Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman welcomes Edgerton's to his Restaurant

By Charlie | March, 23, 2011


Hollywood Movie Star meets with Edgerton's Travelers on recent New Orleans and the Old South Group Travel Experience!

NOTE: New Orleans and the Old South will be a Group Travel Experience again in March of 2013. Tom Edgerton and his staff are building the trip now, with some exciting changes.Contact info below if you would like to call Edgerton's to get trip information)


It was surreal!


Academy Award winning movie star Morgan Freeman met with Edgerton's travelers on the popular New Orleans and the Old South group travel trip.


This is Charlie Adams, trip host and DVD producer. The picture below (be sure to open these newsletters where you can view pictures) was taken by Ed Walz, an Edgerton's traveler, as Freeman entered the room. Regie Dixon of LaPorte is seated to the right.

photo of Morgan Freeman meeting with Edgerton's travelers

(photo by Ed Walz)


Let me set the stage. This unforgettable experience came near the end of the popular one week (March 12 - 19, 2011 New Orleans and the Old South group travel trip. As I will write about below, the group had already been to Memphis, Natchez, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coase. We were in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the Blues, in the home stretch of the trip. Freeman co owns Madidi Restaurant in Clarksdale. Edgerton's always looks for unique places to stay and eat on trips, so Tom Edgerton had arranged Madidi as the place to eat in Blues Country. As our group of 40 arrived at the upscale restaurant, we didn't expect him to be there, but when we walked in several of our Michiana folks saw him seated at a table. Everyone got excited as they walked past him on the way to our special group room upstairs. From what we learned later, when he is back in his native state of Mississippi from filming movies, he visits his restaurant a couple of times a week. 


One of our travelers, Karen Dalrymple, went back over to him and told him how excited we were to be there. He was very gracious. She invited him to come up to our room. He said he would sure try. About 40 minutes later, after everyone had enjoyed an incredible meal, Freeman entered the room and could not have been more gracious. The man who was nominated for the Academy Award in Shawshank Redemption, Invictus, Driving Miss Daisy and Street Smart, and who won for his role in Million Dollar Baby (the Clint Eastwood-directed classic) asked about our trip and at the end said, "You know what they say down South? Ya'll come back, you hear!"


After he left, the jaws dropped on my of our travelers. Ed's wife Pam Walz about fell over backwards. One of the most respected actors in the world had just visited with the group. Freeman does such quality work, in movies such as Unforgiven, Bruce Almighty, The Bucket List (with Jack Nicholson) and The Dark Knight (with Christian Bale).


Now, there were reports later that Freeman told friends that he couldn't believe he actually got to meet Edgerton's Group travelers, so it must have been a thrill for him too!


After the meal, many of us went down the street to Freeman's "Ground Zero Blues Club" there in Clarksdale. The music was electrifying. Below, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod (photo below) put on a remarkable show. The 21 year old first picked up the guitar at age 6, and he knows how to wield it! Outside the club there were big sofa's for folks to sit on. What a unique place!   


photo of Ground Zero Blues Club


As mentioned, the Clarksdale, MS part of the trip was at the end. It included overnight lodging at one of the must "different" places to stay in the world - the Shack Up Inn!


Everyone had a "shack" to stay in. They looked like shacks on the outside but were so cool inside. They were named after famous Blues musicians, such as Pinetop Perkins, who ironically died just days after we stayed there. Over 12,000 people stayed there last year, including actor Samuel L. Jackson, and yet the do no advertising. It is all word of mouth.

photo of the Shack Up Inn

This particular Group Travel trip started about a week earlier with a Saturday night experience on Beale Street in Memphis, a visit to Graceland (home of Elvis and the 2nd most visited home in the US behind only The White House) and good times overall in Memphis.


