From the minute we exited the freeway and caught our first glimpse of the moonlit Mississippi River, the sultry Memphis night literally tingled with the magic of Elvis Week 2007.
Now, I know that sounds crazy, but it’s totally true. Everywhere we went there was an energy in the air that made it clear that something very fun and uniquely Memphis was taking place all around us.
It’s kinda like being at Comic Con or a Star Wars convention. No matter where you went, there was this communal spirit of super geek fandom that just swept you up in its giddy wake. I’m not kidding, it was actually kind of thrilling.
The streets of Memphis (not to mention our hotel, which hosted the Belgian fan contingent: “Elvis Matters”) were clogged with Elvis fans from all over the world. Seriously, English-speaking fans were the EXCEPTION here.
And almost right off the bat you knew that this was a place where it was OK to wear matching Elvis t-shirts, proudly tote shiny Elvis backpacks, hats, fanny packs (yep, they still make them) and even guitar-shaped purses.
On this Tuesday night in Memphis, at the height of the city-wide Elvis Week celebration (marking the 30th anniversary of his death on August 16th, 1977) you were out of place if you DIDN’T have a permanent “Elvis Lives” decal on the rear window of your minivan!
These were some serious fans here for some serious fun. And even though our true and total embrace of Elvis super fandom would come later, we had an absolute blast our first night in town.
Even slogging through the crowded stores on Beale Street looking for our own set of matching Elvis t-shirts (a cause which Courtney and Christine valiantly spearheaded, but ultimately was not meant to be — I mean, hello, we’re talking about a pretty wide size range between the four of us!) was fun.
Yes, it was crowded, crazy crowded, Disneyland-on-a-summer-day crowded, but man alive, we loved every crazy minute of it! A really amazing welcome to a really amazing city…and we hadn’t even eaten yet!