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The Slice

Our visit to Graceland

The one thing I remember about touring the late Elvis Presley's home is how underwhelmed David was.

I don't really remember much about the Jungle Room or any of the rest of it. I just recall that David was bored.

This was more than 30 years ago. David was an 11-year-old I spent some time with when I lived in Memphis. We had been matched through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. We weren't a perfect fit, though I like to think we both tried.

Part of the problem on the day we visited Graceland was my own expectations. I was certain David would get a bang out of thinking to himself "The King hung out in this room and now I'm standing right here!"

Wrong. David was always polite, more or less. But at some point during the tour he pointedly asked when we would be going to McDonald's.

I realized he wasn't exactly soaking up the cultural significance of Graceland. To David, we were touring a house. A wildly decorated house, but a house nonetheless. And as you might know, that's not really a thrill for most 11-year-old boys.

Apart from that, he didn't have any interest in music and had not seen any Elvis movies. So my allusions to "Don't Be Cruel" or "Jailhouse Rock" trivia found no purchase. The fact that David lived in Presley's hometown did not seem to mean anything to him.

So we did not linger. We had a Happy Meal to get to.

I never went back to Graceland. I've wondered a time or two over the years if David ever did.



The Slice

The online home for Paul Turner's musings and interactions with disciples of The Slice.