“The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar,
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the Civil War,
I’m going to Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I’m going to Graceland…”
We drove down Elvis Presley Boulevard and anxiously awaited our arrival at Graceland. We parked in the parking lot and purchased our mansion tickets then boarded the bus for the ride across the street to Graceland. Neither of us were particularly fond of the headsets we were given as we both teach and know enough about headsets to be a bit squeamish around them but we wore them nonetheless.
We drove through the legendary gates (Grammar Girl might refer to them as historical – not historic) and entered the grounds. Both of us were surprised to learn that Elvis did not come up with the name Graceland on his own – it was already named that when he purchased it and he liked the name so much he kept it.
The first floor and basement were both open for viewing but the upstairs, his private quarters, was off limits out of respect. The house was decked out in true 70’s splendor – blue glass dishes in the living room, shades of avocado and orange throughout the kitchen, and lovely avocado shag throughout the jungle room.
Both of us especially liked the basement media room that included three TVs and a lightening bolt on the vivid yellow and blue walls that proclaimed TCB ( Taking Care of Business).
We went out back to Vernon Presley’s office and got quite a chuckle at the sign hanging on his door. Apparently taking care of business was a theme that ran through all of Graceland.
We meandered through his trophy room needing sunglasses to shield our eyes from the multitude of gold records (and gold suits) that graced it. It was somewhat overwhelming to see the sheer number of awards he had received.
We then walked across the lawn to the racquetball court which we learned was built at a cost of over $200,000 – twice as much as the cost of Graceland itself. This room was filled with even more awards.
Our final stop was the Meditation Garden where Elvis, his mother, his father, his grandmother, and his twin brother are buried. It is amazing how many people still leave flowers and notes after all these years. John and Donna also puzzled over the woman who was crying. A dear friend? We doubt it.
At that point we had taken care of all the business we had at Graceland and boarded the shuttle back to the land of shopping opportunity where we purchased a few choice trinkets to remember our time at the home of the King of Rock and Roll.