Bringing Congress to Rural America

By Shayne Ison
General Manager

It’s not often that rural telcos like ours get a chance to share our stories, struggles and successes with a busload of congressional staff members.

So when the Foundation for Rural Service recently brought a group of legislative advisors on a bus tour through East Kentucky and Middle Tennessee, we at Mountain Telephone made the best of the opportunity.

These bright, young staffers — most of whom work for representatives and senators on key commerce, technology and communications committees — left Washington, D.C., to visit our part of the country and see what rural broadband looks like firsthand.

The staffers came from across the country, representing places such as Salt Lake City, the Dallas suburbs, Central Florida and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Before moving to the nation’s capital, many of them lived in big cities, such as Chicago. For some, this bus trip may have been the first time they’d ever spent in an area that could be considered rural.

While in West Liberty, they heard from our staff about our fiber optic network and disaster recovery, and toured the areas of our community still recovering from the tornado.

We made sure to catch the ear of a few of the staffers and explain how important our mission is to our local residents. It was important for them see how vibrant our communities are and to meet the great people in our region.

It was important for them to hear rural Kentucky business owners, hospital administrators and elected officials talk about the importance of a broadband connection.

And it’s important for them to understand the challenges cooperatives like ours face in building a network that may cost tens of thousands of dollars each mile, with as few as five customers per mile.

Long term, Congress and Washington regulators play a significant role in the strength of our telco and our industry, through issues such as the Universal Service Fund. As you’ve read in this space before, the USF provides funding that allows rural, high-cost providers like us a way to partially recoup the investments we’ve made in our communities and still provide telephone and broadband service at a price local residents can afford.

It was a great chance to tell them our cooperative’s story: We are providing service in areas that for-profit companies will not serve, and local residents depend on our network to work, play, shop, learn and connect with friends and family.

I am proud Mountain Telephone could play a role in bringing the congressional delegation to rural Kentucky. And I’m proud every day that you’ve trusted us to connect you to the world.

Mountain names a new assistant general manager

Quentin Murphy is Mountain’s new assistant general manager.

Quentin Murphy is Mountain’s new assistant general manager.

Quentin Murphy embraces the role

Growing up on the family farm in Morgan County’s Ezel community, Quentin Murphy’s family relied on a green, rotary dial phone attached to the wall to connect to friends and family. Mountain Telephone made it possible.
“In rural areas, there was no interest from larger companies to establish phone service,” Murphy says. “That was the only means of communication in and out of those small communities, and we only had that because of the cooperative. Those services were vital.”

Now, Murphy is in a position to help guide Mountain Telephone as it continues to provide essential services, such as reliable telephone, high-quality television and broadband Internet.
Murphy, a 14-year veteran of the company with firsthand experience working with members of the cooperative, was recently named Mountain’s assistant general manger.

He believes Mountain’s place in the community is as, if not more, vital than ever. For example, fast Internet access allows people to use distance learning to earn college degrees — without ever leaving home.
Farmers, many of whom rely on equipment decades old, can take advantage of online opportunities to buy and trade equipment, transactions that would be impossible without fast Internet service, Murphy says.

The cooperative also provides more than communications services. Mountain supports a range of community organizations. “I don’t think there’s a company that’s done more for the community and the youth than Mountain Telephone has,” he says.

Murphy, who earned a degree from Morehead State University, and his wife, Jenny, have one daughter, Olivia, 6.

A business built with needles and threads

Tammy Moore built Hollyhocks with monogramming and creativity.

Tammy Moore built Hollyhocks with monogramming and creativity.

Hollyhocks personalizes apparel, gifts and household goods

Clusters of white pins dot a map on the wall of Hollyhocks’ workspace, where Tammy Moore designs and embroiders sympathy throws sent around the United States.

Each pin represents a throw purchased from her designs that are embroidered on quilted throws from a business she is growing through sales from her website.

States such as Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania are her “honey hole,” though throws have gone to countries as far away as Peru and Australia. One customer from Chicago ordered a sympathy throw for his grandmother’s funeral in Africa.

The throws are a logical progression for Moore. The business began in 2002 with a gift shop in an older storefront in downtown Campton.

