“He that would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.

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Copyright 2019 by Joyce Huntington.  All Rights Reserved. 
Website by Monte Blanco Design 

wHAT TO SEE 

Hellhound on

His Heels

The star of the show here is the Lorraine Motel. It's now the National Civil Rights Museum and I think it's a must visit for everyone. Most of the stops here are within a mile of each other and they for a fantastic dive into a few weeks of American history everyone should be aware of..

Lorraine Motel

450 Mulberry St

Memphis, Tennessee 38103

 

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

     “King liked the homey feel of the place, the way you could wander into the kitchen at odd hours and order whatever you wanted. Over the years, King had stayed at the Lorraine at least a dozen times, and the Baileys had become like family. The room rate was thirteen dollars a night, but the Baileys refused to charge King.
     King usually stayed in room 306, on the second floor of the motel in the middle of the long balcony. Abernathy referred to it as “the King-Abernathy suite.” Furnished with twin beds, a television, cheap Danish furniture, and a black rotary telephone, 306 was a modest-sized paneled room appointed in a 1960s contemporary style that Andrew Young later described as “seeming so modern then and so frightful today.”  Chapter 14

In Real Life:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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rooming

House

422 1/2 Main street

memphis, tennessee 38103 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

     “AT AROUND THREE o’clock that afternoon, Eric Galt spotted Mrs. Brewer’s shingle on South Main and pulled the Mustang up to the curb alongside Jim’s Grill. A few minutes later, Loyd Jowers, the owner of Jim’s Grill, looked through the grimy plate-glass windows and saw the Mustang parked out front.
     Galt had apparently been casing the neighborhood for the past half hour or so and noticed something: some of the rooms at the back of Mrs. Brewer’s rooming house enjoyed a direct view of the Lorraine Motel. He observed that while a few of the rear windows were boarded up, several remained in use; their panes, though dingy and paint smudged, were intact.
      Galt stepped out of the car, opened the door at 422½ Main, and climbed the narrow stairs toward Bessie Brewer’s office. At the top of the stairs, he opened the rusty screen door.
Galt rapped on the office door and Mrs. Brewer, her hair done in curlers, opened it as far as the chain would allow.
     “Got any vacancies?” he asked.”  Chapter 21

 

In Real Life:

 

 

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FIRE 

STATION

NUMBER 2

474 South Main STREET  

Memphis, Tennessee 38116

 

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

     “AT FIRE STATION No. 2, across Mulberry Street from the Lorraine, the black police officers Ed Redditt and Willie Richmond were back at their surveillance post, keeping a close eye on the comings and goings at the motel. Holed up in the locker room, they took turns with the binoculars, peering through the slits in the newspapers that were still taped to a rear window. Off in the background, they could hear the murmur of a television in the station’s lounge and occasionally the friendly commotion of Ping-Pong matches.
      There was a pay telephone in the firehouse, and that afternoon, to everyone’s surprise, the phone rang. One of the firemen picked up the receiver to hear a woman on the line. She didn’t say her name, but her voice had a distinct edge. “We know Detective Redditt is in there, spying on King. You tell him he is doing the black people wrong. Now we’re going to do him wrong.” Then the caller hung up.”  Chapter 22

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mason temple

930 Mason Street

mEMPHIS, tENNESSEE

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

     “Hallelujah preach it uh-huh.
      “I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
       Drowned in rapturous applause, King turned and collapsed in Abernathy’s arms. Other ministers swarmed the stage, awed by the pathos of King’s words. A local pastor noticed that King had tears in his eyes—“it seemed like he was just saying, ‘Goodbye, I hate to leave.’ ”
      In the audience, the mood was triumphant. People were crying, shouting, chanting. One striking sanitation worker recalled, “It seemed like he reached down and pulled everything out of his heart.” Said another: “I was full of joy and determination. Wherever King was, I wanted to be there. It seemed to me from where I was sitting, his eyes glowed.”  Chapter 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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clayborn temple

294 Hernando Street

Memphis, Tennessee 38126

901-322-8745

In Hellhound on his Trail: 

 

“Looters darting from buildings … canisters of tear gas … riot police in wedge formation … nightsticks … blood streaming down faces … squirts of Mace. At Lawson’s urging, the garbage workers had fallen back to Clayborn Temple and taken refuge there to plan their next move while bathing one another’s burning eyes with wet sponges. They remained disciplined and true to their cause—one police official freely admitted that his cops “never had trouble with the tub-toters.” But some of the young hellions, wanting more of what they’d tasted on Beale, ventured out into the streets in search of trouble. When some of them threw rocks at the police and then ran back into the sanctuary, officers fired tear-gas canisters at the church, staining the walls and sending people gasping.”​  Chapter 15

