Jubilee days and remembrances are part of live’s serendipity, a fortunate stroke of events. Sometimes they are expected by name but not by detail, sometimes they are totally random in every way.
I’ll never forget my older son’s homecoming. He was 8 months old. We found out about him on a Monday and on Tuesday he was in our home. It was pretty amazing, astounding, and frightening. Twenty three months later we celebrated his formal legal adoption. For years we’d have 3 celebrations; a birthday, a ‘doption day and a ‘gotcha day – all for fun and to celebrate him. Each were different and some were as simple as a cupcake and a candle, others might include an outing for dessert. With my triplets, a lot of half birthday days were along the same line, or a princess day for my girl and a mommy date for the boys.
I mention this because I was thinking of all the special days we get to celebrate and commemorate concerning Elvis. There is something for everyone. Yes, there is his birthday joy and his memorial remembrance, but so many others where we turn our attention to the serendipity of events. The holiday lighting ceremony, birthday, and the 68 Comeback Special are close together. Aloha from Hawaii broadcast and the Jaycees award are close too. Army discharge is coming up in March, so many record and album days, particular movie days, and not so ordinary life events.
But then wasn’t every day with Elvis special? We don’t need a focused happening to have a Presley jubilee. My personal one is coming up fast – the performance at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo March 1970 – the day 11 year old me breathed the actual same air as the one who’d captured my attention and my imagination in 1965. Be still my heart.
We make Elvis to be the rock and roll Mary Poppins. “It’s a jolly holiday with Elvis, no wonder that it’s Elvis that we love.” I can only imagine how amazed and how tickled he’d be at the normal every day life events that his fans memorialize. Things that were simply a day in the life and have proven to be an extraordinary experience as time strolled on.
This single life of this one man has impacted hundreds of thousands in more ways than can be counted. A generation after and generations to come will reap the second and third hand events the first generation fans knew in real time. I read wonderful accounts of how Elvis related to his fans by being himself and true to his foundation, his humbleness unwittingly being a magnetic draw. I doubt he felt he was humble. I’m sure he simple felt grateful.
So while we look for our ‘this day in Elvis history’ and occasionally find there may be no specific naturally occurring Elvis phenomenon noted, keep in mind for someone, somewhere, a celebratory Elvis event happened. Maybe it was a kind comment at the musical gates … “how are you this evening?’, “how long did it take you to get here?”, “sure honey, I’ll sign that for you.”
Maybe it was a wave of the hand as he boarded a plane or a smile and a nod as he drove into the studio lot. Perhaps it was a sit down conversation with an associate or a telephone conversation where that unmistakable southern drawl dripped with inherent sincerity.
My son hardly remembers his ‘gotcha days and my trio have little recollection of half birthday events, but my hope has always been they felt the love and such is the same with Elvis. I remember very little specifics about the day I breathed his air other than seeing him and knowing we shared a space, but it was a superlative feeling that I’ll never forget. And I know I’m far from alone.
I have no mortgage on the specialness of Elvis Presley. It’s a universal shared package deal telling the measure of the man simply by being. He alone is the dessert. He is the seven layer cake with whipped buttercream frosting. Day by day, all the things not penciled in, make up the assorted and colorful sprinkles on top. They may be too numerous to name, but they are each one just as sweet, in every tasty and delicious bite.
And yes, this cake is covered with chopped pecans, but adding sprinkles does make everything more festive.
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 3-ounce box vanilla pudding (not sugar free!)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup milk
- 16- ounce can crushed pineapple undrained
- 1 cup sugar
- 8- ounce package cream cheese room temp
- 1/2 cup butter room temp
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional / SPRINKLES ***
(you can also add a teaspoon of vanilla to frosting if you like)
- Please cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for one minute. Scrape down sides and beat again for about two minutes, or until smooth.
- Pour batter into greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- While cake is baking, place pineapple and sugar into a medium saucepan on stovetop and bring just to a boil, over medium high heat while stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Once cake is done, remove from oven and poke holes all over the top with a fork. While still hot, pour hot pineapple mixture over top and spread to cover. Let cool.
- For frosting, place butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add confectioner’s sugar gradually, scraping down sides as needed, while beating with an electric mixer. Stir in pecans, if desired.
- Drop by dollops onto top of cooled cake. Slowly spread dollops together to cover the cake, being careful not to disturb the pineapple topping. Sprinkle finished cake with additional pecans, if desired.