No trip to Graceland would be complete without stopping at the place where Elvis was born in Tupelo, MS. My mother and I stopped in on our way back to Georgia. It was a wonderful bright sunny day with 70 degree temps. Perfect for walking the grounds and enjoying the day. No crowds here and you get a sense of peace as you wander the grounds which include the 2 room house, the mini park with a statue of a 13 year old Elvis in overhalls and guitar, Assembly Church Of God that Elvis attended with his family, the Memory Museum, Story Wall(people recount their time with Elvis), and Gift Shop. The place is run by members of the Presely family and love to tell you about their time with Elvis. What they won't tell you is that Gladys Love Smith was 21 when she married a very young 17 year old Vernon Elvis Presley on June 17, 1933 after traveling a long way to Pontotoc, MS for the marriage license because of his age. Or that Gladys was of the Jewish heritage. Elvis had the Star Of David inscribed on her grave marker. Vernon built the tiny 2 room frame home with $180. On January 8, 1935, Gladys gave birth to the first of two boys, Jessie Garon, who was stillborn and then 30 minutes later to Elvis. There was a mixup with his middle name which Gladys wanted spelled Aron but the midwife spelled like in the bible with two a's. Jessie was buried in an unmarked grave in Priceville Cemetery the next day and it reamins unmarked for privacy. They lived here for only 2 years before losing the house. Vernon sold a hog for $4.00 but altered the check to $40.oo after drinking and feeling that he had been cheated. Vernon went to Prison for that offense. When Elvis was 11 he wanted a .22 rifle from the local hardware store for his birthday but after talking to the salesman about the dangers, Gladys bought him a guitar that the salesman suggested. She told Elvis to take that home and learn to play it, and some day he might be famous. Well, that was an understatement as we all know! Elvis once snuck into the fair with a female freind and was promptly caught and escorted out...Elvis would return years later to the fair and be given the keys to the city by the mayor! Right after that, he bought the birthplace back. Elvis would stop at Johnnie's Drive In for his favorite burger and RC cola, which he called R-O-C-K cola on his way from school and his friend, xxxxx would meet him here. He had a favorite booth that he sat at and I was lucky enough to snap a pic under tha pic of him at that very booth! As a fan I was excited by this silly little thing. My mom and I ate outside while we kept an eye on our 4 chihuahuas in the car. The day was so pleasant that we lost track of time and we ended up getting home very late...1:30 a.m. Saturday morning! My mom and I enjoy our time together and as I thought back on it, this was the only Mother-Daughter trip that we had ever taken! It was a time that I will cherish forever.
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