Moving to Memphis, Tennessee has provided me some opportunities, such as touring Graceland, that I might not have had otherwise. We’re at the end of our stay in Memphis, so when my dad and step-mom came to visit, we took the opportunity to visit Graceland and see what all the fuss was about. Read on for my impressions.
My Childhood with Elvis
When I was a girl, Elvis Presley’s ‘Burning Love’ was a popular song. My cousin and I used to sing it and even made up a dance to it. I was in fourth grade at the time, so it wasn’t very sophisticated, but it was fun. He made an impression on me and when he died in 1977, it mattered to me.
During those few years where I paid attention to Elvis, everything I saw of him was over the top. Of course, that was his public persona, but as a girl, I didn’t understand that. It colored what I thought I would see.
When we visited, the Hallmark Channel was filming a Christmas movie, to be aired during the 12 Days of Christmas this year, so there were Christmas decorations in the first two rooms we saw. Also, as I was driving by Sun Studio this morning, they were filming a scene there. Kind of odd to see snow when it’s 90 degrees outside.
My first impression of the mansion was that it wasn’t as big as I thought it would be. They did point out that when Elvis purchased the home, he was 21 years old and it was 1957, so it was pretty impressive. Personally, I don’t love crazy big houses, so I thought the facade was quite pretty.
When touring Graceland, you will be given an iPad with a tour narrated with facts and stories about Elvis and Graceland. One of the tidbits is that in the Jungle Room, pictured above, Elvis’s daughter loved sitting in the chair in the right photo the best. It was made clear several times that Graceland was the place Elvis loved the best, because it’s where he could spend time with his family and have a ‘normal’ life.
In the den downstairs, Elvis had three televisions, so he could watch the news on all three network channels. This was obviously before cable tv and 24 hour news. Ah, the good old days.
The Billiard Room has fabric covering all of the walls and the ceiling, 350 yards actually. As a hoarder and lover of fabric, I can’t imaging the cost of all of that fabric. It’s a fun room and on the iPad you will be able to hear a story from Lisa Marie of the fun they had in this room.
Next to the mansion, there is a building full of artifacts of the lives that were lived in this mansion. I really love this family tree that was on the wall. It gives me some great ideas for the next time I’m living someplace that is mine.
Did you know that Priscilla was just 14 years old when she met Elvis? They dated for 8 years before they were married in 1967. Elvis was 10 years older than Priscilla.
When touring Graceland, you will find the mediation garden, which is where Elvis and four of his family members are buried and where the memory marker of his twin brother, Jesse, is as well, although his twin is buried in Tupelo, Mississippi.
On the Graceland grounds, you will find an auto museum, full of vehicles that Elvis owned or used in a movie. I thought this 1966 Mongrel T, that was used in Elvis’s movie ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’. It was later repurposed and used as the Jokermobile on the ‘Batman’ tv series.
Of course, with the crazy life that Elvis lived, he had to have some planes to get around. I didn’t take photos of the inside, but they were quite a lot more understated than I thought they would be.
Overall, I really enjoyed my trip touring Graceland. It was full of information and fun to see how he lived his private life. It’s too bad he died when he so young, but sometimes our excesses get the better of us. He certainly made some amazing music while he was alive and some fun movies too.
Want to explore more of Memphis? Try one of the links below. Pin this one for reference later too.