Where Were You the Night Elvis Died?

16 Aug

I can remember, as if we are walking up Prests Mill Drive right now, the stroll that my mother and I took the night that Elvis Presley died.  Although we were not ardent fans of Elvis, he was a larger-than-life celebrity figure whose sudden death seemed to impact us all.  My mom was in her 20’s when Elvis became the “King of Rock and Roll.” If she wasn’t smitten with him, she was at least surrounded by so many who were. And, at age 13, I was an Elvis observer. I had watched some of his movies and found him intriguing. He was the first celebrity I knew who lived a glamorous and successful life that crumbled due to drugs and alcohol. His downfall would not be so shocking today—it is almost too common.

So, with these mixed emotions and a definite sadness, we decided it would be good to walk. I loved that walk. I can remember the happy feeling of being together weighed against the sadness that dominated that night. We chatted and walked for a while that night, not a common practice for us.

Today is the anniversary of Elvis’s death and people throughout the world will recall the feelings they had 34 years ago. I wish my mom and I could chat about Elvis now. I would love to know if she was ever an infatuated fan. And I wish I could tell her about the brief, but huge Elvis obsession my son had around age 10. Yet, I am warmed by the memory of our walk August 16, 1977.

And, I wonder, where were you and what was your reaction when Elvis died?

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2 Responses to “Where Were You the Night Elvis Died?”

  1. Elaine Borish August 16, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    I never felt the passion that people expressed for Elvis. Indeed, I never understood it. Looking back over the years, I cannot imagine that my sister cared about–or understood–the Rock and Roll King. But what a good mother she was, for what she understood was her daughter’s need, and she decided to take a long and talkative walk.

  2. Deborah the Closet Monster August 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I was still a year away from being conceived. I wish I could ask my mom where she was . . .

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