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 Post subject: Judy Spreckels talks about elvis
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:42 am 
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Elvis's 'sister' breaks long silence to talk about life as singer's confidant

Original Publication
By Linda Deutsch

She was the sister Elvis Presley never had, a companion, confidant and keeper of secrets in the exciting days of his early career.

They drove bumper cars in Las Vegas, rode horses in California and hung out at Graceland, the Memphis home he had just bought for his mother.

Her name is Judy Spreckels, and she agreed to her first sit-down interview this week, with a reporter who was once the president of an Elvis fan club. As the 25th anniversary of Elvis's death approached, memories were bubbling to the surface - although there were still some things Spreckels wouldn't discuss.

"He told me secrets that I never told and will never tell," says Spreckels, now 70. "I had nothing to do with being a yes man for him, and obviously he trusted me.

"Anything he told me was not going to go to any publication. I am the only person who was around Elvis who was a writer and didn't write a book. I felt secrets were secrets."

Her collection of memorabilia includes every record Elvis made but, she says, "My house is not decorated with Elvis memorabilia. I have so many indelible memories, I don't need to see them."

They met when Spreckels, an heiress who had a ranch in Las Vegas, was living at a hotel where Elvis was staying.

"I was sitting at a writing desk in the lobby writing a letter, and he just came up to me and started talking."

It was 1956, and Elvis was a newborn star. "How could you not know who he was even then?" she says. "I was friendly and told him I loved his record, Heartbreak Hotel."

Then he took her to the gift shop to show her a magazine.

"He said, `This says I'm a hillbilly. I'm not, am I?' I said, 'No, you're a singer.' And after that I was with him and the guys all the time. There wasn't a crowd then, just a few guys."

Back then, she says, Elvis was surrounded by the first wave of what would become known as the Memphis Mafia. Spreckels was the only woman in the group.

She once described herself as having been like a sister to Elvis but never a girlfriend.

"Girls come and go," she explained. "But sisters stay forever."

Reminded of the comment now, she says it is true. "This sister lasted forever. We were friends till the day he died."

Spreckels glows when remembering the idyllic early days.

"We were like kids," she says of that time when Elvis was about 21 and she was two years older. In the afternoons in Las Vegas they would ride bumper cars at an amusement park. And they went out for adventures where they could escape the fans.

"He loved the fact that I had a light blue Cadillac, and he bought the same car for his mother in pink," she remembers.

"One day we drove my car out into the desert, and his cousin came with us. Elvis drove that car as fast as it could go, and I was in the front seat whooping and screaming and laughing. His cousin was on the floor in the back he was so scared. But I'd been a stunt player in the movies, and Elvis couldn't go fast enough to scare me."

When they visited Graceland, she said, "We stayed up all night listening to Elvis singing and playing the piano. He liked to sing hymns. I didn't know any hymns, but I do now. He introduced me to Amazing Grace."

In Los Angeles, where Elvis made movies, Judy remembers going out on a Sunday with him and his friend, actor Nick Adams.

"Elvis decided to stop in a sports store and buy us bows and arrows. It was just whimsy. We went up to Mulholland Drive and were shooting bows and arrows, and nobody saw us."

Another time, the trio went horseback riding and were captured in a snapshot by a teenager at the ranch. It shows Judy smiling up adoringly at Elvis, the wind blowing her hair. "I'm the only one in that picture who's still alive," she notes sadly.

She has many unpublished photographs, she says, and "He was looking at me all the time, and he was laughing. It was just such a fun time."

Often, she traveled to Elvis's singing engagements around the country. And once, Spreckels, an artist, got him to sit for a portrait she drew. He inscribed it, "To Judy Spreckels, I love you, baby. Elvis Presley."

"We loved each other, as it says on my picture. But it was just a really terrific friendship."

When his mother, Gladys, died in 1958, Judy came to the funeral.

"I've never seen anyone as sad as Elvis was," she says. "He grieved. He cried continuously. We were in the front hall at Graceland, and he stood there hugging me for a half-hour. He was crying and crying and crying. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen."

In later years, she attended his Las Vegas concerts, and he would stop the show to introduce her to the audience. She had married by then and so had he. By the time drugs invaded his life, she was less involved.

"I never think of him as he was the last year or year and a half," she says. "I think of him as so vibrant and beautiful and funny. When he died, a whole part of my life changed, and I died a little."

Spreckels now lives quietly in the San Fernando Valley. For awhile she worked as a ghostwriter of books and had a small publishing company. For years she was a trial watcher, attending famous court trials. Now, she describes herself as a recluse preferring to watch trials on TV.

She would like to sell her memorabilia, but is searching for a serious Elvis admirer dedicated to preserving the legend.

Asked if she ever ponders the tragedy of Elvis dying at 42, she pauses for a moment and says, "I think he got as old as he wanted to get."
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:31 am 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Thank you, Lindsaygirl! This story was new to me, as I've never heard of that lady before.



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:54 pm 
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I also had never heard of this lady. Very interesting article. Thanks.

Di.



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:17 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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if I'm not mistaken,she was mentioned in this video of Elvis..also must be the lady in the picture..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgLeCsTs6gI


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:29 pm 
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Zey, just minutes ago I held the very same picture in my hand and wondered whether to post it, because I wasn't quite sure whether it it Judy or not. But she is Judy!!!!.....strange coincidence... :roll:



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:06 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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it sure is a strange coincidence Sarena.. :wink:



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:19 pm 
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Thanks for bringing that back up, I had read it but forgotten about it and it was nice to read again, because I always thought of myself as a "sister" and then it started to become "mother hen" with him being like my rotten little boy or something...very protective just like she felt too. I loved him dearly, and he would say, "love ya baby," to me sometimes and I always tried to say to him that I loved him, because he needed to know that from his friends...he was kind of like "starved" for love that he felt was real, true and lasting... I think it had alot to do with his "need" to have a woman around who cared about him, who took care of him, just someone there he could depend on to look after him. Maybe tied up with being a surviving twin, then of having a mother who devoted her life to taking care of him and who did all she could for him-her only little baby who lived-all of it made him what he was...molded him from birth and he needed women like Judy in his life-he had her in the early days, when he was "lost" inside over losing his mother...she helped fill that spot and he wore the ring she gave him, that ws hers...it was a belt ring, with dark stones...he even showed it to people and talked about who gave it to him,
he kept things, someone gave him something special he kept it-that's why they have to have such huge store houses today for the things he Kept!
I am so glad he had people like her, and even like us in his life...they were the little missing pieces he was trying to put together to make up his "life" and he left them laying everywhere, like the song he sang in those last couple of years says..".they 're everywhere...please help me find the pieces..." That was such a sad song, I cried the first time I heard it...and several times since. he was pouring out his heart...getting some relief I guess. wjh


Last edited by Wanda June Hill on Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:30 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Quote:
I am so glad he had people like her, and even like us in his life...they were the little missing pieces he was trying to put together to make up his "life" and he left them laying everywhere, like the song he sang in those last couple of years says..".they 're everywhere...please help me find the pieces..." That was such a sad song, I cried the first time I heard it...and several times since. he was pouring out his heart...getting some relifeI guess. wjh


I share your feelings, dear Wanda. And I'm also very touched everytime I hear "Pieces of my Life", because Elvis own experience and emotions are behind the words of that song.



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:45 pm 
Thanks for putting this back up, I had never read this before either. How Precious the Memories would have been for me if I could have been that Close to Elvis. FairyTale!


  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:38 am 
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Bringing this one back around. wjh



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