A Day in My Life, March 18, 2024 — Monday, Monday

Mar 18, 2024 | Day in the Life, Friends, Life Experiences, Memoirs, Music, Remembrance, Uncategorized | 14 comments

The Mamas and Papas had a song called “Monday, Monday” in the 1970s. One of the lines was “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day…”

Lots of things happen on Mondays, though. Today, I am supposed to rehearsefor a singing engagement NEXT Monday, when my good friend Margie Rosenkranz will be inducted to the Thomas Edison Music Hall of Fame. Also, one of the first people I met when we moved here, Jackie Alper, who was a folk music DJ like me but passed away about twenty years ago, will be posthumously inducted. (I was inducted into this same Hall of Fame last year.)

Margie manages one of the longest-running coffeehouses in the country, the Eighth Step, although it’s not it its original location. She has brought many famous and up-and-coming singers and songwriters to this area. The pandemic closed so many venues, but both the Eighth Step and Caffè Lena, which is about twenty-five miles away, survived. Margie is also a singer herself and has appeared on several CDs. She’s a great friend to me.

Sometimes Margie goes to the big Folk Alliance International meetings with me. One of the best times she and I had together, along with another friend, was when the meeting was in Memphis. We decided to take the city bus to Graceland. It was in February, and the weather was cold and raw. We were the only white people on the bus. Many frail-looking Black women, all carrying the same, gold-lamee purses, told us to be careful in Memphis, that it could be dangerous if we weren’t diligent. We talked to them and thanked them for their advice.

a display of elvis movies in a store

We were amazed that the home Elvis Presley named after his mother, “Graceland,” was not as big a mansion as we expected. We bought tickets and entered. The docent handed us recorded tours and we roamed through the house. The Jungle Room had shag carpet on the ceiling; the kitchen had plastic Melmac plates, just like most homes did in the 1960s. Priscilla Presley’s voice on the tape talked about how Elvis “developed a problem with prescription medications.”

The racketball court had been converted into a museum to collect Elvis’s many awards and gold or platinum records. It’s astounding how many he received, and he was of “my” era. He also collected what are now vintage cars–mostly Cadillacs, and pink Cadillacs, at that.

Perhaps the saddest thing we saw, though, was the gravesites behind the house. That’s where Elvis’s mother, twin brother, and Elvis are buried. Once there were stained-glass crosses by their graves. However, due to vandalism, the stained glass had to be replaced by plastic, made to look like stained glass.

As we boarded the city bus to return to the conference, we thought about the young Elvis, not the older Elvis, the one who had a “problem with prescription medications.” How energetic and fun it had been to see him in many movies and on stage.

That gives you a little insight into Margie, who will be part of the local music hall of fame as of next week. She doesn’t know yet that I will be one of the musical acts at the event. I’m not playing the guitar–I’ve engaged a couple of local professionals to help out. I’m so excited to surprise her. Maybe I should go shopping for a gold lamee purse.


    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Yvette–No, she won’t see it. She’s busy putting together a fundraiser to send medical supplies to Ukraine. Plus she called me on Saturday, asking for advice on what to wear to the ceremony! LOL She’s pretty busy!

  1. Pat Garcia

    Hi Wanda,
    Your song will be excellent. I am glad you have some musicians accompanying you.
    You can concentrate on what you’re singing and sing your heart out.
    All the best.
    Shalom shalom

    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Pat–Yes, I will concentrate on the singing, and not forget the lyrics! Will let everyone know how it works out.

  2. Patty Perrin

    Hi, Wanda,

    I loved that sweet, sad song! Congratulations on having been inducted into the Thomas Edison Music Hall of Fame! And how wonderful that you get to honor your dear friend, Margie, with your music as she’s also inducted. The more I’m getting to know you through your blog, the more I admire you.

    I’ve never been to Graceland, but enjoy hearing about it. When Elvis was in the Army, he was stationed for a while in Heidelberg, Germany, where my brother was born. I loved his movies and his music. He was certainly unique.

    Have a wonderful time at the Hall of Fame celebration!


    • Wanda Fischer

      He WAS unique. He was influenced by the blues music he heard in his native Tupelo, Mississippi, as well as the gospel music he heard in church. When he went into the Army, so many teen-aged girls were at the airport to see him off. I also remember when he had his hair shaved. Girls went wild!

  3. john

    Wanda, congrats on your induction last year. I do remember the Mama’s and Papa’s and enjoyed their music. Never been to Graceland, still on my bucket list. Have a great time at the induction and knock their socks off.

    • Wanda Fischer

      Thanks, John. Graceland is on an ordinary street in Memphis, a street where there are Buger Kings, McDonalds, things like that. I had always thought it would be in the ritzy part of town, but it’s not. If you get a chance, you should go. I know I never would have gone unless the Folk Alliance conference had been there. Next year, we’re in Montreal!

  4. Karl Morgan

    Wanda, your post was awesome. The start of Elvis’s career was a bit before my time, but I did see him on television and in several movies. His military service is someone not everyone recalls. He truly was an amazing talent. It is shameful that his life had to end so tragically. Unfortunately, that has affected many other singers who died too young as well.

    Congratulations on your award!

    • Wanda Fischer

      Hi Karl–It wasn’t before my time! LOL I remember going to the movies to see his first movie, I think. It was “Love Me Tender.” Of course my cousin Helen and I cried (as girls our age did).I saw a bunch more of his movies and was in the parody of his life, “Bye, Bye. Birdie” in my high school musical. Lots of fun back then. Now, too, in retrospect.

  5. Joy Gerken

    How exciting, and such a lovely gift for your friend. I too loved Elvis. Left us far to soon. The story we have over here is that he just ate himself to death along with the drugs.
    Fame so often transforms people, leading them off the straight and narrow path. As for Tom Parker where was he during his boy’s downfall.

    I hope the singing hits the right notes as I’m sure it will,Wanda Best of luck.

    • Wanda Fischer

      Thanks, Joy. We have known each other almost since I moved here from Massachusetts in 1979. Trying to get a rehearsal together with the guitar players. Will let everyone know how it goes!

  6. Karen Black

    How exciting, Wanda! You are blessed with such talent, and you would look lovely carrying gold lamee …

    • Wanda Fischer

      Then I’d better get shopping…Maybe Target? LOL


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