Growing up in the 50s and 60s, it seemed everyone was crazy for Elvis and I was no exception. The idea of BEING Elvis, however, didn’t occur to me until I was on a business trip in Las Vegas in 1993. At a cocktail party I attended, the host came dressed as Elvis. At the time, K-State was having a great football season and the crowd’s enthusiasm at parades and tailgating parties, often made people dress up as funny purple mascots.
I thought it would be a great idea to dress as a “purple” Elvis for the upcoming homecoming parade and Bowl game. So what better place to buy an Elvis suit than Las Vegas! I quickly found an Elvis costume, made a pattern from it and got to work on making a PURPLE Elvis suit of my own. (Believe it or not, I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine!) My debut as “The King” was at the Fiesta Bowl in 1997, where K-State played Syracuse.
Everyone LOVED my purple Elvis, so of course, the next step was to buy a 1963 Cadillac Eldorado convertible like the one Elvis had. Although I didn’t know it at the time, the Cadillac was actually the first car in my future collection! We restored it to silver and purple, and Bonnie and I have driven it in the K-State Homecoming parades every year except one since then. In 2001, I upgraded to a $1,700 custom-made purple Elvis suit made by one of the original designers of Elvis’ suits.