after waking up in the walmart parking lot that morning we drove north to tupelo, birthplace of elvis! we drove in to town around 6:30 am and figured we had to go to the only place open that early... waffle house. the coffee tasted just as fabulously bad as i remember it from highschool and the staff were as ironic as ever. we asked our waitress what there was to do in tupelo and she told us that on friday nights most people go to the mall.. then to barnes and nobel.. and when that closes, they go to walmart. it's a pretty rockin' town. birthplace of the king.
elvis was born in a house the size of a garden shed. the entire town of tupelo revolves around a dolls house. they have a guided tour you can take which lasts probably ten minutes and consists of someone pointing at this little house and telling you it is the birthplace of elvis.you don't even get to go inside. so we decided against taking the tour. we were told that there were a few elvis landmarks around town like, his school, his favorite resturant and the store where he bought his first guitar. we were too full of waffle house to eat at johnie's, which was a shame because it looked awesome.
elvis presley has his own campground and a lake in tupelo. we drove down to it after johnie's. annie decided to nap in the car so i walked down to the lake alone. it was quite serene. early enough for me to be the only person in sight, i sat on the dock and stared out across the water. it hit me then, there at elvis presley's lake, that i was in mississippi. and that i had been in alabama. and before that georgia. and that tommorow i would probably be in louisianna. it all felt quite strange. i could see this life ahead of me, i could see bringing my kids there and telling them about the first time i had seen the lake. what i had been doing and the things i had planned. my dad says being around water is good for me, brings a certain amount of calm and clarity to my mind. i suppose he is right because for the first time since i left north carolina i was able to stop and be proud of myself. be excited for myself. and i saw the futute that my present action was working for. it was sobering and refreshing.
however the lake seemed to be the only thing tupelo had for us. so back in to the car we climbed. the car, i might add, is quite a disaster. if at the beginning there was any sense of organization it has been lost along the way. but annie and i have a way of understanding our own mess so for the most part we've kept our sanity. we checked out a map and decided we should head to jackson.
we pulled over in winona, mississippi about an hour after getting on the road. annie looked the town up on the droid and apparently martin luther king jr was almost stabbed by a barber there. fun town! another ghost town. main street had a railway line running through it and all the shops on the strips had gone out of business besides a bank, a tanning salon and a lunch cart. the women who ran the cart knew everyone's names and seemed to have there food waiting as soon as they arrived. the special that day was chicken and ribs. we weren't hungry enough to eat yet so we said our thank yous and kept going. it wasn't for another hour that our stomaches started to grumble. we were driving down 55 south when a little resturant on the left caught our eye, Ruby's. it was clear when we walked in that we were not exactly the usual crowd. it wasn't so much a resturaunt as a kitchen and a dining room. you pay five dollars and they give you a big plate of food. that day they were serving fried chicken, okra and tomatoes, ruddabega and a corn muffin. the guys working there thought the idea of two little white girls coming in was hillarious. they were more than eager to feed us.
"only five dollars?!" i said.
"we're not trying to get rich, just tryin to fill you up."