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Yesterday Dreams, Emotions Forever
(Visit to Memphis)
Sandra Santos, November 2000
Photos by Carlos Santos.
In November last year (2000), my husband and I went to
Memphis... once again... I never believed it would be possible...
I went there for the first time in 1997 with Celia Carvalho and Lu
Ribeiro. How could I ever imagine, 13 years ago (when Elvis "entered"
my life), that one day I'd be going to the United States to visit his
house? I spent years and years just thinking about how my reaction would
be, which emotions I would be feeling when I see the famous musical gates
and find Graceland... As many photographs and videos I had seen, I didn't
know for sure, what I was going to feel.
For someone who loves Elvis - and knows that cannot see him live - going
to Graceland is, perhaps, the most strong and wonderful emotion you can
have in "Elvis world", in my opinion.
1997 was the 20th Anniversary on his disappearance: thousands of people
from all over the world were in Memphis, TV cameras and helicopters were
everywhere filming everything, there were parties, activities, the famous Elvis
In Concert (which was gorgeous!), etc. It was pretty exciting. Now, in
November, due to the fact that no commemorative date was being celebrated,
and it was very cold, I thought that maybe nobody would be there... but I
was wrong! Several people from other countries (and American, too) were
visiting Graceland. From what we could gather, it's like that throughout
the year. I was very happy.
It was Carlos' first time there, and it didn't surprise me to see him
moved when his eyes fell for the first time on the most visited house of
the United States (after the White House). Neither the twinkle in his eyes,
when he walked for the first time on Beale Street, the most famous blues
street in the world, since he's a great blues fan; neither the thrill that
he confessed having felt when he entered the Sun Studios where the King of
Rock'n'Roll was born: Elvis Presley.
And all because, Memphis is...
There is a great and special meaning in each corner of the city, even when
not directly connected to Elvis. It is very different from all the places
I've already visited. We immediately could feel that Memphis is drenched
It is not surprising that although Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi,
he always mentioned Memphis as his home. It is, without a doubt, an
amazing town. If I never believed that one day I could go to Graceland,
least of all I would dream that I'd visit a second time! And don't think
that, for already knowing what was awaiting for me, I enjoyed it less: No!
I enjoyed it as much as I did in 1997, only now I observed everything with
a more slow pace. And, with less euphoria, I could notice things that I
hadn't before, and imagine how things were 24 years ago. Elvis sitting on this
white sofa, right there, in front of me, talking with Jerry
Schilling; or Elvis descending these stairs that come from upstairs,
running to go for a golf-cart ride in the garden! It's an unexplainable
What can you bring from Memphis, besides the memorabilia that you buy
there? Just the memory of all the emotions that you feel - very well kept
inside your heart, and no-one can take that away from you. You can also
bring hope and the wish to return one day.
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