A Travellerspoint blog

The Three Kings of Memphis

Martin Luther King, B.J. King, and Elvis


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & AFV Winter 2006 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Friday 24 February 2006

We checked out at 9 and started to drive to Memphis. The right windshield washer is not pointed right so my side of the window is smeary.
Leaving Branson with a smeared windshield

Leaving Branson with a smeared windshield


The car transmission is still not working well. Sometimes the car only goes about 50 mph, and vibrates. When we would stop (like for lunch or fuel), the car would run better for awhile. Although I did not write it up at the time, I think we stopped in Batesville and had lunch at Colton's Steakhouse about noon. I know if was Colton's Steakhouse and it was about noon - I just don't know which Colton's Steakhouse it was.
Colton's sign

Colton's sign


Colton's restaurant

Colton's restaurant

The Legend of J.T. Colton

The Legend of J.T. Colton


Saddle

Saddle

Jackalope through a Window

Jackalope through a Window

Cowboy Etiquette

Cowboy Etiquette

Lunch specials

Lunch specials

Lunch

Lunch

Outhouse

Outhouse


My selfie in the restroom

My selfie in the restroom

Arkansas Youth Equine Program trailer

Arkansas Youth Equine Program trailer


Church from the highway

Church from the highway


Approaching Memphis, the big trucks on the interstate were riding up our tailpipe. It took us 9 or 10 hours to make a trip which should have taken 5 and it was very stressful.
Coming East on the Interstate approaching Memphis

Coming East on the Interstate approaching Memphis


One of the first things we saw when we came across the bridge to Memphis, was the monorail station near the visitor's center.
End of the monorail

End of the monorail

Mud Island monorail

Mud Island monorail


2855299-How_Does_It_Work_Memphis.jpgMonorail

Monorail


Each time we went by, we tried to figure out how it would work. It did look like we could walk across above the monorail.large_2855296-How_Does_It_Work_Memphis.jpgMud Island

Mud Island

We stopped at the entrance to Memphis at the visitor's center about 4 p.m.
Birth of the Blues Egg - front of Visitor's Center

Birth of the Blues Egg - front of Visitor's Center

Sign in Ladies Room

Sign in Ladies Room


and the lady there gave us directions to the base where we didn't have to get back on I-40.
Elvis statue in the Visitor's Center

Elvis statue in the Visitor's Center


In the visitor's center is the original statue of the Vegas jump-suited Elvis which stood on Beale Street plaza near the old site of the Lansky's store. Lansky made Elvis's suits. The statue was so popular tourists climbed onto the base of the statue and managed to pry loose the metal fringe on the jump suit. The statue was refurbished, including the jacket fringe and is now in the Visitors Center along with a statue of B.B. King. In the climate-controlled room he's had all to himself since 1996, the more mature bronze Presley stands on a pedestal that is "alarm protected" according to the plaques by each of his feet.
Statue to BB King in the Visitor Center

Statue to BB King in the Visitor Center

Heading for Millington

Heading for Millington


Driving to Millington through city streets

Driving to Millington through city streets


Apparently at this base there is both a Navy Lodge and a Navy Inn.
Entrance gate to the Navy Base

Entrance gate to the Navy Base


Unfortunately, we are at the Lodge which is not on the base. The Inn has high speed wireless. The Lodge does not. We finally found the Lodge (The Inn is across Navy Road on the base), and checked in. We asked the lady where was a good place to eat, and she recommended two places. Old Timers and Miss Sipps. So we started out to find Old Timers, and drove all the way out Navy Road to US 51. Then on the way back, we saw Miss Sipps, so we stopped there.
Outside of Miss Sipp's

Outside of Miss Sipp's


Inside Miss Sipps

Inside Miss Sipps


The place's name is Miss Sipps Catfish Saloon. So we had to have catfish. Bob had
Two filets with baked potato and coleslaw for $8.98

Two filets with baked potato and coleslaw for $8.98


I had the thin fillets and two sides.
Thin fillets with hush puppies and fried corn on the cob regular portion for $9.39

Thin fillets with hush puppies and fried corn on the cob regular portion for $9.39


I picked a tossed salad and fried corn on the cob (the latter because I wanted to see what it was like - it was good.) For dessert, I had
Peach cobbler a la mode for $2.99

Peach cobbler a la mode for $2.99


As we were checking out, I saw a sign that said
Sign about personal checks

Sign about personal checks


"NOTICE We cash personal checks up to a maximum of $20.00 (twenty dollars) if you have 6 (six) I.D.'s and leave a $50.00 (fifty dollar) cash deposit until check clears bank."

Flag painted on a water tower- sunset

Flag painted on a water tower- sunset

Saturday 25 February 2006

Sign out front from our room

Sign out front from our room

Plants outside our window

Plants outside our window

Each room has a fully equipped kitchenette (dishes, pans, etc.) with a stove, dorm sized refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.
Kitchen area

Kitchen area


We had two double beds with a night table between them, an upholstered chair,
Bed and chair

Bed and chair


a table and chairs,
large_u100_8214.JPG
and a TV which sat on a chest of drawers. There is a radio/clock, irons and ironing boards, and on-site laundry facilities. There was a nice bathroom,
Bathroom sink

Bathroom sink


and maid service came in each day.

We could make free local telephone calls. A free local paper was supplied, which I prefer to getting some generic paper such as USA Today. There is a gym and outdoor tennis courts, outdoor BBQ and playground nearby.
Tennis courts, gym and Navy Lodge (right)

Tennis courts, gym and Navy Lodge (right)


If you have access to the Navy base (which we do), there is an exchange and commissary within a mile or two, and it doesn't take long to get to Memphis to visit the attractions there.

