How I Ended Up This Way's Blog











{November 17, 2010}   The Elvis Connection

 

                                  Close…

 

                                                                                                                                              But No Cigar

 

Hello everyone and welcome back!!

You will love this story. Whether, you like Elvis Presley or not, it’s just plain entertaining to hear. And the joy my readers experience when you get to peak into my often ….. “disturblly” (yes, that is one of my made up words…feel free to use at your own risk) creative mind, is priceless. Admit it, you do love the craziness that is my world. I embrace my ever changing days. Otherwise, I’d have nothing to write about; you’d have nothing to read.

I am always running a dollar short and a day late for all the good stuff. It always seems to happen that someone I am friends with will somehow and in some weird way, get to meet someone in the “biz” and most of the time, the friend will have no clue who this person is!

Example one: My ex used to pull garbage. In other words, he used to drive the garbage truck and sometimes, depending on his mood that day, he would run the back of the trucks and empty the bins into the truck.  I live close to a certain community called “Amelia Island”. Yes, that is the Island that numerous celebrities have second (third, forth…whatever) homes as vacation homes. It’s where the rich and famous such as Tommy Lee and Tiger Woods stay when they are in North Florida. The ones that do not own a home here, stay at the Ritz Carlton.  I mean, even Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) had a home out here, she may still have it, I’m not certain.

The difference between life on “The Island” and what I refer to as “the real world” when dealing with garbage, is when you pull bins from the island, the guys have to actually go around the back of the home, where most have a room for the garbage. Yes, you heard me, a room made just to keep the garbage bins in. Anyway, my ex runs up to the back of the house to get the bin from the “garbage room” pulls the bin to the truck and returns. Yea, us “average” people do not get this type of service! As my ex is opening the door to this room to return the bin, guess who he ALMOST literally runs in to. Chris Everett Lloyd. For those of you who do not know who she is, she was a tennis pro that was really huge back in her day. And even though she wasn’t an active player when this happened, it’s cool that he got to talk to her (he did know who she is, by the way). In case you are wondering, she was very sweet and nice.

Chris Everett lloyd  

 Example two: Let me say, this example and example three…..and four actually, are the ones that eat me from the inside out because I wasn’t the one to meet them. One of our long time friends (going back to high school) was also a driver for the garbage company. This particular day, he decided to ride on the back and “pull” the bins. So, dude is driving down the road on the island, Will (friend) is pulling bins. All of a sudden, a kid he had seen a few minutes earlier riding his bike, darts out in the road directly in front of the truck. When I say “the truck” it’s important to note I am not referring to some small pickup truck although that is scary enough in itself. No, the truck I am referring to is a full size garbage truck. It’s huge. I couldn’t even begin to guess the weight of the truck. Thank goodness, the driver had plenty of time to stop. Will goes to the boy, who was about 5 years old at the time, and gets him out of the road and waits for his father to catch up. His father, who was with him teaching him how to ride a bike, finally catches up to him and Will. The father thanks Will over and over, as we all would if we were in his shoes. Will has no idea who this man is other than a father with his son. As he makes his way back to the truck, the driver is just sitting there, astonished. As Will is watching the driver who is now watching the father, and not driving, Will does what we all would do. He said, “Are you going to go or what?” The driver, I do not know his name, asks Will “Do you know who that was?!”  You guessed it, Will had no clue. Turns out, it was a starting pitcher for the……big gulp…..Atlanta Braves. Can you believe that? You know I am ALL Braves! Will, our long time good friend, not only met but help keep John Smoltz’s son from being hurt. John Smoltz, by the way, is one of the most gracious of men…all around a good guy. And I have to hear this story second hand. Will, the long time friend, almost became Will, the late friend, if you you get me.

 

 John Smoltz

 Example three: This one really burns me. I may even be a little bitter about it, still not sure. I’ll let you know when I decide. I use to work for a lady that ran a small business from her home. Our girls were friends since they were 3yrs old and started ballet classes together, so I got to know the whole family pretty well. Her husband, who I may add does not look like he would get within 500 yards of the country or even a country song, was working in his parents field (most “country folk” have fields, not yards) in Alabama one day. His parents’ neighbor was out at the same time using the bush hog to cut his own field. Are you still with me? I promise this is going somewhere. Okay. Byron, my friend’s husband at the time, needed something done that required heavy machinery. You know, digging a hole, removing a tree stump, burying some debris…. real important stuff. Byron goes to the man on the tractor and asks would he mind using the tractor for this important task. The man does as any country boy (hint, hint) would have done and obliges. Bryon gets back to the house later and describes his day. His father patiently listens to Byron as he explains how quickly he completed this task. As Bryon wraps up his story, his father tells him…..”Oh, that’s Hank for you” . Uhm….people, that is Hank Williams Jr he’s referring to. Again, Byron doesn’t know Hank Jr from Adam……Again, I wasn’t the one meeting him. Damn.  Always, “this close” to the good stuff!

