At one time, I had an ‘Elvis box’ filled with various treasures I’d collected over the years, including James Burton’s autograph (Elvis’ guitar player, for those who don’t know. My sisters and I saw him in the aisles before an Elvis concert, and he was kind enough to sign), leaves off a bush from my first trip to Graceland, concert ticket stubs, and newspapers from the time of his death. Somewhere, in one of my moves to a new location, the box disappeared. 😦 However, I still have many, many Elvis items, memorabilia, etc. I ran across some things this week that I thought I’d share.
The summer following his death, my sister’s friend, Paula Starr and family were taking a trip to Memphis and Nashville. My sister couldn’t go, I can’t recall why, so Paula invited me. At the time, they were not offering tours inside the home, and, there was no ‘Elvis Presley Enterprise’ with the buses and shops, etc. It was just his home, and we were met at the gate by Vester, Elvis’ uncle. We paid our money and were admitted to the grounds. This is Paula and I in front of the house. I was almost 17. (I’m on the right, in the orange Elvis shirt. I’m not smiling, I think I was very sad the entire time)
After his death, there were tons and tons of publications, specials, etc. The media was flooded with Elvis news and interviews, etc. I ran across this magazine from 1977. I don’t know if you can see, but it was only $2 and it is filled with fantastic pictures and articles. (I found a few others as well).
And the copyright:
An artist friend of mine, Steve Cass, presented this charcoal drawing to me in around 2005, I believe. He called it ‘Elvis, No Velvet’ because so many Elvis paintings were done on velvet, and he wanted to highlight the fact that he didn’t do his on velvet. This is a drawing of the original painting, which he sold. Sadly, Steve passed away a few years later. (As you can see, it was signed to me, my ‘real’ name is Alice. I will treasure it forever)
This is a pic I took at a 1976 Oklahoma City concert, my second Elvis concert. The quality is horrible. My camera sucked, and I was not close to the stage, but if you’re an Elvis fan, I’m sure you can tell it’s him. Even in this grainy, out of focus, small photo, that walk is unmistakable.
I have mentioned before that I wrote my first ever story at age 11, and it was a romance, about a hero who looked like Elvis. It was titled ‘Just Pretend’ (after the Elvis song) and I named my hero Lonnie Beale after Elvis’ character in one of my favorite movies, Tickle Me. Side note, I named my heroine’s mother Ruth as a tribute to my sister and lifelong Elvis buddy, Ruth, who was also the first to read my masterpiece 🙂 Below are a few shots from my hand-written story. I’m not sure if you can read it, it’s in faded pencil and hard to read ink, but actually, my handwriting was better then than it is now. 🙂 For the first time ever, an exclusive peek at Just Pretend by Alicia Dean…
I don’t know if you can read this, but in the excerpt above, my heroine Trish’s younger sister has been getting to know Lonne, or Dr Beale, and has discovered his favorite singer is Elvis, etc, etc
Apparently, in the scene above, I was revising and decided that section must go. I guess I decided that it wasn’t necessary to be specific about which song she was listening to, nor was it necessary to share the lyrics. In my rewrite, I just have Trish listening to Elvis records, in general. 🙂 (How nice would it have been to have a computer back then, or heck, I’d have been happy with a typewriter :))
Now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, here is Elvis singing Just Pretend and being precious to a fan in the audience.
Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.
Learn more here, including how to donate:
On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?