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The Quickening......

Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:03 am

The Quickening is a term used in Evangelical circles as a reference to the signs of the approaching Apocalypse (Armageddon). Christ referred to the signs of the End Of Days (earthquakes, wars, famine, natural and man-made disasters, etc) being accelerated as the Day of Judgement approached. These events would occur with greater intensity and with far greater rapidityas the End Of The Age grew near. This escalating deluge of events......each one followed ever more quickly by another, and another, and another, is the reason the term "Quickening" became such an apt description of this future era.

I have watched for years for the signs of the End Of The Elvis Age as well. We all have known (since that fateful day in August of 1977) that somewhere off in the future would come a time where the signs of the end of this Age would come too......with greater and greater intensity, and with greater and greater rapidity. I believe the evidence clearly shows that we have crossed the threshold into the End Of The Elvis Age. Not as far as his influence or cultural impact. His influence will reverberate endlessly.

But it is inarguably true that much of what his own feet trod upon, what his own eyes gazed upon, what his own hands touched (as well as the people whose own hands and lives ultimately touched him and were touched by him), are slipping inexorably away. At first, slowly. But now with alarming frequency.

What I am referring to is the end of all that was tangibly a part of his Age. The buildings, the milieu, and most tragically of all......the people. All that Elvis himself would have recognised as familiar, and dear, and inextricably a part of who he was and what had shaped him as a turning to dust before our very eyes.

Ever more rapidly. Ever more tragically. Sad loss upon accelerating sad loss. An unstoppable, accelerating, run-away Mystery Train filled with the people and places and surroundings that were a reflection of, and irreplaceable link to, The Man.

We all watched that Train first jump its tracks on that humid Tuesday in August 1977. We've all witnessed it picking up speed as it hurtled toward its date with oblivion. We've all known that this day must surely come.....

The train rolled slowly at first.
Vernon. Dodger. Vester.....

It accelerated as the years rolled past. We likely only acknowledged it subconsciously as it picked up speed.

Delta, Al Strada, Tom Parker.....

But today, the Train has truly become something of a blur.....accelerating wildly toward it's final destination.

J.D. Sumner, Richard Davis, Al Dvorin, Pauline Nicholson, Janelle McComb....

This, my friends, is The Quickening.

And how many must we sadly and reluctantly admit are soon destined to board that Mystery Train??? How many must shortly redeem their tickets and find their seats among those who preceeded them?? How long before that next ticket is punched......and how short the span of time before the next in line after hears the "All Aboard!!!", and seeks their place in the ever more rapidly filling Train ???

And how much longer before the Train has reached its capacity, and the passenger manifest is filled, and all the seats are at long last taken?? How much longer before The Mystery Train and its precious cargo fades finally and irretrievably from sight, hidden by the mists of time and legend??

How many of us will still be here to mark the day when The Elvis Age has finally ended, and when all who could proudly say "I was there" are finally silenced apart from the written and visual records they have left behind??

There is a Day approaching us when all the questions that remained unanswered, must remain unanswered forever. When all that will be left to those of us who lived through the Elvis Age will be the memories we have of The Man,and the memories we have made among each other. All that we will have that is strictly our own will be the unique and indelible mark he made upon each of us.

Yes, it will be an unutterably sad day when the Mystery Train finally passes into the fog of history......

But for those of us who rode along beside her for all these will have been one HELL of a ride.
Last edited by Scatter on Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:08 am

Have you been sipping on your Elvis wine tonight? :wink:

Elvis fan

Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:22 am

Janelle McComb's passing really got me thinking that the links to Elvis are falling away faster and faster. How much of what HE would recognize is left??

Of course, Graceland....but would he recognize the neighborhood?? His room is reputed to be empty.....gutted.

The house is empty everywhere at night. No one sleeps in a museum much beside Lisa occasionally.

The family and friends are disappearing. One after the other.....after the other....after the other.....

The Lisa Marie is still there.....wingless, engineless, wrapped in clear plastic on the inside.

Beale Street has become increasingly "touristy".

Janelle isn't at the Tupelo house anymore. No late night talks left to be had.

The Circle G is going to be a resort.

Most of the Arenas he played year after year are no more.

That Train is filling quickly.......another anniversary of his passing is at hand.

And today particularly, I find all this very,very sad.

Pass me the wine......

Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:07 pm

Well, I'm depressed! Heck with the wine, I'm feelin' so down-in-the-dumps after that post it's gonna take gin or vodka!

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:03 pm

I'm buying!!


Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:36 pm

Tom in North Carolina wrote:I'm buying!!


Tom -
You, me and Scatter getting drunk together? Why do I have the gut feeling that scenario will end up with the three of us waking up with Godawful hangovers in a jail cell? Then we'll have to work the 'Cool Hand Luke' roadgang! :)

Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:39 pm

Echoes what I've been feeling for the last few weeks and didn't even realize what it was that I was feeling until I read this.

Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:54 am

Pete Dube wrote:
Tom in North Carolina wrote:I'm buying!!


Tom -
You, me and Scatter getting drunk together? Why do I have the gut feeling that scenario will end up with the three of us waking up with Godawful hangovers in a jail cell? Then we'll have to work the 'Cool Hand Luke' roadgang! :)

If Tom's buying, I'm drinking!!!

Hey Pete......"Sometimes Nuthin' can be a real Coooool hand".

I'm glad I got you all depressed along with sucks to be depressed alone. Misery loves company, you know.

I get this way every mid-August.......

Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:07 am


A very thought provoking post.

I know what you mean about mid August - always makes me think about how the story ended as it did. Guralnick's book kind of sums it up but it is missing any kind of first person account.

