Category Archives: Graceland

Elvis-019

Elvis Week

Can you believe Elvis has been gone 36 years and folks still flock to Graceland every year to celebrate his life and music? It’s true. They do. What’s up with that?

Now please don’t get me wrong. I love me some Rock-a-Hula music. And I’ve been to Graceland. For research.

Life has taught me that folks do all sorts of weird things that I’ll never understand. Like bungee jumping. Or riding that teacup ride at Disney World. Or entering a contest to see how many hotdogs they could cram down their throats in a minute. Sorry. I will never get that! It’s just not me.

But I’m sure there are things I do that other folks don’t get either. Like writing books. Or homeschooling my kids. Or putting up with my crazy labradoodle, aka the Hilo Monster.

This is Hilo kissing my best friend, Dorothy Love. Thankfully, Dorothy understands my love for this crazy dog.

Anyway, we all do crazy things. And sometimes we recognize them as crazy and sometimes not. I was talking with my kids last week and the topic of Justin Beiber came up. Thankfully, my teen daughter never really got into that phase. She couldn’t believe that kids were weeping at his concert. “Why?” she asked. “They were excited,” I tried to explain. She didn’t get it. (and I’m kind of glad!)

It all comes down to worship. We worship different things. Yes, some of us worship God. But some of us also worship food or hot cars or chicks or whatever floats our boat. Sometimes we realize what we’re doing and other times we don’t. It’s simply what we’re spending all of our time and focus on. Sometimes that’s Elvis (or substitute any other singer here) singing “Hound Dog” over and over and over. Did you do that as a kid? Listen to the same song over and over over? Okay, maybe it was just me. Other times it’s on fashion…or the best chocolate chip cookie recipe….or making my house as nice as my neighbor’s…or even botoxing all the wrinkles out of our faces.

Trust me, I’m not pointing fingers, I have plenty of things in my own life that trip me up and get me off track. I am a God-worshipper. However, sometimes my focus gets skewed and I am not as focused on God as I should be. I want to be a David–who worshipped God with abandon. I want to be like the woman who poured perfume on Jesus–pouring out my life for Him. I want to be like Job–even in the hard times, the painful times praising God for who He is.

What about you? What are you worshipping these days?

By the way, this topic is what I wrote about in my book, Elvis Takes a Back Seat.

Elvis Front and Center

Thirty-five years. Seems unreal that much time has passed since Elvis’s death. I distinctly remember that day. It was a hot, August day in Dallas, where I lived. I was still a schoolgirl, but my older brother had introduced me to Elvis’s music that summer.

My brother was home that summer from college. He’d call me into his bedroom and play You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog for me. Then he’d call his girlfriend (who later became his wife) and without saying ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ he’d signal for me to put the needle on the right groove. Elvis’s voice would boom out of the speakers, and we’d laugh together. It was one of those rare moments, a bit silly now looking back and of course very immature, and yet I treasure it. My brother and I, separated by seven years, were not all that close growing up. I idolized him, cheered for him at all his football, baseball, and basketball games, and yet he was off doing teenage things from the time I was little. To me, he and his friends were like rock stars, and I had crushes on all of his friends. So somehow my love for Elvis’s music is tied up in all of that childhood adoration for my brother.

That adolescent love for my brother and for Elvis was like a shiny toy, glittery and sparkly. When on August 16, 1977 I heard the tragic news of Elvis’s death, it felt like that pretty gift, wrapped in the innocence of childhood, was smashed.

I remember going to a school event that day and saying to someone, “Did you hear the news?” But most of my friends hadn’t. And to most of them it meant nothing. Some didn’t even know about Elvis. It would take me thirty-five years to understand how Elvis was tied up with my own emotions for my brother. I even wrote a book about Elvis called Elvis Takes a Back Seat, and looking back at the metaphors and symbolism in that book, I can see now that the death of Elvis began the dethroning of my innocence.

Do you remember when Elvis died? Did it impact you? What event shattered your world as a child?

Here I am paying homage to Elvis a few years ago when I visited Graceland for research for Elvis Takes a Back Seat. For a peek at chapter one of Elvis Takes a Back Seat click here.