January 8, 1977.  We were in Palm Springs at Elvis’ house, having a wonderful, carefree time, looking forward to the year ahead.  After I finished doing his hair in the bedroom he put on his black suit – he looked fantastic.  He turned to me and said, “This is my day, Lawrence, my birthday, and I get to do whatever I want.  C’mon man, watch this!”  He had a big smile on his face as he picked up the book The Prophet and a stack of money, motioning for me to follow him to the living room, where everyone was waiting.

“Will all you guys please leave me and the ladies alone; I want to talk to them for a while.”  We all left, leaving our wives or girlfriends with Elvis.  For the next forty-five minutes he read to them several passages from The Prophet. Then he said, “This is my birthday, and what I want most is to give you all a gift.”  As he handed each one a new hundred-dollar bill (a very generous gift in the 70s), he admonished, “Now you have to promise to spend this on yourselves, and I’m havin’ Robinson’s keep their store open late tonight just for you.  No one’s gonna bother you; I’m sending security with you.  So you all go and have fun for me on my birthday.”

So what does the man who has everything want for his birthday?  If he’s Elvis…just the joy of giving to others.

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

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