Thursday, August 16

Day 228 — Vigil

vigil — Aug 16

Somehow I managed to sucker Courtney, Rebecca, Shane, and Phil into piling into my crapmobile and accompanying me to Dead Elvis Night at Graceland. Today marks 30 years that the King has been gone, and the fans and mourners were out in droves to mark the occasion. The place was packed. I had kind of half-planned to get a candle and walk up the driveway to the grave to pay my respects (which took an hour last year, and the line then was maybe a third the size it was this time), but the line was absolutely out of hand, even as we were leaving at 4 this morning. It was spilling out of the winding driveway, heading south to the end of the block, and then doubling up and back at least once more. I'm guessing the wait had to be at least three hours. And considering Phil had to be at work at 7, we weren't about to hang around for that.

So, we set up camp with our lawn chairs and our liquor and just watched.

It is truly amazing to me that Elvis' following just seems to grow with each passing year. A co-worker and I talked about the possibility of this year being the peak in terms of attendance, since Elvis' core fans are getting older and less likely to make the journey to Graceland in such awful heat. But you just never know. He brings folks out of the woodwork. And they just seem to get younger.


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Anonymous Lesley said...

There are a lot of people doing the vigil that were barely able to walk or weren't even alive when he died thanks to the great marketing efforts of EPE over the years (which I hope does not stop in the hands of new ownership and management), so I don't think the vigil's going to die off for good any time soon.

I did the vigil the first and only time five years ago. I got VIP access and got to skip in line and be one of the first people in. It was so much better than waiting with the crowd. I half expected to get assaulted, but Elvis fans are pretty cool.

Thu Aug 16, 01:36:00 PM  

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