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To Live Forever Tour Stop: Elvis Presley’s Tupelo

elvis presley birthplace

Downtown Tupelo is anything but dead. Funky? Yes. Cool, even. I wandered the streets of Elvis Presley’s hometown on Friday, and I could almost imagine a diner between the galleries and the department store. Maybe it was even called the SkyView.

Elvis enjoyed diner food. His love of peanut butter and banana sandwiches was legendary. He bought his first guitar (instead of a gun) at the hardware store, in the block where I placed an imaginary diner.

I’ve always wondered if he missed his identical twin brother.

Elvis Aaron and Jesse Garon were born in this two-room house.

elvis presley birthplace

Elvis popped out crooning a song to his mama. Jesse was silent. Stillborn.

When Elvis died in August of 1977, I wonder whether he found Jesse again? Perhaps he started singing a little, as one-half of Siamese twins.

tupelo ms

Click here to see the best photos from Day 24 of my Natchez Trace 444-mile walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

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A book that’s even for people who don’t like to read. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

Today’s Reader Question. About near misses and autographs seekers.

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Do you have a favorite Elvis song, Dear Reader?

 

 

56 Comments Post a comment
  1. Whaaaa….. sorry, I was momentarily incapable of anything but vowel sounds. Yes, technically W is sometimes a vowel.

    When I had originally started out on my trek back from California (before getting waylaid in Cheyenne, Wyoming) I was going to dip down into Tennessee and do all the pilgrimage type stuff. It’s one of my big regrets that that whole trip got ruined.

    Thank you for sharing this so I could live vicariously through you.

    March 25, 2014
    • I hope you’ll make it to Tupelo someday, Helena. I enjoyed my time there. The people are really friendly, and the downtown is redone cool.

      March 25, 2014
  2. Interesting to think about. And ponder. But not eat a banana and peanut butter sandwich to, that is just nasty. But a good thought to read your book with!

    Hope you are staying warm. I fear you are about to get snowed on. Or at least get cold toes.

    March 25, 2014
    • Got sleeted on today, before I almost got blown away. Spent most of the day walking straight into a vicious head wind.

      March 25, 2014
      • Sorry! Would it help if I came and drove in front of you to break through the wind and rain? Or I could hold an umbrella out the window over you.

        March 25, 2014
      • You’re just looking for an excuse to come. 🙂

        March 25, 2014
      • Ummm…. Yes!

        March 25, 2014
      • mtm #

        Did you just offer to break wind for Andra?

        March 25, 2014
      • I was wondering if someone would think that …

        March 25, 2014
      • I can’t leave you alone for any time.

        March 25, 2014
      • Me? Or MTM? Or us both!?

        March 25, 2014
  3. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    Hmmm – the musings about Elvis and Jesse could be the seeds of a new novel!! Love that you are over halfway to your destination. I’m sure you’ve answered this question but…. where do you sleep at night?? xxoo

    March 25, 2014
    • jsteven3 #

      PS I also sent your info to Malaprops along with a brief summary of your novel and journey. Hope you hear from them!!

      March 25, 2014
    • Someone else asked that question as well. I’ve been saving it for a specific post. I’ll credit you both.

      Thanks for sending the book along to them. I’ll be happy to have my publisher and/or publicist follow up.

      March 25, 2014
  4. I’ll bet it’s pretty awesome to have drivers wave your book out the window as they pass!

    March 25, 2014
    • Someone else stopped for my autograph today, which was kind of nice, since I was getting blown to smithereens at that moment. They were descendants of William Clark, which was really cool.

      March 25, 2014
      • How fantastic is that?? So, so happy for you!

        March 25, 2014
  5. I didn’t know Elvis liked peanut butter and banana sandwiches. We love those here in brickhouse land. You are so famous, Andra! What a hoot to sign autographs while on your walk! Has the media stopped you or taken pictures of you?

    March 25, 2014
    • I’ve had a story in the Kosciusko MS paper so far. Hope to have more.

      March 25, 2014
  6. Gotta hope ole Elvis found peace. His story always makes me wonder about what drives people along a path which ends in tragedy. Janis Joplin is another.

    March 25, 2014
  7. Autographs are interesting. Yes, it’s always flattering, but I’ve often wondered why I feel an odd ambivalence when someone asks. Mostly, though, it’s good fun.

    March 25, 2014
    • It’s nice that they always want me to sign a book, because it means they bought one. 🙂

      March 25, 2014
  8. I bet that makes your day, Andra! 🙂

    Several people have stopped me and asked for my autograph, too, at the grocery story, the mortgage broker, my car dealership, even my gas company. I’m dizzing with success! 😉

    March 25, 2014
    • I try to avoid giving my autograph that way these days. Ha.

      March 25, 2014
  9. i had no idea. wow. and not a peanut butter fan, other than in reese’s cups, so i never felt the pull to try it. btw – i finally bought your book today and cannot wait to read it!

