4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Elvis appears in North County driveway

Esondido's Debra Wimer carries the torch

Elvis with Ginger Alden, c. 1976
Elvis with Ginger Alden, c. 1976

G is for generous always giving of herself.

I is for ideal, she’s more perfect than anyone else.

N is for newcomer, but a STAR she will be.

G is for generous, her generous way to you and me.

E is for ever lasting, our friendship will never end.

R is for richness, now that she’s my friend.

— By Jimmy Cooper, from the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club Newsletter

On a drive through Escondido, Debby explains that any man must take a back seat to Elvis.

She loves him tender, she loves him true. But maybe she did not love him true enough. Had Debby Wimer been more devoted to Elvis before he — permit me to be blunt — expired, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

Bearing the entire weight of Graceland on her shoulders, Debby Wimer has been second-guessing herself ever since the fateful day. I try to comfort her. Elvis, after all, was a reclusive and stubborn man. Even the tireless efforts of the most persistent and purest-hearted fan wouldn’t have changed him.

Mom wants to lodge a boarder in Debby’s room.

She sighs, nods, more nervous than moved. Although she is deeply religious, Debby allows that when she heard that Elvis passed on, and the earth continued to revolve as usual, she began to doubt God’s plan. Why hadn’t she heard the horn of Jericho? Why hadn’t the walls come a-tumblin’ down?

Letter from Ginger Alden to Debby

Life did not come to an end on August 16, 1977, it just became more collectible. The Rapture deferred, even Elvis’s most sorrowful fan must seek contentment in life’s little pleasures. Like eating. Not to say that Debby has a weight problem — a lot of men prefer gals with some meat on their bones, a truism that Debby is fond of repeating.

Debra Wimer. She disapproves of the “slash” style of amateur science fiction.

Deb reschedules an in-person interview for later in the afternoon so she has enough time to make up, to look like a proper representative of the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club. It isn’t easy fixing yourself up on limited funds, you know. A hairdo’s out of the question, so Deb brushes it and bobbie-pins if down in back. Clothes? Try finding something fashionable in the extra large sizes. Green stretch pants and a blousy shirt will have to serve. A smear of blush, a dab of eyeliner, a blot of lipstick, nothing too flashy. Deb uncovers a package of Lee Press-on Nails tucked away in a bathroom drawer.

Some members of the fan club had been getting on Deb’s case a little for not sending out the newsletter on time.

Debby’s house is a drab and stuffy 1950s Escondido bungalow, tucked away at the perimeter of several new developments with rural names like Mountain View Estates. The beige shag rug has seen better days; the walls are decorated with several prints of Jesus, the thrift-store variety where he looks like a grinning businessman wearing a wig and fake beard. Family photos line a ledge near the dining room table. “Who’s that?” I ask of a young woman with foggy black eyes. “That’s my sister Barbara. She’s retarded. They’re taking care of her in a place in Ramona.”

Deb’s room is on the second floor, up the worn, carpeted steps, past Wiggleworm, a gassy, rheumy-eyed cocker spaniel yoked to the thin iron banister. Dad, lying on the couch watching football, just got back from the hospital (Shhh! He had an aneurysm). It’s a tough go, trying to make ends meet on Mom’s nurse’s salary alone.

Debby, 35 years old, at a business school in Escondido, where she graduated in the top three in her class. But they stuck her in customer service. If they’d kept her in accounting, things would have worked out fine, but they just offered her to the wolves. Customers were vicious, they blamed her, blamed Debby personally, for the problems they were having with their damn, excuse me, appliances. Like she had any say so. She quit the third day, sobbing, vowing never to work again.

Now Mom wants to lodge a boarder in Debby’s room, which’ll add another few hundred dollars monthly to the pot. Debby’s got to move to a room half the size. The long and the short of it is that it’s going to take at least three months to hump all her stuff downstairs.

With finances in such a squeeze, Debby demoted herself from president to co-president of the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club, turning over the reins to her friend, Darla Shaddock of Wisconsin. Darla’s got a job and has more resources. Some members of the fan club had been getting on Deb’s case a little for not sending out the newsletter on time. The members were only getting two newsletters a year when they should have been receiving four, which wasn’t such a good use of eight bucks’ dues if you think about it. All in all, people were pretty understanding, and Debby is glad that Darla’s “taking care of business” once again. (“Taking Care of Business" or “TCB,” Deb reminds me, was the code phrase of Elvis’s inner circle. Red, Sonny, and all other members of the Memphis Mafia proudly wore gold-plated TCB pins, complete with Oswald Mosley lighting bolt.) Darla informs me that the newsletters are coming out on schedule now, and each one carries the imprimatur of Miss Ginger Alden herself as the one and only officially sanctioned fan club.

You’ve never heard of Ginger Alden? I mean, really, where have you been? We’re talking about the runner-up in the 1976 Miss Tennessee pageant, a nubile doxy who was rumored to become Elvis’s second wife on Christmas Day 1977. Ginger Alden, the girl who discovered the constipated crooner freshly croaked on that fateful day in August 1977. You may have also read at the supermarket checkout Ginger’s acerbic comments in a recent Star about competitor Priscilla Presley turning Graceland into “Greed-land.” You might also see her obligatory tell-all Elvis memoir in bookstores before too long.

Deb’s lips tremble, withdraw over pointed little teeth. Swallowing her words, Deb speaks slowly, haltingly, as if someone was going to swat her for giving a wrong answer. “We love Ginger the best of all the women Elvis was involved with,” gushes the woman who’s devoted the past 13 years to keeping tabs on the beauty queen/model/famous singer’s girlfriend. Deb pictures herself Ginger’s helpmate, a special friend who daily provides Ginger a stepping stone to happiness and commercial success. “We’re here to help Ginger. We’ll only stop the fan club if she tells us to.” Debby feels that Ginger has not only become a victim of Elvis’s untimely death but a scapegoat for gossipmongers. “Not many people like to admit this, but it’s true that Ginger and Elvis were engaged.”

Debby appreciates Ginger’s modesty. “She is very conservative what she models. She has a nice shape, but she doesn’t model bathing suits or anything unless they’re one piece.”

Debby values the purity of Ginger’s heart. “Priscilla and Linda Thompson [long-time Elvis girlfriend] seemed to be out for the money. Ginger isn’t. I never liked that kind of person. The greedy people. Greedy, selfish people, who are only in it to make money.

“I’ve got a couple letters from Ginger right here. Do you want me to read them?”

By all means.

“Okay. ‘I believe that God has everyone’s life planned out for them. And I thank God that I was able to share his last eight months with him. It all happened for a reason, and I pray that I find why soon. It is so hard to understand. He was having so much to look forward to that Elvis got mad with his aides many times for not being where they were supposed to be, and his aides were told when it was their time to be on duty to sleep on the white fur bed in the bathroom.

‘I will never forget all the beautiful things that Elvis taught me about life. Most of the stories out now are by people who really didn’t know him. I saw a side to him in these eight months that no one had ever seen before, and it was hard for me to accept at first when Elvis told me that he had loved before but had never been in love until he met me. He also said he had always been 60 percent happy or 40 percent happy, and the rest of him was still searching. He told me it even shook him up when he realized that the first time in his life he was in love. He said he had never planned on marrying again and never dreamed he would find somebody in his own hometown. I will love him always and pray that he will guide me and watch over me. I hope to still make him happy.’ ”

She folds the prized artifact and slips it back into its envelope. She opens another letter, at least a decade old and limp from handling, the only other missive of substance she has received from Ginger Alden.

“ ‘In the coming months I hope to go into modeling or acting, but first I have to put the people together and get my head on straight. New Year’s Eve I stayed home and watched television. I couldn’t get interested in doing anything. No one has put me down for loving Elvis when he was twice my age. He did not act like a 42-year-old. Anyway, when love calls a person, you know it. Elvis always told me that if for some reason we ever broke up, then all the rest would be second best. There is only one true love in a lifetime, and it is something that happens. A beautiful gift from God. Most people, I believe, are out to make money off Elvis. They know they have never seen anything like this in their lives. And won’t again, so this is the only opportunity they’ll have to make this kind of money the easy way.

‘Quite a few imitators were imitating Elvis before his death. I think that Elvis would wish for them to get their act right, because I saw him root for an impersonator one time. I lived at home with my parents, and Elvis had the upstairs bathroom redecorated for me in turquoise and white. I got along with his family well but didn’t get to see them much because I was constantly with Elvis, and he was not into drugs, he had prescribed medication he had to take. The drug thing is trash and blown out of proportion. The first thing that Elvis read to me was “A Case On Marriage” by Kahlil Gibran. That was what we studied the most. It is a beautiful piece, and one of my favorites.’ ”

Debby sniffles. “Elvis was very spiritual. That’s how he got his Grammy Awards. Mostly his gospel music.” As evidenced by the surfeit of Jesus prints on the walls, the entire Wimer family tends to be “pretty religious. We go to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church whenever we can.” Debby doesn’t see any irreconcilables in her worship of Elvis “the Pelvis” Presley; rather than seeing it as a form of apostasy, she has devoted her life to transforming Elvis’s checkered life into one of inherent goodness. She likewise safeguards the image of Ginger Alden as saintedly virginal and holy. Any book that reports the seedy elements of the Elvis myth are the perverted products of contemporary Judases. About Elvis, the infamous Albert Goldman book, Debby froths, “It’s the pits. Trash, trash, trash! All lies. I was in the supermarket with my mother, and she asked me if I wanted that book, and I told her I’d rather see it burned. Burned!”

Though Debby pooh-poohs the notion that Elvis is still alive, he appears to her at night, in dreams. One vivid, recurring nightmare has Elvis materializing on the slope of her neighbor’s driveway. Debby puzzles over its meaning. “I don’t know why Elvis was in her driveway.”

She tells me how Elvis and Ginger first met. “I’ll tell you as much as I know. Well, one of his friends was a deejay in Memphis, he introduced them originally. But he originally found out about the Alden family through one of her sisters. She has two sisters. There’s Rosemary, and Terry, her name is. She was a Miss Tennessee. And Ginger was the runner-up. You know, he’d just broken up with his other girlfriend, Linda Thompson. Elvis asked his friend, George Klein, they’re old friends, he asked if he knew anybody, you know.

So he asked him to bring Terry Alden to meet him. And Terry asked if her sisters could come along; Elvis said yes, and they say that once Elvis had one look at Ginger he fell for her.”

Really. Just one look?

“Yeah!”

Did she have her hair the way he liked it?

“I think so. I think so, yes.”

So she knew in advance how to attract his attention. Was Terry mad that Ginger got the prize?

“No, I think she was pleased. For her. Yeah. He proposed to her January 26th, ’77. And he kept saying he’d give her that ring, the one he gave her. It was out of one of his favorite rings.” How long were they together?

“They met in November ’76, and he died in August of ’77.”

Did she like living in Graceland?

“She didn’t generally live there. She was with him a lot there. He’d asked her to move in with him. But she wasn’t into that sort of thing unless she was married.”

She didn’t have sex with Elvis?

“No, no, no. He probably would have liked that, but she wasn’t into that sort of thing.”

She was principled about it?

