The Neighborhood

The neighborhood where Elvis spent his early years in East Tupelo was idyllic.  Yes they were poor, but so was everybody in the neighborhood.  It was a sharing community:  If one person had a sewing machine, camera, radio, etc., they all had one.  Gladys would go over to a neighbor’s to sew up a new outfit or make repairs to an old one.  They all gathered at the neighbor’s house with the radio, gathering around the front porch to listen to the Grand Ole Opry.  Everyone looked after the other’s children and scolded or spanked them if necessary.  When Corrine Tate Smith went to visit her cousin Gladys at Graceland shortly after the Presleys had moved in she remarked, “Gladys you must be the happiest woman in the world.  You have everything you ever needed.”  To which Gladys replied, “I was happier when we wuz poor in Tupelo.”  The Presleys had precious memories of the time spent in East Tupelo.



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