Kyrle Probus Club
   of Ross-on-Wye


A Visit to the Deep South of America - 7th March 2013

VISITS to the birthplace of Elvis Presley and to the home of the blues and country and western music, were some of the memorable experiences of a tour of the deep south of the USA, which member Keith Glover shared in an excellent photographic presentation to Kyrle Probus at its recent meeting.
The historic city of Atlanta was the starting point of the tour for Keith and his wife, Brenda. Here they visited the Carter Presidential Library and the Civil War Museum and Cyclorama, which houses what was at one time, the biggest oil painting in the world.
Measuring some 42ft high by 385ft long, it is viewed ‘in the round’ with visitors seated on a central revolving stage and the painting surrounding them, When the stage starts to revolve, it takes 45 minutes to view the whole picture, which depicts the Battle of Atlanta, one of the bloodiest days in the Civil War.
It was then on to Chattanooga, where Keith was pleased to find a display of American classic cars was in town. On the outskirts of town is Lookout Mountain with a trail up to Rock City with its Balanced Rock and ‘Fat Man’s Squeeze’ fissure  Here one can also view the impressive Ruby Falls, a 140ft waterfall located within Lookout Mountain.
Their next stop was Tennessee’s Moore County which is still ‘dry’ (no public consumption of alcohol) but which, perversely has the Jack Daniel’s distillery at its centre. Then it was on to Nashville, known as Music City and famous for the Grand Ole Opry, the show first broadcast in the 1920s that showcased country and western music.
Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, was the next stop just over the border in Mississippi. Here they saw a statue of Elvis, aged 13 and visited the Pentecostal Church, he attended which nurtured the gospel music in his blood. Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was 13 and this is where the tour next took Keith and Brenda.
Home of the blues and rock and roll, each Wednesday night between 7.30 and 11.30, it is estimated some 4,000 motorbikes roar into town as the rockers take over the centre of the city.
It is also the city where Martin Luther King was assassinated in April, 1968 and the hotel verandah where he stood when he was shot, was part of the tour itinerary.

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