Memphis was founded in 1819 by John Overton, James Winchester and Andrew Jackson. The city was named after the ancient capital of Egypt on the Nile River. It took me a little time to figure out why Memphis would have a big Egyptian pyramid as an appropriate symbol for the city.
It could be the sixth largest pyramid in the world behind the Great Pyramid of Giza (456 ft), Khafre's Pyramid (448 ft), Luxor Hotel (348 ft), the Red Pyramid (341 ft) and the Bent Pyramid (332 ft), both in Dahshur. It is also slightly (about 16 feet) taller than the Statue of Liberty.
A statue of Ramesses the Great stood in front of the pyramid. In 2011, this statue was sold to the University of Memphis for the cost of $1.
The official name of the Pyramid is "The Great American Pyramid."
The Pyramid is 321 feet tall, or 32 stories.
The Memphis, Tennessee pyramid is a 1/6th size replica of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.
The arena seated 21,000.
The Pyramid's exterior is clad in stainless steel.
Originally, the pyramid which was originally built to house the Memphis Grizzlies, but they now have a newer and bigger arena. Current plans are to open a Bass Pro shop there in 2013
Neither of our numbers were called but as chance would have it one of our new friend's was and he promptly said to give it to the new guy. I proudly walked up to the keg on the bar and was handed a wooden mallet with which I was to tap the cask of the day. Luckily, I had done this before at my wedding in Germany where I swung a bit too softly so this time I wouldn't look like a complete amateur. With one swell swoosh the beer was flowing and I was handed a nice “Cellar Man” logo glass filled with the cask dry stout of the day. It was delicious, especially after all the hard work, and I beamed all the way back to my seat.
We enjoyed a few more beers but were getting hungry. The pub's food was pricey and even the locals said that if we were in town for only one night we should hit a rib joint. Which one was the question and the subject of much debate. Same as the Internet, there were many opinions. Corky's was mere fast food and not even in contention. It seemed to boil down to two places. One was a nicer place close by and the other in a bad neighborhood better visited during the day. We opted for the former for dinner and figured if still in the mood we'd hit the other for lunch the next day. We sadly said goodbye to our new drinking buddies. They'd made us feel at home and wondering why we would have ever hesitated coming to Memphis in the first place. Oh, the ribs? Both were great. The beer, that was great too. But it's the people that were the real pleasure, and that was all over town. Down South hospitality is no myth. They really are more friendly there and you become more friendly too, just by being around them.
What was I looking for? Beale Street couldn't hold much after gallivanting on Bourbon Street for a couple days. In my younger days, maybe I'd have gone to the clubs to check out some blues but now I'd be content to just wander the streets that old blues and rock heroes walked in their heyday. Ribs were certainly on the game plan. You can't go to Memphis and not eat BBQ. Of course with me, there was a brewery in the offing too. Bosco's was noted as one of the few places in the deep south that served cask ale and as a bonus were brewing one of the last versions of an old German bygone style, Steinbier too. But would I really be that crazy to deviate by a few hundred miles just for some culinary delights? My wife would say yes, but there had to be another draw and though not a huge fan of Elvis, there is little denial in most people's desire to see Graceland. And so, Paul Simon's tune just HAD to be played as we ultimately pulled into town some five hours after leaving the Big Easy.
Despite our days of overeating in New Orleans, we were famished on arrival and headed to Corky's, a BBQ place I'd read about on the Internet. I had had a hard time finding any definitive information on such matters. It was a bit disconcerting if convenient when we saw they had a drive-through but ordered up a couple pulled pork sandwiches with sweet tea.. After gobbling them down greedily we secured a room and made our way to Bosco's just in time for Happy Hour. The bonus is that the brewpub has a cellar man contest each weekday at 5:30 so we were given two chances to win along with our Steinbiers and waited for the drawing. Thanks to some very inquisitive locals the time passed quickly. They were quite intrigued with our traveling around the US and once they found out Doreen was from Germany and liked their beer we were the toast of the pub. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
Heading out of New Orleans we were driving north, a funny direction when you're destination in the long run is west. But Memphis was north and this trip was not just about revisiting old friends for me and introducing them to my new wife but about discovering some new things together. Memphis had always both intrigued and alluded me. It was never en route on my previous three drives across country and I was determined that if this was to be my last such venture, at least for a very long time, I was going to make it to the home to the blues and the house that Elvis built.
