Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:02 am

Little Darlin's post quoting the Daily Journal made me think of a post I made on AEK a few years back on when Albert Hand took Vernon for a drive back to the old shack. If anyone is interested, here it is,

**
In the early 60s Albert Hand of the FC "Elvis Monthly" and an
associate took Vernon on a drive to Tupelo. Below is a small taste of a more
thorough report later printed in "Elvis Monthly";

"Vernon had not visited his old hometown for 15 years and had not seen
Elvis' birthplace for 25 years. (snip) "Look 't that Mr. Hand, Hulme High
School. Elvis went there after doing the rounds at one or two schools, then
we moved to Memphis. A lot of fans think he went there all the time.
Probably the papers gave that impression, but this wasn't so. He wasn't
there very long at all". Vernon pointed out another school where Elvis had
previousely attended, but unfortunately he couldn't remember the name of it.
"Where is it, where is it", he muttered. Then suddenly, a sharp intake of
breath. "look Mr. Hand, he whispered fiercely, "my old truck company." There
before us on the right, stood a lenghty building with gaping archways where,
presumably, the trucks left the hidden inside yard. (snip)
Vernon stopped and his eyes lid up.
"Hey Red" he bellowed.
An overalled figure stopped pushing a trolley he was steering, and looked
round in faint bewilderment. Then he dropped the trolley with a heavy
clatter and roared: "Vern! You old son of a gun!"
And then there followed a lively five minutes chat between two old pals
(snip)
"S'long Red!"
Then the moment was over.

"There's the road", said Vernon quietly and he flicked his left-hand
indicator, before moving up a narrow road on the left-hand side of the main
truck route.
"The house is along here", he went on. "Now there are thousands of
photographes knocking around, supposed to be Elvis' house. Once again it was
a magazine's fault. I told them where the house was, but they took the wrong
picture and lots of fans followed suit and also took the wrong one. Well,
there'll be no mistake this time, eh Mr. Hand?", and the Cadillac drew to a
halt.
We'd arrived.
I tried the door. I couldn't believe it! It was open! (snip) I pushed the
door open and stepped inside (snip) Vernon spoke quietly from behind me.
"My, my! Just as it was. In that corner, Mr. Hand, Elvis drew his first
breath". He pointed to the left hand side of the room. We were all three
visibly affected.

*Note:* Vernon pointed out the corner immediate to the left when entering
the door, just inside from the window behind the hammock chair (or whatever
it's called) now located on the porch. BTW, was this hammock chair there
when the Presley's lived at the house? Vernon did not mention it not beeing
there, but he did mention that he used to sit on the stairs "on those hot
summer evenings". And also, on a picture I have of Vernon sitting on the
stairs it looks more like he's sitting on the porch with his feets on the
last tread of the stairs. But perhaps the ground has been sinking a bit
since then...? ;-)

Vernon spoke again.
"Just look at the size of this room! Do you know it had two double-beds,
an`it don't look big enough to hold a cot!" He paused in true,
honest-to-goodness astonishment. "Little window there, little window there.
Oh yes, and this door over there, let's go see...".
Quickly, almost eagerly he went to the inside door on the right-hand side of
the bedroom, and passed through into the 2nd room. Vernon stopped and gave a
slow whistle of wonder.
"Mr. Hand", he muttered, it's just like yesterday". He pointed out imagenary
sticks of furniture and pointed to the place where the sink used to be.
Lovingly he fingered the fireplace, which now had no surround, then he
quickly jerked open the closet door on the right alongside it. He laughed
softly. "I put this in `cos we hadn't much room. Guess it left less room
than ever, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And it's still here,
durn me if it ain't!"
(snip)
And with the normality of the exit, so Vernon's tenseness seemed to go too,
and from that moment we were treated to a wonderful reminiscence of "the old
days".
- Of how Elvis used to potter across the road to go up to his little church,
which is still in tip-top condition and used daily by worshippers, and
stands a few yards away from the front of the house, across the road.

*Note:* Does this description of location fit with where the house is
located today?

- Of the house itself, which "Paw and me built with our to bare hands".
- Of the well at the side of the home where they used to draw water: "And it
was a real good well, too".

*Note:* This well was located on the right side of the house. When looking
from where the statue is today it was located directly between the window
far back to the right and the corner of the house. Just a meter or two from
the outside wall. Any trace of this well today...?

- Of the tree which "Paw planted", and I remember Vernon made three wrong
calculations before he finally slapped the tree-trunk and said proudly:
"Yupp! This is the one."

