Elvis - A Lighted Candle

My Graceland Story--sorry if it doesn't belong here
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Author:  ElvisWoman [ Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  My Graceland Story--sorry if it doesn't belong here

Friday, February 11, 2006 was a day that I had been looking forward to for a couple of months. It was the day that I was going to go to Graceland along with my niece who is 13 years old. She loves Elvis—I am responsible for getting her into him. Hehe We blasted Elvis on my car CD player the whole entire way. What better way to make a 9 ½ hour trip appear shorter?

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing right in front of me for the first time in my life. Not only did I see “Elvis Presley Boulevard” right in front of me—but seeing Graceland for the first time instead of seeing it in pictures was a very overwhelming moment for my niece and I. It was 1:30 am—and we’re tired. But we couldn’t settle down to bed after checking in not going by Graceland and just sit there in the car watching. Tons of thoughts went through my head at that moment—all the stories I heard—the crazy golf cart rides he was a part of—riding his horses in the front yard. I was elated and taken back.

Saturday marked our big day—first was Sun Studio—then Graceland. Sun was awesome—it was very cool to see where he recorded his first songs and hear stories about his recordings there. A funny thing happened to me before the tour started. I was going to take my first outside picture of Sun—when all of a sudden a bus came riding by and splashed a huge cold, slushy puddle on me leaving me soaking wet and cold. (it snowed 3 inches in Memphis the night before) LOL Then the second bus driver that was behind the bus that splashed me stopped and laughed at me. LOL The people at Sun were total sweethearts—offering me coffee.

Right after Sun, I had bought a dozen roses for Elvis’ grave and 6 carnations for his family’s grave—which my niece helped me place on the graves—she and I both placed the roses on Elvis’ grave.

Now—its time for Graceland. I still couldn’t believe we were doing this. We first toured the Lisa Marie and looked at some of the things in the gift shop. I knew we had to go soon because we wanted to spend as much time as possible over in his house. We had VIP tickets—free to visit his house any time we want that day up until 4 pm. I couldn’t get over the fact we were driving through his gates in the bus and going up his driveway. That was awesome to experience—let alone, go to his front door and go in. I was VERY busy taking as many pictures as I could—and helping my niece take pictures because she couldn’t turn her flash off. Everybody seemed to be listening to the audio headphones that was provided while taking the tour—except for me because I was too much into taking pictures and seeing everything. LOL We left the Meditation Garden for last. I had warned my niece that I probably will not be able to hold in my tears once we got to that point. A ton of thoughts will run through my head at that moment—where I was and what I was doing the day he passed being the main thing. Sure enough that is what happened. We toured his house twice—and I never wanted to leave.

Sunday came along unfortunately—time to go home. I had read somewhere in the past that they open the Meditation Garden for you to visit in the early morning hours. The information was correct—they open it at 7:30 and close it at 8:30. We got there a little after 7:30—parked my car right by the gate entrance and we walked up his driveway to the Meditation Garden. We had to say “goodbye” to him. It wasn’t really a “goodbye” though—it was more of a “see you later” kind of thing. We walked back—wrote on his wall—twice--checked out of the hotel—and then went to IHOP. Well—right after we ordered our food I was thinking about all the happenings that went on. How special this is to me—and to my niece. And then one thing dawned on me. There wasn’t any wind while walking up to the Meditation Garden before---but there was when we walked back!! I asked my niece if she realized the same thing—she got big-eyed and said yes—that is what happened. Is this his way of saying “Thank You” I wondered?? Was he “talking” to us?? I had heard other people’s stories about their experiences with him—feeling his presence. I didn’t think it was ever going to happen to me or to my niece. It is something that I will always treasure for the rest of my life.

I will never forget this trip—and there will be many more trips to Graceland I am sure. It is a very special (and that’s an understatement) way of seeing our man’s accomplishments and what was so precious to him.


