Third stop on our road trip: Memphis. As it is a non-English type of name I was curious if when we drove up there if it was indeed inspired by the Egyptian city. The location on a substantial bluff rising from the Mississippi River has been a natural location for human settlement over thousands of years, but it wasn’t until 1918 that it was named Memphis after the ancient capital city in Egypt in the river Nile.
Still, mention the name Memphis when you are with a random group of people, and they will come back with one answer: Graceland.
“The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war
I’m going to Graceland
In Memphis Tennessee
I’m going to Graceland”
And thats just what we did: we went to Graceland to see where Elvis used to live. Not that we are huge Elvis fans, mind you. But who can go to Memphis and not go there?
I must say that the experience was a pleasant surprise. We started off with a tour in the house where you got a good look at all the living rooms, the recreation room, the kitchen, the office and so on. What opulence, what riches. The kitchen really spoke to me as it was so clearly a ’60 kitchen. The Jungle room was a sight to see, who on earth can live in a room where the wall cladding as well as the carpet is a bright green shag carpet? And I learned that Elvis liked statues of monkeys too! Everyone had an iPad with headphones and the voice of John Stamos told you all you wanted to know about all there was to be seen. And if you had time on your hands you could hear additional music clips, see video clips and be an Elvis know-it-all in record time.
Outside of the house there was more to be seen, like the pool and the paddock. Elvis’s grave was there, alongside his fathers’, mothers’ and grandma’s grave. The outpourings of the love of his fans was visible everywhere, they’d gone to such lengths to make their feelings clear with big hearts, bouquets and little shrines.
We toured it all, the museum with all of his cars, we saw his airplanes and the archives with all manner of things related to Elvis, as his father and his manager Colonel Tom Parker had been veritable pack-rats who had kept it all.
Of course there was a Pokegym on the premisis, and how appropriate was the Pokémon that was defending it?
After seeing it all and reading about his life and career, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was such a pity that this man had died at the early age of 42. His life had been lived at lightning speed, but it had been much too short.
One thing was certain: Elvis had indeed left the building.