Bob wanted to know where I was going today, and I basically said - nowhere. I was worried about the car, and tired from the trip yesterday. So we stayed in until dinner and watched the Olympics. We went out to dinner and found the Old Timer's. This is "Babe Howard's Old Timers Restaurant" on C Street. They have a reconstruction of the Iwo Jima memorial on top of the restaurant that swings in the wind.
Iwo Jima flag raising on top of a restaurant

Iwo Jima flag raising on top of a restaurant


The entrance was through a mockup of a railroad car,
Entrance to "Old Timer's"

Entrance to "Old Timer's"


Old Timer's Restaurant menu

Old Timer's Restaurant menu

Millington menu at Old Timers

Millington menu at Old Timers


and there was a little model railroad train that could run around the top of the restaurant.
Model train

Model train


We were there by 5:30, and there were people waiting, but since there were only two of us we were seated right away. Lots of large family groups. We were seated back by the kitchen and we could see the cooks rushing back and forth in there, and the servers getting iced tea etc. Interesting to watch.

I didn't get a chance to really peruse the specials board which had a special on crawfish pie ($4.99),
Specials menu board

Specials menu board


so I asked about the dumplings in the the chicken and dumplings.
Chicken, Dumplings, ColeSlaw and rolls for $5.25

Chicken, Dumplings, ColeSlaw and rolls for $5.25


This was certainly a good price. But the dumplings were flat pasta like things with white gravy that looked like Elmer's glue. Bob had
A quarter chicken - smoked and a baked potato $6.25.

A quarter chicken - smoked and a baked potato $6.25.


I asked the waitress about desserts, and she listed a couple of pies, none of which appealed to me, but she did not mention the peach or blackberry cobbler-specials which I would have liked.
Dessert carrousel

Dessert carrousel


We went back to our room.

Sunday 26 February 2006

Bob woke up last night and said, "I know what the problem is with the car - it is a fuel restriction". Then he went back to sleep. So when we finally got up, he said that he was afraid that the car might stop running altogether so we shouldn't go anywhere. I had Bob's piece of chicken that he didn't finish for lunch, and he had pb&j.
Navy Jet on Display

Navy Jet on Display


We decided to go to Perkins for dinner, and he had the
Senior turkey dinner with corn, mashed potatoes and a roll

Senior turkey dinner with corn, mashed potatoes and a roll


and I had a breakfast -
Two eggs, hash browns and corned beef.

Two eggs, hash browns and corned beef.


We watched Dancing with the Stars alternately with the final ceremonies of the Olympics.

Monday, 27 February 2006

Bob called the Mercedes dealer and they said to bring it in and they'd work it into the rotation. So we did, and then we rented a car from Budget. The guy that gave us a lift to the Budget place was driving a very fancy Mercedes limo.
The two of us reflected in mirrors inside the limo

The two of us reflected in mirrors inside the limo

Some of the fittings in the limo

Some of the fittings in the limo

Ceiling mirror in fancy Mercedes Fuel Cell Limo

Ceiling mirror in fancy Mercedes Fuel Cell Limo

Limousine from inside the Budget office

Limousine from inside the Budget office


Budget gave us a white Chrysler for $32/day. I tried Enterprise first and it was $36/day although it was much less than that when I looked on the internet.

After we got the car, we drove in toward the Visitor's Center because one of the things I wanted to do was ride the trolleys, and the lady at the visitor's center had told me that we could catch the loop trolley from there and ride all the way around.

But while we were driving I called the Blues City Tour desk and asked about the morning tour which we had a $2 off coupon for. It started at 10 and was 3 hours. The dispatcher said that they picked up from the Visitor's Center about 9:45.
Flags outside the Visitor's Center

Flags outside the Visitor's Center


So we parked and waited for the tour bus to pick us up. When we got to the tour agency, there was $1 fuel surcharge, but the discount coupon still saved each of us $1 over the original price. I asked and was allowed to sit in the passenger seat next to the driver, which was good except that the front window was dirty.
City Sightseeing tours

City Sightseeing tours


We drove all over the city and I took over 200 pictures. The tour included:

  • Sun Studio where Elvis recorded his first record.

By coincidence, driving to Memphis we heard a NPR reading from "Dewey and Elvis: The Life and Times of a Rock 'n' Roll Deejay" the biography of Dewey Phillips written by Louis Cantor, a professor of history at Indiana University.
2801697-Sun_Studios_Memphis.jpgSun Studios

Sun Studios


Dewey Phillips and Sam Phillips (no relation to each other) had a very brief record company partnership in 1950 in a company called "It's The Phillips" which issued only one record. Sam Phillips continued working in the recording business as the Memphis Recording Service, and in 1952, he started Sun Records.

The Memphis Recording Service, in addition to recording bar mitzvahs, weddings also recorded personal records for people walking in off the street. For four dollars they would record two songs. A young truck driver in Memphis named Elvis Presley stopped in one day on his lunch hour to record a song for his mother's birthday. Sam Phillips was not there that day, so Marion Keisker, the Sun office manager, recorded Elvis. Marion kept urging Sam to record Elvis.

In 1954, Sam made the recording of Elvis singing "That's All Right, Mama" (Sun 209). Sam took a dub of the record to Dewey Phillips, who was a top DJ on WHBQ. Dewey played the song over and over on his program "Red, Hot and Blue". We are not rabid Elvis fans, so this was news to us - we had never heard of Dewey Phillips before but the reading of the book made a good introduction to the Memphis music scene of the 50s

Sun Studio is open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. Tours are given at the bottom of every hour on the half hour starting at 10:30 and ending at 5:30. Sun Studio requires at least 1 to 1.5 hours. The tour ticket price is $9.50 per person, & children under 12 are free. We apologize, but due to the nature of our guided performance tour, children 3 & under are not allowed to take the tour. No reservations are necessary.

