Welcome back for the third and final installment of my Memphis trip post. After finally shedding a few tears at my father's passing I decided to drive to my old neighborhood and get a look at how things had changed. Now the small town of Millington basically only sprang into being because of the Naval Air Station. This was closed in 1996 well before I left the area. Everyone feared that this would mark the end of the town as that had been the case with so many Military towns across the country after their bases had closed. I am pleased to report that today in 2011 the city is bigger and stronger than ever. It was strange seeing how big my sleepy little hometown had gotten. The biggest shock was the Starbucks and IHOP that are now in town. I failed to get pictures of this part of town, probably due to the great shock I was experiencing. The towns main drag is Navy road. Aptly named as it began life as a Navy town. Navy Road intersects US-51 and this is where I snapped my first picture.
Behind this street off camera to the right is the small tri-street area where I lived as a small child from about 7 to 12 years old. We lived directly behind the Pizza Hut. Which may be why pizza is my favorite food to this day.
The shed in the back yard is new and there used to be a big hedgerow around the entire front yard. Other than that it looks about the same. 7950 Susan Millington, TN 38053 I spent almost my entire elementary school years at this house. I attended E.A. Harrold Elementary School on what used to be the outskirts of town. Cruising down Navy road from here the biggest changes were the decorative median strips the city added with grass, flowers, and trees to help beautify the city. Also the Donut Factory, a 24 hour restaurant and bakery that used to be THE place to hang out late night is now a bar & grill.
A bit further down Navy Road is the Fire Department, City Hall, & Police Station. They are in separate buildings but all share the same parking lot.
Even further down Navy Road, its a really long road, is the Pizza Hut Delivery location I worked at for 3 and a half years. Its now a Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.
This was oddly depressing but at least the building was still there. Unlike the Golden Corral I had worked at for 3 and a half years right after college which had been bulldozed before I left town. Now the location is a Kroger Gas Station. A bit further down Navy road is a housing subdivision. I lived on the first street of this area called West Navy from when I was about 16 until I was 19 and moved away from home for the first time. 7790 West Navy still exists along with a little over a dozen privately owned homes. The rest of the 7 street subdivision has been bulldozed. There is a YMCA and the park that used to be for the subdivision is still there. Otherwise the whole area looks vacant and creepy.
Its been painted, it used to be blue with white trim. The rose trellis is gone and the trees are all much bigger. Around the corner from here and back on Navy Road again is the small community market I used to walk to for snacks and such.
Its also where I bought my first adult periodical. Back in the day we didn't get our porn online we had to get it from magazines and books. I never got carded here but I never tried to buy alcohol either. Just porn which they were always willing to sell provided you had the cash. Further up Navy road is what used to be the Naval Air station.
Naval Support Activity MidSouth is what it has become. This is basically administrative offices and such. The old airstrip has been turned into a public airport. Back down Navy road towards town and off to the right is Easley Street. This is a block or two from the trailer park I moved into when I moved away from home at 19. It is also where the little bar I drank away a year and a half of my life is at. Followers of my blog may remember that story from my post A River of Sadness .
I considered stopping in for a quick drink but decided against it. This trip was supposed to be about remembering the good old days and I didn't want to chance being dragged down by bitter old memories. Around the corner and down the road from here is the High School I graduated from. I only attended it for a year and a half because of our relocating but it is my official Alma Matter. Millington Central High School class of 1989 , Go Trojans!
After seeing the sights of my old hometown I drove back to Mel's house. We played Guitar Hero, and Beatles Rock Band that night. It was the first time I played any of those types of games and I wasn't very good at first. Melody was of course much better. She started drinking as we played and I started to improve. Just about the time our skill levels seemed to be getting close, in spite of the fact that she was two difficulty levels higher than me, she got completely wasted. I mean damn near falling down drunk. Here's where it gets weird because after she was completely knackered her skill level went through the roof. She played better drunk than she had while sober. She continually rubbed it in as well.
The next day was my birthday. Melody and I went to lunch at Pei Wei and then shopping at Best Buy. It was some of the best Asian food I've ever had. That evening Melody & Mark took me to Applebee's for my birthday dinner. I invited BengalKatLady to come share the evening with us. It was the first date I had been on in years. Everyone had a very good time and Kat told me to call her when I get back to town. She is a very special woman. When we got home Mark, Melody and I recorded a plastercast. The first one I've gotten to do in person with her. Now that she has some free time perhaps it will be on the website soon. Bucket of Mars
The following day was the last day of my trip. Mark, Melody and I drove around their neighborhood for a bit talking. We went to lunch in Millington at Milano's Italian Restaurant. Which is in the building that used to be Captain D's. This is where I got my first real job, part time during the summer between my junior and senior years. We returned home and I loaded up my car and got ready to return to Missouri. I hugged my dear friend and headed out. The drive home from a trip always seems shorter than the drive away. Far too soon I found myself back in the driveway I started from but with one small change.
My car, much like my heart is now branded with Tennessee. Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my blog. Take care and have an awesome day!