Elvis's Graceland is anything but boring

By , Linda Thornton, and Douglas Leiterman

Regarding William S. Klein's Feb. 16 opinion piece "Unamazing Graceland": I had to chuckle at his characterization of Graceland as "boring," given the fact that he admitted to knowing nothing about Elvis or his career. I imagine a tour of Mr. Klein's home would do the same for me as Graceland did for him. The difference is, I would not even think of touring Klein's home because I stay away from those things in which I am not interested. Perhaps Klein should also have stayed away if he had nothing of substance on which to comment.

Does he realize Graceland is the second-most visited public residence in the United States? It trails only the White House.

The other point I wanted to raise was Klein's characterization of the mansion being home to the "fat Elvis." That is ridiculous. Elvis bought Graceland in 1957 and lived there until his death. True, Elvis was in poor health through the mid-1970s, but to characterize his entire time as being a "fat Elvis" really points out his naivete. It is typical of our noninformed public to assume that Elvis was only a jumpsuit-wearing, jelly doughnut-eating artist.

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Fans have had it with that ignorant viewpoint.

Keith Huotari Iron Mountain, Mich.

As a regular reader, I'm amazed that you allotted space to one person's dull, biased, and unenlightened opinion of Graceland in your Feb. 16 edition. The article was far more boring than any part of Graceland. I spent four hours there reading the many informative - even history-making - events that included Elvis Presley.

As a political consultant, it's curious that William S. Klein overlooked the many letters and gifts sent to Elvis by heads of state from countries around the world praising his positive effect on so many people and societies. He was a humanitarian and philanthropist - and a singer and performer who is still enjoyed by millions today.

I believe Mr. Klein really missed the point and that his opinion is a minority one which was for most of your readers a yawn.

Linda Thornton Beaverton, Ore.

From Canada, with love

Thanks for David Martin's Feb. 15 opinion piece "Canajun, eh?" setting out some reasons why Canada is not the 51st state.

I might add a few more: Our judiciary is nonpolitical, because our judges are appointed on merit and are not subject to popular vote. We strongly support UN peacekeeping efforts and willingly contribute soldiers, and dues, to sustain them. We do not have nuclear weapons and do not permit them on Canadian soil. Environmental protesters, zero-population-growth promoters, and animal rightists are widely honored and supported. We are not litigation-prone and have 70 percent fewer lawyers per capita than the US. We make strenuous efforts to insulate our TV and education from excessive commercialization. We unequivocally support a woman's right to choose. We, like the Europeans, give a great deal more of our GNP to foreign aid than does the US.

Many Canadians, especially those of us who have lived in the US, have the greatest affection and respect for America's dedication to personal freedom, her vibrant economy so successfully modulated by Mr. Greenspan, her willingness to bear many of the burdens of world leadership, her efforts to achieve wisdom and moderation in the uses of power. As the planet struggles collectively towards an eventual rule of law and world government we want to stand beside you, support your best initiatives, help you moderate your excesses, and remain always your best, independent, friend.

Douglas Leiterman Campbellville, Ontario

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