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Published:January 10th, 2011 11:42 EST

Chilean Miner Who Loves Elvis Presley Visits Graceland

By Robert Paul Reyes

"A Chilean miner who passed the time while trapped underground by leading Elvis singalongs was a special guest at the King`s birthday celebration in Tennessee.

elvisEdison Pena, 34, who spent 69 days trapped underground with 32 colleagues, was a special guest Friday at Elvis Presley`s annual birthday celebration at his Graceland home in Memphis, CNN reported Friday. " target="_new" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 156); text-decoration: underline; ">Read more
"Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It t currently serves as a museum." - Wikipedia

Christians seeking to visit the spiritual center of Italy will make a pilgrimage to Vatican City; Muslims will of course travel to Mecca for the epitome of spiritual fulfillment.

If foreigners are interested in visiting the American equivalent of Vatican City or Mecca they need to make a journey to Graceland. America is not a Christian country -- most of us would rather get a celeb`s autograph than the Pope`s blessing.

We don`t have visions of the Virgin Mary or one of the saints; we see the ghost of Elvis Presley gobbling a Double Whooper in a Burger King. 

Graceland is symbolic of the over-the-top American esthetic. Very few Americans experience an epiphany in a cathedral or a synagogue, but visiting Graceland is an orgasmic experience for most of us. 

The Chilean miner is getting a real taste of our country in his visit to Graceland. I have an ironic appreciation of Presley`s gaudy estate, but no doubt the Chilean miner was moved to tears by his visit to Graceland.

If the Chilean miner wears Elvis Presley type sunglasses for an ironic effect, then truly he is well on his way to becoming one of us.

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