Romance Slam Jam 2012: What a Ride! Part 2

I apologize for not finishing up telling you all about my road trip through the South and this year’s Romance Slam Jam.  Yes, life had taken over, but I also had my hands full with co-chairing the inaugural Swirl Awards

March on Washington

Now that all the books are in the hands of the judges, I can take time out to do a little housekeeping on my blog, like sharing the rest of my trip through America’s South. 

According to my last post, I stopped at the second leg of my trip: Memphis, Tennessee.  

After leaving Birmingham around noon, I hopped on I-22 and headed north.  I know this might sound corny, but I’ve wanted to visit Memphis for some time. Not only for its history but awesome barbeque.  And I wasn’t disappointed! Like Birmingham, I only had a day to see everything.  So, I decided break up my sightseeing between the National Civil Rights Museum and Graceland. 

The National Civil Rights Museum was like stepping back into time, literally. 

Outside Room 316

The outside of the building, which was once Lorraine Motel, looks exactly the same as the day Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on April 4, 1968.

 

The former proprietor even recreated what Dr. King’s hotel room looked like, down to his morning coffee service. 

The museum has to be hands down one of the best interactive museums in the U.S. if not the world.  And that’s saying alot since I hold the Louvre and the Prado in very high esteem. 

Lunch counter sit-in

Yet, none of them moved me or left such an impression on me long after I left. Even now, I get choked up as I recall the meticulous details of Dr. King’s suite, the charred remains of one of the Freedom buses, or the recreation of a lunch counter sit-in.

 
 
 
While listening to the piped-in racial slurs, I was reminded of how my father sat at a similar lunch counter every day for more than 150 days at the grand old age of sixteen.    
 

Of course, after such a sobering morning, I was more than ready to see the King of Rock n’ Roll’s castle: Graceland

There were three things about Graceland that surprised me. For one, the home is smack dab in the center of Memphis. 

Can you spot the peacocks?

 I was expecting a few rolling hills or even a really long private drive way.  I guess over the years, the city grew around him.

Secondly, Graceland is not as large as I expected. Admittedly, for the 1950s Graceland had to be like the Clampets’  mansion in Beverly Hills.

The infamous Jungle room!

But in 2012, we’ve all seen and been in bigger. But I sort of like that.  In that the home didn’t come off as the humongous mosoleum to shroud his ego.

Lastly, Graceland didn’t really live up to its tacky reputation. Of course, I love anything retro/ vintage. 

 So, I was in heaven, especially when I came to the trophy room, which used to be his racquetball court, and got a glimpse of his hand-beaded “Vegas” jumpsuits!

Let me tell you, all the knock offs and Halloween costumes don’t do any of them justice. 

A few of Elvis' hand-beaded jumpsuits

Well, I guess I’ll leave off here.  Tomorrow (hopefully) I’ll continue with the third leg of my trip: Little Rock, AR and Money, MS!

Missed the first installment of this series, click to read about the first leg of my trip in Birmingham, AL.

Want to see more pics from my Grand Southern Tour? Friend me on Facebook🙂

 

 

 

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