August 16, 2011 34 years since Elvis’ passing (by Jeff Schrembs 2011 All Rights Reserved)
In a few weeks it will be August 16, 2011 and (34) thirty four years since Elvis’ passing. Many Elvis fans will gravitate to Memphis, go to Graceland, but the majority of Elvis Fans will be busy leading their own lives while recalling either where there were when Elvis died OR simply (for those too young to have been alive then) knowing the date (i.e. August 16th) of when Elvis died at 42.
I can still recall the time of day, how hot it was, and where I was EXACTLY when I learned of Elvis’ death. In 1977 we didn’t have cell phones, Internet, or 1000 different ways to pass along information. Nonetheless Elvis death was “breaking news” and it passed from person to person…along with disbelief.
For everyone of Elvis family members, members of the Memphis Mafia and their loved ones, friends, co-workers, EPE, http://www.Elvis.com, etc. who also (personally and professionally) mourn Elvis not only on August 16th of each year…but everyday since. To these individuals I wanted to say; THANK YOU for your part of Elvis life and THANK YOU for all you have done, and sacrificed, by sharing your life – your stories – your memories – your time – and equally as important for not sharing those memories which are far too personal and/or those in which Elvis wanted kept…personal.
Though Elvis Presley Fans are fiercely loyal there remains alot of “discourse” about the roles, place, of (as an example) Priscilla Presley, Red West, Sonny West and others. My opinions on each of these indivuals has been fully documented and I have always asked Elvis Fans Worldwide to put each of these persons acts, intentions, and responsiblities into context and to be thankful for all they have done (individually and collectively) during Elvis’ life and since Elvis’ passing.
I would encourage every Elvis Presley Fan, whether on August 16th or any other day, to say THANK YOU to Marty Lacker, Billy Smith, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie and her family, Jack Soden, every living member of Elvis’ band and orchestra members and backup singers, Red West, Sonny West, and to each of their family members who have ridden the emotional “roller coaster” all these years.
I say this now because we have lost, and each year we lose more, several individuals who spent the majority of their life befriending/working with Elvis and/or who Elvis loved and/or befriended. A recent example is Lamar Fike who not only was Elvis trusted friend, and a member of the Memphis Mafia, but also controlled Elvis’ “light show” for his Concerts and who could always be counted on for giving BRUTALLY HONEST answers/input about Elvis.
If we could “turn back time” how many of us would reach out to Lamar Fike, if we knew ahead of time that he was soon to leave this world, to say THANK YOU for all he has given to Elvis Fans Worldwide? Well, nothing is guaranteed in life and I have always believed that if these men/women were “good enough” for Elvis to have loved – trusted – spent his time with – employed – married – etc. then they are deserving of our respect and our appreciation and our acknowledgment. We can “debate” certain events but (again) context is crucial and should be taken into consideration.
In closing, Elvis left us (thankfully) so many songs – movies – TV appearances – photographs – etc. as well as living his life by example of reaching out to help others in need. In spite of all of Elvis’ accomplishments, all of which are justified, it was the grace in which he gave – in which he cared – and in which he was thankful to God that I will remember…and we all should aspire to (i.e. help our fellow man in any way we can).
Take care and may God bless you all.