Elvis, Tornados, and Moms…….. Oh My

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Maybe you know. Maybe you don’t. Today is the anniversary of Elvis’s death. This day is one of “those days” that I “remember where I was when…..” and it’s not because I’m a fan. In fact, when he passed, the mere mention of his name invoked eye rolling on my behalf. Of course that has since changed, but still it’s important to this story.

I was in the 5th grade. I was home alone and it was a stormy afternoon. TV was different back then. Shows weren’t interrupted for news or bad weather. Instead, important info scrolled on the bottom of the screen. The TV’s fateful scrolling information that day went like this, “A tornado is about to scrape you off of the face of the earth….. oh and, Elvis Presley has died.” Who cared about Elvis? I was terrified by the news I was about to be in Oz! I crawled under the bar in our kitchen and called my mom who was entrenched at work unaware of any news. “Mom I’m scared! There is a tornado warning………oh and Elvis died.” My exclamation of fear and death was greeted with silence. I said, “You there?” I then realized she was crying and crying hard. I thought, “Oh, she’s scared for me too!” I was wrong. I said, “Why are you crying?” With a “Love me Tender” sort of gasp she sobbed, “ELVIS IS DEAD!” I started laughing. I then forgot about the impending atmospheric doom. Somewhere in that moment, my mom and Elvis helped me conquer my tornado fears and neither of them knew it. I will never forget that day!

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