.

Jimmy Ogle Tours

 
 

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Tours and/or Presentations

 

This list is a sample of various past and present tours and presentations.
View this year’s schedule under Announcements on the
MAIN Page.

 

Public Walking Tours – Begun in 2008 as a part of the Center City Commission’s Downtown Alive program of performing arts at lunch time in various venues in Downtown, Jimmy created two types of walking tours in the Downtown area that he has entitled "Tuesday Tours" and "Saturday Super Tours". These Downtown Walking Tours (generally designed to last 45 minutes and be about four-blocks-long) are FREE and handicapped accessible. Streets and public areas include: Union Avenue, Court Square, Beale Street, Cotton Row, Pinch District, Civic Center Plaza, Adams Avenue, Madison Avenue, Monroe Avenue, South Main Street, Trolley Riverfront Loop, Shelby County Courthouse. Memphis Riverboats, and the Mississippi River from Riverside Drive. The new addition to the menu this Autumn will be the November 6th Street Tour inaugural tour on 11/06/11.
  In the Spring, 2012 (weekends in April & May), an entire new series of Walking Tours will be offered entitled the Riverfront Parks Series, which will include extensive walking tours of: [1] Chickasaw Heritage Park (formerly DeSoto Park) & Crump Park; [2] Martyrs Park & Ashburn-Coppock Park; [3] River Bluff Walkway & Tom Lee Park; [4] Confederate Park, Jefferson Davis Park & Cobblestone Wharf; and, [5] Mississippi Greenbelt Park & Mud Island River Park. These, and other tours, are also publicized on the Downtown Memphis, Commercial Appeal, Memphis Flyer and University of Memphis web sites.

Step-On Guide – Jimmy has served as a Step-On Guide in the Downtown area and Memphis riverfront for motorcoach and tour companies visiting from out-of-town that request the service. A standard-in-the-industry fee is charged for this service.

Private Group Walking Tours – Several school groups and affinity groups have requesting walking tours of certain areas of Downtown or the riverfront.

One-On-One" Tours – Many individuals have requested private tour time. Private tours may be arraigned by contacting Jimmy by phone or email.

Custom Tours – Jimmy has even been given as a "Christmas present" for someone’s parents or grandparents. This tour normally involves a ride around Downtown and the riverfront culminating in a meal or dessert at a Downtown establishment.

Excursions – Jimmy has been known to take a group of history fans on a field trip or meet together to "group up" for an event. Last year, an excursion (via caravan) to the mystical site of the 1865 sinking of Civil War era vessel Sultana, in Crittenden County, Arkansas. Several other interesting stops within the county made the adventure an unusual time for all. In the Autumn of the year, a group assemble in Downtown for lunch, and then walked the Downtown Historic Churches Open House (five churches within five blocks), which is annually scheduled on a Sunday afternoon in October. This year’s excursions will be the Sultana, Downtown Historic Churches Open House and Randolph, Tennessee. Details will be on this web site, now for the Sultana, and in August for the Autumn outings (Downtown Churches and Randolph). Stay tuned.

Old Forest Trail in Overton Park – Although Jimmy is not the leader of this semi-monthly tour (second Saturday and last Sunday of each month), he is glad to participate as a "caboose" for the exquisite tour given by the Citizens To Preserve Overton Park (which he is one of five members, along with Amy Stewart-Banbury, Stacey Greenberg & Roy Barnes) and its leader, Naomi Van Tol. The nature hike changes every time that it is given, as the Old Forest is forever changing on a daily basis. (See below).

Tours for Other Agencies – Whether it is the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange, the Center For Southern Folklore, Shelby County Courthouse or the Memphis Riverboats company, Jimmy quite often pitches in to be involved in the programming, special events and tours for these and other museums and attractions in Memphis. You’ll never know where Jimmy might pop up talking . . .

 

 


PRESENTATIONS

Jimmy has somewhat entered the cyber age, and has learned to develop some Presentations in which he "brings the tour to you" or your group. Yes, by the miracle of a laptop, projector and long extension cord, Jimmy is able to provide any group with one of the following topics – or - given adequate time for research and development, a topic of personal preference of your choice.

You provide the screen (or blank wall), the chairs, one electrical outlet and the audience!

Presentations may last from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the nature of material being covered and the parameters of the group’s meeting. Prepared topics are:

"Before There Was ‘Memphis’: 1782-1826"
"Growing Up At The River, Part 1: Memphis in the 19th Century"
"Growing Up At The River, Part 2: Memphis in the 20th Century"
"Memphis & The Civil War"
"Shelby County Courthouse: Inside and Out"
"Historic Memphis To Modern Memphis"
"The Memphis Music Story"
"The Origins & Oddities of the Streets & Bridges of Memphis"
"Gayoso Bayou: Then & Now"
"The Story of the Zippin Pippin"
"Let’s Talk Architecture & Preservation in Downtown"
"Statues & Sculptures, Lobbies & Plazas"
"Memphis Memorials"
"Overton Park"
"University of Memphis: Know Your Neighborhood"
"Cotton & Crypts: Cotton Men Of Elmwood"
"Riverfront Development Corporation"
"Memphis & The Civil Rights Movement"
"The Moving Appeal"
"Memphis & The Great Depression"
"Catching The Big Fish: Memphis' 21st Century Riverfront"

In the past two years, Jimmy has made Presentations to over one hundred different groups, including civic clubs, alumni gatherings, breakfast groups, dinner groups, senior citizens residential facilities, church groups and many affinity groups throughout the Memphis community and the three-state area.

With all due respect to Paladin from the 1950s western "Have Gun, Will Travel",
Jimmy's motto is "Have Mouth, Will Talk"!!

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!!!  60 Years Of Jimmy O  !!!
Report Card

As the year 2012 closes, it is time to take a look at the “60 Years Of Jimmy O” Report Card.
My comments will be sprinkled about this section in red .
. .

 

With all of the centennials (University of Memphis, UT Med), bicentennials (New Madrid Earthquake) and Sesquicentennials (Civil War events over the next three years), why not have a year-long "Sexdecennial Celebration" for Jimmy O. Now, in my best research, and maybe I should have gone to "Ask Vance", I come up with no term for a 60-year anniversary. So I have combined the six-year (sexennial) and the ten-year (decennial) to come up with the hybrid "sexdecennial" (six times ten). In "wedding" terms, it would be the "Diamond" anniversary.

Most of these commemorations begin the year ahead of the actual month/day/date of the actual celebration and include numerous, well-planned events, milestones and activities. On November 14, 2012, Jimmy O turns the big "60". So, beginning one year in advance of that magic date, a series of special talks, tours and activities will be promoted and provided all year long - beginning with the Inaugural November 6th Street Tour on Sunday, November 6th (2011).

Here are the highlights, and be sure to check this web site
for monthly Announcements and program detail updates:


TUESDAY TOURS in November (2011) at 11:45 a.m. on the Downtown streets and alleys:
November 1 - Pinch District (Main/Overton Trolley Station)
November 8 - Civic Center Plaza & Hall of Mayors (Clock Tower @ Trolley Station)
November 15 - Madison Avenue (Madison/Front)
November 22 - Monroe Avenue (Monroe/Front)
November 29 - Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour (Union/Front)

TUESDAY TOURS for both Autumn, Spring and Autumn again remain the mainstay program and “my old favorite”.  Attendance was strong and the weather cooperated on every Tuesday (imagine that).  A walking tour of any block of Downtown or the Riverfront gives one hundred of stories to talk about or features to point out.  TUESDAY TOURS begin in 2013 on May 7 at the new Beale Street Landing facility, 251 Riverside Drive (11:45 a.m.).

