Dear Lisa Marie:
35 years ago, and 1 day, you lost your Father and no one will ever know the pains you have had to endure/bear all these years.
Throughout the years I have seen a constant division between certain family members, and members of the Memphis Mafia, and EPE. This was a topic and I routinely discussed with my friend, who (sadly) died before his time, Todd Morgan who rose through the ranks at EPE. I would never disclose the specifics of our conversations but he respected my opinion as I did his.
Over the past few years we have lost so many of those who Elvis; loved, worked with, befriended, trusted, etc. With each passing day the remaining members of the Memphis Mafia, as we all do, grow older and the loss of their friend (i.e. Elvis Presley) never…diminishes. There is no doubt that they, individually and collectively, loved Elvis and carry with them regrets.
I have always believed that events in ones’ life, or a series of events, should ALWAYS be put in context. That people can disagree and yet respect one another. That loving, and caring for, our “fellow man” is not just applicable to those nearby or that we are related to or that ended up on the right side of a position.
I have had the utmost respect for Elvis’ charitable endeavors and I am proud to know that you, Lisa Marie, have carried on with giving of your time – your heart – and monetarily.
I ask you now, Lisa Marie and EPE, to please consider that (literally) millions of Elvis Fans Worldwide would like, as would I, to see each member of the Memphis Mafia (i.e. Marty Lacker, Billy Smith, Red West, Sonny West, and each member of their immediate family, etc.) formally recognized – appreciated – respected – and embraced by you and EPE. I ask this not because of any “gain” on my part but that time is never guaranteed and that there needs to be true healing between the parties (publicly and privately).
I wish that you never had to grow up without your Father. I wish that God had granted Elvis more time so that he truly knew how much he meant to all of us…and future generations. That he was given time to heal (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.). That he was able to spend more time with you. That he was given the respect, and appreciation, he earned and deserved from the “critics” and “award nominating agencies”.
Some of my most cherished photos, of your Father, is not him onstage but reaching out to hold a child – visiting children in a hospital – bringing a little blind girl onstage – smiling while hugging a child with cancer – and/or kissing an elderly woman and thus bringing an immediate smile to her face.
These “acts of kindness” come from the heart and Elvis had, among other things, a huge heart and the world was better off for it. I have always stated that there is honor in kindness – honor in forgiveness – and honor in giving others another chance. In accordance with these genuine gestures I now have authored this open letter to you.
I have lived long enough to know the beauty of a simple gesture and that small steps can lead to honest dialog and communication. This is what I hope, and wish, for…now.
In closing, I will continue to wish you, EPE, and each of your family members nothing but happiness and success in all of your endeavors.
Take care and may God bless you.
2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED