Last night, Martha bought tickets to see B.B. King in January. We're takin' the Big Man and I can't wait. He's still chapped about not being able to go in the clubs when we were on Beale St.. Every time I go to work in Memphis...I have to explain to him that I am not going to Beale. I'm going to the boring part of Memphis. He never looks very satisfied with that answer.
I was maybe ten before I had a stereo of my own. Before that I carried a tape recorder around. The only cassette I had was a collection of B.B. King's Hits. I just kinda took possession of it. Daddy didn't seem to mind too much.
He was up all last week.
Recently, Martha actually took some time to read the blog. "No wonder you love your job so much," she laughed..."your out there every day with your people." They're my Daddy's people too...and that's never lost on me.
As a kid, nothing tickled me more than his stories from the road. The seafood market owner that ran numbers...the murderous wives..."When you see that nigga you tell him I'm comin' to kill him"...collecting money in Jukes on a Friday nights...clearing out of a house with the owner because a snake had slithered into the kitchen. Nothing much has changed.
(Daddy was born in a house...probably deeper in the woods than Otis)
Macon, Georgia was the scene for a lot of these stories. The place has a kinda hold on him and he loves it but, I don't think it was always a happy time. He seems to have been kinda in between. He lived in efficiency and didn't own any more than could be thrown in an MGB...at short notice. Some clothes and a hi-fi.
He jokes about having pheasant under glass for Thanksgiving at Ocmulgee. Translation: sitting on the side of an Indian mound, drinking Wild Turkey...watching the river.
He laughs...a kinda squeezed cackle that I've inherited.