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 Post subject: For John Wilkerson!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Hotel Room dedication to John Wilkinson: A historic Route 66 hotel in Springfield has dedicated a themed room to late musician John Wilkinson, the former Springfield, Missouri resident.
The room, located in the Best Western Rail Haven motel next to the Elvis-themed room, honors the musician who played more than 1,200 shows with Presley from 1968 until Presley’s death in 1977.
Wilkinson, 67, died in January after a four-year battle with cancer and is survived by his wife, Terry, whom he married in 1983.
Tears were shed and memories were shared as Wilkinson’s friends and family gathered at the motel on Friday to view the room for the first time.
Tom Petit met Wilkinson in 1972 while working at a hotel in Aurora, and they became close friends.
Petit was unaware of who Wilkinson was when he checked in, Petit said. Later that evening, two women came to the hotel, asking for Wilkinson’s room number.
"The next morning, before I got off work, Wilkinson was down in the bar having breakfast, having it served to him in the lounge because he didn’t want to be around all the people," Petit said. Wilkinson held up a finger to pause Petit and listened to a song that was playing on the jukebox.
A few moments after the song was over, Wilkinson told Petit, "Sorry, but that’s the only song we play that you can hear me play in."
Petit said he thought, "Who is this guy? What are we talking about here?"
Wilkinson had two notes in the song "Burning Love" that could be heard. Petit said now he can’t listen to the song without hearing the guitar and those notes.
Wilkinson thanked Petit for taking care of things for him the night before.
"We sat down and we talked for a few minutes," Petit said. "Next thing you know, we’re talking for half an hour."
Elliott said creating the room for Wilkinson would be a great idea since he and Presley were close friends.
"And it ties into Springfield history," Elliott said.
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Without you I am nothing an could never be so bold. The times we've shared, the laughter and the tears. Priceless memories, treasures all. How could I ever fail? With you I don't fear that at all. Elvis Presley!
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