Martin D.

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Cities & Towns > Memphis, Tennessee Part 5
 

Memphis, Tennessee Part 5



Memories are a funny thing. I moved to
Memphis in October, 1969 and for 2-3 years I lived at the Hamlet
apartments which was on East Popular Avenue which turned into Poplar
Pike Extended. I only remember 3-4 incidents associated with that
apartment but they are for another blog.



I
once did a blog about the fact that I averaged a move every 5 years and
of the 10 years I lived in Memphis 7 of them were at Chatham Village
and 3 at the Hamlet. I loved the townhouse on Park Avenue (in the
picture above) and have many great memories of the years I lived there.
It was next to the Methodist East hospital, which came in handy a few
years later, when I was drunk, returned from a trip to NYC arriving in
Memphis in a snow storm, slipping on an icy step from where I had parked
my car and split my forehead above the eye. (That's another
blog--hopefully I'll remember all these separate blogs I have been
talking about. LOL) I, also, lived across from train tracks but never
heard the trains going by. Ummmmmm, do I talk about the red light or is
THAT another blog? Okay, another blog!


 


One
of the first 'sightseeing' things I did after a week in Memphis was to
go to see The Pink Palace. It was originally built by Clarence Saunders
who owned the Piggly Wiggly (I'm sorry but even 41 years later I laugh
when I say, see or write that name.) It was built with pink Georgian
marble which is how it got its name. I don't remember the history of
when he lost the home to bankruptcy and it became a museum of natural
history and planetarium but I do remember the afternoon I spent there
and thinking it was quite impressive.



After
the assassination of Martin Luther King certain 'events' started to go
downhill and I was lucky enough to see two of them before they were
changed. One was the Cotton Carnival which was, at one time, a salute to
cotton, and took place in June every year,with krewes like they had in
New Orleans at Mardi Gras time. There would be a Royal barge come down
with the debutantes of the season and then a parade plus special balls
all over town. In the middle of the 70s it became more of a salute to
'sister' cities around the world.



Ever
since I was a teenager and we had a summer home in Lake Hiawatha, New
Jersey and I would go to the end of the summer fair near Morristown this
city boy has loved fairs of all kind. It didn't take me long to hear
about the Mid-South fair and I was there for the rides, concessions, 4-H
club and, of course, all the food competitions.


Both
events started going downhill in the mid 70s and I don't know what
happened after I left Memphis but I have heard both the Carnival and the
Fair have made a big comeback in the 2000s. I'll have to check that out
with Chuck and Terry.



Just
before I left Memphis they started to construct Mudd Island which would
eventually get the Pyramid sports arena. It had a monorail from
downtown to the Island which was featured in the Tom Cruise film, "The
Firm". I didn't get to Mudd Island until I visited Memphis in the 80s
with Bill and we went to see an outdoor production of the touring
company of "A Chorus Line".


When
I arrived in Memphis it was a 'dry' State which meant you couldn't buy
drinks in restaurants or bars but you could bring your own bottle and
would be charged for set ups and/or a corkage fee. It would be 2-3 years
before the law was changed but until then people would get drunk as
they had to finish the bottle before leaving the restaurant/bar because
you couldn't have an 'open' container in your car. I wish I could
remember the name of the jazz club I use to spend a lot of time in not
only because of the entertainment but they had lockers that you could
rent to leave your bottle of unfinished booze and have it there the next
time you came to the club. That whole thing was quite the 'culteral'
shock to this New Yorker but I did adapt, quickly.



Though
I didn't go there often there was a park on the bluffs of Memphis
overlooking the Mississippi river that offered awe inspiring sites of
the river, downtown Memphis and the shore line of Arkansas.


There
was a lot to see and do in Memphis and I did and saw a lot but the
place I spent most of my time was Overton Park in the center of Memphis
with many different aspects including a band shell that Elvis did a show
or two, a zoo, a natural woodland but that's only part of the story and
they weren't  the reason I spent so much time there--besides, and how
dare I say this, I didn't care for Elvis!!!


     


Still
to come: Gig Young, Overton Park, Overton Square, picking greens in the
field, JWag's, Goldsmith's, Jackson, Jonesboro, Chattanooga, Circuit
Playhouse, Theatre Memphis, sex in the buckle of the bible belt, Joe,
Issac, Gene and more!



posted on Oct 23, 2013 4:49 PM ()

Comments:

What I liked was the river is easy to see. Some places, the Mississippi has such high levees the only time to see it is when crossing a bridge.
comment by troutbend on Oct 23, 2013 5:11 PM ()
It was a good place--I miss Memphis!!
reply by greatmartin on Oct 23, 2013 6:43 PM ()

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