Thoughts about Elvis’ legacy going forward

I have said it since I was much much younger that I am part (sadly) of the last generation who lived during Elvis’ lifetime. The future was unknown as Elvis was contractually obligated to do (approximately) 3 moves per year and he NEVER saw the scripts. Never had script approval. That’s right Elvis Presley the most successful actor in movie history, for the criteria being that every one of his movies made money for the movie studio NET which is almost impossible as movie studios accounting practices require a PHD, was bound to the script. The character. The locations. The songs. As Priscilla has stated, and so many of those close to Elvis watched, Elvis was absolutely 100% C R U S H E D by the increasing lack of quality movies. Man even me being a fan opted to go to the movies with a large frosty beverage and a heart attack large popcorn just to walk into the theater knowing Elvis had to be, at times, embarrassed. But give the man credit he did his best and if he used drugs then, and many say he did, this isn’t funny but I don’t know how else he got through SOME of these movies.

I miss Elvis.

I miss Elvis as a living breathing example of a man using his god given talents and worked hard to pursue his craft and against all odds being a great, and successful, entertainer for three DECADES. There will never be another Elvis because there will never be circumstances that Elvis leaned on to inflect in his songs. Yeah he had a photographic memory, perfect tune, 4 1/2 octave range, incredible voice, and to everyone who saw him said “he looks even better in person”. WHAT? Did I catch that? Looks better in person? Man I can barely get a respectable FB self photo to look anything like me and this man takes photographs that are almost unworldly.

You know I have spent a great deal of my time this past years further cataloging, indexing, enhancing what is there, etc. photos. It has been a positive distraction while battling the “C” word and all that goes with that and I got news for you jack it ain’t kids games.

*** Note – I type exactly as fast as I think and that is why I have so many typographical errors and I don’t want anyone puzzled to my meaning as I use words in my writing that I use in real life so relax man it ain’t so bad

I miss Elvis knowing he never allowed his music to be altered. Enhanced. Digitally auto tuned. Or any of the state of the art software they have now that can make a cricket sing America the Beautiful on par with, as an example, Whitney Houston. Elvis MOVED on stage. He had real musicians. He had real hand picked singers. He sounded as good, if not better, in person than in recordings. Amazing then. Amazing now.

Well, for now I gotta go. God willing I’ll see you soon

Take care and may God bless you

Jeff Schrembs

 

 

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Did Elvis cry? Answered

At first glance I dismissed this question which I received along with countless others each day about Elvis but then I thought about it and with my goal to always present facts and context I decided to answer with the understanding that this question was issued to me in good faith being curious about Elvis.

YES Elvis cried.

Elvis was human, He had dreams. He had insecurities. He had a temper. He cared. He was sensitive to the 9th degree. He knew loss. He knew great success. He never took his fans for granted and spent countless hours signing autographs and/or posing for photos. He was wholly unique being the by product of wholly unique parents. Wholly unique time in American history. Wholly unique in circumstances. etc.

The most visible time in Elvis life when he cried endlessly, and there are many photographs taken during this time including Elvis with Vernon on the steps of his home Graceland crying through a broken heart and a world collapsed, was when his beloved mother died Gladys Love (Smith) Presley on August 14, 1958. This unbarring pain he carried throughout his life.

But, Elvis and Gladys cried together when Elvis was served in person at his home in Memphis Tennessee the 3rd week of December 1957 with his United States Army Draft Notice. This shattered Gladys’ world and she could not bear to think about being away from her son. Her health, like was the case with Elvis, took a very visible toll as they wore their emotions on their sleeve. When they were happy it radiated. When he was mad it was palpable. When he cried it was soulful. A primitive place of sorrows.

Elvis put on a brave face for his mother, and the cameras, but he was heard crying in his cot by other US Army draftees on the train. On the plane. etc. It was at this time that he met Charlie Hodge who would become his lifelong friend and part of Elvis’ concerts with his guitar playing and harmony. In several documentary’s Charlie Hodge stated that he never hear the type of hurt that Elvis conveyed being separated from Gladys and facing the…unknown. Since Charlie was naturally funny, in addition to being a musician with some measure of success, he made it his goal to cheer Elvis up. In later years Elvis stated that without Charlies support/humor he would not of known if he could have gotten through it.

