My Smithsonian Contest Entries

To date I have submitted 23 entries in to this years Smithsonian Photo Contest. You can review my entries by following this link

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Ghost Ship

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Pittsburgh Day Lily 2018

Each year I try to publish images of the best blooms form our garden in Regent Square. Somehow, this one fell through the cracks. So even though the bloom is long gone, we can still enjoy its vibrant color.

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Pittsburgh Day Lily 2018

Memphis Tennessee

Memphis is situated along the banks of the Mississippi River just across the border of Arkansas and only miles from Mississippi. It is a city of about 650,000 and ranks sixth in The United States asa center for African Americans. About 65% of the people in Memphis are African American and it shapes the culture and history of the city.

Of course Memphis is known for an unfortunate event in our history; the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I believe every citizen needs to visit Memphis to experience the emotion of the National Civil Rights Museum. It also important in the history of the Blues. See it performed on Beal Street or explore the history at Stax Records or Sun Studio. Also enjoy some amazing food and barbecue. A great place to visit and explore some original American culture.

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Memphis Skyline

Memphis Skyline

Memphis Skyline

The National Civil Rights Museum—Memphis

If you have only one thing to do in Memphis it should be to visit the National Civil Rights Museum . Even though I have lived through a lot of The Civil Rights Movement I found this museum to be highly informative and an emotional experience.

You can easily spend the whole day there. There are many exhibits and interactive features. It is highly emotional and moving. After three hours we were drained. I don’t know if it was planning but across the street is the Blues Hall of Fame. We found it to be the perfect palette cleanser after our emotional upheaval. We sat in the listening booth and saw great performances that eased our souls.

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National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

Memphis Street Art

In spite of the fact that the population of Memphis is 62% African American it wasn’t until 2017 that Civil War statues were removed from the city. This mural expressing the horrors of lynching is near the National Civil Rights Museum. It is a grim reminder that the Civil War was not the end of racial hatred in the USA.

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Memphis Street Art

Stax Records–Soulsville USA

A lot of people if asked, might say Detroit is the home of Soul Music. Hitsville U.S.A. is the nickname given to Motown’s first headquarters. It was purchased by Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1959. However two years earlier Stax Records was founded in Memphis Tennessee. It was later dubbed Soulsville USA.

The Motown and Stax sound were the roots of American soul music. They were more similar than different. However, you could say that the Motown sound fueled by the Funk Brothers was smoother. Stax artists like Otis Redding and Carla Thomas had their roots a little more in gospel and their music was more emotional.

Visiting the Stax Record Museum is a must for anyone visiting Memphis. More than Graceland it explains the soul of the region.

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Soulsville USA

Soulsville USA

Soulsville USA

Soulsville USA

Soulsville USA

Soulsville USA

Beal Street

In Austin it is six street, in New Orleans it is Bourbon Street, in Chicago it is Rush Street and in Memphis it is Beal Street. This is where you go if you want to hear live Music and in most places it is blues music that you will hear.

Memphis is a famous Music City. Most people think of Nashville when they think of live music which is fine if you like country music. However, Memphis is the birth place of soul. Stax Records was known as Soulsville USA and Sun Records is where Elvis Presley and many others recorded.

In 1956 B.B, King moved from Mississippi to Memphis and founded his own record label, Blues Boys Kingdom, with headquarters at Beale Street in Memphis. He opened his first Blues Club on Beal Street which is still serving live music and Barbecue.

After his death B.B. King’s body was flown to Memphis. A funeral procession went down Beale Street, with a brass band marching in front of the hearse, playing When the Saints Go Marching In. Thousands lined the streets to pay their last respects. His body was then driven down Route 61 to his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi.

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Beal Street Memphis

Beal Street Memphis

Beal Street Memphis