WHY WE REMEMBER ELVIS PRESLEY (by Jeff Schrembs)

Why we remember Elvis Presley (by Jeff Schrembs All Rights Reserved

I received an email recently that was “unassigned” but asked my opinion in response to a simple question of “Why do we remember Elvis (Presley)”? At first glance, I thought….terrible question….waste of time to respond…far too…simple. But then I thought a little more and not only sent a written response but thanked the anonymous e mailer for their pertinent question.
The answer to “Why do we remember Elvis Presley” is oxymoronic in the sense of being both easy to answer and yet, on many levels, much more complex. Let me explain by giving just a few reasons.
The story of Elvis Presley, shared by word of mouth or by those who knew him (i.e. Charlie Hodge, Marty Lacker, Sonny West, Red West, Sandi Pichon, Joe Esposito, Lamar Fike, Priscilla, Lisa Marie, etc.) or by some wonderful authors such as Alanna Nash or by fans Worldwide, is one of great; poverty, inspiration, human frailties, wealth, loss, faith in God, belief in helping our fellow man, talent, blessings, love, pain(s), turmoil, and even life lessons.
Elvis Aron Presley, yes I use the spelling of his middle name as it was listed on his birth certificate, was a man who walked among us – who dreamed – who worked extremely hard – who was a loyal friend – who was quick to temper yet even quicker to reach out to help – who gave of his time and of his heart – and whose story I could spend the rest of my life writing about and never do his story or his life or his accomplishments…justice.
I have always believed so many things my Grandfather taught/told me. One of the “words of wisdom”, which I cherish to this day, was in response to my being “sad” that Elvis died (i.e. circa 1977) on August 16, 1977, when I was a teenager. Part of the dialog I still recall was “if more than 1 person remembers your name, or your passions, a year after your death you are a blessed man indeed”. He also shared that “a man can be measured, in part, by the quality of the company he keeps in public but more so in private”. These words, I believe, are part of the reasons why we remember Elvis Presley.
The quality of those who knew Elvis best were among the most talented, most loyal, most passionate, and most giving people one could ever have the honor of meeting. From Charlie Hodge to Marty Lacker to Sonny and Red West to Joe Esposito to Gladys Presley to Lisa Marie to Jerry Schilling to Sandi Pichon each of these people agrees that Elvis had qualities (and faults) that rendered him; the greatest entertainer who ever lived, an original in style/actions/mannerisms, unbelievably talented, and a truly unique person who they love – think of – and miss every moment of every day. Though Elvis “fans” may try to divide this group of individuals I remain steadfast in my resolve that context matters and if “it was good enough for Elvis to spend a minute of his time, let alone decades, then it is good enough for me”.
I also believe that another reason why we remember Elvis is that he used his God-given talents not only to (initially) enhance his Mother and Fathers standard of living but to help others he knew firsthand and so many more he learned about (i.e. on the TV, in the newspaper, or who were deemed to be in need and Elvis agreed to help monetarily) who were facing hardships (i.e. widowed family of a slain police officer, disabled persons, charity organizations, people who lost their possessions in a tornado, etc.). I have always said, and believed, that the greatest gift one can give is; from their heart and of their time. In the case of Elvis Presley, he did both and he did so with…grace.