… to be continued

 

Elvis, Elvis, and more Elvis May 2018 edition

Hello. Welcome.

75 fascinating facts about Elvis Presley COURTESY OF NEWSDAY and edited by yours truly:

1. Elvis is Norse for “all wise.”

2. The Presley family were subjected to a violent tornado in Tupelo, Miss., when Elvis was 15 months old.

3. Research shows that “Elvis” is one of the most popular passwords for computers.

4. When Presley was 2, he wiggled out of his mother’s grip and joined the choir to sing during an Assembly of God Church service.

5. When he was 10, he sang “Old Shep” during am Alabama Mississippi children’s talent show. He finished fifth ** note – many have falsely stated that Elvis won this show but there are conflicting accounts of Elvis placing fifth or sixth

6. At 11, Elvis got a guitar. He really wanted a bicycle (some say a rifle), but his parents couldn’t afford it..

7. Once a boy he was wrestling with broke a hip.

8. The first time Presley recorded, it was (supposedly) for his mothers birthday which is odd as her birthday was not in the near future. He paid $4 to Sun Studio to press two songs – “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”

9. Elvis recorded anywhere from 600 to 1,200 songs, depending on whether the list includes unfinished works, alternate versions, bootlegged recordings, etc.

10. After Presley’s first TV appearance in 1956, Jackie Gleason said, “The kid has no right behaving like a sex maniac on a national show.” * Note there are conflicting accounts of this with Gleason saying he never said it.

11. Parents got freaked out, too. On Long Island, a 14-year-old girl told the press: “My parents locked up my Elvis records, and my father broke my record player.”

12. Another Long Island teen is captured in a set of iconic Alfred Wertheimer photos in 1956 – the white-gloved girl got out of a cab with her father in midtown Manhattan, saw Presley there, talked to him and broke down crying when he left.

13. Sometimes, Presley would sign autographs on fans’ chest (at their request) – “Elvis” on the left and “Presley” on the right.

14. In 1965, Presley talked about entering a monastery and was a deeply spiritual/religious man and had respect for all faiths.

15. Elvis started wearing a chai necklace because his mother Gladys’ maternal grandmother was Jewish – the reason why he added a Star of David on his mother’s gravestone in the mid-1960s.

16. When asked why he wore the necklace, he said, “I don’t want to miss out on going to heaven on a technicality.”

17. He also is said to have been partly Scottish, Irish, German, Welsh, Cherokee Indian and French.

18. A tartan was created in 2007 for the 30th anniversary of Presley’s death. It contains pink, baby blue, black and gold.

19. Presley’s 1961 hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is set to the melody of “Plaisir D’Amour,” an 18th century French love song.

20. Elvis loved biscuits and gravy, potato cheese soup and meatloaf with mushroom gravy, but he also loved the fat-free, antioxidant-rich, very healthy beefsteak tomato.

21. He hated fish, and wouldn’t allow Priscilla to eat it at Graceland.

22. In Elvis’ later years, primarily while touring, preferred to take sponge baths, using a rag and soap.

23. As a teenager, Presley worked as an usher at Loew’s State movie theater in Memphis.

24. He got to wear another type of uniform when he joined the ROTC in the 10th grade.

25. Elvis was honored by his commanding officer for his “cheerfulness and drive and continually outstanding leadership ability,”.

26. The Germans called Presley “the rock and roll matador” and the Russians called him “a threat to their citizens”

27. He liked to smoke thin German cigars but often had a cigar or cigarette that was not lit hence no smoking.

28. While serving in the Army overseas, Elvis laughed and said that his one disappointment was never meeting Brigitte Bardot.

29. One of Elvis’ movie idol was Tony Curtis, who had black shiny hair.

30. Elvis dyed his hair, starting in 1955-56, and used Miss Clairol 51 D, “Black Velvet.”

31. The first time Presley’s hair was professionally colored, the makeup department at Paramount used “mink brown” to make it look black on screen.

32. Elvis once used black shoe polish when he did it himself.

33. He also dyed his eyelashes, which caused health problems later in life.

34. In between filming 1956’s “Love Me Tender” and 1957’s “Loving You,” Presley had his nose done (he thought the bridge of his nose was too wide), his teeth capped and his acne treated.

