Michelangelo and Casey Jones in Memphis

As you gaze upon the title of this post, you may be pondering, “What in the world do Michelangelo and Casey Jones have to do with each other?” The answer to that question is simple: Not much. Yes, they were both characters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that has nothing to do with our story today. We came across both the famous artist and the famous engineer in one day, very close in distance to each other. Read on to find out more!


Laura and I headed to downtown Memphis, Tennessee, to see an exhibit about the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel by some guy named Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Maybe you have heard of him. Goes mainly by his first name like that famous guy from Memphis, Elvis Presley.

Fortunately, the reproductions, which were actually very large, high-resolution photographs, of the ceiling paintings were at ground level and vertical, so that we did not have to strain our necks looking up while straining our eyes to see something far away.

An exhibit about Michelangelo’s paintings on the Sistene Chapel ceiling

Near each reproduction was a sign with a QR code. Using the app that went along with the exhibit, we could scan the code and hear more information about each painting. We were interested to hear that there is much speculation about who some of the paintings are supposed to represent. Did someone not ask Michelangelo, “Hey, who are these paintings of?” Did they ask and he replied, “Figure it out for yourself!” You know how some artists can be rather temperamental, after all.

It was interesting to see the paintings up close to be able to see how much detail is in each one. It did not, however, inspire me to come home and paint frescoes on the ceilings in our house. I will leave that to the professionals.

We had talked about going to the exhibit for some time, but we kept putting it off. Fortunately, we were able to squeeze in on the last day.

An exhibit about Michelangelo’s paintings on the Sistene Chapel ceiling

Casey Jones

As we were walking back to our car, we noticed a historical marker close by. Because we are always on the lookout for interesting historical things, we walked just a few steps out of our way to read what it said. Here it is:

The starting place of Casey Jones’s ill-fated railroad trip

Yes, this was the place where Casey Jones started his ill-fated railroad journey that made him a legend in story and song. As you may know, his train crashed with another train in Vaughn, Mississippi. The details as to was at fault are a bit cloudy. But Casey Jones is regarded as a hero for staying with the train to slow it down, saving the lives of all the passengers at the cost of his own.

The starting place of Casey Jones’s ill-fated railroad trip

I wondered if this spot was where the station platform was located, or perhaps the depot building itself. I should look into that a little more at some point, but I will save that for another time. By the way, the glass building to the right was the convention center where the Michelangelo exhibit was housed. See what I mean when I said Michelangelo and Casey Jones were close to each other?

Railroad tracks in Memphis

The railroad tracks these days are a little bit farther down from where we were standing, in the direction of the Mississippi River, as you can see here. And the Pyramid, formerly a sports arena and now a Bass Pro Shops location, was not there when Casey Jones was around. The same goes for the interstate brigdes, too.

The Bridge

Bridge over the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee

And you can’t go to downtown Memphis without taking a photo of the famous bridge over the Mississippi River, can you? This is the I-40 bridge. It was the site of much traffic and probably much frustration, because the nearby I-55 bridge over the river was closed for repairs. Fortunately, we did not have to cross it on that day.

Bridge over the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee

And yes, those clouds were as dark as they look here. We managed to avoid being outside in the rain. It rained while we were in the exhibit, and it rained while we were on the way home. But not while we were out walking. That’s a good thing.

A Rainbow

Rainbow at home

It rained for much of the afternoon, but it stopped in time for us to go for an evening walk. And on that walk, we saw a rainbow. The rainbow is a little faint here, but you can still see it. Always an amazing sight.

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, then I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures of all kinds. Never again will the waters become a flood and destroy all living things. When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will notice it and remember the perpetual covenant between God and all living creatures of all kinds that are on the earth." - Genesis 3:14-16

About the Photos

I did not carry any fancy camera equipment with me on this particular day. I only had my phone with me, and it was good enough for capturing the memories of the day. And I did not process these photos any, besides resizing them and adding the Burnsland watermark. Sometimes simple is just fine.

Photo: Each photo is a single Jpg exposure
Camera: iPhone 14 Pro
Date: June 10, 2023
Location: Memphis and Williston, Tennessee


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.