Normally, I'd have been quite excited but after two indulgent and expensive days in New Orleans we were already over budget for our six month trip that was primarily designed to camp and enjoy the great nature of the US National Park system. Memphis would be a more welcomed relief after a couple of weeks backpacking ourselves into a exhausted and starving state. That's when creature comforts like a bed and hot cooked meal by somebody else are most appreciated. But sometimes things don't work out how you'd like. The closest National Park on our radar was close to 1000 miles away and Memphis was in no way on the way there. But it was where we were headed just the same, appropriately listening to some old blues and Chuck Berry's namesake song. (continued in Fondest Memory)
On the Saint Jude Hospital Grounds at 332 North Lauderdale Memphis Tennessee 38105 is the grave of Muzyard Yaakoob (Amos Jacobs) AKA Danny Thomas. Birth: Jan. 6, 1914 Death: Feb. 6, 1991 and his wife Rose Marie Thomas Birth: Mar. 6, 1914 Death: Jul. 12, 2000. Danny Thomas's name is a derivative from the names of two of his brothers.
His parents were Syrian, and the story goes that as a young man, he prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, to “show me my way in life.”
Many years later (after he stared in the TV show "Make Room for Daddy" for many years), he decided to build a memorial hospital to St. Jude as an expression of gratitude for his success.. Memphis was chosen as the site because it was more or less the center of the country, so that it would be accessible to almost everyone.
Fondest memory: Adjacent to the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion is the Danny and Rose Marie Thomas Memorial Garden which is not only the site of the burial crypt of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas and his wife Rose Marie but a functional park which furnishes a contemplative setting for hospital staff workers and visitors alike to enjoy a peaceful place for relaxation.
After I briefly toured the Pavilion, I walked around to the Memorial Garden which was quite peaceful and beautiful even though it was late winter or early spring and there weren't many flowers in bloom.
I was sad when I was in Memphis. I went there for a funeral. My great-grandma died. She was 72. She had been sick with bad diabates. The funeral service was on July 6, 1996. I was 3. There were many people there, as my mommy and daddy said, and I don't know how to tell the story out on my own without the widower of her telling me or me being told accurately
by somebody over 15 or can remember the story well.
I can't tell,but I was there
See the National Civil Rights Museum. The exhibits are very informative and moving. The room where Dr. King stayed when he was assassinated is eerie--and sickening.
Fondest memory: Seeing the churches that sustained so many ordinary, courageous people.
To visit the Medical Center of the University of Tennesee
Fondest memory: The most kindly attention from dr. Clark M. Blateis 6 Mrs.
and the hostess of the Hospital for Lungs diseasses where I had been in apite I hadn't any disease I was very healthy but invitted
Favorite thing: You have to eat at Breadbaskets. I lived in Memphis off and on for a year and the name changed a few times, but the food stayed the same. Whether the name has changed or not just ask for the Breadbasket and everyone will know what you are talking about.
Spend an afternoon at the Peabody Hotel.
Sit in the lobby, order a drink, and at 5 pm watch he ducks
march from the fountain to their special
penthouse on the roof!
Fondest memory: Memphis is a city full of trees!
Our spring weather is gorgeous!
Lots of flowering trees, bulbs...
Favorite thing: This is my best friend Wackie Jackie with Elvis Sunglasses on. You can buy them from the gift shop for $20....at least when I was there
Memphis in August. Drink plenty of water. Wear light colored clothing. Park in the shade.
Fondest memory: Watching tourists melt.