Elvis and Gladys Mothers Day edition

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”.

Elvis candid rare unique and flat out cool

Elvis Presley rare pictures 10/18 edition

WM CHILDHOOD class CLOSEUP around 15 RARESTx999WM CHILDHOOD ROTC Elvis standing in groupwm Elvis takn photos 68 veryveryvery rareWM Elvis with Priscilla n car RAREWM RARE 1960 autographs allroundWM RARE 1969 at gate making fistWM RARE 1957 Elvis on tractor Graceland with can RARERERRERERERWM RARE 1970 brown leather police

August 16th (1977) we lost a great man

 

To be a great man doesn’t mean you can sing. It does mean you have fame. Fortune. Or you have powerful connections. I do N O T use the word “great” loosely nor should it be randomly bestowed to someone because they can hit a baseball. Throw a football. Score points in a basketball game. You get my point In this instance, with the 41st “anniversary” of Elvis Presley dying soon upon on 8/16/1977, I am talking about the man named Elvis Presley who knew; wealth, success, bitter poverty, love, devotion, to be thrown out of housing with his beloved mother and father, moving away from friends/relatives/neighbors in Tupelo Mississippi to the big city…Memphis (Tennessee), being made fun of, friendship, the beauty in this world from the lowly blossom to the regal of the heavens, the power of the church/God/Jesus, working hard, being a father, losing the life of his greatest love at the peak of his career being Gladys Love (Smith) Presley on August 14, 1958, the adverse whispers of those who looked down upon with disdain to those whose only “crime” was the lack of monetary means, the power of prayers, and how hard it was to see his mother cry yet try to be brave while her husband (Elvis’ father Vernon Elvis Presley) was in prison *** note – Vernon took responsibility – he served his time – he apologized – he made monetary amends to the victim – he was forever sorry – he asked forgiveness many times void of words but with a look that a man gives his wife when he knows she seems him as…lesser, and most of all never was involved in any dishonorable behavior to the law or anyone else AND one last footnote is that Gladys was successful in getting Vernon released from prison early as she was able to garner enough signatures along with the fact that Vernon was married with a minor son and both desperately needed him home with his family and any income he could generate. ***

Elvis, even from childhood, loved to give. Give of his time, his efforts, and his possessions. When he was the most successful entertained in the world, and in my opinion always will be, he visited hospitals. Met with the patients. Prayed with the family. Gave money without being asked and was genuinely humble and asked if they would please accept this gesture. Elvis also was active in major charitable endeavors such as the March of Dimes, St. Judes, etc. Though he never did “commercials”, other than one that has been lost to time and it was for a local donuts shop if I remember correctly, he proudly entertained the sick and their family and took photographs with the sick holding large poster board with the words “please give, or support the March of Dimes, or lets eradicate polio, etc.”. To the injured/sick and the public Elvis bravely smiled and praised the caregivers while giving the sick words of love. Of support. Of them being unique and worthy. But there are countless times that after leaving the hospital(s), or families homes, etc. Elvis would opt not to drive, as he had when arriving, as the tears flowed and he cried. He cried from the heart. He mourned. He asked GodJesus to help them. He was inconsolable. Many times this reaction/emotion would be repeated for days after. Weeks after. Months after. Years after. And to those who were closest to Elvis knew not to say anything as Elvis tried to wrap his mind around the questions of life such as; why Lord are these innocents maimed/sick/disabled, why have you blessed me with success, will anyone remember me when I’m gone, have I done anything to warrant the kingdom of God/Jesus, is this a dream and I’ll wake up and be dirt poor again, etc. Elvis felt. Let me repeat this. Elvis felt. He was attuned to the helpless. The needy. Those needing a shoulder to lean on. Those who were going through life changing events. Elvis felt. Elvis felt. He felt for those in his view, in his house, in his city, in other towns, in the United States, in the world, etc. Elvis felt for men, women, and children regardless of their color. Their social standing. Elvis loved his fellow man unconditionally. Elvis knew of his faults. His failures. His temper. His insecurities. Elvis felt and he was not a great man because of his fame and fortune for he was a great man for he did all he could for others. He performed, while being very ill, for 8 years straight so as not to let a fan/audience member down. He was rock and roll but his love of Gospel music was his anchor. Elvis was a great man for he bravely and honorably used the talents God/Jesus gave him. He worked hard to improve on his talents. On August 16, 1977 the world lost a great man. His name was Elvis Aron (Aaron) Presley the son of Gladys Love (Smith) Presley and Vernon Elvis Presley and he was forty-two years old.

 

Take care and may God bless you and yours,

 

Jeff Schrembs

The last generation attached to Elvis is disappearing (sadly) with each passing day {Part 1}

WM Elvis with Muhammad Ali BEST DETAILWM 1957 Elvis in middle two young student reporters school rareareWM 1950s Elvis on roller coaster in front arms uWM 1971 Elvis with sweets RARERERRERERERERERERERI sometimes have to catch myself to affirm, and remind, that the majority of the World was not alive at any time during Elvis’ lifetime. Yeah, I’m 55 years old and somedays I feel 5555555555 years old but that is a heck of a set of facts to grasp 24/7 for me and other Elvis fans.

Elvis was not a myth. He was not perfect. He was not a hologram. He wasn’t made up of just his successes. His records were not always popular. In fact, many times in the 1970’s he was made fun of in the press. His inaction’s on stage were ridiculed. His fans were accused of trying to relive their childhood. The younger generation  of the 1960’s and 1970’s, majoritarian speaking, made fun of Elvis. His weight. His music. And his heritage.

 

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

 

 

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

 

Status of www.ElvisCollector.info (May 2018)

I want to do a big shout out to Office 365, which I built the website on decades ago, for discontinuing hosting websites. Yes they gave notice but COME ON MAN!

If someone gave me the choice of being kicked by a mule, having to skip rope for 2 hours (note – I always was a gifted athlete, until these health issues, but there are 3 things athletically I could never do and one of them was skip rope. I think the most I did at one time was…one.), getting a root canal with a screwdriver while 100% awake, OR having to rebuild http://www.ElvisCollector.info count me in for everything other than having to rebuild http://www.ElvisCollector.info. Fortunately I own the name and have taken all reasonable legal protections over the years but WHY Microsoft WHY? Do you think websites are going extinct? Weren’t you pocketing hundreds of dollars a year for basically air? I have a special applaud I am doing with my hand and here’s a hint…I ain’t clapping.

Not only is ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org (100% free Elvis Presley forum) still being transferred, beta testing (I always think of those colorful fish that can’t be in the tank with another one as they are too violent), etc etc etc. Our goal is to have both of these sites D O N E over the next 8 months. During the interim we’ll keep you updated and thanks for visiting.

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.