At the height of his fame Elvis was drafted into the US Army (note: he received his draft notice by hand delivery during the week of Christmas 1957) and opted to forgo the comfort of doing “promotions for the US Military” and stood fast in this desire to be treated “like every other solider”. Through great hardships (i.e. being away from his family for the first time, losing millions in earnings, losing his beloved Mother Gladys on August 14, 1958, etc.) Elvis spent (approximately) two years in the US Army and earned the respect of his fellow military personnel but also from critics who had (falsely) believed that Elvis was contributing to juvenile delinquency and/or was not a Christian.
Another of the reasons we should remember Elvis is that he wore his heart on his sleeve (caution metaphor) and when he loved…he loved. When he was angry….the nickname “crazy” was applicable. When he cared tears were sure to come followed by grace, words of comfort, and so many times monetary contributions. Elvis shocked the World when he married Priscilla on May 1, 1967, and when the marriage deteriorated (note: I have written before about how Elvis and Priscilla both contributed to the marriage ending BUT I am biased towards Elvis “side” admittingly) he faced the cameras walking down the corridor/steps on October 9, 1973, and for months prior/during/afterward he recorded songs that reflected his hurt…his pain…his love. Among the applicable songs were; Always On My Mind, Separate Ways, It’s Over, I’ve Lost You, My Boy, Don’t Cry Daddy, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, etc.).
Part of what made Elvis “great” was that he never gave up and he had, including but not limited to, at least (four) MAJOR COMEBACKS that would have been career-ending for 99.9% of the general population. The first was when he was turned down by the Grand Ole Opry, which Elvis had “grown up on” and respected artist who performed there and told to “go back to driving a truck”. The second was when he went into the Army (i.e. from 1958 through 1960) unsure if he would even have a career to return to either in music or in the movies. The third was during the 1960s after he had completed his contractual obligations for movies and regained his rightful place as a great singer/entertainer by the incomparable and exceptional ’68 Singer Special entitled “Elvis” (aka 1968 Special, ’68 Special, Comeback Special, Elvis Comeback Special, etc.). The last “comeback” was after America, the World, and his fans first learned that Elvis was…human. That Elvis had marital problems. That Elvis had health issues. That Elvis took prescription medications. That Elvis was sad and he wrote notes/letters during the mid to late 1970s that were heartfelt and…moving. And yet in many ways learning that Elvis was “human” not only further endeared him to his fans, and I among them, but made us appreciate Elvis more for not giving up and for sharing his wonderful voice and stage presence throughout the United States via his live performances/concerts.
A more subtle part of “why we should remember Elvis” is that he loved, respected, admired, and appreciated performers of quality. Elvis listened to, collected, and played over and over musical styles ranging from Gospel to Opera to Rhythm and Blues to County to Folk and even to Rock and Roll. Elvis, through his life and through his actions, looked past the color of the person (which was how the press and far too many focused on during the 1950s-1970s and in some cases – sadly – even today) and surrounded himself professionally with the “best of the best” onstage. If anyone questions this set of facts one only needs to “Google” Myrna Smith and watch the videos of her talking about her relationship with Elvis personally and professionally. Sadly, like Gladys Presley, Vernon Presley, Charlie Hodge, etc. before her Myrna Smith passed away and this World lost a person of quality who, like Elvis himself, remains…irreplaceable.
