My seven years with Elvis: first trip to Graceland

ZZ Ed HillBy Ed Hill

My first visit to Graceland was an experience I’ll never forget. I had heard Elvis couldn’t decorate and had little taste for it, but found the opposite. Upon entering the mansion, now a National Historic Landmark, I was amazed by the beauty of the foyer and how the glass chandelier reflected light. There were beautiful mirrors, armchairs, lamps and console tables. I just stood in awe of the elegance of it all.

The music room had a baby grand piano, sofa, chairs, statues and ornaments that represented all cultures. Downstairs was the TV room with pool table. My fondest experience was being able to go upstairs where most are forbidden.

His upstairs bedroom was a sight to behold. He had five TV sets. Two of them were suspended from the ceiling, one on a cabinet and one a combination clock/radio. The fifth one was used for closed-circuit monitoring.

The bed had a black leather headboard with sofa and chairs beside it. Elvis’ closet, which I had the privilege to look in, was loaded with dozens of shirts, pants to match every one, coats in every color with belts and shoes to match all the outfits. After noticing me admiring his fine clothing, he asked if I would like to try some on. Who wouldn’t want to wear the King’s clothes? So, I went to Lisa’s bedroom, which was filled with stuffed animals, and changed into a few outfits.

My first visit was one I will never forget and the visit in August 1977 lingers in my mind today. I could not comprehend Graceland without Elvis. I know his spirit is there; however, the man I called “Boss” and admired is not. And I often struggle with the memories.

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