“Yeah, yeah. Yeah."

How do you know?

“I don’t know, but I know.”

  • Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all about is seeming trouble.

(Inspirational quotation found in The Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club newsletter, edited by Debby Wimer.)

The first few Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club newsletters, pecked out on a typewriter given to platen slippage, reflected the full range of Darla Shaddock’s interests, including her fixation on a soap actor named William Espy, and even to Paul McCartney’s brother, whose own fan club address Darla thoughtfully provides her readers. Darla makes it clear that she’s more interested in facts than in fantasy, mailing me a “Ginger Alden Fact Sheet” [see below), which she promises to update real soon.

If Darla Shaddock is the organizational genius behind the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club (12 members as we go to press), Debby Wimer is its heart and soul. When Debby assumed the mantle of president, the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club newsletter blossomed with inspirational poetry and homilies plastered with stickers of cute animals, members’ verse tributes to Elvis and Ginger or remembrances of pilgrimages to Memphis, Xerox reproductions of Ginger’s latest modeling assignments, Debby’s beautiful pencil sketches of E&G, as well as newsy updates of Ginger and family’s goings-on. Though she has relinquished newsletter mailing chores, Debby remains co-president, a prestigious member still. We might add that Ginger Alden is an “honorary member” of the Ginger “Lady Super-star” Alden Fan Club and receives a free lifetime subscription of the newsletter. Alden, now married to Ron Leyser of Long Island, refused to be interviewed for this story.

Recent newsletters are most notably graced with chapters from Debby’s intimate novella Spanish Eyes [an abridged chapter begins on page 11, which is doled out in installment after juicy installment]. Darla is the first one to admit that “Debby’s got a way with words” (she had Debby ghostwrite her “Visit to Memphis” some issues back) but feels a tad uneasy about Deb’s story, which she reckons is a bit too — well, a bit touchy, too much of Deb’s own fantasy.

Daria is circumspect about the reasons why she founded the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club. “Ginger has dark hair,” she offers, “I'm crazy about dark hair.” Darla’s squeamishness can perhaps be traced to that unmarked but definitive line that separates “wholesome” fandom from its more fervid expressions. The danger is not so much in the fantasy, but in believing the = fantasy. £

Debby doesn’t register the least amount of shame over Spanish Eyes, which may be the most revealing projection of fan mentality since John t Hinckley’s love letters to Jodie Foster. In Spanish Eyes Debby infuses herself into the Elvis saga in first person, becoming God’s and Elvis’s confidant, an extraordinarily attractive and resourceful woman who fends off Elvis’s amorous advances while managing his life and career. At the end she mutates into a contemporary Virgin Mary who carries Elvis’s baby to term through the miracle of in vitro fertilization.

For all the hot and heavy soft-core style of Spanish Eyes, Debby disapproves of the “slash” style of amateur science fiction, in which fans situate their favorite television stars in explicit pornographic situations. Circulated among cliques of women fans, slash fiction concentrates solely on homosexual couplings, Kirk buggers Spock or Starsky fudgepacks Hutch, in order that their beloved characters are not contaminated by female competition. “We have Kirk and Spock love each other because then we can have them for ourselves,” said a pimply, obese slash writer at a recent comic book convention.

Debby, was there any part in Spanish Eyes where you saw Elvis naked?

“No, no, no. No. He’s a very modest person.” There are these books that say he had a nickname for his penis. He called it “Little Elvis.” “That’s totally ridiculous. What I heard is that it’s just the opposite.”

What did you hear?

“I would say that he’s quite well-endowed.” Oh, he is?

Where did you hear that from?

“I don’t remember. It’s been a while. But I have. Heard.”

Debby Wimer allows that she’s thought about moving to Memphis ever since 1977, although, as she tells me, it’s difficult to start one’s life over in a strange place. Besides, she’s been out of California only once in her life, a 1980 pilgrimage to Graceland after visiting Darla’s house in Wisconsin.

“We went to Memphis by bus. Took us about two days. And we arrived there Thursday, July 24th, around 7:30 in the evening. We found a room about a block or so from the bus terminal. And we had to wait until we got the luggage. Then we had dinner. And I called one of my friends in Illinois, telling her that I was in Memphis, and to tell the Aldens. I did this because at the time I didn’t have their phone number. She did. So she called them. And her name is June, that’s the one I called, told me that Rosemary had told her I was coming, so in her letter I received just before I left she told me to call her. That she would call the Aldens and tell them. She offered to call them that night, but it was about 10 o’clock in the evening.”

I’m sorry. I don’t follow. Who told who you were coming?

“June told me that Rosemary [Alden, Ginger’s sister] had told her I was coming. So in her letter I received, the one from Rosemary, just before I left, she told me to call her, then she would call the Aldens and tell them I was in Memphis. That was June. June would call the Aldens. She offered to call them that night, but I told them it was better to wait until morning because I didn’t want to disturb them at 10 o’clock in the evening. I gave her the number at the hotel and the room number. So the next 8:30 in the next morning, Friday, Miss Alden called. And she said Rosemary was ill and that Ginger was in Mississippi but would be back that evening. She also said that she would call me back. We could arrange a time to meet. She asked me too if I was planning to go to Graceland. I told her I was.

“At 12:30 that afternoon we boarded a bus bound for Graceland. We arrived there at one p.m., and at the time Elvis’s Uncle Vester was at the gate. We signed in and he showed us a copy of The Presley Family Cookbook. He seemed real likeable, but I was told not to say anything about Ginger to him. I didn’t know why, but he didn’t care for her. After that we went in and walked up the driveway. It’s about 20 feet to the house. I got pictures of it. Then we walked to the meditation garden; that’s where Elvis and his parents are. It was lovely. They had a fountain there; it was really nice. Then beautiful epitaphs on the gravestone. We left about 1:30, but I wouldn’t have minded spending all day there. I loved it there.”

Why did you leave?

“We were going to have lunch or something.”

I see.

“We went across the street to the souvenir shop. And they all played Elvis music at the shop. And I bought about 20 bucks’ worth of souvenirs. If I had my way I would have bought more. They had a small coffee shop, the Hickory Log. We had lunch there. It had Elvis all over it. And they sold us souvenirs in there, too. I also have pictures of the gates.

“We got back to.our room about 2:30. Mrs. Alden didn’t call until about nine o’clock that evening. She said Ginger was back, and they would be coming at two o’clock the next day. In the afternoon.

“Saturday morning she calls again saying they’ll be a bit late. Time passed. She called twice more saying she was sorry because Rosemary’s doctor hadn’t called, and they had to wait until he did. Finally she called and said they were leaving the house in ten minutes and they would be seeing us in about in another hour or so. Three and four o’clock came and went. They finally drove in about 4:30. I was really nervous. But I opened the door myself and they asked me who I was, and I told her who I was. She hugs me and she says hello, and Ginger’s right behind her.

“She wore a short-sleeved blouse with a parrot on it here (points to chest), black slacks, and brown sandals. Had some rings on. I don’t think there was the one Elvis gave her, I don’t think, I don’t know. One was like a black sapphire, and the other looked like a dozen diamonds in an intricate setting. That might have been it, I don’t know. She told me they were good-luck rings. They stayed about two and a half hours. And they told us a lot of things that have never been published, about Elvis and Elvis’s entourage. They were very interesting and informative. I wish I could say everything that was said, but there is no room. I could go on forever."

Over the years, Debby, have things changed in the way you see Ginger or the way you see Elvis?

“Somewhat. But mostly we back her all the way, we like her very much. We want all the best for her. She went through a lot when he died. She deserves what she’s got now. And she’s happy in her marriage. To that Jewish fellow.”

Jewish fellow?

“Ron Leyser his name is. He lives in New York. We hope he’s good enough for her. I’ll know more when I write her sister Rosemary. Ginger says that he didn’t want her to be a martyr. When she was ready, that she should find somebody new. (Sighs, mumbles.] That’s the last thing she’d want, but she did find him.”

Why was that the last thing she wanted? Because she was still in love with Elvis?

“Yes. Yes, she was hurting too much over him. She didn’t want anyone else at that point. She wasn’t ready for anybody else.”

If I'm So Wonderful, Then Why Am I Still Single? is one of several self-help books that Debby needed to renew at the Escondido library. “There are some good tips in there.” Debby understands Ginger’s heartbreak at losing Elvis; she herself has been engaged three times. She almost tied the knot with an Escondido man who was 30 but still lived with his parents and tried to talk Debby into working while he’d lay about at home. Debby wasn’t about to stand for that.

It’s difficult to sort out Debby’s other erstwhile fiances. Maybe one of ’em’s a German penpal, a fellow Elvis fan. “He reads lips pretty good.” The deaf guy wants to flop on the Wimers’ couch when he visits the States sometime next year. Another pen pal, from Oxnard, closer, but still no local, promises to visit any day now but has so far stood Debby up. “He didn’t come, that stupid! If he calls me. I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.”

On a drive through downtown Escondido, Debby explains that any man must take a back seat to Elvis Presley. Even so, she lets on that I’m one of the most presentable gentlemen to ever call on her. I neglect to tell her that I cannot fit her criteria for a love mate, who must: “One: Believe in God. Two: Not talk down to me. I have an I.Q. of 132, and men still kind of talk down to me just because I’m female. But they’re the stupid ones. Three: Love old people. Four: Love animals. Good-looking is a plus, but if he’s just handsome, then it’s like having a pretty box with nothing inside.” Must he share an enthusiasm for Ginger and Elvis? “That goes without saying.”

Chewing a half-pound hamburger at the Red Robin restaurant, keeping a wary eye for overzealous busboys, Debby doesn’t dare lay the mighty burger down between bites. She laps demurely at the suet and sauce that drips on her forearm. “I don’t mind living at home that much. I look after my father while my mother’s at work. He had a stroke and one side isn’t working too good.”

Back home, Debby allows me into the sanctity of her room. It’s acrid with the fumes of an unemptied cat box. She locks the door, then drops down on all fours, calling, “Gin-ger! Ginger! C’mere, that’s a good cat!” She proudly places the spotted, suppurating animal in my arms. “Ginger’s got a skin disease.” Which explains why the cat’s belly is wrapped with a pair of dirty long johns. I put the cat down and it heads to the befouled litter box, kicking up dust and excrement.

Debby begins to read a poem of which she is particularly proud, written on Elvis’s birthday in 1980.

  • “God Bless You, Elvis. Happy birthday, wherever you are.
  • “We should not begrudge you the happiness you have found. You had so little here on earth, yet you gave us so much!
  • “I miss you so. I often wish I could join you, so we could be together. Yet if justice had been done, you would be with us still.
  • “I hate myself for wasting so much time on other things; so unimportant now when compared with the miracle of you.
  • “I realized too just how precious, how very rare and lovely a jewel I let slip through my fingers.
  • “You may forgive me, dearest Elvis, but I’ll never forgive myself. I wish I could make it up to you. I’m sorry I was such a fool.
  • “God bless you, Elvis. Happy birthday. I love you. I will for all eternity. You will live forever in my heart.”

“It was a rainy day when I wrote it,” blushes Debby. “I had always thought of Elvis as an institution. He always seemed larger than life to me. He was always around as long as I’d remembered, and I always thought he would be around. And it was so hard to believe he was gone.

