Memphis, TN

5:05 PM

I decided I’d go meet the King. I lived in Memphis for over a year and have visited many times, but I’d never been to Graceland. Before we left I told Rochester, I told my Mom I wanted to go. I’m not sure why I wanted to check it out on this particular visit, but I did. We fit it in on Saturday. The kids and the family stayed here, so my Mom and I had a date and went to Elvis Pressley Blvd. I’m sure things have changed since Elvis was here, but he is not in the best part of town anymore.

We pulled into the parking lot, paid the $2, and made the walk into the ticketing area. It was more expensive than I thought. It was $27 for the entire access. This gave you entry into the house, the Lisa Marie (airplane), Car Museum, and another thing. We paid for all of it and made our way to the shuttle which took us up to the house. The line was not that long. We got on the 1st shuttle. It was around 10:30 AM. The ticket area and parking are across the street. Graceland is up a hill on what I learned was 14 acres. We pulled up to a house that was nice, but nothing like what you’d see on Cribs. They gave us a walkman device with headphones. It was pretty slick as it allowed you to tour at your own pace. You could enter a number for each area of the grounds.

We entered the house and saw the sitting area and where his parents lived. From there we went across to the dining room. The kitchen was straight ahead. On the headphones you could hear Lisa Marie telling you about how there was always people over and the kitchen was the main meeting place. It was cool to hear her perspective. I guess I should say that going into the house I was not a big Elvis fan and did not have much knowledge of him. I knew that people loved him and people like my Aunt and teachers were all about him. I took some pictures of the kitchen. The coloring of the room and appliances reminded me of my grandparents place. There was a TV in the kitchen which we were told was always on.

I think we went down to the basement after that. Down there was the entertainment room. He had three TV’s and an L shaped couch. There was shag carpet on the floor and on the ceiling. In another room there was curtain like material all over the walls and the ceiling. I guess the thing now is to pain the ceilings. Back then, it was to carpet them?

The house was impressive, but not as big as I thought. It maybe was 4,000 square feet. They had some of his clothes and replicas of things. They had his desk and some books.

I was impressed, but not in awe until we got to the trophy room. It was there I realized that this guy was the man. The audio rattled off all of his record sales and movies. There was a hall maybe the length of a bowling lane. On both sides were records showing different sales figures. The hall turned to the left and again, more records. I wish I could remember the sales and movie figures, but it is fair to say no one in my generation has seen anyone as big as Elvis was. He had a comeback show on TV that drew more viewers than the first man on the moon.

Today, music is more fragmented. Tastes are more diverse. It’s not cool to be on the bandwagon. Different is good. There will never be anyone or group who will be as big as Elvis was in his day. I wish I could explain how big he was. I wish I could understand how big he was. All of the records I saw, and the cars, and the clothes, and the donations, and the fans, it made me realize that I was at a place that is part of American history.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t see grown women on the ground crying and fainting, but I saw a man from Scotland who flew there with his wife for his 40th birthday. I heard many different accents and languages. I saw people from all age groups. I saw a place that I needed to see. I have a truer appreciation for Elvis, the King. Graceland was worth the time and the money.