Main Page  Experiences Return  Forward

My Trip to Memphis
Dreamed, Planned and Much Awaited for Two Years

Mariangela Tavares, August 2012

When the plane started to fly over town and the Memphis Airport, the emotion took over me; I kept thinking how many times ELVIS had done that same flight and observed the scenery below on board of his Lisa Marie... and I, on that moment, was doing the same; it seemed like a dream. As soon as the plane landed and opened the door, I took a deep breath of the Memphis air.

Graceland, Elvis's soul, is a gigantic complex, whose mansion is the center of the attention. I bought my ticket and we went to a line to wait for the bus that would take us to the door of the house. This done, the vehicle entered the estate and left us right in front of the mansion...

I found the house to be beautiful: the rooms aren't that big and are even simple (for the current standards), a normal house, without ostentation, with accessible furniture to almost all people present there, nothing strange or that different (except for the Jungle Room), real pieces of furniture and things to be used; a home that smelled like home, of a person like ourselves. I thought this to be the most, it made me feel closer to Elvis. Even the sound system, beside the piano, seemed like one we still have in our family.

It was really touching to look at all the things and know that ELVIS spent his time there, touched those objects, sat on the floor with his daughter. I imagined him walking around in his pijamas and socks, coming from the kitchen with a sandwich in his hand, sitting at the piano...

Many people don't like the decoration, but each one does as he/she pleases and thank goodness each human being can decorate his/her home with his/her own taste, I liked it a lot, I love mirrors, colors, crystals, silver... I observed each corner of the mansion.

I cried a lot when I went out and looked at the backgrounds... saw the horses, very peaceful, all that green scenery that he loved so much, it was a cry that brought a calmness in a very sunny afternoon. I looked at the swimming pool, where he played several times with friends and relatives, I admired the old trees, quite tall, picking some of its dry leaves from the ground. Definitely, Elvis still lives there.

However, the greatest emotion came when I entered the room where all the jumpsuits, gold and platinum records were... in almost all rooms there are TV sets playing an Elvis DVD and in this room in particular, there's more than one set... We see those clothes, the boots, quite spent, we watch him singing on TV, it's very hard not to cry... I cried and many other people did, too, it's very moving and we simply don't want to leave the place.

Other rooms of the mansion are not allowed to be visited by the public, which is a shame, since from the upper floor we can see the swimming pool and gardens, which must supply a very nice perspective of the estate, but the family is the one deciding.

The meditation garden where he is resting among relatives: it is beautiful, well decorated by the fans and next to the tomb stone I promised I would come back in a calmer time, in order to be with him for longer (crazy fan thoughts).

I have returned on the 15th, during the afternoon, and stayed until the candle light vigil cerimony began, which is just... wonderful. They have put sound boxes with ELVIS singing, gave us candles, and there was a little stage beside the gates where the ex wife, Priscilla, and daughter, Lisa, spoke a few words to the public present there. Then other people read their texts and Elvis sang between their speeches... too beautiful, again lots of people crying; very dark, only the candle lights and the music.

Then people lined and passed by the grave site in the Mediation Garden, something that I didn't do because I hadn't the physical conditions to stand on foot several hours, but I had already fullfilled my mission and brought what was left of my candle home.

At the commercial complex next to the Airplane, Cars, Motorcycles and other Elvistic spaces, there are many shops that sell all type of objects, clothing, items with the brand and Elvis' name. I bought a few things, we feel like bringing everything home, but that's not possible; everything is very expensive, maybe not to those who earn their lives in dollars.

On another day we went to Tupelo to see the little house where he lived up until he was 13 years of age; so small and where only a double bed can be found and other basic pieces of furniture; it is said that Elvis slept by the foot of this bed... there is also a church where he had his religious and musical initiation.

Here's a detail: people sit down, they lower 3 big screens, one in front and two on each side of the big room, and they screen videos that give us the impression of going back in time, inside a religious gathering of back then... it is thrilling. And we cry and cry, I almost couldn't keep myself together.

Every person who loves Elvis needs to go and see his house one day. We still need to understand which magic is this that Elvis bestows upon us, this fascination, this unconditional and immense love, that fills every empty spaces and leave us whole.

We feel so close to him and it is said that with each visit, our eyes see new things... I have to wait and see. I have done my photo registrations, without flash and they are not that good, but are priceless to me.

Thank you so much, Mariangela, for sharing this with Elvis 100% members!

Main Page  Experiences Return  Forward