How the King got his Elvis

Kings Don't Ride Bicycles

Aaron and Jessie

Jessie was always talking about the Lovesmith when Aaron was trying to sleep. "She is so beautiful" he would say. "She told me I was a prince and heir to the throne." Aaron liked to dream. It was both his best and worst quality. At least that was how it felt to Aaron. Whenever they would play in the forest down by the creek, he would imagine the giant trees were dragons and rock bluffs were castles. He was always fighting this dragon or that sorcerer while Jessie would stack rocks in the creek to trap enough water so they could swim. After they cooled off in the water, Jessie would talk about the woman he called the Lovesmith. "She moves in the trees sometimes, making music. I pretend I am a leaf on one of the trees and she dances me around. She has a magical way with the animals. They follow her and the birds talk to her." Aaron heard the birds singing and tried to imagine what it would be like to understand what they were saying. Jessie said he never saw the dragons or the sorcerers, although he could see how some of the bluffs could be mistaken for a castle. "She told me that the animals can tell if your heart is pure and brave and will follow the ones who can look into their eyes and laugh." Aaron laughed when Jessie told him that. He could imagine himself looking into the eyes of a bear and laughing would be the last thing on his mind. Jessie talked about it so much that Aaron decided to give it a try. He started with their dog Shep. Holding Shep's ears he looked deep into his eyes and began a grin which turned into a chuckle. Sure enough, Shep followed him around, but that didn't mean anything, Shep always followed him around. Aaron shrugged it off and walked on over to the door. He heard the familiar sound of blues coming from down the street. He walked toward the sound, his feet moving to the beat while his hands slapped his thighs in rhythm. This music was not like music at his church. He liked the church music, especially the choir singing an old hymn, but the music he heard now was more soulful and stirred something inside of him he couldn't explain. Jessie was there sitting on the porch. Jessie said the Lovesmith's magic was in the music. "If you listen between the words and the music you can hear it" he would say. Aaron sat down beside Jessie and listened, the twang of the wash tub base, the blues guitar, the drag of the wire brush across the drums and cymbals. Aaron hummed a hymn to the blues tune and heard it in his head--was this the Lovesmith singing to him between the notes and beat, he wondered.

Jessie started to change about the time of his eleventh birthday. He became quiet and stayed at home more. Aaron tried to get him to run to the forest with him, but he begged off, saying he was tired. Aaron was hoping to get a bicycle for his birthday and would look at it at the Tupelo Hardware Store often, even though he knew his parents could never afford one. Still he hoped. When his birthday came, his mother walked him over to a guitar and told him how nice it would be if they could get that for him instead. Aaron's heart sank, but he did not let them see. He held it in his hands and felt the smooth wood. He strummed the strings and heard the sweet sound. "Thanks mom and dad, it's great." Jessie lay in bed most of the time now and listened to Aaron as he practiced on the new instrument. "The Lovesmith told me that I would still be a prince, but that you were going to be the king." Aaron looked at him and laughed, "Come on now, you're the oldest, you can be the king and I'll be the court musician." Jessie lifted his hand with seeming effort and took Aaron's hand in his. "You have a pure and brave heart, you will be the tree and I will be the leaf that moves when you do." Jessie was getting so frail these days that he scarcely seemed to be there at all. All his young life, Aaron had depended on Jessie to calm the restlessness in his soul. Together they would read comics down at the corner store and Aaron would always become the hero with Jessie as his sidekick. Strangely enough, the hole in his heart was disappearing as Jessie did and when he realized one day that Jessie was gone, there was a warm, musical feeling in his place. Two years later before he and his parents packed all their belongings and moved to Memphis, he stood up before his junior high class and sang "Leaf on a Tree." He found he was moving as he sang and imagined Jessie waving like a leaf to him. When he finished and turned, he saw his mother wiping a tear. He looked into her eyes and laughed--"You're the Lovesmith aren't you?" Yes my darling Elvis, and you are my prince who one day will be king."

“When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times.."

“The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn’t know what all the yelling was about. I didn’t realize that my body was moving. It’s a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said ‘What’d I do? What’d I do?’ And he said “Whatever it is, go back and do it again’.”
-From a 1972 taped interview used in MGM’s documentary Elvis on Tour.

April 25, 1912
Gladys Love Smith is born.

April 10, 1916
Vernon Elvis Presley is born.

