Memphis – How a King lived and died

I recently visited Memphis, TN, my son had a cross country meet there, and I figured as long as I was going I might as well see some sights. Before I left, I got some local information from my high school friend Cindy who had lived there recently before returning back to the ATL. She was very helpful and insightful, and I actually made it to a couple of the places she suggested – thanks Cindy.

I arrived on Saturday afternoon, and my first stop was at Memphis Barbecue Co – well let me tell you, I got dry rubbed ribs, and they were not only seasoned well, but they were fall off the bone good. I was very excited about the prospect of eating my way through Memphis.

Next stop – Graceland…I have to admit, when I told my friends I was going there, I got a lot of flack, mostly people telling me that “Elvis was racist, didn’t I know that”. Well I’ve heard the stories, but I’ve grown to realize that you can’t always believe everything you hear…wasn’t there a rumor about Tommy Hilfiger – I’m just saying, do your research and don’t always believe everything you hear. This repeated rumor made me want to find out more so I did…check out these articles –

http://www.elvisinfonet.com/spotlight_racist.html

http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/elvis_not_racist.shtml

http://snopes.com/music/artists/presley1.asp

Well, all I can say is believe what you want, but always get to the truth before spreading, or continuing rumors.

Now that I’ve said my peace, I thought Graceland was very interesting. You get there by driving down Elvis Presley Blvd, and it seems to be located smack dab in the middle of the hood. Apparently when Elvis purchased the property it was nothing but farmland – my, how times change. Parking was across the street, and since Graceland was open for business, the famous gates were swung open, so I didn’t get that picture, but I sure did take a lot more.

I bought the VIP pass, no standing in line for me, and that got me into the Lisa Marie quarters. Did you know that Elvis had a twin brother? Let me just say, I felt the trip was well worth my time, and I got to get a close-up view of how the King lived…

Back to the hotel, I snapped some shots of the team before the competition, and after a quick change of clothes, I was on my way to the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. There were four different races, and since I am the team photographer I got a good workout. The race finished in a 6000 seat stadium – Olympic style. It was good night, and Justin finished 10th in his race, not bad for a hilly course.

So the plan was to leave there and head to B.B. Kings’ Blues Café – that didn’t happen. Not only did the bottom fall out of the sky – I was so tired from a full day that I all I wanted to do was go to sleep.

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I woke up refreshed and ready to check out some more of Memphis – 1st up, lunch at Gus’s Fried Chicken. I got there early, so I headed to the river. It reminded me of Hyde Park in Chicago, very serene. I snapped lots of pictures, and I talked to this nice couple who were in town for their granddaughters wedding.

10:45, in line at Gus’s, talked to a nice family while I waited. The baby had a pretty pink feather bow in here hair…

Once Gus opened at 11:00, ten minutes later the seating was full and more people were waiting in line. I ordered the fried green tomatoes and a two piece dark plate with a side of beans and slaw. The chicken was spicy, and moist – delicious, not the best I’ve ever tasted, but good; the fried green tomatoes were acceptable – beans and slaw were average. I’m hoping the chicken at the Watershed in Atlanta can top it, G. Garvin says it’s good, so I’ll be making my way down there soon, I’ll let you know. After lunch, I caught a trolley around the city, and got off near the National Civil Rights Museum.

At the Civil Rights Museum I saw where the Dr. King died. I took lots of photos and learned more about Dr. King. Tears welled up in my eyes as I watched the video made about his last days. He has definitely had a profound impact on me, and I was reminded yet again how one lunatic, can change the course of history.

Headed back to Atlanta, I enjoyed the visit.

2 Comments

  1. King’s favorite singer was Frank Sinatra . In his autobiography he spoke about how he was a “Sinatra nut” and how he went to bed every night listening to Sinatra’s classic album

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  2. Discussing where he took the Blues, from “dirt floor, smoke in the air” joints to grand concert halls, King said the Blues belonged everywhere beautiful music belonged. He successfully worked both sides of the commercial divide, with sophisticated recordings and “raw, raucous” live performance.

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