RETAIL DREAMS

Moore was a sales rep for gift companies for many years. “But, I really wanted to be home for my children,” she says. “I have a knack for merchandising and design, so I started my own gift shop.”

Moore knew she needed to diversify by moving beyond selling products to offering some form of service to her customers. “One day, Kaye Holbrook, former Wolfe County agent for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, suggested I do some embroidery, and she loaned me her home machine,” Moore says.

And the business took off. “We were making things ourselves and putting them in the gift shop,” she says. “They started selling.”

Then, she bought her own home embroidery machine, which her demand quickly outgrew. In 2008, a new retail space opened off Kentucky Highway 15, and she moved in a new commercial-grade, computer-controlled embroidery machine.

In the new store, she thrived. “The goal was that as the embroidery picked up commercially and domestically, I’d drop more and more gift lines over time, only to pick up lines that were compatible with embroidery, and keep a few exceptions.”

The shop now sells costume jewelry, flags, bags and purses to name a few. Most of these items may be personalized with embroidery. “As a full-service embroidery business, we service other businesses with digitizing logos for their company’s embroidered caps, jackets and T-shirts,” Moore says.

BUSINESS OF HONOR

Moore, though, continued to search for ways to help differentiate her business.
Once, the shop sold throws bearing reproductions of Thomas Kinkaid paintings.
When the supplier stopped carrying the line of sympathy goods, Moore saw an opportunity. “We started with a woven throw embroidered ‘In Loving Memory’ and other information to honor a deceased life,” she says.

Moore realized she had a product — throws are now quilted — with an appeal beyond the boundaries of her community. Working with website developer Ken Bush, they created sympathythrowblanket.com. Each throw on the website is artfully designed by Moore, with a heartfelt sentiment that honors one’s life. The site goes beyond sympathy throws by featuring other categories such as weddings, family, occupational and custom designs.

A time of giving

Charities provide support for the needy, and a way to help others

Morgan County

Christ’s Pantry of Morgan County

Phone Number: 606-743-4356
Address: 310 Ruth Ave., West Liberty
How you can help: The charity accepts donations of not only cash, but also the time of volunteers.
Support provided: Proof of Morgan County residency is required to receive aid. Food distribution is meant to supplement the meals of an individual or a family.
Special holiday giving: In the fall, expect to hear about the center’s food drive to provide the fixings to give the needy a holiday meal.
Key dates: Food distribution, including during Christmas, is the second Thursday of each month.

Menifee County

Dayspring Food Pantry

Phone Number: 606-768-6779
Pick-up day phone number: 606-768-2048
Address: The Dayspring Assembly of God on state Highway 460 in Frenchburg
How you can help: Donate money or nonperishable food items.
Support provided: A week’s worth of food, if supplies allow.
Key dates: Food pickup is the third Thursday and Friday of each month, between 9 a.m. and noon.

Project Worth

Phone Number: 606-768-6384
Address: 72 Industrial Park Road, Means
How you can help: Donate cash to P.O. Box 28, Means, KY 40346. Call first, but you can bring food donations to the pantry. Staples such as canned milk, flour and sugar are appreciated.
Support provided: Food boxes and clothing for people in need
Special holiday giving: Mark your calendar for the annual holiday fundraiser: the Project Worth Thanksgiving Dinner in the Community Hall beside the center. It’s Sunday, Nov. 1.
On Dec. 18, the pantry will serve dinner to the needy. Santa Claus will make an appearance.

Elliott County

Christian Community Center

Phone Number: 606-738-4095
Address: 4068 Main St., Sandy Hook
How you can help: Volunteers are welcome, as are donations of clothing, food and furniture.
Support provided: Recipients must qualify through the state’s social services department for twice-monthly food baskets.
Special holiday giving: Christmas baskets go to qualifying low-income families and seniors.
Key dates: Watch for news about when to apply for Christmas aid, usually mid-November. Distribution will be in mid-December.

Wolfe County

Bear Pen Worship Center

Phone Number: 606-668-3351
How you can help: The charity accepts donations of food, particularly nonperishable dry goods and canned food.
Support provided: Food is distributed a couple of times each week.
Key dates: There is no set schedule for food distribution. Word-of-mouth provides information about availability. If there is an emergency need, call.

