Saturday, August 18, 2007

Memphis -- The Sixth Day

It's Saturday
(Left click on the pictures for a larger image.)

Today is much cooler. Clouds are building. It may rain. You can left click on the images to get a larger view.

We went to Tupelo, Elvis' birthplace. The fact that the fans have preserved The King's actual birth home, which is nothing more than a shack in a part of town referred to as "across the tracks", quite a tribute.

It's 90 plus miles from Graceland to Tupelo. It seems so ironic, he passed on only 90 miles from his birth place. Fans not only preserved his birthplace, they built a chapel and a museum, and erected a statue to the 12-year-old Elvis.

The museum is very nice. It centers in on Elvis' Tupelo years, and how the family lived. Bet you did not know that Elvis' father, Vernon, was sent to prison for forging a $4 check? That's right! The incident probably led to Elvis, his mother Gladys, and his father moving to Memphis.

We stopped by Elvis' church for a quick picture. Later we visited Tupelo Hardware Co. The story goes that Elvis wanted a hunting rifle. Gladys purchased a guitar for $7. An "X" on the floor marks the spot where Elvis received the "magical" guitar. If $7 was an investment, then what a return on investment that was!

We we arrived at the hardware store at 12:20 p.m. The sign on the door said it closed at noon. As we started to walk away, a grey-haired man stepped out and said, "Y'all come on in. We'll stay open fer ya." I'm glad he did. When we walked inside there were at least 20 people hearing the story of Gladys, Elvis, and the "magical" guitar from a store guide.

I noticed that the visitors were reverent in respect to the "X" on the floor. (See picture.)

The store guide was into telling yarns, too. "Last week Prince Albert of Monico flew in. He was standing on the "X" when I told him what it was. He immediately stepped back. I told him, 'Prince, if you step on that "X" too long, your lip will curl'. He laughed and stepped up to stand on it." The visitors laughed.

The hardware store was selling souvenirs, too. Each with an inscription, "Tupelo Hardware. Where Gladys bought her son his first guitar."

"We can't say Elvis, because it is copyrighted," the store guide said.

I purchased a harmonica (I'm practicing), a post card, and a key chain shaped like a guitar -- all with the inscription.

Sandi walked across the street and purchased a handbag with a picture of the 1957 Elvis Tupelo reunion. He returned to Tupelo and performed at the fair. That arena has since been razed. Another Elvis moment lost.

On the way back to Memphis, we ran into two rain storms. We were glad! After we returned it rained again. The heat has been broken.
We will be returning to Texas tomorrow. It looks like the water problem has gone away. The propane detector finally started working.

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