Oh, you know, I’m just hanging with Elvis as one does, especially when one visits Tupelo. Quick story: I was invited to the Alabama Book Festival and immediately said YES not only because—Book Festival!—but also because to get there from here, I would drive smack through Tupelo and into the depths of Mississippi Blues land.
Tupelo is Elvis’s birthplace. He lived there until his family moved to Memphis when he was thirteen.
Graceland is Elvis’s deathplace. And what a contrast between the two.
I’ve experienced Graceland many, many times. When you grow up in the 1970s just across the river from Memphis, Graceland drivebys are a normal thing—just to look at the iron gate, to see the trees in front of the house, to see Elvis’s gardener outside, that sort of thing. Elvis was ours because of the nearness of him, and news of his death tore up our little town.
I toured Graceland BK and AK, which for non-Memphis people means before the kitchen was open to the public and after the kitchen became part of the tour. Graceland is most certainly worth a visit, but, not to brag, having grown up just down the interstate in the Bat Cave which boasts its own jungle room, major earthquake fault line, and scars from a real live state trooper shootout spanning three states and culminating in your own carport, well, it takes a lot to impress me.
Really, I’m more impressed by not a lot.Continue Reading