Gut Bombs and Glitz, Life at Elvis Presley’s Graceland

Graceland's kitchen. Home of the Gut Bomb.
Graceland's kitchen. Home of the Gut Bomb.

Question: What do you get when you combine a bunch of bananas, a jar of peanut butter, a pound of bacon, and a big, soft loaf of white bread?

Answer: You get an Elvis Presley Gut Bomb, and that’s what I kept thinking about when I stood in Elvis’ kitchen during a tour of Graceland.

Sure, he’s the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and, yes, he had a tremendous impact on our music and pop culture, and it is true that all these years after his death, thousands upon thousands of loyal fans still make the pilgrimage to his Memphis home. I don’t disagree with any of that, but as I stood in his kitchen, looking at the dark wood cabinets, the linoleum countertops and the stained glass overhead lamps, I thought of Elvis in his pajamas, frying up a Gut Bomb for himself and whoever happened to be hanging out with him.

Visiting Graceland didn’t put Elvis Presley up on a pedestal for me. It took him down from one, and made him accessible in a very endearing way. It wasn’t just the Gut Bomb that did it, either. The house itself, did, and the property around it.

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Arcosanti: Soleri’s Eco-Dream Still Grows in the Desert

The view of Arcosanti from across the canyon
The view of Arcosanti from across the canyon

Back in the 60s, architect Paolo Soleri had a vision in green.

Soleri believed that by combining elements of architecture and ecology, he could create an arcology, an autonomous super-structure where 5,000 residents could live, work, shop, and play, all while improving their quality of life and minimizing their impact on the earth.

The Italian-born architect put his vision into action in 1970, and began building his self-contained 25-acre city in the middle of a 4,060-acre land preserve in the Arizona desert. He called it an urban laboratory and named it Arcosanti.

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