35. Several big-time stars say they were influenced by Presley after seeing him perform when they were kids, including Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison and Cher.

36. Presley’s 1956 “romance” with Natalie Wood was short-lived, some saying it ended because he was just not that into her.

37. He performed “Unchained Melody” only during the last six months of his life.

38. Some commentators say Elvis’s had a four and a half octave vocal range.

39. Elvis had a slight stutter.

40. Elvis used A&D ointment to keep his lips soft.

41. When he was young, Presley could lose several pounds during a concert.

42. Later in life his weight ballooned to 250 pounds.

43. Presley loved “The Tonight Show,” until Johnny Carson joked about him being “fat and 40.”

44. Presley was said to be as fit as a 21-year-old when he taped the ’68 Comeback Special. He was actually 33.

45. He almost didn’t go onstage the first night taping the NBC show.

46. He recorded 15 songs with the word “blue” in the title.

47. “Queenie Wahini’s Papaya,” “Yoga Is as Yoga Does” and “There’s No Room to Rhumba in a Sports Car” are just some of the strangely titled songs Presley recorded for his movies.

48. In the 1970s, Presley would start every concert with “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” a 19th century Richard Strauss tone poem and the theme of the 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” because he liked its rhythm and movements.

49. Viewers in the United Kingdom did not see the worldwide “Aloha From Hawaii” special because the BBC refused to pay the price for the 1972 concert.

50. Presley met the Beatles in 1965 in Elvis’ home in California, although his manager, Col. Tom Parker, had to force him into having them over to his Bel Air, Calif., house.

51. He met Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in 1975, but Wilson says the meeting ended badly when he made an unexpected karate move on Presley after Presley asked him not to.

52. Here’s what Presley and President Richard Nixon said to each other during their 1970 meeting celebrated in the famous photograph: “You dress kind of strange, don’t you?” Nixon said, to which Presley responded, “Well, Mr. President, you got your show, and I got mine.”

53. The meeting was a secret until The Washington Post broke the story about a year later.

54. Presley once gave Muhammad Ali a robe declaring the boxer “The People’s Champion.” (Ali gave Presley gloves that said, “You’re the greatest.”)

55. After receiving a kidnap-assassination threat while performing in Las Vegas which the FBI investigated and warned Elvis not to perform. Elvis decided not to upset the fans and went ahead with the concert appearances but took precautions including a pistol in each of his boots.

56. For his 36th birthday, Presley treated himself to police equipment which was not uncommon throughout his life.

57. In the early 1970s, Presley would impersonate a police officer, driving around with a blue light, long flashlight, a billy club and guns, and pulling people over. Instead of giving out tickets, he would hand drivers autographs but on one occasion broke up a violent fight between two men.

58. During a concert at Nassau Coliseum in 1975, he threw a guitar into the audience, laughed by saying, “Whoever got the guitar can keep the damn thing. I don’t need it, anyway.”

59. Some members of the Memphis Mafia called Presley “Crazy and/or Crazy eyes” as when mad he had an imposing look and physical presence

60. Elvis’ karate name was “Tiger.” and he studied the martial arts from the early 1960’s throughout his life

61. He once broke a woman’s ankle while showing her a karate move at his hotel suite in Las Vegas.

62. Elvis was born under the “dog” sign (astronomical)in Chinese astrology.

63. He was Patrick Swayze’s guardian angel, four psychics told the late actor.

64. Some believe that Parker had the ability to hypnotize Presley, especially before he’d go on stage which everyone of his inner circle said never happened as Elvis was his own man and his own performer. He did not need Colonel Parker to do anything but focus on the business aspects

65. It is believed that Elvis was prescribed about 10,000, thousands were unused, during the later years of his life.

66. When Elvis played Madison Square Garden in 1972, he rented the New York Hilton’s top floor and this concert set a record in sales, and sold out in less than an hour after the tickets became available, a feat (like many) never equalled

67. Minnie Mae Presley, Elvis’ grandmother, lived at Graceland having divorced her husband Jessie Pressley who, upon Elvis getting famous, changed his name to Presley and actually recorded a few songs and appeared on tv.

