a tasty brew.
I pulled into Memphis the next day. I was coughing pretty bad by then so I wasn’t going too wild. But I got to see Sun Studios where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash all recorded their first hits. Having grown up listening to those guys, it was a pretty big deal to me. I also got to see some live blues down on Beale Street. I’d been on Beale Street once a long time ago, but I didn’t really get to check it out. I was on some bus trip going somewhere and just ran out and ran back. This time I got to see Blind Mississippi Morris play at the Blue City Café. I also got some pretty good ribs, too.
By New Year’s Eve I was starting to feel better, but I still had congestion in my nose and chest. I was able to stay up until midnight but not much longer. The next day was the long drive back through Arkansas and the back roads of East Texas.
Writer living in the hill country of Texas