To set this story up you have to understand a few things. The first thing is that my mother was VERY young when she started to have children. She was 16 when she married my dad and being good Catholics began to have children one after another. By the time they were 26 they had 5 children. Four girls and one boy (the youngest). My mother was/is quite the beautiful woman. Now in my opinion every woman has some beauty and somthing about them that makes them beautiful. Some let it die and others culitvate it. However my mother was stunningly beautiful. She was a natural beauty with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes and
built like a brick house. The conversation in a room would literally stop when she walked in. Even at age 40 when she was attending my brother's high school football games the high school boys would stop and stare as she walked by. She was is very conservative but she couldn't hide what God gave her. Think Shania Twain.
My father was the stereotypical Latino male. He was/is very handsome. He was tall for being
Colombian standing at 5'11' with thick curly dark hair and soft brown eyes. Think of Mongomery Clift. He was handsome but he was a scoundrel. He had a terrible temper and he was not faithful. He was a smooth talker. My father did eventually change his ways but not before he almost totally destroyed every single relationship he had.
When I was a young girl in elementary school we lived in California. My father was a computer programmer for NCR. My dad's sister, Gabriela or 'Gabi' for short, lived in Las Vegas and we used to go visit her quite a bit. The summer when my parents separated and then divorced, we spent a few weeks in Vegas. My Aunt thought it would be a good idea to get the kids away and help my mom cope a little bit better. She knew all too well what my father was like and she *was* taking sides....my mother's side.
One night while in Vegas, Gabi invited my mom to go to the Hilton to see where she worked in accounting. They would also spend a little time gambling and have adult time without kids. They dressed to the nines and went to the hotel. They returned later in the evening giggling like school girls and terribly excited. It seems they got to meet Elvis! Here is how it went down:
After they spent time looking at my aunt's office and playing the slots they sat in the bar sipping cokes. My mother's mom was an alcoholic and my mom never drank liquor. Anyway, Elvis happened to be playing at the Hilton that week. His manager Joe Esposito was in the bar having a drink when he noticed my mother and Aunt. He slid over next to them and struck up a conversation. They weren't interested so he pulled out his trump card...."I am Elvis Prestley's manager". Yeah right, said my mom. He persisted but they wouldn't bite. Finally he offered to take them to the Penthouse where Elvis was staying and introduce them. It finally dawned on Gabi that he was serious. She and my mother were not going anywhere without the other so he was going to have to take both of them. So he did.
My mom explained that when they walked in Elvis was practicing Karate
with Peggy Lipton of the Mod Squad. His back was facing my mother when Joe Esposito introduced them. Elvis turned briefly to murmer a 'hello' and then did a double take on my mother. He turned back to Peggy and told her that he was done practicing Karate. When she realized it was because of my mother she went to a room, closed the door and never emerged the rest of the evening!
My mom described a suite of rooms that took up the top floor of the hotel. She said every room had a TV playing Elvis movies. One room had a competition sized pool table, another room had slot machines that had been brought up for Elvis to play. All Elvis had to do was ask for something and he had it. He was indeed a "King".
My mom described some of the women there. Basically they were hookers. She was really shocked. However she mentioned that Elvis didn't care for them. I have read stories about Elvis and his choices of women. He tended to gravitate towards the "girl next door" type. He would have dated Marianne and not Ginger. However he *was* captivated by my mother. He talked to her most of the night. He was shocked to find out that she was 30 years old since she looked 21. He was even more shocked to find out she was the mother of 5 children. My mother was/is quite intelligent and a good conversationalist. They had a great time and discovered they had a lot in common. They hit it off right away.
Elvis was in the process of getting divorced and very lonely. My mother said she could tell he was in a lot of emotional pain. He was starting into drugs by this time. He was beautiful, in fact I believe this was the best Elvis looked in his short life. He was 35 and on the top of his game. This was before he was totally addicted to drugs and obese.
