Great to read kimmi. Thanks for posting.
“I’ll Remember You”
From the very beginning I thought he was the greatest. The first song I
really remember was “Heartbreak Hotel”. And I remember waiting in a line
around the block to see “Love Me Tender”. I never dreamed that I’d ever get
to see him in person. But in October 1969, I was in Memphis for the National
Quartet Convention, and I saw him as he left Graceland one afternoon. He was
In June 1970, I was in Nashville to see the Imperials and found out that Elvis was recording at RCA. A friend and I went over and waited until he
came out of the recording studio; we got his autograph and had our pictures
taken with him, but we were so excited that we didn’t wind the film and our
pictures were double-exposed. A chance of a lifetime - - a picture with the
world’s greatest star - - and we double-expose the pictures.
In September 1970, he came to Mobile and I saw my first concert. It was
easy to see why he was the King of Rock and Roll. I saw one concert in 1971,
one in 1973, and one in 1974. In early 1975, he started getting some bad
reviews, and even though I had tickets to see him in Huntsville on May 30,
31, and June 1, I couldn’t wait - - so I went to Murfreesboro on May 6 to
see for myself. I was not disappointed! He was still the king! The five
Huntsville shows were fantastic. I was lucky enough to have a front row seat
at the June 1, 2:30 show, and I got a scarf and a kiss. I thought nothing
could ever top that.
On July 26, 1975, a friend Carolyn and I got to talk with him for about 35
minutes. He was at the Memphian Theatre (Memphis) and we thought we’d just
get close enough to take a picture, but a couple of other girls were getting
pictures out of their trunk for him to autograph and he was just leaning up
against the car as we walked up to him. He was smiling and said “Hi.” I said
“I just saw you four times in Huntsville and you were great.” He said he had
been nervous about coming to Huntsville because he’d never played here
before but when he walked out on stage he thought he was Werner Von Braun. I
told him that Huntsville loved him. I told him he was working too hard, that
he was touring more than ever. He said he loved it, he loved appearing
before a live audience, that it gave him a feeling of a sense of
accomplishment. I started to ask him something else (changing the subject),
but he said, “Are you listening to me or thinking about something else?” I
told him that I knew what he said and I repeated part of it. He was teasing
me - - guess he knew that I was excited.
He had just finished a tour in Asheville, NC, the night before (when he
gave away the guitar and rings). I said, "I heard you were giving away
everything last night.” And he said instead of pitching the guitar to
Charlie that he just pitched to a man on the front row and then he gave a ring to another man on the front row. He said then that he called a girl up
to the stage from three or four rows back and he gave her a star-shaped
diamond ring; he said she turned two or three flips back to her chair. He
was laughing and said he just went crazy. The following Sunday (July 27)
night, he gave a black bank teller that he saw on a car dealer’s parking lot a new Cadillac.
Carolyn and I were planning to go to Las Vegas in August (just a month
away) and we didn’t know anything about how to “act” except we had heard
that you had to tip big. Well, Carolyn told him that we were coming to Vegas
to see him and asked him what you had to do to sit on the front. Without
answering Carolyn, he just called Sonny West over and told him that we were
coming to Vegas to see him and that we wanted to sit on the front row and to
take care of it. He seemed pleased that we would go all the way to Las Vegas
just to see him. Elvis said he would remember us, that he didn’t always
remember names but he remembered faces. It was funny because we didn’t know
who Sonny was. Sonny just acknowledged Elvis' remark and stepped back. I
asked Sonny who he was and he told me and said when we got to Las Vegas to
call him. I told him that they wouldn’t let me talk to him and he said, “I
have a beeper and I answer the calls I want to.”
Some more people had walked up by then and one of the girls said she didn’
t believe he was really Elvis. Trying to convince her that he was Elvis, he
started to sing “Treat Me Like a Fool…” Then just a little of “Hound Dog”.
And I said, “You didn’t sing ‘Tiger Man’ for us.” And WOW!! He started “I’m
the king of the jungle…” I said, “Now I know it’s not him.” He just grabbed
me and hugged me - - he knew that I was teasing him - -that I knew for sure
it was him.
Something that impressed me most about Elvis was when some guys walked up, Elvis reached to shake hands with them and introduced himself to them. Just
as any other man would introduce himself, he told them his name as he shook
hands with them.
When he signed his autograph for me, I told him my name was Helen. He
said, “To hell and back?” Then he said, “Can I write that?” I told him that
I didn’t care and he said that I’d have to explain it. He signed, “To Helen
n back, Love, Elvis Presley,” Then, he told me again to explain it to
everyone. (He must have thought that I was going to be showing it to a lot
of people - - Ha!)
As we left, we exchanged a “See you in Las Vegas” with Elvis. It was
almost like a dream. In fact, at one point, Carolyn and I were standing
behind Elvis and I looked at Carolyn and said, “Can you believe this?”