Sunday, November 6 @ 2:06 p.m. - The Inaugural November 6th Street Tour, 126 Beale Street (see story on this page).

The Inaugural November 6th Street Tour tripled expectations.  I expected about 35 folks to attend the 90-minute walk on a pleasant November Sunday afternoon, and we started at Elvis Presley Plaza on Beale Street with 114 folks on what was to end being the “Gilligan’s Island” version – a three hour tour!  The limited supply of t-shirts and commemorative label bottled water did not last long, but 85 folks (lasted three hours) and made it around tall buildings and extra blocks, around the Hebe Fountain in Court Square, through the Marriott Hotel lobby and under I-40, through the “Spine of Downtown” to the Pinch District (17 blocks, 27 twists & turns) to Red Fish Gallery and Westy’s Restaurant.

SHELBY COUNTY COURTHOUSE TOURS
Fourth Thursday of Each Month @ 12:00 noon.
Meet on the Southwest Steps at Adams/Second.
2011 - November 17, December 22
2012 -  May 24, June 28, July 26, August 23,
September 27, October 25 & November 15

The prettiest public building in Memphis is indeed the Shelby County Courthouse, and basically the easiest tour to give, inside and out.  The building sells (and tells) itself.  The marble and mahogany wood in the South Hallway along with the six display cases, old benches, historic cuspidor and Andrew Jackson bust & pedestal make the tour pop on its own.  Then add the Antique Court Room and the Law Library, and on good weather days, the exterior statues and pediments – every tours is a home run.  Many thanks to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the on-duty guards for their understanding and cooperation with the tours and groups.  The monthly tour still is the one time that a person is allowed to bring a camera into the Courthouse.

During the Spring, 2012, be looking for:

* Spring Season TUESDAY TOURS on the Downtown streets and alleys, parks and plazas beginning on April 3 and continuing through May 29.

* The RIVERFRONT PARK TOUR SERIES - All New !! On weekend afternoons, all of the eleven riverfront parks under the jurisdiction of the Riverfront Development Corporation will be "talked and toured" in April and May. All talks will cover the extensive history and events of Memphis, the Lower Mississippi River Valley, the Port of Memphis & Shelby County, Memphis' four bridges, the riverfront parks, riverboat companies, barge traffic and the Delta afternoons in April and May, with the following "groupings":
- Chickasaw Heritage Park, National Ornamental Metal Museum grounds, Marine Hospital grounds & Crump Park
- Martyrs Park, Church Of The River, Channel 3 Drive, "Rivermont" Easement & Ashburn-Coppock Park
- Tom Lee Park, Vance Park, Butler Park & River Bluff Walk
- The Cobblestone Wharf, Jefferson Davis Park, Confederate Park & State of Tennessee Welcome Center
- Mississippi Greenbelt Park on Mud Island & Mud Island River Park

It was 51 degrees at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 when 54 people gathered at Chickasaw Heritage Park (formerly DeSoto Park; originally Jackson Mounds Park).  The dew was heavy and several of us slid down on the mounds (accidentally, that is).  The tour meandered through the grounds of the National Ornamental Metal Museum (with Judy Davis of the Metal Museum staff giving excellent commentary) to the grounds of the former Marine Hospital (owner Lauren Crews chipping in very well here) to Crump Park, next to the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge.  What a great start to the Riverfront Park Series along the five-mile stretch to Greenbelt Park on weekends over the next month.  In October, we returned to Chickasaw Heritage Park for the unveiling of the “Legacies” statue by artist Vinnie Bagwell and the UrbanArt Commission.

* The MEMPHIS & ARKANSAS BRIDGE WALK - All New!! With all of the attention that is being given to the future Harahan Greenline project, many citizens do not realize that there is already an existing walkway across the Mississippi River to Arkansas. The access is hard to find and the walk can be a little "scary" at times, but it is absolutely safe and a thrill of an adventure. So, having a knowledgeable "tour guide" will help alleviate some of the anxiety or unknown factor. Saturday mornings in April and May, 2012.

Another big surprise this year, like the Inaugural November 6th Street Tour.  On a nice Sunday Afternoon (April 22), 146 folks appeared out of nowhere in Crump Park.  I am glad that I had purchased a megaphone, as the expressway traffic is rather loud in the area.  The prettiest tree in all of Downtown (the big magnolia in the center of Crump Park) actually became the de facto gathering point for all M&A Bridge Walks.  Designed to be a precursor to the future incredible Harahan Bridge Greenline, “mission accomplished” for the M&A Bridge Walks.  Over 500 people on eight walks enjoyed the history of the most scenic portion of the Memphis riverfront and heard some good history about the Mississippi River, riverboats, bridges, railroads, etc., and got to climb the Best Tree in Downtown Memphis!

* BATTLE OF MEMPHIS SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION (June 6, 2012) - The (naval) Battle of Memphis during the Civil War was held on the morning of June 6, 1862. From 2011 to 2015, many states will be holding commemorative events on the 150th year recognizing the history and impact on our country. On Wednesday, June 6 (2012) a historical presentation will be given in Confederate Park detailing the events of the Battle of Memphis. In 1862, the citizens of Memphis actually anticipated the Battle of Memphis (which occurred approximately where Mud Island River Park exists today) as if they were spectators at an NFL game!

Over 200 Civil War enthusiasts enjoyed a somewhat hot Summer day on the bluffs, as the largest naval battle in the history of the world (the Naval Battle of Memphis) was commemorated in Confederate Park on June 6, to the tune of a lot of loud cannon and musket firing.

And, then on September 5, four cannons were placed on permanent display in the park.  Led by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans, and including the Shelby County Historical Commission and the Riverfront Development Corporation was financed with about $72,000 in private donations, said Lee Millar.  The cast iron carriages supporting the new cannon reproductions were donated by Shiloh National Military Park.

Steen Cannons, a family-owned company in Ashland, Ky., made the new cannons and stays busy supplying artillery representing a variety of wars to national parks, towns, cemeteries and other customers.  During the Civil War, carriages were wooden.  The cannon types at Confederate Park represent those used by two Confederate artillery units — Bankhead's Battery, formed in 1861 by Memphis attorney Smith P. Bankhead, and the Appeal Battery, sponsored in 1862 by The Appeal newspaper (an ancestor of The Commercial Appeal).

* BATTLE OF MEMPHIS SESQUICENTENNIAL WEEKEND (June 8-9, 2012) at Mud Island River Park & Mississippi River Museum - A weekend full of lectures in the Museum Theatre, re-enactments, authentic encampments, cannon fire, Civil War era music, costumed tour guides in the five Civil War galleries of the Mississippi River Museum, costumed tour guides along the River Walk detailing the various strategic battles on the "western rivers" - Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson and Shiloh on the Tennessee River; Island No. 10, Ft. Pillow, Ft. Wright & Randolph, Memphis, Helena, Vicksburg, Natchez and New Orleans on the Mississippi River.

Many thanks to Alan Doyle, Ed Williams, Nell Dickerson, Elaine Turner, Jerry Potter,  Dr. James Gholson, Dr. Curt Fields, Dr. Douglas Cupples and Donald Harrison for making the Sesquicentennial Lecture Series a remarkable and diverse take on the Civil War and Memphis.  Fred Scott made the Changing Exhibit Gallery of the Mississippi River Museum come alive with the folk paintings of his father, Fred Scott, depicting nineteen scenes of the Civil War across Tennessee.  The encampment by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Nathan Bedford Forrest Chapter, Morton’s Battery and the 52nd Regimental Band in the South Grove proved to be a popular spot, too.

