Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back in the bay at Red Bay, Alabama

Thought I'd give you an idea of what I do while the motor home is in the bay at Red Bay.  We had to have the motor home in it's bay by 7:00 am.  Most of you know I am not nor will I ever be a morning person.  To get the motor home there by 7:00 you have to get up early!!!! By the way, there are 49 bays all working every day. 

After we delivered the motor home, we went to breakfast.  This is our second visit to Swamp Johns.  It was recommended to us two years ago.  We have breakfast here but we are always told they have catfish on Tuesday nights.  Haven't tried that yet.  Yes, this used to be a gas station.  But the food is great!

I dropped Bob back off at the motor home and went to get the oil changed in the CRV.  There was a line.  Two cars in front of me when I got there and two cars behind me when I left.  This mechanic was the only one in two years other than a Honda dealership who knew how to get the oil indicator light out when he had finished.  That made him OK in my book.

Pralines need a bath and grooming, so I dropped her at the Detail Salon.  You can get everything here:  RV and car washing and detailing, hair cut, styled and dyed, manicure, pedicure, dog grooming, limo rental and lunch.  This is directly across from Camp Tiffin.  I think they found a need and filled it.

Although I took Pralines to the Details Salon, I preferred a place that only did hair and nails.  I had my hair cut and dyed last week, but since I'm still here, I figured I might as well get a mani-pedi, so I stopped to make an appointment.

Next to the Post Office.  If you wonder how we get our mail.  We belong to a RV Club called the Escapees.  Their headquarters are in Livingston, Texas.  Our mailing address in Livingston, Texas and our mail goes there.  Then Bob emails them where we are or where we are going to be. They send our mail, less the junk mail, general delivery to the Post Office where we are.  They send it priority, so we always know it will arrive in two days.  In two years, we only had one problem, when Bob transposed the zip code in one city.

Tonight, we went to dinner at the 4th Street Grill.  This is our 2nd visit this trip.  It is a steakhouse.  We went to dinner there tonight because we were treated to a free meal, if we listened to a presentation from MASA. MASA stands for Medical Air Services Association.  It is an organization that provides transportation in medical emergencies.  After the year we have just experienced, it was something to which we at least wanted to listen.

Oh, Pralines wanted to show you how beautiful she looks. Notice her mani-pedi

Monday, May 28, 2012

Movie and the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum

After spending all day watching races yesterday, I was ready to go anywhere.  Bob went down to the office to see if there was anything we hadn't seen around Red Bay.  He came back empty handed.  So I suggested a movie.  Well, the closest movie was 38 miles away and it was a drive-in.  I expanded my search and in the next state, Mississippi, and an hour away in Tupelo, Mississippi was a movie theater.  Of the choices available, Men in Black 3, was what I felt was our best option.  Bob reminded me that Elvis Presley's Birthplace was Tupelo, Mississippi, but we thought it would probably be closed since it was a holiday. So about 10:00 am we took off for Tupelo.

All along the streets of Tupelo were  these guitars, each a little different in design. With a little help from a pedestrian, we were able to find the movie theater and we enjoyed the movie.  I checked with Yelp's and we headed to Bar-B-Q by Jim Lic for lunch.  I thought it was OK, Bob thought it was really good. Of course, Bob loves BBQ.  We decided to drive by Elvis' Birthplace, to see what we could see even if it was closed.

We saw people walking around the grounds, so we decided to park.  To our surprise the museum was open. The museum told about Elvis' childhood.

We learned that Gladys Love was 21 years old when she married Vernon who was 17.  We also learned that Vernon Presley, Elvis' dad went to jail for writing a bad check.

Elvis was influenced musically by church music, blues, and country music.

Some of Elvis' outfits were on display.

 Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, with help from Jessie, his father and Vester, his brother, built this home in 1934 with $180 that Vernon borrowed from his employer.  Elvis Aaron Presley was born in this house, on January 8, 1935.  Elvis was one of two children born to Vernon and Gladys.  Elvis' identical twin, Jessie Garon, was stillborn.

Around the home is a scored concrete circle, that contains dated granite blocks denoting each year of Elvis' life from 1935, his birth, to 1977, his death.

