Why do we continue? What pushes us? What created the spark that lit the Presley fire in you? For many of us, it’s become as natural as breathing, flames never to be extinguished. It comes to mind only when it’s tossed out as a negative, as in “Whatever do you find so fascinating about Elvis Presley? You do know he’s dead.” My response … ”how long do you have?” I could speak for all eternity and still not adequately explain my feelings.

If wishes and desires could alter heavenly addresses, he’d definitely be on an earthly furlough. He is very missed, very loved, very admired and very much forever an integral part of his fans’ lives. Death didn’t change that.

I was late to the party. As a teenager in the 70’s, I caught the caboose years of the tangible Elvis train. Sadly, just as many overseas missed opportunities because of geographical distance, I was caught in the trap of having young dreams of love but still too adolescent to follow that dream. Yet I know that truly I got lucky with my small fan moments.

So here we are 42 years hence and we have all become prize winning recipients of Elvis remnants. Whether in your 20’s or 80’s, having experienced him in person or not, living in the States or abroad, Elvis has become an equal opportunity idol. Video, audio, photographs, accounts, stories and artifacts are at our fingertips. What a wonderful period in time to connect with all things Presley.

He is always on our mind because of who he was. Technology just helps that along in a lovely way. I’m grateful. But even if that weren’t the case, nothing would change for me. The man to fan and fan to man ties are knotted and woven tightly, not to be loosened by distance or eroded by time. He holds us as securely and lovingly as we hold him.

The tie is beautifully and unexplainably bound. Unraveling is impossible. Your love doesn’t supersede mine or usurp it. My love doesn’t take away from yours or lessen it. 

I witness bright spots within the fan groups, but I also take note of childishness, a veering away from intent and a seemingly purposeful elevating of self over Elvis. I try to ignore it and keep my own personal perspective where it belongs, focused on the mission statement of celebration of an exceptional, unselfish, giving, gifted man.  It’s the sole purpose of why we participate. It’s the music and the man. People issues may want to blot out the basis (truth) but like it was once stated by someone very wise, the truth is like the sun, you can only blot it out for so long.

I know my own heart. I’m totally secure in it. I need no one to tell me how I feel or why or to denigrate my feelings. There is no fiery desire to shake the hand of every person who shook his hand in order to feel a connected burning love. That fire smoldered and the flames spread long ago and is forever blazing bright, eternally lit. 

Expansion of love is in the very sound of his voice, the way he pronounces a word, the knowing glance from the concert stage and the shy smile upon the movie screen. The way he says “ma’am” and the adoring looks for his lovely co-stars are for me as well. Those are the things that lock in the love light, wrapping me just a little closer to him in a way others know firsthand worldwide just as surely as I do. It’s both universal and personal. 

Stay focused and don’t veer. We’re here to celebrate him and him only. All else is icing. He was far from perfect, fallible and flawed. But the Elvis core still continues to find new fans who realize they unexplainably get him. He’s unknowingly saved many of us, providing a warm resting place, a repose and a respite. The fire forever burns.