Some people don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do. That’s what it was for me when it came to Elvis: love at first sight. After all, with a face like that, who wouldn’t fall in love?!
“This is the man I am going to marry.”
– Ashley Dion, age 5
For as long as I can remember, Elvis has been an influence in my life. When I was 5 years old, I fell in love with Elvis. Although I may not remember the details, it has been recounted to me throughout my life making it part of my history.
It was 1996. I was visiting my grandmother when I noticed him on the cover of a T.V. Guide. I grabbed it and said, “This is the man I am going to marry.” This moment changed my life completely, even at 5 years old. Elvis became an obsession. I needed to know everything about him and his life. My parents were not big Elvis fans, but they adapted to my obsession and accepted him into our household.
“There’s a pretty little thing, waiting for the King, and she’s down in the Jungle Room.”
– Marc Cohn, Walking in Memphis
My childhood bedroom was my Elvis Oasis. The walls were covered in jungle wallpaper, which naturally led me to call it my very own Jungle Room. It looked nothing like Elvis’s Jungle Room at Graceland, but it was my own, with Elvis memorabilia everywhere.
My dad learned of the Michigan Elvis Fest happening in July of 1999 and decided I needed to go. This was the first time I was introduced to the “Elvis World.” I had been to a few Legends in Concert shows, but this was unlike anything I had ever seen before – I was hooked.
As I glanced around the lawn, there were dozens of Elvis performers. It was love at first sight yet again. Only being 8 years old at the time, I was completely overwhelmed – in such a good way. Awkwardly standing at the edge of the stage, I watched in awe as each performer came out and gave their tribute to Elvis.
While all the girls around me dressed like princesses for Halloween, I wanted to be Elvis. Other students made fun of me, but I didn’t care. Even though I was mistaken for a boy, it didn’t bother me. I was proud to be an Elvis fan. Candy was held hostage until I performed Elvis for neighbors handing out candy. Oftentimes resulting in me getting more candy. My poor pleather pants suffered from my Elvis moves with rips and tears from my Elvis moves. Totally worth it.
“When I was walking in Memphis. Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale.”
– Marc Cohn, Walking in Memphis
The summer after fourth grade, my dad packed up our car and took us on our family road trip we take each August. To my surprise, we ended up in the parking lot of the Heartbreak Hotel – just across the street from Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Little did we know, it was Elvis Week!
I will never forget my first time touring Graceland. It was love at first sight for me when it came to Elvis, but I never knew there were other fans out there like me. I had no clue of his reach or his stardom. This eye-opening vacation showed me that Elvis would be more than an obsession. At age ten, I knew Elvis would become my lifestyle.
Love at First Sight is Real
Even though I have so many Elvis stories, these are the ones that shaped my fandom. I studied and learned so much about him because I wanted to know anything and everything. Knowing that I will never know everything makes it even more exciting. I never want to stop learning.
The first time I saw Elvis, I fell in love. After listening to his music, the love grew stronger for his talent. After reading more about Elvis as a person, I fell more in love with him for who he was. But, after visiting Graceland and seeing Elvis Tribute Artists and fans from all over the world come together to celebrate his life, I became thankful for him and for the legacy he left behind.
Moody Blue Blog was created to tell his stories, learn his history, and be a place where Elvis fans can feel connected to others like them. My goal is to help inspire the next generation to be Elvis fans and show them all the reasons why his legacy has already lasted as long as it has.
Tell Me Am I Getting Through
Email [email protected] with upcoming events (regardless of location) and anything Elvis you see on television. Let’s celebrate the King of Rock ‘n Roll!
Until we meet again,
TCB and TCE,