Wolfe County Extension holiday outreach

Annual Homemaker’s Holiday Workshop

“Managing Holiday Expenses: How to Reduce Spending to Decrease Financial Stress”
Join seven extension agents who will share ideas for the upcoming holidays, including demonstrating craft and gift options.
When: Friday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m.
Where: Wolfe County Extension Service

Cooking with Diabetes for the Holidays

Enjoy tips for healthy holiday eating, including recipes for those with special diets.
When: Monday, Nov. 16 at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Wolfe County Extension Service

From the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the Kentucky Hills

John Clevenger’s military career once took him to the bottom of the ocean, and he continues the adventure by serving his home of Sandy Hook.

John Clevenger’s military career once took him to the bottom of the ocean, and he continues the adventure by serving his home of Sandy Hook.

Military service shapes John Clevenger’s life

By Noble Sprayberry

They gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Louisville to commemorate service to their country. The post’s commander named wars and conflicts one by one, and men and women stood to mark the struggle in which they served.

One man rose to his feet three times.
“They said, ‘All World War II,’ and I stood up. They said, ‘All Korea,’ and I stood up. Then, they said, ‘All Vietnam,’ and I stood up,” John Clevenger says in a deliberate cadence. “The commander said, ‘You must have been a glutton for punishment.’ I said, ‘No, I was just the right age.’”

But Clevenger’s 30-year military career went above and beyond just a quirk of his birth date. The Elliott County veteran found a home with the Navy, and he brought his passion back to Eastern Kentucky. He led the formation of the Sandy Hook VFW, where veterans also collect and distribute medical equipment to those in need.
Clevenger, who turned 89 in August, embraced a life of service that began as World War II ended. He was drafted in January 1945. “I was just a boy, and I went into the Navy,” he says.

He served aboard troop transports, mostly in the Pacific Ocean. He also learned the realities of war. He was stationed on one vessel that also did duty as a medical ship for the wounded, and not everyone survived. If they were too far from port for a burial on land, the bodies were buried at sea. “Once, 12 died, and we buried nine,” he says.

After his tour of duty ended, he returned home. “My dad had a grocery here in town, and I went to work in it,” says Clevenger of his home in Sandy Hook. “I got up one morning and said I was going back home. This was not for me.”

For Clevenger, the Navy had become home. He reenlisted in 1948. “It was where I wanted to go,” he says. “Then, along came Korea, and I was just the right age for it.”

The conflict was a contrasting experience to the days in the Pacific. “During World War II, I had it good. A big ship. Three meals a day. And a good bunk,” he says. “Korea was not good. The landing craft. The cold weather. We took Inchon three times. Then, the Red Chinese would come take it back.”

A career beneath the sea

Later while stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, Clevenger decided to ask his boss how he could earn a little more money. “They said I should go into aviation,” he says.

But, he’d seen flight operations aboard the USS Enterprise. “I told them I didn’t want any more airedales,” he says, using the nickname for naval aviators. “They said I could go into submarines, because they paid extra. But, I told them I wasn’t living in a sewer pipe.”

Instead, Clevenger chose a field that would shape much of the rest of his life. “They said there was diving, and I said I’d take that,” he says.

At a school in New Jersey, he learned deep-sea diving and salvage. From there, he went to the Pacific, where he spent time doing underwater ship repair, such as patching holes and replacing propellers. Also, he cleared harbors of debris from sunken ships. “We dove seven days a week there for a while,” he says.

The style of diving required heavy, metal helmets. Hoses provided air and often a way to communicate with the surface. “I qualified in everything they had, and I made master diver,” he says. He learned the skills needed to dive deep, such as the math required to calculate — using pencil and paper — the safe duration of a dive. And he learned how to dive using exotic mixtures of gases, including helium. The master certification was so difficult, Clevenger says that at one point in his career, the Navy had fewer divers than it had admirals.
Despite his achievements, the response was consistent when he described his profession to friends at home: “They thought I was crazy,” he says. Eventually, he went to the Navy Yard in Washington, serving as director of the deep-sea diving school, he says.

Along the way, he married his wife, Dorothy. They have a daughter, Sue Howard, and a son, John Marcus Clevenger. He never lost touch with the community in Eastern Kentucky, where he had a house built to create a home for his family. For three years, he traveled from Washington to Kentucky on the weekends. Then, in 1963 he joined the Fleet Reserve, where he served another eight years.

