Tag Archives: Tunica

My iPod Has Issues – Losing Bill Dance and Finding Eddie Feigner

24 Sep

We are having a garage sale, and everyone knows what that means. We are dragging out stuff that we forgot we had. Some of it is coming from the attic. Some of it is coming from our closets. Some of it is coming from the Land of Discarded Items.

In the process, I am giving up the autographed Bill Dance t-shirt that I got when the famed fisherman made an appearance at the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. It is definitely a sacrifice to give up something that cool.

However, some cool things are staying. While digging for artifacts, I came across a booklet celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The King and His Court. If that name does not mean anything to you, then let me explain. Eddie Feigner was a fast pitch softball pitcher who traveled the world with a four-man team. They took on all comers and won over 9,000 games. Along the way, Eddie “The King”  Feigner did tricks with the ball. There are a few people around here who played against them. I need to collect stories and write a post about them.

Anyway, we have dragged a bunch of stuff into the garage and are ready to do business. Hopefully, we will make some money. Every quarter counts.image-2

To commemorate the event, I have decided to look into my iPod and see what it is doing.

“Be Careful Who You Love (Arthur’s Song)” by Hank Williams, Jr.

“For the Good Times” by Isaac Hayes

“Judy” by Frank Howard

“Hardline” by Tom Kimmel

“Memphis Exorcism” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

“Clubbed to Death” by Rob Dougan

“Up On Cripple Creek” by The Band

“Kansas City Shuffle” by J. Ralph

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel

“Alone Again” by Dokken

“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

“Ruby (Are You Mad at Your Man)” by The Osbourne Brothers

“I Wanna Ummm With You” by Stacy Mitchhart

“Thirteen” by Big Star

“Still and Always Will” by Vintage Trouble

“T for Texas” by Tompall Glaser

“Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin

“The Peacocks” by Howard Alden

“The Wind, The Wind” by Dean Martin

“Tomorrow Never Comes” by Ernest Tubb

The Longest Bus Trip in the History of College Football

12 Jan

It was 1999, and fans of the University of Tennessee were riding high. Our football won the national championship the previous season, and we went to as many games as possible. It was a chance to support our team and rub it in to rival fans.Tee

In November, the team had just defeated Notre Dame and one of the nation’s highest ranked teams. Next was a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas to play the Razorbacks. It was a journey that we had to make, but Fayetteville is a long way from here. To make the trip easier and more fun, a bunch of guys leased a luxury bus.

The trip was fun, but it was not easy. In fact, it turned into the longest weekend of my life.

We loaded onto the bus late Friday afternoon for a game to be played on Saturday morning at 11:30. The following schedule is true in every sense.

The bus took us to Tunica, Mississippi for a few hours of gambling. Of course, gambling took place before we arrive, but Tunica allowed for a more organized type. We gambled. We ate. We gambled some more. We ate some more. The hours melted away.

At some point, we were told to get back on the bus. Everyone was wired, and we horsed around all the way to the Arkansas campus. We got off the bus. We walked around campus. We met fans of both teams. We made our way to the seats.

It was sometime during the first half that I started feeling out of sorts. It felt as if I was in a fog. If I had not been sitting down, then I might have fallen down. That is when I realized that I had not be to sleep. It was Saturday afternoon, and I had not closed my eyes since Friday morning.

Obviously, I stayed awake during the game. After the game, I made a fateful decision. Go for the gusto and not sleep until getting home. Other people crashed. However, I was going to have none of it. I was going to stay awake for the entire trip.

When we got back to town, it felt as if I was in a walking coma. If zombies had been a popular thing in the late 1990s, then I would have felt like one of them.

I will not write about all of the activities that happened on the trip. To protect the guilty, that stuff will be left out. However, this trip has come to my mind over the past few days.

Two of the men who ventured on the trip have passed away in the past 48 hours. I was not close to either one of them and have not seen them in years. However, everyone who went on that journey have a connection. We took the longest bus trip in the history of college football.

The Last Harrah

5 Apr

Harrah’s Casino in Tunica is closing. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but I am not here to write about the economic condition of the gaming industry. I am here to write about why I am saddened by the news. It may sound strange, but I have great memories of Harrah’s Casino in Tunica.Harrahs

I have been going to Tunica with my family for many years. Most of that time was with my parents and my aunt and uncle. We have all liked the comped rooms, comped food and the gambling that you have to do to get those things. We have also liked the laughs on the drive down and the good times when we arrived.

Early on, we stayed and played at other casinos, but, at some point, we settled on Harrah’s as our stomping grounds. As I write this, I can picture being there with all of them.

Playing video poker at a machine next to my dad.

Checking on my mom and finding out that she won a few hundred dollars at the penny slots.