Maybe i'll join you guys down the bar!


Sat Aug 06, 2005 4:07 am

Scatter wrote: Of course, Graceland....but would he recognize the neighborhood?? ....

hell, compared to what he bought it in 1957, and take a good look at the neighborhood in 1977, he probably didn't recognize it then! the 20 years of city encroaching upon his little haven.

But don't worry Scatter,
even when all the People-WHo-Knew-Elvis have died....
probably all total gone by the year 2035....
during the 100 Years of Elvis campaign and promotion......

Elvis lives on! because his ass is trademarked and registered.

Sat Aug 06, 2005 5:07 am

A nicely crafted piece Scatter. If I was one of Elvis' friends or family members, I think I'd be rather paranoid after reading it though :wink:


Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:16 am

Hey Scatter, you should really post this piece over at the AEK site. :lol: :lol:

Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:05 am

Scatter -

I didn't feel too good when I got up this morning.

Then I read your post.

Now I feel worse.

Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:57 am

Yeah cheers Scatter! Moral booster extraordinaire!! :( :wink:

I'm depressed now, I'm going on a pub crawl. :idea:

Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:29 pm

Why worry?
You are either in good health or you are ill.
If you are in good health, you have nothing to worry about.
If you are ill, either you get well or you die.
If you get well, you have nothing to worry about.
If you die, you either go up or you go down.
If you go up, you have nothing to worry about.
If you go down, you are so busy shaking hands with old friends that you have no time to worry.
So why worry?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:32 pm

Luuk, I'm worried about you :lol:

Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:48 pm

Steve_M wrote:Luuk, I'm worried about you :lol:

I'm so busy shaking hands with old friends I have no time to worry about myself. :wink:

Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:01 pm

Delboy wrote:Yeah cheers Scatter! Moral booster extraordinaire!! :( :wink:

I'm depressed now, I'm going on a pub crawl. :idea:

Pick up Colin on the way Del.

Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:11 pm

Pete Dube wrote:Pick up Colin on the way Del.

I did, but he kept trying to chat the young girls up and said I was cramping his style, so I left early! :(


Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:14 pm

are you sure al strada passed away :shock: :?:

Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:45 am

Delboy -

You wrote:
I did, but he kept trying to chat the young girls up and said I was cramping his style, so I left early!

Then the action really hotted up !

Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:19 am

Gents, be of good cheer. Things aren't quite as depressing as we previously thought. Tonight I was watching a sitcom called Still Standing and the guest star was Bo Derek. And she looked terrific! And Vanna White is still lookin' good spinnin' those letters!

Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:24 am

Scatter is right about the Demography of Elvis things and people.
Calling it the Quickening would be a bit too big, unless you think of Elvis as something bigger than he is/was.

It is true that the real quickening is happening with all the earthquakes in the world and war and famine. But I am rather optimistic and see it the other way: our consciousness will start a quick process of finding solutions for the earth problems, feeding everyone (think of "If I can Dream"'s lyrics), helping everyone, curing everyone and of course get rid of the dictators in the world (bush being the biggest and most dangerous, but there are others, too...)

As far as WE - the fans - are concerned, there aren't many who were the "first generation" of fans, from the 50's, who are still alive today...
I was born in the early 60's, but what's the percentage of the fans who were not even born when Elvis died?
Sure, they carry the torch, but everything that lived/existed when Elvis lived will soon be all gone, give or take another 50 years tops...

But what does that mean in the great scheme of things?
Unless we think we are more important than we really are.
This is only "me-myself-I".
Fans will continue, even after we are gone.

So what does that mean?
Luuk had the best conclusion: in the end, nothing will change, the world will keep on turning and it's up to us to make it a better place, but it will happen (the end of the "Elvis-related people and things" era), so... don't worry, just let it happen. You can't stop it anyway.

But it is good to sometimes, sit and situate ourselves in relation to the infinity of time and space...
: )
Thanks Scatter for the awareness (and the questions)
and Luuk for the answer (Why worry?)
: )

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:07 am

Scatter wrote:Of course, Graceland....but would he recognize the neighborhood?

Scatter -
Probably not. Things outside the gates have changed drastically since 1977. Just across the street where all of the Elvis shops are now was then a used car lot. Of course, I wasn't there in 1977. The only time I was there in the 70's was in 1971. Elvis was in Lake Tahoe at the time. You couldn't tell it was Elvis' house saved for the few fans outside the gate. There was nothing up and down the street regarding Elvis in any way.

Now days, it's Elvis everywhere. Not only on EP Blvd, but on the interstate long before you ever get to Memphis.

Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Isn't that area your old stomping ground?

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:22 am

Not an old stomping ground for me Rob. The first time I was there was in 1980. And it has changed ENORMOUSLY (and not for the better). It's really a shame.

On the bright side, as you stated, there are a ton more Elvis related happenings now. I just can't understand why people allow their own homes and environs to deteriorate so badly with barely a whimper of protest.

We have an area of West Palm Beach called El Cid . It was an upscale neighborhood of beautiful Mediterranean-style homes in the 60s. But it was allowed to disintegrate over the years into the sort of crime and drug ridden rathole that Whitehall has become in Memphis.

Fortunately, over the last 10 years or so, an influx of yuppies who were tired of long commutes into downtown started buying up and renovating the old homes in El Cid (which were conveniently close to work for them).

The neighborhood has bounced back beautifully, and it's a pleasure to walk down there now among these beautiful homes from the 20s, 30s , and 40s. I hope the neighborhood around Graceland will see that sort of revival some day.