Letter Home from Tennessee

Bailieborough Community School

BB King’s Blues Club Memphis,

Tennessee,

USA

29 April 2019

 To my dear Auntie Rose, You won’t believe it, but I am writing to you from across the water in Tennessee. I finally made it to the place I’ve dreamed of visiting ever since you showed me those old Rolling Stones magazines from the ’70s. It’s everything I expected it to be and more. The first stop on my trip was Nashville, the home of country music. Dolly Parton, Willy Nelson and Johnny Cash records play out into the streets as you walk past the many theatres and music stores. I popped into the famous ‘Legend’s Corner’ saloon that you told me about, back when we used to play your vinyl’s in granny’s old record player. Honestly, I felt like I was stepping into country music heaven. Vintage guitars and autographed portraits of country music legends grace the walls. The best part is the entertainment; line dancers, dressed in rhinestones and Stetsons, break out into electric slides and honky-tonk twists as soulful blues and rock-and-roll classics are performed up on the main stage.  The smell of juicy, mouth-watering barbecue ribs and classic hamburgers draw you into the blues cafes planted along street corners. The shops sell all kinds of musical memorabilia- cowboy boots, guitar picks and t-shirts adorned with famous faces. I managed to pick you up a signed copy of that Glen Campbell album you were raving about back home. Next on my Tennessee adventure was a trip to Memphis, where I am currently writing to you from BB King’s Blues Club, right beside the iconic Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock and roll. Sure enough, the weather is absolutely glorious. The sunshine glistens on the Gibson guitars that hang above the entrances of music stores and legendary recording studios. Yesterday, I took a trip to Graceland, the home of ‘The King’. If you didn’t know any better, Graceland is a mansion which could easily be mistaken for the White House or even our own Aras an Uachtarán. Captivated by the crystal white walls and tall Corinthian columns, I truly felt like I was standing outside the home of music royalty. The meticulous memorial gardens pay a loving tribute to Elvis and his parents. At times, it felt like everyone was still in mourning for the King of Rock and Roll. Like tears, water trickles from a majestic fountain, surrounded by plush, green lawns. Presley’s beautiful vintage cars were proudly displayed for everyone to admire. His iconic 1956 dark purple Eldorado was parked right beside my favourite, the bubble-gum pink 1955 Cadillac. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Tennessee. You would absolutely love it here Auntie Rose. Without a doubt, this has been the trip of a lifetime. I’ve had the opportunity to walk the line of famous streets and visit the home of my music idol.

I’ll be sure to visit you when I get back and tell you all about the rest of my journey.

Love,

Grace