Melissa Does Memphis!

- by Charlotte Hubbard

(…this just in from my alter ego, Melissa MacNeal…because her name makes for a snappier title than mine! And because on Friday the 13th, she and I feel pretty damn LUCKY, thank you!)

Spent last weekend in Memphis! Our main reason for the trip was my husband’s six-month appointment with his ear specialist–a follow-up to surgery he had a few years ago–but hey! It’s Memphis! And since it takes us seven hours to drive there, we allow ourselves time to play before we go home.

We’ve done most of the tourist stuff–Graceland, yeah, three times! The Pink Palace Museum (home to the founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain, who went bust and left this magnificent home unfinished…) is a favorite place, too, and we’ve sprung for horse-drawn carriage rides, leaving from the legendary Peabody Hotel and touring the moonlit streets. And of course we’ve seen the Peabody ducks countless times, before ducking down the alley across the way to eat BBQ at the Rendezvous.

So this past weekend? Well, we always look for some good live music on Beale Street. But our special gig this time was celebrating our 35th anniversary with a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant, the Mesquite Chop House, just up the street from the Peabody. Yeah, I know–we did a 15-day Panama Canal cruise in May to celebrate that–

But THIRTY-FIVE YEARS. I’m tellin’ ya…there are guys in my past who swore I wouldn’t make it to a first anniversary, no matter WHOM I married!

And my parents even suggested I elope to save them the expense and embarrassment of a church wedding they felt would be, well–another mess to clean up, since Neal had lost his job while we were engaged. He returned to grad school rather than getting another job–horror of horrors!–and they just knew I’d grow tired of supporting him on my meager teaching salary.

So now? Neal and I raise a glass every year to the way we proved them all WRONG! Kinda brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?!

Wishing YOU a wonderful Friday the 13th–and a fine weekend, too!


  1. Congratulations! It’s always nice to hear about real romances that last.

  2. Thanks, Patricia! I’m really lucky to have a man who’s my biggest fan…and yeah, he earns a regular paycheck and has great insurance and benefits with his job–a REAL plus for us artsy writer types!

    Happy Friday the 13th to all! Before 13 got such a bad rap as an unlucky number, in ancient days it was the number of priests and sages and other very special, select people. I’m thinkin’ we should all consider ourselves very special, select people today–and then act like it!

  3. Hi Melissa,You lead such an exciting life! I’m thinking about going to the grocery store.

  4. Well, Phoebe, necessity’s a mother! We HAVE to go to Memphis every 6 months, so we make the most of the trip!! When you drive 7 hours each direction for a doc appt. that lasts about 2 hours, you figure you might as well stay to play!

    But yeah….Melissa has us all thinking her life is wayyyy more exciting than the average bear’s. Me, I’m getting ready to scrub shower stalls this morning.