Elvis left us three decades of quality work products. From TV appearances to music recordings to movies to live appearances to hundreds of thousands of photographs Elvis is seen through the prism of truth and that being of him doing his best, many times through trials and tribulations, and reaching heights deemed “unattainable” and he even had a public “stumbles” along the way. Throughout it all Elvis stayed true to himself and true to his faith in God.
Each of these examples is a small part of the “puzzle of Elvis Aron Presley”. He left us with his beloved daughter, Lisa Marie, and many friends/loved ones who remain (in my opinion) priceless living breathing parts of Elvis life who should be supported in each of their endeavors and “officially recognized” for their part(s) in the life of the man – the performer – and the legend that is Elvis Aron Presley.
Throughout our grief, which began on August 16, 1977, and remains to this day, Elvis taught us that life is…short. That in the (literal) “blink of the eye” Elvis left his World taking away from us a man of innumerable talents and who even these (approximately) four decades later is admired and respected Worldwide.
On a personal note, I remember Elvis for these reasons and so many many…more. I can recall the day I first heard Elvis’ latest release. I can recall times when the mailbox brought a new collectible, a new letter, or some cool promotional material. I played time and time and time again certain songs when I was happy and equally as impressionable when I was sad. I listened to Elvis’ vocal cords reach octaves of beauty and somehow/someway knowing Elvis sang words relevant to what I was going through I was left with the distinct acceptance that is would be…all right.
We share our memories, insights, thoughts, and words about Elvis online – in private – and in public forums. Some take the approach that they can recall obscure facts about Elvis’s life. Some use their positions to solely make money off the name “Elvis” and, as far as I am concerned, nothing is wrong with that as long as it is honest/disclosed. Some try to minimize the expertise of other Elvis Fans and hide behind fake names/websites. Some try to advance the lie that Elvis is still alive. While others spend their life rebuilding while never letting go of their relationship with Elvis…nor should they.
Elvis is part of millions of people worldwide. Elvis is also “regional” (I..e the South, Memphis, Tennessee, Mississippi, etc.). Elvis is also universal. Elvis can’t be categorized and yet…in some ways he can. Elvis will never be “copied”, and his talents done justice, but that doesn’t stop thousands from trying. So much of this World will never fully comprehend what the World was like with Elvis was in it or what it was like when a “new generation” put their efforts into the Beatles or the “Beach sounds” or the “English Invasion” and in the 1970’s sounds from hard rock to disco to “tech”. They can never know what it was like to be an Elvis fan when so many thought it was…” uncool”. Those same naysayers were among the first to cry when word came to them that Elvis had passed away. In some ways, Elvis was taken for granted and we, individually and collectively, should have let him know exactly what he meant to us. We are, and were, left with the burdens of the “what if(s)”.
Honestly, Elvis can never be explained, in totality and even to those who were there discrepancies exist. In a World where hand-held computers/phones take the place of social interaction, and companies are built making billions of dollars but don’t create anything “tangible”, there is a tendency to try to put Elvis into certain “boxes”. Elvis is far too complex to neatly fit into anything but his story is one of the American Dream and one of the decades of excellence. Nonetheless, Elvis Aron Presley’s “boy my boy” is a fascinating subject matter (in every conceivable aspect) warranting questions from all over the World to be answered even if they, at first glance, seem….simplistic.
Take care and may God bless you.

