Sep. 15, 2020


You never know who might suddenly-appear in your Be Prepared.  This is another short but sweet story from my book: THE BEAUTY QUEEN.)

Growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, I had many pleasant and sometimes-shocking moments. 

For Instance, there was the afternoon my father was in the front yard, working in his rose garden, and I was sitting at the piano-- memorizing Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude.

Daddy came inside to tell me J.E. Brown was outside with some hippie-looking guy and they wanted to see me. At the time, J.E. (later known as Jim Ed, a popular country singer) and I were “just friends” but several years later, we seriously-dated. (J.E. gave me the gift of a beautiful French Poodle named Pierre.)

Walking outside, I was delighted to see J.E. and his friend. Both were standing by a large motorcycle, an expensive Harley, decked-out with shiny chrome and lots of black leather fringe.

J.E.’s friend was good-looking in a different sort of way—with tight leather pants, black combat boots, greased-back long hair and thick sideburns. He had a pouty mouth which I found extremely-tempting-- to say the least. A guy with that look, especially in Pine Bluff, was considered “suspicious” especially if he was riding a motorcycle. Even today, I love motorcycles and remain fascinated with those who ride them.

J.E. said his friend had ridden his bike from Memphis because,  later that evening, he would be  performing on-stage at Watson Chapel, a small community on the outskirts of Pine Bluff. When I moved closer to the bike for a better look, J.E.’s friend asked if I’d like to “take a ride.”

Before I could answer, my father said “Boy, I don’t trust the way you’re dressed and I don’t like motorcycles but I do have faith in J.E. If he says you’re alright, I’ll go with that. If Sally wants to take a short ride I won’t interfere but, I warn you: She’s precious cargo and you better get her back here in thirty minutes, do you understand?”

I climbed on the bike behind J.E.’s friend, put my arms around his mid-section and held on tight. We had just begun pulling out of the driveway when my father yelled, “Fellow, just in case I need to come looking for you—what’s your name?”

Circling back, the biker pulled up next to my father, extended his hand and said, “Sir, my name is Elvis Presley.”

Sally Miller