* THE MOVING APPEAL - A new lecture has been created for the timeliness of the Civil War Sesquicentennial activities entitled "The Moving Appeal" featuring the editor John Reid McClanahan. On June 5, 1862, the Memphis Daily Appeal (newspaper) departed the city on a bold mission to continue publication during a three-year, 1000-mile, four-state odyssey - one step ahead of Federal forces. Grenada, Jackson, Atlanta and Montgomery were all cities that The Appeal was published to become one of the most reliable and respected publications of the Civil War, and only one of twenty publications (out of eighty) to survive the ravages of the Civil War - later to become The Commercial Appeal. This lecture will be available beginning this December, and will be one of the lectures at the monthly Lunch & lectures Series at Elmwood Cemetery next Spring. John Reid McClanahan is buried in Elmwood.

The Moving Appeal and the portrayal of John Reid McClanahan made for a traveling show on an unusual story to the Civil War & Memphis.  The Mississippi River Museum, Elmwood Cemetery “Read In peace” book club, University Of Memphis Society of Professional Journalists and even the Center Lane Alley were all backdrops for this presentation. Many thanks to Barry Lincoln of Mr. Lincoln’s Costume Shop, too.

* RIVERBOAT CRUISES - In association with MEMPHIS RIVERBOATS, two of the most popular excursions will be revived (dates to be announced) - the Helena Daylong Excursion and the Sandbar Cruise:
- Helena Daylong Excursion: A seven-hour cruise of 72 miles of twists and turns of the Mississippi River to Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. The cruise includes breakfast and lunch, full service bar, Memphis musicians, informational commentary, bingo!, and even a brief stop on a sandbar. A visit to the Delta Cultural Center and then a one-hour motorcoach ride through the cotton lands of the Mississippi delta for a return of a perfect daylong river adventure.
- Sandbar Cruises: Once the high waters of the Spring season leave, many sandbars and beaches "open up" along the shores of the Mississippi River within eyesight of the city skyline. This five-hour experience features lunch, marshmallow roast, music, games (volleyball, horseshoe), frisbee tossing, "driftwooding" and even a search for buried treasure!

Well, we did not get to Helena or on a nearby sandbar as hoped for, and a part of that was due to the historic long period of low water in the Mississippi River for the Summer and Autumn seasons.  But, Jimmy O was able to have the honor of cruising on the AMERICAN QUEEN from St. Louis, Paducah, Helena Vicksburg (with some ports in between) giving lectures about Memphis on inbound cruise to Memphis. What a fantastic time this was, and more AQ lectures are booked for the 2013 season.  Capt. William Lozier also allowed me to cruise the ISLAND QUEEN on selected occasions giving commentary on sightseeing cruises throughout the year.

* UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS: KNOW YOU NEIGHBORHOOD series continues throughout the Centennial Celebration of the University of Memphis. The first presentation is on Wednesday, January 25 at McWherter Library with the topic being the Churches in the University neighborhoods. More topics about the six surrounding neighborhoods and even walking tours will be given on a quarterly basis in 2012.

Friends For The Libraries at The University Of Memphis allowed me to give Part 6 and Part 7 in the continuing series – “Know Your Neighborhood”.  The Centennial Celebration was a big year for The University.  A highlight for me, as Chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, was the approval and dedication of the Memphis State Eight historical marker on the grounds of The University.

* COMMUNITY EDUCATION COURSES - Schedules are being set now for Spring and Autumn seasons at Rhodes College Meeman Center For Lifelong Learning ("Memphis History: Centuries Of Adventure & Development"). Stay tuned . . .

Two courses (four classes each in the Spring and Autumn) at the Meeman Center For Lifelong Learning at Rhodes College received maximum registration for the room, and a real diverse group of “students”.   “Memphis History: Centuries Of Adventure & Development” will return to Meeman on four Monday night in April, 2013 (April 8, 15, 22 & 29).

* CARAVANS - The popular "Dutch Treat" Caravans will return in 2012 with excursions to Randolph, Halls, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, C.H. Nash Museum Chucalissa and the Sultana site. These caravans and/or carpools generally assemble in the convenient location in Memphis and usually are less than a 45-minute drive to each destination. The charm of traveling in numbers, with friends and on a pre-arranged schedule makes the caravan more enjoyable and worry free. No fees are involved; participants may picnic or eat where they choose, and are free to depart from the group at any time for other reasons or preferences. The schedule will be announced in Spring, 2012 - stay tuned.

Well, there were no Caravans in 2012 as we simply ran out of time!

* BEALE STREET LANDING & the AMERICAN QUEEN - The largest steamboat ever built for passenger excursions on the Mississippi River has claimed Memphis as it home port this year as the Great American Steamboat Company opens its offices in One Commerce Square. Beale Street Landing is under construction and upon completion in several phases in 2012 there will be a modern, handicapped accessible docking system for all riverboats, spectacular viewing spaces on the green grass roof of the main building, a restaurant on the river channel (city side) with patio and terrace dining opportunities, concession kiosks, special events and other activities making the north end of Tom Lee Park (plus four additional acres) at the confluence of Riverside Drive and Beale Street a new destination for Memphians and tourists.

The local excursion company, MEMPHIS RIVERBOATS, will also being boarding passengers from Beale Street Landing in 2012. The first cruise of the AMERICAN QUEEN departs April 27 heading for the Kentucky Derby - now that is cool. Go to The Great American Steamboat Company for the 2012 schedule and pricing.

Beale Street Landing did not open in 2012, but received substantial completion and still had numerous events during a full-blown construction site – the Christening of the AMERICAN QUEEN, AutoZone Powerboat Racing Championship, almost 100 hard hat tours, big events like Monogram Foods Loves Kids and ArtAFactor (ArtsMemphis), and holiday parties in December.  The anticipated opening is March, 2013 when Memphis Riverboats will begin boarding passengers from the helical ramp/dock and Riverside Grille & Dockside Bar will open on a daily basis for lunch, dinner, happy hours and parties.  Five overnight passenger vessels will be visiting Beale Street Landing in 2013, including the AMERICAN QUEEN, QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI, YORKTOWN, GRAND CARIBE and the GRAND MARINER.  Phase 4B construction on the north four acres, terraces and islands will be completed in the Autumn, 2012.

So, there you have it . . . a lot activities scheduled and even more to be announced. Who knows what will find us in 2012. Jimmy O is always available to present lectures (on twenty different "Memphis" topics) to groups at their weekly and/or monthly meetings (services clubs, affinity groups, etc.) or senior citizen homes or even school groups. Just contact me . . .

In summary – my highlights, in no particular order, were being Chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission and the work and dedication of the Plastic Products Record Plant and Memphis State Eight historical markers; the five cruises and lectures aboard the AMERICAN QUEEN; the conception and implementation of the Coltharp / River Walk Model exhibit at the Mississippi River Museum (thank you Alisa & Trey); the Sesquicentennial Lecture Series at the Mississippi River Museum; being on site at Beale Street Landing and seeing the project begin to take final shape; beginning the “Inside Memphis” segments three-times-per-week on KWAM AM990 radio; participation in the “Old Forest Fairy Tale” panel with Sunshine Snyder & Charlie Newman at Evergreen Theatre; the Peabody Hotel’s Historic Dinner Series TITANIC night; and the season long celebration of the career of MUS Basketball Coach Jerry Peters, culminating with his attainment of 1,001 victories; and having a “surprise” birthday party in November at Westy’s hosted by my grandchildren!

