I was raised in a small Southern town by two wonderful and kind parents, Bob and Josie. They were quiet, conservative people whose idea of fun was sitting in the dark listening to the radio. Sometimes they would even hum and sing quietly with the old tunes. Now on Saturday nights things were different, Lawrence Welk came on TV. Lots of toe tapping good times there.
Anyway, in 1958 Elvis Presley was drafted into the army. Rumor had it that as he traveled to Ft Hood for his basic training he would be passing through our town on the train - Norfolk and Western Railway. Somehow my quiet little Mother got word of this and approached me with ‘don’t you want to see Elvis’? Of course I said NO. Who was this Elvis person? Over the next few weeks Mother continued to ask me and every time I said no. Finally she informed my Father that he would be driving her to the train station to see this Elvis. Dad said No he would not be driving her to see Elvis. Big chuckle because we all knew he would indeed drive her wherever she wanted to go.Well the big day came...Elvis was coming to town. I always wondered where my Mother got her information...maybe it was through word of mouth...one woman to the other. Maybe it was a woman thing, sniff the air and know Elvis was near. My Father was grumbling as he started the car with Mother in the front all fluffed and puffed wearing her finest. I was forced into the back seat begging to be left at home sensing trouble ahead.
But she returns to us, beaming and out of breath. Silently we drive home both rather afraid of this strange new woman. But she returns to her normal self, preparing our dinner while listening to Elvis sing How Great Thou Art. Dad gathers a bit of nerve and makes an attempt to turn it off but a look from Josie sent him back to his easy chair.This is just one of the many times my parents would embarrass me but if I had to live that day over I would have outrun my Mother.
We arrived at the train station leaving our ancient Rambler in the parking lot so we could stand along the tracks. Here comes the speeding train, slowing down and there’s the caboose with this mysterious Elvis person outside on the little porch waving to the crowd. My quiet, demure little Mother changes into a screaming mob woman racing toward the train waving her arms “Hello Elvis Hello Elvis Hello Elvis’ over and over. My Father and I stand quietly along the tracks holding hands watching her run along side of the train screaming like an alien person.