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Linda Thompson lived with Elvis Presley at Graceland for four years until 1976. Their relationship is historically the closest the entertainer has ever experienced. As Elvis’ longtime companion, Linda was keenly aware of his day-to-day behavior. This included a touching Graceland habit, including his beloved grandmother, “Dodger.”

Linda Thompson said Elvis Presley had this habit before leaving Graceland each day

As a special guest for Elvis Week 2023 at Graceland, Linda Thompson sat down for a lengthy interview to discuss her life with Elvis Presley. She shared little-known details of Elvis’ home life and their relationship.

Elvis had “inordinate affection” for his grandmother, Minnie Mae “Dodger” Presley. Minnie Mae lived at Graceland with Elvis and his parents, Gladys and Vernon.

Sadly, she outlived her grandson and son, who died in 1977 and 1979. Minnie Mae died in 1980.

Linda spoke of her affection for “Dodger.” She revealed, “His grandmother lived with him; we called her Dodger.”

Subsequently, this nickname was because she always came through no matter what life threw at Minnie Mae. However, Elvis deeply loved his grandmother and wouldn’t leave the house without spending time with her.

“It says a lot about his character and the depth of humanity that he embodied,” Linda said. “We would go into D ger’s room and sit on the side of her bed, and her rocking chair was right in front of her closet, across from the bed. And he would hold her hands, talk to her, and kiss her on the top of her head.”

Linda Thompson said Elvis Presley behaved ‘lovely’ toward his grandmother

Throughout her four years at Graceland, Linda Thompson learned of Elvis’ heightened emotional needs. She said he both needed it and loved giving it to those he cared for, particularly his grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley.

“He was so lovely to her. He was just an inordinately affectionate human being anyway. And he needed a lot of affection and to give a lot of affection,” Thompson admitted in a YouTube fan video at the event.

Linda adored Dodger, calling her “the cutest, cutest little woman.” However, she claimed she was “quite the character” and “looked the same in her Eighties as she did in the ’50s when they were in Germany.”

Linda shared that Dodger would begin her day when the couple returned from their evenings out, around 8 a.m. “She would get dressed, put her little make-up on, pull her hair back in a little bun, put her house dress on, walk to the kitchen, and then sit at the kitchen counter for breakfast.

“Whenever we would come in and say ‘Good night, Dodger,’ she would say, ‘Good morning, son.’ So she was “good morning” to us, but [we were] “good night” to her because we were going to bed. Therefore, our hours were turned around,” Linda explained the essence of their morning routine.

Is Dodger buried in Graceland’s Meditation Garden?

Graceland's Meditation Garden in a photo taken in 1987.
Graceland’s Meditation Garden in a photo taken in 1987 | Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty Images

Lisa Marie Presley Left This Special Memento Within Elvis Presley’s Coffin

There are four primary graves in Graceland’s Meditation Garden. The area is a quiet and reflective spot initially built by Elvis Presley to pause out of his day.

Elvis Presley, his parents Vernon and Gladys, and Minnie Mae ‘Dodger” Presley are buried next to each other in Graceland’s Meditation Garden. The four graves are lined up right next to each other in the circular area.

Adjacent to the immediate family are the graves of Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and her son, Benjamin Keough. They were interred on the property in 2000 and 2023.

The Meditation Garden, just south of the swimming pool area, was constructed in 1964-1965, per the website Furthermore, Elvis reportedly built the site as a place for contemplation, a private retreat on the property.

Consequently, the Garden’s centerpiece is a circular twelve-foot fountain pool with five single jets of water and a larger one in the middle. Moreover, colored floodlights illuminate the area. A pergola of columns faces the south side of the pool and contains stained glass panels.