MY 15-YEAR-OLD SELF
As I was decorating for Christmas, I was rearranging books in the library to make room for my "Elvis Shrine". Tucked inside my Latin II book, I found something I'd written when I was 15 years old. It was a rough draft for a contest I had entered. Obviously I worked on other interests while I was supposed to be doing schoolwork.
As a teenager, I listened to a local radio program and there would be contests with one of those "Be the third caller, have the answer, and you'll win the prize." gambits.
I hadn't been able to win any of those, but several times, when one had to write about a topic, and not be just the third caller, I won several times. The prizes were always the same: 2 tickets for a movie at the Fayette Theater.
Elvis' fourth movie King Creole had been released and several of my classmates had gone to Columbus to see it. Imagine--being able to go to the big city--to the Lowe's Theater to see THE KING. Full of envy, I listened to every word as they described the movie. We--the less fortunate--would have to wait for what seemed like forever for the movie to be shown in Washington Court House, and even then, I wondered how could I get the money--or a way--to go? Previously, my brother Gary and his wife had lived in town and I would go there and stay overnight and my sister-in-law and I would go to see the movies with the tickets I had won. By the time King Creole was released they'd already moved to the country.
The contest to win tickets for King Creole was announced and the contest required that one write a letter entitled "Dear Elvis" using the titles of Elvis' songs in the text. I won the contest and my submission was read on the air and afterwards I was teased mercilessly by my brothers and classmates about my silliness. My cousin's wife took me to see the movie and she bought the popcorn and drinks.
All these years later, as I was looking at the rough draft for a contest, I noticed that I had the songs numbered; I didn't recall all the contest rules but it must have required a certain number of songs or number of words to be used. I cringed at what my 15-year-old self had written, but I showed it to my brother. He is usually caustic and sarcastic but he said, sincerely, "Aww, it's sweet; I never knew you were sweet." I answered, "I think it shows what a naif I was." He said, "It was probably every girl's fantasy to think she was Elvis' girlfriend." I am nine years older than my brother, and although he knows me better than nearly anyone else, of course he did not remember that naive 15-year-old as he was only 6 at the time. He said, "You were so competitive that you had to be the one who knew every damn song; so you haven't changed THAT much; paragraph five is pretty good."
The following was written by my 15-year-old self--it's even signed "Phyllis"--as I was known in school (Elvis' songs are capitalized):
In my imagination, I have YOUNG DREAMS that TOMORROW NIGHT you can put on your BLUE SUEDE SHOES and I can take the MYSTERY TRAIN down to NEW ORLEANS and we can go to the KING CREOLE night club, where we can have a HOT DOG, some TUTTI FRUTTI, and CRAWFISH to eat, so LET'S HAVE A PARTY with MAYBELLINE, DANNY, and LONG TALL SALLY.
HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY if I had ONE NIGHT with you, I would be ALL SHOOK UP, but JUST BECAUSE I gave you a TEDDY BEAR, it doesn't mean I am ALMOST IN LOVE. There might be some TROUBLE because YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER, but THAT'S ALL RIGHT because I'm PLAYING FOR KEEPS.
Elvis, please DON'T BE CRUEL, because it will be THE END OF THE ROAD you FOOL, FOOL, FOOL, if I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET. I JUST CAN'T MAKE IT BY MYSELF, but if we were at HEARTBREAK HOTEL on BLUEBERRY HILL, I wouldn't be a HARD HEADED WOMAN, because I'M BEGINNING TO FORGET YOU!
DONCHA THINK IT'S TIME for you to TREAT ME NICE because I'm LOVING YOU? It's NOW OR NEVER; after all, THAT'S MY DESIRE! TELL ME WHY that IT IS SO STRANGE , but IT IS NO SECRET that IT WOULDN'T BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU so LET ME be your LOVER DOLL and that will be MY HAPPINESS!
If you're worried about being a POOR BOY, I don't need any MONEY HONEY, I just want TRUE LOVE! You know, IT'S BEEN SO LONG, DARLING; this seems like a ONE-SIDED LOVE AFFAIR unless you LOVE ME TENDER. If you said WON'T YOU WEAR MY RING AROUND YOUR NECK, that's when MY WISH CAME TRUE. I said THAT'S ALL RIGHT because I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU!
This might be TOO MUCH, but THIS TIME I'll be THE FIRST IN LINE, but DON'T have a HEART OF STONE because you are the KEEPER OF THE KEY and I'M COUNTING ON YOU.
If THERE'S NO TOMORROW, put your CRAZY ARMS around me, you BROWN-EYED HANDSOME MAN, because I JUST CAN'T MAKE IT BY MYSELF and I've GOT A LOT OF LIVIN' TO DO! I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE because I BELIEVE that you know that I will always be STEADFAST, LOYAL, AND TRUE and I'LL NEVER STAND IN YOUR WAY.
I'M GONNA SIT RIGHT DOWN AND CRY OVER YOU if you say BABY, I DON'T CARE and I WANT TO BE FREE and I'VE GOT A WOMAN and WE'RE GONNA MOVE.
Although I'm a HARD-HEADED WOMAN, I do UNDERSTAND, but HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL; am I OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND?
I'M BEGINNING TO FORGET YOU because I'm looking at that BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY and knowing THAT'S WHEN YOUR HEARTACHES BEGIN.
ALWAYS your biggest fan,
Listen to Young Dreams from King Creole: