There are a lot of reasons to travel. One of them is the possibility of the unexpected. As I noted earlier, we did not have a lot of expectations for Memphis. Barbecue, music. Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum, yes. We did not expect anything extraordinary. We were wrong.
As I noted previously, Monday night we went to BB King’s to hear blues and it was neat when civil rights icon Jesse Jackson came in. It was kinda cool to be in the same room as one of the greats.
Then Tuesday morning, I see Rev. Jackson come into the hotel dining room. A hero, and he is not twenty feet away from us. I remind myself not to disturb the man while he is eating breakfast. End of story.
But then, as we were leaving the hotel for the day, there he is literally two steps ahead of us. My restraint abandoned, as we reached the curb at the same time I spoke out to thank him for all he has done for our country and to say that we had voted for him in 1988. His response was more than gracious and he asked if we would like photos. It goes without saying that we were thrilled. In fact, it was all we talked about as we headed out to Graceland for the day.
Was Graceland an anti-climax, not so much. Though we did notice that black people do not visit there.
The house itself was much more like a family home than I would have expected and less of what you would think of as a mansion. We were told that the upstairs is private for when Lisa Marie still visits. And she still owns the property.
|Family portraits in the entryway|
|The dining room where, we were told, Lisa Marie still takes meals when she is in town.|
|An up-to-date 1970s kitchen|
|The media room. The story is that when he heard that President Johnson had televisions at the ranch tuned to all the networks, Elvis had to do the same. With his own special touches, of course|
|Here's where things get really weird, in the pool room . . .|
|and the "jungle Room"|
|The house from the back and a few of Elvis' additions. He also constructed a bunch of outbuildings for the ranch management, which was left to his father.|
|Family graves, Elvis, his father and mother and grandmother|
|Costume from Jailhouse Rock|
|Kinda liked this mosaic in the auto/plane museum and visitor's center area|
|Elvis' cars, and not just Cadillacs. He owned Mercedes, Rolls, Ferraris and others|
|Late Elvis and the Stutz Blackhawk|
|The original and iconic pink Cadillac. I almost got a model, but I have enough car models so I settled for a cloisonne pin.|
The tour, on iPads, was very well done. And the exhibits, mostly in outbuildings and across the street in a visitors’ center, were well done.
|Folks inscribe the walls in front of the house.|
We returned to the hotel in mid-afternoon for a quiet evening before striking out along the Natchez Trace to Vicksburg on Wednesday.