“When I got out and came home, after about two weeks, Dorothy told me I needed to find something to do,” he says. “I’d worn all the varnish off the floors.” He contacted a former diving officer, who helped him land a job with Ocean Systems, Inc. “We did a lot of work with the Navy, and a lot of it was top-secret,” he says. “And we did a lot with commercial outfits.”

Honoring veterans, helping the community

Throughout retirement, his work continued back home. In the early 1990s, Clevenger and former school superintendent Curt Davis discussed building a monument to veterans, and the pair worked together to open a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in 1992. Clevenger has always served in the post’s leadership, taking over as commander in 1999.

The post, which has about 50 members, hosts military funerals. And just across state Highway 7, the post erected a memorial to veterans. A written record kept by Clevenger provides visitors a guide to the names of those enshrined on the stone.

But, Clevenger and other veterans contribute to the community in many other ways. The post’s members manage a medical closet, accepting donations of equipment and then distributing needed items.

Wooden storage buildings outside the VFW store equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs and lifts. The service is free. “Sometimes, we might go a week without a call, but then we might get three or four calls in one day,” Clevenger says. “The only stipulation is that they bring the equipment back.”

For Clevenger, it’s no surprise the veterans of the post are committed to helping others. “I think they were so proud to get back home, and they want it to be like it’s always been,” he says.

Broadband may be the greatest health care innovation for rural America

NTCA Logo

By Shirley Bloomfield, CEO
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

When we talk about the impact of broadband Internet access, we often focus on its importance to economic development, business growth and such. While it is absolutely an economic driver, broadband may also be just what the doctor ordered for rural America.

You will sometimes hear it referred to as telemedicine; other times, telehealth. Whatever you call it, the use of broadband technology is changing the way health care is delivered. And I believe we are only seeing the beginning.

For example, electronic medical records are allowing doctors to streamline care, especially for patients in rural areas. A patient who normally visits a rural clinic can be confident that their health information is accurate and up-to-date when they visit a regional hospital.

I wrote in the previous issue of this magazine about aging in place, noting that technologies such as videoconferencing, remote health monitoring and X-ray transmission are helping rural seniors stay at home longer. But the aging population is just one segment that can benefit from broadband-enabled applications.

Recently, I attended a technology showcase that focused on the interconnection between technology providers, health care providers and innovation in telemedicine. It was a fascinating conference that left my mind spinning with the possibilities for rural health care delivery.

We heard from a rural telecommunications provider who said small telcos are often too small to get the main contracts from the base hospitals, but that they have an important role in providing the local infrastructure and having the construction team on the ground. This has helped build the case for having a role in the large clinic and university hospital contracts in the future.

Hugh Cathey of the innovative company HealthSpot provided a real glimpse into what broadband can mean to all segments of society. His company has kiosks in several Rite Aid drug stores in Ohio where patients can walk in and be face-to-face with a healthcare professional via a video screen. These stations come outfitted with everything you need to receive a wide variety of remote treatments. The HealthSpot network has seen thousands of patients since May, for ailments such as allergies, cold and flu, bronchitis, cough, rashes, sore throat and fever.

With applications such as these, it’s easy to get excited about what the future holds for telemedicine. And with the great work being done by your telco and others like it who are building world-class broadband networks, we can know that rural America will not be left behind in this evolution.

Easy steps to help stop telemarketing calls!

If you are like most consumers, you are tired of being disturbed by telemarketing calls. There is help.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have established a National Do Not Call Registry. Joining this registry can drastically reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive.

Here are some important facts about the list:

  • Once registered, telemarketers have 31 days to stop calling your number.
  • You can register up to three non-business telephone numbers. You can register cell phone numbers; there is not a separate registry for cell phones.
  • Your number will remain on the list permanently unless you disconnect the number or you choose to remove it.
  • Some businesses are exempt from the Do Not Call Registry and may still be able to call your number. These include political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors and businesses that you already have a relationship with.

