New movie a reminder of the King’s greatness

Published 7:27 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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I went to see the new Elvis movie a couple weeks ago. It’s well worth the money and the two-and-half hours it will cost you to view it.

It was mainly about Elvis’ relationship with Colonel Tom Parker and I’ll leave it at that as to not give away any details that may spoil your experience.

The young man that played Elvis did a bang up job on the performance as did Tom Hanks playing the part of Parker.

In this writer’s opinion, there has never been and most likely never will be a better singer and performer than Elvis Presley. The young crooner from Tupelo not only shook his hips, he shook the entire world.

The story of his life is as much tragic as it was inspirational. From the son of a sharecropper to the King of Rock and Roll only took a little while, but the toll it took on a young man’s mental and physical health all played out right in front of us all.

Everyone in my generation and the generation before me can tell you exactly what they were doing the day Elvis died. There’s been a lot of important people from world leaders to artists who have passed away in my 58 years on this Earth and for the life of me I can not tell you what I was doing the day they died.

But I know exactly what I was doing on August 16, 197. I was 13 years old.

My brother Mike and I always worked for our Daddy. At one time he ran all three of the downtown service stations at the same time. 

There was one that still sits by the courthouse, there was one across from the Eureka Theater and Mr. O.T. Marshall’s was where the late Judge Bill Mckenzie’s law office is now.

We’ve seen a little bit of everything the world has to offer through the windows and bay doors of those old shops. The entire town could not hold the laughs that those old spots produced especially when Daddy was around. He was a lot of fun and a good Daddy to us two boys.

But the one thing we dreaded, and it was coming every year like clockwork, was purple hull peas and butterbeans.

Daddy had made a deal or trade with a local grower and he’d tell us “Boys, it’s gonna be sho’ nuff hot today at the shop. Why don’t y’all just hang out at home and soak up some air conditioner.”

You’ve never seen two boys so sad in your life because we knew what was coming. Around about 8 a.m. he’d be backing his truck into the carport with about 40 acres of peas and beans.

He’d say “You boys are lucky, I didn’t have an air conditioner to enjoy when I was a kid doing my shelling.”

While minding our Daddy and shelling peas and watching TV, a news flash came across the screen with live reporters relating the sad news that shocked the world.

Elvis didn’t leave the building this time, he left this world. Total shock rocked our little Tubbs Road home.

I called Daddy and told him and in about two minutes he was sitting on the couch with us, speechless, and together we watched it all unfold. 

The 42 year old King of Rock and Roll, a person we had never met but felt as though we all knew him personally, was dead.

Over the years I have  taken the Graceland tour multiple times, maybe 8 or 10. It’s amazing how millions of folks from all over the world and every walk of life have entered his home the past 45 years just to experience a place frozen in time to 1977.

I took my wife and her sister this past Sunday to take the Graceland tour for my wife’s birthday. They have changed the entry point across the street and it is superb, folks. All of the museum artifacts, cars and everything are neatly managed in a mall-like setting.

You can easily spend a day looking at one exhibit or another because if it’s Elvis, they have it on display.

I’m amazed how many folks around here have not taken the tour. We will drive or fly all over the world to view some exotic site while millions of people all over the world are making the trek that is only 50 miles from us on 51 Highway right across the state line.

With gas prices being as high as they are now, a Graceland tour may be a good little get away for you. While you’re at it, visit Sun Studio and Stax Records too. I’ve seen them all time and again and I enjoy them each occasion.

I don’t care who you are, young or old, when you hear a young Elvis Presley wail out “Mystery Train” or “Trying To Get You” your foot is going to automatically tap. You can’t control it, don’t even try. And when that Tupelo Local Yokel sings like he owns the old gospel tune “Peace In The Valley” it’ll make you want to pay your tithes.

Take care of yourself folks and take a ride to Graceland and take a walk down memory lane.