Author Archives: Joe Spake

Fairgrounds update

The track hoes,  bulldozers, and dump trucks have been quietly and efficiently doing their work in leveling demolishing destroying developing the Fairgrounds property.

Memphis Fairgrounds

This shot is from what used to be the north parking lot of the Mid-South Coliseum, looking north.  Missing (with the exception of 2 of the old buildings) are all the buildings, livestock barns, Fair Offices, roads, parking lots, and the arena building where I saw Roy Rogers when I was a child; everything but the Kroc Center property is just a big field of dust.  I guess one day we will look up and the Coliseum will be gone too.  Ah, progress!

Midsouth Coliseum

Coliseum's fenced lots now house city vehicles amidst the fairgrounds "construction"

On a more positive note, the old President’s Island one room school house has been preserved and moved to what seems to be a safe place at the edge of the construction area.

Getting geared up for Elvis Week

Regardless of our ages, we Memphians have had Elvis in our presence as long as we can remember.  I know folks with Elvis tattoos who weren’t even born in 1977, the year Elvis died.  Let’s face it, the boy from Tupelo will  live on forever in the hearts and minds of millions (maybe billions).  And that brings me to the annual August pilgrimage event Elvis Week,  or as many locals refer to it – Elvis Death Week.

Well, Jimmy Buffett does a fair job here, but if you want to see REAL fake Elvi (what is the plural of Elvis?), there will be hundreds around Graceland during Elvis week – a mind-boggling array of  sideburns, glasses and jeweled jumpsuits.  And Elvis “tribute artist” competitions. But mostly, its the pilgrims, fans from all over the world, converging to worship the king  and absorb the Elvis essence from August 10-16.

I think Gillian Welch captures some of the Elvis essence in this song.   Wikipedia features 6 pages of entries for the search “songs about Elvis”.   I will will be posting more about Elvis week.  See you there.

Cooking with Joe – a couple of my favorite kitchen tools

George ForemanI have owned a few George  Foreman Grills; they come in all shapes and sizes.  They are good for quick grilling lots of things:  burgers, grilled cheese, grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches, sliced eggplant and other veggies, T-bone steaks, onions, and the list goes on and on.  When you don’t want to fire up the gas or charcoal grill the George Foreman is a great stand-in.  If you have space for another kitchen appliance, forget that toaster oven and check out a George F.  One caveat.  The grills with non-removable cooking surfaces are hard to clean.  Be sure to get the removable surfaces.

If you are a bacon lover, but hate the mess; if you are a bacon lover and need your bacon fix RIGHT NOW, you need a microwave bacon cooker.

I have some more cooking ideas for you coming up soon.

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