  • The tour drove by the building which formerly housed the Cadillac dealership

where Elvis bought his cars (and also a car for anyone else that happened to be there on the off hours),

  • Autozone Park (For the Redbirds - a farm team for the Cardinals)

2801699-Park_from_the_bus_Memphis.jpgAutozone park entrance

Autozone park entrance


Redbirds fans enjoy:
- An Open Concourse allowing them to never lose sight of the game
- The Wolfchase Toyota Picnic Pavilion hosting as many as 500 fans
Sign

Sign


- Lawn seating on the Bluff (Please Note: No Chairs Allowed)
- Club Seats with access to an air conditioned concourse and specialty foods
- A state-of-the-art Press box and Super LED Video Board
- The Boardwalk - A family-oriented games and amusement area
Ticket windows

Ticket windows


- P.D. Parrot's Playhouse Perch, sponsored by Baptist Pediatric Care (a playground and fun zone located next to the Bluff)
You can have a tour "behind the scenes" for $5.00 per person

  • Churches I took photos of three different Memphis Churches.

Calvary Episcopal 102 N 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103
Calvary Episcopal

Calvary Episcopal


Calvary Episcopal Church was founded circa 1832. The surviving 1844 nave is the city's oldest public building still in use.

St. Peter's Roman Catholic 190 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
Sign for St. Peter Catholic Church

Sign for St. Peter Catholic Church


St. Peter Catholic Church which was founded in 1840, the first Roman Catholic parish in West Tennessee and given to the Dominican Order in 1846. The present church was built 1852-1855 around a smaller church, which was then dismantled and carried out the doors.
Detail of St. Peter's

Detail of St. Peter's


First Church United Methodist 204 N 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38105
First Church from down the street

First Church from down the street


This church's history started on the first Sunday in February, 1826, when a young Methodist circuit rider, the Reverend Thomas P. Davidson, held a service of worship for a small society of Methodists. This service was the first for the group of citizens who formed the First Methodist Society. It was also the first church of any religion in the city of Memphis. Organizing members of the society were Mrs. Paulina Perkins, a young widow; Elijah Coffee, a shoemaker and itinerant preacher; and a Mr. Dickens, a Portuguese. In March, 1832, the Reverend Mr. Owen made a fervent appeal to the congregation to build a church and to build it at once. Up to this time, there was not a single place in the town of Memphis dedicated to the worship of God. Shortly thereafter, the lot upon which the Pepper Memorial Sunday School Building now stands was purchased from John Overton for $200. It is interesting to note that no building other than the church has stood upon this land.
First Church United Methodist

First Church United Methodist


The cost of the church building was approximately $150. The first service was held in June, although the building was not yet complete. This was the “Old Meeting House,” the first church edifice of any denomination in Memphis. In 1885, a building committee was again appointed to investigate the possibilities of building a larger church. In 1885, construction began on a new church structure. The congregation moved into the completed church in January, 1893. The new building of granite and limestone was one of the largest and most handsome in the South

  • Hospitals - The tour included all the hospital buildings

Children's Medical Center

Children's Medical Center


(including the Elvis Presley trauma center,
Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center

Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center


the Regional Medical Center
Regional Medical Center sign

Regional Medical Center sign

Adams Pavillion in the Regional Medical Center

Adams Pavillion in the Regional Medical Center


and the construction site where Baptist Hospital used to be).
Construction where Baptist Hospital was

Construction where Baptist Hospital was


And we even had a stop at Danny Thomas's St. Jude's hospital.

  • Victorian Village.

We drove along Adams Avenue on the city tour. There are homes in the area which were built between 1846 and the 1890s which have been rescued by interested citizens.
Mallory Neely House 1852

Mallory Neely House 1852


The architectural styles range from Neo-classical through Late Gothic Revival. The oldest home in the area is the Massey House (ca. 1846),
Massey House c. 1847

Massey House c. 1847


which was built for Benjamin A. Massey, an early Memphis lawyer. Another one is Fontaine House
2806704-City_Architecture_Memphis.jpgFontaine House c 1870

Fontaine House c 1870


and the Gingerbread Playhouse which is behind it.
Playhouse c 1890

Playhouse c 1890


It was built in the 1890s by J. W. Handwerker, a pharmacist, for his children. It has also been used as an office and a beauty parlor.
Woodruff Fontain House Museum 1870

Woodruff Fontain House Museum 1870


The Woodruff Fontaine house was bought by Noland Fontaine from Amos Woodruff in 1883.
He was president of Hill, Fontaine & Co., at one time the world's third largest cotton company. The Fontaines lived in the house for 46 years.

  • The courthouse

Shelby County Courthouse

Shelby County Courthouse

Civil War Capitol

Civil War Capitol

Washburn's Quarters

Washburn's Quarters

Current statue of Elvis at FedEx Forum

Current statue of Elvis at FedEx Forum

FedEx Forum

FedEx Forum

  • The Peabody Hotel.

Approaching  the Peabody Hotel

Approaching the Peabody Hotel

Looking across the guide to the hotel entrance

Looking across the guide to the hotel entrance


Before I went on the Memphis City Tour, I had never heard of the Peabody Hotel. But the tour driver told us that the Peabody is renowned for the March of the Ducks. Here we got out and went into the Peabody Hotel
Lobby

Lobby

Fountain before the ducks get there

Fountain before the ducks get there

Stained glass ceiling

Stained glass ceiling


to observe the ducks - at 11:00 they would come down from the roof on the elevator,
Elevator with duck insignia on floor

Elevator with duck insignia on floor


and waddle down the red carpet and jump into the fountain in the center of the lobby where they would stay until 5 pm
Duck fountain

Duck fountain


when they would go back up the elevator. This tradition dates back to 1933. In the center of the lobby is a fountain which is where the ducks swim. On one side is a bar, and there is also a player piano in the lobby.
Player Piano

Player Piano


On the advice of the tour guide I went up on the mezzanine to watch, but it was so dark and there were such crowds of people
Crowds around the duck walk

Crowds around the duck walk


that my pictures don't amount to much. It's really fun to see though, and is one of the iconic sights of Memphis.

