Tag Archives: #Roadtrip

2018 Florida Road Trip (Prelude)

14 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Prelude:  Because of the influence of NASA and the U.S. Air Force, east central Florida is the home to many historic, space, and aviation related museums.  Living in this area for many years, I have visited many of these museums more than once. Because they are all within a “Day Trip” distance, or less, from where I live, they will not be counted as part of this current road trip.  However, I will start off by giving you a brief account of each of them so you will know what is available in the area.

 

 

Because we live on Florida’s east coast near the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), one of my favorite places to visit is the KSC Visitors Center.  This is one of the most frequently visited attractions in Florida, next to Disney World in Orlando.  The visitor center is one of the best ways for NASA to advertise their launch operations business that has been on-going within the 144,000 acre Kennedy Space Center over the last 60+ years.  The KSC Visitor Center complex displays a variety of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits related to the history and future of America’s manned space flight programs.  The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame is also located within the NASA Visitor Center Complex. There is a rocket garden and several space related attractions, as well as bus tours. The bus tour gives visitors a close-up look at the KSC and provides educational information about the many past and current projects as well as those planned for the future from this location.

 

 

Located southeast of the KSC, across the Banana River, on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station you will find the Air Force Space & Missile Museum.  This small museum exhibits artifacts and memorabilia related to the early days of America’s space programs.  The museum also has a Rocket Garden which includes the restored launch complex 26, from where the first successful American satellite was placed in earth orbit, and launch complexes 5/6 which were used to place America’s first Astronauts in earth orbit.

 

 

While in Cape Canaveral anyone who has an interest in lighthouses will want to visit the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, located on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and operated by the U.S. Air Force Space Wing.  The lighthouse has a very interesting history beginning with the first lighthouse placed at this location in 1838.  Other lighthouses have been built and moved to this location over the years, to warn mariners of the dangerous Southeast Shoals located just off the Florida coast.  Free tours of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse can be scheduled for Wednesdays & Thursdays (only) thru the Patrick AFB Public Affairs office.

 

 

Just a few miles west of Cape Canaveral, across the Banana River, you will find the 82 acre Brevard Veterans Memorial Park located just south of SR-520 at the south end of the Sykes Creek Parkway.  Within this beautifully laid out park you will find the Veterans Memorial Library, the Veterans Memorial Plaza and the Veterans Memorial Museum.  The museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to all branches of the U.S. Military Services dating from the Revolutionary War to the present War on Terror.

 

 

On your way back towards Orlando from either of the afore mentioned museums you will find the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum located just off SR-405 on the east side of the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, FL.  This is a large three-hanger museum that displays 40+ beautifully restored aircraft from WWI to the present.  As with most aircraft museums, there are always aircraft in various stages of restoration by the excellent staff of volunteer mechanics. Several of the aircraft in this museum’s collection are in flying condition and for those who wish the thrill of flying in a vintage warbird, and have the money, this can be arranged at the gift shop.

 

 

Another local space related museum is The American Space Museum located in downtown Titusville, FL. This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of America’s manned space exploration from its earliest days.  The museum also has examples of launch control consoles from the blockhouse of launch complex 36, from which NASA and the U.S Air Force launched various payloads on Atlas rockets from 1962 to 2005.

 

 

The outdoor Space View Park, located on the Indian River, just two blocks east of the museum, is the site of the Space Walk of Fame and is an integral part of the American Space Museum. The monuments and brick engravings honor the Astronauts and many of the workers who made the U.S. Manned Space Programs possible.  The Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle monuments and engravings displayed in the park also help keep alive the memory of the people and programs and what they have accomplished in their generation.

 

           Additional Brevard County area museums will be discussed next week.

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

 

Bill

 

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

Memory Lane Road Trip Part 17

24 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

Day 17 – Wednesday 5/3/2018 

 

Because my flight didn’t leave until 4:00 this afternoon, and because I was hoping the crowds of tourists would not be so bad this early, I had planned to visit downtown New Orleans this morning.  Well, I was half right.  I was able to find a parking spot close to Jackson Square, but the crowds of tourists had already started to build by the time I got there.  According to Wikipedia, Jackson Park was called “Plaza D Armas” from 1782 -1803, and was the site where Louisiana became a U.S. Territory as a result of the Louisiana Purchase.

