I wonder why EPE doesen't toss a little $$ there way??

It's a plan born in the heart of a true fan. Problem is, there's not a penny to pay for it.

The man who single-handedly persuaded the powers that be to transform Eighth Avenue North into Rosa L. Parks Boulevard now wants to put a giant statue of Elvis in Hall of Fame Park. That's the one in front of the Hilton Hotel, across from the symphony hall.

Can't blame a guy for trying.

Moses Walter Fisher Jr. proposes "the most magnificent" sculpture of Elvis Presley "anywhere in the United States." He wrote two passionate, lengthy letters to Metro Councilwomen Megan Barry and Erica Gilmore, who sent them to the parks department, which put them on Tuesday's parks board agenda, where it likely will be shuffled off to another agency.

We're a polite city, Lord knows, but can't someone have the guts to tell Moses, "Thankyouverymuch, but no"?

He didn't include his telephone number in his letters, and it is not listed. An electronic search system did turn up a phone number under his name. But two calls to it were not returned (and there's no voice mail to know if it's his).

Fisher's letters are sincere: "There are times when I sometimes wonder why the city that's known around the world as Music City, U.S.A. does not have some kind of memorial in honor of the greatest singer and entertainer of our time, Elvis Aaron Presley," he starts out.

He makes his case that Presley was a great country singer. Elvis recorded hits at RCA's famous Studio B here. He appeared once on the Grand Ole Opry, and routinely on the Louisiana Hayride. According to the Country Music Hall of Fame (of which Presley is an inducted member), he took country from a regional audience to a national one.

But a sculpture of him? In Nashville? The King was born in Tupelo and hails from Memphis.

The sculpture Fisher envisions would show Elvis, wearing a sparkly cape and diamond rings, with a guitar. He would be posed on top of a black marble base engraved with the title of every Elvis movie and record. It would cause the viewer to be "mesmerized."
No one has offered to pay

Nobody in City Hall is mesmerized. Mortified is more like it.

Parks Director Roy Wilson will recommend that the parks board send the proposal to the Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has control over the park. Being as how those folks aren't prone to promote the city on Tennessee's far western border, Fisher's statue has no prayer.

And then there's that other sticky wicket. Who has stepped up to pay for it? That would be nobody.

"It's going to cost a lot of money," Wilson said. "It's a nice letter. There's a fondness for Elvis. But why would we do this in Nashville?"

City officials have been polite to treat this out-there proposal so respectfully. But a full-blown parks board hearing, involving subcommittees and studies and referrals to another agency?

Don't be cruel. Go ahead and tell the man there is no hope.

Gail Kerr
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