21 March 2010

Take This Tune - Black Velvet

This week's Take This Tune is Alannah Myles' tribute to Elvis Presley, "Black Velvet".

Last year I told you of my one and only encounter with Elvis in "A Chinchilla Named Elvis".  How I became an undying fan and the long term effect on my life happened as follows.

It was the summer of 1957. Loving You was going to be shown in a midnight premiere at the Warners Theater.  I had seen "Love Me or Leave Me" the previous year while living with an aunt, but this was summer with Mama and she hadn't yet been introduced to my addiction.  Mama was a waitress at a high end steak house named Dee's in Fresno, and would barely be dragging home in time to take me, but I'm begging anyway. To top it off she is working all week in mesh hose, high heels and a western saloon girl's outfit for some Pioneer festival the county was celebrating. Get the picture: Sore Feet, Long hours, begging 13 year old, movie starring a man she has never seen or heard. The no was adamant, but while ironing she did become the one and only person I ever heard say, "What's an Elvis Presley?"  I put a fan magazine with full page picture in front of her which got the response, "At least you have good taste".

Come the night of the premiere and hope is fading fast.  Mama gets home and takes off the three inch heels.  She pulls off the mesh hose that have actually cut into her feet.  She looks at me and her watch, slips on her regular waitress oxfords and says, "Let's go".  Fresno was a sleepy town for a premier and the theater is almost empty except for the policemen at each exit just in case the non existant hordes of teenage girls start riotous screaming.

The first song in the movie that Elvis sings is "Got A Lot Of Living To Do".  Towards the end, the camera goes into full closeup on that face as it swung around and those blue eyes now several feet tall were blazing on the screen.  I don't think I even realized that I was flying up out of the seat, until I felt my mother's hand on my wrist as she said, "Honey, they like it better if you resist just a little."  At which point sanity trumped hormones and I went thud back into the seat and started laughing.  Suffice to say that I never got even close to a scream over any idol ever again.  The long term side effect is that the men in my life must possess a strong ego as intensity has been known to produce laughter at inopportune moments.  "No dear, I'm laughing at me not you."

Not a huge movie screen, but you shouldn't have any trouble seeing when the above happened.


Mimi Lenox said...

""Honey, they like it better if you resist just a little." lol
Your mama was a wise woman.
Oh yes, those eyes and that look.

This Eclectic Life said...

I don't blame you for squealing when those bedroom eyes showed on the screen. Gotta say that your Momma was a good sport to take you after such a hard day of work. And, her wisdom is one that ever little girl should take to heart!

This Eclectic Life said...

That was every. I hate when I write a blooper :-)

Linda said...

What a great story! Your Momma sounds like she was both wise and kind by indulging in a 13-year old daughter's fantasy though I'm sure she was beat after working all those hours. Obviously it gave you a memory for a lifetime and not just the memory of those beautiful blue eyes but the memories of a mother who knew that of which she spoke!

maryt/theteach said...

Jamie, what a story! I loved it!

Come to my blog and take the Hershey's Better Basket blog Hop that I tagged you for! :)

maryt/theteach said...

I love your header photo. Daffodils - great minds think alike! :)

Travis said...

I thought I commented! I know I read this post.

Love your mama's advice.

Mimi Lenox said...

I have complied.
That is all.