Posts tagged: Elvis Presley
Cynthia Langenheder used to think it was neat to have the same birthday as the late king of rock and roll.
But over the years, she started thinking more in terms of sharing the birthday with Stephen Hawking.
With whom do you share a birthday?
It's Tuesday, the 8th, to be exact.
On that day, men are expected to adopt the name of a character Elvis played in a movie.
Among your choices: Scott, Jess, Steve, Joe, Chad, Clint, Toby, Deke, Vince, John, Pacer, Tulsa, Rusty and Lucky.
As usual, I will be going by Deke.
It's Aug. 16. Still plenty of time to plan your observance.
Here's a sampling of Slice readers' recollections.
Vicky Anderson was 10 when she attended the Elvis concert at what is now called Joe Albi Stadium in August of 1957. Among other things, she remembers her mother and aunt fighting over the binoculars.
Connie Horton, Bob Hoagland, Jack Summers, Bob Dronenberg and others recall teenage girls scooping up handfuls of dirt from the track that the entertainer had walked on or ridden over in the convertible that transported him. “It was something to behold,” said Dronenberg, who was about to go into the Army.
Because her father was involved in facilities management, Terry (Winton) Omans got to be in the small brick building adjacent to the stadium where Elvis and others were holed up before the show. “I was a freckled, awkward little 10-year-old girl lost in all the commotion, trying to stutter out a request for an autograph before I died of fright. Elvis Presley, who was limbering up, waiting to perform on a plywood stage in the middle of a football field, bleachers full of screaming girls, stopped and actually asked my name.”
And he signed a photo of himself, which Omans still has.
“I was 13 years old in 1957 and dying to go see Elvis,” wrote Caroline Brady Baker. “None of my girlfriends were able to go so my mother, who was 58 years old, went with me. When the limousine drove Elvis up to the platform in the middle of the stadium, he jumped out and ran up the few steps to the stage. Being slightly out of breath, all he could say as he grabbed the microphone was 'ahhh.' Well, that was all it took to turn that whole stadium of teenagers (and at least one mother) into a screaming frenzy.”
“As a matter of fact, I did see Elvis, but not performing at the stadium,” wrote Farol Stroyan. (Yes, Farol with an F.) “I worked at St. Luke's Hospital on Summit Boulevard after school from 4:30 to 9 p.m. I was 17 years old. All the nurses were so excited because Elvis was coming to the hospital to see a young boy who had had his legs cut off in a farming accident.”
That unfortunate lad was on her ward.
“The nurses were spreading rose petals on the floor and I told them that was stupid. So I went on a break. The elevator was so slow, I decided to take the stairs to the cafeteria in the basement. I was running down the stairs, turned a corner and bumped right into Elvis. Boy, was I surprised, and so was he. I just kept going, so it was a very quick encounter. He was only about five years older than I was.”
In the summer of 1957, Gail Peterson Miller was working as a messenger for a downtown Spokane bank. She and a co-worker named Sally decided they had to have the visiting singer's autograph.
“We gathered up some official looking documents, put on our 'Messenger' badges and marched over to the Ridpath Hotel where he was staying.
“We walked up to the front desk and announced that we had some documents to deliver to Elvis Presley, Security being what it was back then, the clerk on duty gave us the room number. As I recall it was on the 11th or 12th floor, and up we went.
“We knocked on the door and a big burly fellow answered the door. We giggled and said we wanted to meet Elvis and get his autograph. Much to our surprise, Elvis came to the door and not only did he give us his autograph, he kissed us both on the cheek.”
Dorothy Germain shared the following.
“I saw Elvis in 1957 at Memorial Stadium along with my fellow 13-year-old friends Lynn, Marlys, Joanne and Georgia. Our transportation was provided by a very nice 16-year-old young man named Bobby.
“After the concert, we begged Bobby to take us to the Great Northern train depot at midnight, hoping to see Elvis again. We got lucky and spotted him ready to board the train, where each of us got his autograph. (He said “Thank you, hon.”)
“I am certain that we have all saved that autograph. Maybe, we will discuss that at our 1962 Rogers High School class reunion next year!”
Kay Krom remembers the occasion this way.
“We had been married almost a year and had just finished harvest. Time to celebrate! We went to Spokane, stayed overnight in a funny little motel on East Sprague, went to Nat Park, had our picture taken in one of those photo booths, and had tickets to see Elvis.
“It wasn't fancy. Just a big box of a stage with lots of wired microphones and drums in the middle of the field. Some kind of vehicle drove up and he popped out. He was really cute. The girls started screaming and they never stopped. We 'think' he was good, although we never really heard him sing.”
At the concert, Doug Richardson was actually more impressed with Presley's backup singers than with the star. He laughs about that now.
But Susan Slagle McConnell Walker, who was 11 and had come down to Spokane with a contingent from Republic, confirmed that all the screaming made it difficult to appreciate the music. “I never understood why these girls didn't want to hear him sing.” (Years later, she saw him perform at the Coliseum and “Got my fix.”)
“Yes, I was there,” wrote Phyllis Odell. “I was 20 and he was KING. I remember when the lights went out and shortly the announcer said 'Elvis has left the stadium' and it was over.”
But clearly the memories endure.