Wednesday, September 7, 2016
James Jones: Author & Summer Avenue Resident
James Jones, the author of the award winning novel From Here To Eternity, which served as the basis for the Academy Award winning film of the same name, wrote the work in the late 1940's while living the old Leahy's Tourist Court on Summer Avenue in Memphis. Ask Vance posted this article relating the story.
Growing up as I did in the Berclair neighborhood of Memphis, Summer Avenue was the nearest main street, and Leahy's always struck me as a bit of a time capsule, even into the 1980's. Leahy's was an old fashioned tourist court, that included cabins and parking spaces for trailers/mobile homes. By the 1980's, essentially all of Summer Avenue was commercial/industrial, with Leahy's - a quiet, residential community unto itself - quietly sitting in the middle.
Leahy's continued until 2014, when the owner of the property could no longer afford the utilities and upkeep of the old property. There was a fear that the residents would have their utilities disconnected. That fate was avoided, but some residents moved out while things were uncertain. An investor bought the property, began making repairs, and it remains as a trailer park in the middle of Memphis, although some of the quaint charm of Leahy's has been lost.