Age 10 – The King is Dead and A Little Southern Snow
Major Event #1: It was August 16, 1977 and I was sitting in my living room watching Bugs Bunny. I do not know why I was allowed to stay in to watch TV. The rule around our house was that we had to be outside. The only exception was rain or vomit, and I don’t remember either occurring. My cartoons were suddenly interrupted by a “Breaking News” announcement. Being 10, I was immediately annoyed because my favorite cartoon was disrupted…and by the news no less! My annoyance quickly turned to astonishment when the newscaster announced that Elvis, the King of Rock N’ Roll, was dead. I sat there in complete disbelief. When I finally came out of shock, I ran to my mother, who was on the phone talking to a friend. I was frantically trying to tell her about the untimely death of the greatest singer ever, but she kept shooing me away. I couldn’t believe the way she was reacting! How could she continue on with her conversation when ELVIS had died? Her world should have stopped like mine did. I was hysterical and I wasn’t getting any sympathy from her. Our neighbor Paula fainted upon hearing the news. She understood my anguish. She was supposed to see him in concert at the end of August and she claimed that I was going to go with her (my mom now says that she never would have allowed me to). I was devastated; it completely rocked my little world.
I went to bed crying that evening. I remember praying to Elvis really hard to show me a sign that he was with me. I had a rocking chair in my room and I suddenly heard it creak. A real, audible creak! Oh my goodness, he had come! THE Elvis had come to see little ole’ me, his biggest fan! I ran to my parent’s room to tell them the wonderful news. You can only imagine how that went. It took a couple of weeks, but I started to get over the major trauma of his death. For months, my dad would do an impression of Elvis for me — the DEAD Elvis. That impression would send me running to my room sobbing.
Major Event #2: A week before Christmas of that year, we had a major snow storm that closed our schools until mid-February. The state didn’t have snow removal equipment, so we had to wait until it all melted. My brothers and I were so excited to not have to go to school. It was every child’s dream! We got to go out and play in the beautiful white stuff — making snowmen and igloos, having snowball fights and making snow angels. It was the best fun ever. It never occurred to us that maybe we’d have to make up for lost class time. Our excitement was soon muddied by Saturday school days that seemed to last forever. That was the worst. Almost as bad as Elvis dying!