“I remember when I first heard about him dying. I was sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio, and they said that Elvis Presley died about two o’clock that afternoon, and I thought, first of all, that it was a horrible joke. I felt like taking somebody apart, you know. It couldn’t be possible. It was impossible. He was going to get married again and stuff. And they said it later on, it was in the paper. That’s when I had to believe it. I was in a store a couple days after that. They were showing his funeral on television. I couldn’t watch it. It got to me. I thought I’d better get out of there or I’d disgrace myself.”

Surprisingly, Debby’s room has but a few images of Elvis and Ginger, yet a complete set of Star Trek videotapes line Debby’s closet. “Oh, I’m a BIG Star Trek nut. I write Star Trek fiction, amateur fiction. No, I’m not paid. If I was paid. Paramount Studios would sue me." Bosom heaving, Debby inches closer to me, revealing a spiral-bound book containing one of her Star Trek stories under the pseudonym “J.M. Lane.” Feeling faint, I conjure an excuse and flee into the Escondido twilight. Heading South on Interstate 15, I punch the radio dial. It’s Elvis singing “It’s Now or Never,” Debby Wimer’s favorite.

(Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club, c/o Darla Shaddock, N3009 Bizer Drive, Medford, WI, 54451. One year’s membership for $8 includes four issues of the newsletter.

GINGER ALDEN FACT SHEET

(Courtesy of the Ginger ‘Lady Superstar' Alden Fan Club)

FULL NAME Ginger Lita Alden

BIRTHOAY: November 13. 1956

HEIGHT: 5' 8*

HAIR: Brown or frosted

EYES: Brown

HOME: Memphis, Tenn., but now lives in New York City apartment (Lady Superstar update: Ginger now resides with husband Ron Leyser on Long Island!)

BORN: Millington. Tenn.. while her father was in the service.

MOVIES: Living Legend. Lady Superstar RECORD (tingle): ‘Boogie On Down*/Td Rather Have a Memory Than a Dream'; also LP from film Lady Superstar

FAVORITE COLOR: Yellow

FAVORITE MOVIE: Gone With the Wind-, saw It 14 times (Note: total may now be higher)

CARS (from Elvis): Lincoln Continental. TR-6 sport scar. Cadillac Seville, and a motorbike

NATIONALITY: Indian. French. Irish HOBBIES: Art. tennis, horseback riding PETS: Odyssey — Great Dane from Elvis...passed away. Had a white star on his chest; otherwise all black. Now has Maltese puppy named Silky

BEAUTY TITLES: First runner up in Miss Tennessee Universe (sister Terry won). Duchess in Cotton Festival, Miss Traffic Safety, and Miss Mid South Fair

FAVORITE ACTORS & ACTRESSES: Dustin Hoffman. Charles Bronson. Steve McQueen. Natalie Wood. Jane Fonda, Peter Sellers, and Gregory Peck...to name a few PET PEEVES: Jealousy, dishonesty, gossip FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT: Hawaii

FAVORITE SONG: 'Stairway to Heaven* COMMERCIALS: Burger King. Gillette Facial Scrub. Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans (2). Personna Shower Shaver. Camay Soap (Miss Marilyn). Kenner Dolls. Dannon Yogurt. Arrive Shampoo. Aziza Lip Gloss. Van Heusen Shirts. Eve Cigarettes (billboard). Visme Eye Drops. Canada Dry ‘Ginger' AJe, Jhirmack Hair Color. No-Nonsense Comfort Stride Pantyhose. Maybelline Eye Sticks. Vidal Sassoon. Japanese commercial. Billboard for Claridge Hotel. Atlantic City (she is spokeswoman)

MODELING CREDITS: Cover and 3 pages. Beautiful Living magazine. May '81; April 81 Issue Cosmopolitan, page 294; McCall's. April '81. page 111; Penney's Spring Sale Catalog 1982; Wards '82. Christmas; Penney's Spring/Summer 1982; Sears Fall/Winter '81; Several Avon Fashions Catalogs; Lane Bryant Catalogs: Cosmopolitan. June '83. page 222: More Wards Catalogs: 1984 Penney's; Cosmopedics Catalog; German magazine; Les Premier Editions: Nancy's Choice: Penney's Uniform Catalog: Sears Uniforms '82-'83; Jhirmack Hair Color Box; Wards. Fall/Winter 1983; Photo Screen. Rona Bar rett. Midnight-Globe. Enquirer. Movie Screen Yearbook. Star, and other such magazines and newspapers

FAMILY:

PARENTS: Jo and Walter Alden — Birthdays Nov. 25 and June 21. respectively. No grandparents living...Elvis & Ginger attended funeral of her grandfather. Rev. William A. Spencer. Jo Alden's father. Jan. 3, 1977

SISTERS: Rosemary — born Jan. 31. 1950. Terry — born Mar. 3. 1955 (married June 11. 1983 — lives in St. Louis with husband Ted)

BROTHER: Mike — born Dec. 12. 1945. has two daughters. Amber and Allison, once friends of Lisa Marie Presley

WHAT IS A FAN CLUB???

by Linda Huston

(Reprinted from the Ginger 'Lady Superstar* Alden Fan Club Newsletter)

A fan club is a forum for fans to get together and make new friends with a special common ground.

A fan club can really help to promote a star. Fans organizing together will support the star more than any other fan.

A lot of hard work. time. love, and money go into the club. Usually this is by people running the club. A person is not going to go into running a fan club unless they really care and totally support the star. Ideas must be thought up for each newsletter, then they must be typed, done up. and finally put in the mail! This all costs a lot more than the dues collected.

Then the president must put up with complaints on lateness and everything under the sun. To hear a compliment will make his or her day!

Fan clubs are a lot of fun and can cause much pride for the president, the members, and the star!

Fans are special people. Some of my best friends came from all kinds of fan clubs. They stick together — some even have gotten married.

Fans that join clubs usually like to write, collect pictures. following the star's schedule — whether it be in concerts, movies, tv. They usually like to get to know people and have a lot of fun at the same time.

There are all kinds of fan clubs for all sorts of celebn ties. Sometimes they are backed by the star. He or she then supplies the president with photos and info for the newsletters.

Then there are clubs like ours usually termed a friendship or pen pal club for the star. Fans getting to know other fans — sharing experiences if they have met the star and also things they have collected on the star. These kinds of clubs are very popular and legal!

As all of you know I have been running very successfully a club for Georganne LaPiere for 11 years. She is fabulous! I have tons of pictures she has supplied, and she always writes for each issue.

My club for Cher is already going strong. She knows about the club and said it was ok for me to do it but we are not official. Our members love writing on what they like about Cher and telling others what it was like to meet her. Most of them have fabulous collections on her.

I totally believe in both girls and truly love doing each club. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Georganne and Cher have been very happy with my work and that makes it all worthwhile!

Usually fans who join clubs are loyal and are not the kind to harass or hurt their favorites. They like taking pictures and if given the chance — talk to their favorites about what they like.

SPANISH EYES

by Debra Wimer

(From the Ginger Aldett Fan Club Newsletter; abridged by Adam Parfrey)

The first thing I remember is crying over how tragically short Elvis Presley’s life was, how he was taken so suddenly from all his loved ones -particularly the girl he loved and was to have married Christmas Day 1977.

“Oh Lord, why couldn’t you have at least let him remarry and father another child?”

To my astonishment I heard a soft and kind, yet authoritative voice reply, “Please don’t cry. I know how the world was mourned since I took him August 16, 1977. How would you like to have him back?”

“That would be wonderful, but how could you do it?”

“You doubt the Almighty?”

“But he’s been gone over 13 years!” “I am fully aware of that. Remember, I made Adam out of the dust of the ground. I can fashion another body for Elvis which will look exactly like the original...with a few improvements, of course.” “Do you really mean it? We’d do anything to have him back!”

“On one condition."

“Name it.”

“You must keep him entirely hidden from the public for a period of one year.”

“That’s a pretty tall order! How am I going to do it?”

“I will help you, don’t worry...but you must promise me that you will do this.”

“Oh yes. Lord, gladly. I have always felt partly responsible for his death. I know I could have helped him had I known him.”

“After this you will know him better than anyone except myself...that is why I have chosen you to take care of him during the year in hiding. He has been out of circulation and is out of shape. It will be your job to prevent him from working as he did before. That was part of what killed him. The strain was just too much for his heart to handle.”

“Thank you, Lord. I won’t let you down.” I sighed, then pointed out, “But you know how determined he is when he wants something. How can I alone convince him to take care of himself?” “I have planned for you to be his manager. You will gently suggest that it would be wise for all concerned if he took care of himself. You have a way with words; you’ll convince him.”

“Lord, I’m afraid I am not worthy of the trust you have placed in me.”

“I have deemed you worthy,” he replied kindly but firmly. “You have nothing to worry about. I will guide you every step of the way.”

“Where will we stay?”

“At his home in Palm Springs. It is currently unoccupied.... He must be treated with utmost courtesy and consideration at all times, or I will take him away again.”

“I understand. Lord, and I will go to the house now.” I went out to my car, finding to my surprise that all my belongings had been mysteriously and thoroughly packed.

As I drove God told me, “I will return him to you halfway to Palm Springs. When you see a warm bright light beside you in your car, you will know I am sending him to you.”

I still didn’t understand why God had chosen me. Why not Ginger or a member of his family? I asked what would happen to the gravesite at Graceland. “Nothing, at least not for a year. It will look as it always has.”

“Why couldn’t we stay at Graceland? Elvis would be more at home there and we’d never leave.”

“I have very good reasons for wanting you to keep him in Palm Springs. It is isolated, and Graceland is constantly overrun by his fans since it was opened. You will need all the privacy you can get.” I hadn’t thought of that! "He is impatient to return.”

“You have him there with you?”

“Yes...or more accurately, his spiritual body. He says he can hardly wait to come back, since he left a lot of unfinished business behind when he died.”

I’ll say he did, I thought...

As I entered a deserted stretch of road, I felt a warm bright light, as warm as the sun, and was told to slow down to 55 mph. I thought it was strange that I should maintain that speed but complied — then something compelled me to look at the seat beside me.

I just wasn’t prepared for the sight that met my eyes. He was sitting there in the white suit he had been buried in, the one his father had given him the Christmas of 1976. He had an almost unearthly beauty about him. I wanted to reach out and touch him but was afraid he would disappear.

I also had an irresistible urge to see if he wore shoes, since people were usually buried barefoot. He indeed wore shoes! It was as if the Lord had said, “Say something to him. He’s real, he will respond to you.”

I finally said, “Welcome back.”

His speaking voice was more beautiful than it had ever been. “Thanks. It’s good to be back.” It was incredible that Elvis was really here, really speaking to me! But I wouldn’t believe he was real unless he touched me. At that moment he covered my hand with his. “Do you mind? I’ve missed the human contact of touch.”

“Not at all.” I strove to sound calm yet knew my heart was pounding. His hand felt warm, firm, masculine. “Has God discussed the details of what we’re supposed to do for the next year with you?”

