Dear Graceland Too,
You are the definition of bizarre. For New Year’s Eve, I had to begin the trek to Atlanta for Passion 2013. My one request to make up for traveling on what’s probably the most “overhyped’ holiday of the year was that we had to do something fun. My traveling team took this to heart and blew any possible expectation I could’ve come up with.
After a fun stop at PF Chang’s in Memphis, we pressed on to get to Tupelo, MS for the night. On the trek to Tupelo is a little place called Holly Springs. It’s about 30 minutes outside of Oxford, home of Ole Miss, and the town you call home. At 11:45 pm, we pulled up to the place that’s become quite the legend within both my Branson and Mississippi circle. Graceland Too, Paul McLeod’s shrine to Elvis.
Within two minutes of entry, it was evident Paul McLeod and you were not going to disappoint. He quickly decided he was “in love’ with me which added just one more hilarious element to this adventure. The only appropriate way to describe this house is “glorified hoarders.’ There were barely walkways to get through each room because there was so much Elvis crap. The stairs weren’t accessible, there were no signs of a restroom and there was no kitchen outside of an Elvis plastered fridge. The only place to sit was a twin bed surrounded by Elvis paraphernalia along with a television where he had been watching Leno.
Paul performed an Elvis song for us and toured us through his entire shrine. Honestly, it was one of the strangest, funniest and weirdest experiences of my life. I can for sure say this was the most unique way I’ve ever rung in a new year!!
I had to document my time visiting you, so I quickly turned my sound off my phone and unknowingly snapped photos”…not that Paul cared, but I had already been snarled at for not knowing about the movie being created about his homestead and didn’t want to risk being yelled at again! I also started a “note’ in my phone with his unreal comments so we wouldn’t forget”…
- Paul’s favorite line after telling us some ridiculous claim (Ex. finding $100,000 in the trunk of Elvis’ car in the backyard; his wife told him he had to choose Elvis or her”…he gave her $1 million and told her bye): NO BRAG, PURE FACT. [This will become a tagline used in my life. Also, if you have to qualify every statement you make, I will always doubt its accuracy.]
- Ridiculous sexual comments to me, the chosen one: “I don’t want to stand too close to you, I don’t want to get you pregnant.” “You get me horny”…I could repopulate the entire country of China in one day.”
- After pulling not just one, but two guns on us (he was harmless. Mama Roth, don’t freak out): “I got enough guns in here to take over Iraq. NO BRAG, PURE FACT.” “If I’m lying, you can kill me and my whole family” (what he told Collin as he pulled a gun out of his pocket).
- In reference to being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year: “One time I didn’t answer the door for three minutes”…they said I was dead on this thing they call Twitter. They lined the streets with candles when they thought I was dead.” (Some of my Ole Miss friends vouched this was in their paper!)
- In his attempt to get us to go into business with him: “I’ll make you richer than Bill Gates and Sam Walton. I’ll split it with ya 50/50.”
We could seriously tell stories for days about you and good “ole Paul. Unless you’ve visited Holly Springs greatest tourist attraction, you will never fully appreciate how I rung in 2013. I’m thankful I have Mississippi friends who’ve been so we can laugh”…I’m convinced Ole Miss students are Paul’s paycheck provider”…$5 a pop unless you visit three times and become a lifetime member”…bucketlist?! 🙂
The five of us will laugh and tell stories about this for years. Making memories”…one of my life goals. This is one I will never forget. And what a great reminder to do random things and view life as an adventure”…how boring would it have been to sit in a hotel room that night in Tupelo, MS? Instead, I have stories and memories for a lifetime.
A third of the way to lifetime membership,
Graceland Too visitor and memory maker