Elvis in Wax
So Vegas is too far, too glitzy for your taste? And Tupelo too close to Memphis itself?
Fear not -- a number of museums boast exhibits of the King, and more than a few wax museums present a lifelike figure of Elvis in his glory.
Branson, Missouri's Hollywood Wax Museum sports not only a waxen image of the King, but a bit of grandiosity that could only come from a place with "Hollywood" in the name. The museum's entrance, made to resemble South Dakota's famed Mt. Rushmore, features not Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington and
Roosevelt -- but Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin and (you guessed it) Elvis. Hollywood's Hollywood Wax Museum features Elvis as well.
At the Vermont Wax Museum in Manchester Center, a jumpsuited Elvis rotates slowly wearing shades and heavy sideburns. The Myrtle Beach National Wax Museum in South Carolina, the Royal London in Virginia Beach and Potter's in St. Augustine, Florida, all house wax Elvises.
But some museums aren't content with such graven images. From his cars to his guns, there's a building to hold everything the King once held dear -- and even some things he didn't.
Sidney Doan, Jr. paid a pretty penny to Elvis' father's former fiancee in 1981 for three guns once owned by the King....But none of these engraved pistols was the one that took out the television set in Vegas.
It's not an easy thing to own things once owned by the King -- a 1969 Mercedes Benz six-door limo sold not too long ago for more than $300,000, and the cap he wore in the movie "Girls, Girls, Girls" brought almost $4,000. The Man's signature goes for over $800 these days.
Imagine what the Cadillac at the Music City Car Museum in Nashville musta cost. Or the blue and white patent leather loafers on display at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum.
Elvis has a place in Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, of course, but the real Elvisia lives elsewhere.
Sidney Doan, Jr. paid a pretty penny to Elvis' father's former fiancee in 1981 for three guns once owned by the King. On display now at Sierra Sid's truck stop in Sparks, Nevada, the weapons are part of Doan's collection of guns commemorating Americana.
But none of these engraved pistols was the one that took out the television set in Vegas.
"I asked (Vernon Presley's former fiancee) about that," Doan says, "and she said no (that gun was not part of the collection). She said (Elvis) did put flashbulbs in the pool at Graceland and shoot at those. He was forever replacing the tiles in the pool."
Doan also has belt buckles and some jewelry on display, including a ring Elvis wore often before he died. Vernon Presley got the ring after his son's death. "His dad had it enlarged to fit his hand," Doan says. "Elvis had small fingers."
Doan also has belt buckles and some jewelry on display, including a ring Elvis wore often before he died. Vernon Presley got the ring after his son's death.
"His dad had it enlarged to fit his hand," Doan says. "Elvis had small fingers."
Sid's got a good collection out there in Nevada, but Mike L. Moon's collection, now housed in the Elvis Presley Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is one of the largest. Museum manager Don Cherms, Sr., said the museum's items were bought from close friends of the King's, and include guitars, a telephone, back and foot massagers, a pickup truck, the last limo Elvis owned and, of course, jumpsuits.
But the museum's prized possession is a 7 1/2 carat diamond ring Elvis gave to close friend J.D. Sumner during a performance. The ring is a "TCB" ring -- Elvis' motto, "Takin' Care of Business."
Waco, Texas, is home to another sizable collection, belonging to the family of the late Eddie Fadal, a former radio journalist and close Presley friend. Since Fadal's death, the family has been compiling a virtual museum on the Internet to share Fadal's massive collection of photos, papers and memorabilia.
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