February 14, 1977
Happy Valentine’s Day! My name is Erin and I’m in Mrs. Himes’s third grade class at Cameron Elementary School. That’s in Barstow, California.
Because it is Valentines Day and we’re learning to write letters, we have to write a valentine’s letter to someone who is important to us. Most people are writing to their moms or dads or grandmas. I know for a fact that Susan Ruby is writing to Billy Jones. She sits next to me and I can see her making X’s and O’s all over her paper. Yuck!
You probably think it is strange that I’m writing to you because we’ve never met. But you are very important to me. But it’s not because I like your music. I do like your music, but that’s not why I’m writing. See, I know a secret that I haven’t told anyone in the world and Valentine’s Day seemed like a good time to tell you. I’m not just a fan. I’m your daughter! Neat, huh?
So here’s the deal. My mom was at one of your ’68 Comeback Special Concerts. She told me all the details. She was working for NBC at the time and one of the executives thought she was very pretty, so they asked her to sit beside you on the edge of the stage when you sang your last song in the concert. She said that they wanted to make sure that people knew that young people still liked you too. She said that you sang Memories (That’s my second favorite Elvis song!) and she said you sang it so pretty. She also said that you were very handsome. Do you remember my mom? She was sitting on your left and was wearing a blue blouse with a ruffle. She said that you smiled at her and were really nice.
My mom still has the ticket stub. It says that the concert was on June 29, 1968. I was born exactly nine months later, on March 29, 1969! See, I told you I was your daughter!
I know this is probably a surprise for you, so let me tell you a little bit about myself.
First, I have black hair just like yours and I can sneer just like you do in your movies. I can send you a picture of me sneering, if you want it. Also, my name is Erin and your middle name is Aaron. My mom didn’t spell it the same way because that would have been too obvious, but I know she named me after you.
I also have a little brother. His name is Sam, but I don’t think he’s your son because he has brown hair and can’t sneer. He is five. I’m almost nine.
I have a yellow cat named Sneakers and two fish named Bob and Jane. My brother named the fish.
My favorite tv show is Happy Days. I think Fonzie looks like little bit like you.
I asked my mom once if you were my real father and she said no, that my dad was my dad. But I think she just didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He’s a good dad. He takes good care of me. We play baseball all the time and sometimes he brings me ice cream when he comes home for work.
So, once you read this letter you’re probably going to want to come and get me so I can live with you in Graceland. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I think it would be fun to live at Graceland. You have lots of neat stuff, I bet. I’ve seen pictures of you with a snowmobile. I’ve never seen a snowmobile. And I read once that you sometimes go to the movies and you’re the only one in the audience. That would be really neat. There’s a new movie coming out called Star Wars. I bet it would fun to see Star Wars in a movie theater that was empty. My friends would be so jealous. Plus if I came to live at Graceland, I’d have an older sister! Lisa Marie is a year older than I am, so I bet we’d get along great. I’ve always wanted an older sister. We could do each other’s hair and when we got older we could double date like they do on Happy Days.
But, here’s the deal. I don’t think it would be a good idea. See, I think my mom and dad would be very sad if I went to live with you in Memphis. They’ve lived with me for almost nine years. They’d probably miss me. And Sam would miss me too. When he has nightmares he comes into my room and sleeps with me. Plus he’s starting school here at Cameron Elementary School next year, and I told him that I’d show him around. He might get lost if I’m in Memphis.
I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings by not wanting to move to Graceland. I will come and visit you all the time. You could even send your private plane. I know it’s named The Lisa Marie. After reading this letter I bet you’ll buy another one and name it The Erin. That’s the one you could send. And if you send a whole plane, my parents and Sam and Sneakers could come too. Bob and Jane would have to stay home. Fish don’t like to fly.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that my favorite song is Jailhouse Rock. I put it on my record player and dance all around my room. Then I listen to Andy Gibb, because he’s really cute. Do you know Andy Gibb? Maybe I could meet him when I come to visit.
I guess that’s all I have to say. I hope you write me back soon. I’ll check the mailbox every day. Please say hi to Lisa Marie for me and tell her that I can’t wait to meet her.
Love your daughter,
Erin Jean Spaulding