Monday, April 12, 2010

What happens in Vegas....

...started in Memphis. I recently spent some time in the River City, and made it a point to stop by Graceland. Going to Graceland is a religious experience for some; there is even an option to purchase an annual pass so you can visit the grounds as often as you like. The more curious information seekers, such as myself, will be happy to purchase an all-access daypass for around $34 (you can find coupons online, and use a military or student ID for additional discounts). Besides the goofy outfits, the silly B-movies, and the less than flattering folklore surrounding Elvis, what impressed me most about visiting his home was realizing the magnitude of his kindness and benevolence, a legacy which endures to this day. In addition to the fact that he served his country, he graciously shared his good fortune with so many, philanthropic endeavors for which he "received no publicity at all. Throughout his adult life, for friends, for family, and for total strangers, he quietly paid hospital bills, bought homes, supported families, paid off debts, and much more."

Dozens of people in Memphis enjoy employment on the very grounds that Elvis called his home decades ago. Cashiers, restaurant managers, retailers, groundskeepers, cooks, tour guides. bus drivers, etc., cater to the needs of hundreds of tourists every single day. In this abysmal economy, you can't help but appreciate that.

This Elvis doppelgänger enjoys a smoke on Beale Street one evening.

The famous pink Cadillac Elvis bought for his mother

The bigger of Elvis' two jets, the Lisa Marie

You can't go to Graceland without trying a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

The front entrance of Graceland...I swear, this could be any frat house at SMU...

Elvis' swanky living room

The billiard room, located in the basement. It was a bit garish and claustrophobic

'The Jungle Room', as seen in Better Homes and Gardens, Circa 1970

A jumpsuit from the only Elvis movie worth watching, IMO, "Viva Las Vegas"

The famous gold lamé suit

Elvis and Priscilla's wedding attire

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