June, 1933
Gladys Smith and Vernon Presley are married.

January 8, 1935
In Tupelo, Mississippi, shortly before dawn, in a two room house built by her husband and her brother-in-law, Gladys Presley gives birth to twin sons. The first, Jessie Garon, is born dead. The second, Elvis Aaron, is born alive and healthy. Elvis would be their only child

November 6, 1948
Elvis plays his guitar and sings "Leaf on a Tree" for his Milam Junior High class in Tupelo as a farewell.

Long live the King!

The Royal Family

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Comments 18 comments

JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

Happy Birthday (Friday) Winsome and to Elvis too! A wonderful tale bringing in both elements of fancy and facts. It has a surreal feel to it as you read it. Dreamish. It's bittersweet yet heartwarming. I'm glad I was alive to see Elvis on TV. He certainly was the King and died too soon. I was pulled in thinking it was a hoax for quite awhile as a kid. A complicated man and one of the main people we have to thank for what is now rock-n-roll. My mom would often say that the Beatles are talked about but there would be no Beatles without Elvis. I know Elvis was influenced by a mass of mainly nameless less famous mostly black musicians but he brought it to mainstream and literally changed the direction music went to. A very nice hub, Winsome.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you, thank you very much.:) So glad you liked it J.


JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

Y'know... when I was younger and honestly until this hub - I thought Aaron was the brother? What up with that? Just my bad memory or part of the Elvis Is Not Dead stuff so popular for a decade after The King passed? I can hear Little Richard whining that I gave credit to Elvis for Rock N Roll too. Blame my mom, Richard!!! Go fight it out with Jerry Lee Lewis!!! I like all your hubs Winsome. You tell a nice tale.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

I've never read history on Elvis although I always knew him as King of Rock. I grew up with Elvis and always knew he was gifted and one of a kind. I am so glad I read this Hub and was pleasantly surprised by a new style of writing by you. Whimsical and magical writing. It was a fun read by a gifted hand.


colleen 6 years ago

This is great! I hope there will be more like this! Let's have more about my favorite singer, Elvis!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks J. I was intrigued by the fact that Elvis had a twin and the bond they have plus the bond between a child and its mother and just ran with it. I value your feedback and your comments are a kick and worth the price of admission to any hub.

Mekenzie, delighted you enjoyed it. The King had a way of laughing at himself while he put on the crowd that endeared himself to them. I just thought it may have come from a childhood fantasy. Thanks for your kind words.

Colleen, since he and I share the same birthday, chances are good that Elvis will surface again. Maybe a little taste of where he's been the last few years. :) So tickled you stopped by.


JD Cool 6 years ago

Nice work. Loved it!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

JD I'm so glad you stopped by. Thanks Bud for your kind words.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

InterestingHub, thanks. Elvis is a cultural icon for millions and he certainly knew how to do whatever it was he did!

Thanks for making this part of his story so interesti8ng.

Love and peace

Tony


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

My pleasure Tony. I know Solomon said an end is better than a beginning, but sometimes it's nice to think of what shapes us. Thanks for reading.


tracykarl99 profile image

tracykarl99 6 years ago from San Francisco

Winsome, You are a talented and ambitious writer. Glad that I found your hub. Looking forward to more ~ Elvis Lives!!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Tracy, now imagine my Elvis impersonation as I say "thank you--thank you very much." I'm glad you found this eclectic but special-to-me hub. Elvis always seemed to have a secret he was laughing at when he performed--like he knew he was putting us on and knew that we knew and liked it. He was always larger than life--even his own. Thanks again for the kind words and for the visit. =:)


myawn profile image

myawn 4 years ago from Florida

Very nicely written saw Elvis once in concert I have never forgotten it a Mindblowing performance. He knew he was and always will be the King!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Myawn, thanks for the comment. I enjoyed yours as well. Feel free to link yours with this one and I will link to yours. =:)


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

Very nice story. You might like my " Time To Face The Music, A Short Story".


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Res, I tried to do a respectful speculation based on the historical truths. The "King" as we knew him had the kind of confidence only family can infuse. I look forward to reading your story. =:)


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

What might have happened if Elvis' brother had lived? Two world class talents or just two good old boys ripping around the South looking for trouble? Who knows!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

I would have loved to have seen that--look out Everly Brothers! =: )

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