The next day, we traveled on to New Orleans, with a wonderful, well-earned stop in Gulfport, Mississippi. We ate Italian and spent about an hour on the beach. I have now inserted my feet and legs (up to the calf) into the Gulf of Mexico. Woohoo! Just a taste of the pending northern summer and a nice reprieve from the emotional stress of the previous day.
New Orleans was wonderful. In short, a very interesting bus tour lead us from the most damaged areas in the 9th ward (Hurricaine Katrina), to the wonderful Garden district. I was beginning to bond more and more with fellow passengers and one of them happened to know the area. This was a wonderful blessing as we went to local places for live jazz and great food. We also danced our butts off and met some amazing people. Lastly for this area, we went on a tour of the swamps in those boats with the big fans and got to hold baby alligators.
Little Rock, AK: visited the Little Rock 9 museum and walked to the school. Holy cow. That school is built like a castle. It was a wonderful depiction of architecture in my opinion. Too bad they did this for the white high schoolers, and left the black ones in the dust. Separate but equal?! My butt! The best part of this visit was that an unexpected visitor showed up! Well, a surprise to me. Her name was Minnie Jean Brown Trickey. One of the 9. She gave a wonderful set of responses to our questions. So cool.
We went to dinner at the Clinton School of Public Service and heard a panel of students discuss why they were there and what their ambitions were. The next day, we went to Heifer Int'l, and the Clinton Library. All of this takes up many more paragraphs. I wish I could have seen it all but we did not have enough time.
Lastly, we headed to Memphis. The museum tour was amazing and definitely requires more than one day to read it all. I didn't make it across the street where they talk about the assasination or its conspiracies. The best part was getting to hear from Rev. Kyles who, along with Rev. Abernathy, spent the last hour of Dr. King's life shootin' the bull in the hotel before intending to go to Kyle's house for dinner. Rev. Abernathy is now passed on, so Kyles is the last to talk about those moments. It was interesting to hear of a personal side of Dr. King, and the events that unfolded--yelling down to Jesse Jackson in the parking lot, etc...Kyles was the only one on the balcony with King when he was shot.
We walked over to Beale street for dinner. It was freezing to me and I think the week finally caught up to me. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep, not even to put food in my belly. After a movie started on the bus, I took ibuprofen PM and passed out.