Jeff Schrembs
http://www.elviscollector.info/

Why Elvis Presley’s legacy is in trouble

 

1956 Elvis boarding private plane American Airlenes  I have always liked, and respected, Elvis Presley onstage and more importantly offstage.

I’ve spent, thank you chronic sleep apena, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of hours; collecting, cataloging, converting to digital formats, etc. so many photographs – videos – recordings – books – handwriting/letters/notes/etc. And yet I have never once monetized my collection or my knowledge.

Elvis Presley’s legacy is in trouble because those such as Billy (Elvis’ cousin who was Elvis’ trusted friend and beloved cousin) & Jo Smith have not been formally recognized, respected, and honored as PRICELESS assets. This is an abomination that is decades in the making and it needs to stop…now.

Elvis Presley’s legacy is in trouble because people my age and even older were the LAST generation who grew up during Elvis’, whole and/or in part, career (i.e. 1954-1977). Those who shared their memories and knowledge. Those who shared their facts and favorites with fans locally and around the world. Those who paid their hard earned money to go to see him in concert and/or in movie theatres. Those who revealed in Elvis’ successes and understood his failures and even his being…human. These are the people who are (sadly) dying in record numbers. Each is irreplaceable and my heart and prayers go out to the families and loved ones

Elvis’ Presley’s legacy

…to be continued

Natalie Wood and Elvis Presley circa 1956

ACCORDING to Lana Wood Natalie’s sister: Intrigued by 21-year-old Elvis’ music and image, Natalie, then 18, had asked her Rebel Without a Cause co-star Dennis Hopper to introduce them. She was charmed by their first dates. “To go to the movies, he bought out the theater,” Natalie’s sister Lana Wood exclusively told Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “That’s not what she was used to.”
Elvis, meanwhile, was starstruck by Natalie, a former child actress. “She was in Miracle on 34th Street when he was a little boy,” Ray Connolly, author of Being Elvis: A Lonely Life, told Closer. The singer invited her home to impress his parents, but his mother Gladys soured on the actress quickly. “Natalie wore a very flimsy nightgown around the house,” Connolly shared. “Gladys was like, ‘Not in my house!’”
Natalie, meanwhile, found Elvis’ close relationship with Gladys troubling. “His mother said something like, ‘Come and sit on Mama’s lap,’” Lana recalled. “They were very affectionate, and it bothered Natalie. She called and asked our mom to make up a story about why she had to come home.”
Their brief romance ended with no regrets. “Later, he called her ‘Mad Nat,’ I think for how angry she got,” Connolly said. Natalie also put the trip behind her. “There were people that she idolized,” Lana said, “Elvis was not one of them.”
DIRECT QUOTE from Natalie Wood:

 A former child actress, she had blossomed into an 18-year-old sweater girl and Oscar-nominated actress by the time she met Elvis in 1956. However, in her following comments in the San Francisco News on October 14, 1956, she sounded more like a normal 14-year-old girl with a crush on Elvis.

“I saw his picture in the paper before he got very popular and I liked his eyes. I thought then I just had to go out with him. He’s really great and the most totally real boy I’ve ever met. He’s a real pixie and has a wonderful little boy quality. He’s very courteous and polite and so sweet! He’s the nicest boy I know. A wonderful dancer—and he sings all the time to me. All the girls in the country are in love with him—so why should I be any different?”
 
When Natalie Wood came to Memphis in 1956, and yes they dated briefly, she was the teenage queen of Hollywood and she was drop dead gorgeous. Their brief fling flamed out with both parties giving, to personal friends, different accounts. BUT there were witnesses to the relationship and there have been several interviews, books etc which go into detail about this period in the lives of these two vastly different (except in looks as both were blessed in those areas). The books authored by Alanna Nash comes to mind.
 

Elvis

The King got all shook up when he dated Natalie Wood.

Elvis was still dating his high school sweetheart Barbara Hearn whenhe met Natalie.

As a traffic light turned green, Elvis Presley gunned the engine of his Harley Davidson, causing his passenger, Natalie Wood, to hold her head scarf more tightly. At the height of the singer’s early stardom he’d brought his famous new girlfriend home to Memphis, Tenn. — but it didn’t work out the way either expected.

Intrigued by 21-year-old Elvis’ music and image, Natalie, then 18, had asked her Rebel Without a Cause co-star Dennis Hopper to introduce them. She was charmed by their first dates. “To go to the movies, he bought out the theater,” Natalie’s sister Lana Wood tells Closer. “That’s not what she was used to.”

Elvis, meanwhile, was starstruck by Natalie, a former child actress. “She was in Miracle on 34th Street when he was a little boy,” Ray Connolly, author of Being Elvis: A Lonely Life, tells Closer. The singer invited her home to impress his parents, but his mother Gladys soured on the actress quickly. “Natalie wore a very flimsy nightgown around the house,” Connolly says. “Gladys was like, ‘Not in my house!’ ”

Natalie, meanwhile, found Elvis’ close relationship with Gladys troubling. “His mother said something like, ‘Come and sit on Mama’s lap,’” says Lana. “They were very affectionate, and it bothered Natalie. She called and asked our mom to make up a story about why she had to come home.”

Their brief romance ended with no regrets. “Later, he called her ‘Mad Nat,’ I think for how angry she got,” Connolly says. Natalie also put the trip behind her. “There were people that she idolized,” says Lana, “Elvis was not one of them.” — By Louise A. Barile, reporting by Amanda Champagne-Meadows

“Gladys was embarrassed,” says Connolly. “She didn’t like the idea of this fast Hollywood girl with her son.”