Author:  maia [ Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have never been to Graceland...I don't think Wanda has either! One day, perhaps. Until then, it is good to read of people's journeys there. Thank you Victoria and Sue! :lol:

Author:  Wanda June Hill [ Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Graceland

Hi, good job Victoria, i think it will fit and be a good little happy story too. There are several letters from people who knew him, had experiences with him while living, and nothing about today so it is nice to include. I might do that in Face to Face-if I hear from people, I'm planning to put a couple old letters from 78 -79 but it's a smaller book. I don't have a cover picture yet-I have an idea but am looking for just the right one-it should be a candid as it's telling of face to face meetings-I'm thinking of just a collage of his face (s)-and this time one showing those blue eyes as so often they photograph brown-it was because he had black flecks deep in his eyes that caught the gold light and went back brown...
he said though, well, I think I was supposed to be colored 'n God run outta ink when he got to me...a deep bass singin' one-yeah! But my soul's colored...so the eyes tell it...and he laughs.

Author:  Wanda June Hill [ Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi again, Yes I have been to Graceland with my daughter juliann Starla, and her grandmother Suzy - we stopped there when on the book tour for WR,Elivs. It was a 5 week cross country excursion of interviews with television, radio and newspapers and the hardest thing i ever did in my life-talking about Elvis after keeping quiet for so many years. But we met wonderful people and we went to Graceland.

It was open but didn't have all the things that it does now-his cars and a lot of things were all exposed to the weather and air though under covers. His suits were hanging in the open air inside but would soon have turned and begun to rot in that southern humidity. So it's much different now. And it was still somewhat like he had it when he lived there, but Pris was changing it to how it was when she and he lived there. Her tastes were more ritzy than his-but the den remainded the same-and that was nice to see especially that he had spoken of it often. And the music /tv room downstairs too. He liked mirros because it made the room look bigger and he could see everyone and everything all the time from anyseat in the room. He liked watching people...but he said, I'm not a peeping Tom...not that kind of watchin'.
apparently someone had either asked or acused him of that. We were so pleased to see the peacock stained glass doors on the music room and were surprised at how small the rooms actually were inside the house. I was worried about the "rotten out" painted over front door facings-they were getting feeble-I think they fixed them since. And I liked the lions-guarding his kingdom
also the trophy room was built then and i was amazed looking at his awards-some he never mentioned at all.
And the things he kept, his books, the display Lisa did with some of his shirts, books, wallet, deputy sherriff badge, gloves and his belt with a pair of half boots like he was going to get up and dress. Oh, the bed he and Pris used was in that set and his clothing laid on it. Plus some on hangers-one being a shirt my sister-in-law made for him-he found out she sewed and asked her to make some and told her what kind and how he wanted the sleeves and the length and the opening 18 inches down in front. She made him a navy blue that he wore in a few photo's and one he wore on stage in Tahoe it was stretch lace and very cool to wear. it was white with little long slits of bluegreen and pinkis red all through it. He liked it and wore it with blue pants and a belt. He liked the dark blue one-but had to make the sleeves longer by have the cuff let out some. And then Pris washed it and it faded but he wore it anyway. She also made him bisquets for the first time about then and he ate them but he told me when they got cold they could use 'em for hockey pucks.... He ate her uncooked lasagna noodles too...she forgot to cook it after making the sauce and putting on the cheese. Elvis had two helpings, cruching away at it. And said it was good, darlin', but you can stick in back in an' cook it somemore if you like it that way. So she did-but he ate his "raw".
What a guy. I was impressed with the chandlier in the entrance-he got that from Germany out of an old hotel and they sent it to him. It was one of his favorite things.
And I really would like to see his bedroom and office as I know there are more personal things that he mentioned and maybe some i'd recognize up there. However, i hope Lisa will continue to sleep there and enjoy being with her daddy in his place-their place together when she was small. He so loved for her to come in and peel open his eyes to see if Eviss was in there. Thanks Victoria.

