Tomorrow will be the thirty-ninth anniversary of the passing of Elvis, and I still miss him. I know it sounds kind of old-fashioned, and I’ve heard that his popularity is waning. But for folks my age, the King is part of our youth.
I remember watching him sing “Hound Dog” on the Ed Sullivan show, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. The hair, the moves, that smile, and most of all that twinkle in his eye. I look at the clips on YouTube now, and it’s clear he’s having the time of his life. I can see that little bit of him, anyways, doesn’t really care. He’s just goofing around.
“All Shook Up” was Charlie and me’s first dance together as husband and wife. Hearing that song brings me back to that that day. I remember how handsome Charlie looked in his white tux and how I hardly felt my feet on the ground I was so happy as I walked up the aisle.
Then there was his 1968 comeback special, the one where he’s sitting there dressed in black with a leather jacket, playing the guitar all intimate. Because he was sitting down and not gyrating all around, you really got to listen to his voice and those close ups of that face with the hair falling tumbling down onto his forehead and that sexy smile. And we still play his Christmas album every year when we’re decorating the tree. It’s a tradition.
And yes, he really let himself go as he got older, and became only a shadow of his former self. But that didn’t stop Charlie and me from scraping together enough money to buy tickets to see him in Portland in 1977. He died before he could do that concert, of course, and I was devastated. Beyond devastated.
‘Cause here’s the thing: you know how when you’ve been married for a long time like Charlie and me have, and when you look at your spouse, sometimes you see the senior citizen they’ve become. But sometimes, you see the teenager you fell in love with. And that makes you feel like the sweet young thing you were back then. Does that ever happen to you?
Well, I guess Elvis does that for me. He makes me feel like a girl again. He puts me in touch with something I don’t want to lose track of, even if I do walk like Walter Brennan when I get out of the car after a long drive. Even if the only time I get carded is when I ask for the senior discount. Even if Charlie and me fall asleep in front of the tube after a long day of working in the yard.
Thanks for all the good times, Elvis. You were one-of-a-kind!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Book Events and Performances
August 30: Book Reading: The Sweet Life, Rangeley Public Library, http://www.rangeleylibrary.com/default.asp?Key=1&Cat=1 6:00pm, Rangeley, ME
September 8: A Visit With Ida, Active, Alive and Over 55 Club Luncheon, 1:00pm, Rye, NH
September 19: A Visit With Ida, Westbrook Seniors at Westbrook Community Center, 1:00pm, Westbrook, ME
September 23 & 24: The View From He’ah Variety Show with special guest international storyteller Antonio Rocha, http://actonenh.org/ Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday 2:00 & 7:30pm, Portsmouth, NH