Thursday, August 16, 2007
Elvis Lives On
It has been thirty years since Elvis Presley died. It hardly seems possible. Throughout life there are a handful of events in which one can remember where they were and what they were doing when it happened. Things like the Kennedy assassination, your wedding ceremony, birth of a child, 9-11, a special celebration, are usually recalled with vivid memory. For many of us, the day Elvis died is imprinted in our memory.
I was at my arts and craft store, and decided to go across the street to the hometown drug store and buy a snack. I was paying for my candy bars when a small radio sitting on the shelf behind the cashier, announced the news of Elvis’ death. Unbelievable. I walked out, and stood on the corner feeling sadness, feeling a loss of an old friend. I never saw Elvis in person.
It all began for me in 1956. Some years back I wrote this, through the eyes of the teenager I once was:
Sharon was still excited as we went into the small record store a short distance from our homes. She had been excited since the previous day when she called to share her discovery with me. She told me I wouldn't believe my ears. But who was this guy anyway? I had never heard of him before. What a funny name. Elvis?
The owner of the store put the 45 record on the turntable and the music began. Wow! Sharon had been right. I could not believe my ears.
What a song, what a voice! Where had this guy come from? She had told me last night on the telephone that he was good looking and as I listened to the music I studied his face on the poster that was hanging on the wall. What an understatement she had made. This guy was gorgeous, and man, so sexy. Look at those eyes! I do not believe that charisma or sex appeal was really a part of my vocabulary then but it would not be long before those words became attached to his name in my mind.
The store owner was trying to sell us. Heck, he did not have to do that. Who wouldn't have wanted to take Elvis home with them? Any young girl in her right mind would and he told us that if we bought the record we would also receive an Elvis poster along with it. We could not dig the money out of our purses fast enough.
Elvis was going home with each of us! We were in love!
Let me tell you, that guy would never find himself at the end of some lonely street in some run-down hotel. No, not if the two of us were around. You could bet on that!
A few months later, we were at our local theater numerous times watching Love Me Tender.
Now, fifty-one years later, I see on television the tens of thousands who are in Memphis to honor Elvis. Wednesday night 50,000 were expected at a candlelight vigil at Graceland. People have come from Europe and Asia, from everywhere, to Memphis.
Elvis hasn’t died. Not really....
P.S. Sharon and I have been friends since we were six years old! A long time!