It’s good to be back home in Memphis. As I stepped from the plane onto the jetway this evening, two scents blended in my nose—jet fumes and barbecue. Right next to my gate was an Interstate Barbecue restaurant. If my family hadn't been waiting to have dinner with me, I’d have just rolled my bag right in there and gotten myself a healthy dose of pork barbecue before ever leaving the airport. Thanks for the welcome home, Neely family!
The next few days will involve spending time with family and friends, enjoying the old haunts and sighing over the lovely green Tennessee landscape that’s so very Ireland in its uncountable shades of green. And it will involve making sure to have all those foods that nourished my past—catfish, country ham, pork barbecue, cornbread, fried chicken and a variety of vegetables cooked in bacon drippings.
This field, the view from the back of our family farmhouse, has housed its share of hogs and cattle over the years, as well as the current corn crop. There we've raised both food to eat and food to sell. I've caught innumerable catfish in its pond--and we've even gigged a frog or two there for those lean, meaty legs!
Of course, when I head back to Los Angeles in 10 days, the last thing I will smell as I board the plane will probably be the same, a blend of jet fumes and barbecue. And then I’ll say, thanks for the farewell, Neely family!
p.s. I’d like to apologize to Rob Reiner for staring at him on the flight to Indianapolis today. I wasn’t staring at him because he’s Rob Reiner, but rather because I was thinking, “Gee, that man looks just like Rob Reiner.” Then later I heard someone say, “Yeah, Rob Reiner’s on this flight!” And then I knew why the man I was staring at looked so much like Rob Reiner. What an uncanny resemblance . . .