Oprah and best friend Gayle drove to Elvis Presley Boulevard, and arrived at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home.

There Lisa Marie, Elvis’s daughter, and Angie Marchesi, Graceland’s archive director, led Oprah and Gayle on a private tour. Once they were behind the velvet ropes in the famed residence, they got to see some of the King’s preserved possessions and rooms.

Though millions of fans have toured Graceland, no ticket could get you into the last room on the tour —a secret library of Elvis memorabilia. Its very existence is so top secret that The Oprah Show cameras were turned off to protect the location. The room —which houses Elvis’s most personal possessions —is fireproof, earthquake-proof and tornado-proof.

Most of the things in this room —which include signed checks, more than 60,000 photographs, his famous sunglasses and 88 jumpsuits —have never even been seen by the public!

Lisa Marie says having all of her dad’s things around is comforting. “It’s like a little time capsule of the past. Nothing’s changed.”

After the private tour concluded, Lisa Marie invited Oprah and Gayle to dinner at the Presley family table, the first nonfamily dinner guests since the King passed away.

The meal was a traditional Southern buffet featuring all of Elvis’s favorite foods —corn bread, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, creamed corn, fried chicken, fried catfish, okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes, butter beans, and biscuits. Then it was time for dessert —strawberry cake, red velvet cake and banana pudding! “Elvis had a lot of food he liked,” Oprah says.

Lisa Marie’s husband, music producer and guitarist Michael Lockwood, joined them for dinner. Both Lisa Marie and Michael are vegetarians, but meat dishes were specially made for Oprah and Gayle. Talk about Southern hospitality!

During dinner, conversation turned to Lisa Marie’s memories of growing up at Graceland. One thing she remembers is that her dad would always sit at the head of the table, and she would always sit right next to him.

Oprah had a surprise for Lisa Marie. “Did you know my family were Presleys? We’re like 18th cousins or something,” she said. “My grandmother was a Presley.”

Lisa Marie was excited to confirm the familial relation. “She was? I read that in the tabloid but I wasn’t sure that it was true,” she said. “You’re my family.”
USA – 10.10.06
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