I am driving my Mother’s Yellow, Dodge Dart Sport, 1972. My Mother would never have guessed that her V6 engine would be visiting the home of Elvis Presley. Nor would I have guessed that, either.
I am on a journey across the United States. I am traveling to Denmark via a cross-country drive from California in the West to Fairfax Virginia in the East. My wife is a Dane from Denmark. She wanted to see more of the USA, before we moved there. Today we are going to see the King of Rock and Roll.
I have visited Sun Studio in Memphis. Many artists have recorded music there, Including Elvis, Johnny Cash and BB King.
Today the calendar says “Graceland”. I have purchased a cassette with Paul Simon’s Graceland. I know it is only a song, but I’ve been humming it for the last week or so, anticipating my visit to Graceland.
Graceland is on the Eastern side of Elvis Presley Blvd, while on the Western side, is more Elvis, Elvis and yet more, Elvis.
I am parking the car across the street from Graceland. Only special mini-tour buses are allowed to enter the premises. There is a large parking lot with Airplanes and buses along the side. The guard at the gate tells us that video cameras are not allowed. The music of Elvis is heard everywhere. There are speakers at the entrance, along the walks and in the shops. If you like Elvis, this is the place for you. I would probably lose my mind!
The shops all have to do with Elvis. There is a movie theater which shows, what else? Elvis Movies.
The ticket office offers us many ways of paying to experience Elvis. We choose the tour which includes Graceland, his Trophy Room and the backyard area where he is buried. We are saving the Private Jet and Tour Bus for another time.
A white mini-bus picks us up for the Graceland tour. The buses follow each other in intervals of 10 minutes. The bus travels across the street, through the wrought iron gates, and stops at the main entrance to Graceland.
Our tour group is behind another, and yet another is behind us. Elvis might be more popular dead than alive, and probably richer too. We move from room to room. The furnishings are stuck in time. Yellow and white, old things, old smells. I am not impressed.
The upstairs are off-limits. An older relative of “The King” still lives on the premises. We move on to the Trophy Room.
The Trophy Room is just that. Framed awards and framed records. Many of them Golden.
The door leads us out to the backyard, where Elvis and his family are buried. I guess, if it was really important to me, then I too could have my Mother buried in my back yard, but not all of us have that option. I prefer having her in my memory, then having thousands of people tramping alongside her remains, but then, we all are different in that respect.
2 young Girls are just ahead of us. They are studying Elvis’s Headstone. Something in the wording has confirmed their suspicions. They take some pictures, then move on to the mini-bus. We study the wording as well. I cannot see anything that would tell me, that the “King” hasn’t moved on to a better existence, and is living in some condo in Las Vegas. Dead is Dead, no matter how many people wish it to be otherwise. We board the mini-bus back to the Elvis Center.
Souvenirs abound in every shape and size. We purchase a laminated mat showing Elvis in the shower. It is a present for my Mother in-law, so she can take a shower with her idol, Elvis Presley.
We are leaving Elvis behind. The Elvis music is fading into the background, and that makes me happy. Memphis is growing old for us now, and it is time to head for Mississippi, and later Louisiana. I like Tennessee. I have also visited Nashville, but that story will have to wait until another time.
My Mother’s Dodge continues on…..