“Thoroughly. I intend to cooperate a hundred percent....” Now that I knew he was real, I could really talk. “My family doesn’t know anything about this; no one does. I was told not to

tell anyone. I will obey, of course, but they were understandably hurt. I could only say I’d have to move to Palm Springs for a year. I can’t even contact them to let them know how I am. I’m supposed to isolate myself with you for a year.

“Not that I don’t welcome the prospect — any woman would — but I have a job to do. I intend to do it well, too...and don’t think you’re going to get away with murder just because I’m female. That Southern charm won’t work with me — at least not where it counts.”

“I might prove to be a handful. Do you think you’ll be able to handle being alone with me for a year?”

“I think so. The Lord told me to call on him if I needed help.” "

“You’ll need it, believe me,” he laughed. “That wouldn’t surprise me, but I think I’ll enjoy it just the same.”

“I’m sure I will, too.” He brushed the side of a finger along my cheek. Even as I felt a thrill shoot through my entire body, I told myself sternly NOT to become too attached to him. It would only make letting go that much harder on both of us.

“Elvis, I don’t want to say this but feel I must.”

“Fire away.”

“I feel it would be best if we stayed just good friends, with no romantic overtones.”

For a moment he looked like you’d just hit him over the head but smiled and said, “I understand, and I respect your decision...but let me tell you right now, it won’t be easy for me to abide by it....”

I have to admit that he tried his level best to get romantically involved with me that year, but I gently reminded him, “As much as I’d love to, I can’t. You already have a fiancee who loves you deeply. You must not break her heart for what could just be a fleeting thing.” He had to agree that I was right and he did love her, although he was very much attracted to me.

He loved Ginger. I knew that all too well, and he fully intended to marry her when the year was up. Finally I could deny my feelings no longer.

Despite my resolve not to, I had fallen deeply, hopelessly in love. What could I do? I could never call him mine, nor could I ever let him guess how I felt. He belonged to Ginger'. If he ever guessed he would likely drop Ginger and stay with me because I knew he also cared for me. I couldn’t risk that; I didn’t want him to break her heart.

How I would ever hide my feelings, I didn’t know — but hide them I must! I finally told God about it. “Lord, I have a big problem.”

“You’re in love with Elvis.”

I sighed. “Yes, despite my resolve not to. What am I to do?”

“For once even I don’t know.” And if even God couldn’t help me, what chance did I have? * * *

I had my chance and blown it. If I could only have known his lips, arms, and body even once — you lose the chance. Still, loving him as I did, I could never give myself in marriage to anyone else. I even considered entering a convent but realized that that would be worse than staying around him.

He was now ready to return to show business. When we walked into the STAR offices, everyone who seen him did a double-take. We asked to see the head of the outfit because we had the reincarnation story of the century! We were ushered into a plush office and told to sit down by a fiftyish man in an expensive grey suit.

“I’m Elvis Presley,” Elvis said.

“Let’s not play games,” the man said. “I have no time for jokes.”

“This is no joke,” I assured him.

His face turned white. “But how? Elvis Presley died over a decade ago!”

“I’m not really sure. I can hardly believe it myself,” Elvis told him.... “Tell the world that I’m getting married next week — to the girl I was engaged to 12 years ago. It may not be Christmas, but it’s been much too long. This time I’m going to be around to marry her!”

Before a week was out the STAR was all over the world: ELVIS PRESLEY REBORN...REINCARNATED ROCK KING SAYS “I’M GOING TO MARRY MY FIANCEE GINGER ALDEN NEXT WEEK.”


They had been married just two months when Ginger’s doctor told her that she was pregnant, expecting to deliver the baby the following April. She was happy, but Elvis was absolutely ecstatic! After she told him the news he called me and could hardly talk coherently, he was so happy.

Ginger wanted to know what all I’d done with him while we were isolated for a year.

“Nothing to what I wish I’d done,” I quipped. “Oh, Debby, be serious!”

“I am. He was very attracted to me and asked me to have an affair, but I couldn’t do that to you, though. I knew how you loved him and that I’d only spoil what you two had....”

“I can never thank you enough for giving him back to me.”

Ginger just seemed to grow more beautiful as her pregnancy advanced. In the latter stages she really didn’t care to have Elvis see her and I couldn’t blame her — but assured her that she didn’t have a thing to worry about, since to a man the woman they love carrying their child is always beautiful.

Since she had conceived so early, Elvis decided to wait until after the baby was born to resume touring. Incidentally, I had limited him to one show a night and three in a week — and his touring to two weeks a month. He didn’t exactly love the idea but knew it was for his own good.


A nurse came in and asked, “Would you like to see the baby?”

“Yes, very much.” I stood up. “Elvis is still asleep; please don’t wake him. I will wake him when it’s time.” I left the room quietly and made my way to the nursery. The nurse picked up the baby and brought him to the window. He was so beautiful!

He had the beginnings of Elvis’s firm chin, his classic nose and sensuous lips, but Ginger’s brown eyes. I saw the adorable baby softness which would gradually mature into a firm chin, tall lithe body, and masculinity comparable only to his father’s. The nurse then asked if I would like to hold him.

“Oh yes!” I had to put a mask and gown on, then she handed the child to me. I smiled and whispered, “Hello, baby Jess. Welcome to the world.” I brought out one tiny, perfectly formed hand; he got a death grip on my index finger. I could hardly believe I was actually holding Elvis’s son, the child who would continue the Presley line!

Elvis came out to where I was waiting. His face looked gray and sad. “What’s wrong?" He didn’t seem to hear; he just sat down and buried his face in his hands. “Elvis, what happened? Is there anything I can do?” I put a gentle hand on his arm. He looked up, eyes clouded with gloom.

“Not unless you have another child for me,” he replied.

“I don’t understand.”

“Remember when Ginger said for you to leave?” He held my hands tightly.

“What did she tell you?” I asked as I gave them a reassuring squeeze.

“That she couldn’t have any more children....”

I knocked on Ginger’s door.

“Come in, Debby....” When I got closer to her I could tell that she also had been crying.

“I told Elvis we couldn’t have any more children,” she confessed. “I hated having to tell him that, especially right after Jess’s birth, but I had to, and it breaks my heart, too. Well, anyway the doctor told me that I have what is called an ‘infantile’ or ‘tipped’ uterus. The odds would be at least two billion to one against my having another child full-term and healthy, that I’m more likely to miscarry and have it kill me. Thank God for little Jess. At least we have him.”

“But you said that Elvis wanted at least half a dozen kids.”

“I know, and we still do — but how can we, now?”

“Aren’t there any alternatives?”

“The doctor said the only way for us to have another child is either to adopt or have another woman carry it.” She took my hand. “Deb, I want to ask a favor of you.”

“Anything.”

“He said that my tubes and ovaries were healthy, so if there was anyone who wanted to volunteer to carry my baby, she was to contact him and he would make the arrangements.”

I was certainly taking a gamble, using my body for an experiment that might (or might not) work and if anything went wrong, I could die in the midst of. Also, how was I going to keep it a secret from Elvis? Whatever else he was, he wasn’t dumb.


A few weeks later Ginger called: she was crying. “Oh, Debby, I’ve missed my period!” She didn’t sound happy.

“The doctor said it could kill me. We’ve got to do something. I didn’t mean to have it happen, I swear. I was sure I’d taken my pill...I’m not going to tell him. You’re going to help me get rid of it.”

“You mean — “

“Yes, I mean! I’m going to have an abortion! Thank God Elvis hasn’t noticed yet. This way he’ll never have to know.... We’ll go to an abortion clinic; I made a special Sunday appointment...Debby, you have to come. If you don’t I won’t be able to go through with it. You know how dead set against abortion Elvis is. He feels it’s murder, and ordinarily so would I, but this is a matter of life and death...mine!”


The weekend went off without a hitch. Mrs. Alden was enraptured with seeing her new grandson Jess, and Ginger had the abortion with no complications. Her waistline returned to normal; it was as though the pregnancy had never been. We returned to Graceland Monday morning, and Elvis was none the wiser.

A little later I had to go to the doctor and become implanted with a fertilized egg taken from Ginger a few days before. It was over before I knew it. Now all we could do was wait and see if the egg “took.”

The time for the-next scheduled period came and went, so I knew that that meant the experiment was successful — that Elvis and Ginger’s child was now growing inside my body. I called Ginger and told her. She was ecstatic!

I told the doctor how sick I was. He said it was somewhat unusual but nothing was really wrong. He claimed it would disappear after the third month. I had to go through another six weeks of morning sickness? Oh lord!

Thank heaven I didn’t have to hide it from Elvis after all. I could openly let him know about my pregnancy — and you may be sure that he could tell I was pregnant. After all, he’d had two children, he knew the signs...and you may be certain that he asked plenty of questions!

“What’s wrong, Deb? Don’t you feel well?” Elvis asked when I barely touched my lunch.

“What makes you think I’m not well?”

“Something has to be wrong when you refuse your favorite foods.”

“Remember when I said I had to be gone all night to secure a business deal for you?” (This had been just over six weeks ago. I had slept with the guy because he reminded me a lot of Elvis; he had been an excellent lover, too, but I hadn’t gotten pregnant even though I hadn’t used birth control — but what Elvis didn’t know wouldn’t hurt us.)

“How could you let him make you pregnant?”

“It’s an occupational hazard in this business if one is female.”

“You mean you really are pregnant?”

“Yes. I estimate between six weeks and two months along. I’m seriously considering giving the baby up for adoption because I could never care for it properly. Being your manager takes all my time.”

Elvis exchanged a meaningful look with Ginger. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” “You better believe it!” she declared...and so it was arranged. I would give the child to them when it was born. Why shouldn’t I? It was theirs anyway. I just carried the child, like a surrogate mother.

I just hoped to God I wouldn’t get some crazy notion about keeping the child, because it wasn’t mine to keep, though it had been a chance to carry the child of the man I loved. Unfortunately, it didn’t belong to us — it belonged to Elvis and Ginger. It had grown inside me but truly belonged to them.

I had to laugh, but not in front of Elvis. He would have been furious if he’d ever learned of how his wife and manger had pulled off this amazing conspiracy! It wouldn’t hurt him to think the child was mine, at least not until it was obvious to everyone (even him) that it wasn’t.

Elvis and Ginger were ecstatic over their new daughter, swearing they would never be able to thank me enough for her, but Ginger and I exchanged a secret smile and look whenever he talked about the baby. Maybe someday we could tell him the truth about the “adopted” child, but in the meantime it was best that he remained ignorant of the facts.

What floored me was that the doctor told me that I could handle any number of pregnancies. Seeing how happy Elvis and Ginger were with their new daughter, I finally decided it wouldn’t be so bad to carry their children for them. Maybe next time we’d suggest to Elvis hiring a woman to carry their children so they could have more. And who would be better suited than !?

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

A Home for the Homeless

California solves crisis by offering “a different kind of asylum.”
Next Article

Capital of Craft pulls into Port

San Diego Beer Week highlighted by Guild Fest & more
Elvis with Ginger Alden, c. 1976
Elvis with Ginger Alden, c. 1976

G is for generous always giving of herself.

I is for ideal, she’s more perfect than anyone else.

