Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tennessee River

Tennessee River looking east near Chattanooga, Tennessee

Location and Navigable Mileage: From Knoxville, the Tennessee River flows generally southwestward into the states of Georgia and Alabama, then bends abruptly northwestwardly, for a time forming the border between Alabama and Mississippi. Then it flows back into the state of Tennessee, now going almost due north. Crossing it's namesake state, the river flows into Kentucky and finally empties into the Ohio River. In all, 652 miles of navigation channel are maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. If you travel East or West in the state of Tennessee on Interstate 40, you will cross the Tennessee River twice. The largest city on the River is Chattanooga.

East Tennessee Roots
Scroll on down and click link to view photos taken by Bobby Sowell while visiting his East Tennessee roots family reunion in Roane County and the Great Smokey Mountains.

Why are Tennessee people so friendly? One reason is that Tennessee has more neighboring states than any other US State and consists of three distinct geography regions. West, Middle and East Tennessee. Tennessee gave the world great music. Blues, Rock n Roll and Country music can be heard in all regions of Tennessee. From the Mississippi River in Memphis to the Plato of Nashville to the Hills of East Tennessee. Tennessee is a great vacation destination for the whole family.

Click here to View More Stunning Pictures of East Tennessee

Saturday, February 18, 2006

February Freeze

Memphis First Ice Over Buuuurrr!
...As I reported last week on our first snow fall of the 2005-06 winter season in Memphis and the Mid-South area now comes the first Ice over. The weather front dumped snow to our north but in Memphis and over the boarder in Mississippi there was a winter mix mostly in the form or sleet and ice. Whatever melted today will refreeze tonight making the road conditions treacherous. Matter of fact, the streets are so bad that all Churches have canceled worship services for Sunday. Thawing out won't begin until late Monday. Temperatures will remain in the single digit through Sunday. So, the streets of Memphis are empty and everyone is staying home watching the basketball game where nationally ranked University of Memphis Tigers (No 2 in nation) are playing the Tulane Greenwave (New Orleans). The Tigers are up by 20 points as I write this blog.

Game Upddate
The University of Memphis Basketball team has defeated Tulane of New Orleans by the score of 105 to 65 (by 40 points). Go Tigers!

Neighborhood Today
Saturday Feb 18, 2006

Weather Update
Sunday Feb 19, 2006

Got cabin fever? Well, I do. The streets are iced over and traffic is at a minimum. I had to cancel out on three gigs scheduled for today. So, I am self imprisoned by the weather. My cat and I are staring at each other. Thank God for Blogs. It helps pass the time. I will also try and call my Canadian children today for cold weather survival advise. They should be eating at their Grandma Petti's house. Cold weather is a fact of life for them. They are used to the extreme cold and know how to maneuver around in it. Of course unlike Memphis, Canada has all the latest equipment to fight the icy road conditions. Well, time to put another log on the fire.

There is another front coming in tonight and whatever melts today will refreeze. However, there is relief coming. The weather forecast will bring a warm up Tuesday with the highs in the upper 50's. That's Memphis weather for you. Remember last week when the meteorologist predicted all four seasons in the five day forecast. Well, it happened and now we are in the winter season again but hold on spring is in a few days followed by a couple of summer days and who knows what's next?

Click here for live real time Nexrad Memphis weather radar map

Click here: Memphis, Tennessee (38135) Conditions & Forecast

Friday, February 17, 2006

Urban Sprawl

There goes the Neighborhood? What was an empty field a few years ago has turned into a busy Bartlett Intersection at Altura and Memphis-Arlington Rd with retail businesses on both sides of the Memphis-Arlington which includes Walmart Neighborhood Market, Walgreens Drug Store, two Gas Stations and two strip malls with multiple small businesses including two Pizzerias, two dry cleaners, two nail salons, two hair salons, bread store, clothing apparel store, two tax preparer outlets and a few others. The traffic on Memphis-Arlington has doubled and it don't help with Walmart being open 24 hours a day. I like the shopping convenience it offers but everything else that goes along with growth, I don't. I guess you can't have it both ways.

What happened to my neighborhood has happened to neighborhoods all over my town of Bartlett and all over urban America. With the flock of people fleeing the big city and settling in the suburbs has created mini towns. With that many people comes growth in form of retail stores to support their new life styles. It seems that we are running out of space to put anything else on. Despite the growth, Bartlett is still a good town to live in. Our Police force is second to none and has a reputation on fighting crime. Forget shoplifting, don't even think about speeding in Bartlett. The smallest amount in fines is $95.00. It is a well known fact in Shelby County and the Memphis area. Our Fire and Police Department average response time to any emergency is five minute or less. It is a family community. A nice place to raise a family, with two high schools, four middle schools, eight elementary schools and Churches on about every corner. There is still a small town atmosphere complete with an annual Christmas parade. Bartlett is also known for it's parks. Every neighborhood by law has a park. Every new development must include at least one park and some have two parks.

