Pvt. Elvis Presley Answers His Private Mail . . . From You
I’M IN SERVICE TOO AND FIND GIRLS GIVE ME A REAL TOUGH TIME. DON’T KNOW HOW TO COPE WITH IT. WONDERED IF A BABE EVER GAVE YOU THE BUSINESS AND WHAT YOU DID.
Elmer Paterson, USCG
Key West, Florida
Yup. A girl can give me a pretty bad time, but I’m not begging. I’ve learned the hard way. A girl doesn’t want a man she can lead by the ears. If there is an understanding from the beginning . . . “Look, I’m in love with you—but I’m not so in love I can’t live without you,”—then it’s right. Once a girl knows how much I care—she can make it rough. I know. So today I’ll call a girl for a date and if she hesitates or kind of starts off with some excuse, I forget her. I don’t call again. I learned not to go out of my way or break my neck to make a date. The more you try, the less they like you. So it’s not going to do any good anyway. A girl seems to get the idea that if you run after her you’re weak and she takes advantage of it. Sometimes, however, a girl wants the feeling that she’s being run after. If a girl can’t take a hint—well!
DO YOU MIND IF GIRLS CALL YOU? DO YOU EXPECT TO DATE MUCH WHILE YOURE IN THE ARMY? WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO TAKE YOUR GIRLS AND DO YOU SEND THEM FLOWERS?
Washington, D. C.
I’m pleased when girls call me . . . and flattered. Yes, I hope to meet lots of new girls while I’m in service. It will be a long, long time before I’m a civilian again—and naturally I love all pretty girls. When they come running at me, I want to run to them—not away from them. I’m a great movie fan. I like to go to the movies with my dates. The flower bit? No, I don’t send flowers to a girl unless she dies. I’m kidding. I send flowers if they are sick or if its their birthday. But if I want a date I don’t send flowers first.
I’M HEARTBROKEN. I HEARD YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING SHIPPED OVERSEAS BECAUSE FOREIGN GIRLS TREAT THEIR MEN MUCH BETTER THAN AMERICAN GIRLS DO!
Lordsburg, New Mexico
Honey, you heard wrong. American girls suit me just fine.
WHY DO YOU ALWAYS TAKE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS TO MEMPHIS TO MEET YOUR FOLKS WHEN YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF MARRYING THESE GIRLS?
My folks always like to know my friends and, the girls I date . . . and I like them to.
About the Army
DEAR PRIVATE PRESLEY:
MY DADDY TELLS ME THE ARMY IS GOING TO MAKE IT REAL HARD FOR YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE FAMOUS. DADDY SERVED WITH GLENN FORD IN THE MARINES AND SAYS MR. FORD WAS KEPT ON LATRINE DUTY AND ASSIGNED OTHER DIFFICULT JOBS TO PROVE HE WAS NOT PRIVILEGED? ARE THEY TREATING YOU BAD? IF THEY ARE, I’LL FIX THEM GOOD.
Los Angeles, California
In the Army, I’m just another trainee, just another guy. Sure I did KP, stood guard, went through combat training in the field, made the fifteen-mile hike with sixty-five pounds on my back—but so did all the other fellows. The officers are strict but fair. They have a job to do and won’t stand for nonsense. And I’m flexible. I expected to conform. I’ve never been accustomed to things real easy. If I make it hard, the only one it’s going to be hard on is me. I certainly don’t mind hard work. I’ve done plenty of it before this. I worked as a laborer, up at three every morning working in a defense plant. When I was in high school I’d get out at 3:30 and be on the job at 6:30 for $12.50 a week ushering. And I’d be up at dawn every morning to complete my homework. This is nothing to me. I can always make out.
PLEASE TELL ME—ARE YOU HAPPY, REALLY HAPPY IN THE ARMY? ARE THE REST OF THE FELLOWS FRIENDLY? DO YOU GET HOMESICK MUCH?
New York City
I like the Army and I like the fellows just fine. Nope—the guys haven’t needled me about my career. Only time they seem conscious of it is in the evenings when they drop into the barracks to get autographs for their sisters or friends. About getting homesick—there’s been so much to learn and do that few of us have had the time to get homesick after a day filled with climbing mountains, hopping fences, shooting at targets, etc. I had looked forward to going into the Army as a new experience. And it sure has been. I miss by buddies back home and my friends, but you cant go through life depending on friends. You have to depend on yourself. And you learn to do that in the Army.
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST WHILE YOURE IN THE ARMY? WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST?
You can say I miss my Mama’s cooking. Like her pork chops, brown gravy, apple pie and her vegetable soup. And it’s nice to be home and lounge around in slacks and sweaters. I enjoy my freedom most. That might sound strange but it is true. I have more freedom in the Army. Of course I obey the rules and regulations—but off duty I’m left alone. As a civilian everyone feels they must ‘protect’ me: security police are hired and elevator operators aren’t allowed to take anyone they don’t recognize to my floor. Such protection can be isolating . . . and confining. That’s why I feel more free now.
His Plans, His Future, His Career
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SPEND YOUR FURLOUGHS? ARE YOU GOING TO HOLLYWOOD OR NEW YORRK TO WHOOP IT UP, LIVE IT UP, BE WILD AND GAY?
You make it sound like I’m leaving life. I haven’t any plans. I never do. I like to be in Memphis with my folks. I just take things as they come.
I PROMISE I WON’T—BUT DO YOU FEAR THAT MOST OF YOUR FANS WILL FORGET YOU OR FIND NEW FAVORITES DURING YOUR LONG SOJOURN IN THE ARMY? DO YOU FEAR YOUR CAREER WILL END?
Salt Lake City, Utah.
I hope not. But if they do, I hope I can start all over again when I get out as an actor. I want to be a good actor. My role in my last picture, KING CREOLE, is the best one I’ve ever had. I’m not a polished actor yet, but I’m trying to be efficient. I can’t do anything I don’t feel and I did feel these lines. I hope my fans will like me in it enough to remember me.
I MET YOU WHEN YOU WERE DOWN HERE MAKING KING CREOLE AND YOU TOLD ME TO WRITE YOU WHEN YOU WENT INTO THE ARMY. I DID. FIVE TIMES. BUT I NEVER GOT AN ANSWER. DON’T THEY GIVE YOU YOUR MAIL THERE OR IS IT JUST THAT YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR FANS ANYMORE?
New Orleans, Louisiana
Hon, I love my fans—and I miss them. I just hope they won’t blame me for the Army regulations which at times force me to ignore them. About my mail—several thousand letters arrive here each week. Getting those letters were really great . . . and I did try to acknowledge some of the mail and packages. Only it’s impossible to write or call everyone. The other fellows wait on long lines here to speak for a few minutes to their mothers and sisters and wives—and I don’t want any special privileges. But getting all those letters are great for the morale. I’d be miserable if they stopped coming. That’s why I humbly hope that although I can’t promise answers—you, and the rest of my fans will understand that I’m not deliberately neglecting you, nor appreciating your loyalty any the less.
Luv ya . . .
Elvis can be seen in KING CREOLE for Paramount.
It is a quote. MODERN SCREEN MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 1958