Today we ranged more broadly afield in Memphis, first to the Civil Rights Museum, which preserves the front of the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated – a trip well worth making – and then to the Stax Records museum, aka Soulsville USA, also a worthy journey.
In between we stopped for lunch at a famous dive, Earnest and Hazel’s, a former brothel where the artifacts including dirt, peeling paint and icky stains are more-or-less carefully preserved for posterity, and the burgers – cooked and served today by barman Clarence – are excellent. A 4-seat after-hours bar, Nat’s, still functions upstairs in back.
As we progressed south from central Memphis, the neighborhoods grew visibly poorer, with more than a few boarded-up and badly decaying buildings until we reached the Stax ‘Soulsville’ campus – a particularly nice, well-maintained complex in the heart of a threadbare district – not without its charms (seen above) – parts of which seem to be in the grip of gentrification.
Earlier, near the Civil Rights museum, we’d watched people turn in guns for $100 gift certificates good for groceries or clothing, a program sponsored by Memphis interim Mayor Myron Lowery (pictured) who is also a candidate in upcoming mayoral elections. Perhaps a hundred weapons were offered, and processed by Memphis PD. Long, fun day, followed by ribs at a surprisingly popular back-alley restaurant downtown…