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

 

Clear Lake, Iowa

Iowa was another new state to visit and on the way home from Minnesota we headed into Clear Lake.

You'll love this one Mum! We stopped in at the Surf Ballroom where in February of 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper had been performing. (insert great 50's music, Bobby socks, swing skirts and slick backed hair here)

However, in the early hours of February 3rd, they were all killed when the plane they were on crashed. A monument was erected at the crash site honouring the legends in 1988.

Unfortunately being Sunday and we were there early, the Surf Ballroom and Museum was not open until 1pm. We missed out on seeing that which was a shame but we did however make the half a mile walk into the paddock to see the memorial!

 

……..Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, oh how my heart yearns for you – Buddy Holly

……..para bailar La Bamba, (it's amazing I never knew the right words for this song!!) – Ritchie Valens

……..chantilly lace and a pretty face, and a pony tail a hagin'down, that wiggle in the walk and giggle in the talk – Big Bopper

RIP music legends

Kat xo