Strict Federal Trade Commission rules for telemarketers make it illegal to do any of the following regardless of whether or not your number is listed on the National Do Not Call Registry:

  • Call before 8 a.m.
  • Call after 9 p.m.
  • Misrepresent what is being offered
  • Threaten, intimidate or harass you
  • Call again after you’ve asked them
    not to

Adding your number to the Do Not Call Registry is easy!
Register online at www.donotcall.gov or call 888-382-1222
For TTY, call 866-290-4236
You must call from the telephone number you wish to register.

Attention local business owners: You can be penalized for not following these FCC rules

When people think of telemarketing phone calls, they usually imagine them coming from distant call centers. But local businesses that make phone calls to customers or potential customers should be aware that the same National Do Not Call Registry rules and regulations apply to them.
The Do Not Call initiative, regulated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), requires telephone service providers to notify customers of the National Do Not Call rules and regulations.

If you are a company, individual or organization that places telemarketing calls, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the operations of the National Do Not Call Registry. Unless you fall under one of the established exceptions, such as telemarketing by charitable organizations or for prior business relationships, you may not make telemarketing calls to numbers included in the National Do Not Call Registry.

For information regarding National Do Not Call regulations, visit the National Do Not Call registry at www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov. You can find the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission rules governing telemarketing and telephone solicitation at 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200 and 16 C.F.R. Part 310, respectively.

Beware of sales calls disguised as surveys

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says they have received numerous complaints from individuals who report receiving deceptive sales calls. The callers identify themselves with Political Opinions of America and ask you to participate in a brief survey, usually consisting of about three questions. After answering the questions, the individual is transferred to someone offering them a bonus for participating in the survey — usually a sales pitch for a time-share disguised as a “free vacation.”

The FTC warns that if the purpose of the call is to try to sell something — even if it includes a survey — it is telemarketing and all Do Not Call Registry rules apply.

If you believe a call violates the FTC rules against telemarketing, you can file a complaint by calling 888-382-1222 or go to donotcall.gov.

Bowled Over

Liberty Bowl Stadium(Photo courtesy of AutoZone Liberty Bowl)

Liberty Bowl Stadium
(Photo courtesy of AutoZone Liberty Bowl)

There’s more to bowl-game trips than football

As football season fades into history, host cities gear up for events that really score. Get ready for kickoff with a tour of the 2015 bowl games in cities across the South — which are great places to visit anytime.

December 23

GoDaddy Bowl; Mobile, Alabama; Ladd-Peebles Stadium

Let’s start your tour with the week leading up to the bowl game in Mobile. The focus is on the bowl’s eve and its Mardi Gras-style parade. Marching bands and cheerleaders from each bowl team will help pump up team spirit. The parade culminates in a giant pep rally on the waterfront at Mobile Bay. So don’t sit on the sidelines. Get into the action.

Other sights to see:

USS Alabama in Mobile Bay

USS Alabama
(Photo courtesy of USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park)

The USS Alabama arrived in Mobile Bay in 1964 and opened for public tours a year later. Bill Tunnell, executive director of the USS Alabama Memorial Park, says bowl week is always a lot of fun for players and fans.

One of the best places to view Mobile’s historic past is at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. The cathedral’s stained-glass windows date to 1890, so bring your camera. And this would be a good place to say a prayer for a successful Hail Mary near game’s end. The church is at 2 S. Claiborne St.

Where to eat: Regina’s Kitchen, 2056 Government St., a mile from the stadium. Best bet: muffuletta with a side of potato salad.

December 26

Camping World Independence Bowl; Shreveport, Louisiana; Independence Stadium

On our next stop, the days leading up to the bowl game see a marked change in the city of Shreveport. Fans sporting team colors are out in full force enjoying the many cool, old places to eat, drink and socialize along the riverfront. There will be a pep rally, which consistently draws big crowds. And there’s always been a free event for families: Fan Fest — a fun time with face painting, jump houses and more.

If you feel the need to shop, there’s no better place to go than Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets, home to 60-plus stores. “It’s probably the most-popular destination for football fans,” says Chris Jay, with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.

Kids will enjoy spending time at Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center. It’s always ranked in the top 10 of children’s science museums in the country.

Where to eat: Sam’s Southern Eatery, 3500 Jewella Ave., 0.7 miles from the stadium. One of the best spots in town for fried seafood. Favorite dish? It’s a coin toss between the 3N3 — three shrimp and three fish fillets — or the shrimp with red beans and rice.

