When I was quite young, a Rock and Roll King began his career just up the road from where I lived. Even as pre-teens, my friends and I adored Elvis.
In the draft I'm revising of my middle-grade, to-be-published novel set in the early 60s in Mississippi, Elvis plays a tiny part. Of course, my truly brilliant editor might cut all the Elvis references out. I'll have to wait to see. And that would be OK. But for now, this is my main character, eavesdropping on her big sister. Any clue who this big sister is loosely based on?
“I love Elvis Presley. I have every one of his records,” my sister was saying.
I heard a voice answer, “My mama loves Elvis better than anything. I’m named after him. Robbie, short for Robert Aaron Presley. Elvis Aaron Presley? Did you know Aaron was Elvis’s middle name?”
As if my sister didn’t own a scrapbook full of Elvis stuff and even a plaster of Paris Elvis statue. In fact, Jesslyn was liable to stand up and start singing Love Me Tender right about now.
See, I loved Elvis a lot. And once when we were ten, three friends and I did an Elvis impersonation. With an audience. A few years ago, I rounded up my courage and wrote about it. It was hard to admit to this oh-so-brief career choice, but my critique group thought it was a fine essay and the Christian Science Monitor published it.
So in honor of The King's birthday, here it is. You can click right here to read about our group's winning TV performance. In Memphis. When Elvis was in town.