Thursday, August 14, 2014
Close to Nowhere
Death week — commemorating the death of Elvis Presley — always brings a lot of hoopla to Memphis, Tenn.
Funny how things hit your memory. I remember my mother-in-law, Jimmie, calling me to tell me Elvis was dead. I was trying to soothe her and just made it worse. She was nearly hysterical by the time I got through calming her down. Cousin Carolyn was worse! Jimmie and I, thinking that if we wouldn’t keep Laura, Carolyn’s daughter, that Carolyn wouldn’t go berserk and go to Graceland, were wrong. Carolyn took 6-year-old Laura with her and Laura fainted in the heat and crowd. Carolyn got to go into the house with her.
I like Elvis, but am not what you’d think of as a big fan. However...
Granddaughter Meredith discovered Elvis during Death Week when she was 2-years-old. She fell headlong in love with “The King.”
I made her dresses out of Elvis fabric and she almost wouldn’t take them off.
Carolyn and I carried her to the restaurant on Beale Street — Elvis Presley’s — and she was in heaven.
She was asleep when we went in and even with me holding her, head on my shoulder, the second she heard the Elvis music, her little body started twitching in time with it. (She also did that with “Love Shack” by the B52’s.)
I have a non-functioning Mickey Mouse phone and Meredith often stood on my sewing stool and held conversations on that phone. Always with the same two people — Elvis and Jesus.
One time, she was talking to Elvis on the phone, standing on the stool as usual, and Jesus pushed her off and made her fall. She wouldn’t talk to Jesus for nearly two months after that.
I think, now that she’s become a teenager, she left her love for Elvis back in her childhood (thankfully, she’s kept Jesus).
Death Week this year in Holly Springs promises to be a bit more important. The death of Paul MacLeod, the “Universe and World’s No. 1 Elvis Fan,” has brought our attention back to Elvis.
I’m writing my column on Tuesday, which is the day it’s all happening in town. Graceland Too will be open all day with tours and memorabilia and Elvis music everywhere.
JB’s will have an Elvis concert/karaoke with a fantastic young singer, Bailey Eubanks, singing Elvis songs. I’m trying to convince my youngest granddaughter to sing an Elvis song during the karaoke part. I’ll let you know next week if I was successful or not.
We should all sing an Elvis song or two this week — some of us quietly to ourselves!
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