Posts Tagged ‘Dolan Drive’

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.”

What was his personality like, when he was relaxed and at home?  Sandy:  “Elvis was more relaxed at home. He felt free to go out and do what he wanted. He rented movie theaters after hours and allowed fans in to watch them with him. He was friendly to everyone. He loved his fans deeply.”
Most readers would be curious, was yours strictly a friendship between a fan and Elvis or was there a romance?  Sandy: My relationship was strictly that of a fan. No romance (darn! lol). He didn’t know my name, but when we spoke, he always called me Honey. I’d say we had a friend relationship, we’d say hi and smile. He’d stop and wave to me and allow me to take a picture. He was very sweet.”
How long were you two friends? What happened to end your friendship, did you move, did you marry??  Sandy:  “My mother became ill. I moved back home to take care of her and my baby brother in 1976. I never saw Elvis again after that.”
Tell us a bit about your book…are you going to share secrets, insights into how he was around you?  Sandy:  “I was shy and lonely growing up. I read about Elvis and could relate to him in many ways. I wrote him every week, and he answered me several times. I also kept diaries of every day happenings. I have written a book titled “Dear Diary: An Elvis Fan Remembers” taken from my diaries. True stories. All the emotions of a young woman in love with the most exciting entertainer who ever existed.”
I love this! What I wouldn’t have given to be in your shoes! Can your book be purchased on Amazon, eBay, or do customers need to contact you directly? What about international readers?  Also, I know Elvis Week is mid-August in Memphis, Tennessee, and thousands of Elvis fans attend. Will you be there?  Sandy  “I decided to self-publish my book. They are being delivered directly to me. I will personally sign and mail each book. My sales to date are from face book,family, and friends.
I am going to Memphis for Elvis Week. I will be selling/signing my books at Vernon Presley’s former home at 1266 Dolan Dr. behind Graceland. The dates are August 14th and 15th . Times both days are 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new friends there! I was invited to speak at a dinner on Friday August 17 for the Nashville Elvis Presley Club. I will sell my book there also. After the Elvis Fantasy Fest in Portage, Indiana, I plan to go on eBay to sell them. Until then, I will mail them but an additional charge will be assessed for shipping and handling. The cost of the book is $20.00. I have several purchases from overseas. If I mail them, again postage will be added.”
This has been a most interesting interview! Let me get a few general details about you for our readers…can you share a bit of your bio?  Sandy:  I was born in Gary, Indiana. I am the eldest and only female in a family of six! I was shy. quiet and lonely. Then, along came Elvis! I always knew I would meet him. I am blessed to have met him and to be known by him. I am a retired banker and now what I always wanted to be–an author! I am thrilled to share my experiences with Elvis Aaron Presley-my knight in shining armor and the greatest entertainer of all entertainers!”
Thank you so much, Sandy. From one fan who wishes she had been in your shoes, I am so glad to have followed your progress from the time you first mentioned this book to you get the copies in the mail. I will speak with you again just prior to Elvis Week, and hopefully I will be able to share an address for mail orders of your book…or details on how it can be obtained via eBay.  I wish you the very best with your first book!
Ahhh, now THIS brings out the romantic in me. Can’t you just imagine…..

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