Memphis, West TN Writer
I’m Samantha Crespo, and I am Floridian by birth, Tennessean by heart. Growing up, I vacationed in East Tennessee, so I committed forested hikes and hidden waterfalls to memory. My Southern-bred mama biased my palate toward black-eyed peas and cornbread at an early age. And, the music! I always did have an ear for Dolly.
I’m lucky enough to live in my dream state now; 2012 marks the beginning of my third year in Memphis. Some of my favorite things about my Tennessee hometown are kicking around its galleries and gardens, traveling to outlying farms (pick-your-own peaches, in particular), discovering the region’s wilds and waters on my family’s RV and boat, and listening to live music in my neighborhood. Through my blog about West Tennessee, you get to come with me. Are you ready for a West Tennessee adventure?
Describe your perfect Tennessee day.
It starts slow, over the latest Southern Living and a mocha from Otherlands Coffee Bar in Memphis’ Cooper-Young District. It’s warm (my perfect day, remember?), so I pile peaches and tomatoes into a basket at the area farmers market, then join my family at Dixon Gallery and Gardens for a stroll abloom and some family studio time. Later, we walk from our home to historic Overton Park and its Old Forest Trail, where we laugh as we turn fallen trees into balance beams. By nightfall, I’m relishing the farm-to-table goodness of Trolley Stop Market before hitting my neighborhood dive, the Hi-Tone Cafe, to rock along to my favorite Memphis band, Lucero.
Where’s the first place you’d take a friend visiting Tennessee?
Sun Studio, where the tour guides are devoted to the music (and often have the hair to prove it). I love witnessing the aha on friends’ faces when the guides tell their tales, like the one forever connecting the studio and Ike Turner to the “invention” of guitar distortion. Even better, I like watching friends react when they find themselves in Sun’s shoebox of a recording room, sagging ceiling above, knicked-up floor below, and betting who’ll be first to start jittering when the guide cues “That’s All Right.” The tour literally lays a beat down that sticks with you the rest of your time in Memphis, and long after you’ve returned home.
If you could meet one historical Tennessean, who would it be and why? (This can be someone still living.)
There’s a part of me that craves sitting on a garden bench with Rachel Jackson (Andrew Jackson’s beloved), to hear her side of that legendary love story. But, in all honesty, I’d just about explode if Dolly Parton invited me over for a tour of her wardrobe and a sing-along. Seriously, Dolly, if you’re reading this, I’ve loved you since I was a little girl. Let’s get together!
Stories By Samantharead all
Halloween in West Tennessee: Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches & Bone-Chilling Nights
As I write, my daughter is creeping-out our home, affixing cob-webby decals wherever they’ll stick and hanging fiendish cut-outs from every protrusion. I subscribe to...Read on
IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series rocks Memphis International Raceway Oct. 11-12
Normally when I suggest you visit Millington, Tennessee (the wall of green that hits you about 30 minutes north of Memphis), I suggest you slow...Read on
And the GRAMMY Goes to Memphis: Concerts, New Exhibit Celebrate 40 Years of the Recording Academy®
Let’s say you’re not in the music industry. What does GRAMMY® mean to you? Maybe a trophy, or a night on TV, or a cue...Read on
5 Can’t Miss Fall Festivals in West Tennessee
It’s about this time each year that the temperature dips (if only for a weekend) and I get all giddy to talk up my favorite...Read on
Free Concerts at Levitt Shell Top Overton Park To-Do List
When we moved to Memphis three years ago, we didn’t choose our neighborhood for the commute, or even for the schools (though we totally scored...Read on
Your Guide to Exploring Memphis’ Cooper-Young Neighborhood
NOW is a good time to be in Memphis. Districts like Overton Square, Crosstown and Broad Avenue are mid-resurgence. It’s hard not to see the...Read on
GEAR UP FOR CIVIL WAR SESQUICENTENNIAL EVENTS IN COLLIERVILLE & CHATTANOOGA
Remember when I took you to Collierville this spring? “Whispers of Collierville date to 1835, though it’s not until 1852 – when the Memphis-Charleston Railroad...Read on