I have seen an article in 'Elvis Monthly' where Vernon took the editor(?) Albert Hand and his wife to Tupelo and showed them the house. Vernon was photo'd sitting on the front porch. He pointed out the well to the Hands and took them around Tupelo pointing out Elvis' old school etc. I'll check in my scrapbooks to see if I still have the article.
I was at the house myself in April 2003. I loved it - there was a lot of work going on at the time, but everyone who worked there seemed to have a genuine love for Elvis and I didn't feel rushed through the house, the staff were happy to answer questions and really seemed to enjoy meeting people - they wanted to know where we were from and I came away with the impression that they were very proud of Elvis. It was stated on several occasions everything in the house was NOT genuine but true to the timescale that Elvis and his parents lived there. It was emphasised how poor the family was and that the chances of the house being so well equipped and decorated were slim.
The chapel was beautiful and though I'm not very religious there was certainly a feeling of stillness and peace there that I found very touching. I also loved the fact that the house was framed in the chapel window.
I'm sorry Vissie I can't remember for sure, but my friend Elaine, who came to Tennessee with me, certainly came away with that impression, so I guess they must have said something along those lines. I'm sorry, I was kind of awestruck that whole week ... I didn't even take that many photo's. I was in a trance, I think. Couldn't believe I was really there ...
It's difficult to know for sure if the structure is the original - after all it was only made of wood (probably cheap lumber at that) and the Presley's had left it 18-19 years before Elvis became famous. Anyone who moved into it after them would have been as poor as they were I should think. But Vernon certainly told the Hand family the house was the one he had helped build, and didn't Elvis give the proceeds of one of the Tupelo concerts towards building a recreation centre for youngsters on the grounds? He is also said to have taken friends to see the house in the fifties and sixties.
Sorry, I seem to have answered your question with more questions, lol.
I can certainly imagine being caught up in the moment ~ it must've been wonderful I don't know about the recreation center but if I come across that in any of the books I'm reading, I'll be sure to share it with you
It's my pleasure to share info and my memories of my trip - (my family are getting a little fed up of hearing them after 4 years! )
I will go through my books and scrapbooks and see what I can find too. I look forward to hearing any info you find
In a book that I have, it says that "A tornado destroyed fifteen residential blocks of Tupelo, but it missed the Presley's home by about a mile. It was reported that 212 people were killed and over 500 were injured."