 

 

I checked the Café Du Monde first, in hopes I could get a table, but it was filled to over flowing, with a waiting line.  So I walked thru Jackson Square (1803), and got a photo of the statue of General Andrew Jackson on his trusty steed, “Duke.”  The square is a good place to get a photo of the oldest church in New Orleans.   The building of the St. Louis Cathedral was begun in 1718, the same year New Orleans was founded.  Bet you didn’t know that little bit of trivia.

 

 

I walked around the outside of the square to check out the local artists and their paintings.  Then I walked down to Bourbon Street, just to say I had been there and see what it looked like.  By now the crowds were getting overwhelming, so I headed south, out of town, to visit the Southern Seaplane Base located in Belle Chasse, LA. This charter company flies hunters and fishermen to out- of- the-way locations and tourists on sight-seeing flights around the New Orleans area.  There were three buss-loads of tourist arriving as I was leaving, and I ask one of the pilots how that worked and he said, “We have to take them up in shifts.”

 

 

 

It was getting close to lunch time, so I headed for the airport to turn my rental car in.  On the way I spotted a “Chick-fil-a” restaurant and decided to have lunch with the “Chicks.”   With a full tummy, Greta took me to the airport where I turned my car in and took my time walking from the rental car building to the air terminal (luckily it wasn’t raining today).  There had been bad weather in Chicago earlier, and our flight to Orlando was delayed about 2½ hours.  Our plane finally got there, and when we were ready to push back from the gate, a last minute couple arrived to discover there was only one seat left, and she wouldn’t leave without him.  This caused the airline to have to recalculate the weight and balance/fuel loads.  That caused us another half-hour delay before we could get going.  Once we got in the air, the flight to Orlando was quicker than usual, very smooth, and we got an extra bag of their always fresh peanuts for our trouble.

 

 

 

DiVoran had her own set of problems when she came to pick me up at the Orlando airport.  First of all, she had to drive thru a terrific thunderstorm on SR-528 after leaving Titusville, and traffic was slowed to a crawl.  Then when she got to the airport, there was construction inside the airport loop, and traffic was really backed up.  It took her 30 minutes to get from the entrance to the “Arrivals” pickup ramp to where I was waiting to be picked up.  Then it took us another 15 minutes to get to the on-ramp for SR-528 East heading for home.  I want to tell you, it sure was good to get home and relax from the stresses of this day. I loved taking this trip.  I especially enjoyed getting to see my cousins, and all the different places and things I saw.  However, all of that just makes me appreciate my beautiful restful home and my lovely wife even more.

 

 

I hope have enjoyed reading about this road trip as much as I have enjoyed remembering and writing about it. I hope you will join me when next I take to the open road somewhere in this beautiful country of ours, to visit new and different people, places, and things.

 

—–The End—–

 

 

 

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

 

Bill

 

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

Edisto Get Away Part 1

18 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

October 4th, my husband and I began a shortish road trip. I had made the decision to leave my laptop at home and it was odd, but refreshing to not travel with my computer. My fellow bloggers had submitted their post in advance so the only posts missing were mine! I was ok with that.

Our first stop was outside Raleigh, NC to visit with family. Most of the extended family had chosen the same week to vacation so, I missed seeing a lot of them, but enjoyed the ones there. We had plenty of good old southern food to eat. I am pretty certain that eastern North Carolina has the best cooks in the country.

 

 

Our next stop was Edisto Island, South Carolina. I know technically it is an island but I’ve seen  longer bridges on the St. John’s River in Florida.

 

 

The wooded drive along back roads to Edisto was pleasant and I enjoyed catching glimpses of unique stained glass windows in even the smallest of churches. I could imagine horse-drawn wagons hauling their crops along a rutted road.

Our plan was to meet our friend Pam and daughter, Rebekah at the resort. They drove up from Florida. Our timing was perfect and they Pam was already in the check in process when we arrived. We were relieved to discover that our home away from home for the next three days had a working elevator. We were on the third floor and not looking forward to hauling our “stuff” up the stairs. I say stuff because we can’t see, to travel with just luggage. There’s a snack bag, bags to hold things I forgot to put in the luggage… you get the idea.

Restaurant choices on the island are limited and we were tired so we opted for rotisserie chicken from the deli and salad. Easy clean up meal then coffee and conversation on the porch until bedtime.

