It’s time to remember Elvis
August 11, 2017
As many of you know, Aug. 16 is the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. I am keenly aware of this, being an Elvis fan from way back.
When I was a reporter/columnist for a daily paper, any Elvis tips that came to the newsroom were sent to me.
It all started when I got a tip that there was a guy who worked as a clerk at a gas station/convenience store in Grand Forks, N.D., looked like Elvis. I ran out there and did a story about him. He would even do his Elvis impersonation "Thank you, thank you very much," when people came into the store.
Then there was a story about a guy from Roseau. Minn., who was an Elvis impersonator. He was doing his first performance at the school gymnasium in Roseau. I didn't think his impersonation was that great but the people in the audience, especially those who knew him were so excited. I called that story "Viva Las Roseau."
The next day at work I got a phone call from a reader who wanted to know if I was interested in purchasing some Elvis liquor decanters. I declined because he wanted too much money for them.
My favorite Elvis story was about a guy who found a pair of pants in a thrift store that Elvis wore in the movie "Frankie and Johnny." I don't remember how he had the pants authenticated, but he was a private investigator so I'm sure he had connections. The pants were yellow and incredibly small. I was pretty skinny at the time and I could never have fit into them. As soon as I had time I watched the movie (on video tape, of course) just so I could see him in the pants.
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After that story ran I got a photo in the mail of a woman standing next to a guy that looked like Elvis. They had transposed a photo of my head — the one from my weekly column in the newspaper — onto the woman's body. There was no return address or letter or explanation in the envelope about who had sent it. That was a little creepy.
I think I will celebrate the anniversary by watching "Frankie and Johnny." I don't have a VCR anymore so I will probably have to find a copy on Amazon Prime. ❖