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Graceland Before Elvis, I am Caesar

Graceland Before Elvis, I am Caesar


Ruth Cobb is one of the few people outside Elvis Presley's family to visit the upstairs of Graceland. It was before it opened as a tourist attraction, and Cobb, who lived there before Elvis, soon learned her old upstairs bedroom had been turned into a music room. 

Cobb visited in 1967 at the invitation of Elvis' grandmother, and later when the Presley family planned to turn the home into a tourist attraction. It reminded Cobb of her own music career and left her slightly quizzical about a few decorating changes.


Charles and Ruth Cobb, who were residents of Graceland, show a photograph of Ruth's father, surgeon Thomas D. Moore, with one of the family's registered polled Herefords at Graceland Barn, taken in the 1950s. 

"We did not have a jungle room growing up," she says. There was also no fabric on the ceiling of the billiard room in her day.
"We didn't have a billiard room," she says.
Other distinctive touches added during Elvis' ownership of Graceland drew little attention from Cobb, but there was one: "Elvis didn't like the chandelier we had in the dining room. It came from New Orleans. He put up some garish thing." 

As part of this week's observations of Elvis' birthday, Graceland is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and mementos of its early years are part of a new tour.

Do you know that?

Mrs. Virginia Grant Relator (real estate agent) to sell Graceland, Elvis later written a little book of the transaction.

 Finally, this version; Mrs. Grant accidentally met with one of Memphis' major outside department stores, Lowenstein's East, 11 February 1957. 

 He walked out noticed that the supply of  "the most gorgeous perceived pink". 

After learning from Gladys's sitting within "this beautiful car," seraphs on the window shut as his mind began to chat. 

Mrs. Grant, Gladys came to pass in a Relator to learn, who says,
"I have heard that folks would be interested to find the bottom of the good". 

Gladys said this false becomes true, a great number of acres of a few things to the house somewhere outside the town. Seven acres of then said that was fair activities. 

But as Vernon and Gladys (who was inside the store to talk to Gladys) will leave LA for the day when they would visit the Elvis by which means he will receive assets for a second time when he returned home.  

Then-and on the seventh day of the day of the week and longs to see the house she calls Vernon described.  

After party (Grant, Vernon and Gladys) arrives,the site, Grant discovers the only difference is, and wandering writes in her little book, 

"I showing the proper error is much smaller than the forceful expected."

 Fortunately for me, once I found my mistake ...

Gladys is looking for him, 

"I have not got that Colonial house? ". 

Although Graceland Relator with another guy, and Mrs. Grant never existed at all and that in the same house, and it's suggested, "or even, in the way that you come to the south of 51 Whitehaven Plaza, in the house of a friend of mine that is the most beautiful Colonial sale - it's very fair, thirteen acres. "

Gladys wanted to see the house the same day and to be loved, just as Vernon.  

Mrs. Grant had offers contingent upon the approval of Elvis, not later than 8 pm the following Monday. 

When Elvis came early Monday showed, and slowly walked through Graceland and sat down with the first valid. He got up and noticed, 

"At this point certain that needs a lot of work on it."

 Mrs. Grant heart sank. 

Then He adds, 

"At this point, there will be a lot better than the Red Skelton's home," as it was told me. 

"Mrs. Grant heart soared. 

Elvis has already indicated that he wanted to close the deal possible.  

It was reported that, as I think, even the houses Memphis Press coverage of the daily scimitar-purchase home nearly a week. 

Elvis told reporters: 

"I want me a place is the darkest shade of blue, with thereon the one side of the mirror, that desire to the work place."

It probably will be a black bedroom suit trimmed in white leather, with a white cloth. 

"He also said that Lethe has a hi-phi receiver in every room and that he wanted a court room painted like the sky with cloudscapes of tiny lights stars."

 Gladys commented: 

"I think as follows a new house," but the Vernon lamented, "we just had a fixed place, we are not as I wanted to the old, now begins again to have ... ". 

Elvis also remarked in the basement bathrooms were marked off by "the boys" and "What" which is the first and which is the work of the House large lake on the south side of the house now sunken-leading to the pool.  

And he said that she would build up the wall of the six foot against a stoniness the forehead, the sides through a property, (that the walls of Gladys easily have chickens again, and after the washing, it is not so easy to grab the players such as Graceland, as it was in his clothesline).  

Elvis also noted the house had a place only four cars ... Garage

Cobb, 82, and her husband, retired lawyer Charles Cobb, 86, married in 1948. She had grown up at Graceland as an only child. When she married Charles Cobb, they remained at Graceland with her parents at first while Ruth toured the country as part of a professional harp ensemble. She would later become harpist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 1953 to 1973.
Her father, Dr. Thomas Moore, was a prominent surgeon and urologist. Her mother, Ruth Brown Moore, was a volunteer who enjoyed club work and became president of the Tennessee Association of Garden Clubs.
They built Graceland in 1939, naming it for Ruth's great aunt, Grace Toof, who had left the farm to Ruth's grandmother.
The grandmother divided her 520-acre farm into three parts, leaving it to her three children. Two of them sold their shares to Ruth's father.
The house on 20 acres began as what Ruth Cobb calls "just a comfortable country home." It would become as familiar to America as Tara, Scarlett O'Hara's home in "Gone With the Wind," and it would rival Monticello, Mount Vernon and other once-private homes among the biggest tourist attractions in the country.
There, Ruth's father taught her to shoot well enough that she once downed three geese with a single shot. He also taught her to fish in a 25-acre handmade lake behind the house. But her first love was music. Ruth played the piano, but she loved the harp, studying, then touring with one of the world's leading harpists, Carlos Salzedo.
Her favorite music was classical, but Ruth says she liked all music from country to Elvis' music. "I wasn't really crazy about his music, but my mother marveled at his hymns," she says. When her mother decided the property was more than she wanted to keep up, she asked Ruth and Charles if they would like to stay.
"We just didn't have time to take care of a big house," says Charles. "It cost $1,000 a month to keep it up. The yard alone was like trying to take care of a golf course. We had a yard man who worked two to three days a week."
When the property was put up for sale, Ruth said there were three potential buyers -- Sears Roebuck Co.; a private party who wanted to turn it into an exclusive restaurant, and Elvis. By then, most of the surrounding land had been sold to developers for a subdivision, and the lake behind the house had been drained. Ruth says a church, Graceland Christian Church, wanted to buy 5 acres on the northwest corner of the property.
Sears and the restaurant interests did not want to split the 5 acres off for the church, but Elvis said he would be glad to have a church next door, she says. That helped seal the deal. Elvis bought the property for $102,000 in 1957.
When the church next door, Graceland Christian Church, eventually decided to move, the Presley family bought back the land and turned the church into the headquarters of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Ruth and Charles built their own home in Coro Lake and later moved to Central Gardens before retiring to Trezevant Manor.
Charles met Elvis during the closing on the sale of Graceland, but Ruth never met him. She has since returned to Graceland as a tourist with her grandchildren. "I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it didn't feel like home," she says.

Life at Graceland before Elvis, narrated by former resident Ruth Moore Cobb

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