Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Road Trip, Day 4, Pt. 1: Graceland

E.P. Phone Home
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Graceland lived up to expectations. First, the operation is run like a very well-oiled machine. Everything is on time, easy to find, clearly marked, etc. The mansion itself is the first part of the tour. Lori and I both agreed it seemed very modest by contemporary standards of luxury. not only did Elvis buy the mansion from a previous owner, he took the name that owner had given the property for his own (Grace being the name of the previous owner's wife). While some of the furnishings are tacky beyond belief, it felt very much like a home in which a person lived a life, as opposed to a museum or a temporary residence. Even the property itself is only a few acres (at least now, that is, it could have been larger in its day). After the mansion, you get to go on the insane Elvis kitsch tour. They have museum for his cars, which concludes in a gift shop; a museum for his outfits, which concludes in a gift shop; a museum of his planes, which...you get the picture. The highlight was seeing all the handmade suits he wore in the latter part of his careers. As cheesy as they are (and believe me, they are fromage-heavy), Lori and I both admired the handiwork (all hand woven), as well as the thought that went into the various themes. All in all, it was a very humanizing experience. Far from painting a portrait of a God-like creature removed from everyday cares, Graceland felt very much the home of a human being.

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