I have seen several people my age and older reminiscing about what they were doing on the day that Elvis died. If you were alive then, and you were at an age where you knew who Elvis was, it’s one of those days you don’t forget, like the Challenger blowing up, or September 11, 2001.
On August 16, 1977, I was nine and I had a couple of cousins over at my house for a birthday celebration. It was summer, and school didn’t start then as early as it does not, so we were home. My cousins Angela and Andrea only lived about twenty minutes away, and they would often come to my house since I lived with our grandmother.
They came over on the 15th and were staying until the next night. We had all day on the 16th to play. Sometime that afternoon, the news outlets took over all the television channels – I think we had three or four then – and wouldn’t stop talking about Elvis being found dead.
Were you old enough to remember, or even care? That was all that was on television that afternoon. Nothing fun. I think there used to be cartoons late afternoon and I remember being upset that they didn’t come on. I know I wouldn’t have cared about missing a soap opera, which was the other thing on television during the day.
I was thinking about that today when a friend posted about Elvis on Facebook, and I remembered that Lee and Elizabeth have a short conversation about Elvis in the book Under His Protection. They are dancing at a fundraiser for her campaign for attorney general.
After she (Elizabeth) had caught up with everyone she knew, Lee pulled her onto the dance floor as the band played “Love Me Tender.”
“I didn’t know it was Elvis night,” Lee said with a grin. He held her close and managed the turns on the crowded floor easily. She loved the way that he held her and she thrilled to his power as he spun her in his arms. “Nothing like the King to get a girl close,” he said, leaning closer so that his breath tickled her neck.
“Here’s something you didn’t know. I was raised on Elvis. In fact, I was born the week that he died. My mother bawled all week. My father swore that his death sent her into early labor. In fact, for years after he died, she claimed he was still alive somewhere in Michigan.”
“She and half of the Southern women her age.” He chuckled and spun her again. When the dance ended, Lee gestured toward a couple by the door. “There’s my brother. Come meet Fox and Laura.”
Do you remember the day Elvis died? Where were you? Did it mark a big turning point for you? I would love to hear from you in the comments. Back then, did you believe Elvis faked his death?
Read more about Lee and Elizabeth in Under His Protection, which can be found in the Kindle Unlimited Program at Amazon.