Sunday August 13th, my third day of Elvis Week 2017, was to be my first of four days of JERRY SCHILLING – my favorite of the Elvis world after Lisa Marie of course (Priscilla is a close third). This great day (my favorite of the week) consisted of a phenomenal Book Sale and Signing, Elvis 101, meeting Linda Thompson, GK’s Memphis Mafia Reunion and getting my second photo with THE JERRY SCHILLING!
I woke up at 7am on my Day 3 of Elvis Week 2017, after only four hours sleep. My head was hurting, and I was tired, but very excited for the day’s events. I had to be at Marlowe’s (a couple miles down EP Blvd) at 8am for the Book Sale and Signing, so I just threw on some clothes, put my hair in a ponytail and ordered my Lyft (I’d shower and get pretty for Jerry later). I rode down the elevator with Dick Grob and his wife. I had his book in my bag and wanted Dick to autograph it, but did not want to bother him in the elevator. I figured since he was up and heading out that early he was also going to Marlowe’s. I chatted with the valet guy while waiting for my Lyft. I didn’t want to be at Marlowe’s the second the door opened at 8am, so I was glad to arrive at 8:05am. But much to my amazement, the place was already packed and there were already at least 100 people inside searching through all the great books.
Within fifteen minutes of walking through the door, I spent $500 on 11 books – but I got a free donut and orange juice! I bought an autographed copy of Marty Lacker’s book signed by Marty Lacker, an original printing of Gates of Graceland signed by Harold Loyd, The Donna Lewis Diaries Volumes 1 and 2 signed by Donna and about 8 other gems. After I finished my free breakfast, I moved away from the book buying room and into the book signing room. The first person I saw was Tish Henley, so I told her I love my ring I bought from her yesterday and have received many compliments on it. She was pleased. I saw Trey Miller again, but this time Dean Nichopolous was with him, so I met him and bought his dvd (2 hour tour of Elvis’ places in Memphis) and he autographed it for me. I told him I loved his dad’s book and was hoping he’d write one too. Dean was really nice. I met Bardahl (Will McDaniel), bought his book and he autographed it for me. I met him on Saturday at Elvis Con, but I didn’t have cash with me then since Tish took all mine (for the ring), so I was happy I could buy it Sunday. I saw Sheri Lacker walk in and immediately went over to talk to her. I had been wanting to meet her since I joined her Memphis Mafia facebook group , so I introduced myself to her and her sister Angie. They couldn’t have been nicer. I talked to Sheri for a good while and bought a Memphis Mafia hat from her. I would love to meet up with her again when I’m back in Memphis. I saw Dick Grob was there, so I went over to him and asked him if he would please sign his book for me. I told him I rode down with him in the elevator that morning, but didn’t want to bother him. He told me yeah it’s best not to talk to him before he’s had his coffee. He is so great and so funny. I called for a Lyft at 9am to get over to Elvis Presley’s Memphis for Elvis 101. (Bought 12 books, 1 hat and 1 dvd – not bad for 1 hour.) While waiting for my Lyft, Dean’s girlfriend (or wife or friend) was outside and was talking with her for a while – so sweet.
Unfortunately nothing but the grab and go place is open before 10am at Elvis Presley’s Memphis, and you can’t get a free refill in your Elvis Week cup at the grab and go place. So I just got a banana and a chocolate milk. Elvis 101 started at 10am. The extra seats from the Gospel Concert Saturday night were still up front on the side of the stage, so I got a seat in the front row but on the side – this was to be my seat for the rest of the events of Elvis Week. Tom Brown’s first guest was John Beifuss, who is the movie reviewer from the Commercial Appeal. The next guest was Ernst Jorgensen, who talked with Tom Brown from 10:30 to 10:51. At 10:53am, Roy Turner from Tupelo talk about his many projects (assisting Elaine Dundy and Peter Guralnick with their respective books and producing Elvis Return to Tupelo) until 11:13am. Peter Guralnick took the stage at 11:15 and talked about his books until 11:45am. As soon as Peter was finished, I ran back to get in line to meet Peter and have him autograph his book I brought from home. I have seven of this books, but I brought the first one of his I read. I was one of the first people in line. I told Peter I loved his books and had seven of them. He was so nice and autographed my Last Train to Memphis for me. It occurred to me Elvis really had three distinctive careers: the rock n roll rebel in the 1950s, the movie idol in the 1960s and the concert performer in the 1970s.
