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Published: October 22nd 2015
As we head toward Memphis, TN the landscape changes. Here is a picture of a cotton field....they were all over.
"She says": This part of the trip was a trip down memory lane. I grew up with Elvis' music as a lot of you have. As we headed south from Nashville the surrounding landscape changed again....now we are seeing cotton fields and strange vines growing over many trees and bushes. The rv park was right next door to Graceland gate. We spent the day walking around the shops and looking at all the "stuff" that they were selling.....yes I did buy something to take home. Hahaha. The mansion was amazing. Very dated, but so cool that Elvis lived there with Priscilla and their daughter Lisa Marie. Everything was personal and showed his life well. The grounds were beautiful, unfortunately there were no horses in the fields, but you could imagine what it would look like with them there. The collection of records, awards, pictures, things that people gave to him was incredible...then the gardens where Elvis and his family were buried was very beautiful and well taken care of. I personally was glad I went to see it. Yes there is a lot of "tacky" stuff for sale, but some things were amazing.....
Elvis' birthplace was in Tupelo, Mississippi. It
There were these vines growing over a lot of the trees, just taking over everything....
was small and humble. The grounds were pleasant, but nothing like Graceland. The next post will be around Tupelo and where we went next....Muscule Shoals, Mississippi....where some of the best music started..
"He says", Down memory lane indeed....what probably suprised me the most was the tremendous adulation and love that is still found in the crowds and people who come to see a man who died in 1977. Many are grey haired, some, streaked and bleached hair piled high on lined faces, pot bellies and balding curmudgeons, baseball hats shading tired eyes that peer intently at the many displays and memorbilia of Elvis Presely.... ( I include ourselves in that description) there are the young also, teens and young adults who probably have been encouraged by parents and told of the singer; all have come to explore and examine the story and surroundings of this incredibly talented performer who died so young at the age of 42.
If I was to say I am a diehard Elvis fan it would be less than truthful. I admired his raw beginning years but grew tired of glizt his life later became and I still occasionally followed his career
The rv park was literally right next door to Graceland. We just had to walk through the gate.
in the news headlines or TV news as he seemed to plumet downhill in his last years....I do remember making a point of going to the house of my good friends Mel and Angie to see the Elvis comback concert on T V. We were all amazed at the performance and seeing the rebroadcast of this very concert performance in some of the various Elvis Shops brought back good memories....
We walked over to the entrance for the GraceLand tours which is across the street from the grounds; gazing out across the busy highway and seeing the fenced entrance way and the rolling landscape of the grounds of the mansion is I was struck by the rockwall that surrounded it. Perhaps 5' high it seemed a small barrier to climb over and I could see fans trying this....proably a lot of security. the entranceway's gate is bordered with brickwork that is totally covered in hundreds of dates and names of those who have come here. Every square inch of the bricks had scribbles on them.
A shuttle takes you across the boulevard and then stops in front of the mansion steps which any Elvis fan instantly recognizes; you
The gate into Graceland. This is where all the shops are and the items that have been collected.
wait and join a slowly moving throng that is carefully ushered through the rooms, "Don't touch; don't sit, don't, don't, don't, just look and take pictures without using flash" is your introduction at the doorway as you are carefully watched by staff who monitor the crowd. One young girl tried to take a self and sat on a nearby stool who was immediately warned to not sit...only look....
My first impression was the house seemed small because previously I had seen pictures or film of the mansion and it somehow looked huge; it is a large estate and building but not the grand structure I had expected. It is definately a trip back to the 70s as the furniture and decorating was from that time period. Each room you went to and peered thru the doorway was elaborated on by headphones and a vocal tablet you carried which outlined interesting facts....the jungle room's furniture and the many hours it took to install the intricate and very gaudy fabric folded around the pool table; his private record collection, the 3 TVs that he copied when he had heard Nixon watched 3 sets to see all of the news broadcast; all
It's all about Elvis....
was very much an eye opener to what and how Elvis lived within these walls. There is an easy comfortness to all the rooms and it was definitely a place he relaxed in.
The gold records coverd lenghty hallways, the walls covered with awards, his accomplishments were all very overwhelming. Not only was he a great entertainer but a extrardinarily generous person for the many charities and services he helped. The walls and the whole mansion is a testament of this man's greatness and who he was...
We left the mansion and bought a few gifts and memoribilia ( I see how they make their money; nothing ain't cheap if it has Elvis on it) at the local shops and Graceland. We took a trip to the humble beginnings of where he was born in Tupelo. Humble poor living in a very much rural setting with ponds and bushscape that he as a boy spent time with friends and school mates. The tiny clapboard building his father built was a small two room house not much bigger than most livingrooms in todays houses; when he was 13 his mother bought him a guitar rather than the gun he
Looking across the street at Elvis's home "Graceland"
wanted and music was forever changed. Enjoyed reading the many comments displayed around the museum written by those who knew him in his early years.
Reading and listening to his first beginnings as a country kid brought back memories for myself of slingshots and BBguns, torn jeans and barefeet and a crude stick for fishing with bobby pins as we had no hooks....his was a simple life but from those roots his character was forged and made him the person he became and who remains an icon 38 years after his death. His music left a deep imprint in so many lives.....the mansion, the trip to his birth place, an experience I highly recomend for anyone...
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