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Jimmy Ogle’s 10-Hour Tour


  • Courtesy of Herman King
  • Jimmy Ogle

How does one train for a marathon, 10-hour walking tour of Memphis? Treadmill workouts? Endurance talking? Run a pothole-and-road-repair obstacle course? If you're Memphis historian and master tour guide Jimmy Ogle, you don't do anything at all. He says he's ready to go and has enough material in his head to do a 20-hour tour. And, of course, he does.

Ogle's regular tours take him from Elmwood Cemetery, where he resurrects the ghost of censor Lloyd T. Binford, to the courthouse, where he's got stories about everything from the artwork to a famous cuspidor into which many famous people have spat. He does park walks, and bridge walks, and riverfront tours, and tours of downtown manhole covers. And that just barely scratches the surface.

But the question remains, why a 10-hour-tour?

"I've got a thing about numbers," Ogle says. He added up all the tours he'd given and was scheduled to give in 2015, and the total was 49. That wasn't good enough. He "wanted to make it 50." From there, things get a little weird. "I've always liked the number 10," Ogle explains, dropping a bit of trivia about himself. "I played basketball in school, and the number on my jersey was 10." And that's how it became clear that he was destined to conduct a 10-hour tour on the 10th day of the 10th month, kicking off from Beale Street Landing at exactly 10 minutes after 10 in the morning, and ending at Westy's in the Pinch 10 hours later.

Participants don't have to walk the entire route. They are allowed to drop out and rejoin at any point along the way.

Jimmy Ogle's First 10-Hour Tour of downtown Memphis and the Riverfront begins at 10:10 a.m. Saturday, October 10th. Free. 604-5002.

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