Sitting in the third base seat of the Blackjack table while Johnny, my uncle, sat at first base. We liked playing the $25 tables and watch the green chips come and go. When he was losing, he would buy more chips so my aunt would not know how much he had lost. Of course, she always knew. I must admit that I got a little nervous when my parents came around to check on how we were doing.

My uncle passed away a couple of years ago. He fought cancer for a decade, and Harrah’s was a place where he could get away from the struggle and have fun for a while. Each time we walked in, he said, “I am getting well.” That is the reason we went to Tunica so often.

I always drove and would drop everyone off at the front door. I can see everyone walking through the front doors and knew where I could find them once I entered the casino. Everyone would be at their games. I always made my way to Blackjack but would stop at a slot machine first. The movie themed ones were my favorite. Star Trek. Ghostbusters. If it was a movie I liked, then they were guaranteed to get my money.

Food has also been one of the great things about Harrah’s. There was nothing like eating a hoe cake at Paula Deen’s buffet. It was upstairs, and, honestly, the upstairs has always been my favorite part of the casino. Quiet. Away from the smoke floating around the tables. I could always find an oasis of calm up there.

A few years ago, I took my girlfriend, who is now my wife, to Harrah’s with my parents. She got to experience all of the things that I have written about. However, she never got to meet Johnny. Our trip to Tunica was great, but my favorite part was sitting and talking with her in the hotel lobby. That beat winning a$500 chip at Blackjack.

Not long ago, my parents and I went to Tunica. We did not stay at Harrah’s, but we gambled there for a while. We did not know then that it would soon close. However, I still got a nostalgic feeling. I missed having to old gang talking about when we were going to head up to the buffet or hiding how much we had lost.

The last time I went to Harrah’s with Johnny, it was a guy’s trip. Me, my dad and him. This time Johnny wanted to eat in the steakhouse. My aunt and mom would never agree to eat there. We gambled enough to get a free meal and got the biggest steaks they had. We ate, talked and laughed.

That is what I will miss about Harrah’s Casino in Tunica. The talking and the laughing. We went to gamble, but we really went to spend time together.

I Went Down to the Crossroad

15 Mar

I just returned from an excursion to Tunica, Mississippi with my parents. I gambled and lost. I ate a lot of food. I did not find any prostitutes. However, the highlight of the trip was a drive south on Highway 61 to Clarksdale, Mississippi, a town that I have been wanting to visit for a long time.

I only knew a couple of things about Clarksdale. It is one of the places that claims to be home to the crossroad where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in return for being a great Blues guitarist. The junction of Highway 61 and Highway 49 is marked by a sign commemorating the spot.Clarksdale 5

As I got out to take a picture, I wondered if this was the real crossroad. Then, I wondered why I was wondering about a place that claims to be the location of an event that is more myth than fact.

No matter what happened at what crossroad, Clarksdale has built itself as the center of the Blues universe because of that legend. It hosts music festivals and is home to our next destination, the Delta Blues Museum.Clarksdale 1

This is a cool museum with all kinds of interesting artifacts. It is also where I learned that there is more to the town’s legacy than a legend at a highway crossing. It is the birthplace of Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker and Ike Turner, who is famous for being the abusive husband of Tina Turner. Before that, he was known as the piano player on “Rocket 88“, which is considered by many to be the first Rock n’ Roll recording.

People who lived in Clarksdale include the aforementioned Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and W.C. Handy.

At the museum, I picked up a town map that marked all of the historic locations. That is when I found out that a couple of other famous people lived in Clarksdale.

Charlie Conerly, a hometown hero, was quarterback for the New York Giants throughout the 1950s. However, the biggest surprise was discovering that Tennessee Williams lived there as a child when his grandfather was assigned to a local parish.

The town is not that large, and it did not take long to find the historic markers. We started with the marker for W.C. Handy, known as “Father of the Blues.” The museum claims that is more to good marketing than actual influence.Clarksdale 2

Next, we drove across downtown to the Tennessee Williams Park, which sits around the corner from his grandfather’s church.Clarksdale 3

This is where I learned that Williams got some of his characters from people he knew in Clarksdale. Down the street sits the Cutrer Mansion, the home of Blanche Cutrer and her husband. It seems to me that there is a character in one of his plays named Blanche.

After taking a drive past the palatial homes in this neighborhood, we went back across town to the other thing I knew about Clarksdale. It is home to Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by Morgan Freeman.Clarksdale 4

Here are my parents in front of the Ground Zero sign.Clarksdale 6

The club served lunch during the day, but we were disappointed. It was not that great. However, the waitress did a good job. My mom asked a lot of questions about Morgan Freeman, and I am sure that they were questions that the waitress has heard many times. He lives in Mississippi when he is not filming and comes by quite often. In fact, he has an apartment upstairs. He is humble but, as the waitress described, “smells like money.” I reckon that was her way of saying that he tries to hide his success, but everyone knows he is rich and famous.