So, what will 2013 bring - the start of the next 60 Years Of Jimmy O?  I know that I will be busy at  Beale Street Landing and that will limit most of my availability to “hit the road” with Talks & Tours.  All I can say, is great big THANK YOU to the thousands of folks that participated and support the efforts this year . . . and “stay tuned . . .”

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Out With August, In With September Tours!


  The dog days of August are beyond, but it was a very busy month inside with Jimmy O being an emcee at several affairs - Shelby County Historical Commission's Annual History Awards Dinner, Tennessee Historical Commission's Humes High School Historical Marker Dedication and International Children's Heart Foundation Tour of the World Dinner; and even rotated between stretch limos for a Progressive Dinner of the Williams & Gillentine Legacy Planning group.

 

Add a few DriveArounds like with Meiji University and talks to the Germantown & Kirby Kiwanis Clubs, the Bop Club River Cruise, Rhodes College Fellows River Cruise, The Village in Germantown, Memphis Map For Elvis Fans Unveiling at A. Schwab's, Christened the M/V GEORGE C. GRUGETT, Paige Robbins Adult Day Care Center, made an appearance on "Joy In Our Town" on WBUY-TV and even took a Segway Tour! Quite a fun month . .

 

  Now with September here, it is time for some outdoor free, public tours - TUESDAY TOURS, Bridge Walks and Courthouse Tours. Please view the next few stories below and consult the Composite Calendar for more details, dates, times and locations . . .

 

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2012 Year-End Review List of Groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events
A.L. Taylor / Phi Beta Sigma Historical Marker
AMERICAN QUEEN Christening (Beale Street Landing)
Andrew Jackson’s 245th Birthday Commemoration
ArtAFactor (Arts Memphis)
AutoZone Powerboat Racing Championship (Beale Street Landing)
Civil War History Festival (Marion, AR)
Coach Jerry Peters (MUS) Retirement Celebration
Cooper-Young Festival - Booth for Citizens To Preserve Overton Park
Delta Everything Southern Conference
Downtown Museum Day Walking Tours (3)
Elmwood Cemetery Costume Twilight Tour (Nathaniel Anderson)
Elmwood Cemetery Costume Twilight Tour (Lloyd T. Binford)
George Kessler 150th Birthday Celebration (Overton Park Golf Patio)
Harvest Party Horse Drawn Trolley Tour – Memphis Cotton Museum
Irish Festival – Pinch District
John Weatherall Historical Marker
Memphis Heritage 2013 Calendar Unveiling (A. Schwab’s)
Memphis State Eight Historical Marker
Mississippi River Museum Exhibit: “The Mud Island River Walk –
A Mississippi River Architectural Marvel”
Monogram Foods Loves Kids (Beale Street Landing Inaugural Event)
Mud Island Independence Day Celebration
Naval Battle of Memphis Sesquicentennial Commemoration (Confederate Park)
Naval Battle of Memphis Sesquicentennial Weekend (Mud Island)
Naval Battle of Memphis Sesquicentennial Lecture Series
(Mississippi River Museum)
“Old Forest Fairy Tale” (Evergreen Theatre) – Panel Discussion
with Sunshine Snyder & Charlie Newman
Old Forest Jamboree (Hi-Tone)
“Parking Day” (Downtown Memphis Commission)
Peabody Hotel Historic Dinner Series: Charles Lindbergh Dinner Menu
Peabody Hotel Historic Dinner Series: Titanic 100th Anniversary Menu
Plastic Products Record Plant Historical Marker
Saturday Night Jamboree Historical Marker
Shelby County History Dinner (Hillwood Hall, Davies Manor)
Shelby County History Festival (Hillwood Hall, Davies Manor)
Stan Bronson’s 84th Birthday Party (Wesley Highland Terrace)
St. Mary’s Cathedral Exceptionalism Series (3)
“Sultana” Exhibit in Marion (AR)
Titanic 100th Anniversary Dinner at Chez Philippe (Peabody Hotel)
UrbanArt Commission “Legacies” Statue Dedication – Chickasaw Heritage Park
West Tennessee Region, Tennessee History Day

Media
Earle Farrell For Memphis - KWAM AM 990 (6)
FOX 13 w/ Darrell Green & Earle Farrell (3)
“Inside Memphis” – KWAM AM 990 (78)
Memphis Chamber “12-12-12 Luncheon” History Video with Larry Cox
“MEMPHIS” Magazine August issue feature
“SPOON” magazine – Spring issue feature
Sports 56 “Sportstime with George Lapides” (Coach Jerry Peters)
Talk It Out With Father Don Mowery – WHBQ (4)
The Peabody Hotel History Film
University Of Memphis Alumni magazine – Spring issue feature
WKNO-TV “Local Color” (1)
WMC-TV Sunday Morning Show (1)
WPTY-TV – TripAdvisor Story
WREG-TV “Live At 9” (2)
WYPL - Council Talk with Jim Strickland (1)

Meetings
Davies Manor Association
Delta Everything Southern Planning Committee
Elmwood Cemetery – Elmwood University Class (2)
Greenways Alliance (3)
Memphis Area Maritime Security Committee (8)
U.S. Coast Guard
Mississippi River Corridor Tennessee Board Meetings (6)
Remember Libertyland
Shelby County Historical Commission monthly meetings (as Chairman)
University Of Memphis Stat Crew Milkshake Club (Wiles-Smith Drugstore)
West Tennessee Historical Society Board Meetings

Sports
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Media Guide records update
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Statistics Crew (Spotter)
Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament Scoreboard
FedEx St. Jude Classic Media Guide edits
Rhodes College Men & Women’s Scoreboard & Scorebook
University Of Memphis Baseball Scoreboard
University Of Memphis Men’s Basketball Scoreboard
University Of Memphis Women’s Basketball Scoreboard
University Of Memphis Men & Women’s Golf Score Sheets
University Of Memphis Volleyball P.A. Announcer
University Of Mississippi Men & Women’s Basketball Scorebook

