Sherry Hopkins column

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 22, 2010

Get the picture? … by Sherry Hopkins

Grandson offers fresh perspective on familiar sites/sights

It was bound to happen. The whole month of October has been exceptionally beautiful. I know we need rain badly but I must admit the cooler temperatures and deep blue skies are so appealing.

For almost a year, as we do every year at this time, we have had a week’s vacation scheduled for next week.

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But I checked the ten-day forecast this morning and just as I feared the rain has held off for as long as it could and now it looks like it will rain most EVERY day of our vacation.

We didn’t have any big plans that will be dashed but we had so hoped that we could squeeze just one more week of gorgeous weather.

So now on to Plan B whatever that is.

Last weekend we took Zac, our eleven-year-old grandson, to Memphis for the weekend.

We stayed downtown and once we parked and unloaded the car we were able to walk or ride the trolley everywhere we went. We were so excited to show Zac all the things that have kept our interest over the years starting with A. Schwab’s dry goods store on Beale Street. This store has been in business since 1919 (Zac asked if I was there when it opened…) and some of their stock still reflects that era. Zac had a great time visiting all three floors and bought a couple of souvenir items.

Next we decided to try a trolley ride. If you catch the Riverfront Loop, for one dollar a person you can go from Beale to Main and down to the Mississippi River and back up to Beale St. Each time Dear Don and I make the trip downtown we ride the trolley. We meet the most interesting folks and the scenery is the best. This time out we met a family from Camden, South Carolina which is a mere twenty miles from where Dear Don grew up. They were also staying at the same hotel as we were. It is a small world.

But back to the trolley ride: Zac seemed excited at first but quickly grew annoyed that the trolley stopped at every station along the route to pick up or let off passengers. He remarked that those waiting to ride should have “brought their own cars.” He was not impressed with the trolley ride at all. So much for what we like.

We then moved on to the FedEx Forum where we wanted to visit the gift shop. After we tried door after door to no avail we finally found a security person who informed us that the gift shop was not open on game day unless you had a ticket to the game. We had not.

But the kind security guard asked us to come back in about an hour or so and he might be able to get us tickets to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He liked Zac’s Mohawk, and Yes I said MOHAWK.

Now we had Zac’s attention.

In about an hour Dear Don walked back to the Forum. Sure enough the security guard handed him three tickets, for FREE.

Zac and I watched eagerly from the hotel balcony to see if we could see Dear Don approaching.

Zac was so excited when we spotted tickets in his hand as he crossed the street in front of us.

We rushed to get ready for the 7 p.m. tipoff and three hours later the Grizzlies had won handily. Afterwards we walked back to the hotel, tired from a long day of activities.

As we prepared for bed Zac recounted all the day’s excitement with delight. All except that pesky trolley ride. “Lets’ skip that next time Grandma,” he said. “That’s for old people but not old like you.”

Footnote: I had another wardrobe malfunction last Friday when the whole rear end of my jeans gave way! It was airy but most inappropriate. I really need some new clothes.

You get the picture?

(Contact award-winning columnist Sherry Hopkins at