Tidbits from the hotel website
-The Peabody's lobby fountain is cut from one enormous piece of travertine marble made and shipped from Italy for the hotel's 1925 opening. The colorful flowers adorning the top of the fountain are changed out every other day in the middle of the night.
Ducks swimming in the fountain

Ducks swimming in the fountain


- When off-duty from the Lobby, the ducks live in their Royal Duck Palace on the hotel's rooftop.

Children with stuffed mallard toy

Children with stuffed mallard toy


Jewelry on display in the lobby

Jewelry on display in the lobby

Lansky's: Elvis's Taylor
Lansky Book Poster at Peabody entrance

Lansky Book Poster at Peabody entrance


The tour bus driver told us to look in the lobby for the poster for Lansky's because he was the tailor who made Elvis' costumes.
Lansky's clothing shop

Lansky's clothing shop


The website says:
We supplied Elvis with his flashy early clothes (the Hi-Boy collar shirts, the peg-legged pants, the Pink/Black combinations) and his famous Gold Lame' jacket for his early hip-swiveling performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. As Elvis spread the word, calls from around the world began pouring in. Everyone wanted to dress like Elvis!
Old archive photo of the store

Old archive photo of the store


Our gigantic list of recording star/customers includes Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Issac Hayes, Bobby Blue Bland, and many more.

But there are other shops in the Peabody also such as the Lucky Duck
2799451-Looking_toward_the_gift_shop_Memphis.jpgLucky Duck Gift shop from mezzanine

Lucky Duck Gift shop from mezzanine

Gift shop closer

Gift shop closer


Next we stopped at the

  • Danny Thomas memorial shrine and cemetery at St. Jude's hospital.

St Jude's Medical Center

St Jude's Medical Center

Entrance to the hospital

Entrance to the hospital


There was a pavilion there with a little museum which detailed the life of Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas Visitor's Center

Danny Thomas Visitor's Center

Memorial plaque outside

Memorial plaque outside


Danny's career as an entertainer listed here

Danny's career as an entertainer listed here

Plaque lauding Danny Thomas as a humanitarian

Plaque lauding Danny Thomas as a humanitarian


and the history of ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities)
American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities

American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities


and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The website says The architectural layout of the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion emits a star-like shape with five alcoves surrounding the rotunda. Considered to be a modernistic representation of the world, the Pavilion’s design symbolizes the far-reaching scope of ALSAC and the work of St. Jude.

-St. Jude Gift Shop: The Memorial is the repository for thousands of artifacts from Danny Thomas's life. Its presence allows the hospital to further raise funds for the facility by operating an extensive gift shop with an on-line "The Hope Catalog."I went in and took a few pictures, but I didn't buy anything.
Door to shop with hours painted on it

Door to shop with hours painted on it

Display - bags, shirts, mugs, hats etc

Display - bags, shirts, mugs, hats etc


You can make a contribution to St. Jude's and send a card for an anniversary, birthday, wedding, thank you, memorial or for other occasions. They have regular merchandise - books, music, accessories (lapel pins, hats, key chains, bags, umbrellas, watches), clothing, jewelry, candles, pillows, car accessories, golf balls, mirrors, stationary and many other items.
Checkout counter with TV playing D. Thomas

Checkout counter with TV playing D. Thomas


"The Right Words at the Right Time" is a book by Marlo Thomas ($24.95

There was also a chapel.
Looking into the chapel

Looking into the chapel

Inside the chapel

Inside the chapel

Adjacent to the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion is the Danny and Rose Marie Thomas Memorial Garden
large_n100_8068s.JPG
which is not only the site of the burial crypt
Memorial at the gravesite

Memorial at the gravesite


but a functional park which furnishes a contemplative setting for hospital staff workers and visitors alike to enjoy a peaceful place for relaxation.
Looking toward the waterfall end of the garden

Looking toward the waterfall end of the garden


After I briefly toured the Pavilion, I walked around to the Memorial Garden which was quite peaceful and beautiful even though it was late winter or early spring and there weren't many flowers in bloom.
Waterfall wall

Waterfall wall


Here is the grave of Muzyard Yaakoob (Amos Jacobs) AKA Danny Thomas. Birth: Jan. 6, 1914 Death: Feb. 6, 1991 and his wife Rose Marie Thomas Birth: Mar. 6, 1914 Death: Jul. 12, 2000. Danny Thomas's name is a derivative from the names of two of his brothers. His parents were Syrian, and the story goes that as a young man, he prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, to “show me my way in life.
Closeup of the memorial site

Closeup of the memorial site


Many years later (after he starred for many years in the TV show "Make Room for Daddy" ), he decided to build a memorial hospital to St. Jude as an expression of gratitude for his success. Memphis was chosen as the site because it was more or less the center of the country, so that it would be accessible to almost everyone.
PULL UP - Gate Will Open

PULL UP - Gate Will Open


On leaving we went to a gate where the sign said "Pull Up - Gate Will Open". I thought of course that the driver would have to get out and pull something up. No of course not. It meant pull the car up to the gate and then it would open.

  • The pyramid - Are we in Egypt?

