Thursday, January 07, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad, er, Elvis!

Elvis Grave site at Graceland.

Kind of a running joke I have is telling friends Elvis Presley was my father. My son Aaron is actually named after Elvis although my wife would not let me name him Elvis so we compromised on using Elvis middle name Aaron. January 8th is Elvis 75th birthday. Wow am I old! Elvis was not really my era, I was born in 1963 and by the time I was in junior high Disco was the thing.

But my mother had Elvis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and many other 50's and 60's albums and 45's and that's what I listened to growing up. It became my music. When Happy Days the TV show was in its heyday in the late 70's I had a leather jacket just like Fonzie and never missed an episode. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, I am laughing too.

Me at Sun Records on the Same Mic Elvis once Used.

Anyhoo, I have always been an Elvis fan and in my teens through 20's I was a big collector of Elvis memorabilia. After my wife and I got married we needed money and I sold most of my collection to a lady who had an Elvis museum on the road to Taos somewhere near Pilar. It was attached to a pottery and northern New Mexico knick knack shop which I think was called El Iguana or something like that. I had a tour jacket from one of his last tours, a ton of 45's in original sleeves and the crown jewel was a Dinner menu from his 1968 Comeback concert. Oh how I wish I still had that! Well at the time we needed the money so I don't regret it. I have rebuilt my collection of memorabilia and friends and family buy me Elvis stuff all the time.
I later heard the lady died and all the Elvis stuff was sold to another Elvis Museum. I wish I knew where so I could at least go visit my stuff.

Me on the steps at Dads house, Graceland.

Sounds corny but Elvis songs were the ones in my life I listened to when I needed a pick me up or when I was on cloud nine. I remember Don't Cry Daddy playing over and over in my head when my mother died and at my wedding we walked down the isle to I can't help falling in love, played and sung by Judge George Anaya at Saint Johns Catholic Church. We have all heard our parents and grandparents talk about the good old days and I think each generation has their own "good old days". I think I missed my opportunity by about 20 years. I can only imagine what it would have been like to be sitting in front of the old black and white TV on September 9, 1956 when Elvis appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. Or to be standing in the audience when he strutted on stage on October 2, 1954 with his three piece band at the Grand Ole Opry.

There are a lot of influences which make up a persons life and makes them what they are. I never had a father and my mother was tough and made sure we still had many of the influences a father would have provided, we fished, watched sports, she taught us how to be a man and stand up for what's right and work hard. What male influence's I did have in my life really came from the people I idolized and those were people like Elvis Presley, Evel Knievel, John F. Kennedy, and yes even the Fonz! So Happy Birthday Elvis you were a big influence in my life and were really part of what made me what I am today.

Here are some pics from my trips to Graceland and Sun Records


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