Shoulda had a PB&J

Spring break, late 70’s. My college roommate, Brian, and I had planned to drive to New Orleans for spring break, provided my 1959 VW Bug would start. I had thrown a valve in cylinder #3 of the 1300cc horizontally opposed 4-cylinder motor one very cold night the previous December driving back to school after visiting my parents over Christmas break. I had spent the following 3 months rebuilding the motor in the basement of the house I was living in. On the night before Brian and I were targeted to leave for NOLA, I finished reinstalling the now rebuilt motor, got all the wires hooked up, but did not start the motor that night. Brian & I agreed that night if the motor started the following motor, we would go south. If the motor didn’t start, well, we would stay…

Early the next morning, we packed our stuff for the trip, sat in the Bug, and I turned the key. All 40 horses rumbled to life from the back of the Bug. Brian & I looked at each other, shook hands, and with $39 between us, and a couple loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter and grape jelly, we headed south on US 51.

We had one small issue with a disconnected oil line outside of Carbondale, Illinois, but the repair for that had to wait until daylight the following morning. We got back on the road by mid-morning that second day (after spending about 39¢ for oil) and made it into Memphis, Tennessee mid-to-late afternoon. We parked on the street across the road from Graceland, but when we saw the price of admission ($2 I believe), we decided we couldn’t afford it. We sat on the curb, and each ate a PB&J (peanut butter & jelly) to honor Elvis…

Brian 1978
Brian doing morning push-ups at a rest stop south of Memphis where we slept overnite in the Bug….

4 decades later, just this past week, The Mrs & I were on our way home from vacationing in Orange Beach, AL and New Orleans, LA. We spent the night in Memphis, TN, at a DaysInn hotel a half block from Graceland. We decided to take the basic tour for $40 a piece. Suffice it to say that between the very poor directional information on where to go to get to the new visitor center, and the crowds of people, and the limited number of seats on the limited number of transport buses which were inadequate for the numbers of people touring the mansion, a good time was NOT had by all. IMHO, we shoulda sat on the curb and had a PB&J…

Graceland ticket



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