Monday, 17 December 2007
Joyce Caulder always has room for the King
LAURINBURG — Joyce Caulder carries a burnin’ love for Elvis, even after all these years.
Elvis has been dead for three decades, but Caulder’s passion still smolders. She is a mature woman with six children, 21 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, but she still gets a little giggly when she talks about the man who rocked the world.
Like so many of her generation, Caulder first saw Elvis on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in the 1950s.
“From that day on, I simply fell in love with Elvis Presley,” she said.
Something indescribable about him captivated her. He was unique. He was good-looking. He was charming.
Her devotion is complete. Elvis still reigns in her heart. And her house.
He even serenades her each time her cell phone rings.
It’s not hard to miss Caulder’s house. She lives on “Elvis Presley Boulevard.” Well, not really, but she has a sign in her driveway that says so.
Step inside her tidy house, and Elvis lives in the details: in the magnets on her refrigerator, in the photos on her coffee mugs.
And since it is Christmas time, he holds the place of honor in her living room, too. Sure, there’s a life-sized photo of him hanging on the front door, but look closer at the Christmas tree.
It’s decorated with Elvis, for Elvis.
He loved red birds; there are red birds.
He loved doves; there are doves.
He loved riding his white horse at his Memphis home, Graceland; there he is, in plastic, on horseback.
Push the button on one of the jukebox ornaments, and you’ll hear the words to “Blue Christmas.” Push the button on another, and he’s singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Atop the tree, in the place usually reserved for an angel, rests a star — in the pop culture sense of the word. A boxed keepsake Elvis, Barbie doll-sized, in black leather — just like he wore for his 1968 comeback performance — looks down over the room.
Caulder admits she usually puts the angel up there. She just couldn’t resist.
Four decades ago
Caulder has been collecting Elvis memorabilia since 1968, when her soldier husband was stationed in Mainz, Germany. She worked at the Army post exchange, and there were leftover souvenirs from that comeback show.
Caulder bought eight bubble gum records. They resemble little albums, smaller than a baseball card. They’re still wrapped in the original plastic, and the bubble gum’s still in them.
Those and hundreds of other Elvis trinkets and collectibles are displayed in a bedroom that Caulder refers to fondly as Elvis’ bedroom.
First, there’s the Elvis bedspread with matching pillows. The Elvis lamps. And the Elvis phone, which plays a rockin’ rendition of “Hound Dog” each time a call comes through.
There are Elvis pictures, posters and albums, Elvis movies, stamps and handbags, Elvis blankets, bears and an umbrella.
If she’s home, you’ll likely hear Elvis singing in one room or another.
You name it, Caulder’s got it, if it has anything to do with Elvis. That doesn’t mean she’s through shopping, though.
Her children and grandchildren still buy her Elvis stuff. She’s expecting a few new things for Christmas.
Pretty soon, the folks who make Elvis memorabilia will release a new statue that holds all of the Elvis CDs.
“I’ve already got my order in,” Caulder said.
Her favorite song is “Love Me Tender.” Her favorite Elvis movie is “Girls, Girls, Girls.”
To her, he will always be the King of Rock & Roll.
Article Source: http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=280677