The only surviving one of the Seven Ancient Wonders is the Great Pyramid of Giza, the necropolis of ancient Memphis, and today part of Greater Cairo in Egypt. When the Memphis in Tennessee was founded in 1819 and incorporated as a city in 1826 it took its name from the old Egyptian capital.
The pyramid

The pyramid

It took me a little time to figure out why Memphis would have a big Egyptian pyramid as an appropriate symbol for the city. It could be the sixth largest pyramid in the world behind the Great Pyramid of Giza (456 ft), Khafre's Pyramid (448 ft), Luxor Hotel (348 ft), the Red Pyramid (341 ft) and the Bent Pyramid (332 ft), both in Dahshur. It is also slightly (about 16 feet) taller than the Statue of Liberty.
Looking down the street from the city tour bus

Looking down the street from the city tour bus


A statue of Ramesses the Great stood in front of the pyramid. In 2011, this statue was sold to the University of Memphis for the cost of $1.
Are we in Egypt? Pyramid and statue of  Ramesses the Great which stood here until 2011

Are we in Egypt? Pyramid and statue of Ramesses the Great which stood here until 2011


The official name of the Pyramid is "The Great American Pyramid."
The Pyramid is 321 feet tall, or 32 stories.
The Memphis, Tennessee pyramid is a 1/6th size replica of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.
The arena seated 21,000.
The Pyramid's exterior is clad in stainless steel.
They built the 32-story Pyramid Arena in 1991. At that time, it was the home court for the University of Memphis men's basketball program. When the National Basketball Association's Grizzlies moved from Vancouver in 1995, and became the Memphis Grizzlies, they also played here. The Grizzlies moved to the FedEx Forum in 2005 so they are trying to figure out what to do with the pyramid now, The pyramid is visible from almost everywhere downtown, and approaching Memphis from the river side

We drove past

  • the Lorraine Motel where MLK was assassinated.

The first picture I took through the van window and is the only one I have of the Civil Rights Museum protester.
The Lorraine Hotel and protestor on left

The Lorraine Hotel and protestor on left


She has a street stand where she sits whenever the museum is open. She apparently makes a pretty good living here -- according to the tour guide, she was a guest in the Lorraine Motel when King was shot, and she objected to being evicted so that they could make a museum of it. Unfortunately, when I went back the next day (Tuesday) to get a better picture of her, the museum was closed and so she was not there.
Balcony outside MLK's room and student tour

Balcony outside MLK's room and student tour


The ring on the balcony in the second picture is where M. L. King was standing when he was shot.
Cars that were parked outside the motel at the time of the assassination including a limo

Cars that were parked outside the motel at the time of the assassination including a limo


In addition to the section of the museum that is in the motel, (Room 306 and 307 are just as they were when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968)
Front of building where shooter was

Front of building where shooter was


there is an additional part in the Young and Morrow building and the 420 Main Street rooming house where the fatal shot was allegedly fired by James Earl Ray. This section was opened in 2002.

Then she let us out on

  • Beale Street to walk around and see the sights.

Beale Street

Beale Street


2809972-Beale_Street_Memphis.jpgBeale Street

Beale Street


wrought iron

wrought iron


Pork with an Attitude

Pork with an Attitude

Shopping

Shopping

2809974-Beale_Street_Memphis.jpgBeale Street

Beale Street


Alfred's

Alfred's


Dyers Burgers: World Famous? We ate lunch at Dyers (founded in 1912)
Front of Dyers

Front of Dyers

Part of menu outside

Part of menu outside

Dyers

Dyers

Behind the bar

Behind the bar

Inside of restaurant

Inside of restaurant


We each had a hamburger and I had an ice cream soda, and Bob had a milkshake - made with real ice cream.
DYER'S SINGLE  	$3.49

DYER'S SINGLE $3.49


Their website says:
Old fashioned soda fountain - archive photo

Old fashioned soda fountain - archive photo


Featuring ICE CREAM
AUTHENTIC "SODA JERK" FLOATS
Your choice of Soda topped with Vanilla Ice Cream $3.99
THE ORIGINAL "SUPER DOOPER" ROOT BEER FLOAT
The one and only made with "IBC" Root Beer $3.99
Dyers drinks

Dyers drinks


MILK SHAKES
Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry $3.99

We could also have had a deep fried twinkie or a hot apple dumpling with ice cream

We walked up and saw W. C. Handy's statue in Handy Park. W. C. Handy Performing Arts Park.
Address: 200 Beale Street
This park named for him has blues music concerts and even parades down Beale Street to the park.
Park entrance

Park entrance


William Christopher Handy has been called the Father of the Blues. His statue is at the park entrance.
W C Handy statue

W C Handy statue


The side of the monument says
Base of the statue

Base of the statue


His life is the tale of three streets, Beale Street in Memphis, Market Street in St. Louis and Broadway in New York City
Other side of the base which has a long inscription that is almost impossible to read

Other side of the base which has a long inscription that is almost impossible to read


The sign says
Sign at the park

Sign at the park


In memory of
W. C. Handy
Composer
Music Pubisher
Father of the Blues
1976
Erected by the Association
of Afro-American Life and History
In Cooperation with the
Amoco Foundation,

If we don't have it
A. Schwab sign   (est. 1876)

A. Schwab sign (est. 1876)


... You don't want it
Address: 163 Beale Street
I was interested in the Schwab drugstore because my grandmother was a Schwab, so when the tour let us out on Beale Street for lunch, I took a photo of it.. Their motto apparently is, "If we don't have it, you don't need it."
Schwab store

Schwab store


In 1876, Jewish immigrant Abraham Schwab opened a store on Beale Street. Over its 138-year history, A. Schwab has become a Memphis institution, beloved by many generations. A. Schwab is the only original business remaining on Beale Street.

