** Note: This story was written by Jeffrey Schrembs and has been published here with the permission of Jeffrey Schrembs by his family. This story is a small part of larger works that Jeffrey Schrembs has been working on for over 30 years. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2010**
There have been more photographs taken, blogs written about, record sales, concert admission records broken, Las Vegas attendance records held, number of concerts sold out over a career record, only actor to ever star in every movie and every movie made money, etc. about Elvis Presley. Most Elvis Presley Fans can recall the love that was shared between Gladys and Elvis and the impact of her loss (August 18, 1958) took on Elvis throughout his life.
Elvis also had a strong relationship with Vernon yet was complicated, in part, by actions Vernon took against Gladys (when Husband and Wife) when Vernon had been drinking (so our sources have said) – the amount of time that it was just Elvis and Gladys while Vernon was “away” – that when Gladys passed Elvis was left in a position he could not of imagined and the only person who was grieving, and unsure of what life held for them, was his Father…Vernon Elvis Presley.
They say that Vernon, in his prime, was a “looker”. That is a term Southerners use to describe someone who is “handsome/attractive/good looking” so that when you see them you have to “look” and keep “looking” hence they become the “looker”. Vernon, when his back was not injured worked, and worked had to provide for his family. Vernon had no formal education to speak of but he was an honest man who was raising a young family during the depression in the deep South. Besides the fact that Vernon had started out dating Gladys sister, and Vernon’s brother had started out dating Gladys, they ended up with Vernon marrying Gladys and Vernon’s Brother marrying Gladys Sister!
Besides traveling with Elvis, relocating to Germany while Elvis was in the Army, and overseeing Graceland and Elvis’ bank accounts whether through a “broken heart” or “Cupids arrow” or “whatever” Vernon disclosed to Elvis that he was in love and was going to marry a woman who was going through divorce with a military officer. This event was announced approximately one year after Gladys died. Needless to say, Elvis felt BETRAYED because no one living was “better than mama” and Elvis spent many a night tossing and turning replaying things Gladys had shared with Elvis about “life’s rules” and “now a man treats his children” and “how a man treats his wife” and “what a good wife should do”.. All of these lessons palled to the lessons the Presley’s sought from the Bible and/or from Church (which they regularly attended).
Through many years Elvis and Vernon would have heated spats. Vernon’s Mother (aka: “Dodger”) lived with Elvis in Germany until he was discharged and throughout her life at Graceland and she was the “peace keeper” and a great “listener”. Simply but she was “wise”. But there was a rule and that was DONT BOTHER DODGER IF SHE IS WATCHING HER TV SHOWS which she did everyday. Besides her TV Shows, which she did watch everyday, she loved to read romance books and many fans would send a few to her me included. But, Dodger would LITE UP LIKE A CHILD AT CHRISTMAS when it came to receiving scarfs so I made sure that I got 1 delivered to her every 4 months.
The “Pecking order in Elvis Career” was “50% / 50% between Elvis and Colonel;
But the Pecking Order in all of the Hotels, Graceland, Bus rides, Airplane Rides, Houses, etc. the pecking order was 100% ELVIS…perios.
As life leaves its lessons behind, with each departing of the stars and moon, we must embrace them and understand them and share them, Vernon always feared that this was “all a dream” and they would wake up one day and it would all be gone. Elvis, over the years, had many dreams (and some of them requested to God while in pain grieving about the loss of Gladys) where Elvis gives EVERYTHING back to the Churches but Elvis got Gladys back.
Elvis had just as bad dreams but he would say “if they take everything away today I”ll sing a few songs and we will have money again.
Then having numerous employees (kitchen staff, lawn and garden, house cleaner, maintenance men, pool cleaner, others to attend to the horses food and water, then having the “Memphis Mafia” who could bring their dates/wifes anytime it would be “usual” for either some “blow out time” at Graceland (i.e. food, drinks, more food and drinks, music, etc) OR Elvis might just have a call made a “fire up the Jet” and take everyone to Hawaii for a few weeks paid for “courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises”.
Elvis Presley Enterprises usually meant Elvis was paying for his friends and their family and for Elvis to enjoy as well. Most of the time Vernon did not attend but when he saw the bills, for the two week rest – which Elvis needed – Vernon was OUTRAGED and Elvis and Vernon had words.
part 2 will be posted on or before friday April 30, 2010 please check back every so often becaue this will be an INTERESTING ARTICLE by one of the greatest Elvis Presley Collectors in the World