Today marks the 34th anniversary of Elvis’ death. If you are like me and had parents who grew up in the south…Elvis was like a religion. His name was spoken in hushed tones of reverence. My mom would cry talking about the death of his infant twin brother. She also would talk like she actually knew the Colonel and Elvis’s mama. We had a cat. My mom named her Priscilla. My mom had palpitations when Elvis did that special and wore the black leather outfit. She literally, in true southern fashion, got a case of the vapors. She still talks about that and it was over 40 years ago. Elvis was big during my childhood…and I’m not referring to his weight. My dad always liked to tell this story about when he lived in Memphis. Dad was downtown, headed to work and Elvis pulled up in a giant red Cadillac. He saw him across the street. Elvis got out of the car and was clearly arguing with some guy. Elvis ended up punching the guy in the face, got back in the car and drove away. I’m not sure I actually believe Dad’s story, but it is fun to watch him tell the story and embellish the particulars with every retelling. When I was 8, I got into trouble. We were watching Elvis’ Blue Hawaii. I was being loud and obnoxious. Mom got really angry and sent me to my room with no pie. You didn’t make noise when Elvis was on the television. I learned this the hard way because I love pie.
We visited Graceland when I was a kid. It was like we were going to Mecca. Mom laughed and cried...the only way to really describe it is to say she ran the gauntlet of emotions. She must have been exhausted. It is a vacation I will never forget. To this day, mom has a picture of Jesus on the fridge right next to a postcard she purchased from Graceland. I’m a proper offspring of my parents; I’ve been to Graceland four times. I love Elvis’ music, I tolerate his movies, I love fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches plus I think he was one fine-ass looking man. I remember exactly what I was doing when the news came on that he had died and I know today I will call my mom and we will talk about how much we both love and miss The King of Rock and Roll.