This Side Up

Remembering Elvis, the nice guy

June 24, 2014 

My friend Terri Fletcher adored Elvis.

When she was a teenager she worked as a waitress at a uptown hotel where Elvis and his entourage stayed at when he performed in Charlotte. She was asked to deliver a birthday cake to him compliments of the hotel.

The only thing she had to say was “happy birthday.”

She got through the tight security, knocked on the door and a bodyguard opened the door and there he was, the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley sitting on the couch with his girlfriend.

Fletcher was speechless – nothing would come out,. He looked at her, she looked at him and burst out crying. He tried to calm her down. His girlfriend tried, too. Finally, after five minutes, he said, “It’s OK, I’ve been embarrassed before and it doesn’t matter.”

After she composed herself, Elvis asked her to sit down and have some cake with his entire group. Her heart skips a beat when she tell this story.

In 1956, writer Jules Archer asked Elvis for an interview while he was making his first movie “Love Me Tender.” Along with most American parents of that day, Archer stereotyped Elvis as a “delinquent” because of his (for that time) long hair, the way he dressed and his provocative (again, for the 1950s) moves on stage, he told Reminisce magazine.

However, “The kid surprised us all” he said.

Archer said Elvis was the nicest, most warm-hearted, politest kid he had ever met.

Graceland in Memphis has a special exhibit commemorating “60 years of Elvis.” It traces Elvis Presley’s history, showcases rare memorabilia including his personal version of “That’s All Right” and his wardrobe from “Viva Las Vegas.” The exhibit will be open until February. Check it out at Elvis.com/graceland.

Elvis has left the building.

Have a comment or column idea for Pat? Email her at pateudy09@carolina.rr.com.

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