This is the view that greets you when you enter my brother's home. Those are his beloved Chuck's ( the real ones ) and they wait there by the door ready to go. I love this photo because it captures the essence of the otherwise mysterious Michael.
I took a road trip with him a decade or more ago to Memphis, Tennessee. Graceland, of course. But we also went to Mud Island and spent a slow, humid afternoon walking the scale model of the mighty Mississippi River. He was probably wearing one of those pairs of shoes up there. We touched the war plane Memphis Belle ( no longer housed there ) and stuck our hands in the flowing river ( and washed well afterwards. ) I will always remember this trip with a sense of melancholy for no return trip there will ever be as good or as simple. We laughed, we learned, we philosophised, and took a wrong turn accidentally landing us in Arkansas. The good old days.
The meandering path of the Mississippi ends in the Gulf of Mexico, outside New Orleans, Louisiana. On Mud Island, the river flows into a small wading pool where people toss coins and make wishes. Soon, I will be going on a road trip to New Orleans, hoping to reconcile the memories my new friends hold of the time when they lived there, with the experiences I will have on their suggestions. They send me off with a list of places to eat and things to see, but hidden in the lines between those addresses is a coin to toss into the waters and make a wish that one day, their return trip might be as good and as simple.