October 24: The Elvis Connection

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I love beautiful things. I love collecting unusual things. I love creating interesting arrangements of beautiful, unusual things. For these reasons I really enjoy being a shop owner. I get to buy and play with all kinds of treasures that I otherwise wouldn’t have a place for in my house. But the best thing of all about owning Chifferobe is meeting and befriending the beautiful, unusual people who come into the shop.

Here’s an example. Many people are attracted to the stack of Jerry Pope’s books on the table in the entrance. His book, The Elvis Tooth, elicits many reactions and quite a few giggles. This week, though, a couple came in from Memphis and picked up the book. Anne and Arne Thompson were next door neighbors of Elvis when he lived in Graceland. 

Anne was a teenager when Elvis first became popular, and like many girls at that time, she swooned when she saw him on Ed Sullivan or was lucky enough to attend a concert. She married and was living in Memphis when she heard that Elvis had moved in next door. Still, she was so taken-aback when she saw him riding his horse across the pasture behind her house, that she shrieked and almost spooked his horse.

After that, she would linger in her back garden hoping to catch a glimpse of him. She did see him from time to time, and says he looked lonely. She learned to control her screaming, though.

“Poor man!” Anne says. “He had no privacy. Everywhere he went, he was mobbed by screaming fans. If he wanted to see a movie in Memphis, he had to rent out the entire theater in order to see a movie in peace.”

Anne and Arne bought a copy of Jerry’s book to take back to Memphis with them.

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As a plaque on my friend Elizabeth Jones’s kitchen wall declares, “Time flies whether you are having fun or not.”

True. Summer has truly flown by and fall is slipping away quickly. I don’t know about you, but I am really not ready for the holidays, but they are just around the corner. One customer paid for a stack of small items she had selected and announced, “Ah! The last of my Christmas shopping!” These are crazy words. Crazy. I still haven’t made the beach trip I planned to make last summer. Probably too late now.

Speaking of Christmas, though, I am happy to report that the merchants of Black Mountain are expanding our beloved Holly Jolly open house to a series of events. We will have singing, story-telling, music, and all manner of festivities throughout December, and the shops will extend our hours. I have had fun buying all kinds of unusual items for you to choose from for holiday giving (to yourself!).

Check out my website to see some photos of new things.