    March 25, 2014
    • Thanks, Beth.

      I’ve eaten entirely too much peanut stuff on this trip, and my lunch early on was a peanut butter sandwich with a banana as my fruit. It wasn’t intentional……….

      March 25, 2014
      • now, you’re channeling elvis )

        March 25, 2014
  10. All Shook Up or Jailhouse Rock.
    I remember the day Elvis died!!!

    March 25, 2014
    • All Shook Up is one of mine as well, Linda. I dearly love his gospel music, too.

      March 25, 2014
  11. tarakianwarrior #

    I’m not sure I’ve told you this, but when I listen to you answer the “reader question” I get the biggest grin on my face. Seriously. I’m at work so I’m supposed to be working and people have stopped by my desk to ask why I’m grinning like an idiot…and I tell them why. I’m so very happy that you have support…from all over. You deserve it.

    March 25, 2014
    • Do you use earbuds to listen to videos at work, Lori? Debra does, and I wondered about others.

      March 25, 2014
      • tarakianwarrior #

        Oh yes, I use ear buds…I’m very hard of hearing so if I were to have the computer where I could hear it – well, let’s just say it would be very distracting to everyone else in the office. Do you wear earbuds? Do you listen to anything while your’e walking the Trace? Or, do you just listen for the whispers of Merry?

        March 26, 2014
  12. Peanut butter and banana I could live without, but I’d love to try some Tupelo honey. Stay warm!

    March 25, 2014
    • I should’ve looked for some of that while I was there, Lisa.

      March 25, 2014
  13. Autograph seekers!! You. Have. ARRIVED! 🙂

    Ever since I first heard it in Carousel, I’ve loved “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Elvis’ version is lovely ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN8oN8I3lrk&feature=kp ) and the tune seems most appropriate in your current circumstances.

    Hope you’re NOT getting any of this white stuff we have, yet again, in this winter that refuses to stop!

    March 25, 2014
    • Sorry you’re getting another round of snow. 😦

      I love You’ll Never Walk Alone as well.

      March 25, 2014
  14. Elvis had odd taste in food. (and women). I’m pretty certain the closer to Nashville you get the more autographs you will be signing! You have a Nudie Suit for arrival day?

    March 25, 2014
    • I walk into Tennessee tomorrow. I’m too tired to think of a special outfit for arrival day. I feel like I walked through a hurricane today.

      March 25, 2014
  15. I’m humming Hound Dog as I boil the kettle Andra!

    March 25, 2014
  16. That’s wonderful that you get stopped for autographs on your walk! That has to make your day 🙂 I didn’t know that Elvis had a twin. Very sad that he had to grow up without him. My fav Elvis song: Love Me Tender.

    March 25, 2014
    • Love Me Tender is a great one, Marie.

      A lot of people don’t know Elvis had an identical twin.

      March 25, 2014
  17. March 25, 2014
  18. Ooops. Darn computer issues to-day. That’s not my favorite Elvis song, but it’s the one that makes me laugh. I’m sure clams around the world were kind of ticked off because they can’t dance very well at all unless they’re being cooked in a pot or pan, but so goes nature, I guess…

    March 25, 2014
  19. Debbie #

    I love that people driving by are showing your book out their windows! Yea! Have you had anyone try to walk with you yet? I picture Forrest Gump running with all those people running with him! You need groupies! I know you have some friends coming to walk with you and that will be awesome!

    March 25, 2014
    • I just hope I don’t look like Forrest……………one of my friends was an extra in that movie. He ran in one of the Forrest running scenes, and he’s right over Tom Hank’s shoulder with the most perfect look on his face.

      March 25, 2014
  20. Andra! You’re famous! So cool that people have stopped their cars to ask for your John Henry. And congrats on walking into Tennessee. Perhaps you should pin Mr. Voodoo to your hat so he/she/it can have a better view of the state line.

    March 25, 2014
  21. If “Kathy Bates” stops and asks for your autograph . . . run the other way! Do NOT go to her cabin, no matter what the weather.

    Hope your birthday was memory making.

    March 25, 2014
  22. I am not happy to hear that some people swerve in your direction, but that people pass you with the book out the window? That is just about the coolest thing I’ve heard lately! Love to know that. And I’ve definitely been to Tupelo and Elvis’s birthplace. Wouldn’t miss it when I’m in the general vicinity! But you missed a salient point about his eating habits. 🙂 Those were FRIED peanut butter and banana sandwiches. And he didn’t just have them at the County Fair! ox

    March 26, 2014
  23. I can’t begin to imagine the smallness of a two-bedroom house. But it looks nice for the size, given the picture you took!

    March 26, 2014
  24. That’s fantastic! You’re a celebrity 🙂

    April 1, 2014

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