Finally got to see Graceland. As it was so cold and out of normal season it was actually very quiet which was great. Apparently it’s the 2nd most visited historical house in the US after the White House so it is probably normally heaving with people – lucky for me. My biggest surprise is it is smaller than I expected it to be and it really feels like a home. They don’t show you any of the upstairs as apparently sometimes Lisa Marie still stays there and also Elvis only ever entertained downstairs. I thought I would do a montage of photos. The place has been preserved as it was when he died in 1977 so it has the ultimate in latest gadgets from that era. Personally I would like the pink Cadillac which he gave to him Mom or even the pink buggy – Elvis was an early metrosexual who quite happily owned pink things and even wore pink too. Interestingly compared to most members of the rock and roll community he actually comes across as a good and generous son, husband, father and friend. Some of the visitors were fully dressed in 1950’s regalia and looked amazing – I get the impression they visited quite often.
Today I visited the Civil Rights Museum dedicated to Martin Luther King who was assassinated here in Memphis. This trip seems to be following people who changed the world (JFK, Elvis and MLK) and who died too young. I don’t think this theme was intentional when I planned it – but it seems that being a change agent can come at a cost. The Civil Rights movement is a tremendous story of dedication and resilience over many decades (actually centuries) of mostly ordinary people who believed that “if all people were created equal” then that meant all people. It was good to see how many women – black and white – played a significant role in the passive resistance marches and all the other activities that finally removed things like segregation on transport and in schools. The whole thing was very moving and once again I was standing looking back at the motel where MLK was shot from and once again there was a fair exhibit covering all the conspiracy theories only to conclude that like with JFK, it was a long gunman with unclear motives.
Next stop Nashville – yeeeee…..ha!