Closeup of the Orpheum sign

Closeup of the Orpheum sign


We didn't get a chance to actually visit the Orpheum. We just saw it from the outside. The original building (the Grand Opera House) was built in 1890. In 1907, the Grand became part of the Orpheum Circuit of vaudeville shows, thus the theatre became known as the Orpheum. Then in 1923, the theatre burned to the ground. In 1928, a new Orpheum was built on the original site but it was twice as large. In 1940 a movie chain bought the theatre and presented first run movies until 1976. Sometime in the 50s, the Orpheum acquired a ghost in a white dress and pigtails sitting in seat C-5, Box 5. She is known as Mary and has never disrupted a performance.
603371352800261-Theatre_from..et_Memphis.jpgOrpheum Theater

Orpheum Theater


In 1982, a renovation was begun, and the theatre was reopened in 1984. Now it presents 10-12 large-scale Broadway shows a year. It is also used by Ballet Memphis and Opera Memphis

Then we got back on the bus
Sign for Peabody Place

Sign for Peabody Place


Peabody Place is part of a downtown renewal effort that includes complexes of restaurants, shops and apartments.
2801638-Peabody_Place_from_the_park_Memphis.jpg2801639-Peabody_Place_from_the_street_Memphis.jpg
We saw it from the sightseeing van, but did not go in.
Looking under/through to Peabody Place

Looking under/through to Peabody Place


and did a drive-by of Silky O'Sullivans- I was intrigued by the building next door with the false front propped up by beams
2806634-Afternoon_Views_Memphis.jpgSilky's with false facade next door

Silky's with false facade next door

2806710-City_Architecture_Memphis.jpgCity Architecture

City Architecture

  • Graceland, We did not take the version of the Memphis tour which allowed us to go into Graceland.

2807407-Sign_Memphis.jpgThe Graceland sign

The Graceland sign


I like Elvis' singing, but I had no real desire to fight the mobs to go through the whole tour, so I just took some pictures from the bus.
Graceland from the road

Graceland from the road


My daughter did visit Graceland when she was driving through Memphis and she said it was quite interesting.
Place where you buy tickets from the bus

Place where you buy tickets from the bus


Birthplace of Rock N'Roll

Birthplace of Rock N'Roll

  • Heartbreak Hotel and Lonely Street

Heartbreak Hotel was named after a song which was written by Tommy Durden who was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street." Another Nashville songwriter named Mae Boren Axton wrote the music.

Elvis performed the song in 1955, and it became a hit (his first #1 hit on the Billboard pop charts) after Elvis performed it on The Dorsey Brothers TV show in 1956

Lyrics for: Heartbreak Hotel

Well

Since my baby
Left me
I've found a new
Place to dwell
It's down at the end
Of Lonely Street
The Heartbreak Hotel
Sign with "Lonely Street" sign

Sign with "Lonely Street" sign


I get so lonely
Baby
You make me so lonely
I get so lonely
I could die

And though it's
Always crowded
You can still find
Some room
For broken-hearted
Lovers
Do cry away their gloom

And be so lonely
Oh
So lonely
They get so lonely
They could die

The bell hop's tears
Keep flowing
The desk clerk's dressed
In black
They've been so long
On Lonely Street
They never will
Go back

And they're so lonely
Oh
They're so lonely
They're so lonely
They pray to die

So if your baby
Leaves you
And you have a tale
To tell
Just take a walk
Down Lonely Street
To Heartbreak Hotel

Where you'll be lonely
And I'll be lonely
We'll be so lonely
We could die

I'm not quite sure why anyone would want to stay in a hotel that was named for such a sad song. I doubt if it dates back to 1956 - it probably opened after Graceland was opened to tourists in 1982.

Rooms are $99-104 for a double

  • Elvis's Planes- Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II

Planes from the tour bus

Planes from the tour bus


One of the things you can do at Graceland is tour Elvis's two planes. According to Rolling Stone:
Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie


People lined up to go aboard

People lined up to go aboard


The Lisa Marie, a Convair 880 named after the rock legend's daughter, features a red-white-and-blue exterior, gold-plated bathroom fixtures, a stereo system, a conference room and bed. Presley bought the jet from Delta Air Lines for $250,000 in April 1975; refurbishing brought the total to over $600,000, and he first boarded the craft in November of that year. Presley purchased The Hound Dog II, a Lockheed JetStar, in 1975 for around $900,000 as he awaited renovations for the Lisa Marie.
Hound Dog II

Hound Dog II


There has been a recent controversy about the location of the planes. but at present they are still listed at Graceland:

After that, they took us back to the Visitor's Center which is right on the river.
Tug with barges

Tug with barges

Informational sign about the riverbank

Informational sign about the riverbank


Paddlewheels Along the Mississippi? You can take a paddlewheel cruise on the Mississippi here in Memphis - in the spring and summer.
Paddlewheels through a railing

Paddlewheels through a railing


Since we were here in February, it was too early for a cruise or water activities on the river. When we were here they were docked near the Visitor's Center. They are now boarding at the new Beale Street Landing 251 Riverside Drive Memphis, TN 38103
2855222-Paddlewheel_boat_at_the_dock_Memphis.jpgPaddle wheel boats

Paddle wheel boats


We called the Mercedes place and they said that the two left door locks were leaking (which we kind of knew and it wasn't a priority) and they would have to replace them. Wouldn't be done today.