*Note:* This tree was standing on the same side as the well was located,
with the boughs almost covering parts of the roof.

Well, that's all from Vernon's visit.
But, BTW, was this by any chance also his last visit to Old Saltillo
Road...? And how about Elvis, did he really visit his first home at least
once a year as some authors report? I think not, but would you care to
comment on this Marty?
I unsuccessfully tried to find a story in "Revelations" on one occasion
Elvis sent Lamar Fike (I think it was, or am I wrong here?) down to Tupelo
to get a firsthand picture of his childhood. I also seem to remember
something about Elvis himself taking some of the guys to Tupelo for a
sightseeing but this may very well be wrong as well. Could you please give
us the facts here Marty? Thanks.

But further... x wrote:

> Maybe I'm remembering this wrong, it was several years ago now, but
> I'm fairly sure that I asked the "guide" (if a woman standing in a
> room that small can be called a guide) about the house, and she
> confirmed that it was only the floor that was original.

Perhaps you are right, x, but the floor on the outside porch looks to
be completely different to me when comparing old pictures with newer. And I
am not thinking of the paint. The stairs is also totally different with no
hand rail except a couple of sticks holding a crosspiece on the right side.
Even the bricks holding the house looks different. But of course, the main
floor may still be the same, but I honestly doubt it very much. Remember,
this house was not lived in for a number of years and when there is no
upkeep whatsoever the disrepair start to show very quickly. Also, this house
was built more than 70 years ago. It's purpose was to house a small family,
well, only Vernon and Gladys at the time of course, but Elvis was born soon
afterwards. It was not built to handle crowds by the thousands 70+ years
later. BTW, isn't that one of the explanation why the 2nd floor at Graceland
is closed to the public, that the floor wouldn't handle it? Perhaps if
Vernon had done some joiner's work at Graceland as well it would've handled
it nicely ;-)

Anyway, the house was first opened to the public in June 1971 so I would
immediate guess a potential house moving must have occurred before this
date. But when looking at a picture from August 1973 (on print in "Caught in
a Trap") it looks like the tree "Paw" planted is located on the right
spot... Hmmm...!?!
But this fit nicely with what you wrote, xx, about the house being
located on different locations in the early seventies compared to the
eighties.

It must be noted that I have never been to Tupelo, and have not seen the
house or the surroundings firsthand, except on film and pictures.

But, another thing, how about the infamous tornado that swept through Tupelo
April 5, 1936...
Where was the Presley's at the moment of the storm...? Is the somewhat
"standard" story on how Vernon and Gladys took refuge in Jessie and Minnie
Mae's home, with Gladys holding her baby tight really true..?
This is how Vernon remembered it, as told to Albert Hand:
"On the night of the tornado, when in silent horror, they had all three of
them sat in the house (Note: that is their own house!) and heard it go clean
past them a few hundred yards away. And how they woke up in the morning,
thankful and surprised to find themselves still alive and miraculously
unscathed whilst all around lay battered scenes of destruction at the hand
of the Almighty".

For pictures, please see; http://home.no.net/idse/tupelo/
--
T.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:40 am

What a fascinating post. Thanks for sharing that. There was a debate on another forum too about the house in Tuplelo being the wrong one shown to visitors. I'm sure in FECC's picture section there is a topic about Elvis visiting Tupelo at one point.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:50 am

Maybe ol' Vern forgot he was down there in '56 and '57 :roll:!

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:24 am

thefunkyangel wrote:Maybe ol' Vern forgot he was down there in '56 and '57 :roll:!

Please elaborate.
--
T.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:04 am

I assuming you don't know, or unless you are trying to be smart! September 26th '56 Presley done two shows at the Fairgrounds, and in '57 (Sept 27th) he done a benefit there (Fairgrounds) to raise money for the Elvis Presley Youth Recreation Center! Both these dates coincided with the Mississippi - Alabama Fair and Dairy Show! Hope this helps!

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:12 am

Yep ... fascinating, indeed.

Even if it *is* the house, it's not really the house .......... everything appears to have been re-done. The Presleys originally had no wallpaper, no paint, no curtains etc. The myth has been "well" embellished (pardon the pun).

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:15 am

thefunkyangel wrote:I assuming you don't know...

No, I never knew Vernon was visiting the ol' shack at that time. You obviosly know more than I do on this, please share.
--
T.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:21 am

Mr.T wrote: "Vernon had not visited his old hometown for 15 years and had not seen Elvis' birthplace for 25 years". T.