When Elvis got sick in August and came home from Vegas before we got
there, you can imagine how disappointed we were. But we saw Sonny in
September and he said we’d still get to sit on the front just like Elvis
said. (He was going back to Vegas in December.) Finally, the time passed. On
Dec. 6, 1975, we sat front, center (at the stage) for the dinner show, he
just smiled to us; then when he started to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love, he came over and gave Carolyn a scarf, backed up and got another one, and stepped back and gave it to me.
In 1976 and 1977, we traveled many miles to concerts (St. Louis, Atlanta,
Memphis, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Knoxville, Mobile, Louisville, Birmingham,
and Las Vegas again) and, of course, he graced the stage of the Von Braun
Civic Center again in September 1976. Each concert just made us want to see
I am so thankful that he lived in my lifetime. He gave so much; he gave
his life to entertaining us. I think he loved us (his fans) just as we loved
him. I made so many friends through him and have so many wonderful memories
of him. I WILL REMEMBER HIM!!
Great to read kimmi. Thanks for posting.
You are welcome, dearest Jen
Here is another one:
November, 1960 my father took me and girlfriend from school to the gate.
Vester was working that evening. My Dad talked to Vester for a few
minutes then he got into the car to take a nap as he had to be at work
at 11:00 that night. There were several people there just hanging out.
I struck up a conversation with this couple who informed me they were
going up to the house later, Elvis was having a party.
I asked her how did they get to go and she informed me that someone from
the house would come down and pick out the crowd and if they knew you,
you could go. Well, I knew no one knew me, so I asked her would she
consider letting me and my girlfriend go with them up to the house. She
kinda looked at me for a minute and then agreed. I couldn't believe it,
I felt like screaming, but I didn't. I was so excited.
Finally, a car came down and a man got out and sort of picked through
the group of people. Next thing I know, I'm on my way to the house. I
was so nervous.
When we got into the house the girl and her friend told me and my
girlfriend not to be wandering around then they left us standing in the
hallway. I walked into the living room where there was an extra long
white sofa, white carpet, red drapes. I just kinda walked around in a
dream state. Then I saw Travis. He came up to me and welcomed me. I
asked him if I could use the phone and he took me to a phone in the
hallway. I called my mother to tell her where I was. (she knew where I
was, but my father was asleepin the car). At any rate when I got off
the phone I decided to walk around a little bit and found myself at the
back of the staircase where I saw stairs so I started down them. There
were mirrors on each side of the steep staircase and I could hear
voices. There were several voices, taliking, laughing. When I reached
the bottom I turned to the right where I immediately saw Elvis playing
pool. I froze in my tracks and just stood there. I could not believe
my eyes, he was beautiful. I remember George Klein and Gene Smith and
Lamar Fike were there, I know there were others, but I don't remember
who, anyway with Elvis in the room there was no one else. I finally
turned and went across to the den where there were several couples
listening to music. The room was dimly lit, there was a circular couch
with tiny rose tea lights that went around the top of the couch. We got
a drink from the bar (served Pepsi or Orange Crush) I got an Orange
Crush and sat down on the couch. I had to sit down or fall down. My
brain was mush and my blood pressure was probably at stroke level. I
just could not believe I was there and Elvis was in the next room. I was
so nervous. Finally , I went back upstairs and went into the dinning
room, at that time there were two antique buffets on each side of the
door going to the kitchen. He had pictures of himself and Anita Wood.
I talked to Travis and Loraine for a while then I went over and sat down
at the table. Elvis' scrapbooks were on the table and I started
thumbing through them when I felt like someone was watching, I looked up
and there stood Elvis in the doorway when I made eye contact with him,
he smiled and walked back into the kitchen. About that time Vester
barged into the room and said "Oh there you are Shirley, your Dad's
looking for you". I could have crawled under the table. I went over and
he informed that I had to go and he ushered me out of the house. I was
so upset. At any rate when we got to the gate my Dad was waiting. It
was 10:00 and he had to be at work at 11:00. We got into the car and
started home when my girlfriend remembered she left her coat at
Graceland, so we had to turn arond and go back. Vester took us back up
to the house and when we walked in there stood Travis. I immediately
walked up to him and asked him to introduce me to Elvis. He said
"Sure, follow me". I followed him down the little hallway around the
back of the stairs into the kitchen where I saw Elvis in all his glory
with black pants, grey sweater, black suede shoes and a spatula in his
hand flipping hamburgers, yes folks, he was cooking. He had six
hamburgers cooking. Travis walked up to him and said "Elvis, I've got
someone I want you to meet". Elvis walked up and took my hand, I almost
passed out. Travis introduced us and Elvis looked down at me and said
" Hi, it's nice to meet you". I said "It's nice to meet you too. He
said "Are you having a good time". I said "Yes, but I've got to go home
my daddy's gotta go to work" Elvis said " Oh, that's too bad, well, you
come back and see me anytime ". I said: "Okay, I will". Of course,
I didn't know that I could reach the President of the United States
quicker than I could Elvis. At any rate I left floating on air, vowing
to never wash my hand The funny thing is, I don't remember a thing my
girlfriend did or said. I don't remember ever seeing that couple again
You have to realize, I had just turned 13 and was scared to death.