The next morning after a quick breakfast we headed to our first place on our to do list, Wadmalaw Island and the Charleston Tea Plantation. It wasn’t far tp Wadmalaw Island, as the crow flies, but since we couldn’t fly over the marshes, it took a little over an hour. From their website:

 

This is the home of Charleston Tea Plantation teas – nine very special flavors of tea, including our original American Classic Tea.  This is the only brand of tea in the world that is made exclusively with 100% tea grown in America.  The Plantation sits right off Maybank Highway. Driving down Maybank is like taking a step back in time. Wadmalaw has not and cannot be commercially developed, therefore much of the land remains untouched.

 

 

On the porch of the gift shop Waddy the Frog sits with his cup of tea, available for any single ladies who haven’t met their quota of kissing frogs before they find a prince.

 

 

We purchased tickets for a trolley tour of the plantation and it was informative and fun with a guide who knew his history and how to add humor to his spiel.  The tea plants looked like ordinary shrubs and I would never have identified them as tea plants if I saw  them in a garden. The leaves are not harvested by hand as this is a small operation and would require many hands to pick it. Instead, they have a specially built harvester that is set to pick a defined depth.  They kind of look like someone used a gas hedge trimmer on them.

 

The most surprising fact I learned is that the whole process, once the leaves arrive at the processing center, is automated. The production staff has only 4 members. The gift shop has more staff!

After the tour, we shopped in the gift shop and took pictures. I loved the large oak tree by the entrance. It reminded me of Orlando, Florida in the 60’s before Disney World.

 

The weather was threatening rain but we decided to continue to historic Charleston. Hurricane Michael was stirring up the weather and we were not sure the next day would bring good weather. I will write about that next time. Meanwhile, here is a picture that we found interesting. This homeowner isn’t taking any chances on the surrounding marshes flooding.

 

 

 

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

Memory Lane Road Trip~Part 15

10 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



Day 15 – Tuesday 5/1/2018

I headed south on I-40 this morning to visit the Flying Tigers Heritage Park located just outside Alexandria, LA.  This is a park situated just outside the entrance to, what was until 1992, the England Air Force Base.  Now known as England Airpark & Community, it is a thriving residential neighborhood and the air base has been transformed to serve as the Alexandria International Airport.  I was only interested in getting photos of their static displayed airplanes, and then I was on my way.

I continued south on I-40, and then took a short side trip down U.S.-167/SR-13 to visit the Cajun Music Hall of Fame located in Eunice, LA.  All along U.S.-167 and SR-13 I kept seeing these large, flooded fields with some kind of a device evenly spaced over the entire field.  I had no idea what I was seeing until I arrived at the museum, and asked the curator.  

She said they were crawfish traps, and showed me one she had there in the museum.  I asked her what they used for bait, and she said, “Any kind of meat scraps will do, but most farmers use processed crawfish bait which is made up of concentrated fish parts.” When I mentioned how shallow the water looked, she informed me that they plant rice in those fields, and then after the rice crop is harvested, they flood the fields, seed the crawfish, and put out their crawfish traps.  Check YouTube for “Crawfish Trap Videos” to see how they do it.

I learn some of the most interesting things on these trips!  The museum is located in a small building and displays some Cajun Music memorabilia, but is filled mostly with early 1800s Louisiana artifacts from the surrounding area. 

Next door was the equally small Eunice Depot Museum, which was closed, so I headed east on U.S.-190 to pick up I-40 and head south again towards Layfette, LA.  Friends had told me that if I was ever in the Layfette area, I needed to stop at “Prejeans Cajun Restaurant” located on I-40 just north of Layfette for a meal.  Well, it was lunch time wasn’t it?  So of course I stopped in to give them a try.  

Everything on the menu looked great, but I settled on a bowl of Seafood Gumbo to start.  Then it was their “Blackened Shrimp Skillet Creole” with red beans and rice.  Yummm! It was all pretty spicy, to my taste, and I needed two glasses of ice tea to keep my mouth cooled down!

After that delicious meal, I was ready to head south on I-40 again to visit the Acadian Village located a few miles southwest of Lafayette.  This is a 1800s living Cajun village, with relocated and restored authentic buildings, including houses, a church, a meeting house, and a blacksmith shop. The village is set around a small bayou and the dwellings are easily accessible from a paved walkway.