December 30

Birmingham Bowl; Birmingham, Alabama; Legion Field

The journey continues as the year winds down. It’s one of the smaller bowl games, but don’t be blindsided by the fact that there will be as much play-by-play action off the field as on.
Bowl eve begins with the Monday Morning Quarterback Club Team Luncheon. The public is welcome, but tickets are required. Then, at 2 p.m., the Uptown Street Fest and Pep Rally kicks off a huge celebration with team bands, cheerleaders, players and live music.

And if you have time, make a drive to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum with its collection of almost 750 vintage and modern motorcycles and race cars.

Where to eat: Niki’s West Steak and Seafood, 233 Finley Ave. W, 2.7 miles from the stadium. Some of the best soul food in Alabama. Fried green tomatoes, turnip greens, stewed okra and white beans are favorite sides to daily entree choices.

December 30

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl; Nashville, Tennessee; Nissan Stadium

Hot Chicken Eating World Championship (Photo courtesy of Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl)

Hot Chicken Eating World Championship
(Photo courtesy of Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl)

The home of country music earns a stop on the itinerary. Last year’s Music City Bowl was one of the highest-attended in its 17-year history, and organizers are hopeful to repeat that success this year. To kick things off, there’s a battle off the field on game eve: MusicFest and Battle of the Bands. It begins with the Hot Chicken Eating World Championships, followed by a free concert at Riverfront Park. The evening ends with the two team bands “duking it out” on the streets.

While in town, be sure to make time for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where the history of country music comes alive.

Where to eat: Manny’s House of Pizza, 15 Arcade Alley, 0.8 miles from the stadium. Creative pies are the trademark of this pizzeria, as well as great spaghetti and calzones. A local favorite.

December 31

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl; Atlanta, Georgia; Georgia Dome

Don’t forget to plan a New Year’s Eve stop. When traveling to a city the size of Atlanta, deciding what venues to visit is difficult. And during bowl week, they’re often crowded. The Peach Bowl draws one of the largest of all bowl crowds. Visitors enjoy the restaurants, sights and sounds of The Big Peach, including the Peach Bowl Parade. Dozens of bands and floats pass through the streets.

To narrow down the playing field of other sights to see, there are two places near the Georgia Dome. The College Football Hall of Fame is a touchdown for football fans with its interactive exhibits and helmet and jersey collections. And for fishy folks, there’s the Georgia Aquarium and the inhabitants of its 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water.

Where to eat: Jamal’s Buffalo Wings, 10 Northside Drive NW, 0.7 miles from the stadium. Scramble over to Jamal’s for a football tradition: wings. It’s a hole-in-the-wall, but don’t let that stop you.

January 2

AutoZone Liberty Bowl; Memphis, Tennessee; Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

Bash on Beale Pep Rally (Photo courtesy of AutoZone Liberty Bowl)

Bash on Beale Pep Rally
(Photo courtesy of AutoZone Liberty Bowl)

There’s nothing sad about ending a bowl season journey at the home of the blues. As if Beale Street wasn’t busy on any given day or night, it scores big with an undercurrent of excitement that builds as the Liberty Bowl teams come to town, exploding at the Bash on Beale Pep Rally. The area comes alive beginning at 3 p.m. with a parade featuring local bands, team bands, cheerleaders and more. When the parade ends, the pep rally begins. And this year, it all happens on Jan. 1, the day before the game.
And if there’s time in your schedule, don’t forget a tour of Graceland, as well as Sun Studios where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and more sang the blues.

Where to eat: Soul Fish, 862 S. Cooper St., 1.4 miles from the stadium. The best catfish, Cuban sandwiches and fish tacos in Memphis, but the place scores an extra point for its oyster po’ boys.

Tech-Savvy Traveler:

As if the holidays didn’t provide enough excitement, it’s nearly time for an unending blitz of college bowl games. There are a few apps to help get us even further into the game. Team Stream is a popular sports news app by Bleacher Report. Want the latest scores and highlights? The ESPN app alerts you when your team scores. Searching for a social media society of sports fans? FanCred’s app could help visiting fans survive a trip into hostile territory.