February 11, 2018

Snowing Down South

by Rosemary

We arrived in Memphis about the same time as "Winter Storm Inga". We had planned to visit Graceland, Elvis Presley's home, on Friday. Because of severe weather and dangerous road conditions, Graceland and most other attractions (as well as all the schools) were closed for a couple of days, so we moved our reservation to Sunday.

We enjoyed our tour, despite the freezing weather. In addition to the house and grounds, there is a large museum with all kinds of exhibits from Elvis's life and career.

Where else?

Our kind of house.

The place is still furnished and decorated as it was when Elvis lived here.

Elvis is buried in the back yard next to his parents and grandmother.

Elvis's 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood

A room full of jumpsuits

The weather and traffic forecasts made it clear that we would not be able to leave town as planned, so we added a couple of days to our stay. Most of the time, we were stuck in the hotel, doing laundry, sorting through vacation photos, blogging, and wishing we could go out. There was a restaurant next to the hotel parking lot, so on two nights we bundled up and trudged through the snow for dinner. One day we had Chinese food delivered.

Fortunately, it was clear enough one day for us to take a tour of Sun Records, the recording studio founded by Sam Phillips in 1952. This was where Elvis Presley made his first recording. Many of the greatest performers of blues, country, and early rock-and-roll recorded here. Sun was the first company to record Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, among others. Upstairs there is a small museum of memorabilia. Downstairs, the studio, which has a mix of old and new equipment and features the original sound baffling on the ceiling, is still in use as a recording studio. We got to pose with the microphone Elvis used.

A photo of the "million dollar quartet" over the soda fountain.

The start of new career?

It wasn't snowing, so we drove to Beale Street, nicknamed "Home of the Blues". The area has had its ups and downs over the past 170 years, but today it is a thriving tourist attraction, lined with lively clubs, and occasionally hosting music festivals.

W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues"

You know who, "King of Rock and Roll".

The Gibson Foundation sponsored twenty ten-foot-tall copies of B.B. King's guitar, "Lucille," decorated by local artists. They are on display along the street.

The street was moderately crowded when we got there...

...but it was just too cold to stick around.

As the storm moved east, the weather got a little warmer (almost 30F the morning we left), and the forecast indicated that it would be clearer and warmer as we moved south. We headed for New Orleans.

Note: We were here in mid January.

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  1. I love seeing your photos and reading your stories. It's the next best thing to being there!

  2. I'm always excited to read about your travels. I so enjoy your beautiful pics and I am always please to see both of you in them!


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