Talks or Tours
20th Century Garden Club
American Orthodontists Association
AMERICAN QUEEN lectures (7)
American Road & Transportation Builders Association Downtown WalkAbout
Bank Travel Network FAM & Convention
Bartlett United Methodist Church
Beale Street Landing Hard Hat Tours (78)
Benjamin Hooks Public Library Experience Series
Berdeja Family Downtown WalkAbout
Biggs Family Downtown WalkAbout
Bixby Travel group
Blackburn Family Downtown DriveAround
Bolton High School Camera Club Downtown WalkAbout
Brooks Museum League
Campbell Clinic Spouses Downtown WalkAbout
Catmur Realtor group
CB Richard Ellis group
Central High School Class of 1970 Downtown WalkAbout
Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society
Chickasaw Gardens Garden Club
Christian Brothers University Urban Studies Downtown WalkAbout
Civil War Memphis DriveAround for AMERICAN QUEEN (2)
Collierville Contemporary Club
Collierville United Methodist Church Seniors Downtown DriveAround
Collierville Women’s Club
Coltharp Family Reception at Mud Island River Walk Model
Commercial Real Estate Women group
Crenshaw Family Downtown WalkAbout
Daughters of the American Revolution (We-Ah-Tah-Umba Chapter)
Dixon Gallery & Gardens Munch & Learn (2)
Downtown Memphis Commission Relocation Program Orientation (2)
Downtown Neighborhood Association Annual Sightseeing Cruise
East Memphis Exchange Club (2)
Elinor Crenshaw group
Elmwood Cemetery Lunch & Lecture: The Moving Appeal
Elmwood Cemetery “Read In Peace” Book Club (The Moving Appeal)
Evangelical Christian School (Courthouse Tour)
Evergreen Garden Club
FedEx Group Downtown WalkAbout
Fellowship Forum
Fletcher Party Talk
Food For Thought (2)
Friendship Force
Friends Of The Pink Palace
Gayoso Bayou (4)
Germantown Country Club Ladies Golf Luncheon
Germantown Iris Club
Germantown Kiwanis Club
Germantown United Methodist Church Brown Bag Luncheon
Girl Scout Troop Downtown WalkAbout
Goodlett Elementary School
Google Maps (for Memphis Riverfront Parks)
Grace-St. Luke’s School – 6th Grade (Memphis & The Civil Rights Movement)
Grace-St. Luke’s Middle School Speaker Series (Memphis Leaders)
Hobson Realtors
Home School Education Association
Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (Mid-South Chapter)
Hotel Chisca
Huguenot Society of Manakin In The Colony Of Virginia, Tennessee Branch
Hutchinson School (Turn-Of-The-Century Gathering Places)
Hutchinson School Perre Magness Series, Grades 1-8 (3)
Hyde Family Foundation
Idlewild OWLS
Illinois League of Financial Institution Downtown WalkAbout
ISLAND QUEEN Sightseeing Cruise Commentary (20)
John Ogle Group Downtown WalkAbout
Josephine Lewis Circle
Keane Group Downtown WalkAbout
Kirby Pines Kiwanis Club
Lunitects (American Institute of Architects-Memphis Chapter) (2)
Mansbauch Family Downtown WalkAbout
Matt Meador Family Downtown WalkAbout
Meandering The Mississippi Hog rally (Whispering Woods)
Meeting Planners International – Memphis Chapter
Memphis & Arkansas Bridge Walks (11)
Memphis Breakfast Rotary Club
Memphis College Preparatory School faculty (2)
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau FAM Tour (BBQ Media)
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau FAM Tour (Million Dollar Quartet)
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau FAM Tour (Hanoi Media)
Memphis Fire department Administration staff
Memphis Light, Gas & Water Annual Meeting
Memphis Light, Gas & Water Customer Care meeting
Memphis University School
Mid-America Tours DriveAround Downtown
Military Order of World Wars
Military Order Wives Club
Missouri Blues Society (Stephanie Shonekan)
Monsanto Group Downtown DriveAround
National Ornamental Metal Museum Members Luncheon
National Young Farmers Education Association
Normal Station Trivia Night judge
November 6th Street Tour (2)
Overton Park Conservancy Volunteer Orientation
Overton Park Old Forest Hikes
Peabody Elementary School 3rd Grade
P.E.O. AA Chapter Meeting
P.E.O. American Chapter Riverboat Cruise
Powell Family Reunion WalkAbout Downtown
Professional Insurors Association of Memphis
Propeller Club
Prudential Realtors
Rhodes College Fellows Program
Rhodes College Meeman Center For Lifelong Learning (2 semesters)
Rhodes College Urban Parks Planning Class (Overton Park)
Richard Davenport group
Ridgeway Baptist Church Golden Agers
Ripley (TN) Rotary Club
Riverfront Parks Series Walking Tours (4)
Road Scholars DriveAround & Lecture (2)
Second Baptist Church
Second Presbyterian Church Fellows DriveAround
Second Presbyterian Church MMM Club
Second Presbyterian Church MMM Club DriveAround
See Memphis Orientation
Servicemaster (Courthouse Tour)
Shelby County Courthouse Monthly Walking Tour
Shelby County Mayor’s Office – Citizen’s University (2)
Society of Archaeologists Downtown WalkAbout
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Chalmers Chapter
Sons Of Confederate Veterans, Forrest Chapter # 215
Southern College Of Optometry Orientation Luncheon
St. George’s Independent School History Day Awards
St. John’s Episcopal Church Men’s Club
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Young At Heart (2)
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Young At Heart Downtown DriveAround (2)
South Main Association History Walk
Tauck Tours Downtown DriveAround
Teach For America (Frayser ASD) Downtown DriveAround
Tennessee Genealogical Society (Courthouse Tour)
Tennessee Planning Association Convention Downtown WalkAbout
The Village of Germantown
Town Village Seniors Program
Trezevant Manor Downtown DriveAround
TUESDAY TOURS (16)
United Daughters of the War of 1812 – Piomingo Chapter
University Of Memphis Center For Partnership in Geographical
Informational Services
University Of Memphis Friends Of The Libraries (2)
University Of Memphis Kemmons Wilson School Tourism Class (2)
University Of Memphis Legal Clinic (Courthouse Tour)
University Of Memphis Society of Professional Journalists (The Moving Appeal)
University Of Memphis Stormwater Class
University Of Memphis Study Abroad group (Meiji University)
University Of Tennessee Faculty Wives Club
Veesart Financial
Warr Family Downtown WalkAbout
Watoto De Afrika (2)
Wesley Highland Terrace (3)
White Station Optimist Club
Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Downtown DriveAround
Woodland Presbyterian School
Young Professionals Organization (FedEx)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for being a supporter and contributor to the “Talks & Tours” in 2010

Besides being able to talk to thousands of people about Memphis History, my event highlights of the year were two dedications in Memphis – Jack Tucker Alley in Cotton Row on April 3 and the Zippin Pippin/Libertyland historical marker at East Parkway/Young Avenue on November 1. My “top walking tour” highlights were the privilege of being asked by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Memphis) to lead a series of walking tours for its September Architecture Month program and the Memphis Bar Association’s tours of the historic Shelby County Courthouse. And, I continue to be appreciative of the opportunities that the folks at Elmwood Cemetery give me in various cool programs and volunteer opportunities there. And, I even got to speak to the West Tennessee Historical Society this year!

I look forward to working in the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind again this Spring (tournament week is June 6-12); resuming the Continuing Education course in Memphis History (this time at the new Nesin Graduate School of the Memphis College of Art at 477 South Main); to Tuesday Tours and Saturday Super Tours. I have already booked quite a few PowerPoint presentations to groups this year and I have some new topics available.

On a more personal note,
here is a list of folks and groups that I would like to say ‘thank you” to - one more time.

Groups I Have Had The Privilege To Make A Presentation In 2010:

Alta Vista Neighborhood Association
American History Teachers Collaborative
Annie’s Group
Bartlett Hills Baptist Church Golden Agers
Bartlett Historical Society (2)
Bartlett Senior Citizens Center Group
Center For Southern Folklore
Christian Brother University U.S. History Class (2)
Collierville Rotary Club
Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange Brown Bag Series
Daughters of the American Revolution – Watauga Chapter
Denise Reeder Group
Destination King
Downtown Neighborhood Association
East Buntyn Neighborhood Association
Fleur-De-Lis Club
Food For Thought (4)
FOX 13 Good Morning from Memphis (4)
FedEx
FedEx YPO-WPO
Friendship Force
First Med
Gavel Club
Germantown Kiwanis (3)
Germantown United Methodist Church Brown Bag Series (2)
Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce Staff (2)
Highland Area Renewal Corporation
Hutchison School For Girls (2)
Idlewild OWLS
Ikard Family Reunion

Jim Seven Group
Kelly Tours
Kentucky Opry Tours
Khara Woods Reunion Group
Kirby Pines Senior Citizens Group
Leather Apron Club
Maria Montesorri School 4th Grade
Memphis Agriculture Club
Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA)
Memphis Civil Litigation GroupMemphis Sail & Power Squadron
Memphians For America
Midtown Rotary Club (2)
Military Order of World Wars