We drove back to Millington, and tried really hard to find a steakhouse that was listed as being in the 6600 block of US 51, but could not. So we ended up at Ryan's which is a buffet.
Ryans

Ryans


This chain is part of the company that also includes Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, Fire Mountain and Country Buffet. This is a buffet chain which always includes comfort foods such as
-Fresh made Macaroni and Cheese
-Hand-Breaded Fried Chicken
-Fried Fish
-Baked Chicken
-Baked Fish
Salads

Salads

Meat

Meat


On the Side
You’ll also find just the right side dishes made in small batches for every meal, like:
-Mashed Potatoes
-Rice and Gravy
-Fresh Vegetables
-French Fries
-Corn Bread Dressing
-Two Home-Style Soup Favorites
Desserts

Desserts


large_n100_8208.JPGlarge_x100_8207.JPG
We weren't too happy with the service here. Not only did the girl checking us in have to swipe Bob's card about 20 times before it 'took', but she didn't ask him what he wanted to drink (so he drank water - he was going to drink root beer), and when she asked if we wanted to put the tip on the charge and Bob said yes to put on $3.00, she added only 30 cents. Bob did leave an extra couple of bucks.
Receipt

Receipt


We left at about 7:30.

When we got back to the Navy Lodge, we were locked out of our room because while they had extended the time on the computer at the desk, they hadn't reprogrammed the keys. The front desk was completely locked up and dark as they are not open past 7 pm. Because my phone was on all day waiting for the Mercedes place to call, I left it charging in the unit. So I called on the white phone in the anteroom and got the Navy Inn. She said to come over and she would reprogram our keys

The desk had also said we would have to check out on Wednesday, so I asked the Inn whether they would have two more days, and she said to check with the Lodge tomorrow that maybe someone would check out, but if not, she did have space. The reprogramming did work, and we did get back in the room.

Tuesday 28 February 2006

We left the Lodge about 10 after I called the MATA (Memphis Transportation people) and asked about getting transfers for riding the different rail lines. We drove down to the Visitor's Center again (where you can park for free),
Memphis Blues Birth egg at the Visitor's Center

Memphis Blues Birth egg at the Visitor's Center


and walked over to the trolley stop. The farebox on each trolley is designed to accept cash fares and passes. The farebox does not dispense change and bus operators are not allowed to handle money or make change for fares. Please have exact fare amount ready to deposit into the farebox. The farebox also does not accept pennies or foreign objects. All trolley base fares are designed for one-way trips:

There are three trolley lines in downtown Memphis and they are all old versions of the New Orleans streetcars with quite rough rail beds and wooden seats. The antique trolleys are being renovated (as of 2014). We rode all three loops. We got on the Riverside Loop carLooking down the trolley tracks

Looking down the trolley tracks


and paid 50 cents each (as old people - half regular rate).
Bob talking to trolley driver

Bob talking to trolley driver


We asked about a transfer and he said we couldn't get one unless we transferred to the Madison Street line.
Transfer

Transfer


The Loop car goes up Riverside and then comes down Main (which is not open to vehicular traffic).
Lorraine Motel Museum from the Main Street trolley on Tuesday

Lorraine Motel Museum from the Main Street trolley on Tuesday

Sign on the trolley

Sign on the trolley


Station

Station

Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas sign

Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas sign


We got off at Madison. There was no trolley stop station for transferring to the Madison car, but eventually, one came and we transferred.
Waiting on Main Street

Waiting on Main Street

Pedestrians Yield

Pedestrians Yield

2806708-City_Architecture_Memphis.jpgCity Architecture

City Architecture


The main feature of the Madison car was going by the Wonderbread bakery, which you can tell by smell alone
Wonder Bread Sign

Wonder Bread Sign


WonderBread

WonderBread

large_2809995-Madison_Street_Trolley_Memphis.jpg
. At the end of the line, we paid again (another $1.00 for the two of us) and got another transfer.
Madison Street Trolley

Madison Street Trolley


We picked up a lady in a wheelchair when we went over Presley Blvd.
inside Madison Street Trolley

inside Madison Street Trolley


Madison Street trolley

Madison Street trolley


We transferred to the Main Street-Loop Trolley.
Main Street Trolley

Main Street Trolley


When we got opposite the pyramid on the Loop car, there was a red light ahead of us. We could hear a train. The trolley driver was annoyed because there weren't supposed to be Amtrak trains running then. She called dispatch and they didn't know anything about it either. But we could hear a LOT of whistling. Maybe a freight train.
Pyramid from the streetcar

Pyramid from the streetcar


Eventually one single engine appeared, whistling its head off, and the gates went down on each intersection until it came behind a building that was to our left and then there was silence. The light was still red for us.
From the streetcar

From the streetcar


Eventually one of the lights (there were two) turned green,
Single engine

Single engine


so the trolley proceeded across the train tracks.

We asked at the visitor's center for a good BBQ place,
Elvis Statue

Elvis Statue


and the lady there sent us to Neely’s Barbecue - The Finest the World Over.
Front door of the restaurant

Front door of the restaurant


Apparently Neely's has two locations in Memphis and one in Nashville.
Sign out front

Sign out front


The restaurant was started in 1988 by four brothers. By 1997, it was voted the best ribs in Memphis and then in Nashville. Al Roker has given Neely's his stamp of approval, and they have also been featured on Good Morning America, and The Food Network with Bobby Flay. Their food is served in FedEXForum in Memphis and Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. Neely's BBQ sauce is sold in local grocery stores, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. They also do catering.
Bob and me reflected in the mirror behind booth

Bob and me reflected in the mirror behind booth


Bob had the
Small pork sandwich ($4.69)

Small pork sandwich ($4.69)


and I had the
Large beef sandwich ($5.69)

Large beef sandwich ($5.69)


I also had peach cobbler with ice cream. I thought it was all very good.

