Graceland

Purchased for only $100,000 in early 1957, Graceland is almost as iconic as its famous owner, Elvis. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006

My fam made the pilgrimage to the King’s Memphis house to help our daughter cross off one of her Bucket List items. We wandered around the sprawling “farmhouse” listening intently to the tour audio on our individual headsets, as staff, dressed in dark blue, kept us from sneaking into restricted areas. My daughter and I both got in trouble for wandering too far away from the shuttle kiosk. Second time in two weeks I’ve been busted for being where I didn’t belong.

A huge home, more than 17,500 square feet, Graceland is exactly how I imagined – a little kitschy, a little extravagant, and a lot eccentric.

Left as it was when Elvis lived there with his family (mom and dad, and young bride Priscilla), Graceland is a time capsule of the rock legend’s life and career. His trophy room is wallpapered with his many gold and platinum records and the two-story racquetball court was converted to a shrine to his hundreds of international awards.

His elaborate concert jumpsuits were also on display – embroidered and bedazzled in technicolored glory.

The stone wall bordering the front of the estate is completely covered in graffiti, messages from fans from around the world expressing their love for Elvis. And, I was without a Sharpie…

You can click on any image to see a larger photo, or the series as a slideshow.

(Photos shot with a Nikon D60, using an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, and/or iPhone4)

For more photos, please visit my Flickr photostream

Unknown Mami
Submitted to Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City
NaBloPoMo 23/30

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

9 thoughts on “Graceland

  1. I have never been, but I think I’d love it.
    I mean I love hearing the “Stories” of just ordinary people, I would be in a giddy haze listening to the stories of such an extraordinary person and family.

    the pictures are fantastic.

    as a side note, John and I had met a couple at church back when we first married and the husband was an unabashed and enthusiastic ELVIS fan. He just loved THE KING, so every time we saw him we would have to talk a bit of Elvis, which was fine because I loved learning about him from someone who adored him.

    Frank died very suddenly earlier this year and so while you were in Graceland and I was reading your updates on FB, I couldn’t help but think of him and get teary. He always (ALWAYS) teased me that my favorite Elvis song is “Kentucky Rain” (and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” of course). But he loved it about me and told me often that Kentucky Rain meant a lot more to him in the past 11 yrs because of me.

    So glad you had a great time, got in a little bit of trouble (it’s not a tour without a little trouble) and shared it with us.

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    1. This side trip to Graceland was by request of my daughter. She even brought her pair of blue suede pumps (you’d love them) to wear during picture taking. Elvis, I think, remained a traditional southern boy. Despite his extravagant stage costumes, he was still very much a down-to-earth kind of guy. You could see that in how well he treated his mom and dad.

      I’m glad these photos reminded you of your friend, and I am so sorry for your loss.

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  2. great

    I went when I was a teenager , 14, I think. I didn’t appreciate it like I should’ve. I’ve been to Memphis many times since but didn’t take the tour…I need to go back

    Loved your pictures

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  3. I visited there once long ago. I don’t remember very much about it and I’m sure it probably changed some. I remember big iron gates that I believe were “decorated” with stuff from fans. nice pic and thanks for the memory

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    1. Living in the south most of my life, Graceland was definitely on all our Must See lists. Elvis is such a legend, seeing how “normal” parts of his house were, made him seem a little more like one of us.

      Like

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