National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA)
National Association of Community Health organizations (NACHO) (2)
National BBQ Association (NBBQA)
New Newcomers (2)
Northeast Memphis Optimist Club
Olive Branch Genealogy Club
Paperboard Packaging Council
P.E.O. Club
Raleigh-Frayser Seniors Club (2)
Regions Bank
Rhodes College U.S. History Class (2)
Rhodes College Summer Service Fellows (2)
San Diego Zoological Society Travel Group
Shelby County Historical Commission
Sons of Confederate Veterans – Nathan Bedford Forrest Chapter # 219
Southwest Prep Academy
St. Mary’s Elementary 4th Grade
Swiss Army Knife
Talk It Out With Father Don Mowery (3)
The Village of Germantown (2)
Town Village Audubon Square Seniors (2)
Trezevant Manor
Trinity Baptist Church
Turner Broadcasting Network (TBS) “Memphis Beat” Series
University of Memphis Architecture Downtown Studio (2)
University of Memphis Association of Retirees
University of Memphis Continuing Education Class (6)
University of Memphis Friends Of The Libraries
University of Memphis Interior Design Class
University of Memphis Hospitality School
University of Memphis Kemmons Wilson School Tourism Class (2)
West Tennessee Chapter PGA
West Tennessee Historical Society

Events & Places:

American Institute of Architects -Memphis Chapter
September Architecture Month Tours
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Beale Street Brass Note Tour (2)
Cotton Museum History Day
Cuspidor Dedication – Shelby County Courthouse
Elmwood Cemetery (4)
Gayoso Bayou Tours (4)

George Klein Book Signings (6)
Germantown Show & Tell History Festival
Island Queen Sightseeing Cruise Commentary (13)
Jack Tucker Alley Dedication
Karla Shopoff Birthday Group
Lunitects – AIA Memphis
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Agricultural FAM
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau BBQ FAM
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Civil War FAM
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Jersey Boys FAM
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Local Sales FAM (Orpheum)
Memphis Holiday Parade

Memphis University School Buzzard Dedication
Mind Your Meetings Expo
Old Forest Hikes (20)
Old Forest Jamboree (2)
Randolph Caravan
Regions Bank – South Central Region
Remember Libertyland/Zippin Pippin Dedication
Shelby County Courthouse Tours (9)
Shelby County History Festival
St. Jude Classic Presented by Smith & Nephew
Sultana Adventure
Super Saturday Tours (8)
Tuesday Tours (17)
Vollintine-Evergreen Community Association Lick Creek Coalition
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Big Boats & Big Stories In April
American Queen & Titanic On The Memphis Scene

 

  On November 14, Jimmy O has the privilege of cruising on the AMERICAN QUEEN on his 60th birthday. It is not often that a person gets to ride on the AQ much less spend his 60th birthday on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Memphis, lecturing about his home town - what an honor! He has lectured into Memphis about Memphis from the ports of Paducah, Helena, New Madrid and Vicksburg and gained about 20 pounds from all of the good food everywhere on the vessel. He will be cruising and lecturing again from November 29-December 2 coming from Vicksburg, and has been booked on several occasions in 2013 to "preach" the message of "Memphis" to incoming passengers.

  April was a big month on the Memphis Riverfront. Although the new Beale Street Landing facility (restaurant, gift shops and daily riverboat excursions by the locally owned
Memphis Riverboats) will not officially open by the Riverfront Development Corporation to the public until July of this year, the "one-of-a-kind-in-the-world" helical ramp and docking system was the site of the inaugural visit on April 26-27 of the Steamer American Queen, operated by Memphis' newest tourism company, the Great American Steamboat Company. Jimmy O was on board from Helena to Memphis on April 25-26 as a lecturer on topics about Memphis, one of several cruises in which he will be featured on in 2012 aboard the American Queen.

  The American Queen, with a capacity for 436 passengers, is the largest riverboat (89-feet wide by 416-feet long by five-stories high) ever built to cruise the Mississippi River and began visiting Memphis in 1995. She will offer multiple-day/night excursions from New Orleans to St. Paul on the Mississippi River; all the way to Pittsburgh on the Ohio River; all the way to Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. Godmother Priscilla Presley will christen the vessel and the world famous Peabody Ducks also inspected the accommodations from bow to stern on April 27 before cruising to Louisville and the Kentucky Derby...


On a recent cruise from Vicksburg, Jimmy enjoyed listening to the talents of "Memphian" Andy Childs.

Now to the Peabody Hotel, Chez Phillipe and the 2012 Historic Dinner Series.

  On April 15th & 16th, as a commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (April 15, 1912), there was a nine course event replicating the final on-board dinner with wine, a Titanic book as a gift and other surprises. Jimmy O was been asked to talk at the dinner about any connections of Memphians to the Titanic, as well as what was Memphis like in 1912.

Other dates for the Historic Dinner Series at The Peabody Hotel are:

May 21 - Lindbergh Dinner (85th anniversary). In 1927, aviator Charles Lindbergh was actually feted at a dinner at The Peabody Hotel two weeks after his famous trans-Atlantic flight to Paris. The Spirit Of St. Louis was actually returned aboard the United States Navy cruiser USS Memphis to America (June 11, 1927) - that's a neat Memphis connection, too.

July 14 - Bastille Day Dinner (223rd anniversary). On July 14, 1789, the storming of the Bastille prison, which represented the royal authority in the center of Paris, occurred and its fall was the flashpoint of the French Revolution.

October 10 - Orient Express (130th anniversary). The Orient Express name is synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel between Vienna and Paris.

   

For more information about the Historic Dinner Series, contact 901-529-4188 or www.peabodymemphis.com.

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MEMPHIS STATE EIGHT Historical Marker Dedicated

About 400 students, faculty, alumni and other dignitaries gathered on the south grounds of the Administration Building on The University Of Memphis campus on September 18 to dedicate the latest historical marker approved by the Shelby County Historical Commission - MEMPHIS STATE EIGHT.
The event was commemorated on the 53rd anniversary of the first eight black students to be allowed entry on September 18, 1959 into (then) Memphis State University.

 

 

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Plastic Products Record Plant - Hub Of Rock 'n' Roll
Historical Marker Dedication

1746 Chelsea Avenue

The Shelby County Historical Commission dedicated another historical marker during the 2012 Elvis Week. Last year, SCHC dedicated the Lansky Brothers - Clothier To The King marker at 126 Beale Street to the delight on many Elvis fans. When one talks or hears about the "Memphis Music Legacy", the most often mentioned topics are the singers, then the songs, then the recording studios, then concerts, then the museums and attractions - but seldom the "industry behind the industry" that made it all happen sixty years ago.

Without the record shops such as Poplar Tunes, Home Of The Blues, Boss Ugly Bob's; without the record distribution concept of a company called Music Sales (packing records and distributing them nationwide from Memphis - overnight by air, by Delta in the 1950s); without the jukebox empires, controlled out of Memphis (over 24, 000 jukeboxes in ten states by three companies; without the malt shops and soda fountains that kids could assemble to listen to the "new music of their generation" as so few had kids radios at home at that time; and without the deejays such as Dewey Phillips, Nat Williams, Rufus Thomas and George Klein, etc. - Rock 'n' Roll and Soul Music might just have stayed at home in Memphis, whether than go worldwide . . .

