WHERE ELVIS NEVER SLEEPS - HOLLY SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI
A milestone for a normal person might be getting married or having a kid. For me, it’s becoming a lifetime member at Graceland Too in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
Approximately 50 miles from the real Graceland, in the heart of downtown Holly Springs, sits Paul MacLeod’s Graceland Too. He repeatedly touts that his goal is to resemble Graceland, not copy it; and for only $5 anyone, AT ANY TIME (24 hours a day even), can take a tour of Paul’s house. Paul says it’s been visited by over 500,000 people, including many famous actors with the most recent being Ashton Kutcher. (Although I’m fairly certain that’s the same sentence he told me when I last visited over 4 years ago). If you can believe it, Muhammad Ali has been three times as well as Steven Seagal.
If Graceland were on acid it might resemble Graceland Too. Paul is the most extreme Elvis fanatic in the world. I could say this with the utmost of confidence even if I had no idea who Elvis was.
Who else has a closet filled with thousands of Reader’s Digests with paper clips bound on each page where Elvis is mentioned? A notebook with hundreds of TV scripts—each only special because Elvis was spoken of? (I opened a Full House script where lovable Uncle Jesse was Elvis for Halloween.)
Paul has over 32,000 notes about Elvis being mentioned on TV. That’s nothing if you’ve seen his backyard: it’s been completely transformed into “Jailhouse Rock”—how Paul sees “Jailhouse Rock”—a visitor favorite being the electric chair.
Paul is an elusive guy. He’ll explain at the beginning of every tour how he found $750,000 in the trunk of his Cadillac (he seems to find lots of money) and decided to follow his dream of collecting Elvis memorabilia. He was married and had a son, Elvis Aaron Presley MacLeod. His wife gave him an ultimatum: Her or Elvis, so he gave the Misses “a million dollars” and told her to hit the road.
Being my third visit, I got to take my photo with a pink guitar, belt and leather jacket in front of Paul’s Elvis shrine. I also recieved my own lifetime membership card to Graceland Too. Each visit is now free for me. (Paul said if I lose the card it will cost me $5, which sounds fair enough.)
Every lifetime member’s photo goes up on Paul’s wall. I’m up there now, too
“Dreams Come True At Graceland Too” — Paul MacLeod
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Tennessee State Guide Lindsay Scott is an East Nashville based photographer, writer, drinker and ponderer. You can find her on any random night, porch sitting with a side of story telling and a camera in hand. Follow her on Tumblr at lindsayscottphotography.tumblr.com or on her website, lindsayscottphoto.com.