68. Elvis had a pet turkey. His name was Bowtie.

69. He also owned (including but not limited to) a basset hound, two great Danes, a chow chow, a Pomeranian, several horses, some donkeys, some peacocks and guinea hens, ducks, chickens, a chimpanzee, a monkey and a mynah bird.

70. Elvis, his parents and grandmother aren’t the only ones buried at Graceland. So is his golden palomino quarter horse, Rising Sun one of his two favorite horses.

71. It’s not clear where Scatter, Presley’s pet chimp, is buried (note Michael Jackson, like he did in so many ways, copied Elvis). Some believe the hard-drinking animal died of liver disease; others say he was poisoned by a maid he had bitten.

72. Elvis believed, beginning in his teenage years, that he would die in his 40s, like his mother. In fact Elvis believed his mother Gladys was 42 years old when she died but was really 46 years old. Sadly, Elvis and his mother died in in the month and year being August (Elvis on the 16th of 1977 and Gladys on the 14th of 1958)

73. Elvis’ last words were, “OK, I won’t,” when he assured Ginger Alden, his last girlfriend, that he wouldn’t fall asleep reading in the bathroom.

74. It is estimated that there were about 170 Presley impersonators when he died in 1977. Today, some say there are 250,000. But it is not debatable that Elvis influenced thousands upon thousands of entertainers/music superstars.

75. The first post-death Presley spotting was in Kalamazoo, Mich., where a mother of five told the Weekly World News that she saw him in a grocery store and at a Burger King. This sighting was untrue as Elvis sadly died at his home Graceland in Memphis Tennessee on August 16, 1977 at the young age of 42.

Please share our blog via social media with others. Take care and may God bless you.

Praise for all involved in “Elvis Presley the searcher” (this blog post is part 1)

People ask, and question, me all the time about why Elvis? Who gives you the right to say your an expert? How do you know? To the following extreme of “you are the greatest”. “How are you old enough to know all about Elvis when you photo looks different (note – I do have to say, SOLELY because my experiences with being photographed is that maybe 1 out of 80044444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444 photos looks remotely like me), compliments are always appreciated and YES those are my recent photos and I make them and date them so my image is not used by anyone else which is coming more routine and I dislike that.

Even members of my own family mock, undermine, question, etc. my discussions about Elvis Presley. I could write a novel in response but to synthesize it and/or condense it I would say “I am part of an ever smaller generation who was the LAST to be alive during most if not all of Elvis’ career. Also, it was not always “cool” to like Elvis in the 60’s and 70’s and in the mid to later 70]s there was outright mockery. In fact there were so many social issues, hard core drug usage (to each their own but I’ve never), plethora of music/musicians, etc. to most teenagers Elvis had been a pioneer but his time had come and gone which I disagreed with”. Hence, when you combine being a lifelong fan, collecting Elvis records/etc. for decades, read so many different articles/newspapers/books about Elvis that span from fan hood to hatred. I always put an emphasis of context backed by facts.

There are many people of quality who are, whole and/or in part, experts concerning Elvis. Sadly, through the years so many have passed away and my hearts, prayers, and thoughts are always with the family/loved ones of those who have passed. Thus they are experts. Firsthand experts such as; Jerry Schilling, Billy Smith, Priscilla, Lisa Marie, Jack Soden, staff at Graceland/EPE, Linda Thompson, Ginger Alden etc. just to name a few (note I apologize if I have left anyone out). Secondly you have experts who have done extensive research about Elvis. These names come to mind; Alanna Nash, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Russ Howe, Steve Binder, Phil Arnold (we highly encourage you to check out his exceptional website of http://www.Elvisblog.net), and those we list on http://www.ElvisCollector.info on the “link” page.

I always knew, backed up by the music, that Elvis was wholly unique. That Elvis had been blessed. That Elvis was human. He knew great poverty. Great loss. He knew great success. Happiness. And he was a living breathing oxymoron as the contrast was vivid. That you could see in Elvis whatever you wanted. He was a mirror. You want to see a southern boy/man? Well Elvis is. You want to see passion? Yeah he had it? Talent? Check. A mean streak? Who doesn’t? He was the greatest entertainer who ever lived in every entertainment aspect but the fact that he is the greatest gospel singer, the most successful singer of Christmas music, and I could go on and on.