 

EXTREMELY COOL ELVIS PRESLEY PHOTOS March 2020 edition

1956 or 57 Elvis at piano Sam Phillips1957 December 21 Elvis with farron young 3n1ARMY with Elvis measurementsBIO Elvis with Gladys Vernon Colonel September 27 1957 rarere1969 Elvis shaking hands Alex Shoofey and Joanie Adams Colonel Parker background1970 Elvis candid in black with shades vernon following jet ColonelPKR bald head1957 candid Elvis shaking hands outside Army registration Memphis1970 November 14 Elvis candid touching arm of pretty girl another there 2 kinda RARE candid1956 candid Elvis white tie 2 young girls kinda rare shot2

Wednesday January 8, 2020 & Elvis Presley

RARE Elvis 1971 driverslicense

 

In less than 30 minutes it will be the 85th EIGHTY-FIFTH anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Elvis!

For whatever reason(s) I am really…sad.

Take care and may God bless you.

 

Jeff Schrembs

 

Happy New Year 2020 to Elvis Presley fans Worldwide

Elvis singing Happy New Year in concert

It has been my pleasure to share my opinions, insight, true stories, facts, documents, photographs, videos, handwriting, personal letters, etc. to Elvis Fans Worldwide these 7 decades.

Though this year has been tough on me missing the likes of; Marty Lacker, Joe Esposito, Red West, Sonny West, Sandi Pichon, Patti Perry, Todd Morgan, Colonel Tom Parker, Lamar Fike, etc. My heart, and prayers, will forever go out to their families as it will to Elvis’ family/friends/loved ones/etc.

I know not how much longer I can share things about Elvis as though I am getting better these cancer battles have taken their toll. But I will continue to do so as much as possible and I am thankful to WordPress, Graceland, Jack Soden, Google, ElvisCollectorInfo, ElvisCollectorWorldwide Fan Club, Elvis Collector Worldwide Forum, my Elvis blogs, etc.

I remain saddened that I am a member of a wonderful, yet declining, group of people who lived during the majority of Elvis’ life. To have seen him. To have heard his music firsthand. And I can tell you it was NOT always cool to be an Elvis fan especially from 1974-1977. The man was a blessing in the entertainment filed endowed with talents, and gifts, from God but more than that he was an exceptional man/person. I miss him

I have to go

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020 to you and your family.

Take care and God bless you and yours…always.

Jeff Schrembs

  • Please check out ElvisCollector.info as we have added much needed content AND please join our 100% free Elvis Collector Worldwide forum (google it and click on the link) and become a member with exclusive content AND please let others know about us and our sites via social media. After all we sure aren’t in this for the money…

 

 

Jeff Schrembs

Jeff Me INSTAGRAM Photo 2019

Man that PHOTO IS TOO BIG and I can’t resize it aaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhh. But that is really me and YES it is recent for those thinking I was born in Prehistoric times

Elvis loved pets

1958 June 9 Elvis with Donkey at Graceland rareraerweraesd

RARE RARE RARE RATE photograph of Elvis with donkey @ Graceland RARE RARE

At the age of two, little Elvis Presley cried for two days when his pet rooster died. Elvis always had a fondness for animals, even stuffed ones, including his beloved teddy bear, which he named “Mabel.”

Elvis had a huge collection of teddy bears in the early days of his career; they were sent to him by swooning girls by the score. He even had a model of “Nipper,” the RCA dog, which he kept in his bedroom in later years. In 1957 in L.A., Elvis simulated a sexual act onstage with a stuffed version of “Nipper,” which got him plenty of severe criticism.

Elvis had several pet dogs over the years. As a boy, he looked after two small dogs that he named “Woodlawn” and “Muffy Dee.” When he was serving in the army and was stationed out in Germany, he kept a poodle named “Champagne.”

He liked giving dogs as gifts to the women in his life he loved. He gave his beloved mother, Gladys, a dog called “Sweet Pea;” he gave a toy poodle named “Little Bit” to his early girlfriend, Anita Wood; he gave a poodle named “Honey” to his wife Priscilla; and he gave “Foxhugh,” a Maltese, to one of his last girlfriends, Linda Thompson.