Well, someone had to make those records that could be played in jukeboxes, on radio station air waves, and eventually in home systems. And that is the incredible story of Buster Williams and Plastic Products Record Plant in those four forlorn Quonset huts at 1742-1744-1746-1748 Chelsea Avenue, one block west of McLean Boulevard.

From WKNO-FM:
"And, from a practical standpoint, another source of the success of Memphis record labels could be summed up in the magic word Mr. McGuire shared with Ben Braddock in the movie The Graduate; plastics. Memphis had a place you could go and economically press up thousands of records. Buster Williams came to town from Enterprise, Mississippi, where he had been a teenage business wizard. Starting as a peanut salesman, then drug store owner, he was fascinated by the money to be made from coin-operated machines. Buster became a jukebox distributor, then opened a record distribution company in the mid 40’s. In 1949, Williams’ next endeavor was Plastic Products, the second independent record pressing plant in the nation. Located in a Quonset hut on Chelsea Avenue, Plastic Products opened just in time to satisfy the clamor of the growing market of teenagers who desired to buy the records Buster pressed. With the advent of the 45-rpm record, and the onset of rock-and-roll, Fortune Magazine pegged Plastic Products sales at six million records annually, with a profit of 2 to 3 cents each."

Many thanks to Jim Cole, Mike Freeman, Jake Schorr, Robert Williams, Hal Lansky, Andrea Shaw
and George Klein for their part in making this marker happen.

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  Voices of the South presented their newest original musical, written by company member Virginia Ralph. Travel with the Smallish Girl through a forest portal to a Fairyland like you've never experienced before, populated by outrageous characters--Jackie SnowBear, Pluto the Planet, Wendy the Whale, Bobby Birdsong, and Fairies! Inspired by the historic Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe Supreme Court case of 1971, we learn from our forest friends how even the very smallest among us can be a voice for our community. (This 45-minute performance is appropriate for PreK-8th grades.)

"Surely you have noticed that in our world, size does not determine Importance. In our world, a planet is a whale is a bear is a bird is a girl is a fairy when it comes to importance. Nobody's role is more important than anyone else's." ~ Bobby Birdsong

Evergreen Theatre
1705 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

Sunshine Snyder & Charlie Newman Highlight Panel Discussion

Jimmy O was asked (and honored) to participate in a Panel Discussion following the September 28 performance of An Old Forest Fairy Tale by Voices Of the South at the Evergreen Theatre. Chris Davis of the Memphis Flyer served as panel moderator of the discussion that also included Virginia Ralph, writer of the play. Sunshine was one of the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" for the original Citizens To Preserve Overton Park in the 1960s that confronted all levels of government to preserve Overton Park and the charm of Midtown Memphis. Charlie Newman was the filing attorney for the Burch Porter Johnson law firm in the Citizens To Preserve Overton Park vs. Volpe, Secretary of Transportation - a decision that announced on March 3, 1971 by the Supreme Court of the United States which disallowed I-40 to go through the Overton Park, a landmark =environmental decision for our country. Friday, September 28 , 2012 at the Evergreen Theatre was indeed a special evening . . .

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!!! 
 Inaugural November 6th Street Tour A Rousing Success  !!!


  The 2:06 p.m. start was at the Elvis Statue on Beale Street (of course) on an overcast, cool, but polite Autumn afternoon (after "falling back" an hour in a daylight saving time change on the previous night), and there was an electricity in the air from the group's anticipation! The official count at Court Square (the halfway point) was 116 participants - (11-6, that's amazing), and by the end of the tour (at Shadyac Avenue in The Pinch) there were still 84 participants -three hours later!

The "cast of characters" was star-studded from 97-year-old walking tour veteran, Robert Wilder (actually in his wheelchair) to the "birthday girl", Erin Aulfinger, who was born at 6:16 p.m. on November 6, 1996. [Each year, Erin's parents bring her to the November 6th Street sign at Union Avenue for a photo on her birthday, but this one was a little different]. Both Robert and Erin were recipients of the first two of ten commemorative Jimmy Ogle Inaugural November 6th Street Tour t-shirts that were given away for various reasons during the tour.

  "Team Ogle" was present and well represented. From my wheelchair bound older (much older) sister Linda, accompanied by her "pusher" husband Travis, and my niece, Elise, to my older brother Curt and his wife Cheryl.

  Kris Kourdouvelis and Sharon Gray rode their segways from South Main. The biggest Buzzard of them all, MUS Class of '70 class mate, Dr. Steve Bledsoe represented well, as he always does - even on an NFL Sunday afternoon. Another pleasant surprise was that Peggy McClure was able to join us after her Carillon Concert at Idlewild Presbyterian Church earlier in the day. Even Wade Stack of the Shelby County Historical Commission brought his wife, Amy, on the tour. The age span of the crowd totaled 87 years - from the age 10 to age 97!

  We "fought" through construction sites, a few rough smelling dumpsters and even got a visit from Dan Holland of Nice As New Consignment Store (526-3277) at 23 South November 6th Street (in the basement of the Residence Inn, Main/Monroe). And, adding the icing to the cake, was the warm reception of select finger foods and mimosas prepared by Linda & Buck Thomas at the Red Fish Gallery, 356 North Main Street (in The Pinch) - the end of the line . . .

  For me, the highlight of the tour (after the overwhelming attendance) was at the Hebe Fountain in Court Square where I was the recipient of an original November 6th Street sign from James Cochran. James found the old sign this year when cleaning out the basement in an old building on Court Square. So, many thanks to James Cochran - not only for the surprise, but for jumping on board the whole idea of this dedicated tour at its inception in the Summer. James also did the art work (two separate images) for the limited quantity of Jimmy Ogle November 6th Street Tour commemorative bottled water and produced a map of the route, with all of its 27 turns over 17 streets (not to mention the alleys) along the way. What a fantastic contribution - thank you, James!!

  A big special thanks to Martin Norris (webmaster for jimmyogle.com) for the design of the Jimmy Ogle Inaugural November 6th Street Tour t-shirt and another thank you to Bluff City Sports, 769 South Cooper Street (274-2202) for their swift action in getting the shirts screen printed in short order. I also want to express my appreciation to Scott Carroll and photographer Mark Brown (of Zippin Pippin photo fame) from The Commercial Appeal who combined for a nice story and photo in the November 7th edition.

  From the Beale Street start with Elvis, the Orpheum Theatre and the Lansky Brothers historical marker to "Deadman's Alley", General Washburn's Escape Alley and Whiskey Chute, around the Hebe Fountain in Court Square, through Civic Center Plaza where we got applause from the Occupy Memphis group while passing by, past the sculpture of Osiris, The Muse and The River, and through the lobby of the Marriott Hotel to the Pinch - there was plenty of history and stories told, and shared . . .

 

In 2012, November 6th falls on a Tuesday and the start time is set for 11:06 a.m.
at Beale Street/November 6th Street. Be there!

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BRIDGE WALKS RETURN THIS AUTUMN
2:00 P.M. ON SUNDAYS OCTOBER 21 & 28

  Back by popular demand in the "second season" of Bridge Walks across the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge. Last Spring, 318 people enjoyed the four organized Bridge Walks across the only bridge with the only legal sidewalk across and above the Mississippi River (since 1949). We assemble at Crump Park - going west on Crump Blvd, take Exit 12 B Metal Museum Drive) and drive under I-55 and the first park on the right is Crump Park, right next to the Super 8 Motel. Attendants will direct you to a parking spot and then watch your car during the tours.