A few miles east of the Acadian Village I visited the Vermillionville Historic Village located on 23 acres adjacent to the Bayou Vermillion.  This living history museum and folk-life park is another frontier village type attraction, with some of their buildings dating from the late 1700s.  The seven relocated buildings have been restored, filled with period furnishings, and hosted by tour guides dressed in period costumes who will answer all your questions.

Now it was time to head for the motel and get settled in, so I could relax and enjoy my leftover Blackened Shrimp with red beans and rice from Prejeans.  Yummm again!  Of course I didn’t have the ice tea to cool down my mouth this time, so I had to be satisfied with a can of Mountain Dew from the motel’s drink machine.

                                           —–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

Bill

Memory Lane Road Trip~Part 14

3 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 – Monday 4/30/2018 

My original plan was to head north this morning to visit a couple of smaller museums, and then turn around and head south to meet another of my cousins in Many, LA for lunch. However, I was getting off to a late start, and there was a good chance the museums wouldn’t be open, and I didn’t want to be late for our meeting.  So after breakfast I packed up and headed south on US-171 to visit the Fort Jesup Historic Site located about six miles northeast of Many.

The site was closed, but Wikipedia tells me the fort was built in1822 to protect the U.S. border with New Spain, and to return order to the Neutral Strip (1806-1821).  The fort was active until after the Mexican war, in 1846, when it was closed.  The only building that remains of the fort now, is the Enlisted Barracks 4, which was restored and is currently being maintained by a private organization in Many.

Now I continued about six miles southwest on SR-6, from Fort Jesup into Many.  My cousin Jimmy had said he couldn’t meet my other cousin Alfice and me for lunch.  I thought maybe I’d drive over and see where his office was anyway.  It was only 10 o’clock, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the next two hours.

Just as I was pulling into town my cousin James Alfice called me to let me know he had to come to town early to run some errands.  What a serendipity!  We met at the local Burger King and as he got out of his car he said, “You must be Billy.”  I shook his hand and said, “And you must be Alfice.”  I got in his car and we started what turned out to be the very best four hour family history tour I have ever had.  Alfice is four years older than me, and has lived a very active life there in the Many area.  He and his family grew up and lived there, as has my family.  At one time he was the police Chief of Many for several years, and later he was Sherriff of Sabine County, Louisiana for a number of years.

He knew everything there was to know about our family background, as well as, everything there was to know about what had gone on in Many and Sabine county over the years. He drove me around every part of Many, pointing out which of my relatives had lived in, or still lived in this or that house.  He would point out which criminal had lived in some house, or the very spot in the woods where he and his deputies had turned the dogs loose on another criminal. Then he took me to the Mount Zion Baptist Church.  According to Alfice, his grandfather and my grandfather were both instrumental in starting that church sometime around the late 1800s or early 1900s.  That is the church my family attended those times we visited my relatives when I was a youngster.  Most of my relatives who live in the Many area still attend there.

Next to the church is the Mount Zion Cemetery, where many of Alfice and my relatives are buried.  This is a beautiful cemetery that dates back to the early 1800s, and has been kept up by the church families over the years. I found the grave of my grandfather (T.J. Lites) and grandmother (Mattie Lites) who started populating the area in and around Many with their 13 children.

We stopped for lunch at Alfice’s favorite restaurant, Fisherman’s Galley, located on the banks of Toledo Bend Lake.  I had a plate of their Grilled Catfish with Sweet Potatoe Fries.  The food was really great, and lots of it.  While I was eating, I had this picture in my mind of two little black kids, sitting on a pier, fishing in the lake for catfish for the restaurant.  As soon as they hooked one, they would run it up to the restaurant cook, and the next thing you know, there it was on my plate, fresh out of the lake.  The catfish was that good!

Alfice continued the tour for a while after lunch, but then he told me he had to get his car back for his wife.  We exchanged contact information and said our goodbyes, with promises to stay in touch. Then I went looking for my cousin Jimmy’s asphalt business, so I could take a photo of their sign. Jimmy had told me he was starting a new job in another town that day, and I assumed his whole crew would be on that job with him.   As luck would have it, the gate was open, so I drove in to see who might be there.  I was surprised when the mechanic told me that two of my cousins, Danny and Tracy, were in the office.  They came out and we had a great impromptu visit.

