Don and Angela Nordman share their home with Don’s collection of all things Elvis: A three-foot Elvis statue graces the front bay window, a life-sized plaster Elvis with several colorful leis stands guard at the front door, and a 1960s Seeburg jukebox in the living room plays only Elvis.

Don says his passion for all things Presley began about thirty years ago when he started spotting Elvis memorabilia at estate sales. However, his first purchase was a bust of the King at Treasure Mart. What inspired his collection? “Oh, I love Elvis,” Don says. “I used to watch him on TV with my family. When he passed away [in August 1977], we all totally lost it.”

He says he bought the 1956 brick ranch because its retro look was suitable for his Elvis shrine. The living room, where a fireplace mantel displays McCormick Elvis decanters (Don’s favorite collectible) and bric-a-brac, is now painted lavender and gray. An original “Sputnik” chandelier hangs over the dining room table, while a nearby blonde Heywood Wakefield china cabinet holds Marilyn Monroe and James Dean cookie jars. (Don started collecting memorabilia of these icons a few years ago, and more recently added Gene Autry to his roster.) Kitschy pink flamingos are scattered throughout the house along with framed Elvis paintings. The Elvis “Burning Love” bedroom is a sight to behold, painted red with a wallpaper border of scenes from Blue Hawaii near the ceiling, Hawaiian curtains, and a blonde Heywood Wakefield bedroom set. Angela explains that the color scheme was inspired by Elvis’s at Graceland (Don’s been there four times) but expresses relief at her husband’s omission of another of the King’s decorating standards: “Thank God, he doesn’t like shag carpeting that much!”

All his collecting calls for some extra coin. “God knows, she gets mad about what I spend sometimes,” Don says, adding that he supports his habit by doing lawn mowing, landscaping, and maintenance side jobs, in addition to working full-time in materials services at U-M.

The Nordmans aren’t the neighborhood’s only kitschy couple. Nearby on Barber, the front yard of Martha Hefner and Larry Hierholzer features a gas lamp on a pole. A couple of years ago, Hefner painted the lamp’s globe red, then added the word “HELLO” in large letters.

Some incorrectly thought the lamp indicated a house of ill repute. Differing opinions on its identification by others demonstrate a generation gap.

“People over fifty-five know that it’s a map pin,” Hefner says. “People under thirty-five think it’s a Google map pin. The in-betweens don’t know what it is.”