Blue Suede Brigade Greet Tourists, Despite Heat
(Memphis) If you’re in downtown Memphis, you’ve got a friend in Carl Hibler.
Whether you’re looking for food or figuring out how to get there, he won’t steer you wrong.
Hibler is one of 13 brigadiers for the Blue Suede Brigade helping tourists and greeting locals.
The job does have its perks.
”It must feel good to help people,” said Reporter Sabrina Hall.
“Oh yeah, especially when you know what you’re talking about,” said Hibler.
But working in hot weather, isn’t one of them.
“When the humidity is high, it`s just like a sauna out here,” he said.
Hibler says brigadiers get two 15 minute breaks a day, plus lunch.
In between, there’s lots of walking.
They patrol six block beats.
Hibler says when it gets real hot, they do have some options.
For example, trolley drivers offer them free rides and business owners invite them to come inside.
“We go ahead and cool off and come back out,” he said.
And when it gets near 100 degrees, their boss at the Downtown Memphis Commission, re-assigns them.
“We`ll send them to some kind of attraction like Gibson Guitar Factory or the Chinese Museum or the Civil Rights Museum,” said Gaston Davis, the manager of brigadiers.
Either way, brigadiers are ambassadors for Memphis.
“We do free walking tours with tourists, we hand out brochures, maps, coupons,” said Davis.
They put their best face forward until the day’s done and they can leave the hot weather behind them.