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As my friend said, “it’s not that big a house.” And it’s not. Graceland, as a home, does not seem that big – it’s not a castle, it’s not a mansion, it’s not really even a manor.
But it never had to be. Because the man who owned it, who made the name of the house part of the American lexicon made it huge. The tour director tells you that Elvis had things added, changed, re-built, torn down, and resurrected, and always, always, in ther service of his family and friends rather than himself.
Which is not to say that the King did not indulge himself, he did. The areas for keeping peacocks and other animals, as well as using an old storage room as a shooting range, these tell of a man well used to getting his way and to doing anything he wanted. But the greater fact is that he build rooms for his parents, his cousins, his daughter, his friends.
He provided areas for offices and bedrooms and play space. There was music everywhere, along with the semi-famous t.v.s and odd shag carpeting.
And it seems obvious, after wandering through the grounds, that there was never any need for anything bigger, for anything grander because nothing, nothing at all, would have been able to contain the King any better because it was not the physical limitations of the farm that kept him in, rather it was the bounds of family and friendship that constrained him to Memphis and thus to Graceland.over 5 years ago
“I’m going to Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee. I’m going to Graceland.” – Paul Simon, ‘Graceland’
My uncle is, unquestionably, one of the world’s biggest Elvis fans. He has all the albums (on CD of course), the DVDs of Elvis’ movies, action figures. He even has a velvet Elvis hanging on his wall.
My uncle is also Down Syndrome.
As a child, I just accepted that he was different and moved on, the way kids do. As an adult, I find myself increasingly interested in what makes my uncle tic. What makes him so completely fascinated by Elvis (and comic books, but this is about Graceland)?
Another Aunt and Uncle, ones much closer, both geographically and emotionally, took my uncle to see Graceland a few years ago. When I met up with my uncle afterward and asked him about it, he did not say much beyond “It was good. It was fun.” But my Aunt and Uncle told me that he was beyond ecstatic. He was energetic and talkative and showed a curiosity far beyond his usual remove.
And that makes me want to go. I’m not sure what I’m really looking for: an insight into my uncle? A bond with him? Or just to satisfy my own curiosity. The fact remains, I want to see Graceland.over 5 years ago
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