160. Discovering the Rest of Memphis

Waiting for Graceland, Discovering the Rest of Memphis: Did you know that Graceland is closed on Tuesdays in February? Neither did we, until we arrived at the Graceland RV Park on Monday night, bubbling with anticipation, and saw the large sign that read “GRACELAND IS CLOSED ON TUESDAYS IN FEBRUARY.” Our words to the campground host were along the lines of, “you can’t just close Graceland,” but apparently they can. So we stayed in Memphis and extra frigid day.

Which was a gift because Memphis is amazing, an infectious American city. It’s a gritty Southern time capsule and I guarantee that unless you’ve been there, you don’t even realize what a prominent place it occupies in the national cultural ether. We decided to go, as most do, to bask in the roadside absurdity of Graceland. But with an extra day, we got to really dig into the city’s deep crate of blues, soul and rock history, with time spent at the Sun Records recording studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. We shed honest tears at the National Civil Rights Museum, which is constructed within the Lorraine Motel and preserves the room and balcony where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. We weren’t alive in 1968 so we weren’t prepared for the crushing sadness that overwhelmed us when we stood in the space that Dr. King last stood. Standing there, reading the story, looking at the pictures, hearing the recorded sounds, it’s impossible not to relive the day as if it were happening now. This museum is a national treasure, one of the most tragically beautiful places in the world.

If you’re in need of comforting afterwards, seek solace like I did in an enormous plate of local delight – dry, spice rubbed pork ribs – for Memphis has more good BBQ than you can shake a Lipitor prescription at. And then wake up the next day, thankful for everything you have, and brace yourself for another of the most tragically beautiful places in the world. Elvis Presley’s Graceland.


  1. quite interesting stories – nice style- keep going:)

  2. ronnie says:

    funny. i tried to go there once and it was closed. must have been a tuesday.