By the end of 1960, Elvis’ pet collection at Graceland included a monkey, spider monkeys, peacocks, chickens, pigs, poodles, and a Great Pyrenees dog called “Muffin.” Elvis had a chow called “Get Low” in the seventies who outlived his master by a year.

Elvis wasn’t so fond of cats, although stray that turned up on the Graceland grounds would be found new homes. He did reputedly have a pet cat called “Wendell,” named after his co-star in his movie Loving You, Wendell Corey.

When Elvis and his family moved to Graceland mansion in 1957, the barns were stocked with pigs and chickens. That year, Elvis drove out to the country, filled the back seat of his Cadillac with geese and brought them back to Graceland to keep the lawn trim.

Elvis also kept a few donkeys he had been given in the drained Graceland swimming pool when he first moved in, until work was finished on the fence around the property. Thought the larger farm animals were gradually pensioned off, Elvis retained a hen house at Graceland for a supply of fresh eggs. At one time or another, Elvis also had goats and turkeys (one called “Bow Tie”).

Elvis donated a wallaby to the Memphis Zoo after receiving it as a gift from Australian fans in 1957. He became a serial wallaby donator by repeating the gift in 1962.

 

Elvis was briefly a cattle rancher when he bought the Circle G Ranch in 1967. He bought horses for all his entourage and his wife Priscilla. Elvis loved riding his horse “Rising Sun.” He often went out riding with Priscilla, he on “Rising Sun” and she on “Domino,” the horse Elvis bought for her. Once “Rising Sun” got upset and started running amok with Elvis on him. Elvis couldn’t so anything to stop him. Finally, after a wild, uncontrolled ride, “Rising Sun” came to a stop. Most people would have been scared in such a situation, but Elvis was furious. According to a witness, Elvis jumped off the horse and -literally- punched him in the face (much like the famous scene in the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles a few years later).

For a while, he had a peacock on the Graceland grounds, but the bird started damaging the cars, after which it was given away. He also owned myna birds, one of which could say, “Elvis! Go to hell.” The Graceland menagerie included mules at one time. Snakes that happened to venture onto Graceland had a rough time. A maid remembers Elvis blazing away with a rifle at a tree after a snake was seen slithering up the trunk.

He acquired his first monkey, a spider monkey called “Jayhew” back in 1956, to liven up his home. His best-known pet was a very fresh, mischievous chimpanzee called “Scatter.” Elvis loved this crazy monkey, but hardly anyone else shared the King’s affinity. Elvis enjoyed walking around and carrying “Scatter” on his shoulder and often brought him out to Hollywood when he was filming movies in the ’60s. “Scatter” liked to wear clothes, drink whiskey, and tear up rooms. Elvis bought him a wardrobe of suits and ties. “Scatter” had the annoying (at least to the women involved) habit and penchant for pulling up women’s dresses. When drunk, he had no qualms about about engaging in public masturbation. “Scatter” was reputedly poisoned in revenge by a maid he had bitten. Other sources pin his demise on alcohol-related liver problems.

 

Respect always to Phil Arnold @ ElvisBlog.net

Best Wishes GRAPHIC

I am fortunate to call Phil Arnold a friend. A man I admire. A man I respect. An essential asset to Elvis Presley fans around the world.

Recently he posted on his blog that his site, that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, will be changing in the immediate future. I am saddened to learn of this as I have enjoyed his site for as long as he has had it.

I wish Phil; great happiness, joy, satisfaction knowing he has been an invaluable guide for Elvis Presley fans worldwide, and success in all of his personal and professional endeavors.

Here is his links:

Phil Arnold Elvis Blog

Elvis Blog by Phil Arnold

THANK YOU Phil for all you have done, are doing, and will do.

Best to you and your family.

Merry Christmas Phil and may the other 364 days of the year be ones of fulfillment in every aspect.

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

Jeff Schrembs

PS:  Please feel free to click on the link(s) below and please let others know via social media as after all we don’t sell anything as our goal is to provide a great website for Elvis Presley fans around the world.

