1935 - ON POTENTIALOn 8 January 1935, twins were born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room shack in East Tupelo, Mississippi. Because he drew a bad location in the womb, Jesse Garon Presley, an identical twin of Elvis Presley, was still-born. His better-placed twin went on to lead a short but significant life. Jesse was buried in a shoe-box in an unmarked grave by his parents, who couldn't afford the 10 dollars for a doctor, and certainly could not afford the cost of a funeral. The title - Elvis Presley's Twin - is a reminder of how lucky we all are to have led any life at all.
Despite the fact he never lived at all, Jesse Garon Presley has had a surprisingly large impact. Two musicians have adopted his name, two bands - Jesse Garon Presley and the Percolators and Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes - have incorporated his name, and two books - Elvis' DNA Proves He's Alive [BEENY] and Elvis Presley's Twin, Jesse Garon: The Records Show He Died - But Did He? [KNIGHT] - have speculated about his "life". His "fame" continues. He is a topic of conversation in Jim Jarmusch's 2003 film "Coffee and Cigarettes" and the subject of a song called Jesse in Scott Walker's 2006 album "The Drift".
About half-way through MY life, in 1970, after teaching Introductory Psychology to two classes of 700 students - 700 day students in the matinee and 700 evening students in the late show - I decided to quit show business. I resigned from my job, got rid of all my possessions, closed down my apartment, and checked into a rooming house in preparation for going off to explore the world. Freedom 35.
One day, I came down to the foyer of the rooming-house, saw a woman standing there, and had the following conversation:
However, I found myself pondering my usual response. It was ME who should be blushing. After studying psychology for ten years, teaching psychology for five years, writing an introductory textbook to psychology which sold 100,000 copies to unsuspecting students [GARDINER], I was saying and believing that I didn't know any more about people than a lay-person. One theme of my life since then has been an attempt to learn something about people outside the framework of formal psychology. This book could be considered as my progress report another 35 years later.