Part one (August 1956) •
“After the final show in Orlando, where the estimated attendance had been over seven thousand, we drove to Daytona Beach. As usual, I rode in the car with Buddy for the first few miles. When we stopped to change places, Elvis couldn't get Junior out of his car fast enough. He had been drinking again and was getting on Elvis's nerves. When we arrived at Elvis's hotel in Daytona, there were no rooms available. The hotel - as well as most of the motels-was filled with teenagers in town to see the Elvis Presley show. We drove for miles down the beach, seeing the "no vacancy" signs flashing the word No. We finally found a little motel on the beach side that had some rooms. I immediately called Elvis to let him know where we were staying.
"Everything happens for the best, baby. The Colonel has the room next to mine. Get a good night's sleep and I'll call you in the morning." Elvis was scheduled for two shows in Daytona, one in the after- noon and one in the evening. He would be leaving after the last show for Jacksonville, where he was scheduled to do three shows a day for two days. It was a beautiful day in Daytona, and Pat and I were talking about skipping the shows and spending the day on the beach. When Elvis called that morning, much to my surprise, he thought it was a good idea. "The Colonel's been on my ass about you again, so I'll see you in Jacksonville. I'll have a couple of rooms reserved for yall in Arthur's name. I hope you don't mind, baby." Wearing our new two-piece swimsuits, Pat and I were more than ready for some Florida sunshine. One look in the mirror, however, confirmed my suspicions: I had definitely gained a few pounds. Oh well -it wasn't all that noticeable; not yet, anyway.
Much to my disappointment, the sand on Daytona Beach was nothing like the soft white sand in Biloxi. The sunshine and salty air seemed to make the whole world disappear. By the time we arrived in Jacksonville the following afternoon Elvis was in the middle of his first show.”
•Excerpts from In the Twilight of Memory By June Juanico #elvis #elvispresley #junejuanico