We finished our meal and drove past the famous crossroad on our way out of town. However, that is when I started thinking about the place we had just seen and how it may have looked back in the old days. I started by wondering how the crossroad looked back then. If Robert Johnson made his way to this place, then was it a dirt crossing in the middle of cotton fields like I have always imagined? Or, was it a group of shacks on the outskirts of town where people lived and survived?

Whatever it looked like, I imagine that it was completely different from the neighborhood Tennessee Williams and Blanche Cutrer lived in. That was the home of the landed gentry who owned the cotton fields surrounding the town and the businesses within the town.

Clarksdale’s downtown, which can be walked across easily, is an interesting place. Although the buildings are now old and worn, they are signs that Clarksdale was once a thriving place. The buildings are multi-storied and must have been grand in their day. There are facades of banks and other lucrative businesses. There is no doubt that this was once a place of money.

However, that money flowed to one side of town. The other side of town, literally the other side of the tracks, was where those who left the fields of sharecropping to make their way, congregated and lived. This is where the Blues could be heard, and small African-American owned businesses could be found.

The two sides of town were within walking distance but were worlds apart. Downtown must have been the intersection. I could see people like Brick, Maggie the Cat and Big Daddy walking the streets and talking about “those people” when they saw them across the street. In the real world, “those people” were Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson.

I wonder what the landed gentry would think about the modern version of their town. While their houses remain, they are not why people travel to Clarksdale. People come to Clarksdale because of the music that was made on the other side of the tracks. People come to Clarksdale because of the music that was inspired by the conditions that people on the other side of the tracks found themselves in. People come to Clarksdale to celebrate their accomplishments and not the accomplishments of the ones who thought they would be remembered.

By the way, the richest man in town is an African-American who “smells like money.”

As we drove out of town, I wondered what the landed gentry would think about that.

Looking For Love In The Wrong Place

1 Mar

One of the great things about blogging is discovering what people search for on the Internet. All bloggers know this. We have search terms pop up all the time that make us wonder what is going on out there in the world. They also make us wonder who they ended up reading our stuff.Search

At “Surrounded by Imbeciles”, I get tons of people who are looking for a prostitute in Tunica, Mississippi. For those who do not know, that is one of the gambling destinations in this part of the country. I know how people looking for a prostitute in Tunica get to my blog. I just do not understand why they would be looking for a prostitute there.

According to my stats, people have been looking for prostitutes in Tunica for a long time. However, there has recently been a surge. Googlers have looked for:

“prostitutes in tunica”

“hot cocktail waitresses in tunica”

“whore house in tunica”

“tunica ms escorts’

“tunica escorts”

“tunica casinos prostitution”

I have been to Tunica many times. As a gambling destination, it is a good place to go. Blackjack. Complimentary food. Complimentary rooms. It is a fun junket. However, if you are looking to pay for female companionship, then I would suggest another destination. Why?

Because there are no hot prostitutes in Tunica. I have no doubt that prostitutes work the area, but there are no Ole Miss co-eds looking to make that their career choice. If you get to this post by searching for hot prostitutes in Tunica, then I suggest that you spend your money more wisely.

My Favorite Search Term of All Time

23 Apr

It is always interesting to see how people find their way to this blog. Like most bloggers, I look through the search terms and come away amazed at some of the stuff that gets typed in. At times, I wonder how they got here, and that’s when I search it to find the trail from them to me.

Recently, a search term popped up, and there was no reason to go looking for it. I knew exactly how it led them here. It is probably my favorite search term of all time, and I am proud to claim it as part of the Surrounded by Imbeciles experience. What could be so great? Take a gander at this.

where is all the whores in tunica ms

It is great on so many levels, but you must understand that it is not a surprise. I have written about Tunica, the gambling capital of the south. I have also written about whores. In fact, I have written about whores more than once. Therefore, if someone is looking for a prostitute in Tunica, then a search engine will bring them to me. It really is something to be proud of.

Here’s the thing, though. I have been to Tunica countless times, and I have never seen someone who I thought was a working girl. That doesn’t mean they are not there. Heck, there’s lots of money in Tunica, so it only makes sense that prostitutes would be there to get some of it. I just haven’t noticed them. Of course, it could be that I haven’t seen anyone that I thought should be paid for sex. Unless the guy (I assume it was a guy) on the prowl is fond of the Hoveround type.

Put in a quarter, and it will vibrate.

Put in a quarter, and it will vibrate.

Simply, Tunica is not the place to go to find a whore. Want to eat at Paula Deen’s? Go to Tunica. Want to play some Blackjack? Go to Tunica. Want to see people smoke a cigarette while wearing an oxygen mask? Go to Tunica. Want to have a high-class escort for the weekend? Don’t go to Tunica. Go to Las Vegas!!!

