Elk's Club. Family. Nostalgia. Buffet dinner. Elvis music. Laughter.
This is the recipe for a yummy treat, courtesy of my cousin Faith and her husband Win. It was a bonus that M, another cousin, is in town from New York; my sister Aie is in a rare lull from her dizzying travels around the globe; and my brother Dave and his wife Gladys are visiting from American Samoa.
And then there was Tony, of course, who has been nicknamed “Elvis is alive” by our close kin.
It was "Elk's Elvis Night for a Cause," a fund-raising project to support the Cerebral Palsy organization in the Philippines.
Not one, but four Elvises showed up to regale us with numbers from Elvis' beginnings to his end. And what a riot it was!
As could be expected, we sang along, making people remark, “This table knows all the words!”
We took countless photos, and remembered the king of Rock 'n Roll who died 35 years ago, on August 16, 1977, but still very much alive in the many Elvis wannabes (from a 2-year-old toddler to seniors, male and female) all over the world.
It's a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me. How can countless Elvis impersonators or ETAs (Elvis Tribute Artists), many of them born before his time, keep popping up, trying to duplicate his one-of a-kind tremolo and wearing his outlandish stage costumes and sideburns?
Is it because of the unique iconic status of Elvis that the ETAs have invaded socio-civic causes, literature, stage plays, film, television, and academe?
Well, nobody knows for sure. But Elvis madness has not ebbed from the time he died over three decades ago until today.
What I personally think is that Elvis, the compleat entertainer, has left a legacy to his fans—wholesome entertainment with no expiry date. After all, he spent his entire life making people feel good and forget their cares, despite his own personal problems and pain.
I was not a great fan of Elvis (Frank Sinatra was my first boyfriend), but my husband and other people close to my heart, like my cousin M, are.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the evening listening to his danceable, singable songs, and remembering the way he performed them through the four ETAs.
Elvis madness gives a new dimension to the new e-term: viral. His music infects his fans, who then infect his non-fans with pandemic joy that makes for a carefree bonding time.
A get-together with people in my generation allows one to act silly and be childlike, diminishing the cynicism that has crept into this world-weary planet.
On an Elvis Night for a cause, grace finds its way to creep back into our hearts.