View more neighborhood sprawl Pics
Click here to view more neighborhood photos

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's Day

View New PICS just posted
Click here: View Valentine Day Photos

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Memphis First Snow Fall

Let It Snow ...Well, when it seemed we escaped yet another winter
and was enjoying spring like weather for the most part of the months of November, December, January and the first half of February, here comes the first snow fall of the 2005-06 winter season (It is snowing as I am writing this blog). Memphis and the surrounding Mid-South Area is expected to get 3 to 5 Inches with the snow stopping by tomorrow morning. I went to put out our cat CK and she freaked out and ran back in and is hiding under the bed. She does not want any part of it. I really don't either and will not travel in it until it melts which should begin tomorrow. There is an old saying in Memphis, "If you don't like the weather, stick around, it'll change. So unlike up north, we will see green again real soon. according to the weather forecast, it will be spring time conditions again next week. I am glad since I have 6 days of playing gigs in a row starting Sunday in and around Memphis and the Mid-South area. I hate driving in sleet and snow. Memphis does not own snow plows so we are on our own driving. The main problem is that it refreezes overnight making the streets real slick. Traditionally, Memphis has very mild winters with an average of one snow fall per season. Most years, we don't get any snow. But, occasional mother nature will throw us a loop and bring a blizzard. I remember back in 1994, Memphis had an unperfected Ice storm which cause havoc and left people without power for weeks. So, I hope that this first snow fall is our last one. I like wearing spring clothes in February, don't you? Stay warm yall!

Monday the 13th

Well, here it is Monday, Feb 13th and the snow from Friday is all gone. It's nice and sunny here today, much like a nice spring day with the temperature around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) while the Northeastern States digs out from a record snowstorm. I am glade I live in the Mid-South where the weather storms and jet streams patterns seem to dodge us. (below links) For my kids who live in Canada.

Click here for live real time Nexrad Memphis weather radar map
Click here: Conversion Chart: US to Canadian Metric
Click here: Weather News


*Clark Family Photo 1945

*Clark Family Reunion 1995

*Robby, Chris & Bill Branson 1995

*Branson Stage Show 1998

Click here to view more NEW vintage Pics just posted

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Flashback Moments
Do you remember when Memphis, especially downtown Memphis had real traffic cops directing the flow of traffic at all major intersections wearing white gloves, garrison hats and whistles in their mouths? It was an art form for sure. Those were the days!! I don't know what made me think about it but is was a flash back moment. Of course, kids today couldn't Image such a thing along with pay telephones, rabbit ears and black n white TV with no remote. Remember when we were marveled with the Invention of the blender? And what about the escalators at Sears & Robuck Crosstown? Sears was the first building in Memphis to have escalators.

A Real Escalator Story
I can remember getting into trouble when I was just 6 years old because of them brand new escalators. My two oldest brothers, James and John (alas Junior and Bubba) wanted to go to the movies to see Walt Disney's new release "The Littlest Outlaw" playing at the Crosstown Theater saturday matinee. My mother made them take me with them. I soon learned that James and John had no intentions on seeing the movie and was using me as an excuse or an assurance to get to go. I remember being all excited about seeing the movie. My Mom had let us out in front of the Crosstown theater and took off. Then James informed me that we were not going to see the movie but we were going to Sears & Roebuck to ride the new escalators and made me promise not to tell Mom. He even drilled me about the plot of the movie in case our Mom asked (he had already seen it).

So, off we went, James, John and myself walked down to Sears and sure enough found what all the kids at school were taking about, the escalators. We got on them and rode them for about 30 minutes(you would thought we were at the Mid-South Fair), up and down, back and forth, up and down we all went, having the time of our lives UNTIL we were caught by the store detective.(Oh well, all good things comes to an end).

He called our Mom and detained us until she got there. To say the least, James and John got it when we got home as it was there fault and not mine since I was just 6 years old. The sad part was, I NEVER saw the movie "The Littlest Outlaw" but until this day, I can tell you what it's all about.

Now, as I see it, the above story was as good as any of the "Little Rascals" episodes and it was real.

Below picture is of my Mom who was a traffic cop (crossing guard).
(*Photo taken in 1959)

What is a BLOG?

Blog, Blogging, Blogger, Blog It?

Blogger for Dummies? The following tidbit Information is from a contributing article submitted by my son, Rob Sowell of Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada; who is a lot more computer savvy than his Dad. I'm still come and think from the last century when it comes to 21st century computer and Internet technology. I am new to this blogging thing too and sometimes confused as just what it is for? Like everything else computer related it's a learning experience. Perhaps the following Information will help clarify this new Internet crave. Thanks Rob for clarifying it all up for us and for putting it in plain english. Happy Blogging Rob!

blog: A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts, personal articles, personal writings, view points and associated Web links.

More Information
A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many types of blogs as there are people. People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with the introduction of automated published systems, most notably Blogger at Thousands of people use services such as Blogger to simplify and accelerate the publishing process. Blogs are alternatively called web logs or weblogs. However, "blog" seems less likely to cause confusion, as "web log" can also mean a server's log files.

Check out Robby's Site Links

Click here: Robby Lee Sowell x-men
Click here: Robby Lee Sowell My Life

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Monday, February 06, 2006

BS Art Creations

Other Expressions...Besides being a musician, I also have a deep passion for the arts. I like drawing and painting all forms of art expressions. But in my aging process I find cartooning is now my favorite to create. Just as my songs I write, my cartoon drawings are taken from my life experiences. I can find humor in most things, even bad situations. Check out my art link below. My daughter, Mandy Sowell (left) is also a talented artist. Like her blond hair and blue eyes, she most likely inherited her art talent from her father. She resides in Niagara falls, Ont. Canada along with her two brothers, Robby Lee Sowell and Christopher Michael Sowell. Also check out her art gallery site link below.

Art Samples

*1967 Oil Painting "Twilight Love"

*1984 Black & White Pastel "Memphis Skyline Bridge"

*1996 Cartoon "James W. Sowell, SR"

Click here to View More BS Art
Click here: Mandy's Art Gallery