Are you lonesome tonight?
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a bright sunny day?
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?
One of a kind.
One of a kind.
How do you remember him?
Young, carefree, riotous,
emblematic of 1950s rock?
Or 1970s Vegas icon?
My memories are an ethereal combination of both.....
the young, carefree, genteel Southern boy,
and wow, what an accent,
to be taking the nation by storm
on a Vegas stage
rocking sideburns and a sequined polyester jumpsuit .
Would you call them tails?
Whatever...no one else could pull that off.
One hot, sticky August night when I was 12,
we got the news...and I mean all of us kids on the block....
we all heard.
Out playing in our Queens street...ringalevio, hide n seek,
running bases....I'm not sure by now what...but I do know for sure
we were captive to
the freedom, the heat, the laughs, the knowing that it would all
end in a few weeks' time and
we'd soon be sitting in row upon row
in Sr Mary Alice's classroom.
Seventh grade? Eighth?
It's hazy now.
Someone, somewhere, a parent, an older sibling heard, read, saw.
News was received in those days at a snail's pace....
you remember, right?
Delivered by Walter Cronkite or every few minutes on the AM channels
and that was it. Not at lightning speed and from across the
globe within seconds as it is now.
So there it was.
We came to a screeching halt.
Not our game.
But a small part of each of us.
Because if you weren't an Elvis fan on August 16, 1977,
you fast became one.
That's how it was.
That date became The Line between Then and Now.
|Seen on Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis|
Legions of kids and adults everywhere seemed to recognize the
importance, like his music or not, of The King's presence........
here one day and not, the next.
And at the tragic young age of only 42.
Fast forward a decade and "sightings" abound.
Now, four decades after his passing, given time and distance,
we see with clarity not only Elvis's stamp on our culture
but his legacy of generosity.
Are you a fan??
Frankly, I don't see how anyone can not be......
but this, from someone who grew up with a pink Elvis clock,
swingin' hips and all in her room and
knew all the lyrics to all the songs by the time
I entered kindergarten.
Well, this is our third time walkin' in Memphis,
first with our boys.
Let me take you along on our tour of the inimitable...Graceland......
What an address...............:
The one and only Graceland:
THOSE ICONIC GATES!
The boys were more excited about them,
than the Canyon, I think!
My little man, guitar and music freak that he is, ( ! )
may or may not be gettin' a whole bunch of
Elvis paraphernalia come a certain birthday in December!
Here they are,
up close and eager to head in and stand amid The King's digs.
We took the audio tour, which
describes each room, almost each item, in scrupulous detail.
My family and I were, in fact, furnished with complimentary tickets to tour
Graceland as well as Elvis's airplane and his car collection
in exchange for me bloggin' 'bout it.
Yup, the Graceland Platinum Tour.
Me? Small time blogging girl?
Yeah, they laughed, those sweethearts at Graceland.
Of course, you......we love Mommy bloggers, they said.
As if Elvis needs PR.
And from the likes of me.
But....they said...they aim to keep his legacy alive
across all cultures, all faiths, all generations.
And so...lucky us!
So, journey with us, won't you?
Let's start here in the formal living room:
Formal dining room
The "television room" in the basement!
I think the "jungle room" might be our favorite!
The gold album/costume building adjacent to Elvis's home:
We were awed.
These are just a sampling of his gold and platinum albums
and his Vegas costumes.
The rest are in another building.
~The Gardens of Graceland~
The backyard and the back of the main house:
See the crowds toward the back of the picture?
That's Elvis's grave and graves of several people special in his life.....:
Despite the crowd, you could hear a pin drop here.
Each of Elvis's cars has a "story" attached.
Whether it's taking it to visit friends for a holiday or birthday
or gifting it to a loved one, Elvis was sentimental about his possessions.
here are a few~
Elvis gave this special pink car to his mother one Christmas:
I took these pictures:
outside the car museum specifically
for my friend Sue who has the coolest last name ever.
~The Lisa Marie~
On April 17, 1975 Elvis bought a Convair 880 Jet,
recently taken out of service by Delta Airlines,
for the then-substantial sum of $250,000.
He immediately rechristened it the Lisa Marie. -
And here's the legendary jet~
~Elvis's Legacy of Charity and Humility ~
Most people are in the dark when it comes to Elvis's extraordinary generosity.
Here's one small peek:
In 1956, before appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show that evening, Elvis was not only inoculated with the new Salk polio vaccine,
he also recorded a public service announcement for the March of Dimes.
In January 1958, Elvis posed for photographs at Graceland
with March of Dimes poster girl, eight-year-old Mary Kosloski. ~~
This photo hangs in Graceland:
Below, you can see the awards lining a hallway
of a building adjacent to Graceland
which were presented to Elvis for his contributions,
benefit concerts and random acts of kindness.
It's said that Elvis could not hear of someone in need
without writing a check, and anonymously most of the time!
From St Jude's Children's Hospital,
to flowers gifted to Moms across Vegas hotels on Mother's Days
of his performing years there,
to various individuals who needed groceries,
to the Marine Corps toy drive for impoverished kids at Christmas,
to various children's hospitals all ove the country,
Elvis was driven to give.
|Elvis and Dnnny Thomas, founder of the St Jude Children's Hospital, in 1961|
One act of charity is perhaps the least known,
and yet most generous of all.
Elvis contributed much to
preserving our great nation's history:
He performed in 1962 at Honolulu’s Bloch Arena
for the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Over $62,000 was donated by The King
to the monument upon the completion of this show!!
Photo of show, below, from Graceland wall:
And by the way, while in Hawaii in 1965 on location for
Elvis and Colonel Parker visited the completed memorial
to lay a bell-shaped wreath in honor of the servicemen killed aboard the Arizona.
Did YOU know that Elvis Presley donated so very much
( in 1962 dollars!)
to the development of a memorial honoring
our US serviceman aboard the Arizona,
bombed by the Japanese on December 7, 1941?
Can I tell you how happy I am to share our trip with you??
I'd like to, once again, thank the good people
of Graceland for offering complimentary passes to my family.
Seems like an Elvis thing to do, no?
Other posts in my
Visions of the Southwest series~~
Here they are if you're interested:
Journeying Through Time, Digging for Fossils at
UDig Trilobite Quarry in Delta, Utah
( coming soon!)
Riding the Rapids with
Mountain Waters Rafting
Friends, as always,
thank you for stopping over and
spending some of your precious time
here at my home on the web!
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Until next time,