Gallery of The Sun

Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia (June 14, 1909 – September 17, 1982) was an American impressionist, western-pop painter, sculptor, composer, actor, director, designer, architect, jeweler, and lithographer. The historic chapel next to the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in the Catalina Foothills was heavily damaged by fire Monday evening, said Battalion Chief Lee Mayes of the Rural/Metro Fire Department.

Rural/Metro firefighters were called to the area of gallery, 6300 N. Swan Road, shortly after 6 p.m. on reports of smoke and spotted the fire, which firefighters doused in two or three minutes after the first engine arrived, Mayes said.  Sad day indeed.

Pinnacle Peak

Opening in 1962, Pinnacle Peak became famous for good food and good fun. Guests were encouraged to relax and enjoy a hearty steak dinner. The “No Ties Allowed” policy has always been a part of the Pinnacle Peak mentality.

On a fateful night in 1971, a fire roared through the property and completely destroyed Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, Pinnacle Peak and the Silver Dollar Saloon were rebuilt bigger and better than ever.

Elvis Presley Graceland

How did Graceland get its name? The Graceland property was originally established as a 500 acre farm during the American Civil War (1861-1865) by publisher Stephen C. Toof (Owner of the Memphis Daily Appeal). Mr Toof named the property after his daughter.

Who got the idea for Elvis to buy Graceland?
His parents, Vernon and Gladys saw it first and placed a $1,000 down payment on March 16, 1957.

Did you know?
On January 8, 1935, Elvis Aron (later spelled Aaron) Presley was born at his parents’ two-room house in East Tupelo, Mississippi, about 35 minutes after his identical twin brother, Jesse Garon, who was stillborn.

He was distantly related to former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln & Jimmy Carter.

His father, Vernon, worked a series of odd jobs, and in 1938 was sentenced to three years in prison for forging a $4 check.

In 1964, Elvis paid $55,000 for the Potomac, the 165-foot-long vessel that served as FDR’s “floating White House” from 1936 to 1945.

Elvis wore a cross, the Hebrew letter chai, and a star of David around his neck. “I don’t want to miss out on heaven due to a technicality,” he said.

He also joined his high school boxing team.

“Scatter” was Elvis’s pet chimp. He also had a pet turkey called “Bow Tie.”

Elvis’s nicknames, other than the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” included “The Memphis Flash,” The King of Western Bop,” “Big E,” “The Chief” and “The Hillbilly Cat.”

Memphis Tennessee

Facts about Memphis:
-Named for its Egyptian sister on the Nile means Established and Beautiful.
-Memphis is mentioned in more songs than any other city in the world – more than 400 according to Billboard Magazine.

-Memphis is the site of the first Welcome Wagon, founded here in 1928.
-Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in Memphis.  There is a museum that preserves the Lorraine Motel where James Earl Ray assassinated
-The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, is where the parade of ducks walk to the central fountain of the hotel everyday.
-The creator of the famous Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s died after and kicking a safe and hurt his toe. This ultimately lead to a blood infection that would be his demise.
-If you’ve ever heard a Tennessean referred to as a Butternut, it dates back to the tan color of their uniforms during the civil war.

Let’s talk BBQ.
Memphis-style barbecue is mostly made using pork, usually ribs and shoulders.  Their key to tender, tasty pork, the trademark of the Memphis style, is a dry rub and smoking it slowly over a low fire.

Another technique common in Memphis-style barbequing is “mopping”. A mop can be created by adding water to the dry rub, creating a thin sauce. Mopping is key in the process of smoking the pork because it keeps the moisture of the meat.

Sun Studios

The Birthplace of Rock N’ Roll and home to the ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. Located on 706 Union Avenue plan on taking a tour which is about an hour.  Leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll with artist Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950s.  The list is long including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there throughout the mid-to-late 1950s until the studio outgrew its Union Avenue location.

My list of favorite places to visit, Beale Street, Union Avenue, Sweetie Pies, and Memphis Stars.

Mallory Neely House
An insert from wikipedia states: Around 1852, the mansion was built in the Italianate style as an early Victorian villa. From 1852 until 1969, the mansion was home to the families of Isaac Kirtland, Benjamin Babb, James C. Neely, Daniel Grant, and Barton Lee Mallory.

In the 1880s and 1890s, the house was extensively renovated. During the renovation, the original two and one half stories of the building were extended to three full stories and the tower of the building was enlarged. After the renovation, the house consisted of 25 rooms. The Neely family decorated the mansion in the Victorian style, with parquet flooring, ornamental plasterwork, and ceiling stenciling.

In 1969, the last resident of the mansion, Daisy Neely-Mallory, died at age 98. According to her wish, the house was deeded to the Daughters, Sons, and Children of the American Revolution.

Isaac and Lucy Kirtland bought the property in 1852 and built the two-story home for their family. In 1883 Columbus and Frances Neely bought the house and moved in with their five children.  The Neely’s made significant changes, adding a third floor with an additional level for the tower and were responsible for the magnificent period interiors we still see today.  The décor and furnishings date to circa 1890 and include pieces the family bought at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and later from the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. – See more at: