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Photo TR: Walking in Memphis


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Oh TPR board, how I've missed you! The good news is, the reason I've missed you is that I've been in Memphis for the past five days for the U.S. Jaycees' annual year-end convention.

 

For anyone who hasn't visited Elvis' hometown, I highly recommend it. Granted, Libertyland is no more, but there's a ton of other great stuff there (not the least of which is the 24/7 abundance of barbecue and barbecue accessories).

 

Don't believe me? Just check out the photos.

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Then we attended the after party... six hours before we had to be at the airport to catch our flights home. Thanks for a great convention, Memphis!

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Cia was also officially sworn in as a member of the U.S. Jaycees board of directors.

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Incoming U.S. Jaycees President Denice O'Neil gave her inauguration speech that night.

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Rendezvous ribs!

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Not until after I took this picture did I realize that every single person at the Rendezvous dinner was a chapter president or higher, on up to two national vice presidents. Though it technically was the Maryland Jaycees' state dinner of the trip, we also invited along contingents from Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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We had the best ribs of the whole trip at Charles Vergo's Rendezvous. We also had the best server, Robert, who proceeded to call all the women "baby" and refer to the short rack as an "itty bitty rib."

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The next morning we went to the historic Peabody Hotel to see their famous ducks march down a red carpet into the hotel fountain. The ducks would be those little black dots on the carpet. And all those people surrounding the carpet? They would be trying to figure out what ever possessed them to wait over an hour to see that. As was I.

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Yeah, Cia is kind of short....

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Oh, that's right... winning about a billion national awards.

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I have no clue what these people were doing here instead of visiting Nick Universe at the Mall of America.

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The U.S. Jaycees threw a "Welcome to Memphis" party at Pat O'Brien's on Beale Street that night, where Delaware Jaycees President Frank felt up our server.

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But the stars didn't come out until after dark. Yes, that would be Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson you're looking at. They wrapped for the night after this shot, but we also got to see them being towed in a vintage car on a flatbed during a driving scene the next day.

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They were filming a movie on Beale Street our second day there called "Soul Men." From the Tap Room we got to see a little of the filming. Notice the "marks" painted in front of these actors' feet.

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The collection of customer mugs at the Beale Street Tap Room. Sadly, our beers just came in plain glasses.

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The oldest store on Beale Street. We bought $11 umbrellas here the day it rained.

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Nothing like margaritas at 1 in the afternoon!

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By the second day, we figured out that these little trolleys were the best way to get around. I guess this is what Disney's California Adventure will look like soon?

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Doritos--the breakfast of champions!

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Lots of carriages in the downtown area, including this one with a Cinderella theme.

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...then we got to eat it! We tried the peach first, then went back for chocolate.

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Of course, fried pickles are nothing compared to fried pie. We got to watch them make it at Blues City Cafe...

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...is fair play!

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U.S. Jaycees Minister of Digital Propaganda David learns that turnabout...

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And the fried pickles are yummy, too!

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We expected the music here to be great... and we weren't disappointed! BB King's is legendary.

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BB King's!

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...in both directions!

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Beale lights up at night...

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And again.

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For the neon enthusiasts.

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Beale Street rocks! This view is reproduced in all the Memphis tourism literature.

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Downtown Memphis also honors Elvis with this giant statue.

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Elvis is buried in his own backyard. They misspelled his middle name on the marker, but since he was dead, they figured he really wouldn't mind.

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Elvis won a lot of award while he was alive. He's won even more since he's been dead. These are some of them.

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Since this was a Jaycees convention, I couldn't leave Graceland without taking a photo of Elvis' 1971 Ten Outstanding Young Men award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Jaycees. Elvis was so honored by the award that he took it with him on tour wherever he went for the rest of his life.

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Just in case you forgot who lived here....

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But the man did own his own airplane (two in fact). He didn't drink, so the plane's bar was stocked with Gatorade and Dr. Pepper.

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And it just gets worse from there....

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These apparently are the most subdued clothes Elvis owned.

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The outbuildings contained a lot of memorabilia, including Elvis' three Grammy awards. No photos of him learning how to dance from Forrest Gump, however.

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And what better place to put a swing set than right next to the firing range?

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What do Lisa Marie and I have in common? We both had the same type of swing set as kids, apparently. (What, you thought the answer would be that we were both married to Michael Jackson?)

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...to ceiling.

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Of course, not every house has its own pool room. Elvis' was carpeted from floor to wall...

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And a, um, jungle room. Which was really just a den with a lot of horrible looking furniture and a sickly green carpet. You know, stuff that was all the rage in the '60s.

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And a dining room...

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For the most part, Elvis' home was just like everyone else's. He had a living room...

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The estate belonged to a doctor before Elvis bought it. Yep, one of the most famous houses in the world was purchased second-hand.

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Look familiar?

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What first-time visit to Memphis would be complete without a trip to Graceland?

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Cia posed with it, as well (though she would have had to stand on her tip toes to lick it).

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Elvis and some of the other famous Sun musicians used this microphone, so of course I had to pose with it. Due to past experiences at the studio, the tour guide was legally bound to give us a verbal warning not to lick it (really).

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Sign in the Sun bathroom.

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Elvis' high school diploma is there, too.

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Lots of neon in Memphis, including this original sign hanging in the Sun museum.

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No bubba gum or chewin' tobacky on the tour, please.

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After a long walk through parts of the city we probably shouldn't have been walking through, we finally found Sun Studio, where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and about a million other famous people recorded. Cia stood in the street to get both me and the building in the shot.

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First stop: lunch! Maryland Jaycees President Cia and I traveled together and were starving by the time we got to the hotel. We stumbled upon Leonard's BBQ Buffet in downtown Memphis, where $8.75 bought all the barbecue you could eat. This was plate one. Plates two and three looked strikingly similar.

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For the second year in a row, the U.S. Jaycees chose a convention location on the Mississippi River. And for the second year, my room had a great view of it (along with the Hernando de Soto Bridge).

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Obviously, the hotel knew we were coming....

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That was really nice, thanks for the TR!

It was cool to see Memphis (I got that song stuck in my head), marching ducks on a red carpet, lol and always appreciated food photos . I know this has been said million times, it just seems like it was long time ago since Elvis lived (to me), yet if he is /would be alive, he could still probably perform (if he had better health) at only 72 years.

 

Anyhow, thanks for the photos and info. I love these kinds of "random" TR's!

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For anyone who hasn't visited Elvis' hometown, I highly recommend it.

 

Elvis was actually born in Tupelo, MS. He moved when he was like...12 or something.

 

 

(That's the house he was born in.)

 

I'm not trying to be rude or anything...but I live in Tupelo and every time we hear somebody say Elvis was born in Memphis we say NOOO he wasn't!

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I know Elvis was born in Tupelo. However, he considered Memphis his "hometown" since that's where he lived most of his life. At least that's what the recording told us on the tour. There was even a model of the Tupelo house on display to illustrate the point.

 

Then again, what does a recording know?

 

I figure it's kind of like Walt Disney declaring Marceline his "hometown" even though he was born in Chicago and spent most of his adult life in California.

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