WELL, YOU’D THINK THAT MISS PATTY WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR MY LIFE STORY ONCE MORE…. BUT NO, SHE WANTS TO READ! No matter, I have decided to keep talking anyway. (She’ll thank me later, after I become a famous author.) Speaking of driving, we decided to take the Natchez Trace Parkway up to Tupelo, and I am so glad we did! OMG, what a majestic stretch of Americana. Simply beautiful. The Trace (which I wrote about in THE PRESLEY PLOT) is quite old (several thousand years) and quite long (44o miles). It stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, and it is quite a sight to behold. Over the years, it’s been used by animal herds, Indians, Spanish explorers, white settlers, and one or two mystery novelists.
I’m not sure my friends Max and Lee would love it as much as I do. The speed limit (for the entire 440 miles!) is 50 m.p.h., and with all the curves, you wouldn’t want to drive much faster. I got Nellie Belle (our Lincoln) up to 48 or 49 miles per hour, but I was afraid to put the metal to the petal, so to speak. If it were up to me, I’d drive that speed all the time. (Most of the trucks on the Interstate are going well over 5o!) Damn speed demons!
After a brief stop in Birmingham, Alabama, we drove onto Atlanta, which is quite large and very congested. (Most of the residents drive over 50 mph, too!) Both cities are impressive, but not near as nice as our present location….. Charleston, South Carolina. Our lovely, historic hotel is right in the center of town, close to all of the good restaurants. We had lunch at one of the best, a charming inn called the Hominy Grill. Miss Daisy ordered the homemade biscuits and a bowl of the she-crab soup. (To die for!) Her chauffeur (me) ordered a “craft beer” and a marvelous dish called “shrimp and okra beignets.” (Simply divine!)
We are now on our way to the Confederate Museum to view a special exhibition highlighting “The War of Northern Aggression.” (As they call the skirmish is these parts!) If you’ve been to Charleston, you know that almost all of the houses in the historic district are painted white, black, or gray. (These are the only colors that the Union Army gave to the residents after the war.) To this day, the owners must conform to these “historically accurate colors.” You won’t see chartreuse or pink until you reach the Florida border.
Tomorrow is book signing day at a local church (Charleston has many houses of worship, and is actually known as “The City of Churches.”) I regret not bringing more copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT, as we could have sold a few hundred copies at each stop! I have been taking names, addresses, and email contacts, but I should have filled the darn trunk with books! Ah well, next time. Who knew that Elvis was so popular?
Tonight we have been invited to a seafood extravaganza, featuring oysters, shrimp, and mussels from local waters. Hopefully, I will survive this latest round of gluttony, but if they have Abita beer I could be in trouble! If you don’t hear from me in a day or two, that means I’m having my stomach pumped out! (Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina…. in the morning, afternoon, and evening!) Take care, my dear family and friends, and remember me in your prayers. (Before AND after dinner!) “Say Levee.” (I think that’s French! Greek to me!)
Col. Felonious T. Beauregard, C.S.A. (and the Merry Miss Daisy)