After I said my goodbyes to cousins Danny and Tracy, I drove back into Many to check out The Robert Gentry Museum, there on San Antonio Avenue.  I had seen this museum as I first drove into Many, and hoped I had time now to visit before they closed.  But I found out the museum had closed and all that was left in the building was a pawn shop.

Now it was time for Greta to take me to tonight’s motel in Natchitoches, LA which was about 30 miles east of Many.  After I checked in, I warmed up my delicious leftover catfish, for another delightful supper.  As usual, there was nothing worth watching on the TV, so I recorded my notes for the day and then it was early to bed for me.

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

Bill

Memory Lane Road~Trip Part 13

26 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



Day 13 – Sunday 4/29/2018 

Today I headed west on I-20 to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, MS.  This national park covers 1,728 acres, and is designed to preserve the site of the Battle of Vicksburg, which took place during the Civil War in the summer of 1863.  The park displays an impressive number of historic monuments (1,325), strategically placed along the nearly 16 miles of tour road that rings the park.  Also there are a total of 144 period canons positioned in simulated high-ground battery locations that gives a person an idea of just how large the battlefield was.

I had originally thought the USS Cairo Museum was in a separate location, so I had to ask for directions to the Museum.  It turned out to be located on the park’s Tour Road, toward the northern edge of the park, adjacent to the Yazoo River.  This museum houses the restored remains of the USS Cairo that was built in 1861. One of the first ironclads to be built at the beginning of the Civil War, she served with the Army’s Western Gunboat Flotilla on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers until 1862 when she was transferred to the Navy later that year.

On December 12, 1862, while clearing mines from the Yazoo River, she struck a mine and sank.  Not located until 1956, the gunboat was damaged in 1964 while crews were trying to raise her.  After many years of hard work and many delays, the restored USS Cairo and its museum were finally opened to the public in 1980.

While in Vicksburg, I also visited The Old Depot Museum located just a couple of miles south of the USS Cairo Museum.  This museum is housed in the old 1872 Vicksburg Railroad Depot, and consists of scale models of the Olde Town of Vicksburg, a scaled model scene of the Battle of Vicksburg, operating model train layouts, as well as model ships, boats and vessels dating from the time of the Vikings to the present.

Next I headed west on I-20, across the Mississippi River, to visit the Chennault Aviation Museum located in Monroe, LA.  This small museum basically tells the story of Claire L. Chennault’s military career, from his initial involvement in aviation during WWI, to his part in the creation of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the “Flying Tigers” in China prior to WW2 and beyond.

I continued west on I-20 to Ruston, where I turned north onto US-167 for a short side trip to visit the Bernice Depot Museum located in Bernice, LA.  This very small museum is housed in the 1895 Arkansas Southern Railroad depot, and was one of the significant loading points for the surrounding lumber industry during the late 1800s.  The museum displays memorabilia related to the railroad and local lumber industry that gave birth to this small town of Bernice.

Greta kept me with a question in my mind as to her navigating abilities for the better part of the next hour.  She took me thru roughly 50 miles of Louisiana back roads to get us back to I-20.  Then it was another 30 miles west so I could visit the Barksdale Global Power Museum (8thAir Force Museum).  This museum is located just outside the gate to the Barksdale Air Force Base, on the east side of Shreveport, LA.  The museum consists of a building that tells the history of the 8thAir Force by means of memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits and some 20+ beautifully restored outdoor static displayed aircraft.

Barksdale Global Power Museum


Now it was just a few miles west to visit the Shreveport Water Works Museum located on the southwest side of Shreveport adjacent to the Red River.  The museum is housed in the old 1887 McNeill Pump Station building, and displays much of the original steam equipment, pumps, filters, and other machinery used to supply water to the city of Shreveport during the late 1800s.

Right next door to the Water Works Museum was the Shreveport Railroad Museum.  This small museum is housed in one of the original 1887 Water Works buildings, and displays memorabilia and artifacts related to the civic and economical influence of the Kansas City Southern Railway on the Shreveport area, dating from the 1860s.  The museum also has several pieces of rolling stock in various stages of restoration at an off-site location, including steam locomotive #1140.

