Four Things I Experienced for the First Time After I Moved to Memphis

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 2nd 2012 2526 0

Ed. note: As part of October's month of Memphis firsts, I'm happy to share this guest post from new Memphian Kelsey Jacobson.

I'm new to the Mid-South, and as you can probably imagine, living in Memphis takes some getting used to for someone from up north. I am originally from the great state of North Dakota. My Nodak roots will surely make the Mid-South winters feel balmy, but nothing else about my past prepared me for this. Here are four things I experienced for the first time since I moved to Memphis.

1. Barbecue.

Barbecue Sandwich, Central Barbecue, Memphis, Tenn.

I can finally say I’ve had "real barbecue". Since I moved here, I've been to Rendezvous, Corky's, Central Barbecue, and the Memphis Barbecue Company. But I won't lie to you – I still love Sloppy Joes. And I still consider grilling burgers and brats in the backyard a "barbecue".

2. Bugs. I consider myself an outdoorsy girl. I love to camp, hike and explore, but I still don't take kindly to bugs sharing my home. I had lived here just a few weeks when I spotted what looked like a very large beetle bravely crawling across my living room carpet. I took a picture so I could identify it once it was dead. I became the laughing stock of the Action News 5 morning meeting as my coworkers informed me that it was, in fact, a cockroach.

3. Catfish. Growing up on the Red River taught me what a catfish was and that you never,
under any circumstances, eat one. I always just assumed they were poisonous. I guess what it comesdown to is that the Red River is filthy. But eating catfish seems to be a rite of passage in the South. So, I ordered the fried delicacy at the Blues City Cafe and I loved it. I may not be a huge barbecue connoisseur, but I am now a big fan of catfish. Does that even my score?

4. Basketball.

Tiger Basketball, FedExForum, Memphis, Tenn.

During my interview at Action News 5, the news director took me to my first college basketball game. I grew up watching hockey (go Fighting Sioux!) and spent the last five years cheering on the Boise State Broncos. I was skeptical about basketball. They score so often, I was worried I'd get tired of cheering. The Tigers played well ( or so I was told), and I had my first taste of BBQ Nachos!  Now that is what I consider a win.

I may still have a lot to learn, but I’m definitely embracing what y’all call the Mid-South. See that? I just said y'all!

About the author: Kelsey Jacobson manages and Action News 5’s social media campaigns. She grew up in North Dakota, but recently moved to Memphis from Boise, Idaho, where she was honored with an Emmy Award and two National Edward R. Murrow Awards for her work on KTVB.COM.To read more about her new experiences in Memphis, visit

Kelsey Jacobson, used with permission

Show Comments


  1. Laura P says:

    Is there any advise that you can give to someone moving from the mid-south to the north?  I have recently moved from Memphis to Des Moines…

  2. Laura P says:

    Also, welcome to Memphis and congratulations on your Emmys!

  3. Thanks for the welcome, Laura!  I've never been to Iowa, but one bit of advice I can give — is do not slip up and say Idaho instead of Iowa.  That will bite you.  Another thing that could bite, the bitter cold winters!  Don't underestimate the power of mittens (warmer than gloves), and a hat that covers your head (not earmuffs or a headband).  =)

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