This post is part 1 about the exceptional HBO 2 part series entitled “Elvis Presley the searcher” and to everyone involved I say THANK YOU. GREAT JOB.

Take care and may God bless you always.

Jeff Schrembs

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

Ask ME Elvis (3/2018) edition

Hello.

Here were go.

Was Elvis a drinker?   Yes. He drank water, Pepsi, sweet tea, coke, mountain valley spring water, peach bourbon (rarely), and screwdriver (rarely).

Was Elvis mean?  Could be. Elvis had a bona fide temper courtesy of his beloved mother Gladys. If you look into Elvis’ eyes, especially during the early concerts – tv appearances = movies – etc., you can see he has the propensity of getting mean in a second. His nickname of “fire eyes” was justified. Also, back in 56 when Elvis was sucker punched while at a gas station, Elvis was sitting in driver’s seat, Elvis got out and fought the older taller man and gave the dude a black eye, bruised cheek, scuffed nose, and a memory not to mess with Elvis.

Was Elvis strange?  Aggh?  Whaa? I invoke my old man Elvis can and refrain, respectfully, from answering. Remember to brush your teeth kids.

to be continued.

Prayers for Lisa Marie Presley, her children, and her family/loved ones.

Recently it has been (sadly) reported on and on about the details of Lisa Marie’s divorce proceedings. Having young children, and some over 18, divorce/custody issues are NEVER “fun”. It takes tolls each minute of each hour of each day. Lisa Marie Presley has to be strong for her children as their mother and her decisions will affect each of them throughout their lives.

I hope others will pray for Lisa Marie Presley and her family as well as for our fellow man. This world needs more forgiving, love, empathy, etc. for each of us carries the weights of our decisions. Our actions. And our choices even when there is only one “choice”. We are so “busy” and inundated with bad news/evil far and away, we don’t convey our thanks/love to one another or to our maker which everything flows from.

 

*** this article was written by Jeff Schrembs 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***

I added this, after thought and prayer, true story for context and the hope it will lead to more understanding. More support. More prayers. etc.

At nine years old, after staying with her father over summer break, on August 16, 1977, couldn’t sleep. Her father came into her bedroom, where Lisa was on her white oval shaped bed and consoled her – kissed her forehead – and said goodnight.

Hours later Lisa Marie learned of her father’s death through the wailing of her grandfather Vernon, the cooks, members of the Memphis Mafia, etc. it was chaos. Little 9-year-old Lisa Marie picked up the red phone in Gracelands kitchen by the 4 closed circuit cameras (black and white) and put her finger into the first hole (of the telephone number) and repeated this 9 times. Linda Thompson, who had been Elvis’ girlfriend from 1972 (approx) until 1976, answered and heard Lisa Marie say “my daddy’s dead…my daddy’s’ dead”. Linda asked to speak to an adult and confirmed this nightmare was real.

Grown men, with various black belts in the martial arts, wept and fell to their knees crying. Vernon was inconsolable and he was frail due to his age and deteriorating medical issues. Women were in a state of shock but still tried to comfort Lisa Marie.

At times Little Lisa Marie tried to comfort her grandfather but he was unable to respond as his heart was literally…broken.

Lisa Marie was surrounded by men and women she knew and scores of others she did not. She was told her mother, and Linda Thompson was flying into Memphis. Lisa asked if her father would be back from the ambulance ride.

Over the next (approximately) year she would see her grandfather Vernon (sadly) die. She attended his funeral a little more mature knowing the finality of death which she endured so many feelings/emotions/loss of her father’s death. Lisa Marie was traumatized x 10000.

Legally her mother, Priscilla, now became the executor of Elvis’ estate as Vernon had died and everything went to Lisa but she was a minor so until she was 18 Priscilla would oversee everything. When her 18th birthday came she wasn’t ready so she let her mother run things until Lisa was 21. At 21 she still wasn’t able so it was extended until Lisa was 25 years old.

Immediately upon her father’s death, there were stories written, tv shows about, newspapers full of, etc. the attacks (by so many through decades upon decades ) of hearing so many accused her father of being a drug addict. That he tried to kill himself. That he was really still alive.

