One of the great things about the web, and particularly web 2.0 applications like Facebook, YouTube, and the countless others that are emerging daily, is that it seems to bring out the storyteller in all of us. It's a place for people to talk, usually with a kind of unabashed candor, about their own American experience. Whether that experience is intertwined with politics, popular culture, sports, or something completely different, the stories that are born from everyday American life are what the Smithsonian is all about.
Miraculously, when woven together these individual threads and diverse tales form something that resembles a collective identity--a commonality that makes us remember and reminisce about what it was like to be an American when . . . JFK was shot . . . the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded . . . the events of 9/11 unfolded before our eyes.
Sometimes, the stories are weighty submissions of the head and heart, and sometimes, they simply reveal an event that transpired, a singular moment in time. Our Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer is capturing a great number of those moments. We've asked fans to tell their own stories about Elvis Presley. Here's Seth's account of meeting Elvis:
"I met Elvis August 2, 1956, at the Olympia Theater in Miami, Florida. He had just given a sold out performance. I was 11 and one of about 20 males in the audience. The show was great, the girls screamed so loud that the sound waves canceled out each other, and it became total silence. Fascinating.
After the show, everyone went around to the back alley to try to get a glimpse of the King, who was probably about 21 at the time. I was at the front of the crowd and Elvis poked his head out the 2nd floor door, and the girls went wild. Several of us made a mad dash up the fire escape to get closer, and to our amazement we got inside the door. I got to meet and talk to Elvis and he introduced me to Gene Black and the rest of the guys. Naturally, all the girls were throwing themselves at Elvis, but he seemed not interested and gave them off to the guys in the band. He signed his autograph for me, and I wish I had it today. We talked for a little while."
Share your own Elvis story . . . http://www.facebook.com/sitesExhibitions