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city

hall

125 N Main Street Memphis, Tennessee 38103

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

     “MAYOR HENRY LOEB had been on his way to Oxford, Mississippi, to give a talk at Ole Miss Law School, when he received the news of King’s shooting over a portable telephone. He immediately canceled his appearance and had his driver wheel the car around and speed back to Memphis. Within twenty minutes he arrived at city hall, a shining new edifice of white marble surrounded by beds of nodding tulips one block from the river. Once inside his office, Loeb turned on the police intercom and learned that King was dead.
     He decided that he should give his own live television statement, and soon the cameras were set up in his office; its walls were decorated with the city’s official seal—featuring a tufted cotton boll and a steamboat. “We of Memphis are deeply saddened by the tragic event that has just occurred in our city,” he began.” Chapter 28

 

In Real Life:

 

 

 

 

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beale sTREET

Memphis, Tennessee 38105

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

“Soon they passed W. C. Handy Park, named for the prosperous bandleader and composer who first wrote down the blues and shaped the form into an internationally recognized genre. As it happened, this very day was the tenth anniversary of W. C. Handy’s death, and someone had laid a wreath beside the bronze statue of the beaming bluesman standing with his trumpet at the ready.
But this Beale was a faded version of the street that the Father of the Blues had known; had he been alive to see it now, he would have despaired at its mirthless state. In Handy’s heyday, it was the Main Street of Negro America, a place of deep soul and world-class foolishness, of zoot suits and chitlin joints, of hoodoos and fortune-tellers, with jug bands playing on every corner. The street smelled of tamales and pulled pork and pot liquor and lard. Day and night, Beale throbbed with so much authentic and sometimes violent vitality Chapter 15

 

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lANSKY

bros.

 

149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

 

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

“Then came the looters, dashing into stores, grabbing whatever they could on the run, and dashing back into the chaos. Abe Schwab’s dry-goods store was robbed and vandalized, as were Uncle Sam’s Pawn Shop, Lansky Brothers men’s clothing store, York Arms sporting goods, and dozens of other businesses along Main and Beale. Soon incongruous objects from the storefront windows lay about the sidewalks—a broken violin, a washboard, a naked mannequin.”  Chapter 15

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peabody hotel

118 S 2nd Street

Memphis, Tennessee 38103

901-529-4000

 

handy park

 200 Beale St,

Memphis, Tennessee 38103

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

     “Soon they passed W. C. Handy Park, named for the prosperous bandleader and composer who first wrote down the blues and shaped the form into an internationally recognized genre. As it happened, this very day was the tenth anniversary of W. C. Handy’s death, and someone had laid a wreath beside the bronze statue of the beaming bluesman standing with his trumpet at the ready.
     But this Beale was a faded version of the street that the Father of the Blues had known; had he been alive to see it now, he would have despaired at its mirthless state. In Handy’s heyday, it was the Main Street of Negro America, a place of deep soul and world-class foolishness, of zoot suits and chitlin joints, of hoodoos and fortune-tellers, with jug bands playing on every corner. The street smelled of tamales and pulled pork and pot liquor and lard. Day and night, Beale throbbed with so much authentic and sometimes violent vitality that, as Handy put it in one of his famous songs, “business never closes ’til somebody gets killed.”  Chapter 15

 

In Real Life:

 

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

“King’s lieutenant Bernard Lee flagged down two black women in a white Pontiac, and the driver let Lee take the wheel while King, Abernathy, and two other unidentified black men got in the back. At McCall and Front Street, about fifty people who had broken away from the march surrounded the car, and they could go no further. Lee asked motorcycle cop Lieutenant Nichols to get them to the Peabody Hotel, where AFSCME had a suite of rooms, but Nichols said the rioting made it impossible. “Just get us away from trouble,” Lee said. Joined by three motorcycle cops sent by Police Chief MacDonald, Nichols escorted King to the Holiday Inn Rivermont. Nichols himself checked King, Abernathy, Lee, and the two others into Room 801, a suite at the hotel, and then remained in the lobby after they went to their rooms. Lieutenant Nichols had no desire to make a martyr of King, but that didn’t mean he respected him. Nichols disparagingly told the MPD’s Arkin that King’s “only concern was to run and to protect himself.”   Chapter 15

 

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four way BBQ

308 Poplar Ave

 Memphis, TENNESSEE 38105

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

“That night, King and a large entourage were supposed to go to the home of the local minister Billy Kyles for dinner. The word was that Kyles’s wife, Gwen, was making a soul food feast.”  Chapter  22, Page 372

In Real Life:

 

Michael Honey did not mention the Four Way in Going Down Jericho Road, but he might have.  The Four Way claims Dr. King ate there and loved the catfish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MISS girlie SOUL FOOD

629 Chelsea Ave

 Memphis, TENNESSEE 38107

901-522-8778

 

In Hellhound on his Trail:

 

“For Memphis sanitation workers, the meaning of 1968 and King’s sacrifice remained clear. Striker Willie Sain, who later became a minister himself, said King came almost as an emissary from God, a Moses figure who enabled the workers and their allies to win. King broke the media blackout of the strike, energized the community, and came into a new role as a labor leader that he played to perfection.”  Chapter 20

 

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FIRESTONE 

1914 Poplar Ave  Memphis, Tennessee 38104

 

 

In Last Train to Memphis:

 

