Georgia On My Mind

Tuesday we hit the road travelling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and into Mississippi. We made an overnight stop at Olive Branch and today are hitting the road for Georgia.

As Elvis crooned across our airwaves yesterday Jack said we would make a stop at Tupelo to Elvis' birthplace and Museum. Yippee!

This morning we made the stop in Tupelo, Mississippi to visit the Museum. No photos are allowed in the Museum which features times during the Depression when times were tough for Vernon and Gladys Presley. There are many photos, memorabilia, clothing worn by Elvis and more.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935 (his twin brother was stillborn) in the tiny little two room 'shotgun' style house at this very site.

The small church Elvis and his family attended was a block over on Adams Street. When the church needed to build a larger facility it was used as a house and later purchased by the Museum in 2008 and relocated here to its current site on the house and Museum grounds.

 

He grew up with the church services and the gospel sounds that would set Elvis on a path of music, beyond the weekly gatherings around the radio listening to the Grand Old Opry.

It was Reverend Frank Smith who taught a young and shy Elvis a few guitar chords. He was encouraged to perform during services, often with his parents. The Reverend would walk and play which statements attribute this to Elvis performance style.

Also noted in the Museum was that Elvis used to entertain himself with simple toys and Captain Marvel, Jr comics. Speculation maybe? They also suggest his signature hairstyle and perhaps the TCB (taking care of business) lightning bolt could have been attributed to these comics.

 

In 1938, the family lost their house when Vernon was sent to prison for forging a check (cheque) where he served 8 months of a 3 year sentence. Gladys would work to keep food on the table.

As Elvis continued school, taking his guitar with him at times performed for friends. His teacher entered him in a state contest where he placed 5th.

In 1948 the Presley's moved to Memphis. This became a turning point in Elvis' career where he began performing with other boys who played music. He still had the intention of being part of a Gospel quartet.

In 1953, he paid $3.95 to make his first recording 'My Happiness' and 'That's When The Heartache Begins'. Then if you have ever done a Sun Studio's tour in Tennessee, we all now what happened after that and how Marion Kesker had saved the recording and later Sam Phillips produced many of Elvis' recordings.

The grounds to the Museum are spectacular with plaques of information during the years of pivotal moments, a bronze statue depicting a young Elvis in oversized overalls and a meandering walk both wheelchair accessible by way of ramps and paths or stairs to the top of the property to another statue called 'Becoming'.

 

This stunning statue shows a small Elvis and as a mature, larger than life flamboyant style as he had become.

 

Onwards and we cross into another state we have not visited – Alabama. We will pass the Talladega Super Speedway. Now comes to mind, besides NASCAR races of course, is Talladega Nights – Ricky Bobby, shake and bake – a very funny movie. We will make a stop here on the return trip to the Motorsports Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame!

 

From Alabama winding through the Talladega National Forest, we continued East heading across the border into Georgia.

 

We found the range, then the hotel and we are ready for an early start tomorrow. We missed the registration as we forgot we would lose an hour!

Kat xo

 

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What’s Up?

Well it's been a few weeks of secret squirrel projects, fun, shooting, and concert going.

Although the others can't be revealed yet, some for a couple of months! You will get to see them later and others will be revealed after Christmas.

On the past weekend Jack and I had some downtime and after seeing this year's America's Got Talent winner Darci Lynne on tv, we decided to go see her in concert for (she is from Oklahoma) her home coming show.

This 13 year old, very poised little lady, has a sensational amount of talent. No words can describe her ventriloquism and singing abilities. She moved both Jack and I to tears when we first saw her on AGT and we certainly weren't disappointed with the live performance.

Her range and variation in her choice of songs with the humour she inparts to her characters is just amazing. She is extremely talented for someone so young. Her duet with her Mom/Mum singing Silent Night was beautiful.

 

We weren't the only ones that arrived at the matinee without kids, albeit our plans were in line with heading to Toby Keith's bar afterwards, haa haa haa.

The show was sold out for all four at The Criterion, so I'm glad we decided to go as we certainly weren't disappointed.

The supporting act was another all family band with the youngest little pocket rocket being 11 – all brothers and sister, Pelican 212 were unbelievable, the twin 13yr old, trumpet playing boys are real little showmen in their suits. All of them play at least two instruments and their energy and stage presence was amazing.

 

When that was done we walked back down to Bricktown only to find Toby Keith's was closed for private function 😦 – well Charlestons it was which is only next door.

Thankfully we got there early because another hour later and people were waiting in line for tables or even a seat at the bar. Cheers to us!

 

So this week leading up to Christmas? Still working on projects, shopping done and ready to have another crack at a pav for Christmas, got the baileys to try Baileys French toast for Christmas breakfast, shooting practice tomorrow and Christmas Eve and we may even get a little bit of snow here for Christmas Day! Yippee! 🙂

Love and hugs

Kat xo

 

Tennessee

Moonshine, whiskey, cowboy boots and more.(cue singing)'…..rocky top, you'll always be, home sweet home to me….good Ol' rocky top, rocky top Tennessee….'

Through Sevierville we had to stop at Dolly Parton's statue, this was her home town and as we had decided to forego the Dollywood theme park, I just had to have a picture with Dolly! (Singing with Dolly).'..in my coat of many colours, my mama made for me…'

 

We got into Pigeon Forge yesterday, acquired some boots, went to the Christmas Place!…..wow, think this one beats the Leavenworth one, even the Denny's diner next door is Christmasfied! Yes I just made up that word, well it is!…(with eyes wide and sing)'….jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock….'

