“So hi, my name is Persia.

I’ve kept these three 45’s of Elvis Presley to remind me of a special moment in time.

I’m from Memphis, Tennessee, born and raised. When I was 15 years old I started dating a boy in school who was a couple of years older than me and he managed the Memphian Theater, a movie house in Memphis. You Elvis-o-philes will know that when Elvis was in town, he rented the theater as he could not go to the movies in public without creating a scene.

He brought is crew in, you know, Red and George and Dr. Nick and Charlie and all the guys. Priscilla came many times and brought their dog, a big Harlequin Great Dane. They were not a quiet bunch. He would arrange for someone prior to get a truck, collect all the movies that were in town, and bring them to the theater. They would start around midnight and go until four, five or even seven o’clock in the morning. They would run the movies and if he didn’t like it, he just raised his hand and the projectionist just stopped that one and put in the next.

My story is about what happened December the 29th, 1970. It was Christmas break but also the night before my 16th birthday. My boyfriend snuck me into the theater. It was my first time there and I was kind of nervous and was tucked up against the back wall near the door. Elvis arrived through the back door and went to his usual choice seat among his crew in the middle of the seventh row.

When I saw him get up to go to the bathroom, I snuck out into the lobby so that I could catch a look at him. As I came out the door into the lobby, the clock struck twelve and now it was December 30th, which is my birthday.

Elvis’ nickname for everyone who knew him closely was E and Elvis’ nickname for my boyfriend was Buddy. My boyfriend was in the lobby and his friend Joe was with him. Joe yells to Elvis as he gets to the bathroom door: Hey E!! It’s Buddy’s little girlfriend’s birthday. She just turned 16 years old!!

I am mortified. I’m not even supposed to be there and now I’m getting caught in the lobby! I had my hands on my shoulders like I don’t even know how they got there and I am frozen. Elvis let’s go of the bathroom door and turns toward me. He starts walking across the lobby like he’s a cat doing those sexy gyrations he is so famous for. The boys are laughing like crazy and I am dying. I don’t even know what’s going to happen next and then he gets to me. With my arms still frozen over my chest he puts his hands underneath my elbows and pulls me up next to him. He’s quite a tall guy and still looked really good at that time. Then he kisses my top lip and kisses my bottom lip and then gives me this great big French Kiss, all in one thing!

He then puts me back down and makes a sound like he’s shivering and his body shudders all over. And all I could think to say was… oh, thank you! I mean what do you say? Then he does his catwalk back down the lobby, gives me one last look, shudders, and slips into the bathroom. The guys just die laughing and I’m like-shut up, shut up, this is the most important thing that’s ever going to happen to me in my whole life!!

That was my sixteenth birthday!

I’ve told everybody this story but my mother, bless her heart and rest her soul. When I got home that night, I went in and I sat on the edge of her bed and I said, mom, you’re never going to believe what happened to me tonight! And she said what is it honey? And I said Elvis kissed me. He found out it was my birthday and he kissed me. And she goes, oh, that is so sweet! And I’m thinking, yeah, sweet right?”

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