He's 55, with a slight paunch, salt-and-pepper hair and a penchant for bologna sandwiches and cowboy hats. He's in the federal witness protection program . . . or maybe producing movies . . . or driving an 18-wheeler.
He's Elvis in the '90s.Or so says Gail Brewer-Giorgio, author of the best-selling "Is Elvis Alive?" She's back with "The Elvis Files," her latest look at the phenomenon she's helped create about Elvis Presley and his (alleged) death 13 years ago.
The folks at Graceland say Elvis remains buried at his Memphis tourist attraction. Biographer Albert Goldman maintains Presley committed suicide. Elvis' hairstylist, best man, personal cook and Memphis Mafia sidekicks - all in books of their own - confirm the King is gone.
Gail is not convinced.
"The possibility of Elvis Presley's being alive is greater now than it was a year ago, two years ago. And I am not alone in that belief," Brewer-Giorgio writes in the new book.
She goes so far as to guess (via a letter from one true believer) when Elvis will make his comeback: Aug. 16, 1993, the 16th anniversary of his excursion to that Graceland in the sky.
Brewer-Giorgio is right about one thing: She's not alone. Seven percent of Americans in a 1989 CBS News poll said they believed Elvis was alive; most of them, apparently, sent the author unsolicited accounts of their first-person encounters with the King of rock and roll.
There's gas station attendant Alton R., who lives outside Nashville.
"I was talking on the telephone to my mother when a man stopped in for gas. As he approached the store to pay for his purchase, I told my mother, `I think this man is Elvis Presley.' . . . He turned to me, smiled with that same crooked smile, and winked and left without a word. I am convinced that Elvis was in my presence that night," says Alton.
A woman named Sunny of Jonesboro, Ga., says she received a bologna sandwich and a bag of Chee-Tos from "E" during an October 1987 visit to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. A Missouri man spotted Elvis on the second floor at Graceland earlier that year.
The book contains divergent tales of Elvis' musical tastes. A Seattle woman says she spotted a bearded Elvis in a cowboy hat checking out the competition at a Rolling Stones concert, while a Michigan man says the King was inspecting old Monkees albums at the Lakeside Mall.
Elvis told that same Michigander that he owned an old English sheepdog and an airedale. Later, in an alleged telephone conversation with Brewer-Giorgio, Elvis drops several bombshells:
- Elvis attended his daughter's Oct. 3, 1988, wedding.
- He's disappointed with the way things are in society today. "When I was a kid, people treated me cruelly. But they were nicer back then compared to today," the maybe King says on the tape, which comes with the book.
- He hangs out in Washington, D.C.
The last ties in with one of Brewer-Giorgio's pet theories: Elvis, like "Wiseguy" Henry Hill, was forced into the federal witness protection program for his own safety. Presley, who had 14 prescription drugs in his system at death, could have been targeted for his work as a federal drug agent, she suggests.
The possibility of Elvis working at Orion Pictures (they did the film "Great Balls of Fire" about buddy Jerry Lee Lewis) is also raised, as is the possibility that he could be back driving trucks (he is often reported talking to folks via CB).
But the last word comes from an Oglivie, Minn., woman who asked her local postmaster to explain why there was no Elvis Presley stamp. The anonymous federal employee provided this ominous response:
"For a person to be on a postage stamp, he has to be dead. The government is not sure Elvis is dead."