The King’s Necklace

About 2 months after the funeral several black belts and the Parker family met at a small theatre in Santa Monica for the premiere of Mr. Parker and Jeff Speakman’s movie the “The Perfect Weapon”.  I remember the pride I felt when I saw my entire Saturday morning kids class in the movie.  I know it was the little kids that Mr. Parker loved so much.  To see Jeff bring the Kenpo karate we all love to life on the big screen was almost too much to ask for.  I know Mr. Parker was there that night with all of us.  I could feel his spirit as I have so many times since his passing.  My two sons, Anthony and Angelo were with me and after the movie we all went out to the lobby to say hello to Jeff.  As always he picked up my two boys and gave them a big hug.  So many little and big kids have looked up to Jeff since the movie came out.  I hope Jeff knows how proud he has made the Kenpo Karate family.  Great job, Jeff, my Kenpo brother. Thank you for making my sons feel so special that night.  May God always bless you.

At this point we saw Mrs. Parker and the family after our usual hugs.  We decided to walk them out to their car.  On the way to the parking lot Mrs. Parker said and did something, I will never forget.  She said Jack, “Please hold out your hand”.  She took my hand and dropped something into it.  I looked down and saw it was the TCB necklace Elvis Presley had given to Mr. Parker.  Mrs. Parker said, “My husband wants you to have this”.  I said with tears running down my face, “Mrs. Parker, don’t you know anyone else more special to give this too?”  She simply said,” no we don’t”.  I think I said something like. “Thanks from the bottom of my heart”.  To this day I wear this necklace to anything that has to do with Kenpo Karate and many other places.

To those of you who may not know about the necklace, TCB and TLC necklaces were given by Elvis to those close and dear to him.  TCB “Taking Care of Business” pendants were given to his male friends and TLC “Tender Loving Care” necklaces were given to his female friends as designations of those who were members of the King’s court.  The TCB and TLC’s were solid gold and were unmistakable, to my recollection only 250 including both TCB and TLC pendants were given out from 1973 up until the time of his death.  The initials TCB meant a lot to Elvis, it was the motto and philosophy that he lived by.  TCB was painted on the tail of his jet, placed on this TV sets, on the jackets of the members of his security team, as a fitting memorial, it is engraved on his tombstone at Graceland.

 

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Jack Autry lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the father of 5 children: Jack Jr., Dan, Tammi, Anthony and Angelo. Jack received his black belt from Ed Parker. He currently holds the rank of 8th degree black belt and has been a practitioner in Kenpo for over 45 years.