Lisa Marie is a talented, smart, and loving mother to her children. She never asked for this. Does anyone know how much time it takes to get over your father’s death? Or how that affects one’s decisions? One’s life? The same questions about her grandfather Vernon’s death? Keep in mind this was a very close family who openly shed tears for the death of Elvis and then Vernon. These tears were not limited to August of 1977 as for many they continue through the typing of this post.

I wish Lisa Marie, and her family, happiness – success – good health – stability – long life, etc. and that this divorce, and the monetary aspects, gets resolved very soon. Lisa Marie, like all others, should garner our sympathy and support for life is so very…very short.

When one, as this has been my experiences, falls in love and then marries before men/witnesses/God it is a beautiful thing. To have children born out of this love is a blessing. Hence, it is horrendous to have to go through divorce proceedings not only for the “adults” but also for the minor children.

No amount of money will heal the (temporary and permanent) scars on ones’ emotional state, mental state, physical state, parental state, and even the monetary state regardless of one’s last name (which in this case is beloved but brings forth far too much scrutiny, chatter, gossip, etc.) so facts and context matters but always secondary to what is right including the respect and appreciation we each should have for all of our fellow men including Lisa Marie.

Lastly, I don’t ask (with all sincerity and humility) others to pray, support, show compassion about. not feed into hurtful statements, etc about Lisa Marie Presley because of her name but…in spite of it.

Take care and may God bless you and yours…always.

Jeff Self Photo 2018 BEST ONe

The incomporable Elvis Presley (part 1)

Let us get my biases out front and center. I am an Elvis Presley fan. I have been for six decades. I have written about Elvis. I have collected Elvis and man if I had a fraction of what I have “lost”, pertaining to specific items involving Elvis – Colonel Parker – Gladys Presley – Vernon Presley – and others, it would blow your mind (I am thankful that I took the time to take photographs, to put hours upon hours to scans, to transfer to computer disks, I did extensive digital backups and I encourage others to do so for their important documents, photos, videos, etc.). I was a die-hard Elvis fan while in elementary school, middle school, and high school. I can assure you that during most of those years it was not “cool” with my peers as they were into hard rock, drugs, non stop partying, and even some music that I enjoyed. I’m not judging them but pointing out differences. Additionally, there were errie simalarities between me and Elvis and here are a few; we are approximately the same height, the same shoe size, the same blood type, both of us have a leg that is slightly shorter than the other, both of us had siblings that died at birth (sadly) and I miss my sister every day God bless her, we both sang in church, going back to Elvis’ time at Lansky’s in 1956 we have the exact same measurements (i.e. suits, pants, jackets, shirts, etc.) as I had at the same age, we both walk with a unique gait in part because of the leg length, our first child was a daughter, etc.  To add to the mix I got the nickname “Elvis”, I can’t recall where it originated as I didn’t walk around wearing Elvis shirts, and I have the yearbooks to prove it (i.e. friends, respected persons, etc. opted to use that surname). Also, I never sugar coated Elvis temper. HIs shortcomings. His anger. Hence, I didn’t think he was imperfect but I acknowledged his admirable qualities as I was “informed” on a level few, if any, have obtained (i.e. as I have literally put in years and years and years and years and years and blessed to have firsthand relationships pertaining to Elvis the man and the performer).

No one was with Elvis every second of his life and (sadly) many who were, at times, have passed away. But fortunately they, individually and collectively, gave interviews. They wrote books. They took photographs. They took videos. They left behind a lot to digest. Combined with Elvis’ three decades of professional works, his personal notes, the fact that he was the most photographed person of all time, etc. it does lend itself to garnering insights in, and truths about, so many aspects of his life.

No one was like Elvis. No one sang like Elvis. No one naturally moved like Elvis. To say he was unique is an understatement. But let’s go into some aspects about Elvis that aren’t generally known and in full disclosure, this will be a multi-part series/posts.

Some Elvis song gems:

Elvis put his soul into his music so I encourage you to seek out and listen to these songs in no specific order. All videos courtesy of YouTube.

Elvis Presley and . . . Chess (Part 1)

 

Chess is a game that has been around (literally) thousands of years. It is thought to have primarily originated in India but components of China also lay claim. There is no confusion about Chess being played, studied, etc. in terms of military aspects with the “winner” limiting the opponents King so that it is trapped vertically, diagonally, and horizontally (i.e. checkmate) by one piece (the Queen) or combinations of other pieces such as; pawns, rooks, knights, and bishops. Basically, a class system summarized on a board.  Though I have played Chess all my life, and I am ok at it, it is a game that (up until the recent advent of high tech computers that can process thousands of calculations) is seldom mastered.

