Seniors celebrate the King’s birthday

Elvis was about the leave the building when seniors attending a party in the King's honor demanded a little less conversation and a lot more action.

"We want Elvis. We want Elvis," they shouted in unison as Elvis, aka Dave Carlson, got his hip swivel and lip curl into gear and launched into a final few songs for the guests who attended the lunch and concert hosted Jan. 30  by the Elmhurst Park District.

It may be hard to believe, but  Presley, had he lived,  would have been about the same age as many of the guests who turned out for event at The Abbey in Elmhurst. He was born Jan. 8, 1935.

Blue suede shoes were hard to find in the crowd, but they would have been appropriate. Some of the guests donned poodle skirts and other fifties-style clothing to look in right mood for the party. Some took to the dance floor to bump hips with Carlson who portrayed Elvis in his white jump suit era.

"They're a very enthusiastic crowd," Carlson said afterward. "I enjoy it when they particpate. It makes my job easier. They're not like a cold audience that doesn't participate."

Estelle Worthem, 75, of Elmhurst and Samuel De Vincent, 91, danced the stroll across the floor several times.

"He has a nice rapport with the audience," said Worthem of Carlson's performance.

Indeed, it was clear that Carlson was appearing before a friendly crowd. Many sang along to his hits and shouted answers to trivia questions about Presley.

"When did Elvis die?" asked Carlson.

One man responded "1976." He was close, but the correct answer is Aug. 16, 1977.

"How many gold records did Elvis get? asked Carlson who stumped the audience and responded to his own question. The answer was 37.

Florence Zaagman of Elmhurst was not too shy to dance with the King. She said she liked the Elvis birthday party and other events the park district offers to seniors.

"I love it. If you want to participate you can. The programs they offer get us off our duffs," she said.

Carlson's final song as Elvis was God Bless America. The crowd took to their feet and held their hands over the hearts as they sang along with the King.












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