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Unread 20 Sep 17, 08:40 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Touring Tennessee: Day 4 Civil Rights, Guitars, Ducks and Redbirds

We all slept well and the Comfort Inn breakfast was good. We had decided not to bother with the car today, so once we were all ready, we set off to walk to the National Civil Rights Museum.

It wasn't a long walk and we enjoyed a fairly laid back stroll downtown. We like walking and it's a good way to see a city. We paused on the way to hang with Little Milton outside the Blues Hall of Fame.



The museum is housed in the Lorraine Motel which is where Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. The wreath marks the spot where he was shot.



The museum starts with an exhibition on slavery in the US which is sobering and shocking in equal measure. Even though we knew that slavery had existed, seeing the impact on individual lives had quite an impact. We then moved on to watch a film about how black lives in the USA had been once slavery had been abolished and how poverty and discrimination had continued.

After the film, you are free to move through the museum which plots the history of the civil rights movement from the early 20th century right up to James Earl Ray's assassination of Dr King. There is a lot to read and take in and we were struck by how recent so much of this history is. There is a really moving exhibit on the work leading up to the 1954 judgement that segregation in schools was unconstitutional.

In another section, there is a recreation of the bus where Rosa Parks made her protest.



One of the rooms has a film showing Dr King's famous "I have a dream" speech which we stood and watched, feeling very moved by such powerful words.

The motel section finishes with a recreation of room 306, where Dr King was staying, and an account of the shooting. You then cross the street to the building where James Earl Ray took his shot for more information on the aftermath of the assassination and information on civil rights work since then.

It was quite profound to realise how recent all of this was - the civil rights battle is living memory to so many people and there is still a long way to go.

After the museum, we walked back to near Beale Street to visit the Gibson Guitar Factory. We booked onto the next tour and were invited to hang around in the shop until it was time to go. Paul was in his element!



The tour, led by the very laid back Kyle, was really interesting, even if you are not a massive guitar nerd! The guitars are all handmade with amazing precision and we all agree that the best job is the guy that gets to play each one to test it.

Then we broke it to Paul that we were not spending $5000 on a new Gibson for him. He took it quite well.

After the guitars, we were all really hungry. Fortunately, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken wasn't too far away and as it was after the lunchtime rush, we didn't have to wait for a table. The menu is simple - it's fried chicken, so we didn't take long to order a tray of, guess what? Yep, fried chicken!

It was delicious - hot and tender and spicy - and a hush settled over the table as we stuffed our faces with lots and lots of chicken. Yum. Although we didn't really need a pudding, we did order a chocolate chess pie to go, mainly because we'd never eaten such a thing before.



Paul did the usual "Dad" thing of saying, "Don't get any pudding for me, I don't want any" etc. Then, once we were back at the hotel, he was diving in to eat it.

Back at the hotel, it was time for a quick swim before heading out again. We were meeting my sister, the lovely @katiebaz as they were also touring Tennessee and spending a few days in Memphis. We had arranged to meet at the Peabody Hotel to watch the ducks and it was lovely see them all there.

(The ducks live on the roof in a penthouse and are escorted down to the lobby every day at 11.00. They then swim around the fountain and at 5.00pm the Duckmaster escorts them along the red carpet to the elevator to go back to their penthouse)

The duck parade was pretty cute and it was cool to see it.





They were staying across from the Peabody, so we went back to their hotel and had a couple of drinks, courtesy of the Manager's special , and caught up on how our respective trips were going.

We had tickets for the Memphis Redbirds vs the Omaha Storm Chasers and it was only a short walk from the hotel.



Katie had got us front row seats and we had a great view of the game which was good fun.



Hannah even got to experience a ball park hotdog - as a novice meat eater, I'm not sure this was a totally enjoyable experience for her, but she managed! Somehow we missed the stall selling fried pies on a stick, which was a bit of a shame. Evan managed to catch a ball and later on, Daniel got one too, so both boys were pretty pleased with themselves. This is Evan's happy photo face



We had a really lovely time and arranged to meet up to visit Sun Studios together the next day.

Edited at 08:44 PM.
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Unread 20 Sep 17, 10:09 PM  
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Melbatb
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Join Date: Dec 13
The NCR Museum sounds very interesting - recent history is so important and I think it helps us all to understand the world a little better.

No guitar for Paul - what meanies you are

I have a similar boy re "don't get any for me... " - I blame it on his hollow legs

Always good to go see a baseball game!
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Unread 21 Sep 17, 07:41 AM  
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Jesslydevie1
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Oh wow what a day , the civil rights museum is so shocking as you say how recent it all is it's something I find hard to comprehend. Love the rest of your day can't wait to hopefully catch a game
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Unread 21 Sep 17, 10:57 PM  
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katiebaz
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We had such a lovely time meeting up with you all and so jealous of your Gus's fried chicken as we sadly didn't make it there. Great game though x

Edited at 05:38 PM.
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Unread 26 Sep 17, 08:08 AM  
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The museum sounds interesting. It's hard to believe that segregation was real as it seems so shocking and ridiculous that it was allowed to happen.

My DS would LOVE the Gibson shop.

Another good day.
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Unread 28 Sep 17, 09:16 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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What a fantastic day ! We found the Civil rights museum such a humbling place. We spent much longer there than we expected and came out feeling so many different emotions , mainly great sadness and shame about what people went through. It's very well put together.

Great afternoon.. How crazy is the duck thing, totally rammed !
And fab to round it off with the ball game, love those smiley boy faces, lol.
Fried pies on a stick , to think there is such a thing ...
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Unread 1 Oct 17, 02:12 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Mortimer Mouse View Post
The museum sounds interesting. It's hard to believe that segregation was real as it seems so shocking and ridiculous that it was allowed to happen.

My DS would LOVE the Gibson shop.

Another good day.
The museum was such a good experience - it really gave us loads to think about.
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Unread 1 Oct 17, 02:19 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
What a fantastic day ! We found the Civil rights museum such a humbling place. We spent much longer there than we expected and came out feeling so many different emotions , mainly great sadness and shame about what people went through. It's very well put together.

Great afternoon.. How crazy is the duck thing, totally rammed !
And fab to round it off with the ball game, love those smiley boy faces, lol.
Fried pies on a stick , to think there is such a thing ...
The museum is well worth visiting but quite sobering. The ducks are totally ridiculous!
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