Life is Ducky at the Peabody in Memphis

The Peabody Ducks march the red carpet to return to the Duck Palace on the roof of the hotel.

Five well-fed ducks waddle across the red carpet, encouraged by two rapid thumps from the Duckmaster’s cane. No, this isn’t the opening of a children’s book, though the delighted faces of youngsters watching their progress speaks volumes. It’s a spectacle many, including a long list of glitterati  like Michael Jordan, Nicholas Cage and President Jimmy Carter, have found irresistible.

Ducks on a red carpet, you ask? Well, gather around and  I’ll tell you the story…… Continue reading

‘I Have a Dream’ Lives on in Memphis

marchers sI’m a child of the 60s. In August, 1963, I watched avidly as thousands marched on Washington and musicians like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan lent their voices to the cause of racial equality. And I thrilled to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. as he proclaimed, “I have a dream!”

Two years later, as protesters marched on Montgomery, Alabama, I joined the sit-in at the American Consulate in Montreal, along with dozens of other McGill students. We wanted to express our solidarity with the marchers down south. And we did. But I’ve realized how small was our contribution. Continue reading

Elvis and Me: Memphis

Elvis with gold record Elvis and Me Memphis

Elvis poses with a gold record in the awards room at Graceland

When I was a young pre-teen, my mom bought me a poodle skirt with a felt record on the pocket. But instead of the one with Elvis on its label, mine had Vaughan Monroe. Vaughan Monroe!!! It was probably her way of trying to keep me from the brink of depravity – all that hip wiggling. But whenever I listened to The King, I would turn the skirt back to front! Continue reading