Just a few blocks away I tried to visit the Strand Theater there in downtown Shreveport, but it was closed.  Wikipedia tells me that the theater was built in 1925, and opened as a Vaudeville venue until the mid-1940s, when it became a movie theater.  This 1,536 seat theater remained a movie theater until it was closed in 1977.  It was renovated and reopened in 1984 as the “Official State Theater of Louisiana” where it serves as a performing arts venue featuring mostly off-Broadway traveling shows.

Another few blocks away, toward the Red River, I visited the Spring Street Historical Museum there in Shreveport.  This small museum is housed in what was originally the Tally’s Bank building. Built in the 1860s, the building is one of the few remaining examples of New Orleans style cast-iron gallery grillwork in Shreveport.  This museum displays historic artifacts and memorabilia related to the history in and around the early days of Shreveport, as well as displays of traveling costumes of the time period.

I wondered why my stomach was growling, and decided it was time to head for the motel and get something to eat.  Greta took me to the motel with no trouble, and after getting checked in, I was able to relax, warm up, and enjoy leftover Zydeco Wrap from the Froghead Grill.

—–To Be Continued—–

is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

Bill

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

Memory Lane Road Trip~ Part 12

19 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 12 – Saturday 4/28/2018

This morning I headed southwest on US-61 to visit the Delta Blues Museum located in Clarksdale, MS. This museum is housed in what was originally the Clarksdale Passenger Depot, which was built in 1926.  The Passenger depot was used by the Central Illinois Railroad, and others, until 1965 when passenger service at the depot was discontinued.  After years of abandonment, the depot was restored, and the museum moved in.  The museum displays many artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Blues Music in the Mid-South.

One of the artists that legend credits with helping birth the blues, in this area, is McKinley Morganfield, better known in the blues music world as “Muddy Waters.”  The museum honors “The King of Chicago Blues” with a wax figure of the artist strumming his guitar in the rebuilt portion of his slave shack.  The shack is where he spent most of his first 30 years.  It was moved to the museum, from its original location, on the Stovall Plantation, near Clarksdale in 1996.

Now I continued south on US-289/US-82 to visit the Greenville Air Force Base Museum located at the Mid-Delta Regional Airport in Greenville, MS.  This small museum turned out to be housed on the mezzanine of the airport terminal building.  The museum displays memorabilia related to the history of the Greenville Army Airfield operations (1940-1946), and the U.S. Airforce Training Center (1950-1966).

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Next I headed southeast on US-61/US-149 to visit the Canton Railroad Museum located in Canton, MS.  This museum is located in the restored 1852 Canton Railroad Depot building, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the railroad’s influence, from the mid-1800s to the late 1970s, in and around the Canton area.

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Now I headed south on I-55 to visit the City of Jackson Fire Museum located in Jackson, MS.  This museum is housed in a portion of the active Fire House #10.  The museum was closed by the time I got there, but Wikipedia tells me the museum displays artifacts and memorabilia about the Jackson Fire Department Safety programs.  There are also several beautifully restored pieces of firefighting equipment/engines dating from 1904 displayed within the museum.

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As I was driving thru downtown Jackson, I stopped to take a photo of the Old Mississippi State Capital Building (1839-1903). Wikipedia states that this building has been renovated several times since 1903, the last being in 1961, after which it was designated the Mississippi State Historical Museum.   The museum was closed by the time I got there, and that was OK with me.  I expected it would have taken hours to see three floors full of memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits related to the full history of Mississippi.

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On the way to the motel, I happened upon the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and stopped by to get a photo.  Wikipedia tells me that the museum was opened in 2017, and displays artifacts and memorabilia covering the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. (especially Mississippi) from 1945 to 1970.  This museum was also closed, so I turned my attention to where I was going to stay tonight. By now it was time for Greta to take me to the motel (which actually ended up being in Clinton, MS located just west of Jackson) so I could get checked in and find some place to eat.

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After I got checked in at the motel, I asked the desk clerk for his recommendation about a good place to eat and he said, “The Froghead Grill just down the street is pretty good.”  I put my things in the room and walked about 1½ blocks to see what they had to offer.  As you might expect, the Froghead Grill had a very unique menu.  I selected their “Zydeco Wrap” which was Alligator sausage and Crawfish with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Scooter Sauce.  Boy was that different and delicious!  With a full tummy, I headed back to the motel for a good night’s sleep.

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—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

Bill

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

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