Sorry, if this is too long.
those are not too long......you just have to take time to read them...LOL.
Great stories Jess.
Lamar Fike - About five or Six of us went down to this K-mart type store
late at night to find gifts for the Stanley boys. And Elvis wanted all the
toys to match for all three of the kids. And we had to put all the gifts
together that night.
David Stanley - I remember when we woke up and went out in the backyard
there were 3 bikes, 3 cats, 3 dogs, 3 toy cars and more. I honestly thought
Elvis was Santa Claus.
Lamar Fike - One year he bought me this motorcycle, what we call a Harley
74. And we used to see how fast we could get our bikes going as you come
down Elvis Presley Blvd and whip into the driveway--just to see who would
chicken out. And nobody wanted to chicken out. And on this particular day
there was a misty rain. Well, Elvis whipped into the driveway leaning low
and it worked for him. So I figured I'd try to do the same move and go in
beside him. Well it laid down and it just kept on goin'. And I saw this
Memphis Bus coming at me. And I went right under it, all the way past the
middle part of it. I thought I was dead. And for a few seconds, because of
how badly I was pinned down, I thought I was paralyzed. And Elvis's face
comes down under the rim of the bus as he's kneeling down looking at me. And
he's laughing like a maniac.
He said, "You okay?"
I said, "I think I'm paralyzed."
He said, "Are you serious?"
And then of course he starts drawing a crowd and it seemed like forever
before he finally got around to explaining to the right person what the
problem was. And they had to get this big crane like the ones they use to
move Tractor Trailors with. And they lifted that thing about fifteen feet. I
had not one scratch on me. He laughed about that for ten years.
Elvis was good to his fans, I mean we all hung out at the gate, played
baseball in the front yard, threw frizbees, had foot races up the
driveway, you name it, we probably did it. There are not any other
stars I know of that would allow you to do that. One year it snowed and
they got this metal table top and started sliding down the driveway on
it. Harold would open the gate and watch the traffic so when different
people would come down the drive they could just go right on out into
the street. I never did this myself, except this guy that liked me
brought it over to my house and I slid down my own driveway and hit the
fireplug across the street. We had 18 inches that year, 1963.
I remember Vernon coming down the drive in his car and he couldn't stop
at the fork of the drive and went right out into the yard. Also he got
stuck again in a ditch not far from Graceland. He walked down my street
and about two or three houses down to their backyard. I was in mine.
Vernon yelled "Hey Shirley, climb over the fence and come down the other
side and help get this board off" I said " I can't do that, I'd kill
myself". I mean after all the fence was iced over and it wasn't exactly
short and just before that my girlfriend and just slid down my neighbors
driveway and stopped under his parked VW that he couldn't get up his
drive. It was really slick. I could see myself hung up on the fence.
At that time I was living behind Graceland. I remember thinking, here
is Elvis' father asking me to climb his son's fence.
It just seems one story leads to another.
Just found this group and plan to check it out daily. My name is
Eddie, I live in San Jose, having moved here from Honolulu. An Elvis
fan since 1956. In Nov. 19, 1957 I saw Elvis live at Conroy Bowl in
Schofield Barracks (Army base) I was stationed at Barber's Pt. NAS.
I paid $1.00, that's right, one buck! Remeber it was 1957 and one
dollar was a lot of money for an E-2. It was a sp. price for
military. My future wife (we were engaged 4 days later) did not want
to go, so I went by myself. He sang all the popular (now classics)
songs of 57. Four years later (1961) I was working for Hawaiian
Dodge. I was assigned a blue convertable as my demo. (I was a
salesman) My demo was borrowed by the studio and was used in scenes
with Elvis driving. About 10 years later, while working my way
through college (UH) as a waiter at the Ilikai Hotel (now a condo) I
heard that Elvis was a guest. I saw him sitting outside one of the
restaurants-bars with another man. Elvis was smoking a cigar. I
approached him (there were no other fans around him) and asked for his
autograph. All I had was a napkin. We made small talk (weather,
Hawaii, etc.) for a few minutes and I left him sitting there enjoying
a drink and his cigar. My last contact with him was about four years
later when he did the live satelite show from Hawaii. I was by then a
Honolulu Police Officer and one of many security for the show.
Because his show was a benefit we were not paid. All volunteers. And
since I was a fan I gladly volunteered and thoroughly enjoyed the
show. In 1995 I visited Graceland. And now my grandchildren are
discovering Elvis. When they visit I make sure they hear the king.
You should see the 2 yr. old dance! Is my story dull or corny or ?
Anyone out there see Elvis live in 1957? Thanks for reading. EL
Thanks for all the stories Jess. They were fun to read.
Wonderful stories, thank you Kim!