Day 27: August 20, 2012
Rock: Cabins, Inscription, & Abilly
Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

After a night in West Memphis, Arkansas, I continued on US-70 into Memphis, Tennessee. I snapped bad drive-by picture as I crossed Beale Street and passed Sun Studios. Then I left Seventy for a bit in order to meet roadie and Hudson expert Alex Burr for breakfast. Alex is simplifying things just a bit and surprised me with a box of old road guides including Green Books, Blue Books, and more. I said wow several times and thanks a few times but here's one more. Wow! Thanks a heap, Alex.

Trying to get all of Billy Tripp's Mind Field in a single photograph is pointless. Even trying to look at it all at once isn't very practical. It's best to look at the parts and fit what you can into your head. I believe this was my fourth visit. I've never seen Billy or anyone else working on the giant sculpture but it keeps growing and changing. One area of change is the understandable deterioration of the painted wooden stumps. Only two of what was once five remain and they're not doing all that well.

ADDENDUM: January 20, 2015 - Sometimes you see something really cool and don't even know it. The tip of a canoe can just be seen in the lower left of the middle picture. I had noticed it and even noted the "RIVER HORSE II" in metal letters beside it which I apparently brushed off as just another Billy Tripp witticism. Not so, I learned from the winter 2014 issue of American Road Magazine. That is the real River Horse II that William Least Heat-Moon used in preparing to write his 2001 River Horse. I did take a photo that day which included the entire canoe but it also included a lot of other stuff and wasn't particularly sharp so I didn't use it when I posted this page. Severely cropped, here it is.

This was the first of two RoadsideAmerica finds for today. This might actually count as two attractions as founder Henry Harrison is almost as interesting as the museum itself. When Henry's family moved from Johnny Cash's neighborhood in Arkansas, the moved to Elvis Presley's neighborhood in Memphis. He and Johnny Burnette were on the same Golden Gloves boxing team. Elvis sometimes attended their workouts. Of course, Henry didn't have the hall in those days and his friends didn't have much fame, either. But they sure did by 2001 when he started the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, Tennessee. The outside stage is the focal point of the annual festival the twelfth edition of which was held just a couple of weekends ago. There are several rooms filled with memorabilia and Henry has a few things of his own in one corner. It's at the right of the third picture and includes a pair of his boxing gloves. Below the gloves are a pair of genuine Carl Perkins' blue suede shoes. Jackson was Carl's hometown and Henry developed a long time friendship with him.

There is an indoor stage with the drums that Elvis Presley's drummer, D. J. Fontana used to record The Last American Rebel in 2000. Henry also has a pair of sticks from W. S. Holland, Johnny Cash's drummer, which saw a little use today. That's Henry in the last picture with copies of the first five Sun records that Elvis didn't have to pay for behind him. This stop was the highlight of the day and I learned some stuff on top of having fun. I even signed the wall although it's in a spot that just might get covered by the next Carl Perkins picture to show up.

The second site RoadsideAmerica alerted me to was the site of the 1963 crash that killed Patsy Cline and three other country stars. The site is a mile or two off of US-70 and down a couple hundred yards of paved pathway. A close up of the inscription is here.

I was happy to see that the Broadway of America mural in Dickson, Tennessee, was still there though I don't know its future. It was endangered a few years back but is hanging on although I'm sure it's fading ever so slowly.

I left US-70 at Dickson. I'd reached my goal of checking on the mural and I was still about two expressway hours from my planned overnight. So I made for the interstates and headed to these cabins near Cave City, Kentucky. The night shot is just a teaser. I'll have more tomorrow.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]