Do you know how many members of Elvis’ family lived at Graceland with him? There are some easy answers like Priscilla and Lisa Marie, and of course, his mother and father, Gladys and Vernon. Knowledgeable Elvis fans will also know that Vernon’s mother, Minnie Mae, lived with them, too. In fact, Elvis’ grandmother had lived with them going back to the Tupelo days. After divorcing her husband in 1946, Minnie Mae soon moved in with Vernon, Gladys and young Elvis.
Minnie Mae moved into Graceland with the rest of the family in 1957, and she stayed there until her death in 1980 at age eighty-seven. Originally, her bedroom was a former maid’s quarters. After Elvis returned from the Army, and Vernon moved to a near-by house of his own, Minnie Mae moved into what had been Elvis’ parents’ bedroom.
Only the really dedicated Elvis fans will know the name of the other Presley family member that lived in Graceland. One of Vernon’s three sisters was named Delta Mae. When her husband died in 1966, she moved into Graceland, sharing the room with her mom, Minnie Mae.
Elvis’ Aunt Delta
Because Elvis called her Aunt Delta, soon all the other people in his circle called her that, too. After Elvis died in 1977, the estate permitted her to live in Graceland. Even after public tours started in 1982, Aunt Delta’s bedroom and the kitchen were excluded in order to accommodate her. She lived until 1993, passing away at the age of seventy-four. Two years later, her room was converted back to resemble the way it was as Elvis’ parents bedroom, and it and the kitchen were added to the Graceland tour.
Aunt Delta’s Room, Now Converted Back to Elvis’ Parents Bedroom for the Graceland Tour
Aunt Delta liked to drink a lot and was notorious for her bad temper. Which brings us to a delightful Aunt Delta story I recently discovered. It comes from a website called www.10zenmonkeys.com, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but it sure is funny.
Let’s go back to Christmas, 1975. Elvis decided to do something different. Instead of giving his buddies their Christmas presents at Graceland, he got everyone transported over to the airport and boarded on to his private jet, the Lisa Marie. Then, they had a big airborne Christmas party, and of course liquor was served. Aunt Delta was aboard, and the cocktail glass in her hand saw plenty of action.
By the time Elvis started passing out jewelry gifts to his posse, Aunt Delta was getting into a nasty mood. She suddenly yelled at one of them:
“You ain’t no damn friend of his! And, I got a good mind to take the .38 I got in my purse and just shoot you dead!” Then, she looked at another hanger-on and said, “And you ain’t worth a shit either, you wall-eyed son-of-a-bitch… All you sons of bitches are here for the same thing. You just want his damn money!”
It is stories like this one about Aunt Delta that make writing about Elvis so much fun. There just can’t be any other subject that could provide so much cool material. Elvis, you had the most incredible life.
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