Today, on his birthday, let’s all give thought to our fallen friend, who showed us the way and left us when he lost the way himself, and yet watches over us, perhaps one day to return.

He saved my life, you know. In college my housemates and I kept a picture of him, a framed photograph bought in Tupelo, hanging in tribute above the bowl in our bathroom. One stormy day I was in that bathroom and began to smell smoke. I ran to the kitchen, but there was no smoke there. I returned to the bathroom and smelled smoke again. Then I saw it, little tendrils coming from the spot where our cast-iron bathtub’s pipes from ran through the floor. Leaning over for a closer look, I placed my hand on the tub. It was electrified, and I felt the jolt through my entire body, but the spirit of the King seized me and knocked me backwards and out the bathroom door. At that same moment, the pipes finally burned through, and a bright arc of lightning shot from the tub to the sink – right where I had stood.

I called the fire department and waited outside in the rain and wind, expecting my house to burn down. Across the street, a huge tree on the corner had fallen across some power lines, knocking them down and ripping them from the side of my house. The firemen discovered that the bathtub’s pipes rested against the ground line beneath my bathroom floor. The falling tree’s roots had tangled up the line somehow, electrifying the pipes and the entire bathtub.

My friends, I might have been caught in that deadly arc of electricity. I might have decided to enjoy a soak in that iron bathtub and been fry-boiled had not the King surely turned my mind from it. Trust in him, and he will take care of your business.

Choose your own tribute. I for one and going to the Washington premiere of “Bubba Ho-Tep,” a film that interprets the life of the King for modern times. Hopefully I’ll report back here.

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