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A Saturday in Memphis…with Elvis

It was February 25, 1961 – a bitter cold Saturday in Memphis – and one I’ll never forget. It was the day of the “Special Matinee Memphis Charity Show, starring Elvis Presley”! I had just turned 15 in December and, like every other teenage girl in America, I loved Elvis and his music! My 15 year old best friend Kathy, my 12 year old niece Sharon and I were going to the concert, and I’m sure we’d talked about nothing else for days. Thankfully, Kathy and Sharon still had their ticket stubs, so we’re sure of the exact dates. Between …

Four sisters…

When I was born, my three sisters were 18, 15 and 11 years old. My parents were forty-one at the time. No doubt, I was their last hope for a son, but it was not to be. There would always be the four sisters. Even with the age difference, we have always been close. My sister Gerry (above) married at the age of 18 when I was only two years old. At that time, her husband, Sonny, worked for the railroad in Mississippi. He tells the story that every Friday afternoon, Gerry had their suitcases packed and ready for the …

Moving to Victor Drive…

When I was about ten years old, my parents purchased a larger house about two miles away on Victor Drive. It wasn’t a large house by any stretch of the imagination, maybe twelve hundred square feet at the most.  In my memory, it was a white cottage with green shutters.  In addition to an extra bedroom, the house had a dining room which was paneled in warm knotty pine and had two built-in corner china cabinets. The sun filtered through the dining room windows and reflected against the pine, casting a warm glow on the large round antique dining table. …

Summertime in Memphis 1950…

If I could turn the clock back here, it would be Summertime in Memphis, 1950. We were living on Mamie Road…then a tree-lined road on the outskirts of Memphis with small homes, large yards with beautiful flowers and vegetable gardens, friendly neighbors and a haven of safety for small children who loved to play outdoors.  If you’ve seen the Disney movie The Kid, you’ll remember the scene when Bruce Willis (who has the once-in-a-lifetime, and only in Hollywood, chance of meeting himself as a kid and sees what his life was like as a child – great movie by the …

Delta blues and cornbread sticks…

Perhaps it’s significant that I was born in the Delta of Mississippi, where the blues can be heard from the cotton fields to the Mississippi River. Music has always been such a part of my heart and soul. Granted, I’m thoughtful enough not to sing within anyone’s earshot, but when I’m alone, I can belt out a tune with the best of them and have more rhythm than one person should be entitled to. Along with a history of producing its share of the best blues artists in the world, the Delta has some of the richest, most fertile soil …