Jim was missing his thumb — I don’t remember why. Sandy loved Elvis. It was the 1980s. Jim and Sandy were an older couple — neighbors — who kept an eye on me when I was nine-ish years old. They played “the good news” in their living room all the time. Finally — news that didn’t terrify me. I remember watching the Baby Jessica rescue over at their house. The only other thing I remember about their house was Sandy’s odd den. It was a shrine to Elvis, with velvet Elvis paintings adorning the walls.

Around the same time, I’d belt out “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog” and “Blue Moon” in my mom’s living room, dancing around, exuding confidence I didn’t have back in the real world. I thank Elvis for helping me discover my inner ham and Jim and Sandy for showing me the fun of quirkiness.

Smitten with nature. Fascinated by humans. Nostalgist. Poet. Memoirist. Personal Essayist. 13X Top Writer. Featured Food Column in The Innovation.

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