"The impact of his life was devastating. Just as devastating was his death. Wherever you were, it was the same. Whatever the time, it stood still.Whatever you were doing, you stopped. Whatever concerned you no longer seemed to matter. Elvis Presley was dead. It meant so much more than the death of a pop star, a rock idol. It was the death of an age."
By far, the greatest memorial, monument, tribute to Elvis is without doubt the fidelity of his fans. Elvis Presley’s legacy is his music, his legend, and the love he left behind to be nurtured within the hearts of the International Family that is the Elvis world. Each and every one of his fans has a favorite record, photograph, film, memory, and story… This is mine:
Elvis Presley commanded the stage; it was his domain. He was at the peak of his power as a performer. A colossus. A living legend. A King holding the court, with his mesmerized subjects at his feet. From time to time, he would reach over to Charlie Hodge and, with a twist of his wrist, take a silk scarf from the bundle draped around the guitarist’s shoulders. Elvis would throw he length of silk carelessly around his neck as the screaming women knew that one of them, in just a few moments, would be the envied possessor of a piece of silk that had touched the very body of the King.
Elvis continued with his song, selecting the girl, giving time for the silk to become stained, just slightly, with his sweat. He noticed a young girl —no more than 12— desperately trying to hold her place against the jostling of the bigger, older women. With an expert flick of his hand, Elvis directed the scarf into her outstretched, grateful arms.
He smiled as he witnessed her joy. She possessed a part of Elvis. For a moment. Just a moment. Then, a hand reached out from the crowd around her and snatched the scarf away. Elvis saw the little girl’s face crumple with grief, and he chopped the air.
The bewildered musicians came to an untidy halt mid-number. The audience was stunned into silence. The only sound was the heart-rendering sobbing of the child.
Elvis moved to the edge of the stage and dropped down on one knee. He reached out and took the young girl’s trembling hand. He gave it a little squeeze and let go. Then from around his neck he took the priceless gold chain and precious stone that he often wore on stage. Gently, so gently, careful not to mess her hair Elvis placed the chain around her neck. He cupped her face in his hands and tenderly kissed her lips as he must often have kissed little Lisa Marie goodnight.
"There yuh go, honey, that’s just for you," he said in a voice deep and husky from way down inside. He waved the security men to him. "You take care of this lil girl, ‘hear?" He took her chin in his hand, tilted her head, and gazed into the glazed, ecstatic eyes. Then he added softly, "Elvis Presley gave you that, honey. And ain’t no one can ever take that from you."
Today, around the world, Elvis fans are listening to his records, watching his films, staring at his portraits, feeling the warm, familiar glow of a tried and tested love. And they will be remembering the legacy of the precious memories Elvis left in trust to each and every one of them.
They will savor all the pleasures and treasures that Elvis Presley’s life gave them… the lasting friendships, the binding fraternity, the special moments and, of course, the music.
And perhaps this thought may cross their minds:
Elvis Presley gave me that.
And ain’t no one can ever take it from me.