Summer 2009

Memphis, TN

19 June 2009

General Information

Local Map


Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

What is the most essential thing you do when visiting Memphis? Of course, you pay homage to "The King" and visit Graceland. I have been to Memphis a number of times before and never played tourist. Susie has never been here and wanted to see Graceland. Being the good husband (Yes, Dear), I took her to Graceland. We both grew up with Elvis music so we were familiar with his songs and movies. Susie had seen him live twice. So while we liked the music, we didn't love the house. I would define it in one word, gaudy. Susie said, "this is what happens when someone grows up poor and get very rich."

Graceland had been around before there was an Elvis. He bought the mansion plus considerable acreage around it in 1957 for $100,000, a lot of money for the time. He added sections to the house and built some additional buildings including a racquetball court complete with a lounge where the guests could watch the players in comfort. Besides the house tour, there are additional attractions, across the street, that are included in the tour price. There is a car museum housing his cars, including the pink Cadillac, his Boeing 707 and a smaller jet, a museum dedicated to his movies, and a museum covering his two years in the Army. We dutifully went to all but the army life museum... having spent 2 1/2 years in Germany in the 60s, I didn't need to see what I already had lived through.

The Graceland adventure took about 2 1/2 hours. We left Graceland and headed downtown to Beale Street, "home of the blues and birthplace of Rock and Roll." We walked along the street looking at the signs and being accosted by hustlers for every restaurant and club that we passed. In my first trip to Memphis I ate at the Rendezvous, a landmark restaurant, famous for its dry ribs. Susie had not had dry ribs so we that's where we went for lunch. I liked the ribs, but Susie was not overly impressed... she likes the wet ribs better. For those who don't know the difference, simply defined, dry ribs are smoked with a dry seasoning and no sauce and wet ribs are smoked with a sauce.

After a slow lunch, we went back to the RV Park and just relaxed looking at the Mississippi. There are a lot more things to do in Memphis. There are a number of museums, Beale Street clubs at night for music and riverboat excursions. With the temperature hovering in the mid 90s and a heat index of 98, we decided that the campground looked better than continuing to march through Memphis with perspiration running down our bodies.


Photographer and assistant

Prior to boarding the shuttle to the mansion, you have to have your picture taken. I figured that if I had to have a picture taken so should the photographer. The photographer had a good sense of humor and took his camera and assistant and stood in front of the backdrop so I could take a picture just like the one he was taking of us. The assistant, employed for only a few days looked confused

Graceland Mansion

Graceland Mansion

Graceland Lliving room

Living room

Billiards room

Billiard room with walls and ceiling covered in several hundred yards of fabric

Trophy room

Trophy room walls are covered in gold a platinum records. The Racquetball court was converted to an additional trophy room after Elvis' death and houses more of these records.


Elvis' Boeing 707. The interior is just as ornate as the mansion.

Meditation Garden

The Meditation Garden contains the graves of Elvis (right) and his mother, father and paternal grandmother. It also contains a memorial to his stillborn twin.

Elvis' grave

Beale Street

Beale Street Beale Street
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