TENNESSEE: Ring-Tailed Tooter

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It was Cotton Carnival time in Memphis. Skyrockets whooshed into the muddy Mississippi; searchlights glared above crowds along the riverfront. There were street dances, the crash of band music, the clack and jangle of noisemakers. Bunting was everywhere.

It was, as Memphis newspapers proudly pointed out, the biggest celebration in the Carnival's 75-year history. Warmed with blended bourbon, many a Memphian decided that in this year of peace & plenty it was even better than New Orleans' historic Mardi gras. Despite occasional rain, the city echoed to the sound of countless...

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