Tuesday, January 17

I did not invent slavery and answers to other questions

Next on my magical tour of No'Ala, as the one hipster in Alabama calls it (he's locked in a tornado shelter), was the W.C. Handy Home and Museum.

W.C. Handy is the 'Father of the Blues', and he was born in Florence, Alabama. But they deconstructed his house and reconstructed it in another part of town.

That's the first time I've used deconstructed in a sentence that didn't include a pretentious reference to molecular gastronomy.

Back to the W.C. Handy museum. I was greeted by a woman who I would describe as 'Morgan Freeman with tits'. I paid for the $2 tour and walked into the lobby. The lady followed me. I walked into the black history library. The lady followed me. Finally it dawned on me that she was giving the tour. A split second later I also realized I was the only person in the museum.

She gave me a wonderful tour of the reconstructed house. I'm pretty good at inserting nods, "a-ha"s, head tilts, and "interesting" at various junctures of tours. Finally we got to the part where she told me Handy's father and grandfather were slaves, and I had that white guilt moment where you think to yourself, "I'm paying $2 for a personalized tour of music history by a poor woman of color". It was actually worse than the moment an African American family walked past me while I was being photographed outside the motel balcony where Dr King was shot in Memphis.

The rest of the tour was looking over memorabilia displayed in chronological order. When we got to the part where W.C. married his much younger personal assistant I thought I saw a disapproving look in the guide's eyes.

The museum missed a trick, they did not call their restroom facilities W.Cs W.Cs, and their gift shop was disappointing in comparison to the Keller offerings.

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