Hail Lisa Marie, Full of Graceland

The Graceland mansion tour allows visitors to gawk at garish furnishings that are fit for a king throughout the year except on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

On those two days and afterhours, Lisa Marie (as sole heir) and her family are certain to emerge from their second floor retreat (which is strictly off limits to everybody else) and romp about the downstairs–perhaps to enjoy dinner in the dining room without the roped stanchions,

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or take coffee in the living room.

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A private tour guide was overheard discussing Lisa Marie’s comings and goings, which have become more frequent now that she resides in Nashville. So it’s not uncommon that she’ll visit with her 8-year-old twin girls.

Since the kitchen is surrounded with display glass to preserve the $750 microwave oven Elvis bought in 1972, I asked if a kitchen existed on the second floor for family use during the day.

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Sources have confirmed that only a refrigerator exists in the living quarters, but if anybody is hungry–for instance when the twins requested McDonalds the other day–the Graceland staff was more than willing to bring it back, helping Lisa Marie avoid the paparazzi, and maintain anonymity.

“She could be upstairs right now,” said the VIP guide, “lookin’ down at you through that window, and you wouldn’t even know it.” That sounded creepy to me.

Lisa Marie fondly recalls the childhood years she spent in the Jungle Room while growing up in Graceland–feeling the green shag carpet under her feet, and snuggling in the plush barrel chair by the waterfall, usually while she watched TV (one of 16 on the property).

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In fact, her father, Elvis so adored TV, that like LBJ at the time, he maintained a media room in the basement so he might watch 3 side-by-side TVs at once.

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And while the house is a triumphant tribute to gaudiness, like the pool room,

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it pales in comparison to the on-site gift shop, where the public can take home an endless supply of in memoriam memorabilia.

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Because, Elvis by design, according to Lisa Marie, is all about taking care of business (TCB).

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And at the end of the tour, long after the last pre-recorded note has been sung, and the last of the 2,000 guests per day has been bussed away, there can be little doubt, regardless of what you’ve heard, that Elvis is definitely still in the building.

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