I have reason to believe…

… we all will be received in Graceland (after parting with a huge sum of cash and queuing up with several hundred other people)

This makes it look like it wasn’t busy but it’s lies. You shuffle round the house, barely able to move because there are so many people in there. 

Having said that, they give you an iPad tour so you can see and explore detailed photos of the rooms as you’re in them, so you don’t miss out if there is someone standing where you wanted to stand. And it’s very informative, if a little gentle on the flaws of Elvis Presley. 

There was some general British disturbance we felt at the veneration of the grave site. You would think this man was a god or a saint, but perhaps to some he was. In the end we got impatient waiting to shuffle past the memorial stone and take the obligatory photo with heads bowed, so we scooted behind everyone and took the photo over some shoulders. I don’t feel any less like I got the real ‘Elvis’ experience. 

We also had tickets to see the cars and airplanes (sic) so we headed there too, though these were rather less slickly presented. 

Perhaps my favourite ridiculous detail was the ‘airport style’ metal detector you have to pass through to see the planes. 

Tom didn’t set it off, but I did. Read into that what you will!

Generally the house was very well done, and gave a good idea of Elvis’s life at Graceland and why he was so important in popular culture. However, the rest of the museum is incredibly tired. In one of the extra exhibits, the ‘Archive’, they seemed to have put into cases any junk they had left over that didn’t fit in any other part of the museum. So tired were these cases, that they had labels written by hand in felt pen rather than even printed on a desktop printer. I did rather wonder why we paid to see that. Here’s a view of the main part of the Visitor Centre:

Feeling like we weren’t happy to give another cent to Graceland given the entrance fee prices, we decided to head just up the road to get some lunch from McDonalds as it would be cheap and predictable. It was definitely a run down branch, in a not particularly good neighbourhood. It was very clear they do not get passing Graceland business despite being only about 300 yards from the car park. The clientele were poor and black and the area obviously doesn’t benefit at all from the wealth of the tourism to Graceland. 

Given how much it was stressed that Elvis gave to many charitable causes, and never failed to give if he heard of someone in trouble, I wonder what he would have made of his ‘legacy’ and memorial completely ignoring his neighbours. Interesting to speculate. 


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