What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?
Elvis Aaron Presley and I would sit beside a roaring fire, with a nice cup of tea and he would look at me gently and I would ask him this question:
‘What really happened Elvis? What is the true story of your life?’
And Elvis would describe to me all about the poverty and hardship during his childhood. He would tell me how his meteoric rise to fame was a little too much for a young country boy to comprehend.
Elvis would tell me what spiritual books he read and his thoughts on the esoteric writings and how nowadays nobody would think twice about it or be perplexed by his search for the meaning of his life. He would tell me how it felt to be so misunderstood spiritually.
Elvis would then take me on the journey through the Hollywood years to the Vegas years and he would tell me the truth not the tabloid myths we are all led to believe.
Elvis would express to me his love for his daughter Lisa Marie and explain what really went wrong with his marriage to Priscilla.
Elvis would clear the veils of illusion and shed light upon his illnesses so badly misinformed to the masses by the press and he would look into my eyes with his own beautiful blue orbs and say this to me:
‘Now you have heard my story from my birth in 1935 to 1976, please put another log upon the fire and I will for the first time ever since I joined my heavenly father explain to you what really happened in 1977 and that fateful August 16th day’
And I then by the fireside I will finally know his story.
I have decided to write about the thoughts I have been having today and that’s about earliest memory.
So here I go 10 minutes of writing…tick tock
My earliest memory is not in HDTV but very much in an ethereal grey tone.
I must have been about 4 years old, maybe even three, I was.very youngand I know it was about 1968 because the memory is set in my grandparents pub in Tiger Bay Cardiff in the sixties, so I guess its around 1967/1968 ..(my grandfather passed away towards the end of 1968 at only 49 years old and my grandmother gave up the tenancy of the pub not long afterwards.
I am walking down a long dimly lit corridor with my grandmother, it must be early morning, because when we reach a dark wooden front door, my grandmother opens it and there stands the milkman with several bottle of milk in a crate and a small glass childsize bottled one for me, I remember being thrilled when he put a straw through the silver top lid for me and off I toddle back down the hallway clutching my bottle of milk, I know this hallway leads into the bar and there was the cleaner who is called ‘Kitty’ and she is sat at the old piano playing some rag time music and singing away to herself..as my grandmother herself wipes down the bartop.and polishes the brass beer pumps with Brasso.
There is a man in the corner of the room and he is renewing the vinyl 45 singles in the jukebox, the ones he removes he hands to my grandmother who then gives them to my mother who went on to play them at home on the radiogram ( she still has them) these jukebox records differ in that they do not have a middle plastic piece like shop bought records..the jukebox records have a large open hole in the middle of the disc, I can clearly see that on the ones he holds out to her with the ”Decca’ Label on the front.
We are then upstairs in a small room, there is a kitchen sink against a large window which over looks a corrugated roof which I presume was on the ‘lean- to’ building underneath.
The Radiogram is on tuned into some station and Engelbert Humperdinck is singing the Last Waltz in the background.
My Grandfather Jack is home from sea ( he is a Captain in the Merchant Navy) Jack is a tough cookie but when it comes to me he is a pussycat and he keeps my pictures on the bridge of his ship.
Jack is sat at the old wooden table the long sleeves of his shirt rolled up and a Senior Service cigarette between his lips..he is surrounded by smoke and he is counting out what I presume to be the takings from the night before.
He is stacking the coins into high piles..the old British coinage before decimal came in, he is stacking them into hundreds, tens and units. He hands me a few of those coins with a smile.
I watch him fascinated and to this day when I cash up I do it like mygrandfather, coins into piles…the habits we learn when very young and just observing.
It is raining outside and the rain is falling onto that outside corrugated roof with a clatter adding to the greyness of my memory.
There is no colour in my mind only misty grey but it is a nice first memory.
There my ten writing minutes are now up with 50 seconds to spare!
By the way the photo’s are of the original North and South, Louisa Street…here is The Last Waltz to complete my memory and my ten minutes of writing.
Images of The North and South courtesy of the Welsh online media,