By Danza Johnson
TUPELO – Marshal Raymond threw on his blue suede shoes, fired up is 1969 Stingray and headed up old Highway 78 just like the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll did decades ago.
Raymond participated in the fourth annual Rags to Riches Tour on Saturday which simulates Elvis and his family leaving Tupelo for Memphis. Dozens of classic car lovers joined in on the ride that started at the Tupelo Automobile Museum and had a stop at the Olive Branch Courthouse. Raymond, from Hamilton, Ala., was making his first ride with tour.
“I never pass up a chance to do two things,” he said. “One, drive my Stingray with other classic car lovers, and two, I never miss a chance to do it for the King.”
Unlike Raymond, Southaven resident James Cummings has rode on the tour before. This year he didn’t get a chance to officially sign up for it, but that didn’t keep him from joining the crowd.
“I’ve been to Tupelo several times to visit the automobile museum and Elvis Presley Birthplace because I love old cars and I love Elvis, so I wasn’t going to miss the ride.” he said. “You get a funny, but good, feeling when you ride on that road that took Elvis from his small-town life in Tupelo to world stardom. They had no idea that that ride would lead to that and that’s what makes this unique and special for me.”
Museum Curator Allen McDaniel said participation in this year’s tour was just as good as the previous four.
“We started this four years ago as a way to bring more recognition to the museum and we feel it has definitely done that,” said McDaniel.
The tour ended at George Poteet’s Ford Farm in Holly Springs.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.