 

Found the same decorations as last year, now we can update one with Miss Chelsea on it and what the heck, got one done up with the grandkids names on it, in the order they came! Lol!

 

…..found a place to stay and headed down to 'The Island'.

(Singing again)'….wasting away again in Margaritaville, searching for my lost shaker of salt…..' oh yeah! Well actually before we got to Margaritaville we went to the Ole Smokey Moonshine distillery and marvelled at all the different flavours before doing some taste testing. Lucky they only give it to you in small thimble sized cups.

 

We were started off with the Blue Flame 128 proof! Woah, doesn't that catch in your throat! Wash it away with the Margarita moonshine and continue with all sorts of delectable flavours!

 

Now to Margaritaville for dinner and beer, talked with some people from here and Memphis. One on a work trip to Sydney later this year.

 

From there we headed to the Smoky Mountain Wheel and took a ride to see the light show from above.

 

Today we headed down to Gatlinburg, walked around the street and little shops, took the Sky Lift up the hill to check out the view.

 

Into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, winding our way through 17 miles of gorgeous trees and running streams. Didn't get to see any bears though.

 

Soon Mother Nature will wave her wand and all of this will be a spectacular winter wonderland.

Kicking back West towards Tullahoma.

Kat xo

Annnnd I've still got Rocky Top stuck in my head!

 

Toby Keith and Trace Adkins

OMG! I can't believe in last nights blog post that I forgot to put in the photos of Toby Keith and Trace Adkins concert.

As a quick reminder we saw them perform at Cheyenne Frontier Days on Friday, July 24th. Amazing!

Singing along, crowd goes wild! Freakin' awesome!

So here are some of the happy snaps from the concert! Enjoy!

 

'….girl you drank all my beer, and my whiskey's all gone………it's time to get it on!…you got me thinkin' you won't, you got me thinkin' you might…' Hee hee hee.

Actually he didn't sing that one – it's a family show! Red Solo Cup and a stack of others though!

Cheers!

Kat xo

 

Route 66, June 10

Chandler

First stop, breakfast! At the Boom-a-rang Diner no less, looked like the local place to eat. A quaint little 50's decor diner and a retired National Guard gentleman in typical, wrangler jeans, cowboy hat and boots. Some very old looking buildings – rain prevented pictures.

Drove through Stroud, Bristow their main streets have some very old gorgeous buildings. Connected up to the I44 and onto Sapulpa.Bristow

Sapulpa

It also has some superb historic and restored shop fronts but we headed on through skirting round the outskirts of Tulsa – we will do the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and Gilcrease Museum another weekend. (24 hours from Tulsaaaaa, one day away from your arrrms, I saw the welcoming light, and stopped to rest for the night…….Gene Pitney eat your heart out. Lol!) There is lots to see in Claremore so onward we go.

Pity we didn't stop to ask for directions to where the iconic Blue Whale is located in Catoosa! But the fudge shop may have been a little too tempting, sigh, onto Claremore we go.

Here's a pic from Museum in Claremore, this is what I was looking for!!

Claremore

Claremore is home to the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.

We visited The J.M. Davis Arms Museum first. In 1946 Mr Davis' collection was already at 8,000 with fire arms collected over 52 years, the oldest at the time 500 years old and the smallest one only 1 1/2″ long.

The museum houses over 14,000 firearms and 50,000 artefacts that Mr Davis collected over many, many years and from many different countries. US, China, Germany, Belgium, Spain just to name a few.

I must say the gold and pearl hand guns really did take my fancy, Spanish!

Or what about trying to pull out a 10 1/2″ barrel length Ruger Blackhawk from your holster!

Numerous small pistols, like you wouldn't believe! I imagined trying to fit one in a corset or up under your bustle skirts – now that would be easily done with a pocket in your skirt as ladies often did.

Collections of saddles a couple of rows of these and the boot jacks! Many different styles of boot jacks both iron and timber.

You need at least 2 hours or more to visit this museum if you are an avid firearm enthusiast and more. It also houses other collections of J.M. Davis like knives, steins, musical instruments etc.

The final piece we had to see was the display with Annie Oakley's 410 shotgun and Teddy Roosevelts pistol with engraved Rough Rider picture of him on it.

Bonnie and Clyde? Or Gatsby? We've arrived at the Will Rogers Museum and found all the old cars that must be part of a rally and the two we saw previously! These are the ones we saw coming in over the bridge.

The car park was full of Model A Ford's! Excellent condition, some with white wall tyres, some with leather trunks on the back too. Just gorgeous.

Will Rogers and his “iPad”! He spent many hours with his typewriter on his lap ( as the gentleman at the front counter said, doing his “blog” for the newspaper – found a piece in the museum later that referenced this as well)

Fact – Will Rogers once visited South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as part of the Wirth Brothers Circus in 1902.

He was renowned for much more than his literary genius, he was a writer, radio announcer, public address speaker, roper and trick rider, movie maker, poet and humorist.

He lived a very full life, I don't know how he had time for family and movies with everything else he did.

Will Rogers died in a plane crash in Alaska, 15th August, 1935 with Wiley Post.

Stayed in Miami, Oklahoma for the night.

Kat xo