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Vibe of Graceland Too changes after owner's death

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 13, 2014 at 9:05 am •  Published: August 13, 2014

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — The Elvis Presley-congested rooms of a north Mississippi roadside museum are missing their kinetic buzz since owner Paul MacLeod left the building.

Dozens of people toured Graceland Too on Tuesday, hours after a private funeral for MacLeod. A sign in the museum still bills him, without regard to apostrophes, as "The universes, galaxys, planets, worlds ultimate Elvis fan."

MacLeod died July 17, two days after police said he shot and killed another local man who tried to force his way into the attraction.

Since 1990, the perpetually caffeinated MacLeod had guided intoxicated college students, international tourists and other adventure seekers through his floor-to-ceiling collection of Elvis ephemera in the ramshackle antebellum home. His daughters say the collection — of dubious financial value — could be sold piecemeal to satisfy their father's debts.

There are posters. Lamps. Life-sized cardboard cutouts. Figurines. Curtains. Vinyl LP and 45 rpm records. Stacks of "TV Guide" magazines with paperclips to show listings of movies, talk shows or sitcoms with even the most tangential mention of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

"Paul was attempting to document all references to Elvis Presley in all forms of media," said Jeffrey Jenson, a filmmaker from Kingston, Jamaica, who spent years working on a documentary about the super fan.

Even with an eye-popping assortment of memorabilia, tours of Graceland Too were never really about the stuff. They were about the frenetic energy and nonstop storytelling of MacLeod, who took care of business with an intensity that many believed translated into art.

"Paul called it a 'magnificent obsession,'" said Vernon Chadwick, a former English instructor who organized an international Elvis Presley conference at the University of Mississippi in 1995.

Graceland Too is not affiliated with Presley's final home, the Graceland mansion, about an hour away in Memphis, Tennessee. Holly Springs is about halfway between Memphis and Presley's birth city of Tupelo, Mississippi. That makes the town a convenient stop for pilgrims traveling the area this week to commemorate Presley's death at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977.

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