Recently I had the opportunity to visit with a Mississippi River boat worker. It was an interesting conversation (he works 30 days on and 30 days off).
In an eerie way, he reminded me of many of the old (old to to me at the time) farmers I knew when I was a child. They loved and lived their job, were independent, opinionated had a lot of common sense and generally seemed to enjoy their career choice in spite of what are seen as negative aspects of the job. The only real difference seems to be one makes his living on the land, one on the river.
I enjoyed our conversation and wish I knew his name so I could have a cup of coffee or a lunch with him in the future and keep on with our discussion.
One of the things I love about Tennessee and this area is when I realize how similar, yet different it is from where I grew up and how I really notice the difference when I visit family in Oklahoma or Kansas. (Oklahomans and Kansans are great-kind, generous and just fine people. I have found Southerners to be the same, at least in this area, with the addition that they truly know how to be hosts and are truly courteous people.)
Also, I have found drivers to be much more courteous in Memphis. In spite of our tendency to streeeeetch yellow lights and make frightening close left turns, there is little tailgating and I have yet to have another car not let me in, even when I was in the wrong! (If you drive the Canada Road and I-40 interchange area, this is demonstrated on a daily basis.)
I was always fascinated by the Mississippi River when I was a child, and I can remember how excited I was at my first view of the River! One of my secret obsessions for some odd reason is the Mississippi River Level in the paper each day! I really don’t even know what it means, (except generally) but it fascinates me. I still get that “tingle” when I first see it and every time we have relatives or friends visit, I am always glad because it usually gives me a chance to take a Mississippi River Cruise or at least walk the Mississippi! Now I know that when I cross the “Mighty Mississippi” I am almost home!