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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Random Thoughts: The first thing to go is the memory

  • They say the memory is the first thing to go. Now that I have reached the milestone of 60 I believe the old saying must be the case.
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  • They say the memory is the first thing to go. Now that I have reached the milestone of 60 I believe the old saying must be the case. Hopefully, by the time my faithful readers sit down with their morning cup of coffee and try to digest this column along with their morning breakfast I should be well on the mend from a March 19 appointment with a Searcy surgeon. Yes, it took hernia surgery to put me on the sidelines for a four- to six-day stretch. I am sure I won't remember the sordid details of the surgery but I will long remember the events leading up to Tuesday's encounter with a scalpel. More than a month ago, Joyce and I saw a TV ad announcing that legendary rock n' roll star Elton John would be appearing at FedEx Forum in Memphis on the night of March 16. We immediately made a date. Joyce got on the phone early the next morning and within 10 minutes had tickets to what turned out to be a sold out event. In the meantime, it was announced that Country legend Randy Travis also was going to be appearing just across the river. Joyce and I both love music – Elton is one of my all-time favorites and Randy is one of hers. We decided to splurge and go see them both. The Randy Travis concert pretty much went off without a hitch. We enjoyed a good meal and another band before completing the evening with a tremendous Travis performance. It was an unforgettable evening. Ditto for Elton John, just two weeks later. However, here's where the failing memory comes into play. Prior to Saturday night, I have been to FedEx Forum one other time and that was with a dear friend who graciously took me to a Memphis Grizzles basketball game not long after the arena opened almost 10 years ago. “It's a snap I quipped to the wife.” Well, by now Joyce knows full well that I am no Daniel Boone when it comes to navigating; so, she borrowed Cameron's GPS and off we went across the Helena Bridge and onto Highway 61 to Memphis. I am not saying that a GPS is not dependable. It kept us right on course. However, no matter how smart modern technology is it simply could not predict all of the roadblocks that we encountered on our tour of the Bluff City. I venture to say that we drove around Memphis longer than it actually took us to get to Memphis. FedEx Forum is also not so easy to spot from the ground. I think we actually passed it a couple of times. We probably could have used nephew Isaac's help. At age 8, he had no problem spotting the arch in St. Louis and reminding his mother that “Here's that arch again, Momma,” after she circled it for the third or fourth time. After finally finding a parking spot. We gulped down a couple of tacos before entering the building. Here's where the memory failed me again. I confidently told Joyce there wasn't a bad seat in the house in FedEx. Man, was I wrong. After taking an escalator to the terrace section, we steadily climbed upward 22 rows, putting us just five rows from the top of the building. Science is totally correct about one thing – hot air definitely rises. It was a tough haul to the top on two bad knees. Thanks to a large screen we saw a great performance by EJ. Once we got out, we high tailed it to the Arkansas Bridge and headed for home. It was indeed a night to remember. I still have Elton John tunes playing in my head. Thanks Joyce and Elton for a great evening but I am through depending on my memory.

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