Since I first wrote this article, in 2008, several stories have been done about the day, because of the donation Elvis made (mentioned in the next paragraph). As a result, I’ve had to correct the dollar figure and some other information–but the kiss is the same. Hey, some things just aren’t as memorable!
It was 1971 and Elvis had just given Denver Chief of Police George Seaton a check for several thousand dollars to fully equip a gym in honor of slain officer Merle Nading. Elvis wasn’t wearing a tie with his open collared shirt, so when Chief Seaton gave him a tie tack that looked like little handcuffs, Elvis borrowed someone’s tie so he could wear the tie tack for a few photos.
The tie tack was recently purchased by a collector and I was able to provide the information that Elvis grumbled a bit to someone in the room about not liking the look of the tie with that shirt. (That style of shirt–or the actual shirt–is seen in a lot of photos of Elvis in that era, so he must have liked the look!)
I was in a nearby office when Sergeant Bill Smith, a police photographer, called me and told me to come over and get my photo taken with Elvis Presley. I said I didn’t want to, because I didn’t think the chief or anyone else would want me to do that. But, Sergeant Smith insisted and when I arrived someone introduced me to Elvis, who was very nice about the whole thing. He said, “What about you let me get a nice photo with you, Honey?” I said OK and Sgt. Smith took the picture.
Then, he told Sgt. Smith, “You should get one that is more friendly.” That’s when he gave me the kiss. I expected a quick little peck on the lips, but what I got was (what seemed to me anyway) a very warm kiss! I was so embarrassed I almost couldn’t think of anything to say. What I did say was, “If you’re very lucky, I’ll give you my autograph.” He smiled and chuckled. I asked him about his baby and he showed me two photos of Lisa Marie, which he had in a little plastic photo holder.
Bill was laughing through all of this and still getting his camera and flash set up (isn’t that the way it always is??) I would give a lot to have a photo of the kiss!
Let me assure you, Elvis was not impressed or enthralled with me particularly, he was just very gentlemanly, and I think he figured I’d like saying I was kissed by Elvis. Well, heck, I DO like saying it!
When I was the United States Marshal for Colorado I had the photo on my memorabilia wall, and every foreign visitor was much more impressed with the Elvis photo than with anything else. Several got their own photos taken next to it! Isn’t it amazing how a legend like Elvis Presley can live on in that way?
You will likely never be so memorable that people will pose next to a photo of you decades after you are gone. However, many people may remember you during their lifetimes. Several people will remember you and think of you often. A least one or two will continue to talk about you throughout their lives. Your goal can be to have good things said by all of them, and to have made such a positive difference in the lives of many that some part of you lives on in them.
There was a poem written by James Leigh Hunt in the early 1800s, called Jenny Kissed Me. It’s a sweet poem about how a man felt after a young woman who he admired kissed him impulsively. I could paraphrase the last few lines to describe my experience years ago:
……..Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Elvis kissed me!