A statue of Elvis at 13 years old done in bronze is positioned with the chapel on his right and the museum to his left symbolizing the strong spiritual values he learned in Tupelo and the challenge of materialism he would eventually face in Memphis.  Dedicated in August 2002.

We saw a presentation at Elvis' Childhood Church.  They had a film that depicted a Sunday night service that Elvis and his family would have attended.  This was the church he attended, which was moved  and placed here from it's original site on Adams St.

Notice this is an Assembly of God church.  Bob and I are members of an Assembly of God church.  The furniture inside the church is similar to what would have been in the church originally.  The pulpit is the originally pulpit.

Elvis dreamed of having a place of meditation at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park.  Before his death, he shared that dream with friend Janelle McComb who envisioned  adding a chapel to the Park. These flowers are in the entryway.

The chapel was designed by Johnson and McCarty Architects, a Tupelo firm, and was dedicated in 1979.  Laukhuff Studios in Memphis designed the stained glass windows specifically for the Elvis Presley Chapel.

A Fountain of Life illustrating the 13 years Elvis' lived in Tupelo.

This 1939 green Plymouth sedan is a replica of the car that the Presley family drove when leaving Tupelo headed for Memphis where Elvis made his transformation into the word's greatest entertainer.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House

We have visited several Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes and was surprised to find on in Florence, Alabama.

The Rosenbaum's home was built in the 1940's and they had the ideal ingredients to entice the famous architect to accept this assignment, even in Florence, Alabama, money and a beautiful wife.

This is what we would call the front of the house but Frank Floyd Wright referred to it as the public side of the house.  The cantilever extension which looks like a porch, was a carport.

There was a Japanese statue in the entry way and a Japanese maple.

The living room had windows across the back which opened to the private side of the house. The furniture and even the rug was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

No air conditioning in this Alabama home, but the windows all had screens and open to let air into the living room.

Stanley Rosenbaum's study.  For years he worked for his dad in the movie theater business, but he had a master's in English Literature and after his father's death he became a professor at North Alabama University.

Dining Room


Down a narrow hallway lined with storage cupboards.

Master bedroom had a smoking balcony and windows across one wall.

An addition added later had a larger bedroom for the boys, with bunk beds.

Their Jewish heritage was seen in the dining room where there were several menorahs and in the boys bedroom with their Yarmulkes.

A Japanese garden off the boys room was added after the boys were grown.

After our tour, we went into town.  It was a thriving historical district and we had lunch at the City Hardware.  Best hamburgers we've had in a long time. I had a California Burger with avocado, caramelized onions, bacon, horseradish sauce, and greens.  Soooo good.

Helen Keller's Birthplace Tuscumbia, Alabama

Helen Keller's birthplace, was named Ivy Green because of all the ivy wrapped around the trees.  It is located in Tuscumbia, Alabama about an hour from Red Bay. Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880 and died June 1, 1968.

In the entryway, there are pictures of Helen's parents.  Both college educated, which was a rare thing for a women in the late 1800's.

The main house is of Virginia-cottage construction, with four large rooms on the first floor bisected by a wide hall. Upstairs there are three rooms connected by a hall.

This is the dining room, where Helen used to eat with her hands.  Her teacher Anne Sullivan saw that, that was stopped in no short order.

The living room, notice all the rooms have individual fireplaces.

The parlor, where some of Helen's dresses are on display. We were told that 85% of the furnishings in this home are original to the house.

Upstairs, bedrooms and a sewing rooms.

This was the master bedroom. 

The quilt on this bed was made by Helen's aunt and is over a hundred years old.

You may have noticed there was no kitchen in the main house.  The kitchen and the cooks bedroom were in an out building.

This is the water pump where Helen Keller learned her first word, "water."

Originally an office where plantation books were kept, the cottage was built in the yard near the main house. Later a dressing room and porch was added.  Anne and Helen lived here because Helen's parents catered to her every whim.  We would say today that they were enablers.  So Anne had Helen driven a hundred miles and then returned to the cottage to make her think that she was living far away from her parents.

Helen died and 1968 and is buried in the National Cathedral's Cemetery in Washington D. C.  You have to be asked to be buried there and she agreed only if her teacher Anne and her secretary Polly could be buried with her.  The three are buried together there.

P.S. Pralines wanted me to let you know that Helen had a Sheltie.