2022 Road Trip-Part 4B

21 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 Continued (5/19/2022)

As I checked out the old Sciple’s water mill, I noticed a hand-written sign that pointed to the Water Mill Opry House across the road, and I just had to take a photo of that old place.  It looked to be as old as the water mill and was all closed up.  I wouldn’t have believed it, but their website informs me that on Saturday nights its standing room only for folks who come from all over Mississippi to enjoy the country music of Ed Sciple’s band and participate in some of the wildest boot-scootin’ and hi-steppin’ dancing around these parts.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After that wild ride in the countryside, I continued north 60 miles on SR-39 & US-45 to where I visited the Tennessee Williams Home located in Columbus, MS.  I don’t believe I ever read any of Tennessee Williams’ books, but I have enjoyed the movies made from some of his books.  I was the only visitor at the time, and the curator took the time to show me thru the entire house, pointing out little details as we went thru the various rooms.  A framed quote by Tennessee Williams said, “I was composed of a little Welsh wildness, a lot of puritan English, and a big chunk of German sentiment.”  That pretty much said it of the man.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Not far from the Tennessee Williams Home I visited the White Arches house there in Columbus.  This original “Columbus Eclectic” home was built by Jeptha V. Harris in 1857 and is on the list of homes shown on Columbus’ Annual Spring Pilgrimage.  The museum was closed when I was there, but the photo below shows the unique Greek Revival, Gothic, and Italianate design of the house with all its 19th century grandeur.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed north 35 miles on US-45 to visit the Aberdeen City Hall Museum located in Aberdeen, MS.  This 1912 building turned out not to be a museum, but the operating Aberdeen City Hall.  My mistake.  This was another case of me not reading all the words about a given museum or subject.  My wife, DiVoran, keeps telling me, “You have to read ALL the words Bill.”

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

While I was driving around Aberdeen, I noticed an Aberdeen Mississippi Blues historical marker in front of a Blues Mural on the side of a building.  I stopped to get a photo and read all about the Mural.  Not being a big blues fan, I didn’t know about Booker ‘bukka’ White, Chester Aurthur ‘Howlfn’ Burnett, and Albert King being born in Aberdeen, and about the mural dedicated to the Aberdeen Mississippi Blues artists.  Now I’m a little more informed.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I continued north 30 miles on US-45 to visit the Tupelo Automobile Museum located in Tupelo, MS.  I was expecting to get a look at their 175 beautifully restored cars.  But when I got there, the museum was closed, and from what I have heard, its permanent, and all their cars have been put up for sale.  What a bummer!  So, I headed over to check out the Tupelo National Battlefield located just on the outskirts of Tupelo.  This battlefield was the location of the July 1864 ‘Battle of Tupelo’ otherwise known as the ‘Battle of Harrisburg’ where the Union forces claimed a victory.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed over to visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace there in Tupelo.  Even though DiVoran and I were Elvis fans when we were teenagers, neither of us knew he was born and raised in Tupelo.  So, this was a new experience for me.  I learned that he sang in the local Assembly of God Church choir from an early age and got his first guitar at age ten.  In the years after his family moved to Memphis, TN in 1948, he and his cousins, Jerry Lee Louis, later known as ‘Mr. Rockabilly’ and Jimmy Swaggart, later known as ‘The Evangelist’ spent a good deal of their time hanging out with many of the early black Jazz and Blues performers who frequented the Beale Street clubs and restaurants.  This is where it is suggested that a lot of the Blues, Jazz, and Southern Gospel they heard seeped into their souls and into their music.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now, I gave Greta (My Garmin) the address of my motel there in Tupelo and she took me right to it.  After I got checked in and got my things into the room, I warmed up my leftover fried Catfish dinner from the Blue Crab Grill and enjoyed that delicious meal again.  Yummm!  Then I tried to watch some TV but there was nothing worth watching, so I recorded my days activities and went to bed.  What a long day this has been!

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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