My parents loved Elvis.

They saw him more than once when he performed at Cincinnati Gardens and Riverfront Coliseum.

I remember mom coming home with a neck scarf from one of those concerts and it was treated as a sacred item.

A man a woman pose for a portrait
Dad and Mom, mid 70’s

I’m pretty sure my dad got his hair cut like Elvis (as did lots of fellas back in that day).

Elvis was a fixture in our home—right next to The Grand Ole Opry, clogging (yes, the dancing), satellite dish tv, gardening, ABBA and a whole slew of other things. But Elvis was way up there.

We played his 8-tracks, watched the television specials, and very likely traveled to Hawaii because Elvis performed there—plus also? it was exotic.

All that said? I didn’t know Elvis‘ story, and I still might not… but Baz Luhrmann’s biopic shed powerful light on the subject. (You likely know the director from Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom or The Great Gatsby.)

And whoa… My heart goes out to that man.

For 2 hours and 40 minutes his childhood, influences, family life and career played out and I couldn’t look away—in part because Baz Lurmann is a magician that keeps your eyes entertained with fancy transitions and typography and ears entertained with mixes of dialog and music. But also? There’s a really complex, heartbreaking and frustrating story.

Glad to experience it surrounded by family. We stood outside afterward and remarked how good it was, and sad, and powerful. Mom and dad would have certainly been moved by the experience.

Here we are before the emotional rollercoaster:

A family stands inside a movie theater
My nephews brought some Elvis shades to go around

Movie posters for Jurassic World: Dominion, Elvis and the Minions
Movie posters