Author:  ElvisWoman [ Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who posted their wonderful thoughts and memories about Graceland. I feel that I have left a part of me there--my heart. When I left--I feel like I was leaving my best friend.

But--I WILL be going again..and again. I feel like I belong there.


Author:  Wanda June Hill [ Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Victoria

Where are you? We haven't heard from you in a while-have we? I've taken a quick look and don't see you! Do hope everything is okay down there in Florida. Best of luck where ever you are. wjh

Author:  Wanda June Hill [ Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Names?


I am confused-Is Victoria still around? Or is that another "nick" name for one of you guys? wjh

Author:  Blue Moon [ Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks, Victoria for your Graceland story; just now read it. It reminds me of how much I would like to go. I read something about some financier/developer buying into a % of the Graceland property & wanting to build a theme park or some such thing nearby. I do hope he does not mess with Graceland too much; other than to make sure it does not fall into disrepair etc. More exhibits may be fine, but I hope the general look stays the same.

I also just got done reading this book by Elvis’ maid Nancy Rooks, “Inside Graceland”. Liked the book. She paints a positive portrait of Elvis & offers a different perspective. She said when she first started working there that the other maids & Minnie Mae said the place was haunted by Glady’s spirit. Wanda, did Elvis believe that Gladys' spirit was at Graceland?

The author does talk about strange unexplained happenings at Graceland. Things like hearing footsteps upstairs when she knew no one was up there. And (I think after Elvis had died) there were lights going on & off by themselves in the trophy room; the front doorbell would ring at night, yet no one would be there. One time a door slammed violently shut, but there was no one nearby. Other strange unexplained stories as well—just a very small part of the book, but I thought intriguing.

Author:  Wanda June Hill [ Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  strange things-

Hi, when Elvis came home from the army he said that he could "see" his mom on the staircase, in the kitchen and outside in the back by the pool. He couldn't bear to go into her room which was kept intact until he returned I guess, from what he said. And that he felt her in his bedroom-he said he was feeling really low and he felt her touch him like she used to do-put her hand on his arm and then touch his face with her hand. He said he cried and couldn't help it, sometimes and that he cried himself to sleep because his pillow would be wet but he didn't realize he was crying that much. And that he dreamed of her coming into his room to talk to him and he would beg her not to go but she had to and he felt so alone when he woke up. I think it got better for him-it was just when he came home. But he thought he saw her in the back yards of Graceland and that she always smiled at him. He always called it her home, her house and he bought it for her.
Now, before he was brought to Graceland and buried there, guards who stood around the cemetary said they heard him singing-that it spooked them out because no one had a radio and no one was around in the dead of night. They heard the sounds of a guitar-and his voice.
One of them wouldn't go back so spooked was he...and Elvis probably got a laugh out of that! And after he was gone things did happen-at Graceland. I heard about the footsteps upstairs in his room-lights going off and on and that the maid got a little irritated at some of the things that kept being moved to other places and no body did it. So yes, I think he would have been there and he may have been trying to make people aware of it. I don't know if he would want people going through his house etc:, he wanted his daughter to live there, to have her family there and so forth. But then, he didn't realize how popular he really was or that it would last. He thought and said, after a few years, nobody will know who I am. And he actually thought that might happen. AFter all, in his mind he was just a singer...wjh

Author:  ElvisWoman [ Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Victoria

Wanda June Hill wrote:
Where are you? We haven't heard from you in a while-have we? I've taken a quick look and don't see you! Do hope everything is okay down there in Florida. Best of luck where ever you are. wjh

Hi Everyone!

My niece, Alice Victoria, was born last Monday. I have been enjoying her all week long. She is very precious and beautiful! I am a doting Aunt. lol

Her middle name was named after me. My brother and sister in law (her parents) picked it because "of all I do to help them in need." Her first name is named after my sister in law's Aunt.

Thanks for everyone's concern about my whereabouts. Sorry I didn't say anything beforehand.

:) :)


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