We went to the Botanical Gardens and walked around there - the little trolley train was broken and they didn't have money to fix it.
Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

Bird sculpture

Bird sculpture

Botanical Garden fountain

Botanical Garden fountain


Not much was in bloom -
Purple Crocus

Purple Crocus


some crocuses, a lot of daffodils,
2800409-Daffodils_Memphis.jpgDaffodils

Daffodils


and a few camellias.
e0036330-568c-11ea-bf37-1385754b6550.jpgf123b200-568c-11ea-bf37-1385754b6550.jpg

But it was a proper Botanical Garden with everything labeled.
Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Perennial Phlox

Perennial Phlox

We looked at the big koi
Koi

Koi


(there was no food in the feeders for them
Empty Fish Feeder

Empty Fish Feeder


and watched the Canada geese honking, hissing at each other and running around in the Japanese garden.
Canada Geese

Canada Geese


Bob exiting the Japanese Garden

Bob exiting the Japanese Garden


Then we drove over to the Mercedes place to see what they were doing. I called from my cell phone, and we parked in the parking lot there while Shaun (the service advisor) was going and talking to the mechanic and them coming back to talk to us. I finally said - it is silly to sit here in the parking lot talking to him in there on the phone - let's go in.

They fixed the two window actuators which were leaking vacuum (and really didn't need to be fixed) and had tested it and found more leaks and couldn't get the parts in less than 2 days, which would be Friday. Bob was annoyed because he didn't think that the vacuum system was the problem, he thought it was a fuel delivery problem. But since we couldn't have the car that day, so we drove the rental back to the Lodge, after picking up some food from
Sonic

Sonic


I called the hotel in Bowling Green and canceled the Wednesday reservation.

Wednesday 1 March 2006

Mud Island logo from across the river

Mud Island logo from across the river

Shaun was supposed to call this morning and tell us when we could have the car. I wanted to go to Mud Island and go to the museum. So I stopped using the phone line here with the computer and took a shower at 7:30 and then went to playing games and editing photos until Shaun called at 10. Bob asked if they had changed the fuel filter, and they had not. So he told them to do that.

According to my tourist guide, the monorail would start running in March, so while we were driving in, I called the Mud Island people, and they didn't answer the phone, so I called the visitor's center. They said that the train was not running, and no one was sure whether it would open even in April. So we never got to see how it would work, and we never were able to visit Mud Island either.The website says: Don’t miss the opportunity to experience great views of downtown Memphis, the Mississippi River and Mud Island River Park. Step aboard a cabin and let our Swiss-made monorail whisk you across the harbor to Mud Island River Park. Traveling at an average speed of 7 miles per hour, each cabin can carry up to 180 passengers for the exciting 1/3 mile trip.

I took a photo of a park along the river. When I asked the tour bus driver, she didn't know anything about it.
Park from the trolley

Park from the trolley


I have decided that this park is Confederate Park. The council temporarily changed the names of Confederate Park to Memphis Park but there is controversy about this decision.

The Historic-Memphis website describes this park. Confederate Park at 51 North Front Street

Confederate Park was designed by George Kessler as a Memorial to the Civil War, and was dedicated in 1908. It was part of Kessler's original "Grand Design" for Memphis. During the Civil War, the Mississippi River at Memphis was the site of an intense battle as Southern forces fought to keep control of the waterfront. It wasn't enough. The Union crushed the Confederacy. Many lives were lost as well as the control of Memphis and the entire river. Those troops who died are remembered at Confederate Park. Today, the park provides a great perspective of where the battle occurred and there are markers where you can read first-hand what happened during the battle.Canon in the park

Canon in the park


In spite of the Civil War theme, Confederate park became a dumping ground for a lot of old junk, none related to the Civil War - battered artillery from WWI, E. H. Crump's totem pole, and a concrete block inscribed with the Ten Commandments, as well as numerous fountains.
Looking down the street to a fountain

Looking down the street to a fountain


In 1964, the park finally got its Civil War centerpiece, a statue of Jefferson Davis. Davis had lived in Memphis from 1875 to 1878 and a group raised the money to erect the statue.
Jefferson Davis statue in the park

Jefferson Davis statue in the park


Originally, the park had authentic Civil War cannons, but they were sacrificed for scrap metal during WWII and later WWII cannons were added to the park.
Gun in park from below

Gun in park from below


Those cannons have been removed and the Shelby County Historical Commission has announced plans to purchase 4 reproduction Civil War cannons to place in Confederate park.

We drove to the Mercedes dealership. Did we get the car fixed? Read the next installment to find out.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 15:06 Archived in USA

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Comments

Mallory Neely house looks like combination of an castle and antebellum home, I am not sure if I like the look of it or don't.

I didn't know that Elvis had been an truck driver before his singing career. Maybe his life would have ended to be happier if he would kept on driving. But he sure did have an handsome voice!

What a clever ducks! Did they drive the elevator by themselves or were their "guardian" with them?

Did you ever find out why they had the pyramid in Memphis?

by hennaonthetrek

The house is Italianate Victorian, and the tower has been enlarged so I think it is out of scale with the rest of the house.

Originally the ducks had a Duck Master who trained them - someone else does run the elevator for them. They are raised on a nearby farm and they only serve in the hotel for 3 months and then they go back and live as wild ducks.

The pyramid was built as a basketball arena and it was built as a pyramid was an homage to the original city of Memphis in Egypt.

by greatgrandmaR

Interesting tradition, I wonder how it started. By an accident or did someone some morning get an idea that it would be cool to have ducks coming to my hotel lobby to play in the fountain :)

by hennaonthetrek

Back in the day, duck hunters were allowed to use live decoys. A couple of them including the hotel manager thought it would be cool to put their live ducks in the fountain. THe guests loved it so they kept doing it.

by greatgrandmaR

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