Friday, January 06, 2012


I have finally stumbled upon the answer to why I am so cranky! While in the clutches of a mind numbing shift at Elvis World it hit me. I am just totally dying inside with this brain freeze of an existence. I have little creative outlet and I need that badly.

And it is The Birthday Week!

How do you describe the typical Elvis Fan? You can't because there is no stereotype. They come from all over the globe to Elvis World. Some of them over and over and over again. And they know your name! Not only because you wear it stapled to your collar, but because they remember you! They come from South Africa, Holland, England (oh God do they come from England!) and Scotland. A lot of Scottish. Ireland too. One evening I had the Irish back to back. The latter one rode a bus from Nashville to visit Elvis World. They come from Down Under and New Zealand. And good lord do they ever come from Canada!

New York to New Mexico, Connecticut to California. Brazil to Mexico. Well, they just come from everywhere.

They are young and old, male and female. Some are in wheelchairs and some in strollers. Some are very old. Like Elvis old. He would have turned 77 this coming Sunday. But when these women talk about Elvis, their eyes glass over, a dreamy expression takes over their faces and I see the teenage girl emerge. They are young again.

They want to engage you in conversation. I learned long ago not to admit that I am not a FAN. I just keep my mouth shut and listen. They always ask, "I bet you get tired of listening to this music all day long" (HELL YES) but I never let on. I shake my head and say, "Oh no, how could I?"

Their stories are sad, lovely, hilarious and haunting. I learned to listen.

A gentleman burst into the store shortly before closing Wednesday evening, having just arrived from Canada, with that bright euphoric expression that leads you to believe that a FAN has arrived and not a tourist.

He talked to me and made the ending moments of the day entertaining rather than excruciating and I thank him for that. Best story he told me. He was in Memphis with friends showing off. He took them to the Gates and they were snapping pictures when lo and behold a limo pulls up and the people outside the mansion swarm the vehicle for a glimpse of their King. The woman he was with ran up to the very darkly tinted window and snapped her last frame thinking (I'm certain this had to be the thought process) that she could tell folks back home that Elvis was behind that glass! Suddenly the sun roof opens and Elvis pops out waving at the small crowd as the gates open.

Damn, she has no film left!

He began this story telling me that once he saw Elvis at the mansion gates wearing his power blue jump suit. Naturally my first thoughts were "Did Elvis just wear his jump suits as casual day wear? Like walking to the security gate house to pick up the morning paper?"

That is how I amuse myself.

And listening to these incredible stories about a man who touched so many lives. And still does to this day.

Happy Birthday Elvis. Man do you ever still LIVE.



I've never been obsessed with any musician. I don't understand the concept of the FAN. Although I have never been an Elvis lover, either. But I do remember crying when I first heard him sing, IN THE GHETTO. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Elvis.

Nelle said...

My aunt and cousin were huge fans. My uncle always wore his hair like the king. I loved when he performed in Hawaii and I had tickets to go see him in NY but couldn't as I was pregnant at at the time and violently ill. That was 1973 I think.