Elvis? Still dead

By By Sid Salter/ syndicated columnist
Aug. 14, 2002
That's their story and they're sticking to it. Me? I don't buy it.
The official party line at Graceland is that Elvis Aron Presley remains 25 years after the most well-publicized drug-induced fall from a toilet in the history of Western civilization deceased.
Deceased, as in his vaunted pelvis ain't moving any more. Deceased, as in that big fella you see late at night at the Dairy Queen with the long sideburns isn't the King, but someone's weird Uncle Willie Earl. Deceased as in the boy has left the building and returned to his heavenly Sender.
Most people chose to go along with the deception and accept as fact that Elvis died 25 years ago a victim of his own excesses and some say a heart broken by Priscilla's departure. I am not one of them.
Evidence to the contrary
For my money, the King's still around. Evidence? He made more money last year than he made the year of his so-called "death" topping the billion records sold mark long after the dirt settled on that bogus grave. Graceland's still booming as a tourist mecca. Tupelo is getting their share as well, thankyouverymuch.
Elvis had a No. 1 hit in England earlier this summer with a remix of a minor dance number called A Little Less Conversation. Dead guy? Hit record? The incongruity is obvious.
Britney Spears brought back the Elvis jumpsuit this year and I might add looked slightly different in it than E.P. did in his final years. Matter of fact, the old, fat Elvis is a sight I still see frequently.
Usually, I see it in the morning while I'm in my bathrobe and pass a mirror.
Talk about your hunka-hunka burning love …
But I digress. My friend Gale Denley and I don't own the largest collection of Elvis memorabilia in Mississippi, but I bet we do have the largest on our row of cabins at the Neshoba County Fairgrounds.
We've got Elvis flags, a blue velvet Elvis, Elvis cards, posters, pot holders, fans, clocks, shirts, hats, trading cards, whiskey decanters (painted and unpainted) and several Elvis books. There have been dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Elvis tomes published mostly by those greedy to profiteer on his name. I do have a favorite Elvis book one that captures the essence of Elvis for those who truly love him.
Tell it all, Brenda Arlene
It's called Are You Hungry Tonight? by Brenda Arlene Butler and it's a wonderful coffee table cookbook filled with Elvisian delights including the infamous deep fat fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, the mustard and burnt bacon sandwich and the complete recipe and set-up diagram for the actual wedding cake eaten (one would assume that word to be taken literally) by Elvis and Priscilla.
There are those who point to Elvis as a role model for everything bad about rock star wealth, fame and fortune. I'm not one of them. Elvis made a bunch of formulaic movies, but you can watch all of them with kids and old folks.
His music was rich and pure and enduring. Want to feel close to God? Listen to the King sing Peace in the Valley.
Why are so many people willing to buy into tabloid Weekly World News reports of Elvis sightings even to this day? Who are these people who crowd Graceland on each pertinent Elvis anniversary?
Folks like me, I suppose, who like the world a little better with Elvis or the idea of Elvis, at least in it. Good old Mississippi boy with a golden voice who loved his momma and high cholesterol foods hey, what's not to like?
As for me, Elvis lives. On hot days, I sing Blue Christmas in the shower. Somehow, it just seems to make things seems a little cooler.

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