Elvis, Graceland, and a Numbers Obsession – a Throwback Story

My favorite numbers are 37 and 17 (in that order). I have no idea why; they just always have been, and they regularly pop up in my life.

Two examples:

Me in 1995, standing at the entrance to Graceland’s driveway.

In the spring of 1995, in celebration of college graduation, my U of Iowa roomies and I embarked on a crazy day trip to Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland – a whirlwind 28 hour experience I’ll never forget.

The first thing I noticed upon arrival? The address: 3717 Elvis Presley Boulevard.

I shrieked like a madwoman.

Later I learned that was merely the tourist area’s address; Graceland’s actual house number is 3764. Still, it was a sign.

That fall, I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to pursue doctoral studies in medieval history at UVA.

To escape the stresses of academic life, I taught myself HTML (it was pretty new then) and created a website, Elvis Lives In Evil Levis, dedicated to my obsession of the time: Mr. Presley. (The link takes you to a version archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine – for which I’m grateful, since the original, though tidier looking, is long gone. Click on the “My Trip” link at the bottom to read all about my Graceland adventures.)

That website introduced me to my husband.

He found it, emailed me, we started chatting all things Elvis, then discovered we were both grad students at the same university. (Given my site had fans all over the world contacting me, I consider this a miracle.) We met up. We kept meeting up.

Charlottesville, Virginia – July 1999. We look pretty happy, despite the 100+ degree heat!

Elvis brought us together.

Twenty years later, we’re still going strong. Which brings me to my second example:

For Christmas 1996, my mom gave me a numerology book, her way of gently teasing me about my weird numbers thing.

Well, imagine ALL of our surprise when I calculated the numbers for my then-friend/soon-to-be-boyfriend/now-husband’s name: his first name added up to 17, and his whole name to 37. I kid you not.

I knew right then he was the one.


Why the heck do I post about this today? Because it’s March 7th, 2017 – or, in shortened American style, 3/7/17. My two favorite numbers, side by side. It will never happen again in my life time!

I feel as if I ought to play the lottery. Or that Colin Morgan should show up for a visit.


What are your favorite numbers? Why?

Whatcha Think?