Elvis Presley: Upstairs of Graceland ‘like he just left’ says expert
Elvis was full of plans to turn his life around just before he died. The star knew he needed to lose weight and manage his prescription drug habit. He talked to Ginger about taking a sabbatical in Hawaii to get healthy. He also discussed marriage with her and presented her with a stunning (a very large) engagement ring. She described their last-ever conversation the right he died. Together with Vernon’s testimony, it paints a picture of a star with everything to live for.
In an in-depth interview in 1978, Vernon talked about his last conversations with his famous son.
He said: “I never got to know Ginger Alden well. She’s not much of a talker, but a while back Elvis told me he’d fallen in love with her.
“‘This is the love I’ve been searching for,’ he said. ‘I want more children, a son. And I want Ginger to be my children’s mother.’
“After that, Ginger and Elvis came over to show me her engagement ring. That was one of the few times I’d ever seen her smiling.”
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Gingher herself described their relationship: “On the day he proposed, he said, ‘Ginger, I’ve been searching for love so long, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find it in my own backyard.
“‘I’ve been 60% happy and 40% happy, but never 100%. I’ve loved before but I’ve never been in love. Ginger, I’m asking you, will you marry me?’
“Elvis brought his hand out from around his back. In it was a small, green velvet box.
“My hand was shaking as we kissed and stepped out of the bathroom into the bedroom. My hand was still trembling as he kept lifting it to look at the ring saying, ‘oh boy.’”
Ginger says Elvis’ final hours were spent talking with her about their future together: “(We were) sitting in his daughter Lisa Marie’s bedroom in the early hours of August 16th when Elvis began discussing wedding plans and setting a date with me.”
She went to bed and when she woke, she would find his body.
Vernon also said he asked his son when they would get married just days before she died, but was shocked by Elvis’ response.
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Vernon said: ‘I assumed they were going to get married, but nothing happenéd and whenever I tried to talk to Elvis about Ginger, he’d seem upset.
“Finally, just a day or so before he died, I told him, ‘I keep hearing and reading that you’re going to announce your engagement. Is that right?
“‘When are you going to get married?'”
Elvis was a passionate man with many dreams and good intentions, especially concerning his health and his relationships, but he often failed to carry them through in the cold light of day.
Vernon’s description of Elvis’ response to his question about a marriage date was very telling: “‘Only God knows,’ Elvis said.
I got a feeling then that maybe he was changing his mind about marriage.”
But Vernon criticised commentators who said that the fact Elvis left Ginger and Priscilla nothing in his will was evidence of his lack of real feelings for them.
Vernon said: “In answer to that, I want to point out that Ginger had already gotten her share of gifts from Elvis.
“As for Priscilla, she didn’t expect to be mentioned, because Elvis had made his settlement with her when they were divorced.”
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