I encourage others to play chess for there are numerous benefits. You don’t need a lot of money and on computers, or with the assist of computers, you can play against a virtual opponent. Playing Chess forces one to look 1, 2, 3, etc. steps ahead which change fluidly in response to the opponents move(s).

Before I get to Elvis I want to make another point and that is since Chess is thousands of years old the game is over as specified herein but the Queen has the greatest power as she holds the greatest power, mobility, etc. I think it’s kinda cool that even back in the ages when women, in general, were second-class citizens that women (deservingly so) were openly given this status.

There are conflicting accounts of Elvis’ interest, or lack of, pertaining to Chess. But all agree that as an adult Elvis owned a Chess set as part of his decor. And everyone who knew Elvis, personally or professionally, remark about his quick wit, intelligence, photographic memory, etc some of which are great assets when it comes to playing Chess.

Pawns – in Chess there are more pawns (8) that any other pieces. The pawns represent the lowest class (not my opinion but in this context) but they can, in combination, be used to win the game known as “checkmate”.

Knights – they come in pairs and have a unique ability, or disability, wherein they move (forward or back) two spaces and then one space to the side. The name “Knights” is self-evident.

Bishops – they come in pairs and their unique ability (other than the Queen) is that they move diagonally, forward or backward, but they cannot deviate from the board color which they are initially placed before the game commences. The name “Bishop” is self-evident pertaining to a respected place in Christianity/Religion.

Rooks – they come in pairs and their unique ability (other than the Queen) whereby they can move forward or sideways in more than one space at a time. The name “Rook” is not known to me off the top of my head but it is sculptured in the form of a standing castle.

Queen – there is only one and as I have stated herein her powers are the greatest insofar as the ability to move (note – they do not have the power to move as the Knights do).

King – there is only one and every effort is made to protect the King. The King is limited to one space at a time.

Elvis Presley.

Pawn – To know Elvis you have to understand that he was born to parents who were not educated. I state this with great respect for Gladys and Vernon but it is a fact. They (Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon) were poor. Dirt poor. Bitterly poor. Without assets. Without means. Gladys could not read or write. She never had a drivers license.

What they lacked in education and means Gladys loved Elvis, as he did her, with her entire essence. Vernon loved Elvis but you just have to look at photographs, or videos, to see that Elvis is almost always touching Gladys when she is near. He holds her hand. He touches her face. He puts his arm around her.

SOLELY related to a class system in relation to Chess, and before Elvis gained monetary independence, the Presleys would be pawns. They have collective power. They cannot move freely as they are dictated to by their lack of means. Lack of education. Lack of political connections.

Knights – historically knights were sworn and dedicated (wholly) to the King. They were protectors. They had unique power and access. I would say that this is similar to the members of the “Memphis Mafia.

Bishops – since the name is historically rooted in Christianity the Bishop was assigned to look over their community. To be a person of honor. Of charity. A teacher of God, and when he walked the earth and afterward Jesus, to the rich and poor alike in their relationship with God. Though Elvis did not have a singular Bishop Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon (again before Elvis’ success) put great emphasis on their preacher/pastor very similar to a Bishop and they benefited from this pertaining to; church services, church gatherings, medical care, food/meals, as a fundamental social outlet

… to be continued

Elvis Presleys 83rd birthday 1/8/2018

BIRTHDAY 21           BIRTHDAY on his 25thBIRTHDAY with actors from Wild in the Country      BIRTHDAY with Delores Hart Elvis with cigar   1960 January 8 Elvis birthday in Germany in US Army rareraw at pianoBIRTHDAY set Wild

 

Elvis Presley was born 83 years ago today, January 8 1935, to Gladys Love (Smith) Presley and Vernon Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley is, was, and forever will be the greatest entertainer who ever lived. Fortunately, Elvis left behind three decades of exceptional works in; music, tv appearances, movies, and live concerts.