Edgerton's then took the group down through Mississippi to Natchez and a night at the historic Eola Hotel. The word is that it is haunted by the daughter of the man who built the Hotel in the 1920's (she died during construction). One of our travelers picked up their phone and heard "Is my Daddy there?" Another claimed they saw her looking out a window on the third floor. During dinner, I asked a waitress about the ghost and the waitress said she would not work on any floor above the first.... 


There was a day of visiting Antebellum homes in Natchez (photo below). Next, it was on towards New Orleans! 

photo of antebellum homes in Natchez

Edgerton's arranged for four nights in the one and only New Orleans, including lodging right there on Bourbon Street. The annual St. Patricks Day's Parade was one of the nights, and it was unbelievable! A parade on Bourbon Street?! Look out!


Edgerton's, like on all Group Travel Experiences, arranged for all kinds of popular group excursions, such as a steamboat ride up and down the Mississippi River for a few hours, and a City Tour that included walking through one of their above-ground cemeteries. That was fascinating (photo below).


photo of cemetery in New Orleans

On one of the days Edgerton's set up a visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking. That was a big hit! Anne, the instructor (photo below) was hilarious. She had the group cracking up with her jokes and "bossy" style. She brought up one of the Edgerton's travelers to "help" her and that was a hoot! The jambalaya was terrific as well as the corn chowder bisque and the bananas foster!

photo New Orleans Cooking School

The time in New Orleans featured one interesting excursion after another. The trip out to the bayou and the swamps led us to see some gators up close! I'm glad we didn't see one as big as the one our guide was holding below!

photo of Swamp tour

Part of one day was spent on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi. A Schooner took the group out on a sun splashed day.

photo of Schooner on Gulf Coast

Then it was on to a wonderful meal at Mary Mahoney's where the likes of John Grisham, Denzel Washington, Peyton Manning and Usher have eaten over the years. On this particular day we also got a tour of the Katrina aftermath, which included seeing the homes actor Brad Pitt has had built as part of operation Make it Right.

Throughout the time in New Orleans, Edgerton's arranged for evening meals at such places as Oceana and Ralph and Kacoo's in the French Quarter. On the final night, carriage rides were arranged for everyone through the French Quarter for an evening meal at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe, that featured authentic New Orleans Jazz. The photo below shows Edgerton's Tour Manager Sherrill Lee actually instructing the mules on how to go!

photo French Qtr ride
(photo by Ed Walz)

From there, it was up to see the Vicksburg National Park in Mississippi, where U.S. Grant and the Union forces laid siege to Vicksburg in a pivotal part of the Civil War. Next, the trip up to Clarksale, where the experience with Morgan Freeman took place.

What a trip!

If you have never been on an Edgerton's Group Travel trip, I encourage you to try one. You will love how everything is taken care of and how you get to meet so many interesting people along the way. We had people from all over southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana. We had married folks, single travelers, 3 lady friends that went together and all kinds of neat people. As host, I shot a video that everyone will get soon, capturing all the sights and sounds of the trip. I also talked about all the places we would visit before we got there, and shared humor and inspiration along the way.

If you would like to go on New Orleans and the Old South the next time it is arranged, be sure to contact your local Edgerton's office. This trip will be held again in 2013! 

The numbers of the Edgerton's offices in your area are below. If you have any questions, or want to go down to an office to talk more about the trip, feel free to call.  


If the trips that I host do not connect with you, be sure to look in the GROUP TRAVEL area of to see all the trips being offered.   


Charlie Adams, Edgerton's Group Travel Host


Edgerton's Contact Information


If you have any questions about Group Travel trips, Contact Information is below


Here are direct lines to each Edgerton's Office that can help you

South Bend/Mishawaka 


Fort Wayne area








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1 Response
1.  Kathy Melser
Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:10:31 PM EDT

Ron and I went on the New Orleans trip when we got to see Morgan Freeman. We would like to go on that trip again we had so much fun. The one thing we really enjoyed about the trip is that we were in New Orleans on March 17th St. Patrick's Day. The parade was like a mini mardigra. Will there be another trip in the future that would put us in New Orleans at that time?

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