This is what I was referring too in relation to ol' Vern's memory loss!

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:40 am

thefunkyangel wrote:
Mr.T wrote: "Vernon had not visited his old hometown for 15 years and had not seen Elvis' birthplace for 25 years". T.


This is what I was referring too in relation to ol' Vern's memory loss!


deleted.
--
T.
Last edited by Mr.T on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:58 am

For those who haven't seen this before--VP chillin' in Tupelo:

Image

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:28 am

Mr.T wrote:
thefunkyangel wrote:
Mr.T wrote: "Vernon had not visited his old hometown for 15 years and had not seen Elvis' birthplace for 25 years". T.


This is what I was referring too in relation to ol' Vern's memory loss!


Yep. Your input here is truly interesting and most valuable....
You're on your own son...
--
T.


Er, his point was entirely valid. The article said Vernon hadn't been to Tupelo for 15 years and he clearly had.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:45 am

KHoots wrote:For those who haven't seen this before--VP chillin' in Tupelo:

Image

I've been accused sometimes of living in the past ...but that picture says it all, he was there for the beginning, and I do mean the beginning, and eventually the end...the things that must have been running thru his mind.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:07 am

The tree "Paw planted". On the right side of the window just below, you can see the well quite easily. This well of course
now disused. Photo© Albert Hand Publications / Elvis Monthly
Are we looking towards the rear?! For all we know, this
may be a different house, or perhaps the real house! I have often thought this may be the case! Who knows, who cares?!

Image

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:07 pm

Yes, the rear is to the the right of the building in that picture.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:12 pm

TJ wrote:
Mr.T wrote:
thefunkyangel wrote:
Mr.T wrote: "Vernon had not visited his old hometown for 15 years and had not seen Elvis' birthplace for 25 years". T.


This is what I was referring too in relation to ol' Vern's memory loss!


Yep. Your input here is truly interesting and most valuable....
You're on your own son...
--
T.


Er, his point was entirely valid. The article said Vernon hadn't been to Tupelo for 15 years and he clearly had.


It used "AND" meaning he hadn't done both. If the article had used "OR" then the point would have ben valid, but the article is saying he hadn't done both, is this not right?

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:18 pm

thefunkyangel wrote: Are we looking towards the rear?!

Image


Obviously this is the right hand side view of the house. You can see the front porch and the stairs on the left. On the right is the back of the house.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:19 pm

thefunkyangel wrote:
Mr.T wrote: "Vernon had not visited his old hometown for 15 years and had not seen Elvis' birthplace for 25 years". T.


This is what I was referring too in relation to ol' Vern's memory loss!

I completely mis-read what you said here. Of course you are correct. Sorry.
--
T.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:20 pm

No need to be sorry, Mr. T! We all make mistakes and we all learn too, especially around here! You never stop learning! Cheers!

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:36 pm

If there are any archeologists EP fans.. the key would be to dig where the "outhouse" should have been and the sheet will be a good indicator...might sound funny but...

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:26 am

thefunkyangel wrote:The tree "Paw planted". On the right side of the window just below, you can see the well quite easily. This well of course
now disused. Photo© Albert Hand Publications / Elvis Monthly
Are we looking towards the rear?! For all we know, this
may be a different house, or perhaps the real house! I have often thought this may be the case! Who knows, who cares?!

Image


It's the original house in its original location.

It's been moved now.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:57 am

KHoots wrote:For those who haven't seen this before--VP chillin' in Tupelo:

Image


I've never seen this before, thanks Hoots!!

JEFF d
EP fan

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:50 pm

Vernon may not have been book educated but the trascription of his comments was pretty insulting.

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:49 am

Thought ya'll might enjoy these.

Image


Image

Hope ya'll did (do) :smt002

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:07 am

ColinB wrote:
thefunkyangel wrote:The tree "Paw planted". On the right side of the window just below, you can see the well quite easily. This well of course
now disused. Photo© Albert Hand Publications / Elvis Monthly
Are we looking towards the rear?! For all we know, this
may be a different house, or perhaps the real house! I have often thought this may be the case! Who knows, who cares?!

Image


It's the original house in its original location.

It's been moved now.


Any idea of where the original location is... if where it's at now is not it? How close of far away is it.....

JEFF d
EP fan

Re: Vernon visiting Tupelo in the 60s

Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:46 am

elvis presley scrapbook wrote:Thought ya'll might enjoy these.

Image


Image

Hope ya'll did (do) :smt002


Sweet Jesus! Those are very cool. Thanks for posting these.......