From Birmingham to Graceland

The End

On Thursday, April 14th, we woke up in the State of Alabama, drove through the State of Mississippi, stopped in a corner of the State of Tennessee, crossed the Mississippi River into the State of Arkansas, then followed the river to a Drury in Missouri.

Highlight of the five state day was the mansion of Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis.

Although billed as a mansion, it seemed a manageable place for a normal family to reside. 

On our self-guided tour, we were each given iPads and earphones through which we saw and heard much more than the physical space and sounds.

Graceland came alive through the music and voice of Elvis.

We heard interviews with him that revealed him to be a family man.

Home furnishings are frozen in time, from the 1960’s and 1970’s.  I saw some décor from my own time in the 1970’s when Allan and I built our home in Victoria.

For example, Elvis and Priscilla Presley had harvest gold kitchen appliances, tube TV’s, a large microwave oven sitting angled in the corner on the kitchen counter, and, as you’ll see, green shag carpet.

But the similarities stop there.  Elvis liked to watch three TV’s at one time. 

Each room had its own air conditioning.

Folds and folds of fabric covered the ceilings, walls, and furniture in the Pool Table Room.

The green shag was in the Jungle Room.

Elvis loved horses and so they’re still kept at Graceland.

Elvis had enough gold records to fill a hall all by himself.

The photo on the bottom right is Elvis’ mother.  He loved his parents and provided for them as his priority when he had the means.  Elvis and Priscilla had a private suite at the Graceland mansion for his parents, whom he invited to move there from the very modest family home down the road in Tupelo.

This console television set was a gift from RCA to Elvis for the sale of 500 million records between the years of 1956 and 1960.

I couldn’t get over the color of the azaleas.

This is the final resting place for Elvis, his parents, and his paternal grandmother.  There’s also a marker for Carter Presley here, Elvis’ twin who was stillborn.

Across the street (which happens to be named Elvis Presley Boulevard) is his Automobile Museum.  We didn’t feel like paying or taking the time to go through it.  After all, we have several Classic Car Nights every summer at home in Victoria.

It was time to head north, and we took a different route but still ran into erector set bridges.

We got as far as Mason City, Iowa, which is centered on the Winnebago River.  Mason City has many restaurants, hotels, and big box stores.  It is most likely a shopping hub in that rural state.  We were back home in Victoria by noon on Saturday, April 16th.  It was a good road trip that included many late greats as well as living stars.