N is for newcomer, but a STAR she will be.

G is for generous, her generous way to you and me.

E is for ever lasting, our friendship will never end.

R is for richness, now that she’s my friend.

— By Jimmy Cooper, from the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club Newsletter

On a drive through Escondido, Debby explains that any man must take a back seat to Elvis.

She loves him tender, she loves him true. But maybe she did not love him true enough. Had Debby Wimer been more devoted to Elvis before he — permit me to be blunt — expired, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

Bearing the entire weight of Graceland on her shoulders, Debby Wimer has been second-guessing herself ever since the fateful day. I try to comfort her. Elvis, after all, was a reclusive and stubborn man. Even the tireless efforts of the most persistent and purest-hearted fan wouldn’t have changed him.

Mom wants to lodge a boarder in Debby’s room.

She sighs, nods, more nervous than moved. Although she is deeply religious, Debby allows that when she heard that Elvis passed on, and the earth continued to revolve as usual, she began to doubt God’s plan. Why hadn’t she heard the horn of Jericho? Why hadn’t the walls come a-tumblin’ down?

Letter from Ginger Alden to Debby

Life did not come to an end on August 16, 1977, it just became more collectible. The Rapture deferred, even Elvis’s most sorrowful fan must seek contentment in life’s little pleasures. Like eating. Not to say that Debby has a weight problem — a lot of men prefer gals with some meat on their bones, a truism that Debby is fond of repeating.

Debra Wimer. She disapproves of the “slash” style of amateur science fiction.

Deb reschedules an in-person interview for later in the afternoon so she has enough time to make up, to look like a proper representative of the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club. It isn’t easy fixing yourself up on limited funds, you know. A hairdo’s out of the question, so Deb brushes it and bobbie-pins if down in back. Clothes? Try finding something fashionable in the extra large sizes. Green stretch pants and a blousy shirt will have to serve. A smear of blush, a dab of eyeliner, a blot of lipstick, nothing too flashy. Deb uncovers a package of Lee Press-on Nails tucked away in a bathroom drawer.

Some members of the fan club had been getting on Deb’s case a little for not sending out the newsletter on time.

Debby’s house is a drab and stuffy 1950s Escondido bungalow, tucked away at the perimeter of several new developments with rural names like Mountain View Estates. The beige shag rug has seen better days; the walls are decorated with several prints of Jesus, the thrift-store variety where he looks like a grinning businessman wearing a wig and fake beard. Family photos line a ledge near the dining room table. “Who’s that?” I ask of a young woman with foggy black eyes. “That’s my sister Barbara. She’s retarded. They’re taking care of her in a place in Ramona.”

Deb’s room is on the second floor, up the worn, carpeted steps, past Wiggleworm, a gassy, rheumy-eyed cocker spaniel yoked to the thin iron banister. Dad, lying on the couch watching football, just got back from the hospital (Shhh! He had an aneurysm). It’s a tough go, trying to make ends meet on Mom’s nurse’s salary alone.

Debby, 35 years old, at a business school in Escondido, where she graduated in the top three in her class. But they stuck her in customer service. If they’d kept her in accounting, things would have worked out fine, but they just offered her to the wolves. Customers were vicious, they blamed her, blamed Debby personally, for the problems they were having with their damn, excuse me, appliances. Like she had any say so. She quit the third day, sobbing, vowing never to work again.

Now Mom wants to lodge a boarder in Debby’s room, which’ll add another few hundred dollars monthly to the pot. Debby’s got to move to a room half the size. The long and the short of it is that it’s going to take at least three months to hump all her stuff downstairs.

With finances in such a squeeze, Debby demoted herself from president to co-president of the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club, turning over the reins to her friend, Darla Shaddock of Wisconsin. Darla’s got a job and has more resources. Some members of the fan club had been getting on Deb’s case a little for not sending out the newsletter on time. The members were only getting two newsletters a year when they should have been receiving four, which wasn’t such a good use of eight bucks’ dues if you think about it. All in all, people were pretty understanding, and Debby is glad that Darla’s “taking care of business” once again. (“Taking Care of Business" or “TCB,” Deb reminds me, was the code phrase of Elvis’s inner circle. Red, Sonny, and all other members of the Memphis Mafia proudly wore gold-plated TCB pins, complete with Oswald Mosley lighting bolt.) Darla informs me that the newsletters are coming out on schedule now, and each one carries the imprimatur of Miss Ginger Alden herself as the one and only officially sanctioned fan club.

You’ve never heard of Ginger Alden? I mean, really, where have you been? We’re talking about the runner-up in the 1976 Miss Tennessee pageant, a nubile doxy who was rumored to become Elvis’s second wife on Christmas Day 1977. Ginger Alden, the girl who discovered the constipated crooner freshly croaked on that fateful day in August 1977. You may have also read at the supermarket checkout Ginger’s acerbic comments in a recent Star about competitor Priscilla Presley turning Graceland into “Greed-land.” You might also see her obligatory tell-all Elvis memoir in bookstores before too long.

Deb’s lips tremble, withdraw over pointed little teeth. Swallowing her words, Deb speaks slowly, haltingly, as if someone was going to swat her for giving a wrong answer. “We love Ginger the best of all the women Elvis was involved with,” gushes the woman who’s devoted the past 13 years to keeping tabs on the beauty queen/model/famous singer’s girlfriend. Deb pictures herself Ginger’s helpmate, a special friend who daily provides Ginger a stepping stone to happiness and commercial success. “We’re here to help Ginger. We’ll only stop the fan club if she tells us to.” Debby feels that Ginger has not only become a victim of Elvis’s untimely death but a scapegoat for gossipmongers. “Not many people like to admit this, but it’s true that Ginger and Elvis were engaged.”

Debby appreciates Ginger’s modesty. “She is very conservative what she models. She has a nice shape, but she doesn’t model bathing suits or anything unless they’re one piece.”

Debby values the purity of Ginger’s heart. “Priscilla and Linda Thompson [long-time Elvis girlfriend] seemed to be out for the money. Ginger isn’t. I never liked that kind of person. The greedy people. Greedy, selfish people, who are only in it to make money.

“I’ve got a couple letters from Ginger right here. Do you want me to read them?”

By all means.

“Okay. ‘I believe that God has everyone’s life planned out for them. And I thank God that I was able to share his last eight months with him. It all happened for a reason, and I pray that I find why soon. It is so hard to understand. He was having so much to look forward to that Elvis got mad with his aides many times for not being where they were supposed to be, and his aides were told when it was their time to be on duty to sleep on the white fur bed in the bathroom.

‘I will never forget all the beautiful things that Elvis taught me about life. Most of the stories out now are by people who really didn’t know him. I saw a side to him in these eight months that no one had ever seen before, and it was hard for me to accept at first when Elvis told me that he had loved before but had never been in love until he met me. He also said he had always been 60 percent happy or 40 percent happy, and the rest of him was still searching. He told me it even shook him up when he realized that the first time in his life he was in love. He said he had never planned on marrying again and never dreamed he would find somebody in his own hometown. I will love him always and pray that he will guide me and watch over me. I hope to still make him happy.’ ”

She folds the prized artifact and slips it back into its envelope. She opens another letter, at least a decade old and limp from handling, the only other missive of substance she has received from Ginger Alden.

“ ‘In the coming months I hope to go into modeling or acting, but first I have to put the people together and get my head on straight. New Year’s Eve I stayed home and watched television. I couldn’t get interested in doing anything. No one has put me down for loving Elvis when he was twice my age. He did not act like a 42-year-old. Anyway, when love calls a person, you know it. Elvis always told me that if for some reason we ever broke up, then all the rest would be second best. There is only one true love in a lifetime, and it is something that happens. A beautiful gift from God. Most people, I believe, are out to make money off Elvis. They know they have never seen anything like this in their lives. And won’t again, so this is the only opportunity they’ll have to make this kind of money the easy way.

‘Quite a few imitators were imitating Elvis before his death. I think that Elvis would wish for them to get their act right, because I saw him root for an impersonator one time. I lived at home with my parents, and Elvis had the upstairs bathroom redecorated for me in turquoise and white. I got along with his family well but didn’t get to see them much because I was constantly with Elvis, and he was not into drugs, he had prescribed medication he had to take. The drug thing is trash and blown out of proportion. The first thing that Elvis read to me was “A Case On Marriage” by Kahlil Gibran. That was what we studied the most. It is a beautiful piece, and one of my favorites.’ ”

Debby sniffles. “Elvis was very spiritual. That’s how he got his Grammy Awards. Mostly his gospel music.” As evidenced by the surfeit of Jesus prints on the walls, the entire Wimer family tends to be “pretty religious. We go to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church whenever we can.” Debby doesn’t see any irreconcilables in her worship of Elvis “the Pelvis” Presley; rather than seeing it as a form of apostasy, she has devoted her life to transforming Elvis’s checkered life into one of inherent goodness. She likewise safeguards the image of Ginger Alden as saintedly virginal and holy. Any book that reports the seedy elements of the Elvis myth are the perverted products of contemporary Judases. About Elvis, the infamous Albert Goldman book, Debby froths, “It’s the pits. Trash, trash, trash! All lies. I was in the supermarket with my mother, and she asked me if I wanted that book, and I told her I’d rather see it burned. Burned!”

Though Debby pooh-poohs the notion that Elvis is still alive, he appears to her at night, in dreams. One vivid, recurring nightmare has Elvis materializing on the slope of her neighbor’s driveway. Debby puzzles over its meaning. “I don’t know why Elvis was in her driveway.”

She tells me how Elvis and Ginger first met. “I’ll tell you as much as I know. Well, one of his friends was a deejay in Memphis, he introduced them originally. But he originally found out about the Alden family through one of her sisters. She has two sisters. There’s Rosemary, and Terry, her name is. She was a Miss Tennessee. And Ginger was the runner-up. You know, he’d just broken up with his other girlfriend, Linda Thompson. Elvis asked his friend, George Klein, they’re old friends, he asked if he knew anybody, you know.

So he asked him to bring Terry Alden to meet him. And Terry asked if her sisters could come along; Elvis said yes, and they say that once Elvis had one look at Ginger he fell for her.”

Really. Just one look?

“Yeah!”

Did she have her hair the way he liked it?

“I think so. I think so, yes.”

So she knew in advance how to attract his attention. Was Terry mad that Ginger got the prize?

“No, I think she was pleased. For her. Yeah. He proposed to her January 26th, ’77. And he kept saying he’d give her that ring, the one he gave her. It was out of one of his favorite rings.” How long were they together?

“They met in November ’76, and he died in August of ’77.”

Did she like living in Graceland?

“She didn’t generally live there. She was with him a lot there. He’d asked her to move in with him. But she wasn’t into that sort of thing unless she was married.”

She didn’t have sex with Elvis?

“No, no, no. He probably would have liked that, but she wasn’t into that sort of thing.”

She was principled about it?

“Yeah, yeah. Yeah."

How do you know?

“I don’t know, but I know.”

  • Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all about is seeming trouble.

(Inspirational quotation found in The Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club newsletter, edited by Debby Wimer.)

