Oklahoma remembers Elvis as a friend, 37 years after his death
By Jordann Lucero
OKLAHOMA CITY — Hundreds of people participated in candlelight vigil through Memphis to mark the 37th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death Saturday. The huge flock of fans to Graceland shows just how wide Presley's super-stardom spread. But when Bill Dumont, an Oklahoma City native, knew him, he says he didn't realize Presley's reach."I wish I would have known how famous he was. A lot of guys had pictures taken with him. I never had a picture taken with him," Dumont said.Dumont was able to take pictures of Presley. The pictures now help document the singer's time as a soldier.Dumont was a sergeant in the Army. The last nine months he served in Germany, were the first nine of Presley's 17-month tour.Dumont said Presley spent only a few days living with him in the barracks, before renting a place of his own. Still, Presley would come to the Barracks to hang out with the boys from time to time."We went to the park and we played touch football. Then we went back to his house and he played a few songs," Dumont said.Another time, Dumont said he caught a movie with Presley."I said what 'movie is it?' He said, 'well it's Loving You and I'm in it' and I said, 'I ain't going to one of your crappy movies! What's wrong with you?" Dumont joked.After the film, Dumont Said Presley made it a point to announce to the theater he was there. He said Presley made it a habit to make sure he was recognized all the time. Dumont said Presley also made it a habit to stay good mannered."We'd get paid, Elvis would put his whole paycheck, $109 in the box for the poor people and the displaced persons," he said.Dumont said he realized just how famous Presley was when he was stationed back in the States. Now, he can't imagine what could have been if the life wasn't cut so short."It was a shame he had to die like he did at 42-years-old," Presley said.
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