Friday, July 28, 2017


For Christmas Gerald gave me an Elvis desk calendar. Each day there is a different, gorgeous picture of Elvis to greet me. Sometimes the pages will have bits of trivia. On April 10, the caption read:

"Q: Technically, Elvis' first radio broadcast came at 10 years old, singing in a youth talent show. What song did he perform?"

"A: Old Shep."

The song always brings a lump to my throat.  My first memory of hearing Old Shep was listening to my father's recording by Red Foley, who was also the composer of the song..  Our friend Carl Wilt would perform it oftentimes at our get-togethers at The Fish And Game Lodge.

Yesterday, while shopping at Aldi's, I noticed that dog food items are named "SHEP";  naturally (for me, at least), I began singing Old Shep, in a low voice, using Elvis' arrangement.  Listen below:

A woman, bagging her groceries, asked, "What were you singing?" When I told her the song was Old Shep, she told me that her father used to sing it and he was a local musician. When I asked his name she said, "Ralph Streitenberger." and I asked, "So, you are Red and Vanilla's daughter?" She was delighted that I knew her parents and I told her my maiden name, that my family was from Bloomingburg, that her father was a classmate of my oldest brother, that her father was my youngest brother's barber, that he had come to the funerals of my brothers and my parents, and that I had enjoyed hearing her father perform numerous times, and that he had sung Old Shep at the Fish And Game Lodge.   As I shared several other fond memories about her father, she said that it was wonderful to hear how well he was remembered.

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