As you may know, the Smithsonian maintains a Facebook page that goes hand-in-hand with the traveling exhibition Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer. The crowd that follows the page is as passionate as they are insightful, and their responses to our questions are sometimes worthy of sharing with a larger audience. Check out one articulate fan's response to our question "What makes Alfred Wertheimer's 1956 photos of Elvis Presley so compelling to you?"
"I have asked for a time machine, and no one has invented one
yet . . . in fact, the need to travel time came up in another FB [Facebook] group discussion today, and that conversation was also in connection to loved ones who are not here any longer . . . bizarre, it's one of those days. Point is, to me these photos are time travel. Travel to 1956, a point in time where Elvis was crossing an invisible line, a line once crossed, he could never go back over. You can see it and sense this shift in the photos, an unseen force, like changes in the atmosphere, a hurricane was developing. [In] the photo . . . posted yesterday, look how short the line is to meet Elvis, but there is a line and the ladies are sure as heck not there waiting for a train:).The 'atmosphere' changed forever and everywhere, and in 1956, it was captured by Mr. [Wertheimer], thank you.
All the people around E. [Elvis] were clueless at the time as to [his] long-term magnitude. And even though E. had himself said he knew 'something' was going to happen to him, I think E. is most clueless of all at this point in time, also captured. What if E. had never crossed the line, unimaginable . . . but if not, then I would be posting elsewhere . . . and listening to Jim Morrison right now, in a 1970 live performance, singing Mystery Train. This is as close as we come to time travel, for now, and if or when that happens, which people would you bring back with you?"
--Rita Stokes, Elvis at 21 Facebook fan
THANKS, Rita! Keep those great comments coming! For more great responses to this question, visit our Facebook page, and follow Elvis on Twitter too! Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer was developed collaboratively by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and Govinda Gallery, and is sponsored by HISTORY™.