Saturday, March 22, 2014

the Elvis con...or was it?

another mystery...

When I was working that few months at the Beverly Hills (Ca) post office there was a guy named Bill (real name) who became a friend.  After a few weeks working the same shifts he told me he was quitting to go to work for a rich guy who lived in the fancy part of Beverly Hills.
I said what are you going to do for him?
“Oh, he’s gonna teach me to be a con man!” he replied.
Bill left a few days later and I never saw or talked to him again.

I left Beverly Hills to take a radio job in Peoria, Illinois home of Bradley University.  I had the GI bill for college and I figured I might as well use it so I registered for classes.
Elvis Presley had just returned from his two year Army stint in Germany. I toyed with the idea of working to get him booked to do a live show at Bradley.  Bradley was hot in basketball and had a huge gym that doubled as a show place and he would be great there.
I don’t remember who I called about this idea but I was stunned one day when my old “friend” Bill reached me by phone.  Remember...I had not spoken to him since he left the post office out there.
He went right into a spiel about Presley which stunned me.
I said “how did you find out about that?”
Oh “we have contacts you know.”
“Listen”, he went on “We can arrange to get you Elvis for a show there!”
Oh-oh I thought...this guy really did turn out to be a “con-man”
and he confirmed it with this...
“If you can put $20,000 in a bank account we can guarantee that Elvis will play there!”
“I don’t have that kind of money, Bill”
“ can talk to your Dad...he can put it up, right?”
I had had enough of this “con job”.  I hung up the phone and unplugged the line for a day or two.
Weird stuff.
I do kind of wonder what happened to Bill.  I mean did he get caught and end up in the slammer in California?
I’ll never know.  But I’ll give him this much...somehow he found out all that stuff and I never told him any of it.  Now that’s the real mystery.
.....and I know there’s little chance that his call was legit....but what if it had been?  Do you think the "rich guy" was Col. Tom Parker and the pitch was legit????
I guess that’s how that con works.

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