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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stevie Ray Vaughn, cold beer and a Memphis Negative Nancy

The Syracuse-Butler Sweet 16 tournament game has just started and I have just enough time for a pint. It's a Thursday, just after 6, and the Huey's in East Memphis is filling up. But there are a couple spots open at the bar.

Two guys sit at the corner playing dominoes; a man in slacks and Oxford shirt sips a Coors Light bottle next to me. Two seats down, a woman in her 50s eats dinner while sipping scotch (burger, greasy fries and scotch?).

I am perched in the middle of the bar where I can watch a few minutes of the game before I have to head out to an event. There's a low buzz from the growing dining crowd and the sweet, relaxing guitar of Stevie Ray Vaughn. Those sounds, along with a pint of Ghost River Golden, are easing my tension.

The bartender is efficient and friendly. Well, he's friendly to his customers, but no so much to his physical position in life.

As I'm enjoying my surroundings Trey, our friendly bartender, suddenly irks me. A female University of Memphis grad student, formerly of Syracuse, N.Y., sits down at the bar.

Instead of making conversation with her as to what she's doing in Memphis, he instead quizzes her as to "Why the hell are you in Memphis?" It's good-natured banter, but it still irritates me just the same. I guess it's just today's Memphis Negative Nancy.

But another Stevie Ray Vaughn song just came on and the beer is still cold.

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