The weekend over it was time to load the wagon & hit the trail once more mainly via the Interstate 40 but at least we got a chance to play our playlist game again. One of the resulting song choices gave us one of the funniest experiences of the trip & even the memory brings back tears of laughter.
So to Memphis a place I had not revisited since the 1980’s when hubby & I stopped by on a greyhound journey up the Eastern side of the USA. Florida to Boston on a coach was certainly a cheap & efficient way of travelling back then so we got to see some places. One of which was Graceland’s former home of the legendary Elvis Presley.
‘Trying to get to you’ was a song sung by Elvis in 1954. The opening lines “I’ve been travelling over mountains Even through through valleys too” seemed to apply describe out sojourn to Memphis on this trip.
Whilst I have never been what you would call a fan of Elvis, growing up with his songs on the radio I can recognise most songs from only a few beats in. Visiting as an adult was really out of curiosity & revisiting nearly 30 odd years later was certainly an interesting experience.
For starters while the house essentially remains more or less how I recall it did the huge complex the other side of the road was new to me. Staying at the RV park adjacent to the venue made life simple. A quick workout followed by breakfast & we were ready to nip through the fence & get to the entrance in less than 5 mins. Unfortunately we had to then wait a bit before the tour started.
Apologies for some of the poor quality of some of the images. However they were taken a long time ago on a cheap analogue camera & recently converted to digital format. I have put the ones taken in the 1980’s near to their modern day counterparts for comparison. I was in someways surprised how little the interior of the house had changed. Yet there were some areas that really had become different. Essentially there was no large visitor centre or exhibition halls on the first visit.
Additionally all the vehicles which had formerly been just outside now seemed to be displayed on stands in a dedicated hall.
It was interesting to wander around the outside & then revisit the aeroplanes as similarly not much had been altered save for maybe the location.
The quick amongst you will have spotted the younger me in the photo by the dining table so guess some things may have changed a bit!
I certainly enjoyed the second visit as the exhibition halls revealed much more about the man & I certainly discovered many facts I had not been aware of. One things for sure he made a significant contribution to music. Its possible to see how that fusion of blues, gospel & rock music still influences musicians today.
I felt sad that such a talented man had so many daemons to fight & that his life ended so prematurely. I really hadn’t appreciated how much he had helped to challenge the issues connected with segregation at the time either.
As a partial artist I was also surprised to learn that he practised a martial art & was very proficient it would seem.
The taste in decoration was definitely a little odd in places. To a degree it was probably of its time but the grass like carpet which acted as some sort of sound proofing was definitely an acquired taste.
Like wise the striking blue & yellow design in the tv room was for me, not particularly conducive to relaxation but each to their own I guess. However the audio visual equipment would have been the state of the art & really bizarre to have more than a single screen in one room.
All in all a long busy but interesting day. We made our way back to the RV park for a good nights sleep before hitting the road again. Keeping to the musical theme we set the sat nav for Nashville.
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