Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday 21 November, 2014

Warming up, 6c when we set out and probably got to 10c. Never thought I'd be excited to see 10c!!
Today we walked several blocks to catch the hop on hop off bus and we waited, and we waited and we waited. Thankfully we were at an information centre and they rang the dispatcher who said it would be about 20 min more. The driver was apologetic and said he was sent to pick someone else. He dropped us off at the Saint Blues Guitar Factory. 

They even had some guitar like instruments made of cigar boxes. They said that they were kind of like a guitar, banjo and ukulele! We then walked down to Sun Studios where Elvis started his recording career. Diane and Bill stayed on to go on the tour while Rob and I walked about a mile or so to see the National Civil Rights Museum.

Martin Luther King was killed at the Lorraine Hotel. After his death the hotel fell into disrepair. There were many people who felt that it was such an important place that it should be preserved so a public private partnership was formed with the city and the result is an amazing museum about the history of the African Americans and their struggle for equality. It was horrifying to see how poorly they had been treated.  I recalled reading about many of the scenarios as I was growing up.  It was extremely well done with lots of visual displays, videos, murals, theaters and simulated scenarios. They even had kept the room that King had stayed in as it was. 

Across the street they also kept the bathroom where they felt that the shot that killed King had come from. The displays showed the timeline and the investigation into the murder of King. It also had all the forensic information and several scenarios that they thought were plausible. To this day, they are still not sure if James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King by himself or if it was part of a conspiracy.
We then walked to Beale Street to get a bite to eat. 
Can't say I am impressed with Beale Street or Memphis for that matter. 

Everywhere we have walked, we have been met with beggars or pan handlers as they call them chatting and being very friendly then asking for money.  I feel I need to look over my shoulder wherever we walk. Streets and footpaths need repairing and cleaning. So many of the shops are empty. Memphis has an unemployment rate of 10%. There is no building going on...quite different to Nashville which was clean, friendly, active and there was construction happening everywhere.

We looked at several of the "dives" on Beale St and ended up at an Irish place called Silky's. They had a pretty good live band and the food wasn't bad either.  
Stopped at another place for ice cream cones on the way home! 
Waited 15 min for our hop on hop off bus ( another disappointment) and ended up taking the city bus home ( very cheap at $1 a ticket!) 

1 comment:

  1. I think I told Bill that neither George nor I like Memphis... George had to work there on occasion before retirement. But--luckily, he didn't have to go to the downtown area....

    I know you will be glad to get on the boat. Hope you enjoy that trip. We've never done that ---and may want to do it sometime IF you all recommend it.