Friday, May 25, 2012

Elvis & Me - Birthday Celebration 2012 - Act 1

It's still hard to believe that Elvis Presley would be 77 this year. January 8th to be exact. It seems like yesterday that he passed, and I guess it's something I'll never get over. To non-Elvis fans, I suppose that sounds dramatic, but for us folks that have loved Elvis their whole lives, it's like losing a family member, at least that's how it was for me.

If you've read any of my postings in the past, you may remember me talking about my brother, Pierre Adidge, along with his studio Cinema Associates, produced and directed Elvis' last movie/documentary, "Elvis on Tour". The movie won a Golden Globe award in 1973. Out of Elvis' 33 movies, this was THE only one that ever won any kind of award, let alone recognition, and it was also the only one that Elvis was happy about doing, and was proud of. After Pierre passed away in 1974, my father had the Globe and then once my Dad passed in 1990, through the estate of our family trust, it was passed down to me.

Something happened to me this past January that I swear, if I died tomorrow, I can honestly say that I'd die THE happiest and luckiest person in the world! I was invited by Elvis Presley Enterprises/Graceland to be a part of Elvis Presley's world; Graceland, representing my brother at Graceland's celebration not only for Elvis' birthday, but for the 40th Anniversary of Elvis on Tour!

Now how this came about, well I can only say that I feel someone, or someones, had a hand in this. I say that because one night I had been praying as I usually do, but that night I said a special prayer and was talking to my brother Pierre in heaven, cause that's where I believe we're all going, and I also talked to Elvis. I said that I hoped both our families were together and that you and Pierre were hanging out, and that one day I hoped I'd be with you also and we'd sing together, even though I sing pitifully bad, but all the same I'd still want to sing with you, and I told Elvis how he had no idea the influence and impact he'd had on my life, and my family's life, and so it went. Well....the next day when I checked my email, there was an email from Graceland about this exhibit they were planning in honor of the 40th anniversary of Pierre's movie, Elvis on Tour and if I'd be interested in loaning them the Golden Globe which would be the featured item and that I'd be a guest of Graceland! Immediately upon reading this, I cried. I knew this was no coincidence. I truly feel in my heart and soul that both Pierre and Elvis had a hand in this, to really bring me into Elvis' life, as close as I could be anyway, while he was in heaven and I was here on earth. It was beyond anything I could ever imagine happening to me.

So Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) flew me to Memphis. I was met at the airport by Tennessee Limo and they drove me to the Marriott where I was greeted with an envelope with Graceland's logo. Inside was a welcome letter and my itinerary and passes to everything I wanted to attend. I swore I was dreaming! That night I laid in bed still in total shock and disbelief that I was really in Memphis and a guest of Elvis Presley!!!
Me in the back of the limo en route to Graceland!!! I'm dreaming...
The next morning, the limo came and picked me up and took me to Elvis' offices on Elvis Presley Blvd., next to Graceland. I went in and of course took a picture, and introduced myself.

The receptionist called over to the exhibit and DeeDee, the assistant archivist came and got me and brought me across the street over to where they were just finishing up the exhibit. EPE (specifically Angie) had put together a beautiful exhibit honoring the film which included artifacts from the movie. Several jumpsuits worn during filming, the purple suede suit he wore getting onto the plane, a beautiful red velvet cape, a very sexy white/green shirt, the key to the City from the Governor of Virginia, clippings from Colonel Parker's scrapbook, and the crown jewel of the exhibit: the Golden Globe. It was displayed on a 3' tall candy apple red, twist pedestal in the middle of the room. Angie Marchese, the head of archives for EPE let me place the Globe on its base, and when I did, it was as if it was meant to be there all these years. It was like someone turned on a switch; it just glowed. To me it felt like I had brought it home.
The Globe at home on the display - Beautiful!

Kevin Kern, Media for EPE, me, and Angie Marchese, Graceland's Archive-extraordinaire
After the Globe was placed, the rest of my trip was a whirlwind of events and dream-come-trues for this lifetime Elvis girl. Angie asked if I'd like to do some "media" and then Kevin Kern, the head of publicity for Graceland came in and then all sorts of news teams with cameras and lights. Robert, the Graceland photographer took a zillion pictures of me, and then Devin, Gracelands A/V guy recorded me as Angie asked questions about my life with Elvis, Pierre, etc. Then the news teams interviewed me several times asking about what it meant to bring the Globe for the exhibit and if my brother would be proud, which of course he would! and what the exhibit meant to me. I can only tell you that it was the proudest moment of my life, representing my brother and his accomplishment and knowing how much the fans loved his movie. I knew Elvis and Pierre were both watching from above.

Me doing some interviews with I think that was FOX news - talking about the Globe, Pierre, EOT, etc..
Next, I got to interview in the booth with Argo Memphis who hosts the XM Sirius Elvis Radio show which is broadcast live from Graceland. It is so fun to sit in the chair with a mike in front of you and chat! And Argo is so nice. He was talking to both Angie and me about the Elvis on Tour exhibit and upcoming exhibits.

In the Sirius radio booth with Angie and Argo - all Elvis all the time!
Once the radio interview was done, Angie's assistant, Dee Dee took me over to Graceland for a behind the scenes visit with Aleene, the barn manager at Graceland and who takes amazing care of Elvis' horses and who was actually excited to meet ME because I too had horses and loved them. She introduced me to all the lucky horses who now reside there; Max, Tucker, Bandit, and my personal favorite; Candy. They are all rescued horses with the exception of Candy. Each horse was immaculate, brushed and groomed so their coats were gleaming, and each one wears a leather bridle with a brass name tag inscribed with "Graceland" and the horses name. Their blankets too are embroidered with Graceland on them. These once neglected horses are in magnificent health now thankgs to Graceland. Priscilla keeps horses their because she wants to keep it as Elvis left it with the barn and the horses that he so loved. I saw where Elvis wrote names on the wall in red marker whose bridles hung where, and I got to hang out in the barn's "kitchen" area, where Priscilla hangs out and eats peanut butter stuffed pretzels as she chats with Aleene. I spent several hours at the barn, took pictures, groomed the horses, let them out into their paddocks, and just got to enjoy the beauty of the pastoral setting at Graceland. And I swear, any second it felt like Elvis was going to just walk right into that barn!

E on his favorite Tennessee Walking horse, "Bear" at Graceland

Me and Candy, a rescued TWH at Graceland
The beautiful pastures at Graceland, throught the back gates

Me and Aleene with one of the rescued horses, I think this is Max

After that, Dee Dee took me over to the mansion and I got a private guided tour. She actually used to be a tour guide for many years before she moved over to the Archive department, so she knew every single fact you could ever know! We took all sorts of pictures, and I had a blast with her!

DeeDee and Me on the porch at Graceland
Once all the "touring" was over, we met Angie back over at Graceland Crossing which is across the street from the mansion and it's where Elvis' car collection, airplane, and other exhibits are, and we headed over to Marlowe's for some Southern food.

To be continued.....

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