What is it about the scrawled love messages on that stone wall? Are love letters solely for the intended?
In early 1957, the Presleys’ purchased the secluded country estate Graceland. The famous Alabama fieldstone wall and musical note adorned iron gates were some of the first additions to the grounds that April.
During Elvis’s lifetime, fans scribbling notes on the wall had become a given. At first, grounds keepers worked diligently to keep the wall clean. After Elvis left the building, it proved to be an uphill battle and the estate decided to leave the signatures. Most last a year or so until exposure to sun and rain fades them, giving newer visitors a chance to add their own personal thoughts. Add their thoughts on a wall no one will ever read? Why?
When I say “our boy or our guy or our man”, it’s 100% understood. His exceptional connection to us and our exceptional connection to him is universal. He’s ours. There is one meaning. For those who were fortunate to see him, hear him or know him, there is an extra conduit but the current still runs along the same loving path.
For those which time, geography or circumstances robbed the opportunity to experience him in the flesh, the feelings are as intense and valid as any one else’s. We love him, adore him, celebrate him – and most of all, we miss him. We reckoned there would be a future moment, another occasion. Many were cheated of personalizing the individual connection.
A trip to stand where he stood, see what he saw, and sense what he sensed solidifies the love affair and brings a realistic sensation of an event that will never happen.
The wall gives us opportunity that was stolen by conditions beyond our control. The wall give us a voice. The wall brings the masses together. The wall is a universal book filled with individual love letter chapters.
The wall is a visible representation of an invisible love.
There are some who take a stand of refusal to deface his property. Their love is no less genuine. It’s principle plus adoration and their non signature is as pure a love note as the largest and boldest inked letters. It’s their respectful way.
Street side, note after note, letter after letter, are all visible for anyone to see and read. Mansion side is clean and graffiti free. There are no scratches or scribbles or drawings. The street side is the admirer who shares publicly while the mansion side is the more private devotee.
A wall has two surfaces, each important, each vital and each solid. Both sides are lovely, the pristine and the scribbled. A love letter employs two parts as well, the writer and the recipient, both joyous in the giving and receipt of loved penned.
The man and his following, his fans, are simply flip sides of the same coin, endearment given and endearment received. Front and back are equally important, equally vital, and equally solid – exactly the same as the beautiful, messy, pristine, scribbled, infamous stretch of a much loved stone wall at 3764 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis Tennessee.
**** A selection of messages from fans between 1989 and 1996
*If this was Disneyworld, I’d buy a pair of Elvis ears!
*Elvis. I wish I was your belt buckle for a day.
*Please quit writin’ on my wall. Thank you, thank you very much. ‘E’
*George Burns is bringing cigars and news abou Ann Margret!
*Elvis, yesterday I realized how much I love you, so I broke off my engagement to Adam. Please come home to Mama!
*Elvis, you had great taste in women. Priscilla is a babe!
*Elvis kicks butt!
*You had a weird decorator. Thank God he didn’t write music!
*Elvis, Elvis, let me be.
*Keep your pelvis far from me!
*Elvis, thanks for helping me celebrate my fortieth birthday. Too bad you missed the party!
*Elvis, I’m bearing your ghost child, and I’m confused because I’m a man!
*We love you, and so does the rest of Oz!
*You wouldn’t have liked the way Caddies look today, anyway.
‘If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair’?!? Ouch!
*I can’t believe I’m doing this! Please don’t sandblast me!
*Elvis makes me hot!
*Dear Gladys & Vernon – YOU DONE GOOD!
*Elvis I came for a short visit, but a part of me will always remain
*Elvis, it’s me again in ’93. Remember?
*Hey Elvis: Lisa Marie made a big mistake. Come back and straighten her out.
*Dear God: Bolton and Cyrus for Presley?!? Let’s TRADE!!!
*Can Elvis come out and play??
*Elvis, please call Kevin. He heard you were dead and he’s BUMMED.
*Elvis, your burning love left a hole in my heart.
*THANK YOU dear Elvis for all the happiness and the miracle. Wish I could stay forever. I will come back…
*I love you now and forever. I will be with you someday. I will dream of you until then.
*We travelled a long way, but, for you, we’d do it again in a minute! T.L.C!
*You are fantastic! I never got to see you, but I have come to Graceland each August for 15 years. It still hurts, but the love from your fans all over this world helps mend these broken hearts.
*Thank you, Love, for your music and all the wonderful things you did and will forever do.
*You bring the world together in friendship and love. The world is full of beautiful people. Elvis, you are the most beautiful in every way.
*The world has learned, and always will learn, much from you and be grateful always. Till next year.
*You sing forever in our hearts.