Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kewl Times in Memphis

So something happened to me today on another blistering hot day in Memphis that was very very cool!  I'd been working on a promotion with one of our fabulous marketing partners, Panera Bread, and today we went over to Fed Ex Flight Training Center to deliver the first place prize (What else......FOOD) to an office full of very happy and grateful workin folk.  I'm sure I even saw someone hold up the sign---- WILL WORK FOR FUD!  
There is almost nothing more gratifying than seeing the 'vision' work out even better than expected! 
What made this particularly special though is what happened after.  As the team's manager, David, walked us back down to our cars (good thing too......because we hadn't left a trail of bread crumbs on the way up & there was no getting back on our own)  BTW Fed Ex IS one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World....It is too!!!! & if it's not it should be.  God bless Fred Smith! 8-)  Anyway David asked if we would like to see the Flight Simulator Room.   UM.....HELL YEA!  I mean........yes sir. That would be nice 8-)
The place is incredible in a most incredible place!  For one thing, it has to be the single most expensive 'Game Room' in the world.  There were 15 extremely large simulators in the room.    Each one of these GIGANTORS  [OK.... I made up that name but I swear it fits] cost $20,000,000 a piece.  Quick math & my trusty calculator tells me that's $300,000,000,000 & the most expensive video game room in the world!  I owned a video arcade in Sea Isle City at the jersey shore & while Robotron was pretty cool back in the day, I can assure, it was never like this.  Remember those little hydraulic cars & fire engine rides outside the grocery stores......well kind of think of it that way except $19, 999, 500 more......
We even got to enjoy the inside of one of the simulators on its way across the Atlantic from London's Heathrow to Chicago's O'Hare.  Looking out over the flight deck at the clouds below with the sun setting fast in the west.  Except that we weren't really up in the clouds and it was only 9am.  This was just one of those simple, unexpected and special  Memphis Moments that I've come to thoroughly enjoy!

There have been so many of them now & I've been very fortunate! It would be hard to narrow them down to just a handful of the best.....  Game Six against the Thunder with my kids in the building would be very hard to top.  Man, the Forum was rocking that night!!! Tigers games can be mad, especially againt UT, but nothing could compare to that night!
Memphis in May is special.....BBQ & Beale St Music Fest are nice but Sunset Symphony is always my favorite event.
I think the very first time I walked down Beale Street with a Big Ass Beer in my hand was pretty darn special and I'll always remember it that way! You just can't walk down a street in NJ with a beer in your hand and your 'first time' is always special!

Elvis's 30th (& we're coming up on 34), was pretty awesome.  I'll remember it for a few reasons.  We put together this dynamite Elvis Collector Card promotion with Mapco convenience stores and I got to play Elvis.  The Man The Legend The Suit.  I have never been photographed or had my ass pinched before or since by so many  I also visited 86 Memphis area Mapco locations in 8 days as Elvis in 100 degree and out of air-conditioning.  The very next week.....I went on, what can only be described as, The Elvis Diet.  I lost 25 lbs in less than a week. The ultimate crash diet!  I thought I smelled the faint aroma of barbecue all week.  I just didn't realize it was my own ass burning in the Memphis sun!

I met my dear St. Jude's family & Little Robert just outside Redbird's Autozone Park several years ago by what can only be explained as divine intervention. I've been truly blessed by them and their remarkable heroics 8-).

There have been so many gratifying moments, memorable concerts & events.  Live at the Garden is always going to be tuff to beat here..  Saw Huey Lewis & The News there last Friday.  I think the good Reverend & hometown boy Al Green owns the place tho!  My most memorable concert here just might be the most obscure.....the last concert & event at The Pyramid & the only time I was ever inside the place......Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band in February of 2007.  The Pyramid is such an iconic part of Memphis history & damn I wish they would just go ahead.....make it a Giant Bass Pro Shop & be done with it.......I don't even own a gun or a fishing rod even!
So many great friends & co-workers here too that always seem to make things special and even more I'm sure I'll remember later & after I hit Post.......but for now I hit my limit. 
Today was a 10!  Everyday has the opportunity to be ONE 8-)
the yankee

Friday, July 22, 2011

Gone With the Wind.....a yankee under construction

Random thoughts of a yankee........ & how it is I got here. 
I'm coming up on my 5th year in Memphis and just 5&1/2 years ago, Memphis wasn't even on the radar. Truth is I never even connected Elvis and Memphis.  I remember the call tho as if it were yesterday from a headhunter somewhere in southern California. I was working at The Press of Atlantic City at the time.  "Would you be interested in a position in Memphis with The Commercial Appeal?"
"Ummmm, isn't that in Tennessee I asked & what the heck is a Commercial Appeal?" Turns out that the CA is a newspaper and, of course, Memphis is in Tennessee!  A few months later & after having watched The Firm several times,  I packed the Dodge just as full as I could (without even a suitcase) and set out for new adventure and the 19 hour plus trek to the great unknown and The Big Muddy...... a far cry from the Atlantic Ocean for this beach boy!
So that's it.  That's how I came to Memphis & to this point in my life.  So why Blog now??? After all, I'm basically a Blog Virgin. Why else?  Don't most of them seem to be about love?  Oh sure, I have since found out that basically there are blogs on just about anything & everything,  the technical ones, the scientific ones, the stupid ones and hell...all kinds about wines.  A friend of mine has one about her own zanny exploits in keeping up with her elderly father (Me & the Dadler).   I'm thinking the ones that get really followed madly tho are those about gone wrong, love goes right, love takes a left turn again and then goes zig-zagging badly off the highway...... like going 95 through a crack neighborhood on the way to a liquor store!  Love is often painful but it does not 'Stink' (sorry J Geils).  We all want to be in that perfect relationship & the reality is...that doesn't exist, no one is perfect & sometimes love just isn't enuf!  For me, I fell hard & fast for a beautiful southern Belle from almost the moment I landed in Memphis & from what seems like another world now.....the south still..but that would be 'South Jersey'.  So let's just say our love affair had a real 'Gone With the Wind' flavor (a little ironic, don't you think?) . She, always searching for her 'Ashley', and missing the 'Rhett' right in front of her......& now It is over! The sensitive hopeless romantic that I am hurts and probably will for sometime.  I guess I'll just have to watch 'The Holiday' again or maybe just the last 5 minutes of GWTW anyway!
So, right up front, as you can plainly see .  I am not a writer (clearly e-mails & marketing materials don't count) but I do like to read if that counts for anything (Luv - Water for Elephants BTW), own a library card and have even been inside the book mobile a time or two. I have no idea what this blog will become at this point other than the mindless ramblings & recountenance of a delusional Memphis, a town that means so much to me now!  It certainly won't be 'Rocket Science', Dr. Phil Fodder or an advice column. Hell...I couldn't even help myself...... tho maybe I have learned something more this time.

So the reason, I guess in self diagnosis, is the need for  theraputic expressive release.  There is something liberating about shooting words & feelings off into cyberspace mostly for self benefit  I'd already finished Blogs 2 & 3 and nearly posted one of them just to get started ala Quentin Tarantino.  This Blog, Gone With the Wind, for some obvious reasons, was just too painful at times to face let alone write and finish.  But here it is......for the most part anyway!  Here is where I am right now & here is where I finally move on 8-).
A yankee in Memphis
Authors note:  no alcohol was consumed nor animals injured in the making of this Blog. Please forgive mispellings, punctuation errors & obvious brain farts as the author is clearly dilusional & highly medicated.