Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hail To The King!

Elvis Isn't Dead, He Just Went Home!

It was thirty years ago today...

I was sitting in the living room of my Uncle Ray & Aunt Anita's house in south Fort Worth, not too far from TCU. Actually, they were Mom's aunt & uncle, but 9 year old kids don't worry about those small distinctions.

We were there for a quick visit, just passing through on our way over to Arlington to see Dad's kin.

My sister and I were a bit young to appreciate sitting around a kitchen table sharing stories of days gone by, and were starting to get squirmy and rambunctious. Aunt Anita turned on the TV for us, and I started cranking the heavy dial on that big ol' console TV.

There were no cartoons to be had. I finally got something that interested me, and I remember going back to sit on the couch.

At some point, whatever we were watching got interrupted, and a special news report flashed on. I could swear it was Roger Mudd, I just hear his voice when I think about the report.

I knew who Elvis was, but hearing that he died didn't make much of an impression on me. My 5 year old sister asked "Who's Elvis?" Naturally I ignored her.

So, she hops up, goes over to the kitchen and asks "Mom, who's Elvis?" I don't remember what Mom said to my sister, but I do remember her asking "Why do you want to know?", and my sister replied "He died!"

Mom comes rushing in, sees the TV report with the "Elvis Dead" caption and just loses it completely. I mean, I'd seen her cry many times, but this was a full-bore breakdown. She just collapsed on the couch and commenced to bawling.
I was completely freaked out.

It was years later before I finally understood how important Elvis was to a teenage girl growing up in a tiny west Texas town. When your main source of entertainment is watching the cotton grow or the cattle fart, a loose-hipped southern boy singing that newfangled rock & roll must have been a sight to behold.

My grandmother told me about Mom having a huge argument with her father about going to see Elvis at a show in Abilene. Mom lost the debate, as teenagers are wont to do, and as a result never saw Elvis in person.

I don't know where she wrangled them from, but Mom comes up with a stack of 8-Track tapes for the car not too long afterwards. The next year was a solid dose of Elvis tunes, which kinda hooked me into the scene. Hell, I knew what a Jordanaire was when most kids were figuring out Kum Ba Yah.

30 years later, I'm still a fan. My favorite Elvis song is probably his cover of Bill Monroe's 'Blue Moon of Kentucky', followed by 'Don't Be Cruel' and 'Suspicious Minds'.

We miss ya, Elvis! Next time there's a ship heading this way from Arcturus-3, drop in and say hello!

And remember... ELVIS IS EVERYWHERE!!