Taking care of business

Thought I was just using literary license, lying about the Moon Pies and Champale, didn't you? As we prepared ourselves for receiving the splendor of Graceland this morning, we broke our fast with what I'm sure is the food of some gods or other. Unfortunately, I had consumed at least 2/3s of my pie when I read on the wrapper that putting it in the microwave for 5-15 seconds made it taste out of this world - and sure enough, it did!

How could it possibly get better, you ask? Why, with batons, naturally! Brooke performed for our mealtime enjoyment in her specially selected Graceland ensemble.

After our extraordinary culinary adventure, we ambled across the street to begin our journey through the great pipeline of humanity that runs roughly through the modest Tennessee mansion called Graceland.

Elvis was, I'm sure, at one time a flesh and blood man, but he is now mostly an institution. As I waited for Brooke and Aaron, I sat in a quiet corner of the garden and counted - roughly 500 visitors an hour streaming through those hallowed grounds!

We drank deeply from the well of Elvis, and were not only satisfied, but maybe even a little overwatered. By the time we made our final stops in the massive complex that supports the tiny mansion across the street, I had grown a bit jaded and was rapidly running out of patience for the whole thing. It didn't help that it was sweltering and sauna-like outside, nourishing a continual sheen of summertime sweat hastened by the slightest movement. We bowed to the King and exited the palace, driving off into the sunset.
Brooke and Aaron were pointed in the direction of Blacksburg, and I had read on one of my favorite websites (Roadside America) about a place just east of Memphis that sounded mighty intriguing and well worth a look, so we travelled together eastwards just as the sun began to sink in earnest towards the horizon. It would be race to get to our destination in Brownsville before the sun set, but we were determined to make the detour and see what we might find.
The pictures and description of Billy Tripp's Mindfield that I had read earlier in the day had in no way prepared me for how wildly I was about to fall in love.

A fellow named Billy Tripp has apparently spent the last 20 years building this massive structure in tribute to his mom and dad and in the name of tolerance.

Brooke and Aaron and I spent several happy hours scrambling all over the place (but never climbing, as Billy has installed clear and numerous signs requesting that visitors do not do so), learning its secrets, becoming intimate with its complex structures. By the time we had reluctantly agreed it was time to leave, I had begun to think of it as a temple, and one of which I have seen few equals. We sat quietly in the vestibule of the enormous structure as lightning flashed in the distance.
I resolved in my state of profound awe to see if I can find this Billy Tripp and see what makes him tick. I have the sublime freedom to stay around as long as I like, so I simply must see the Mindfield during daylight hours and try to talk to the mind that made it. Brooke, in her generosity of spirit, has chosen to stay behind and join me on my morning quest to find Billy.

What a grand adventure!

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