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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Graceland in Grinnell

Graceland, named for Elvis Presley’s home, is full of holiday spirit, regardless of whether or not there is a holiday occurring.

By Saiham Sharif

Affectionately called “Graceland” after Elvis Presley’s home, 1014 High Street is home to a group of friends, none of whom wear blue suede shoes. Three of the residents, Louise Carhart ‘17, Teresa Fleming ‘17 and Jon Sundby ‘17, hold leadership positions at The S&B, while the other two residents, Spencer Pajk ’17 and Jack O’Malley ’17, help run Grinnell Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP). Power didn’t bring this group of people together so much as the time they spent together their first year.

Much of their home came furnished, but they manage to make it unique.

“We decorate for each holiday,” Fleming said.

“But we don’t un-decorate it,” O’Malley interjected.

Fleming pointed to back of the porch, where accumulated seasons lie in rest. Their house was still decorated for Easter during the interview. They have another holiday-themed tradition: wrapping Sundby’s things, even though they aren’t gifts, and putting them under the Christmas Tree.

Their neighbor owns a dog called Keaster, who was the namesake for the house’s recent “Keaster Brunch.” The dog serves as the emotional center of the house, a source of serendipitous moments.

Their house has some wonderful features. They all enjoy hanging out on the porch, when the weather is warm and the roof is another favorite spot. The trampoline is also a source of risky fun for the residents.

Graceland, named for Elvis Presley’s home, is full of holiday spirit, regardless of whether or not there is a holiday occurring.

“We were going to get a safety net,” O’Malley said.

“But someone told me safety nets actually make them more unsafe,” Fleming said.

Each bedroom door has a window that allows them to look inside the house. Carhart talked about how she’ll often talk in the hallway and people will gather around. This kind of communal bonding is characteristic of the dorms, but it can also happen off-campus.

Living with people can be a new way of understanding them as some nuances and behaviors only exist in private life and go unnoticed in casual affairs. For example, they shared that they’ve all heard each other’s job interviews, and they all realized that O’Malley is obsessed with online shopping.

“One time, there was a package outside for Jack [O’Malley], and he didn’t want it, so he sent it straight back and wrote ‘Return to Sender,” Carhart said.

While they all knew how good Carhart is at a sports trivia, they found out that Sundby is horrible at it.

“Jon [Sundby] calls the Packers the Packs … [and] thinks the quarterback for the Packers is Bill de Blasio, who is in fact, the mayor of New York,” O’Malley said. Carhart shared that “a lot of the dad energy” coming from O’Malley and Pajk.

There is no consensus on who does the chores.

“Jack [O’Malley] grumbles about [them],” Pajk said

“It’s a really sensitive topic,” O’Malley replied.

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