It’s a bit like I had felt in Johannesburg in the period just after the end of the Apartheid. You could very well pass from a white bubble to another without ever passing through Soweto. Are the often richer white communities even aware of the extent of damage that is just at their door?
I now routinely stop at the McDonald’s that line the highway to enjoy some Wi-Fi connection. In this one located between Lexington and Nashville, a little Amish boy with braces looks at me from the bench facing me while eating ice cream with his grandfather. He’s wearing the big trademark straw hat.
Although these fast food places don’t have the old-time quaintness, they have become real popular spots where everyone comes to meet.
DECEPTION TO REDEMPTION
The best moment happens in this little greasy spoon where I go directly following a friend’s advice. It looks a little run-down auto repair shop, a sort of hut from which smoke escapes profusely. Two clients, one white and the other black, are chatting about manly stuff: sports, women and work, but also divorce. The white guy is a limo driver. We are far away from the university and touristic area.
SEARCHING FOR THE BLUES
I walk down the main street where country bars shower their music onto passersby. In the barbecue joint recommended as the best in town where I end up, not a single black person, except for the cook in the kitchen!
I’m on the search for a Blues club. We’ll see. It’s a real quest, I spend hours on the phone and on the Internet. But, aside this quasi-museographical approach, do the blues really still mean anything?
In the club where I finally land on “Printer’s Alley”, a regular performer is trying to energize the room. But, as I shall see later, the most interesting things happen in the public and not really on the scene.