Posted by: JJ | April 27, 2008

Day – 19 Grits, Gravy, Graceland. Indeed!

Takin’ Care of Business… all in one day. We started our day with Grits, filled our day with Graceland and rounded it out with a bit of Gravy!

Breakfast was at the Blue Plate Cafe on Poplar Street. I had eggs and grits with a side of Peach Cobbler and Dennis got their famous “thin” waffle.

Then off to Graceland we went…

After traveling from California, through the Southwest and into the Deep South it’s easy to see the influence that the region had on Elvis, as well as his effect on the region (and beyond of course). The two go hand in hand, a true reflection of American Folk History.

We’ve walked through handfuls of mansions from Coast to Coast, all decorated with European antiques, European wall papers, imported rugs, European art, right down to the European influenced landscapes. Only one place, the Madonna Inn in California with it’s jungle rooms, start to shows some American influence by way of the shag carpet and 1960’s clad decor. But this still pales in compairson to Elvis’ home.

Graceland is the only one of it’s kind I’ve seen. Bright Yellow vinyl, Green Shag Carpet, Mirrored Ceilings and halls, monkey statues, indoor waterfalls, gold plated sinks, faux fir- everything, wall to wall blue velvet, mechanical toys galore… The pinnacles of 1960’s, over-abundance and true all-American influence.

A time capsule of his life and 20th Century, American Pop culture, forever frozen in time. The most glorious state of pure kitsch. I now completely understand the velvet Elvis!

As you walk through the park and lands of Graceland, Elvis tunes are piped over the air-waves and fans are busily scarfing up souvenirs and photo ops. Dennis and I found a few ourselves.

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the reason Graceland was really on the list. Besides being a piece of American history, Elvis has been like the uncle I never knew growing up. My mother (Grits, Gravy and Graceland’s biggest fan as well.) is a long time Elvis fan, collector and admirer. Her admiration is only second to her two kids she says (thanks mom!).

Her personal slogan is “Elvis Lives” and I believe it, after today!

This stop to the stupendous Graceland, America’s most wonderfully, tacky, castle of the King of Rock & Roll is dedicated to my Mother.

What a day so far, but man are we hungry… they weren’t even offering Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches there? So we headed for A & R BBQ just down the road, on Elvis Presley Blvd, where we ate the BEST BBQ Sandwiches yet on the trip. Oh yeah, in true Memphis style, they had ‘slaw inside.

After A& R, we decided we needed a Piece of Pie… so we visited the recommended Cupboard Restaurant’s on Union Street. I had the Lemon Ice Box Pie and Dennis had French Silk. Scrumptious, with loads of cream on top and centers that melt in your mouth.

Elvis has left the building… tomorrow we’re going to check out some of the other great historical aspects of Memphis – yes, there’s more than Graceland here!

Thank you, Thank you very much!



  1. jj and denny
    boy you guys look like your in love with elvis , just like me!!
    denny your reflection in on elvis’ jacket, the one with jj in the pic. ha will sell lots of those. indeed.
    don’t forget to sell your car and bring me home the pick caddy.
    thankyouverymuch for the dedication to me.

  2. The BEST BBQ SANDWICH YET………..this photo has to win the nastiest food photo taken to date.
    Jack just got his postcard and loved it, thanks for thinking of my spiderman obsessed young lad.
    We miss you bunches!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Yeah, it looked nasty but boy was it good. The paper it was wrapped in had little piggies all over it. Pretty fitting!

    Messier the better my ma always said!

  4. jj sure doesn’t feel like a year has gone by.
    and elvis still lives !!!
    hang on to the memories.
    thanks for thinking of your mom xoxoxoxo mom

  5. […] Well, one doesn’t have to say BBQ twice to this gang, and Memphis is a mecca for tender, spicy,  hog rump.  To their rescue, A&R BBQ was just down the road, and an old favorite from the Grits, Gravy and Graceland Tour. […]

  6. Wow, Lovin’ your style J.
    My favorite photo is the bright yellow pillows, arranged w/white pillows in perfect diamond symmetry against the black velvet sectional.

    Bye the way, “I aint gonna tote your monkey!” Even if it was Elvis’!

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