Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The King Lived Here

Today we delivered our trailer to the UPS hub in Memphis, Tennessee. After we dropped it off, we had about seven hours to kill, so we decided to hit Walgreen's for some Tylenol and Afrin (I know, more than you want to know, but I have a VERY stuffy nose and a teensy bit of a headache), and then we'd go for dinner. But on the way to Walgreen's, we happened upon...
The home of Elvis Presley! Of course, I knew it was in Memphis, but I didn't know it was right there. Well, the fact that we were on Elvis Presley Boulevard should have given it away, but it's right in the middle of town, a few stops down from the Captain D's - a national fried fish fast food joint (ooh, say that five times fast!). I mean, it's quite a ways from downtown Memphis, as the UPS facility is near the airport, but I didn't expect it to be plopped in the middle of regular stuff. We didn't go in because we didn't have time to sightsee in that manner, but I did take pictures. It was about fifty degrees and rainy, but I got some pretty good shots just by hanging out the window of the truck as Ed drove.
As we drove along the front of the property, we noticed that on the wall in front, people have written their names. All over. Hundreds of fans. It was kind of amazing. Then we finally got to the main gate, where I assume the tour busses enter to bring you up the main drive, since no other vehicles were allowed there.

Each side of the gate has mirror images of Elvis playing the guitar and several musical notes. I got these pictures just seconds before the guard came flying out of the little guard shack to tell us that we couldn't stop there and take pictures. What. Ever! Some little rent-a-cop wasn't gonna stop me from capturing a little Elvis!
This is the view from the bottom of the driveway, just inside the gates, as you go up to the main house. The sign in front reads:

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Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1395, the son of Vernon and Gladys Presley. He moved to Memphis in 1948. Soon after signing a contract with Sun Records in 1954 he achieved tremendous popularity. His musical and acting career in records, movies, television, and concerts made him one of the most successful and outstanding entertainers in the world. He died on August 16, 1977 and is buried here at his Memphis home, Graceland.

The house was all lit up and decorated for Christmas - the only thing that would make this scene more appealing, would have been snow.
Here's a close-up of the front of the house. It looks very common by today's standards. Typical of almost any house you'd see in Westchester, New York or Chicago, Illinois or Charlotte, North Carolina. But I bet he's the first one to have the famed "jungle room". His plane, the "Lisa Marie", was parked across the street from the estate and people were touring it as I snapped pictures. Very cool that you get to go inside! And then we left as quickly as we came. Just passing by, us and Elvis like two ships in the night. Although I've heard reviews from friends that it was unimpressive - and to us, it probably would be with the kind of mansions we see today - but I'd still like to see it someday. It must have been really something in its heyday. Imagine what the folks of Memphis thought when Elvis moved in??What's really "regular" about the place is, that if you just go to the next block at the end of the property - which we did to turn the truck around - there's an entire street of houses that butt right up against Elvis' property. So from the backyard of these homes, they can look right over their pool, or BBQ pit, or fence, and see right into Graceland.

That's gotta do something for their property values.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Over The Hill And Over The Top
Mr. & Mrs. Javelina And The Carb Encounter
Disk This
Ghostly Landmark
Shopping In Hell


Gil said...

Thanks for the tour of Graceland and the beautiful pictures!

Belledog said...

I love that you just stumbled upon Graceland.

Somewhere, the King is happy about that.

(What Gil said; pics are great.)

ELH said...

if you guys ever get the time to tour "graceland", i think you'd enjoy it..i've been there twice,the first time many years ago when it just opened,and it was kinda depressing..the second time was about 3 yrs ago and WOW...what a difference. professionally done, like going back 40 yrs ago into a time warp..now the place is just beautiful,and the grounds are kept impecable.
across the street the jet tour is awesome as well as his museum with all his memorabilia..if i remember correctly the house is about 5000 sq ft, big but not a mcmansion,the property is where the value is..19 acres. according to our guide Elvis was trying to buy more property around his estate but then he died...i think you and ed would enjoy the tour if ever you get back and have some time...to see all he had and all he accomplished,pretty amazing,yet very sad to think he died at a very young 42...