Has it Really Been 30 Years?

I was thinking back when I was a kid. My mother and oldest sister were huge Elvis fans. Because of that, I was over-exposed to the King. I knew the words to every song and could name all 33 movies. Even though most kids my age weren't that big on Elvis, I was a huge fan.

Back in October of 1976, Elvis came to my town for a concert. My sister camped out at the ticket window because it was a sure sell-out in the first day. I begged my mom to let me go. She didn't want to shell out the extra $12.50 for my ticket, so she told me that I could go another time. There was no other time.

On August 16, 1977, I was doing my chores with my little sister. We divided cleaning up the living room into top and bottom. I did the top (couch, chairs, and tables) and she did the bottom, which consisted of the floor - vacuuming and whatnot.

It was a little past 3:30 pm and Batman was on TV for kids programming in the afternoon. A special report came on to interrupt the BAM's and POW's of Batman action, "The Memphis police are reporting that Elvis Presley has died in his Graceland home.

I was stunned. I couldn't believe it. Sometimes I still don't. I remember hearing in the subsequent days all the conspiracy theories and Elvis sightings. I believed he was still alive for at least a couple of years. After all, how could a huge star like Elvis ever have a normal life without faking his own death? I heard of all the reports of how lonely he was and how he longed for a normal life. He had to rent entire amusement parks and movie theaters just to have a night out. Yep, this must have been his plan. Then there is the misspelled tombstone in Graceland. Elvis Aaron Presley (when it should be Aron). At least, that is what I heard.

As time passed, I finally put Elvis to rest in my mind. The King is gone -the last king this country will ever know.


Jod{i} said...

That's what I said! Oh my and it has, I was in Maine on vacation having my 'birthday' dinner with relatives...

and...I hope my writing didn't upset you that much, I haven't been able to shake that...you okay?

Paper Fan Club said...

Great post, Jeff. I remember that I was six years old and out camping with my family. I listened to Elvis music playing on my tiny transistor radio all weekend.

Jodi said...

I like Elvis, but I don't have a memory of when he died.

I DID just notice that I'm not on your blogroll. Hmmmph.


*~*Cece*~* said...

Wow has it been 30 years already? (I say that like I remember him lol)

Sayre said...

It seems impossible that it has been that long. Where has my life gone? We had an "Elvis Event" at work last night. I'm going to post about it shortly.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

Wow, I know someone who remembers when Elvis died. (since I don't, I was too young). What an impression someone so talented and vibrant and unique has put on our country (world) and left behind the foundation for rock and roll forever. Amazing.

Jeff said...

Jodi: Some birthday, heh? Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks.

Paper: Camping. Hmm . . . that would make a memory.

Hoosiergirl: All you have to do is ask.

Jeff said...

cece: Thirty years. I hate that I remember. It must be weird for people to think of Elvis and think that he has ALWAYS been gone. I guess that is like me and James Dean.

stepping over: It is amazing to me that some people don't realize what you do about him.

sayre: looking forward to your post.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a 45 of "Suspicious Minds" that I would play over and over as a kid.

I was at my step-grandparents' house for dinner when I learned that he died. I remember walking through the "sitting room" and overhearing the tv in the living room reporting his death. I took a snapshot in my mind of that very moment.

goddessdivine said...

Yeah, I was like 18 months old, so I have no memory of it.

How sad that you didn't get to go to his concert, and never would. Sometimes you just don't think about those things when someone comes to town.

Anonymous said...

It's kinda weird. I was certainly old enough to remember his dying day, (I believe I would have been 12 [yeah, that makes me 42]), but I have no memory of it. I must have been TOTALLY oblivious to the world around me for that not to have been a big deal.

Oddly enough, I wasn't really that big of a fan of his until the mid eighties when I was SERIOUSLY into the oldies. I think that was the first time I realized just how huge he was.

My loss, bigtime!

Shan said...

haha, certainly a man who has changed the history of Earth for sure.

Death is always inevitable, but accept we must or we'll die from grief...

I just love the power of time!

Knock knock - it's cancer! said...

I was young as well when he died, only 2 at the time... so I don't remember it.

What I do remember is a lot of people around me talking about him for years to come.

His music will never be duplicated.

(thanks for this post)

By the way, my old link on your blog roll still points to my old URL... any chance we could update that please? -- See, Hoosiergirl made me look for mine too, by pointing it out :-)

Brian said...

I wasn't alive when the King was around, but my parents never let it go, so I heard a lot of him growing up. I heard about the 30 years when i was driving home from work the other day. Shocked even to me.

Jeff said...

Steph: I remember going to Sears and buying 45's for 77 cents.

Kristen: Yeah, my mom still feels guilty about it and I let her(insert evil laugh here).

Danny Kaye: Yeah, but at the same time, it is exciting for all the younger people to "discover" Elvis. It is kind of new again. You did that in the '80's, I'm guessing.

Jeff said...

Shan: The power of time is mighty, but it seldom works in your favor.

Michelle: It is amazing how he was a moment locked in time. I will work to remedy my blogroll. ;)

Brian: No one that was touched by the King ever lets it go.

Unknown said...

I have very few memories from my childhood :(
I love Elvis!!!

Charles said...

You knew every title of his movies. I'm impressed. Elvis is before my time, but I can relate to you.

When Aaliyah first came onto the music scene I didn't really like her first album much, so I never got the next one. However when I saw Romeo Must Die, I grew fond of her and her music, and I became a fan.

One day I was sitting by a pool in Charlotte with my cousins when a DJ came over the radio I was listening to and said that she had passed away. I felt saddened about what happened, and thought that I would never hear her sing again. I was so looking forward to seeing her in the matrix sequels. She was beautiful and she had a beautiful voice.