Friday, August 17, 2007

Memphis -- The Fifth Day

It's Friday.

First, thanks for the responses and comments. The water problem in the Casita is all but gone. Perhaps there may be some water behind the cabinets or under the seats. I will have to unload everything when we get back. Right now, the carpet is dry every where we can see. I gave up on getting the propane detector to operate. (Oh well!)

We got "home" well past midnight and got up past 8 a.m. The heat wave may be over! The forecast is for only 98 today! Hope there are no more heat related deaths.

When we got to our Casita home last night, we heard on the radio that more miners were killed in Utah! That's very disconcerting!

We've enjoyed the interviews from the old Memphis Mafia on Sirius Satellite Radio. They have been telling some great stories of the days with Elvis on tour and at Graceland. For those who don't remember, the Memphis Mafia was what the men who grew up with Elvis and work for The King during his career was called. They were and are renouned for their loyalty and devotion. They include George Klein who has a regular show on Sirius' Elvis Channel 13. Jerry Schilling who has a new book. Joe Esposito was another old Elvis friend. Dick Grobb was another. Red West was another. All grew up with Elvis in Memphis and remain loyal. Charlie Hodge was another. Hodge sang harmony with Elvis and is now passed on. Larry Geller was another.

Last night, George Klein was being interviewed. He remembered that Elvis would be cracking jokes before a show. About two minutes before the show Elvis would become very quiet, Klein said. He would be thinking about what he was going to do, he remembered. Sometimes Elvis would do something completely different, Klien said. He even put in a new song, he said.

This morning we spent the most time ever in the Casita. We are finding is more and more confortable as we get used to it. It's very quiet at night. The air conditioner is better since I learned how to operate the thermostat control. Ha Ha!

I found a nice out of the way place in a cabinet to put the radio. I want to install an outside antenna for the Sirius Satellite Radio. Incidcently, we have two Sirius receivers -- one in the car and one in the Casita.

We walked to Graceland Plaza to take the "Tour". Sandi got reservations for the 2 o'clock tour months ago. The lines were horrendous. All tours were more than one hour late. That is convenient for them perhaps. Those waiting on the tours were in the curio shops. So we went to the Elvis car museum. This museum featured the pink Cadillac that he gave his mother, who never drove it. It also contains the grape colored Caddy which Elvis drove to a shop, smashed some grapes on the hood and said, "Paint it that color!"

While waiting on the tour, we struck up a conversation with Tina and Alan from Scotland. They had been here since last Saturday and had taken the mansion tour every day! Wow!

Once inside Graceland, I tried to get those little shots with my Nikon D200 that no one else ever gets. I was looking for the little things. So we went through the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, dowstairs to the TV room and the pool room, up stairs to the Jungle Room, out into the Elvis Museum, and outside to the garage, Vernon's office, Elvis' firing range, the back of Graceland, and the Trophy room. Then we saw the racquet ball court where a most magnificent display of gold, platinum, and double platinum records are displayed along with some of his jump suits. The awards in the Racquet Ball Court were what he had received since he died. Then we toured the Meditation Garden for the second time in three days.

While in the garden we met up with four people from Canada who we met two days before at the Alfred Wertheimer book signing. They were Christina, Jenn, Nicole, and Jim. I got photos of Sandi explaining all the details of the Meditation Garden to Jenn.

After boarding the bus and returning to the Plaza, we toured the Elvis Jumpsuit Museum, which was new this year. I remember a Elvis quote on the wall: "If they don't like the songs I'm singing, we can always do a medley of costumes." Ha Ha!

We stopped for ice cream and met two Britishers from Essex. They were Londoners who had moved to Essex, Sandi corrected me. They had wonderful stories about first hearing of Elvis.

In Britain, once the only independent pop music radio was only available from an entreprener who purchased a sea-going vessel and set up a radio station in international waters between England and Denmark. That station was the first experience with Elvis music for many British fans. Another source for the pop-starved Brits was Radio Luxembourg or American Armed Forces Radio.

After touring the mansion, we went up town Memphis again. This time we stopped in at The Pig. This Beale Street restaurant serves barbecue with an attitude. Actually, it is Memphis' famous pulled pork barbecue. Afterward, we walked up and down a very crowded Beale Street and visited all the curio shops.

When on Beale Street we always visit Swabs. I'm not sure what to call Swabs. It's a relic out of the past. It is the old-time store that sells everything and nothing in particular. I'm not sure how it stays in business, but it is fun to see.

It was after midnight when we got back to the Casita.

No comments: