Sandra Ann Falcetta is a new author who is sharing her memories of what many girls of the 60’s and 70’s only could dream of…being a friend of Elvis Presley. Not only was she a fan…she was able to meet and come to know the King of Rock and Roll.
In interviewing Sandy, as she is known to her friends, I asked the most obvious questions one would ask, given that I too was a long-time Elvis fan (I grew up in Mississippi and am quite proud of this native son!). Her book is being released very, very soon and will be available in Memphis during the upcoming Elvis Week festivities so be sure to look her up if you are attending!
Sandra, when did you actually meet Elvis Presley? And how? Sandy: “Friends of my parents were going to Memphis to visit family. They knew how I adored Elvis and asked my parents if I could go with them. I was ecstatic when my parents agreed to let me go! I had wished and prayed to meet Elvis and going to his home was a thrill beyond compare! Mind you, this was in 1962 and I was 14 years old! And I was sooo in love!
We were informed that Elvis would rent the Memphis fairgrounds and we were invited! (The full details are in my book). The date was August 12, 1962. 12:15 AM. You can’t imagine the excitement I felt as we were allowed in the gates. I spotted Elvis’ 1962 black Caddy parked and walked to it. Tony, the man we were visiting, spotted Elvis and walked to him. He introduced himself and brought Elvis over to me. He introduced Elvis to me and explained I had come from Indiana to see him. Elvis shook my hand and said, “Hi, Sandy. It was so nice of you to come to meet me.” I was so scared! I couldn’t look in his face! I did a few minutes later. He was even more handsome in person! So nice to us–we talked about the weather, Hollywood. He told us to ride the rides, eat what we wanted and to enjoy ourselves. I kept walking back to look at him and he smiled at me. I got his autograph. I still have it and the pencil he signed it with.”
Did you go to Graceland often? Were you a regular visitor? Sandy: “I moved to Memphis in 1972 to be near Elvis. I was working two jobs–mornings and evenings. I would go to Graceland at night after work whether Elvis was home or on tour. I became friends with the guards at the Gate and several other fans. We were referred to as “Regulars” meaning we were there a lot. The gates were opened to us, and we had the telephone number to call–and they called us–to see what was happening.”