Although prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, escorts can be found everywhere. In fact, I used to make a game out of it and see if I could guess who was and who wasn’t. There is this one little casino that is kind of a dive. When I go in, I always get a Blackjack seat close to the bar. That way I can watch the people and figure out what is going on. It’s easy to see a woman walk in alone and walk out with someone in a matter of minutes. It is even easier when she makes her way back.

It’s a little more difficult in the larger casinos. These places don’t want the women hanging around, and security is everywhere. That means that the women at the bar have to be more discreet. It also means that many escorts arrive with their clients. If a man and woman walk into a casino together, then how can you prove that she is getting paid? Of course, there can be suspicions. When an 80-year-old man walks in with a 25-year-old woman who looks like she stepped out of a magazine, something is up.

To help the person who searched – where is all the whores in tunica ms – I have some advice.

1. Don’t look for a whore in Tunica. Go to Paula Deen’s buffet instead. You will get more bang for your buck.

2. If you want to find a whore in a casino, then go to Las Vegas. Just sit at a bar by yourself and see what happens.

3. Try to find a prostitute who has a degree in English.

She can also help you with your Longfellow.

She can also help you with your Longfellow.

Once your few seconds are up, she can help with your sentence structure.

Gambling in Another World

29 Jun

I love everything about casinos. The lights and sounds of the slot machines. The yells as people win at the Craps tables. The feel of the felt under my fingers as I sit at the Blackjack table. The thrill of putting chips in the circle and anticipating the cards. The cocktail waitresses who deliver free drinks. I love it all.

When I tell people about going to a casino, they automatically think of glamor, and the things I just mentioned could, I suppose, be considered glamorous. In Las Vegas, they definitely are. The cocktail waitresses are hot. People are dressed their best and ready for action. After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I bet Monte Carlo is more glamorous than that. I mean anywhere James Bond gambles must be cool.

I say all of this because I just returned from a gambling junket to Tunica. It has the same slot machines, Craps tables and Black jack tables and would like for you to think that it has the glamor to go with those things. Just check out one of the promotional photos.

Everyone is dressed up, smiling and attractive. However, that is not exactly how it is. Some people look like they have slept in their clothes, and others have no idea how to dress. I saw one man wearing flip-flops, shorts and a blazer. Also, it seems that every Southeastern Conference school is represented by a cap or a t-shirt. Now, I have plenty of that gear as well, but I try not to wear it all the time.

I reckon the best way to describe the fashion of Tunica is to describe one of my Blackjack sessions. I was sitting with a wanna be Hip Hop king when a man wearing overalls and a “South Shall Rise Again” t-shirt sat down. He pulled $6,000 in cash out of his bib pocket and played $2,000 a hand. After three hands, he was done; stood up; said, “Fuck this.”; and left. In Vegas, you will see large amounts of cash but not a “South Shall Rise Again” t-shirt. That’s the difference.

Soon, I left the table and walked around the casino and figured this must be what the scene looks like in Lourdes. Everywhere, people were using canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. It’s as if the disabled go to Tunica for the healing waters or the miracles of the Poker Slots.

After scanning the scene, I eased over to the bar for a drink and a bit of reflection. As I considered my surroundings, I was reminded of a place I saw in my childhood and realized that I had stumbled into a similar world. It was a place with lively entertainment and a variety of characters. I wasn’t really in Tunica. I was here. Except, there was no live band. These beings were rocking out to the best of the 80s.

The next day, I changed venues and went to a smaller casino. I had not been there in a long time because it always gave me a weird vibe, and that vibe returned as soon as I walked in. Are you a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation? If you are, then you may remember an episode where Riker, Worf and Data find themselves in a casino on a distant planet. It was built by aliens for an astronaut who was stranded in space. The episode was The Royale and the trio was trapped in a cramped casino with eccentric characters.

That’s the way I feel when I walk into this particular casino, and this trip did not disappoint. There was one Blackjack table in operation, and it had two people playing. I sat down to play, and they wanted to have a conversation. One was a woman who looked like Elvira if she was addicted to meth and Krisy Kreme donuts. Doing her best to flirt, she asked me what I did for a living. I told the truth and said that I was a history professor. Thankfully, she said that history was boring.

Unfortunately, the other player thought it was interested. He was a man wearing an oxygen tank who had traced his family’s lineage. In short, he was a history buff and was convinced that I was interested in his family history. I didn’t stay long.

With all of that being said, I came home with more money than I left with, and I suppose that is the point. If you ever go to Tunica just don’t expect the glamor of other gambling destinations. And, watch out for what may be happening in the corner.