Maybe it’s because its Elvis Death Week (he died August 16th) that I’m remembering him fondly today. He’s one of my celebrity-sighting claims to fame, as I saw him perform live (in his white-pantsuit, drug-impaired, Vegas edition) with my parents when I was a little girl; and his death, in 1977, is one of my earliest “where were you when you heard” moments. (I was in the living room of the house I grew up in–I have a snapshot in my mind of the adults discussing it, as important news.) I’ve also been fascinated over the years at how Elvis functions in our popular culture: obviously as a (possibly objectionable) appropriator of African-American musical creativity; as a part of the National Enquirer culture that gave him a kind of immortality through Elvis sightings; and as a job-creator for an entire profession of Elvis impersonators. I’ve also found it remarkable that well before gender fluidity was a thing, more than one otherwise-utterly-straight man of my acquaintance confessed to me that for the young Elvis, he would have been glad to make a celebrity exception. But perhaps my favorite thing about Elvis is his rendition of the song that, when I discovered it as a teen, made me feel better about spending more time in the library than at parties, and helped me begin to imagine such a thing as nerd chic. I knew I was irredeemably square, but if a guy like Elvis wouldn’t care, there was hope.