This Month's Featured Resources...

Father's DayTravel - CookingLatin WW2

Friday, August 21

Black Velvet (Alannah Myles)

Are you lonesome tonight?
    Do you miss me tonight?
          Are you sorry we drifted apart?
               Does your memory stray to a bright sunny day?
                    When I kissed you and called you sweetheart
                           Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?
                                              <<sigh>>  One of a kind.

How do you remember him?
               Young, carefree, riotous, emblematic of 1950's rock?
Or 1970s Vegas icon?

One hot, sticky August night when I was 12, we got the news...and I mean all of us kids on the block....we all  heard.  Out playing in our Queens street...ringalevio, hide n seek, running bases....I'm not sure by now what...but I do know for sure we were captive to the freedom, the heat, the laughs, the knowing that it would all end in a few weeks' time and we'd soon be sitting in row upon row in Sr Mary Alice's classroom.  Seventh grade? Eighth? It's hazy now. 

Someone, somewhere, a parent, an older sibling heard, read, was received in those days at a snail's remember, right?  Delivered by Walter Cronkite or every few minutes on the AM channels and that was it. Not at lightning speed and from across the globe within seconds as it is now. 

We came to a screeching halt.  Not our game, but a small part of each of us.  Because if you weren't an Elvis fan on August 16, 1977, you fast became one.  That's how it was.  That date became 'The Line between Then and Now.'
Legions of kids and adults everywhere seemed to recognize the importance, like his music or not, of The King's one day and not, the next.  And at the tragic young age of only 42.

Fast forward a decade and "sightings" abound.  Now, four decades after his passing, given time and distance, we see with clarity not only Elvis's stamp on our culture but his legacy of generosity.

So how about you??  Are you a fan??  Frankly, I don't see how anyone can not be......but this, from someone who grew up with a pink Elvis clock, swingin' hips and all in her room and knew all the lyrics to all the songs by the time I entered kindergarten.  So, we've decided to go walkin' in Memphis, with our boys....back to the birth of rock & roll.

The boys were more excited about the gates at Graceland than the Grand Caynon, I think!  (My little man, guitar  and music freak that he is, got a whole bunch of Elvis paraphernalia at his last birthday.)  We took the audio tour, which describes each room, almost each item, in scrupulous detail.  My family and I took the Graceland Platinum Tour.  We aim to keep his legacy alive!!

The house was impressive...we were awed.  These photos are just a sampling of his gold and platinum albums and his Vegas costumes.  The rest are in another building.

Outside, we saw the gardens of Graceland, the pool, and the Presley family cemetery.  You could hear a pin drop here.  And then there was Elvis' car collection...where each car has its own story attached.

Whether it's taking it to visit friends for a holiday or birthday or gifting it to a loved one, Elvis was sentimental about his possessions.  He gave a special pink car to his mother one Christmas, and in 1975, he bought a Convair 880 Jet, recently taken out of service by Delta Airlines, for the then-substantial sum of $250,000.  He immediately rechristened it the Lisa Marie.

Elvis gave quite a bit back to charity, especially to the St. Jude's Hospital in the same town.  One act of charity is perhaps the least known, and yet most generous of all.  Elvis contributed much to preserving our  great nation's history:  He  performed in 1962 at Honolulu’s Bloch Arena for the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Over $62,000 was donated by The King to the monument upon the completion of this show!!  In 1965, while in Hawaii on location for  Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Elvis and Colonel Parker visited the completed memorial to lay a bell-shaped wreath in honor of the servicemen killed aboard the Arizona.

Elvis Presley Unit Study

Today's guest writer, Chris, writes for Campfires & Cleats.  You can find her on Facebook.