Chris Johnson

Sure, Graceland is great, but let’s take a Dolly Parton-led tour of Margaritahill

Chris Johnson in Elvis Presley’s living room at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.
Chris Johnson in Elvis Presley’s living room at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

Elvis Presley and I have so much in common, I hardly know where to begin. We’re both white males with Southern accents and both my mama and my wife love us. OK, so, I guess that’s about it.

I took those ladies to visit Graceland about a week and a half ago — along with Sun Studios, Beale Street, a giant Bass Pro Shops and a few barbecue joints in Memphis. It was a great trip, but I was a little uncomfortable walking through Elvis’ house without his direct permission. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t let riffraff like myself in my home after I was dead.

When you arrive at Elvis’ house, they give you an iPad-type of device and headphones to wear as the voice of John Stamos guides you from room to room. After I helped my mom get her device off of Espanol — “That’s OK; I’ll just listen in Spanish” — I listened to John talk about the furnishings and the kinds of events that were typical in each room.

I loved just about everything I saw in Memphis, and Elvis’ house was interesting, but I felt like a voyeur. And it made me wonder what it will be like when I’m dead and thousands of people come each day to walk through my house — the Margaritahill experience.

I won’t have John Stamos do the audio. Nothing against Uncle Jesse, but I’d like for the Margaritahill guide to speak properly — by which I mean with a Southern accent. Andy Griffith would have been perfect, but they tell me already dead folks make bad narrators. So I’m thinking maybe Larry The Cable Guy or Dolly Parton. Let’s go with Dolly, and I imagine your Margaritahill tour will sound something like this:

Y’all are entering the foyer, which is decorated with all kinds of art and do-dads on which Chris had no input on at all. That grandfather clock wasn’t his, either. The man hated clocks that made sounds.

Now this here is the great room with the TV left just as it was when Chris shot it back in 2019 because the satellite kept losing the NFL Network signal. Notice the sofa, chair, love seat, coffee table, lamps and do-dads. He didn’t pick those out, either. Said he couldn’t afford them.

To your right, you’ll see the kitchen, and you’ll see that the refrigerator still has the bullet holes from where Chris shot it back in 2020 because the ice maker was too loud. Note all the do-dads and decorations. He didn’t get to pick those out, either. Couldn’t afford those, either. Let’s head upstairs. Note how the stuffed cats are strategically placed so that you can trip on your way up just as Chris did back in the day. Interesting fact — these stuffed cats are the actual felines he tripped over each day.

Now, this here’s his “office.” This is where he sat at that very computer that is still trying to update to the latest version of Windows 10. Been going on 20 years now. You can see the guitars he’d occasionally pick up intending to play a new song only to have it come out “Margaritaville” or “A Pirate Looks at Forty” every time. As you can see by all the music posters, he did decorate this room. As I’ve said before, it takes a lot of money to look this cheap.

Now, let’s head down to the back porch. This is where he made margaritas and then sat in that very Adirondack chair. These were medicinal margaritas that helped his back pain caused by sitting in Adirondack chairs.

Out here on the patio, you can see the broken block where Chris assassinated an armadillo with a shotgun blast back in 2021. And in that very spot over there was where he was arrested for firing a gun inside the city limits one too many times.

Now, after leaving the grillin’ shed, y’all be sure to visit the Margaritahill gift shop on your way out. Mrs. Johnson needs the money to pay for her continuing mourning trips to Vegas, Hawaii, Tahiti and New York. Poor heartbroken woman.

Read Chris Johnson’s extensive travel blog about his visit to Memphis with photo slideshows at