In our house, we seem to have developed a preoccupation with Elvis. You know, the King of rock and roll? It all started when my son, who is now 13 was little. I remember many long hours in the high chair, trying to coax him to eat. There were many tears, and stubborn noncooperation towards the whole concept of eating. The only relief we had to the pressure of the situation was listening to “Hound Dog” on what seemed like a constant and continuous loop. We later learned that our son has a rare genetic condition that caused among other issues, global motor delays. His oral motor functions weren’t developed the way other kids were and the attempt to eat caused him discomfort. I guess you could say The King was my first exposure to the many therapies that were to come down the road. Without even realizing it, I was performing therapy on my own kid in the form of Food Therapy. Fast Forward to over a decade later where he still maintains his love of the King. Last summer as our family took an excursion to Kentucky to view the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017, we decided to take some day trips to places that were relatively close. I say “close” with tongue-in-cheek. We were staying in a remote area of Western Kentucky (Cadiz) that happened to boast the longest duration of the eclipse. With that accomplishment under our belt secured, it also put us at a distance from those destinations that we wanted to visit on our trip. We decided to just go for it. I mean after all, when would we be in this part of the country again? So we took the near two-hour drive to Mammoth Caves, three hours to Nashville and the whopping four-hour day trip to Memphis all during our week’s stay in Cadiz. All of our day trips were awesome and well worth the travel time. Since I consider myself a great road-tripper, it’s easy to say for me. I realize not everyone is built for so much car travel. Out of all the adventures we took, my favorite was most certainly Graceland. While it’s certainly not cheap to visit the home of The King of Rock and Roll (I think it cost our family of four close to $200 just for admission), I was grateful that I got to view it with my own eyes. I can’t think of another performer who is more loved and revered than Elvis, one who can draw the crowds that he does, even 40 years after his death. Graceland is a unique American phenomenon. I’m going on the record to say that we all must make a pilgrimage in our lifetime, in the same way we need to see the iconic National Parks or the Empire State Building. Graceland is a must-see in everyone’s life time.
Across from the actual house, there has been a structure erected that is known as “The Elvis Experience”. I don’t know square footage or actual dimensions here, but the impression is that the Elvis Experience is even larger than Graceland itself. The description of both complexes would require a separate blog entry so I’ll save that for another time. Today I would like to do a very brief overview of Graceland itself, the home of Elvis Presley. (I’ll eave that as a teaser to come back for more at a later date). Being a child of the 70’s that I am, the home is a time capsule of my childhood. Remember that Elvis died in 1977, the height of arguably the worst decorating period in American history. The decor hits you the minute you enter the home. The kitchen is adorned with brown carpet, orange counter tops and amber lighting. The famous Jungle Room has brown paneling and green shag carpet. The basement is especially quirky. Over the pool table, there is Holly Hobby-like fabric gathered to the center of the room. The arms of the chairs surrounding the pool table are grimy and worn, most likely thanks to the Memphis Mafia who spent long late-night hours with the King hanging out and catering to his every whim. Across from the pool room is my favorite spot in the basement: Elvis’ Entertainment Room. It is decorated in yellow and navy, complete with bar in the corner and three large TV screens shoulder to shoulder on the wall. Elvis liked to watch all three networks at once to keep up with the happenings of the world. I like to wonder what he would do if he was alive after the invention of cable. How many screens would be on that wall, and with 24-hour news channels available, would the guy EVER sleep? My favorite part, and ultimately what this post is about, is the painting on the wall of Elvis’ personal logo: TCB adorned by a lightening bolt. This stands for Taking Care of Business in a Flash. It’s a seductive motto, and I found myself immediately drawn to it. Really, all Moms function in this way. They make amazing things happen in the lives of their kids, all while juggling countless aspects of life. I decided that I liked the slogan enough that I wanted to keep it around as a daily reminder in my life. Utilizing 3 panels from the Alphabet Series, I added the cloud and lightening bolt, in a way to recreate the vibe from Elvis’ basement. That’s the beauty of these panels: they are merely a launching point for creativity. They can be customized to include any theme. I like to think of a baby’s initials and incorporating it into a nursery. For example, when my youngest son was born, we decked out his room in sock monkeys. I can picture these panels with his initials, draped with floppy sock monkeys. Cute idea, and one I may do in the future as an example for you good people. I created this 3-piece Panel as a tribute to Elvis and to anyone who is Taking Care of Business in a Flash. Much like we maximized our experience during our solar eclipse trip to see as much as we could in the region, we were Taking Care of Business in a Flash, just like our idol, The King.