The first few Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club newsletters, pecked out on a typewriter given to platen slippage, reflected the full range of Darla Shaddock’s interests, including her fixation on a soap actor named William Espy, and even to Paul McCartney’s brother, whose own fan club address Darla thoughtfully provides her readers. Darla makes it clear that she’s more interested in facts than in fantasy, mailing me a “Ginger Alden Fact Sheet” [see below), which she promises to update real soon.

If Darla Shaddock is the organizational genius behind the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club (12 members as we go to press), Debby Wimer is its heart and soul. When Debby assumed the mantle of president, the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club newsletter blossomed with inspirational poetry and homilies plastered with stickers of cute animals, members’ verse tributes to Elvis and Ginger or remembrances of pilgrimages to Memphis, Xerox reproductions of Ginger’s latest modeling assignments, Debby’s beautiful pencil sketches of E&G, as well as newsy updates of Ginger and family’s goings-on. Though she has relinquished newsletter mailing chores, Debby remains co-president, a prestigious member still. We might add that Ginger Alden is an “honorary member” of the Ginger “Lady Super-star” Alden Fan Club and receives a free lifetime subscription of the newsletter. Alden, now married to Ron Leyser of Long Island, refused to be interviewed for this story.

Recent newsletters are most notably graced with chapters from Debby’s intimate novella Spanish Eyes [an abridged chapter begins on page 11, which is doled out in installment after juicy installment]. Darla is the first one to admit that “Debby’s got a way with words” (she had Debby ghostwrite her “Visit to Memphis” some issues back) but feels a tad uneasy about Deb’s story, which she reckons is a bit too — well, a bit touchy, too much of Deb’s own fantasy.

Daria is circumspect about the reasons why she founded the Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club. “Ginger has dark hair,” she offers, “I'm crazy about dark hair.” Darla’s squeamishness can perhaps be traced to that unmarked but definitive line that separates “wholesome” fandom from its more fervid expressions. The danger is not so much in the fantasy, but in believing the = fantasy. £

Debby doesn’t register the least amount of shame over Spanish Eyes, which may be the most revealing projection of fan mentality since John t Hinckley’s love letters to Jodie Foster. In Spanish Eyes Debby infuses herself into the Elvis saga in first person, becoming God’s and Elvis’s confidant, an extraordinarily attractive and resourceful woman who fends off Elvis’s amorous advances while managing his life and career. At the end she mutates into a contemporary Virgin Mary who carries Elvis’s baby to term through the miracle of in vitro fertilization.

For all the hot and heavy soft-core style of Spanish Eyes, Debby disapproves of the “slash” style of amateur science fiction, in which fans situate their favorite television stars in explicit pornographic situations. Circulated among cliques of women fans, slash fiction concentrates solely on homosexual couplings, Kirk buggers Spock or Starsky fudgepacks Hutch, in order that their beloved characters are not contaminated by female competition. “We have Kirk and Spock love each other because then we can have them for ourselves,” said a pimply, obese slash writer at a recent comic book convention.

Debby, was there any part in Spanish Eyes where you saw Elvis naked?

“No, no, no. No. He’s a very modest person.” There are these books that say he had a nickname for his penis. He called it “Little Elvis.” “That’s totally ridiculous. What I heard is that it’s just the opposite.”

What did you hear?

“I would say that he’s quite well-endowed.” Oh, he is?

Where did you hear that from?

“I don’t remember. It’s been a while. But I have. Heard.”

Debby Wimer allows that she’s thought about moving to Memphis ever since 1977, although, as she tells me, it’s difficult to start one’s life over in a strange place. Besides, she’s been out of California only once in her life, a 1980 pilgrimage to Graceland after visiting Darla’s house in Wisconsin.

“We went to Memphis by bus. Took us about two days. And we arrived there Thursday, July 24th, around 7:30 in the evening. We found a room about a block or so from the bus terminal. And we had to wait until we got the luggage. Then we had dinner. And I called one of my friends in Illinois, telling her that I was in Memphis, and to tell the Aldens. I did this because at the time I didn’t have their phone number. She did. So she called them. And her name is June, that’s the one I called, told me that Rosemary had told her I was coming, so in her letter I received just before I left she told me to call her. That she would call the Aldens and tell them. She offered to call them that night, but it was about 10 o’clock in the evening.”

I’m sorry. I don’t follow. Who told who you were coming?

“June told me that Rosemary [Alden, Ginger’s sister] had told her I was coming. So in her letter I received, the one from Rosemary, just before I left, she told me to call her, then she would call the Aldens and tell them I was in Memphis. That was June. June would call the Aldens. She offered to call them that night, but I told them it was better to wait until morning because I didn’t want to disturb them at 10 o’clock in the evening. I gave her the number at the hotel and the room number. So the next 8:30 in the next morning, Friday, Miss Alden called. And she said Rosemary was ill and that Ginger was in Mississippi but would be back that evening. She also said that she would call me back. We could arrange a time to meet. She asked me too if I was planning to go to Graceland. I told her I was.

“At 12:30 that afternoon we boarded a bus bound for Graceland. We arrived there at one p.m., and at the time Elvis’s Uncle Vester was at the gate. We signed in and he showed us a copy of The Presley Family Cookbook. He seemed real likeable, but I was told not to say anything about Ginger to him. I didn’t know why, but he didn’t care for her. After that we went in and walked up the driveway. It’s about 20 feet to the house. I got pictures of it. Then we walked to the meditation garden; that’s where Elvis and his parents are. It was lovely. They had a fountain there; it was really nice. Then beautiful epitaphs on the gravestone. We left about 1:30, but I wouldn’t have minded spending all day there. I loved it there.”

Why did you leave?

“We were going to have lunch or something.”

I see.

“We went across the street to the souvenir shop. And they all played Elvis music at the shop. And I bought about 20 bucks’ worth of souvenirs. If I had my way I would have bought more. They had a small coffee shop, the Hickory Log. We had lunch there. It had Elvis all over it. And they sold us souvenirs in there, too. I also have pictures of the gates.

“We got back to.our room about 2:30. Mrs. Alden didn’t call until about nine o’clock that evening. She said Ginger was back, and they would be coming at two o’clock the next day. In the afternoon.

“Saturday morning she calls again saying they’ll be a bit late. Time passed. She called twice more saying she was sorry because Rosemary’s doctor hadn’t called, and they had to wait until he did. Finally she called and said they were leaving the house in ten minutes and they would be seeing us in about in another hour or so. Three and four o’clock came and went. They finally drove in about 4:30. I was really nervous. But I opened the door myself and they asked me who I was, and I told her who I was. She hugs me and she says hello, and Ginger’s right behind her.

“She wore a short-sleeved blouse with a parrot on it here (points to chest), black slacks, and brown sandals. Had some rings on. I don’t think there was the one Elvis gave her, I don’t think, I don’t know. One was like a black sapphire, and the other looked like a dozen diamonds in an intricate setting. That might have been it, I don’t know. She told me they were good-luck rings. They stayed about two and a half hours. And they told us a lot of things that have never been published, about Elvis and Elvis’s entourage. They were very interesting and informative. I wish I could say everything that was said, but there is no room. I could go on forever."

Over the years, Debby, have things changed in the way you see Ginger or the way you see Elvis?

“Somewhat. But mostly we back her all the way, we like her very much. We want all the best for her. She went through a lot when he died. She deserves what she’s got now. And she’s happy in her marriage. To that Jewish fellow.”

Jewish fellow?

“Ron Leyser his name is. He lives in New York. We hope he’s good enough for her. I’ll know more when I write her sister Rosemary. Ginger says that he didn’t want her to be a martyr. When she was ready, that she should find somebody new. (Sighs, mumbles.] That’s the last thing she’d want, but she did find him.”

Why was that the last thing she wanted? Because she was still in love with Elvis?

“Yes. Yes, she was hurting too much over him. She didn’t want anyone else at that point. She wasn’t ready for anybody else.”

If I'm So Wonderful, Then Why Am I Still Single? is one of several self-help books that Debby needed to renew at the Escondido library. “There are some good tips in there.” Debby understands Ginger’s heartbreak at losing Elvis; she herself has been engaged three times. She almost tied the knot with an Escondido man who was 30 but still lived with his parents and tried to talk Debby into working while he’d lay about at home. Debby wasn’t about to stand for that.

It’s difficult to sort out Debby’s other erstwhile fiances. Maybe one of ’em’s a German penpal, a fellow Elvis fan. “He reads lips pretty good.” The deaf guy wants to flop on the Wimers’ couch when he visits the States sometime next year. Another pen pal, from Oxnard, closer, but still no local, promises to visit any day now but has so far stood Debby up. “He didn’t come, that stupid! If he calls me. I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.”

On a drive through downtown Escondido, Debby explains that any man must take a back seat to Elvis Presley. Even so, she lets on that I’m one of the most presentable gentlemen to ever call on her. I neglect to tell her that I cannot fit her criteria for a love mate, who must: “One: Believe in God. Two: Not talk down to me. I have an I.Q. of 132, and men still kind of talk down to me just because I’m female. But they’re the stupid ones. Three: Love old people. Four: Love animals. Good-looking is a plus, but if he’s just handsome, then it’s like having a pretty box with nothing inside.” Must he share an enthusiasm for Ginger and Elvis? “That goes without saying.”

Chewing a half-pound hamburger at the Red Robin restaurant, keeping a wary eye for overzealous busboys, Debby doesn’t dare lay the mighty burger down between bites. She laps demurely at the suet and sauce that drips on her forearm. “I don’t mind living at home that much. I look after my father while my mother’s at work. He had a stroke and one side isn’t working too good.”

Back home, Debby allows me into the sanctity of her room. It’s acrid with the fumes of an unemptied cat box. She locks the door, then drops down on all fours, calling, “Gin-ger! Ginger! C’mere, that’s a good cat!” She proudly places the spotted, suppurating animal in my arms. “Ginger’s got a skin disease.” Which explains why the cat’s belly is wrapped with a pair of dirty long johns. I put the cat down and it heads to the befouled litter box, kicking up dust and excrement.

Debby begins to read a poem of which she is particularly proud, written on Elvis’s birthday in 1980.

  • “God Bless You, Elvis. Happy birthday, wherever you are.
  • “We should not begrudge you the happiness you have found. You had so little here on earth, yet you gave us so much!
  • “I miss you so. I often wish I could join you, so we could be together. Yet if justice had been done, you would be with us still.
  • “I hate myself for wasting so much time on other things; so unimportant now when compared with the miracle of you.
  • “I realized too just how precious, how very rare and lovely a jewel I let slip through my fingers.
  • “You may forgive me, dearest Elvis, but I’ll never forgive myself. I wish I could make it up to you. I’m sorry I was such a fool.
  • “God bless you, Elvis. Happy birthday. I love you. I will for all eternity. You will live forever in my heart.”

“It was a rainy day when I wrote it,” blushes Debby. “I had always thought of Elvis as an institution. He always seemed larger than life to me. He was always around as long as I’d remembered, and I always thought he would be around. And it was so hard to believe he was gone.

