Friday, September 6, 2019

Explaining Jack Daniel's to an Irish Friend

About the Mississippi River: as you said, my friend, it runs through OR ALONG several states including Tennessee. The river runs ALONG the extreme western EDGE of Tennessee, making, in fact, the western border of the state, with Missouri and Arkansas across the river. Down in the very southwestern corner of Tennessee, right up against Arkansas and right up against the STATE of Mississippi, is Memphis (pronounced "mah-AYEM-fus" by the locals), where, as every schoolchild knows, rhythm n blues was stolen by white people who played it ineptly, called it rock n roll and claimed it was something new. Despite this legacy of shame and despite the startling accent of the locals, Memphis is the home of some fine barbecue.

Jack Daniels is made in Lynchberg, Tennessee, in CENTRAL Tennessee, quite some ways away from the Mississippi and mah-AYEM-fus, not very far from Nashville. Tennessee is very short from north to south and very long from east to west, so that mah-AYEM-fus in the west and Knoxville in the east might as well be in two separate worlds. Last I heard, Lynchberg was still dry: that is, they can make whisky but they can't legally DRINK it. Yes, the home of old Jack is dry (or at least was until very recently), amazing but true.

You might like Tennessee, my friend: many, ay, maybe most of its people trace their descent back to Ireland or Scotland. Or you might hate it: you might say, "*****, I traveled thousands of miles to try to get AWAY from these people and their ******* fiddles and clogging!" How am I to know what you might like?

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