  Crump Park itself is a four acre setting atop the fourth Chickasaw Bluff on the historic site of the former Fort Pickering. Views of the Mississippi River flowing south and southwest (towards the Port of West Memphis) are wonderful, and get even better when we get up on the M & A Bridge sidewalk. Now, the tour begins with a 20-minute orientation (and safety talk) from Jimmy Ogle under the canopy and shade of the prettiest tree on all of the Memphis Riverfront parks - a magnificent, multi-limbed magnolia! The history of the early inhabitants, explorers, steamboat industry, bridge development, railroad industry, and future development in the "French Fort" area, including the Harahan Greenline project, I-55 flyover, National Ornamental Metal Museum (the next nearest Metal Museum is in Japan) and Chickasaw Heritage Park (Legacies statue soon to be dedicated) is offered.

  All walks are FREE, with some limited accessibility (but assistance on hand), reservations not required and definitely a camera bugs' best day on the riverfront! The Memphis & Arkansas Bridge itself is 5,222 feet long over into the Arkansas delta, and some people actually walked all the way across (but remember you have to also walk all the way back). Most went halfway to two-thirds-of-the-way across the bridge to get the full effect of seeing the high bluffs of South Memphis below the bridge, Metal Museum, Marine Hospital, fuel docks, Economy Boat Store operations, Presidents Island and the river traffic over eighty (80) feet below. The bridge also "shakes, rattles and rolls" by design. The sidewalk is near the expressway traffic and the noise from trucks whizzing by can be somewhat distracting at times.

  The Mississippi River at this location in Memphis is only a half-mile wide, which is why the three early bridges were built in this area to begin with:
the middle bridge - The Great Bridge (1892) - now the Frisco Bridge; the northernmost bridge - The Harahan Bridge in 1916-17) and the southernmost bridge - Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (1949). Both the Frisco Bridge and Harahan Bridge are "off limits" and protected by security (cameras and all) due to the volume and importance of the freight rail traffic that crosses them on a daily basis.

2:00 p.m. on Sundays - October 21 & 28.
Scheduled group walks at other times during the week are available upon request.

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30th Anniversary Mud Island River Walk:

A Mississippi River Architectural Marvel

  Mud Island River Park and the Riverfront Development Corporation will recognize the most unique architectural feature on the Memphis Riverfront by celebrating the design, installation and 30 Years of Family Fun on the Mud Island “RIVER WALK” model.

 

  Mud Island is a river oriented urban park, developed on a strip of land located between the Mississippi River and the Wolf River Harbor, at the foot of Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. One of the most popular features of the park is a working (flowing) scale model of the lower Mississippi River, including its flood plain, between Cairo, Illinois and the Gulf of Mexico, known as the ‘RIVER WALK”. The walk is approximately two thousand feet long. The scale used for the model is such that each long step (thirty-three inches) represents a mile on the real river. Features included four watershed panels, 65 graphic panels of historical and geographical information of the river, contours which represent river gage levels, levees and flood plains. The ‘RIVER WALK” flows 2.2 million gallons of water in its system.

 

  Nesbit Coltharp was the designer of the “RIVER WALK”, while employed by the local architectural firm, Roy P. Harrover & Associates of Memphis, in charge of the park development which was completed in 1982. Mr. Coltharp received his Architectural Degree from Tulane University in 1952. He moved from New Orleans to Memphis in 1958. Since that time until his retirement, he was an active and responsible participant in some the most significant Architectural Projects constructed in the Memphis area – including the Memphis International Airport terminal, Memphis College of Art in Overton Park and Goldsmith’s Oak Court in East Memphis. The exhibit in the Mississippi River Museum will feature the artistry of Nesbit Coltharp and include drawings and photographs of the formative years of the “RIVER WALK”.

 

Mississippi River Museum

125 North Front Street

Memphis, Tennessee

September 18 – October 31, 2012

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Elmwood Costume Twilight Tour
Saturday, October 27 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

 

  This all-walking tour will begin at 3:00 p.m. and the last tour will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for this event are $15 per adult with children under 12 free. If you have never visited Elmwood, this tour is the best way to get to know the cemetery and the individuals who rest here. Costumed characters portraying Elmwood residents will introduce you to the history of Memphis' oldest active cemetery.

  This year, Jimmy O will portray Lloyd T. Binford, nationally known President of the Memphis Censor Board in the middle-20th century. Other famous Elmwood residents being portrayed are: James & Jennie Stewart, Belle Edmondson, Sister Constance, Susan & Esther Spikes, John Park, Charles Dinstuhl, America Carolina Dill, Lt. John McKinney and A.W. Willis.

  Special Note: The grounds of the cemetery will be CLOSED beginning at noon on Saturday, October 27th. The gates will re-open at 3:00 p.m. for the Costume Twilight Tour. Tickets can be purchased at the gate the day of the event - call 774-3212.

  For our mobility-impaired visitors, we recommend that you call ahead and speak with Jody Schmidt or Kimberly McCollum regarding tour route information.

www.elmwoodcemetery.org

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Halls Caravan Recap

The Halls Caravan on Saturday, February 19 was just plain good ol' f-u-n! Our group of 14 received "red carpet" treatment from Murray Hudson Maps & Globes, as well as a guided tour of all three of his locations in Downtown Halls. To be in and around hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of new and old maps and globes of all kinds, was an enlightening experience. To have "the man" himself (Murray Hudson) give the tour was a real special treat. Many thanks to Murray and his assistant (Sally) for the generosity of their time and knowledge.

The Garden Cafe was a place we walked to and were given our own private room to dine in. Brooke, our waitress, and Donnie (the owner) made sure that all our needs were met (they even turned the heat on for us!). The food was scrumptious. By the way, every other Saturday night at The Garden Cafe, there is a musical show in a special theatre in the complex with old church pews for seating, featuring some mighty good local talent. Music starts at 6:30 p.m.

And then to wind up with the southern hospitality and charm of Pat & Sonny Higdon at the Veterans' Museum on the site of the Dyersburg Army Air Base, home of training for B-17 pilots and crew in World War II. The amazing story of this "community" during the war years, the impact that it had on preparation for war, the aspects of life around the base (rationing, etc.) were mesmerizing. One of the mottoes of DYAAB was "Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without". The displays were nicely developed and the docents (including Dave McCaslin) were very informative. What a great story, and what a dedicated group of Americans keeping these memories of "the greatest generation" preserved and alive for future generations.

 


Winter Caravan To Halls, Tennessee

When: Saturday, February 19, 2011 Assemble at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Millington IHOP, 8484 Wilkinsville Road (just north of the Walmart)
Lunch will follow at The Garden Cafe


If you liked the caravans to the Sultana site in Arkansas and to Randolph, Tennessee earlier this year,
then you are prime for an adventure further up into West Tennessee to two treasures:

The Veterans' Museum

At the former Dyersburg Army Air Base

AND

Murray Hudson’s Shop

Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Globes


I visited the Veterans' Museum last Autumn and was thoroughly infatuated with the exhibits, the role of the Dyersburg Army Air Base in World War II in the training of B17 crews, and the “TLC” and passionate stories of the keepers of the museum, Pat & Sonny Higdon.


I met Murray Hudson at the Antiquarian Book Fair in Memphis at The Parkview last May and I could not leave his table as I thumbed through map after map after map and print. At his store in Halls, Murray has one of the largest globes collections in the world!

So, this is another “Dutch Treat” caravan/carpool set-up and we will meet once again at the Millington IHOP to create the caravan. We will have lunch on the road at a “locals” place in one of the towns along the way. To ask questions or sign up, go to info@jimmyogle.com

 

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