“I remember when I first heard about him dying. I was sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio, and they said that Elvis Presley died about two o’clock that afternoon, and I thought, first of all, that it was a horrible joke. I felt like taking somebody apart, you know. It couldn’t be possible. It was impossible. He was going to get married again and stuff. And they said it later on, it was in the paper. That’s when I had to believe it. I was in a store a couple days after that. They were showing his funeral on television. I couldn’t watch it. It got to me. I thought I’d better get out of there or I’d disgrace myself.”

Surprisingly, Debby’s room has but a few images of Elvis and Ginger, yet a complete set of Star Trek videotapes line Debby’s closet. “Oh, I’m a BIG Star Trek nut. I write Star Trek fiction, amateur fiction. No, I’m not paid. If I was paid. Paramount Studios would sue me." Bosom heaving, Debby inches closer to me, revealing a spiral-bound book containing one of her Star Trek stories under the pseudonym “J.M. Lane.” Feeling faint, I conjure an excuse and flee into the Escondido twilight. Heading South on Interstate 15, I punch the radio dial. It’s Elvis singing “It’s Now or Never,” Debby Wimer’s favorite.

(Ginger “Lady Superstar” Alden Fan Club, c/o Darla Shaddock, N3009 Bizer Drive, Medford, WI, 54451. One year’s membership for $8 includes four issues of the newsletter.

GINGER ALDEN FACT SHEET

(Courtesy of the Ginger ‘Lady Superstar' Alden Fan Club)

FULL NAME Ginger Lita Alden

BIRTHOAY: November 13. 1956

HEIGHT: 5' 8*

HAIR: Brown or frosted

EYES: Brown

HOME: Memphis, Tenn., but now lives in New York City apartment (Lady Superstar update: Ginger now resides with husband Ron Leyser on Long Island!)

BORN: Millington. Tenn.. while her father was in the service.

MOVIES: Living Legend. Lady Superstar RECORD (tingle): ‘Boogie On Down*/Td Rather Have a Memory Than a Dream'; also LP from film Lady Superstar

FAVORITE COLOR: Yellow

FAVORITE MOVIE: Gone With the Wind-, saw It 14 times (Note: total may now be higher)

CARS (from Elvis): Lincoln Continental. TR-6 sport scar. Cadillac Seville, and a motorbike

NATIONALITY: Indian. French. Irish HOBBIES: Art. tennis, horseback riding PETS: Odyssey — Great Dane from Elvis...passed away. Had a white star on his chest; otherwise all black. Now has Maltese puppy named Silky

BEAUTY TITLES: First runner up in Miss Tennessee Universe (sister Terry won). Duchess in Cotton Festival, Miss Traffic Safety, and Miss Mid South Fair

FAVORITE ACTORS & ACTRESSES: Dustin Hoffman. Charles Bronson. Steve McQueen. Natalie Wood. Jane Fonda, Peter Sellers, and Gregory Peck...to name a few PET PEEVES: Jealousy, dishonesty, gossip FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT: Hawaii

FAVORITE SONG: 'Stairway to Heaven* COMMERCIALS: Burger King. Gillette Facial Scrub. Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans (2). Personna Shower Shaver. Camay Soap (Miss Marilyn). Kenner Dolls. Dannon Yogurt. Arrive Shampoo. Aziza Lip Gloss. Van Heusen Shirts. Eve Cigarettes (billboard). Visme Eye Drops. Canada Dry ‘Ginger' AJe, Jhirmack Hair Color. No-Nonsense Comfort Stride Pantyhose. Maybelline Eye Sticks. Vidal Sassoon. Japanese commercial. Billboard for Claridge Hotel. Atlantic City (she is spokeswoman)

MODELING CREDITS: Cover and 3 pages. Beautiful Living magazine. May '81; April 81 Issue Cosmopolitan, page 294; McCall's. April '81. page 111; Penney's Spring Sale Catalog 1982; Wards '82. Christmas; Penney's Spring/Summer 1982; Sears Fall/Winter '81; Several Avon Fashions Catalogs; Lane Bryant Catalogs: Cosmopolitan. June '83. page 222: More Wards Catalogs: 1984 Penney's; Cosmopedics Catalog; German magazine; Les Premier Editions: Nancy's Choice: Penney's Uniform Catalog: Sears Uniforms '82-'83; Jhirmack Hair Color Box; Wards. Fall/Winter 1983; Photo Screen. Rona Bar rett. Midnight-Globe. Enquirer. Movie Screen Yearbook. Star, and other such magazines and newspapers

FAMILY:

PARENTS: Jo and Walter Alden — Birthdays Nov. 25 and June 21. respectively. No grandparents living...Elvis & Ginger attended funeral of her grandfather. Rev. William A. Spencer. Jo Alden's father. Jan. 3, 1977

SISTERS: Rosemary — born Jan. 31. 1950. Terry — born Mar. 3. 1955 (married June 11. 1983 — lives in St. Louis with husband Ted)

BROTHER: Mike — born Dec. 12. 1945. has two daughters. Amber and Allison, once friends of Lisa Marie Presley

WHAT IS A FAN CLUB???

by Linda Huston

(Reprinted from the Ginger 'Lady Superstar* Alden Fan Club Newsletter)

A fan club is a forum for fans to get together and make new friends with a special common ground.

A fan club can really help to promote a star. Fans organizing together will support the star more than any other fan.

A lot of hard work. time. love, and money go into the club. Usually this is by people running the club. A person is not going to go into running a fan club unless they really care and totally support the star. Ideas must be thought up for each newsletter, then they must be typed, done up. and finally put in the mail! This all costs a lot more than the dues collected.

Then the president must put up with complaints on lateness and everything under the sun. To hear a compliment will make his or her day!

Fan clubs are a lot of fun and can cause much pride for the president, the members, and the star!

Fans are special people. Some of my best friends came from all kinds of fan clubs. They stick together — some even have gotten married.

Fans that join clubs usually like to write, collect pictures. following the star's schedule — whether it be in concerts, movies, tv. They usually like to get to know people and have a lot of fun at the same time.

There are all kinds of fan clubs for all sorts of celebn ties. Sometimes they are backed by the star. He or she then supplies the president with photos and info for the newsletters.

Then there are clubs like ours usually termed a friendship or pen pal club for the star. Fans getting to know other fans — sharing experiences if they have met the star and also things they have collected on the star. These kinds of clubs are very popular and legal!

As all of you know I have been running very successfully a club for Georganne LaPiere for 11 years. She is fabulous! I have tons of pictures she has supplied, and she always writes for each issue.

My club for Cher is already going strong. She knows about the club and said it was ok for me to do it but we are not official. Our members love writing on what they like about Cher and telling others what it was like to meet her. Most of them have fabulous collections on her.

I totally believe in both girls and truly love doing each club. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Georganne and Cher have been very happy with my work and that makes it all worthwhile!

Usually fans who join clubs are loyal and are not the kind to harass or hurt their favorites. They like taking pictures and if given the chance — talk to their favorites about what they like.

SPANISH EYES

by Debra Wimer

(From the Ginger Aldett Fan Club Newsletter; abridged by Adam Parfrey)

The first thing I remember is crying over how tragically short Elvis Presley’s life was, how he was taken so suddenly from all his loved ones -particularly the girl he loved and was to have married Christmas Day 1977.

“Oh Lord, why couldn’t you have at least let him remarry and father another child?”

To my astonishment I heard a soft and kind, yet authoritative voice reply, “Please don’t cry. I know how the world was mourned since I took him August 16, 1977. How would you like to have him back?”

“That would be wonderful, but how could you do it?”

“You doubt the Almighty?”

“But he’s been gone over 13 years!” “I am fully aware of that. Remember, I made Adam out of the dust of the ground. I can fashion another body for Elvis which will look exactly like the original...with a few improvements, of course.” “Do you really mean it? We’d do anything to have him back!”

“On one condition."

“Name it.”

“You must keep him entirely hidden from the public for a period of one year.”

“That’s a pretty tall order! How am I going to do it?”

“I will help you, don’t worry...but you must promise me that you will do this.”

“Oh yes. Lord, gladly. I have always felt partly responsible for his death. I know I could have helped him had I known him.”

“After this you will know him better than anyone except myself...that is why I have chosen you to take care of him during the year in hiding. He has been out of circulation and is out of shape. It will be your job to prevent him from working as he did before. That was part of what killed him. The strain was just too much for his heart to handle.”

“Thank you, Lord. I won’t let you down.” I sighed, then pointed out, “But you know how determined he is when he wants something. How can I alone convince him to take care of himself?” “I have planned for you to be his manager. You will gently suggest that it would be wise for all concerned if he took care of himself. You have a way with words; you’ll convince him.”

“Lord, I’m afraid I am not worthy of the trust you have placed in me.”

“I have deemed you worthy,” he replied kindly but firmly. “You have nothing to worry about. I will guide you every step of the way.”

“Where will we stay?”

“At his home in Palm Springs. It is currently unoccupied.... He must be treated with utmost courtesy and consideration at all times, or I will take him away again.”

“I understand. Lord, and I will go to the house now.” I went out to my car, finding to my surprise that all my belongings had been mysteriously and thoroughly packed.

As I drove God told me, “I will return him to you halfway to Palm Springs. When you see a warm bright light beside you in your car, you will know I am sending him to you.”

I still didn’t understand why God had chosen me. Why not Ginger or a member of his family? I asked what would happen to the gravesite at Graceland. “Nothing, at least not for a year. It will look as it always has.”

“Why couldn’t we stay at Graceland? Elvis would be more at home there and we’d never leave.”

“I have very good reasons for wanting you to keep him in Palm Springs. It is isolated, and Graceland is constantly overrun by his fans since it was opened. You will need all the privacy you can get.” I hadn’t thought of that! "He is impatient to return.”

“You have him there with you?”

“Yes...or more accurately, his spiritual body. He says he can hardly wait to come back, since he left a lot of unfinished business behind when he died.”

I’ll say he did, I thought...

As I entered a deserted stretch of road, I felt a warm bright light, as warm as the sun, and was told to slow down to 55 mph. I thought it was strange that I should maintain that speed but complied — then something compelled me to look at the seat beside me.

I just wasn’t prepared for the sight that met my eyes. He was sitting there in the white suit he had been buried in, the one his father had given him the Christmas of 1976. He had an almost unearthly beauty about him. I wanted to reach out and touch him but was afraid he would disappear.

I also had an irresistible urge to see if he wore shoes, since people were usually buried barefoot. He indeed wore shoes! It was as if the Lord had said, “Say something to him. He’s real, he will respond to you.”

I finally said, “Welcome back.”

His speaking voice was more beautiful than it had ever been. “Thanks. It’s good to be back.” It was incredible that Elvis was really here, really speaking to me! But I wouldn’t believe he was real unless he touched me. At that moment he covered my hand with his. “Do you mind? I’ve missed the human contact of touch.”

“Not at all.” I strove to sound calm yet knew my heart was pounding. His hand felt warm, firm, masculine. “Has God discussed the details of what we’re supposed to do for the next year with you?”

“Thoroughly. I intend to cooperate a hundred percent....” Now that I knew he was real, I could really talk. “My family doesn’t know anything about this; no one does. I was told not to

tell anyone. I will obey, of course, but they were understandably hurt. I could only say I’d have to move to Palm Springs for a year. I can’t even contact them to let them know how I am. I’m supposed to isolate myself with you for a year.

