I’ve thought long and hard about what I could possibly add to the slew of well deserved January 8th birthday felicitations. The truth is, it’s all been said, all been displayed, and all been considered. The disbelief and surprise at the passage of time marked with the ever increasing appeal and admiration makes each year larger than the year before. The love grows exponentially and the legacy expands globally.
Eighty five years ago the depression in the U.S. continued with unemployment over 20% and the Social Security Act was signed into law. Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Pacific and Parker Brothers released Monopoly. A gallon of gas was 16 cents and a new house averaged $5,700.00, with an average annual wage being $1,500.00.
In 1935, the “War of the Worlds” was broadcast, the dumpster was invented and Wheaties became the “breakfast of champions.” Persia was renamed Iran and it was the year Jesse Owens set three world track records. 1935 was also the year of the birth of “swing” by Benny Goodman. Bigger by far but unknown, as 1935 was barely a blip in the new year, Gladys Love Smith Presley gave birth to twin boys and the surviving son would grow to be the greatest entertainer the world has ever known.
The Presley phenomenon is doing precisely what it was destined to do. The ideals and devotion that many of us have felt forever is being reinforced. Why do we love Elvis? Why do we breathe? It was woven into us in the 50’s and as time passed, the fibers of fandom tightened, weaving a beautifully formed adoration tapestry as we wrap this man closer to our hearts with each passing year.
Just as we celebrate holidays and anniversaries with fond memories and sweet recollections which make our hearts swell with love and remembrance, this one is special too, but bittersweet. The time has been short enough that we can still him clearly and long enough we can speculate on those additional years. What the time without him could have held had he stayed with us is discussed and debated. There’s always an inevitable sadness to the “what if.”
While the “what if” captures our imagination, it’s the “what was” that has forever captured our hearts. From 1935 until 2020, the world has seen unheard of change and advancement that boggles the mind. But regardless of development in the time to come, the love and loyalty of true Elvis Presley fans will always stay strong, of that I’m certain.
Elvis at 40, Elvis at 50, Elvis at 70, Elvis at 85 and Elvis at 100 – makes no difference.
We give gifts to celebrate birthdays but it was he who gave us the greater gift of himself to celebrate every day of every year. Happy Birthday darling Elvis. We truly love you tender and we always will.