Do celebrity visitors ever get to see the real Memphis?

Beale Street Sign- MemphisI started writing this post  a few weeks ago about what celebrity visitors to Memphis get to experience  about our city other than the Peabody Hotel, the Rendezvous for ribs, and maybe a visit to Beale Street.

I trashed what I had written when I saw this post on Social Media guru – Chris Brogan’s blog.  Brogan, who spoke in Memphis last week, herded ducks as the honorary Duck Master at the Peabody, ate at the Rendezvous, and hung out on Beale (all well-documented by many on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.), but, in the post, Brogan brings some of the real Memphis home, documenting meeting and giving a homeless man on Beale some help and a chance to do a short video for InvisiblePeople.tv.  This  meeting could not have been orchestrated in Brogan’s agenda.  He had to seek out that interaction.

How many of our other visitors, who have 24 hours or so in Memphis get even a taste of what Memphis is all about?  How many make the trip to so-called “sketchy” neighborhoods for Real Memphis Bar-B-Q or soul food instead of tourist fare?  How many get to hear the Real Blues as opposed to the Blues as defined by the Beale St. commercial strip?   How many get to have a look at some of the wonderful small, struggling non-profits that make Memphis a better place?  How many get to have a conversation with a middle class person who doesn’t frequent the chic Downtown scene?

What would you show a visitor or celebrity who asked you to show her the Real Memphis?

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