“Not that I don’t welcome the prospect — any woman would — but I have a job to do. I intend to do it well, too...and don’t think you’re going to get away with murder just because I’m female. That Southern charm won’t work with me — at least not where it counts.”

“I might prove to be a handful. Do you think you’ll be able to handle being alone with me for a year?”

“I think so. The Lord told me to call on him if I needed help.” "

“You’ll need it, believe me,” he laughed. “That wouldn’t surprise me, but I think I’ll enjoy it just the same.”

“I’m sure I will, too.” He brushed the side of a finger along my cheek. Even as I felt a thrill shoot through my entire body, I told myself sternly NOT to become too attached to him. It would only make letting go that much harder on both of us.

“Elvis, I don’t want to say this but feel I must.”

“Fire away.”

“I feel it would be best if we stayed just good friends, with no romantic overtones.”

For a moment he looked like you’d just hit him over the head but smiled and said, “I understand, and I respect your decision...but let me tell you right now, it won’t be easy for me to abide by it....”

I have to admit that he tried his level best to get romantically involved with me that year, but I gently reminded him, “As much as I’d love to, I can’t. You already have a fiancee who loves you deeply. You must not break her heart for what could just be a fleeting thing.” He had to agree that I was right and he did love her, although he was very much attracted to me.

He loved Ginger. I knew that all too well, and he fully intended to marry her when the year was up. Finally I could deny my feelings no longer.

Despite my resolve not to, I had fallen deeply, hopelessly in love. What could I do? I could never call him mine, nor could I ever let him guess how I felt. He belonged to Ginger'. If he ever guessed he would likely drop Ginger and stay with me because I knew he also cared for me. I couldn’t risk that; I didn’t want him to break her heart.

How I would ever hide my feelings, I didn’t know — but hide them I must! I finally told God about it. “Lord, I have a big problem.”

“You’re in love with Elvis.”

I sighed. “Yes, despite my resolve not to. What am I to do?”

“For once even I don’t know.” And if even God couldn’t help me, what chance did I have? * * *

I had my chance and blown it. If I could only have known his lips, arms, and body even once — you lose the chance. Still, loving him as I did, I could never give myself in marriage to anyone else. I even considered entering a convent but realized that that would be worse than staying around him.

He was now ready to return to show business. When we walked into the STAR offices, everyone who seen him did a double-take. We asked to see the head of the outfit because we had the reincarnation story of the century! We were ushered into a plush office and told to sit down by a fiftyish man in an expensive grey suit.

“I’m Elvis Presley,” Elvis said.

“Let’s not play games,” the man said. “I have no time for jokes.”

“This is no joke,” I assured him.

His face turned white. “But how? Elvis Presley died over a decade ago!”

“I’m not really sure. I can hardly believe it myself,” Elvis told him.... “Tell the world that I’m getting married next week — to the girl I was engaged to 12 years ago. It may not be Christmas, but it’s been much too long. This time I’m going to be around to marry her!”

Before a week was out the STAR was all over the world: ELVIS PRESLEY REBORN...REINCARNATED ROCK KING SAYS “I’M GOING TO MARRY MY FIANCEE GINGER ALDEN NEXT WEEK.”


They had been married just two months when Ginger’s doctor told her that she was pregnant, expecting to deliver the baby the following April. She was happy, but Elvis was absolutely ecstatic! After she told him the news he called me and could hardly talk coherently, he was so happy.

Ginger wanted to know what all I’d done with him while we were isolated for a year.

“Nothing to what I wish I’d done,” I quipped. “Oh, Debby, be serious!”

“I am. He was very attracted to me and asked me to have an affair, but I couldn’t do that to you, though. I knew how you loved him and that I’d only spoil what you two had....”

“I can never thank you enough for giving him back to me.”

Ginger just seemed to grow more beautiful as her pregnancy advanced. In the latter stages she really didn’t care to have Elvis see her and I couldn’t blame her — but assured her that she didn’t have a thing to worry about, since to a man the woman they love carrying their child is always beautiful.

Since she had conceived so early, Elvis decided to wait until after the baby was born to resume touring. Incidentally, I had limited him to one show a night and three in a week — and his touring to two weeks a month. He didn’t exactly love the idea but knew it was for his own good.


A nurse came in and asked, “Would you like to see the baby?”

“Yes, very much.” I stood up. “Elvis is still asleep; please don’t wake him. I will wake him when it’s time.” I left the room quietly and made my way to the nursery. The nurse picked up the baby and brought him to the window. He was so beautiful!

He had the beginnings of Elvis’s firm chin, his classic nose and sensuous lips, but Ginger’s brown eyes. I saw the adorable baby softness which would gradually mature into a firm chin, tall lithe body, and masculinity comparable only to his father’s. The nurse then asked if I would like to hold him.

“Oh yes!” I had to put a mask and gown on, then she handed the child to me. I smiled and whispered, “Hello, baby Jess. Welcome to the world.” I brought out one tiny, perfectly formed hand; he got a death grip on my index finger. I could hardly believe I was actually holding Elvis’s son, the child who would continue the Presley line!

Elvis came out to where I was waiting. His face looked gray and sad. “What’s wrong?" He didn’t seem to hear; he just sat down and buried his face in his hands. “Elvis, what happened? Is there anything I can do?” I put a gentle hand on his arm. He looked up, eyes clouded with gloom.

“Not unless you have another child for me,” he replied.

“I don’t understand.”

“Remember when Ginger said for you to leave?” He held my hands tightly.

“What did she tell you?” I asked as I gave them a reassuring squeeze.

“That she couldn’t have any more children....”

I knocked on Ginger’s door.

“Come in, Debby....” When I got closer to her I could tell that she also had been crying.

“I told Elvis we couldn’t have any more children,” she confessed. “I hated having to tell him that, especially right after Jess’s birth, but I had to, and it breaks my heart, too. Well, anyway the doctor told me that I have what is called an ‘infantile’ or ‘tipped’ uterus. The odds would be at least two billion to one against my having another child full-term and healthy, that I’m more likely to miscarry and have it kill me. Thank God for little Jess. At least we have him.”

“But you said that Elvis wanted at least half a dozen kids.”

“I know, and we still do — but how can we, now?”

“Aren’t there any alternatives?”

“The doctor said the only way for us to have another child is either to adopt or have another woman carry it.” She took my hand. “Deb, I want to ask a favor of you.”

“Anything.”

“He said that my tubes and ovaries were healthy, so if there was anyone who wanted to volunteer to carry my baby, she was to contact him and he would make the arrangements.”

I was certainly taking a gamble, using my body for an experiment that might (or might not) work and if anything went wrong, I could die in the midst of. Also, how was I going to keep it a secret from Elvis? Whatever else he was, he wasn’t dumb.


A few weeks later Ginger called: she was crying. “Oh, Debby, I’ve missed my period!” She didn’t sound happy.

“The doctor said it could kill me. We’ve got to do something. I didn’t mean to have it happen, I swear. I was sure I’d taken my pill...I’m not going to tell him. You’re going to help me get rid of it.”

“You mean — “

“Yes, I mean! I’m going to have an abortion! Thank God Elvis hasn’t noticed yet. This way he’ll never have to know.... We’ll go to an abortion clinic; I made a special Sunday appointment...Debby, you have to come. If you don’t I won’t be able to go through with it. You know how dead set against abortion Elvis is. He feels it’s murder, and ordinarily so would I, but this is a matter of life and death...mine!”


The weekend went off without a hitch. Mrs. Alden was enraptured with seeing her new grandson Jess, and Ginger had the abortion with no complications. Her waistline returned to normal; it was as though the pregnancy had never been. We returned to Graceland Monday morning, and Elvis was none the wiser.

A little later I had to go to the doctor and become implanted with a fertilized egg taken from Ginger a few days before. It was over before I knew it. Now all we could do was wait and see if the egg “took.”

The time for the-next scheduled period came and went, so I knew that that meant the experiment was successful — that Elvis and Ginger’s child was now growing inside my body. I called Ginger and told her. She was ecstatic!

I told the doctor how sick I was. He said it was somewhat unusual but nothing was really wrong. He claimed it would disappear after the third month. I had to go through another six weeks of morning sickness? Oh lord!

Thank heaven I didn’t have to hide it from Elvis after all. I could openly let him know about my pregnancy — and you may be sure that he could tell I was pregnant. After all, he’d had two children, he knew the signs...and you may be certain that he asked plenty of questions!

“What’s wrong, Deb? Don’t you feel well?” Elvis asked when I barely touched my lunch.

“What makes you think I’m not well?”

“Something has to be wrong when you refuse your favorite foods.”

“Remember when I said I had to be gone all night to secure a business deal for you?” (This had been just over six weeks ago. I had slept with the guy because he reminded me a lot of Elvis; he had been an excellent lover, too, but I hadn’t gotten pregnant even though I hadn’t used birth control — but what Elvis didn’t know wouldn’t hurt us.)

“How could you let him make you pregnant?”

“It’s an occupational hazard in this business if one is female.”

“You mean you really are pregnant?”

“Yes. I estimate between six weeks and two months along. I’m seriously considering giving the baby up for adoption because I could never care for it properly. Being your manager takes all my time.”

Elvis exchanged a meaningful look with Ginger. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” “You better believe it!” she declared...and so it was arranged. I would give the child to them when it was born. Why shouldn’t I? It was theirs anyway. I just carried the child, like a surrogate mother.

I just hoped to God I wouldn’t get some crazy notion about keeping the child, because it wasn’t mine to keep, though it had been a chance to carry the child of the man I loved. Unfortunately, it didn’t belong to us — it belonged to Elvis and Ginger. It had grown inside me but truly belonged to them.

I had to laugh, but not in front of Elvis. He would have been furious if he’d ever learned of how his wife and manger had pulled off this amazing conspiracy! It wouldn’t hurt him to think the child was mine, at least not until it was obvious to everyone (even him) that it wasn’t.

Elvis and Ginger were ecstatic over their new daughter, swearing they would never be able to thank me enough for her, but Ginger and I exchanged a secret smile and look whenever he talked about the baby. Maybe someday we could tell him the truth about the “adopted” child, but in the meantime it was best that he remained ignorant of the facts.

What floored me was that the doctor told me that I could handle any number of pregnancies. Seeing how happy Elvis and Ginger were with their new daughter, I finally decided it wouldn’t be so bad to carry their children for them. Maybe next time we’d suggest to Elvis hiring a woman to carry their children so they could have more. And who would be better suited than !?

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Oceanside stabber admits manslaughter

12 years and $45,000 restitution
Next Article

Flogging Molly plays, Pierce the Veil returns, Switchfoot carols, Tom Brosseau notes, and Billy Gibbons marries Dani & Tim

Christmas, covers, concerts, and a ZZ Top wedding
Comments
1

As I was reading about her newsletter, I wasn't expecting the article to end with the entire referenced contents, including her self-compiled "fact sheet" and short fiction! Great report that provides a thorough and rich visit to this person's eccentric/E-centric world --

Aug. 14, 2022

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close