Monday, October 7, 2013

The King is born

I was born in 1961. That's also when Elvis Presley was at the height of his popularity.

To illustrate . . .

You may know that my parents were deaf and although they each had a usable voice, only those familiar with them could clearly understand them. That is, they could speak and be understood by their children, neighbors and some others who were close to them and communicated day-to-day with them. For most other times, they carried around pencil and paper (like most other deaf people back in the middle 20th century) to navigate and negotiate transactions with the hearing world.

Although I never confirmed this with them, I can only imagine that upon my birth they were visited in the hospital by someone from the D.C. department of vital records or something like that who asked for statistics like age and name of the parents, weight and race of the baby, etc. Presumably they passed a pad of paper back and forth in question-and-answer style so that this public health official could create a birth certificate.

After getting the statistics, he asked about a name and he asked my mother and father what they had decided on.

But instead of using pencil and paper, after they read his question they spoke in unison, "Elvis."

"How's that?" he asked. "Alvin?" and wrote down what he thought he heard.

At least that's what I'd like to think happened.

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