At 12:30, I was back at the Guest House eating the lunch buffet at Delta’s with my meal plan. It was sort of a bbq: cheeseburgers, hot dogs and baked beans. I went up to my room after to put away ALL of my stuff from the Book Sale and a rest a bit before getting ready for my big evening (red dress and makeup). I had been looking forward to the Memphis Mafia Reunion the the most out of all the events I had scheduled (probably because it was one of two events Jerry Schilling was going to be at, but he ended up being at five events).
While waiting for my Lyft to the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum (on Beale Street) for Linda Thompson’s book signing, I was talking to the same valet guy from this morning. He looked shocked and complimented me on my dress. Guess I looked a wreck this morning, and I guess I clean up pretty well. I have always wanted to meet her and loved her book. At 3pm, I had my ticket to meet Linda. (They did tickets instead of having people stand in a line and have it wrap around the block.) I was number 109 and the line was moving VERY slowly. My friends Tracy and Katy had an extra ticket, so I moved up to number 27 in line to meet Linda. They didn’t know about Linda’s book signing until I told them Saturday at Elvis Con, so it was fitting they got my bumped up in line. When I finally got up to meet Linda (45 minutes later), she asked “I know you don’t I?” I said, “No but I’ve wanted to meet you for years. I loved your book.” (Maybe she recognized me from Twitter or Instagram since we had just communicated there a few days before.) Linda autographed her book I brought from home, and we took a photo together. She was about my height (but she was probably wearing heals). Linda could not have been sweeter, just as I imagined. Linda’s brother Sam was also there, so I asked him to autograph his photo in Linda’s book. I asked him if he would be at the Mafia Reunion. He said yes and asked me what time it started. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was Sam’s birthday.
At 4pm, I went over to Alfred’s for George Klein’s Memphis Mafia Reunion – in the rain. I have been to this event in the past and was always one of my favorites. Basically you eat dinner (from a predetermined menu) then listen to members of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia and others from the the Elvis world share their stories – then hopefully get a chance to meet some of them after. We had a table near the stage: me, Caroline, Kristy, Hannah and her mom, Delia and her friend, mother-in-law and her sister. I had the fried catfish and sweet potato fries with water (surprisingly I had no sweet tea today). The catfish was fantastic, and there was a lot of it! The Q and A started before 5pm – and Jerry Schilling was not there yet. I kept checking the door. On the stage sharing their Elvis stories were Dean Nichopoulos, Dick Grob, Jimmy Velvet, Sam Thompson, Mark James, Marion Cocke, Cynthis Pepper, Charles Stone, Bardahl, Flash and Richard Davis’ wife. Jerry finally showed up at 5:50 and joined everyone on stage, and Larry Geller joined everyone on stage at the very end. It seemed like everyone was pay tribute to George Klein as much as they were to Elvis. Sadly, it is quite obvious George is in poor health. After, it seemed everyone mobbed Jerry. I waited until the crowd thinned out a bit. I have met Jerry a few times and have his autograph and a photo with him, but wanted a more recent photograph (and I just wanted to be close to him). On my way over to Jerry, I talked to Trey a bit and said Hi to Dean who had now joined them after he got off the stage. Then Dean’s girlfriend said Hi and talked to me a bit. I made my way to Jerry. I was right behind him, but he walked away. So I followed him and was again about to ask for a photo, but he suggested we go outside. Fine with me, my iphone will take better photos in the daylight. I was about to get my photo with him as I called out “Jerry!” he turned around and looked at me, but a professional photographer wanted to take his photo with his Music Note on Beale Street so I followed. And when he was finished he turned around, and I sweetly and calmly asked if I could please have a photo with him. Jerry said ‘sure’ and put his arm around me. I took our selfie – twice. The first one no smile, the second one a sort of an Elvis half grin. All of this following Jerry around and finally getting my photo with him took about 15 minutes. I called a Lyft back to the Guest House, as I just missed the shuttle and did not want to wait another hour for the next one. I was back in my room by 7:30 – exhausted. I was in bed by 11pm.
What an amazing day I had! One of my favorites, if not my favorite, of the week! I got to meet Peter Guralnick, Linda Thompson AND JERRY SCHILLING – great day! To see all of my photos from my Day 3 of Elvis Week 2017, please click here.