when my dad was young he pretended to hate elvis. pshaw, he scoffed. what's the big fuss about? later, he admitted to me that he'd just been jealous because the girls were so crazy for elvis. in flipping through my dad's old high school yearbooks, it seems that the girls were pretty crazy for him too, and the style he rocked was most definitely along the king's lines. and i don't mean white rhinestone-studded jumpsuit elvis, but the slick, young greaser, the elvis in blue jeans.
by the time i was a little girl, my dad had gotten over the stigma of liking elvis and no longer hid his full blown admiration of and devotion to the king. Rather, my dad embraced elvis as a hero, as someone who could animate his serious self to dancing in the car, pounding the dashboard as he drove and poking me with a big smile. in this way, i cannot think of elvis without thinking of my dad. fondly.
this morning i walked into pop's popular clothing, looking for some work boots. early saturday morning. bleak january sidewalks covered with a thin layer of treacherous ice and most of the roll down gates still locked down tight. the owner of the disorganized warehouse of a store turned elvis on the stereo and announced "the king would have been 76 years old today!" he looked an awful lot like my dad. and it made me smile.