the book Is Elvis Alive?, points out thatnthe proliferation of Elvis imitatorsnmakes it easier for Elvis to hide out.nMany people who think they’re lookingnat an imitator may actually benseeing the real thing. Think about that.nAnd stranger things have happened.nConsider the final words of Ms.nBrewer-Giorgio’s book:nAround the 10th anniversary ofnthe death of Elvis Presley, annAtlanta attorney who had beennworking in the Gary Hartncampaign responded to thenrumor that Gary Hart wouldnrun again with this statement;n”The probability of Gary Hartnseeking the nomination fornpresident of the United States isnas unlikely as believing ElvisnPresley is still alive.”nLess than four months afternthis statement, Gary Hart againnannounced his candidacy fornpresident of the United States.nWell, there you are. Aren’t you?nI should point out that not everyonenis buying the Elvis-lives theory. (Notenthe anagram, incidentally: ELVIS/nLIVES.) Not only in Kalamazoo arenskeptics to be found. A California womannis writing a book to argue that it isn’tnElvis but his twin brother Jesse who isnalive and being sighted. Laurel Kingnsays that Elvis told her that Jesse, who isnsupposed to have died at birth, wasnactually hidden with an aunt after henwas found to be retarded. Ms. King saysnshe met Jesse at Graceland in 1973, andnhe looked just like Elvis but “didn’tnseem to have the intelligence that Elvisnhad.” It’s a thought.nMeanwhile, evangelist Rick Stanley,nElvis’s stepbrother (his mother marriednElvis’s father after the death of Elvis’snmother), scoffs at the notion that Elvisnmay still be alive. (As an orthodoxnProtestant Christian, of course, he alsonrejects the possibility of apparitions.)nBut he told WWN last October that henowes his conversion to Elvis. He wasnjust your average drug addict, longhairednhippie, and hanger-on in thenPresley entourage when Elvis left us,nshowing him by example how emptynworldly success could be. “Elvis wasn’tncontent,” says Stanley. “He was caughtnin a trap.” (Wasn’t there a song aboutnthat?)nOthers claim to have been helpednmore directly by the deceased. Onenseventeen-year-old cancer victim fromnWarrenville, Illinois, told WWN thatn”I’m alive today by the grace of thenLord and with a lot of help from Elvis,”nand drag-racer Marion “Tinker” Gladdennof Salisbury, Maryland, told ThenSun that Elvis “is up there in heavennright now talking to me and othernpeople like me who care so deeplynabout him.” “When I have a problem,”nGladden said, “I ask God fornguidance and He hands me over tonElvis, who is one of God’s right-handnmen. Like all angels [!], Elvis inspiresnpeople.” Gladden’s theology may be anlittle unsound, but he has a theorynabout why so many people believenElvis is still alive on earth: they’ve beennfooled by his “vibrations.” Elvis isntalking to them, “but they don’t knownwhere the vibrations are coming from.nThe vibes are so powerful that folksnfigure he must be alive in the flesh.”nI should point out that some ofnthose who don’t believe Elvis is stillnamong us believe much strangernthings. Consider, for instance, an Indiananmedium named Diana of thenDunes. According to The Star, whennDiana last spoke with Elvis, he told hernhe was happy, but that he had decidednto be reincarnated as a baby boy namednVernon (his daddy’s name, of course).nThis will be a sign unto you, saysnDiana: the baby’s first words will not ben”mama” or “dada,” but “shook up.”nGetting back to the question ofnwho — or what —is buried in Elvis’sntomb, however, another psychic saysnthat question will soon be settled oncenand for all. Janos Szabo told The Sunnthat there’s going to be this big earthquakenin the Memphis area, see, andnhundreds will die, and the tomb atnGraceland will open, and … its contentsnwill be revealed. Sometime beforenthe year 2000.nMaybe that’s OK for those who cannwait, but the rest of us want to knownnow. What’s going on? Is the King stillnalive? Well, when 50,000 Americansnpaid fifty cents each to vote on thensubject in one of those dumb telephonenpolls, they decided that he was,nby a two to one margin. I doubt that wencould get two thirds of 50,000 Americansnto pay fifty cents to attest that, say,nGeorge Bush is alive. Make of thatnwhat you will. I call it another nail innthe coffin of the case for universalnnnsuffrage.nI find that I’m reluctant to say hownI’d have voted, if only because thosenwho believe that Elvis walks the earthntoday are zealous in their belief AnnnLanders lived to regret a column innwhich she supported the official storynthat Elvis was buried at Graceland inn1977. Last October she printed a samplenfrom the ffood of protesting lettersnthat came in, and I don’t want to hearnfrom you people, understand? But Inhave to say, frankly, that I think it’snmore likely that the casket buried atnGraceland contained all that was mortalnof Elvis Presley than that LeenHarvey Oswald acted alone, or that thenman from Avon wrote Shakespeare’snplays.nTrue, the success of grocery-storentabloids like Weekly World News, ThenSun, The Star, and The National Examinernshould occasion secondnthoughts not just about universal suffragenbut about universal literacy. But Inthink our fellow-citizens are betternserved by stories like the one headlinedn”Statue of Elvis Found on Mars” (Indidn’t make that up, honest) than bynthe columns of Tom Wicker or thenopinions of Justice Brennan. Andnwhen it comes to Elvis, the tabloids arensort of like USA Today gone mad, justnpeddling good news, in this case thengood news that the King may actuallynstill be among us — middle-aged, balding,nbearded, off drugs but still fightingna weight problem—like one of us, younknow?nJohn Shelton Reed—middle-aged,nbald, bearded, and overweight—writesnfrom Chapel Hill, North Carolina,nand promises that this will be his lastnletter about Elvis.nLetter From thenHeartlandnby fane GreernA Prophet in His OwnnCountrynIt took millennia for North Dakota soilnto acquire what nutrients it has (andnthey’re substantial) in the Red RivernValley along the eastern border, thenAPRIL 1989/49n