“The thirty-third annual Cotton Carnival, Memphis’s answer to Mardi Gras, was about to begin. Later in the week, there would be luncheons, trade shows, and charity balls. A beauty contest would declare the fairest Maid of Cotton. Many thousands would visit the giant midway and attend parades with elaborate floats, some of them spun from cotton, depicting the gone-but-not-forgotten Old South and the treachery of the long-snouted boll weevil. All week there would be parties on the rooftop of the Peabody Hotel, where mallard ducks lived in a scaled-down mansion when they weren’t marching down a red carpet to splash around in the lobby fountain.”  Chapter 1, Page 50 

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MUD ISLAND 

Island DrIVE

Memphis, TENNESSEE 38103

 

In Last Train to Memphis:

 

“Over the next two days he showed June a month’s worth of Memphis sights—he took her by Humes, stopped by the Memphis Recording Service, went up to the Hotel Chisca, where he introduced her to Dewey, showed her the Courts where he had grown up, and Crown Electric across the street, with the truck he had driven sitting out in the yard. He introduced her to Bernard and Guy Lansky and bought her a motorcycle cap just like his. Then they went out to Mud Island, where he drove his motorcycle so fast that they both got scared, and he made her put her hand on his chest so that she could feel his heart pounding. ”   Page i570

 

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 Elvis Presley

BIRTHPLACE

306 Elvis Presley DrIVE

 Tupelo, MISSISSIPPI 38801

 

In Last Train to Memphis:

 

“Mayday, mayday, mayday, the call sounded, jerking the radioman alert.  He glanced at his console, where two green lights were pulsing.  The call was coming in through both Heceta Head and Umpqua Lighthouse, putting the source of the mayday somewhere between the two— the waters west of the dunes.”  Page 164

 

In Real Life:

 

So here’s the thing. I don’t ever really need a reason to go to a lighthouse but having a reason – like that Bonnie Henderson talks about Umpqua Lighthouse in Strand – is pretty cool. Umpqua plays a minor role in the book – a mayday call bounced through the lighthouse telling a radioman where a boat had run aground. It was a call from the fishing boat – the Senak – which touched off the hair-raising rescue operation right off the coast of Mile 157. I drove up to the lighthouse with my husband. As lighthouses go – it’s a little different. It’s not poking out into the ocean on a point – it’s nestled in the dunes – in fact, a pretty wide swath of dunes lie between the lighthouse and water. There’s a reason for that – the first lighthouse which sat at the mouth of the Umpqua flooded so often it collapsed. The new light – well, newish – was lit in 1894 and it sits in a little Oregon State Park which is overflowing with information. We spotted a marker facing the water – we can never resist those. It talks about whales on that stretch of coastline.

 

Up the road, a little is a museum which walks through the history of those parts. I was surprised that Strand, wasn’t in the shop – the museum keeper hadn’t heard of it but she said she might get some copies so it could be there when you arrive. There’s also a campground just around the bend – and if you want to make me jealous you can camp there like I never did – in fact – get the yurt. The interesting thing about the two lighthouses Henderson talks about – Umpqua and Heceta – is that they’re sister lighthouses, built by the same basic plan. Since the second rendition went up, the Umpqua light has been – without interruption – guiding sailors traveling along the Oregon Coast .

In Last Train to Memphis:

 

 

“Gladys had a difficult pregnancy and toward the end had to quit her job at the Garment Plant. When she came to term, Vernon’s mother, Minnie, a midwife named Edna Martin, and one other woman attended her until the midwife called the doctor, sixty-eight-year-old William Robert Hunt. At about four in the morning of January 8, he delivered a baby, stillborn, then thirty-five minutes later another boy. The twins were named Jesse Garon and Elvis Aron, with the rhyming middle names intended to match. Aron (pronounced with a long a and the emphasis on the first syllable) was for Vernon’s friend Aaron Kennedy, Elvis was Vernon’s middle name, and Jesse, of course, was for his father. The dead twin was buried in an unmarked grave in Priceville Cemetery, just below Old Saltillo Road, and was never forgotten either in the legend that accompanied his celebrated younger brother or in family memory. As a child Elvis was said to have frequently visited his brother’s grave; as an adult he referred to his twin again and again, reinforced by Gladys’ belief that “when one twin died, the one that lived got all the strength of both.” Shortly[…]” Page i32

 

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Assembly of God Church 

94-132 Elvis Presley Dr

 Tupelo, MS 38804

 

In Last Train to Memphis:

 

“In 1937 Gladys’ uncle Gains became sole preacher at the Assembly of God Church, which was now housed in a modest wood-framed structure on Adams Street built primarily by Gains. Many in the tiny congregation later recalled a very young Elvis Presley throwing himself into the hymn singing with abandon, and Gladys liked to tell how “when Elvis was just a little fellow, not more than two years old, he would slide down off my lap, run into the aisle and scramble up to the platform. There he would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them. He was too little to know the words… but he could carry the tune and he would watch their faces and try to do as they did.” Page i793

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Postscript 

It's a pity. These locations no longer exist.. 

Robilo's Restaurant

Loeb's BBQ

Harlem House

Big M's

Holiday Inn Rivermark

New Rebel Motel