As most of our regular customers know, I just spent ten days moving my daughter to Memphis, TN (Billie was accepted into the Teach for America program and will spend the next two years teaching first grade Memphis). With the help of two dear friends, we rented a U-Haul trailer, hitched it to my van, and loaded both with an apartment’s worth of furnishings. We broke the trip into 3 parts–3 days to drive down; 4 days to get Billie settled, see some sights, and do some antiquing; and 3 days to drive home (which turned into 2 days for various reasons).
I bought lots of interesting stuff for the shop including garden antiques, vintage clothing, 2 iron baker’s racks, a mid-century modern yellow damask sofa & matching love seat (both still in original plastic covers), lighting, and lots of cool smalls. In terms of pricing, I visited six shops–three were too pricey to buy for resale but the picking was really good in the others. The dealers and shopkeepers were very kind and helpful. (One shopkeeper actually helped me unload & repack my U-Haul. I guess that’s what they mean by “southern hospitality!”)
Aside from antiquing, we got Billie settled into her apartment ( a very cute spot in the Midtown section of Memphis), did some grocery shopping, and still managed to squeeze in some sightseeing. We visited the Memphis Zoo (pandas!), Beale Street, and Graceland (I had to see the MCM decor). But the most memorable spot was the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum tells the story of the American Civil Rights Movement with artifacts, films, and interactive exhibitions. The walk thru the museum ends when visitors stand between the MLK’s Lorraine Motel bedroom & living room looking out at the spot on the balcony where he died. As overwhelming as the museum is, I was more overwhelmed by my own ignorance. As with most things, the more you learn, the more you realize how much you still need to learn.
Billie will be in Memphis for at least two years so I know that I will visit again. I will definitely hunt down more antiques for the shop, visit the pandas, and hang out in a Beale Street bar. But most importantly, I will go back to the National Civil Rights Museum because “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” MLK