Unfortunately, by this time the trip was winding down and we were running out of time. We had many miles to go so we did what we don’t really like to do—we took the interstate yet again and boogied to Memphis as quickly as possible. The Alfa is not suited for highway driving. The road noise is ridiculous—even with the top up. It would have been fun to see Oklahoma and Arkansas on two-lane roads, but that will have to wait for another trip.
In Arkansas, we stopped at a place for lunch that turned out to be a private club. Because it is located in a dry county, the joint has members (non-paying) and people like us who stumble upon it are asked to sign in. By designating itself as a private club, the establishment is able to serve alcohol. Dry counties were just not in our consciousness.
One innovation that has come in handy on this trip has been the iPhone. With traffic backed up for miles on I-40 due to an accident in West Memphis, the GPS got us off the interstate, past the accident traffic, and back on our way. We’ve also used the iPhone to find places to stay and the nearest Starbucks. AT&T service was not always the best, but then we’d have 3G service in out-of-the-way places you wouldn’t have guessed. Champaign doesn’t even have 3G!
We spent the night with our friends Ken and Karla who live outside of Memphis. Karl and Ken were colleagues at Purchase College, SUNY. At Purchase, Ken was the dean of the School of Art+Design and is now the provost at the Memphis College of Art. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Ken creates and builds some of the most beautiful and elegant furniture we’ve seen anywhere. Currently, however, he is in the process of designing and building a postmodern motorcycle in the garage of his home.