Senior Moments: Elvis

I realize that the job of words is to describe things, but sometimes there just aren’t enough words to describe seeing nuns and senior citizens in wheelchairs dirty dancing with an Elvis impersonator on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September.


However, I will try in the latest “Senior Moments” installment. (The others can be found by searching that term on my sidebar.) 

This past weekend was the annual community carnival at the old people’s place. The term “carnival” is a bit of a stretch, but they fill the huge parking lot and yard with booths of games for the kids, a very modest petting zoo, a bounce house (for the kids, not the seniors) and carts/tables of food, ice cream and drinks donated by local businesses.

Gram was having one of her good days, so mom and I wheeled her outside to mingle among the residents, employees and their families, goats, nuns wearing bright green “St. Ann’s Carnival 2012” T-shirts over their habits and…Elvis.

Oh yes.

Elvis had left the building and set up shop on the makeshift stage. He was the real deal, resplendent in a white jumpsuit bedazzled with gold and silver gleaming in the late afternoon sun. His black hair hardly moved when the gentle breeze blew, and his sideburns accented his exposed chest hair of a similar hue.

While many of those in the audience were aware that this wasn’t in fact the real Elvis, there was one senior friend who informed the Hunka Hunka Burning Love that she saw him in concert in 1957 and threw her panties on stage.

We were all just relieved that she didn’t try and recreate that moment.

Elvis was actually awesome, although with his gyrating hips and plethora of “silk” scarves to give out to the ladies, I think at times he forgot that he was working a crowd of senior citizens, children and nuns.

One nun who had recently celebrated her 60th anniversary of sisterhood joined Elvis on stage for a rousing rendition of “Little Sister,”— dancing like she had been into the holy wine a wee bit too much — while Sister Judith grabbed the microphone stand and proceeded to dip left and right, a back-up singer to the King and the Lord for “Devil In Disguise.”

When Elvis made his way towards Gram for a song, she joined in signing and dancing in her chair while the King placed a scarf around her neck. When asked later by a friend about this budding romance, she replied, “He’s got business to take care of and I’m too tired right now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be up for some fun yet tonight.”

He continued making the rounds as each song came over the speakers, changing the words to fit the situation at times —“I really want one of those hot dogs” (sung to “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog”)—while the nuns continued to dance in the grass.

Add in a middle-aged woman who apparently thought she was at a karaoke bar after last call, an old guy who yelled, “what the hell are you doing?” when the microphone was thrust in his face and a dog dragging his ass across the grass in front of the stage, and that pretty much sums up the moment.

So as Elvis finished his rendition of “Rolling Down to St. Ann’s,” that’s just what we did, rolling Gram back inside to the dining room to trade in her scarf for a “clothing protector” and food.

She is, after all, still the Queen.

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27 responses to “Senior Moments: Elvis

  1. Oh that is PRICELESS. THANK YOU for sharing, the mental picture was awesome!

    It also reminds me of a joke I saw yesterday on Twitter? What do you call a Nun in a wheelchair? Virgin Mobile. Ha!

  2. Hahahah VERY COOL. If only someone took a video!

  3. Sounds like my kind of party. There’s a little town near me that hosts a huuuuuge Elvis festival every summer. We’d always schedule our beach weekends at that time, just so that we could drive through the city and count how many Elvises we saw. I think one year it was something like 87. I wonder if your guy was ever there! haha..

  4. Damn, I love Gran stories!

  5. What a great story and a great time for those seniors!

  6. Sounds like my kind of party!

  7. When you qualified that the bounce house was for kids, and not the seniors, I actually snorted. Thank you.

  8. Oh, that is so funny! Your Gram is da bomb!! (came from finding the funny)

  9. Too funny. Elvis impersonators crack me up, especially since they’re a dime a dozen here in Vegas.

  10. I need to get one of those “clothing protectors”!

  11. this lightheartedness was perfect right now, made me smile a lot and laugh. I never tire of Gram stories, “he’s got business to take care of” <– just awesome. dog scooting across the grass? even more awesome.

  12. Loved this. I can just envision the swinging Elvis in my head!!

  13. I did the Elvis is Alive 5k run here last month. The post race party included several elvis impersonators on stage. You’d be surprised how many people were rocking out hard core like the fake Elvi (plural? ha) were the true King himself. It was magical.

  14. You just planned my next birthday party. Gran is invited.

  15. Hilarious! “hair hardly moved when the gentle breeze blew” – The hair and sideburns are always the campy signature.
    It’s just so odd people adore Elvis impersonators.

  16. This was a riot. I hope your Gran had as good a time as she sounds like she did. I love it when “the olds” let their hair down and let rip a little

  17. Gentle jesus the garden…. that was one of the funniest things I have ever read. Fabulous job putting that scene into words – I could see it all as I read, and it left me rather speechless!
    (and while reading, an exceptionally sad moment was on the the television in the background… so I can’t be 100% positive my face is wet with tears of joy, as I am a sap for emotional tv scenes… but at least half these tears are from a cry-laugh!)

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed that!

    My mom, two of her sisters, and a cousin are all going to see an Elvis impersonator on the St. Croix River (WI) tomorrow. It kills me.


  19. Love it! That’s a good way to get people to come visit. Your Gram is lucky to have you in her life.

  20. I totally meant to comment on this before but I always read your posts from my phone and my fingers are too fat to adequately comment from my phone without auto correct making me sound like a spammer. For instance, Elvis funeral may turn into Elvis fibers. I think it did actually. Anyway, I figured you needed to know that when I worked at the funeral home one of our directors was an Elvis impersonator (a damn good one too) and he used to call my mom and sing to her on birthdays and holidays for me. I suppose it sorta makes sense as Elvis is dead. Or is he . . .

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