LOGO HyperLink

LOGO Elvis FORUM Hyperlink

Billy and Jo Smith two eternally loved by Elvis

Billy Smith and Elvis Presley were cousins. His firsthand witness to Elvis Presley, onstage and off, and the memories created are second to none. Billy was there for the majority of Elvis’ career and shared his life with Billy, and that of his beloved wife Jo, as well as confided in him. Trusted him. Loved him. And knew him on a basis that no one else came close to.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you check out their YouTube site, that includes their two sons, which is Memphis Mafia Kid. Their recollections, intelligence, humor, and “down homeness” draws you in and never fails to educate and entertain.

I have the utmost respect for Billy and Jo. Always have. They are a priceless source when it comes to Elvis Presley let alone they are just good and respectable people, great parents, and soulmates.

WM ARMY Billy looking E uniformWM 1971 or 72 Elvis with LInda Billy Smith Graceland Golf cartElvis with BIlly Smith Follow that Dream

Elvis and Gladys Mothers Day edition

ARMY Induction Elvis kissing Gladys obvious crying BW

 

Elvis was Gladys world.

Gladys was Elvis world.

Their relationship is legendary and yet they were two people with different life experiences. Different dreams. And yet their bond surpassed wealth, fame, and riches.

Elvis tried to jump into Gladys’ burial plot, on top of her casket, while crying uncontrollably saying “I’ve lost everything”. I’ll give it all up to be with you. I can’t go on without you Satin-in (his nickname for her since childhood). My God please bring her back.

When Elvis decided to record Momma liked the roses he was torn between, even these years after her passing, being incredibly sad and recording a remembrance song not only for him but for all others who lost their mothers. Though it was an emotional recording you can hear the love and respect he had and the words torn from his very soul.

Elvis sent flowers to her grave on a weekly basis. He visited her grave as much as possible and every time he knelt and cried. A heartbreaking cry. He confided, on one occasion as he rarely shared his loss, that what sustained him was his belief in God/Jesus and that there was an afterlife where he believed Gladys was. In a new body never to hurt again. Never to cry again. And always looking out for Elvis and being there with him.

Priscilla recalled that one time she went, without Elvis knowing, into the attic at Graceland and there were all of Gladys clothes neatly hung or folded. Her personal things. She could smell Gladys perfume. She saw how short in height she was. She went through her jewelry and fawned at the most expensive pieces knowing that she was embarrassed when she received them as she said “son you don’t need to spend so much on me” and “the best present you can give me is your time. that means more to me”. But Elvis had, since childhood, promised to provide for her. To buy her a house. To buy her a nice new car knowing she couldn’t drive and didn’t own a drivers license. To ensure she never again had to work backbreaking labor as she had most of her life.

In August of 1958, while Elvis was in the US Army, Gladys became very sick. Elvis immediately put in an emergency leave request. It was denied. He appealed in perform. He was denied. It was only after he threatened to go AWOL was his leave approved.

When Elvis made it to Gladys hospital room she perked up. Her color seemed to come back. Her voice was audible. Elvis never stopped holding her hand, kissing her, running his fingers through her hair, telling her how much he loved her, and refusing to leave her side.

There came a time after the doctor said it was fine and Vernon asked for the 50th time, that Elvis left the hospital room and went back to Graceland. Sadly, Gladys died before he could make it back to the hospital. To say he was devastated was an understatement.

Gladys died on August 14, 1958, at the age of 46 but Elvis was always told she was 4 years younger thus dying at age 42. Sadly, Elvis would die on the same month – the age he thought she was being 42 – and even the same week (i.e. August 16, 1977).

If you have your mother cherish her. Tell her you love her. Make amends with her. Spend time with her. As Elvis once said during an emotional exchange “if you don’t love your mother with all your heart it’s against God and human nature. Your mother should be the greatest love and you should let her know it every day. You should take care of her and provide for her. She gave you something you can never repay…life”.