He really enjoyed talking to my mom who was *real*. He invited her to come up to the suite the next day. My mother gave him the number to my Aunt's house. She and Gabi left with the experience of a lifetime!
The next day we rose and left to go to Lake Mead for a day of water skiing. We had a blast and returned to the house sore and tired. It was around 3:00pm and the phone rang. My mom was in the shower and my aunt was outside. I picked up the phone and said "Hello?" I heard Elvis Prestley on the other end! I KNEW immediately that it was him and he said "Hey baby, this is Elvis honey, is your Mama there darlin'?" I DROPPED the receiver and ran to find my mother. She ran to the room, picked up the phone, took a deep breath to calm herself, placed the reciever next to her ear and said "hello..." with a real light voice like she was talking to the power company or something. LOL.
The first thing Elvis said was "Where were you, I've been calling you all day!" She SCOLDED Elvis! She said with a touch of irritation..."I *told* you last night I was going water skiing today. What did you thinking I was going to *do*? Sit by the phone and wait for you to call???" He laughed and asked her if she would like to have dinner with him. She said that would be nice. They chatted for a little bit then hung up. She was THEN jumping up and down and screaming "IAM GOING TO HAVE DINNER WITH ELVIS!!!"
She and Gabi went shopping for an outfit. She bought a brown "rib tickler" shirt (basically a shirt with elastic in the fabric so it hugged your frame, something new at the time.) and chocolate brown hip hugger shorts. They are just shy of being "Daisy Dukes". She wore suede brown boots to match. Big hair and nice make-up and I swear she looked like a star! LOL.
My mom left and we anxiously awaited her return. At 10:00 pm my Aunt made us go to bed. She got home at 3:00 am!!! That morning around 10:00 over a cup of coffee, she described the evening. They had supper in the suite since Elvis cannot go anywhere without being mobbed. They sat and talked. She said she felt he just wanted to have a normal evening with a real person. He popped pills and called them his vitamins. He loved TV and was just a small town guy. He gave my mom two tickets for the show that night.
Gabi and my mom went to his show. They sat in a private box and were waited on like royalty. She said that on stage he transformed into ELVIS. He was doing what he did best. He loved it and the audienced loved him for it. After the show they met for awhile in his suite and then parted ways.
A month later my youngest sister got a birthday card from Elvis. And that is the last we heard from him. I had asked my mom in later years why she hadn't persued a relationship. As a child I romantized that Elvis would fall incurably in love with my mom and we would live a life of luxury for the rest of our lives with Lisa Marie as a sister! She laughed at me at first "Like Elvis would marry me! What a thought!" Then she got serious and explained what kind of life that would be for a wife and especially for kids. Even though it sounded like it would be great it would be a miserable shallow exsistence. Indeed.
We pestered my mom for years about "what happened that night!" and she maintains her innocence to this day. Honestly knowing my mother...nothing happened. And knowing Elvis was on drugs...more than likely nothing could happen. If it was me??? hmmmm. I don't know.
On August 16th, 1977 we were living at Homestead Air Force Base. I had just graduated from high school and turned 18 two days before. I was getting ready to leave for the University of South Florida and was dating my high school sweetheart, the very handsome David Farber. I was driving home from work (I believe) and I heard on the radio that Elvis had died. I immediately thought of my mom. How would she take it?
I walked in the house and my mom was humming as she did some house work. I said "You're taking it well!" She stopped and said "What?" I stopped, paused and said "You haven't heard.... Elvis died today...." She stood stunned and then said "Don't mess with me Lori!" as I was NOTORIOUS for playing jokes and trying to scare my mom. Her face was going white and I said "Oh, Mom... it's all over the radio! He died of a drug overdose!" She ran to her room sobbing and closed the door. I was blown away.
By the time my dad (my step-father, then a Major in the Army) got home for supper, she had composed herself, washed her face and put on some fresh make-up. She played off like Elvis' dieing was sad but not more important to her than the average person. Hmmmm.
So that is the story. Our 15 seconds of fame or our brush with an entertainment icon.