April 26, 2014 – Saturday We are in Tupelo, MS, birthplace of Elvis Presley! After leaving Walmart and getting gas, coffee and biscuits and gravy, we head for Elvis Presley’s birthplace which includes a museum, gift shop, memorial chapel, a bronze statue of Elvis at age 13, the two bedroom house he was born in, and the family car. The 15 acre Elvis Presley Park is pretty and in a residential neighborhood right off the Main Street in town. The two bedroom house was built by Elvis’s dad, grandfather and uncle. The church is the actual one the Presley’s attended. It was moved to this location from a few blocks away. Bill sitting on Elvis’s porch swing.
We are here before the museum opens, so we don’t get to see in the gift shop or church, but we are happy with what we saw for free on the outside.
Next we track down the Tupelo Hardware Co where Elvis got his first guitar. Story goes…In 1945 Elvis and his mom Gladys go to the hardware store to get a present for Elvis’s 10th birthday. Elvis wanted a 22 rifle, but the hardware store owner and family friend told his mom how dangerous they were and refused to buy it for Elvis. Elvis had a fit in the store and to quiet him down, a sales clerk opened a guitar case and handed him a guitar. Elvis loved the guitar and his mom bought it for him instead of the rifle.
The city has a bunch of painted, 6 ft guitar cut outs all around town in honor of Elvis.