I believe that God grants us all blessings, talents, etc. for each of his is made by the hand and grace of God. Elvis pursued his talent(s) which was both brave and honorable. He never imagined, being born and raised in the throes of bitter poverty, that he could make a living signing let alone achieve the highest accolades in his various endeavors. I hope that everyone would pursue their talents/gifts for it stirs the…soul.

We are the last generation, as I have been an Elvis Presley fan these six decades now, who lived during Elvis’ lifetime. There is no substitution for that. It can’t be recreated for the decades in which Elvis lived were in periods of times that were wholly unique as was Elvis.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Elvis.

And a heartfelt thank you to Billy Smith, Alanna Nash, Sandie Kaye Stevens, Jerry Schilling, Russ Howe, Sandi Pichon, Martine Prizzo, Kathy Westmoreland, Linda Thompson, Paul Lichter, Phil Arnold, etc. I highly recommend that you seek out, support, obtain, tells others about, etc. the vast variety of exceptional works pertaining to Elvis’ life onstage and off.

Take care and may God bless you and yours always.

Jeff Schrembs

 

Elvis Presley December 31 2017

If one can imagine being the greatest entertainer in the world at 21 years old, blessed and keeping his promises made to his mother when he was a child of buying her a big house and never having to worry about money, etc. 1957 was a year of success on every level,  having created history in many entertainment fields such as; TV viewing numbers, record sales, and being in successful films everything (besides Elvis being away from Gladys for appearances/concert/movies) was going great in Elvis’ life onstage and off.

WM BIO Gladys   WM BIO 1956 Elvis with Gladys n kitchen rarereere8888888

1WM BIO 956 GRACELAND Vernon and Glayds V has hat rarere888888BIO 1955 3n1 of ELvis in photobooth smoothering1956 elvis gladys holding teddy bear rare indeedBIO 1956 Elvis with Gladys and Vernon fishing on boat     BIO Army induction Elvis with Gladys and Vernon full length his hand lovingly Gladys back head

But, after Elvis and Gladys and Vernon (and a few other persons) had decorated the home – put up the christmas tree (it was silver and the most expensive one available) – and prepared for Christmas which was upcoming a knock came to the door. Elvis Presley was officially served with US Army draft notifications. As Elvis opened the envelope he turned to Gladys who had been sobbing feeling the weight of the world. How? Why? Why now? The photographs, and I have them all, of Elvis reading the draft notification paperwork shows a stunned Elvis holding a little dog under one arm reading the paperwork again and again. Elvis tries to smile to lighten Grady’s burdens but his head is spinning thinking “my career is over – all of this is over”. Waves of emotions showed on Elvis, Vernon’s, and Gladys faces and body language. Elvis departed to get himself together so he could assure Gladys, his beloved mother, that all would be fine.

Knowing that this would be the last Christmas, and New Years, spent at home for two years the family that was born into bitter poverty had always survived…together. But, that was to change and change soon.

Unlike other entertainers Elvis would NOT go into the military as a goodwill ambassador, or do concerts for US civilians to buy bonds to support the military as so many others had done, but that Elvis would (with few exceptions) go through his tenure in the Army as did his fellow inductees.

Word soon spread among the family members, and close friends, and all failed to alleviate Gladys’ soulful mourning. She was inconsolable. The understanding between Elvis and Gladys and Vernon pertaining to everyone else was that they were not to speak about Elvis’ leaving but try to make the holidays one of precious memories, laughter, and togetherness. As was the case his entire life Elvis did everything 24/7 to let his mother know he loved her above all else (excluding God/Jesus) and it would be all right. She was physically, emotionally, and mentally devastated and the tolls it would take on her would manifest themselves each and every moment of each and every hour of each day without end. No one knew how much their world was to change nor did they even contemplate the fact that this would not only be the last Christmas/New Years at home but the last that Elvis, Gladys, and Vernon would be together at all for Gladys would (sadly) pass away approximately eight months later on August 14, 1958 at the age of 46 (note: Elvis never knew she was 46 years old as throughout his life he was told she was 4 years younger than she really was so when she passed Elvis believed her to be 42 years old. August, the second week of August, 42 years of age would sadly not be the only significant dates in the lives of a Presley dying for Elvis would follow her on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42).

…to be continued

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 to everyone and may God bless you and yours…always.

Jeff Schrembs 2017/2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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