Waking up on Tuesday, Mar. 26th was another new experience. I peeked
out my blind. It was 6:15 and I could see more tall trees and a few rv’s. Then
it dawned on me where we are this morning. At 6:30 we got up and I knew time
would be short this morning so I had my shower right away. Once dressed, I
dressed further in my wind breaker (although the trees weren’t really moving)
and vest and out the door I went at 7.
It is cloudy and 50f but according to
our weatherman (aka Rob) there should be some sunny skies later on today. Our
plan is to head into Tupelo this morning and grab some breakfast (a treat for
me to have someone else cook it!) and then go to visit Elvis’s birthplace. I’m
prepared to be saddened, if my mind wanders, but I’m very happy to have something
else to cross off my bucket list. Bill was here many moons ago, in the 70’s,
but never inside the home so we are both looking forward to it.
|My morning walk|
On my walk, I noticed the cabins for
rent. They are so cleverly placed in amongst the trees with a long, paved drive
for privacy. I like that a lot. I spooked a couple of white-tailed deer that
were eating down in the valley but they also spooked me so I wasn’t fast enough
for a photo. I knew then to watch for them on the rest of my walk. Sure enough,
there they were, further down so I’m hoping my pictures turned out.
Rob and I are happy campers now!
Back home, Bill had his shower and we
hopped in Black Beauty to go. We each drove so the boys could fill up the
trucks with fuel and in case we found a good wifi connection somewhere, I
wouldn’t be holding anyone other than Bill up while I posted my blog posts.
First, IHop. Yay! I ordered the Colorado Omelette this time since the Southwest
was not on the menu……..for perhaps obvious reasons. We are in Mississippi,
|Downtown Tupelo, I love the Elvis murals and guitars all along the sidewalks|
No matter, I skipped the free
pancakes, that come on Tuesdays, and opted for hash browns instead. The
waitress was good, the coffee was better and the omelette was the best! Such a
lot of food for under $10. We were stuffed and with the exception of Bill, had
doggie bags. He left some omelette on his plate but not enough to worry about
bringing home. We followed Rob to Kroger where they ran in for something and
then back to Historic Tupelo where we found Elvis’s first home.
When I first saw the house, my jaw
dropped. OMG that IS tiny! I knew it was small from the pictures but seeing it
in person is like looking at 1/3 of a park model trailer. It was the width that
got me. Well, how big would a 2-room house be? We purchased tickets to do the 3
‘tours’, all self-guided and set off to see his childhood church first. A small clapboard building where the
Presley’s attended church services. It has been moved to this site from the
original location so we can all see and enjoy it.
|Virnons car - exterior and interior|
I remember my first car having that manual choke
Sitting in the church, a video is
played depicting actors taking the place of Virnon (actual correct spelling of
his name), Gladys and Elvis as well as a full congregation. It was well done
and because the huge screens were on 3 sides of where we sat on the benches, it
felt like you were actually enjoying the service in person. I had to catch
myself from clapping and standing when they did. LOL, again, I’ll say it “that
was well done”, in my humble opinion.
From there we went into the story
wall inside and outside the museum and read testimonials and portrayals of
Elvis as a young boy for the first 13 years of his life. There is a lot of
reading, if you care to take the time, and we did. I could feel myself getting
drawn into the circumstances of a poor existence and how they reached hard for
everything they got. The story of Virnon being imprisoned for writing bad
checks alone is a heart-wrenching story of one of their struggles.
|Statue of Elvis as a young boy walking with his guitar|
A familiar sight in Tupelo at that time
Inside their humble abode, I
envisioned their life and it wasn’t until after we left, I wondered ‘where did
Elvis sleep?’ The story goes that other than the kitchen wood stove, the
furniture is NOT original. However, when trying to bring back the truest
replica of that time period, Virnon offered his assistance by picking out the
pieces to furnish the home. He directed Museum staff how to place the furniture
to make it as ‘real’ as possible. We saw the bed where Elvis came into
|The first of two rooms in their home|
|The second - the original wood stove Gladys cooked on|
We eventually made our way around the
‘Walk of Life’, a concrete circle surrounding his birth home. Dated granite
blocks display each year of his life from 1935 to his death in 1977. There is
just too much to comment on and some of you have already visited this
attraction. The family story changed when in 1948 they took up roots and moved
to Memphis for a new start.
|Personally, I think this is the back entrance as it leads directly into the bedroom|
but it is facing the street
|This to me would be the front entrance with the garden and picket fence|
Lastly, we walked into the place where
Elvis’s dream of a meditation chapel became real. Designed and erected in 1979
with multiple fan club donations, and a bench from Charlie Hodge, this is where
Elvis’s bible sits, on the original pulpit from the first church. This chapel
is available for personal meditation and rented as a venue for weddings and
special services. It was a beautiful little place with gorgeous stained-glass
windows surrounding the opposing walls.
Up on the hill, behind the museum and
gift shop, was The Overlook. This is where, as a boy, Elvis would take his
guitar at the end of a day and play looking west towards the lights of Tupelo. Now,
it is a beautiful spot for his friends to visit and admire the 2 statues of
Elvis as a young boy and a successful entertainer. Together, they are called
|A view to the Outlook before we walked there|
|Hey! I know these two!|
|A closer view of the statue and memory wall|
And I got to pose with Elvis as a boy and a star
|And an even closer view|
The detail was amazing
In the gift shop, we all wandered for
a bit. I found and brought a souvenir home with me, one that I wasn’t expecting
to get. I’m not real big on purses but sometimes when you see something special,
it ends up coming home with you. This was one of them and the price was right.
I also found a stick pin to add to our collection.
|This beautiful area was actually called 'Reflection'|
but I didn't get a picture of the plaque
We parted ways there and Bill and I
returned home to Clemson. This tour ‘day’ took about 2 hours longer than we
expected, no regrets, and he was home alone for 5 hours. You can guess what
that meant. No hunt for wifi today. No big deal. Y’all know we’re okay, thanks
to George, and we can manage just fine with connections
to our family by phone and texting availability.
|My authentic Elvis purse|
And I didn't pay anywhere near the $40 price because the handles are fraying
I'll replace them and be just as happy
Back home, Bill read for a while and
I wrote, Clemson slept. At 3, I took him out for his walk. Not only does the
little bum enjoy our 3 pm walks but once I get out there, I enjoy them just as
much. I just have to keep the half hour free and then it isn’t an interruption
for me. When we returned, I was quite warm and found it even warmer inside the
Suite. Rather than opening windows I took my book and water outside and sat at
the picnic table to read. This helped me cool down.
|My morning discovery is watching me too|
|And a cardinal watches Clemson and I on our walk|
I came inside around 4:30 and took my
book upstairs. It is a different story this time by James Patterson called
Cradle and All. Different or not, it has me turning the pages very quickly.
Bill had the tv on downstairs and if I can avoid the distraction, I do. At 6 I
started supper while Bill put some fresh water into our tank for the road.
We’ll be on the road for 3 nights. Supper was small pork sausages but if I’d thought
about how small they were, I would have cooked the whole pack.
They tasted good all the same with my
brussel sprouts and Bill’s corn. After such a big breakfast, we didn’t need a
huge supper anyway. This was a great day, seeing Elvis’s birthplace was very
touching for me. I won’t forget it. I hope you enjoyed your day.
|Goodnight after a fantastic day|