Thursday, May 24, 2012


I wish I had a really cool expression for Memphis like in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now... "Saigon.  Shit."  

It's a strange place for me; it's a city much defined in our story by defiance, redemption, and salvation and yet it will always be the capital of my absolute sadness.   

It's where everyone said there was no possible way Hudson, Murphy and I could cross the mighty Mississippi River but we did.  

It's where Murphy was given final rest.  It's where I fasted for 18 days in almost unendurable conditions then lost another mate to cancer, the incomparable Bud Man.  

It's a city that could have broken me many times over. 

But to use an expression from a John Donne poem, Memphis will always be a fixed foot for us and that's because of Mommy G.

Returning to Memphis for the first time was filled with mixed emotions but I did so because it was Ginger's inaugural Puppy Up Walk and there was no way the fuzzybutts and I were not going to be there to support her.  

And as soon as we arrived much to her surprise, she put us to work.  Scripting and shooting the Toyota video was one our top priorities there but her Pete's Pink Garden which I started last year was way up on the list, too.  

I built a raised bed for her and moved two yards of dirt, stripped her side yard of scrub brush and a Holly tree.  Mostly.  I hacked and hacked away at it with machete and chainsaw but like all of the Hollys I've dated in my lifetime, it was just too damn stubborn and got the better of me.

But it wasn't all work while we were there.  We went to Trolley Night - a curious celebration of Memphis Mass transit even though the Riverfront car we wanted to take on trolley night never actually arrived.  

I don't remember why knucklehead is sporting a jesters hat or where that fits into the story here - just like this red penguin. Who took that pic?  Must be a metaphor. 

We also had us some fine Memphis style ribs at Central BBQ with several of the out-of-towners who traveled many, many miles to participate in Memphis' first Puppy Up walk.  

Let's see.  On the left that's Pamela (w/Shaughnessy) and Jesse (camera guy), Hope, Dawn and husband, John (right), Sheila, Ginger, and Jeri.  

That's only some of the people from 11 states who showed up for the inaugural event.  Ginger draws the finest crowd.  

It was a good day and amidst the miasma of emotions from all of us who have lost and suffered and still grieve, it was impossible not to feel the undercurrent of hope and belief. 

Nicely done, kiddo.  You make us proud


Ginger said...

I love my garden. As I plant pink flowers, I think of my Pete lying under the azaleas guarding the house. I miss him, but he will live on in my heart and through his Pink Garden. Thank you for making it possible, Mommy G

Anonymous said...

A touching deep and also funny post...:). First part made me grieve for Murphy and all the pups in our lives that have gone before their time.

Other parts I laughed hysterically... You know why.

--signed -- PATRON

Solitude.Peace said...

I am always moved by not only your writing but the way you reflect and continue. I can only assume the poem you referenced was John Donne, A Valediction : Forbidding Mourning. It just made sense.

I don't know what it is like to return to what you refer to as the capital of your absolute sadness but I am sure, knowing you, it only pushes you harder, to fight without boundries, pursue without waivering and to love unconditionally. You are admired.

As for your time in Memphis, though bittersweet I am sure, what a great surprise to Ginger and all those that attended along with Pete's Pink Garden. What a great tribute to him as well. It looks great and I know it is appreciated beyond words.