Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Me & Elvis

Since most of you will probably read this on Thursday, the 30th Annivesary of Elvis' death (GOD, I'm old!) I'm writing about my love affair with The King. I've had a thing for Elvis since I was a little girl. The sad truth of the matter is that I didn't even know who he was until after he died, but really I was only 4.5 at the time, so cut me a little slack. My first memory of him is when a girl at my daycare showed me a picture of him and said "He has the same birthday as me. He died." And then of course, after his death, the non-stop hawking of Elvis albums began on television and I was hooked. I thought he was gorgeous! And that voice! That smile!

As I grew older I started watching his movies. I learned to look for the Elvis marathons that would run in January (his birthday) and in August (his death). I haven't seen them all, but I've seen a good many. My favorites were Fun in Acapulco, Blue Hawaii, and G.I. Blues and I own Jailhouse Rock, although it was never really a favorite. And of course I had all the records. Real records, too. They're still around, in fact, but I have nothing to play them on. I can still sing all the words to all the songs on the Fun in Acapulco soundtrack, even the ones in Spanish and I don't even SPEAK Spanish. I had other Elvis records, too -- Elvis Sings for Kids was a favorite -- and even a "gold" record.

When I was eight, my mom, brother and I drove to Dallas, TX to visit my uncle and his new wife, whom he married when he was in his forties. She was an unknown quantity and my family didn't really know that much about her. She won me over forever though, when, after finding out that I was a huge Elvis fan, she led me to her secret stash. For some reason -- and I still don't know what it is -- she had a closet full of portrait sized paintings of Elvis. Some were oil, some were watercolors (no black velvet, though). And she let me choose which one I wanted. She had all kinds -- early, skinny Elvis, Elvis in his middle-years, Vegas Elvis. Which one to choose? I don't know why I chose the one I did. Probably because it was purple. It had some slight damage and it wasn't framed, so when we got home my mom had it framed for me and for years it hung in my purple bedroom. See it below in all its glory. This thing is a good three feet tall!

During my college years it hung in numerous apartments and was kind of kitschy and good for a laugh. Since I've been married, though, it's been relegated to the closet. Since I don't have a rec room, or a game room, or heck, even a basement, there's just nowhere in my normal house that needs a three foot portrait of Elvis. Several months ago Mr. Daddy tried to talk me into selling it on eBay. I didn't really want to, but several people convinced me that Elvis memorabilia sells like crazy on eBay. So, what the heck, let's give it a shot (hence the photo). BUT, I made Mr. Daddy set the reserve kind of high. And guess what? It never sold. And truthfully, I'm glad. Even though I have NO WHERE to put it, I still love it.

And I'm passing my love of Elvis on to my kids, so maybe one day they'll want it. We got Bubba started early. His first Halloween came when he was about ten months old. I was wracking my brain (and the internet) for unique costume ideas and found one that said a baby's fat cheeks lend themselves perfectly to Vegas Elvis. Eureka! So, I followed the directions on how to make the costume and it turned out great, if I do say so myself.

Check out the sunburst design and the sideburns!

And finally, look at those collars!

Unfortunately, as is the case with most second (or subsequent) children, Punkin' hasn't gotten the full indoctrination yet. But there's still time. Plenty of time.

RIP Elvis. You're still the King.


Amy and Kia said...

I didn't know you had an Elvis portrait. You've got to find a place for it somewhere. How about Bubba's room?

Sophie said...

That Elvis outfit is TOO TOO CUTE! I've got to show it to my husband, who is a big Elvis fan. He started playing Elvis songs to our daughter since she was in the crib.

Lulu said...

Okay, first of all, Bubba? Is adorable decked out in the little Elvis outfit!

I was 6 when Elvis died, and for some reason I remember exactly where I was when the announcement was made that he had died. I think that I remember my mother crying, but I'm not sure.

Have you ever been to Graceland? My family and I visited there when I was about 12 years old. Fairly interesting place...