 

Hank Williams Jr 

 Which leads me to my biggest “this close” moment ever. Growing up, we lived about 2 hours out of Memphis. My mom says we lived about 10 minutes from Graceland, but I think she is delusional on this one because I used Mapquest.com just so I could give you all the proper information. Information is the key, right? My mom was and still is completely consumed with her love of “The King”. Maybe that is where I get my love for him from, SMG!

Now, granted, I was only 7 years old when he died, however my memories of each trip to Graceland are forever integrated within my mind. This particular time, I was about 6 years old. I remember standing outside of Graceland’s gates, my mom crying like a baby as well as another woman we met while waiting for Elvis to come out and say hello. I tried really hard to find the “Graceland Gate” photo for you guys, but came up empty.

Anyway, I was 6 years old, dad was holding me and guess who pulls up in a red pickup. Elvis’ uncle! Ok, not quite Elvis, but this would do for the moment. My dad, having the bold personality that he does (I was happy he did at this point!) goes up to Elvis’ uncle’s truck as he stopped for the security guard to let him pass. I can’t for the life of me remember this uncle’s name. I mean, names are irrelevant when you are 6 and standing (or being carried) outside Elvis’ home, right? Do you really care what the uncle’s name was? Me either.

What do you ask Elvis’ uncle while you are standing outside his home? So many questions! What is he really like? What are his hobbies that he really loves? How does he make his peanut butter and banana sandwiches and how did he come up with that idea? You get it, really important questions. So, in that spirit, my dad asks him “is Elvis home?” followed by what I still maintain was a question equal to genus coming from the mind of a 6 year old, “what is he doing?” in my best Arkansas country bumkin twang. He was inside watching TV we were told. His uncle, as I remember, was a very outgoing, approachable and friendly man. All I could think in my little mind was Elvis was going to come out to say hello, if only we waited long enough. How could he see a little blonde hair blue eyed girl, and not say hello, right? Well, I guess he was able to resist because he never came out! However, our trip was not in vain. As we are loading back into the car to head home, my mom with tears still rolling down her face, slowly looks around as if she was branding this memory into her mind. However, I guess the memory of our trip was not quite enough. She wanted something tangible. Looking around for something to bring home with us, she slowly reaches down and picks up……….wait for it………..a chunk of his driveway. Yes, I know. However, I have said before, mom can be a little “off” at times. So, now she has a tangible memory to sustain her for the rest of her life. And just to get it on the record, this chunk, picture below, is MINE, when the time comes.

                                                                                     Piece of Elvis’ Driveway

Don’t hang up your boots yet, because there is a little more to tell you about the big E. Just a little more salt to rub into my wound. When we moved back down to Florida I was 14 years old. My grandfather had always lived in Florida do I didn’t get to see him much until we moved back. So, all of a sudden, my mother decided, “Oh, AJ might find this interesting…” (did I express my profound sarcasm enough?). Mom proceeded to tell me my grandfather, her father, had a long time girlfriend. We are talking about 30 plus years, that my grandfather and as he called her “Chubby” were together. Yea, awww how sweet right? Hold up a second before you let mom off so easy for not telling me. Chubby’s name was actually June. June Presley. Uhm, hello mom?!

Yes, indeed, Chubby was married to one of Elvis’ other uncles. His name was Kenneth. Before you get too excited, as I did, believing I had access to all kinds of “Elvis information” I must tell you this was the biggest “this close, but no cigar” of all time.  I had access to a real live Presley. Yea, she had been married to the “black sheep Presley”. Can you believe that? She was married to the uncle that was estranged from the family. I seriously, can’t catch a break!

My grandfather and Chubby

So, now you have a glimpse into my very odd childhood. Growing up loving Elvis (I still love Elvis), knowing he was so close, yet so far away from my grasp it was insane!

Really, it’s just plain cruel. Either have no connection at all, or give me full access! Am I right on this one??

Until next time……Peace

A.J.

                          

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Great stories all around. I’ve never had close moments as such, but my dad was born on the very same day as the Big E and I always kid him about that every year. He was about born 600 miles away from being a Star 😉



Hey! I know, everyone can’t be as “connected” as I am. You poor menions……LMAO! You know I have to mess with you! I don’t know what’s worse, having never been this close, or getting to say I WAS this close!! I couldn’t catch a break!!! But hey, I’m making up for it now!!

Now, go rub your dad’s face in the Elvis blog!!! SMG!!

Take care, see ya on the big T!

AJ



I am such a loser when it comes to meeting celebrities so its a good thing I have not met any.
Seriously I go nuts after our local news people. Its pathetic. But they live in the big box!



Well, stick with me kid, and we’ll go straight to the top!!!

SMG

Love to you,
AJ



Well, you know, my “nearest moment” was actually appearing on TV, in the nude, eating my dinner with Mica Paris!!

And I can confirm, yes, she is a very good cook, and thoroughly deserved her win on “Come Dine With Me” the next year 🙂



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