I was introduced to rock 'n' roll by the Beatles, and like most youth, believed that nothing of importance could have happened before my own moment of discovery. So it was years before I came to appreciate Elvis Presley as a pioneer. And it wasn't until 1994 that I came to Graceland to pay my respects.
Elvis bought the Memphis house in 1957 for $100,000 for him and his parents. He was 22. He died there 20 years later and is buried in the Meditation Garden, his grave marked by an eternal flame.
There's lots of rock 'n' roll history on display at Graceland: Elvis' guitar collection, his gold and platinum records, the gaudy jumpsuits and other costumes he wore on stage.
And even though parts of the house are off-limits, including Elvis' bedroom and Lisa Marie's nursery, it's a surprisingly intimate tour. It's a snapshot of Elvis' taste at a time when he could afford whatever decor he wanted -- and what he wanted included green shag carpet on the ceiling of one room, an elaborate starburst of chintz -- or was it calico? -- on the ceiling of another, a waterfall, ceramic monkeys, mirrored walls and a fur-covered bed.
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The tour ends in the Meditation Garden. Year-round, fans leave flowers here, but in August, at the anniversary of his death, it becomes the focal point of the Elvis Week candlelight vigil.
I skipped the tours of Presley's auto collection and his two airplanes. I'd paid my respects to the rock 'n' roll Elvis and inadvertently to the decorator Elvis. I didn't need to check out the car-collector Elvis.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.