MEMPHIS—About a year ago, we went to visit Elvis. My wife and I showed up on Elvis’ property around lunchtime and bought passes for the Graceland Mansion Tour. And I’ll admit, we were both excited to see the Hall of the Great King.
Elvis, you see, was a household name in my childhood home.
My father was an Elvis fan, my mother was a fan, and I had a cat named “King.” We had decorative Elvis ceramic plates hanging in our kitchen. My father knew all the words to “The American Trilogy” from the “Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite” album.
I myself once dressed up like the King for Halloween.
Though, my costume left something to be desired. My mother believed in saving money and making costumes from household items.
Thus, I wore my mother’s satin bathrobe with sequins sewn on it, and she had rubbed black shoe polish in my hair. Her original idea had been to send me trick-or-treating with a guitar, but we
had no guitar. So my father gave me a garden rake instead.
When I knocked on my first door, I played a C chord on my rake, then twirled the belt of my mother’s robe.
Our neighbor, Mister Jimmy, almost swallowed his tobacco.
So for the Graceland tour, we joined a clot of people who were buzzing with our same enthusiasm. We were all poised and ready for the touching, profound, and purely American, once-in-a-lifetime experience—a self-guided iPad tour narrated by former Full House supporting actor, John Stamos.
We toured the first floor of the ten thousand square foot home of Elvis Aaron Presley, listening to our headphones. And this house had it all.
The Trophy Building—a room filled with gold records.
The Racquetball Building—a full bar with a racquetball court attached.
The Pool Room—a full bar with a pool table attached.…