I wasn’t a huge Elvis fan while he was alive; I was just on the cusp of the shift to the Beatles, and Elvis got left behind for me. I remember with clarity the the day the King died, though: August 16, 1977. I was driving back to New Jersey after graduating college when I heard the news on the radio, in my beat-up old VW Beetle: Elvis is dead. I had to pull over for a minute and catch a breath.
After his death I became a huge Elvis fan, buying up his early albums and swooning to that sweet young voice. And that face, what a beautiful face. I was one year old in 1956 when he recorded Love Me Tender, and in kindergarten for Are You Lonesome Tonight?. But when I was 22, I “discovered” those old tunes.
When I was a volunteer docent at the Foosaner Art Museum in Melbourne, we had an Elvis memorabilia exhibit. I learned a lot more about his life and his music. And the control he gave up to his manager when he, Elvis, could have had and done everything he wanted. Lesson learned from the King: take charge of your own life and make it real.
The museum displayed old black and white photos like this:
When I came across this statue of Elvis at a local antiques mall, I knew from the hair it was the later Elvis, the Las Vegas Elvis, the soon-to-be-wearing-jumpsuits Elvis. I still got a kick from getting up close and personal.
I’m wearing one of my favorite summer looks, a full skirt and tank top. This is my skirt from Visible Monday, a dark green eyelet with a scalloped hem. The shoes are my now-beloved Steve Madden sneaker/oxfords, and bear a resemblance to the men’s shoes of the 1960’s.
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