🕯Pondering the Presley Puzzle ~ written by Janet Bostic
I truly love Elvis. I adamantly admire Elvis. In fact, I ultimately adore Elvis. His music, his movies, his concerts, his photos, his life events, his looks, his experiences, his friends, his family, his history and his connections are all facets thoroughly fascinating and of great interest to me. I consider myself a fan of the highest degree, learning, studying, sharing all things Presley. I have no ownership of him nor individual rights. He is share worthy in every sense. My feels are your feelings. Elvis is a personal yet collective experience. Thoughts of Elvis and Elvis related ideas accompany many of my waking hours. Some would say I eat, sleep and breathe Presley. My friends and family have often considered an intervention on my behalf as they do not get the intense interest or the marked fascination. But for the many that don’t get it, there are legions world wide that do.
Elvis Presley can easily become a state of mind connected with a matter of the heart. He can easily become larger than himself. What he truly embodies is much more than a fan/idol relationship for most of us. Anyone can call themselves a fan. I am careful to make sure my adoration falls short of an out of line idolization and is kept in proper perspective. That is the line of demarkation that is important to never be stepped on, much less crossed. Fan may be short for fanatic, but a proper fan knows to toe the line of passing from fan to crazy, taking care to not become a ridiculous caricature of a mindless zealous, emotional, deifying fool. The point plain and simple for me is I simply enjoy him. He is my hobby, my visual enjoyment, my intellectual study subject and in many cases, a shared emotional connection with many like minded individuals that I am fortunate to call my Elvis friends – all because of this one man we love so dearly.
When I was a very little girl and first became acutely aware of this dark haired, blue eyed, guitar playing, singing race car driver, it made a huge impression that is just as strong today as it was in that darkened theater in 1965. In fact, it is even larger and tighter, having spread exponentially with greater knowledge and deeper understanding through the years. The knowledge of Elvis is not an isolated event based on a single undertaking. The levels are many and the undercurrents are extremely and vastly deep. Each layer when peeled back uncovers infinitely more. Like peeling wallpaper to discover there is a varied telling story with each design found under the top layers, the making of Elvis Presley from a 1954 new style singer to an International star to a world wide music icon continues to evolve. Each small story gives way to a more complex look at this man. The whole story of our sweet Elvis can never be neatly compartmentalized. One look gives way to several more, which in turn branch out, capturing more fascination with each detail. If Elvis the human being is the trunk, the veins and branches and leaves and twigs are all full portions within themselves telling their own story, each connected but each strongly and securely part of the other, all equally individually and collectively important.
I have read thousands of books and stories of Elvis, his generosity, his flaws, his triumphs, and his heart. I have seen him in person and been in his presence at close fan status. With all this, it is far from a definitive collection of all that he was and is. I wish there was a complete tale. Everything seems piecemeal and in neat waterproof compartments. I want it to somehow all connect. I want to know it all from start to finish.
If the story of Elvis Presley was a jigsaw puzzle with hundreds of thousands of us attempting to piece it together, there still could never be a completely finished product. Because of all the individual personal nuances, there will never be a true and honest detailed completion. While we all see him with the same loving focus, twisting the pieces to fit and relate to ourselves and to those others we know, what we have only represents the pieces we have gathered and fit. My pieces and your pieces only make a small portion of his story. The whole truth is much larger than any single person will ever know. My portion is not like your portion but the overall importance remains timeless. That is part of his beautiful fascinating story and while none of us may ever be so astute to know it all, the parts that have captured and connected us remain as important and lovely today as they were forty years ago. I suspect forty or even one hundred and forty years from now, long after any actual personal connection remains, there will still be those trying to solve and complete that same musical icon puzzle we love today. The love doesn’t fade but only evolves and adapts. This man Presley, surely had no idea of all he will forever give to the world.
About the Author: Janet Bostic has been a fan of Elvis since the age of 5 (maybe before that!) and has studied his life as long as she can remember. She saw Elvis four times including once in 1976 when she received a scarf and enjoyed a kiss and some conversation with him. Janet has taken 4 trips to Graceland, with her earliest being in 1976 when Elvis lived there. She is visiting Graceland again in the Spring of 2019. Her favorite Elvis song is “Love Coming Down.” She is the mother of triplets and (just like Elvis) her only daughter’s name…is Lisa. Elvis has always been a huge part of her life.