MEMPHIS—So I slipped over the Graceland wall late last night after spending a day watching security guards. Made myself a nice hiding place under a bed of leaves and fallen branches and waited to get closer. Spent part of the day listening to the Cards blow one in Chicago on my cheap transistor radio and earphone because the Reds had another day off, but that was okay; this savior business took concentrating.
There were big cars coming and going, friends and family members no doubt, and I caught a glimpse of Ginger at one point, his current girlfriend. Wasn’t sorry to see her take off tonight. I brought a whole bunch of crackers I nabbed from that local diner, but had to keep the munching down because guards were walking by lots of the time, their walkie-talkies barking at each other like electric cocker spaniels.
I don’t know when I fell asleep but then a new sound woke me up, like a loud golf cart or something, and I stuck my head out of the leaves. It looked like one of the guards, a fatter one wearing a weird jogging suit, was tooling down on the curved driveway on this 3-wheeler thing. He was driving it kind of wobbly, came pretty close to me and made a hard U-turn to head back to the house, but lost his balance and the thing went off the driveway and headed right at a tree next to me! I jumped out of the leaves, all instinct, reached out—
—and Elvis Presley fell in my arms.
“Whoaa!!” he blurted out, “Where’d YOU come from?”
I told him I’d run away from home, because for reasons I just couldn’t explain, something was drawing me to Graceland. “That could make a groovy song, know that?” he said, his face all puffy and his eyes bloodshot, and we helped each other to our feet. He took a look at the tree he almost hit, brushed some leaves out of my ratty hair.
“I think you’re some kind of angel, honey.” Security guards had heard him fall and were running over from all directions. He put up a hand when they arrived.
“Everything’s cool,” he told them, “This here’s…”
“Right…Angel Amy. Feel like a late-night lemonade, Angel Amy?”
And that’s how I got into Graceland. The house was incredible, not as tacky as I thought it would be, and we went up to his private rooms where he showed me his massive teddy bear collection and gold records and stuff. I kept saying I didn’t have much time, which he didn’t seem to understand, so I had to get more real.
“You ain’t gonna make it, Elvis.”
“You gotta stop all the drug-taking right now. Otherwise they’re gonna find you dead in your bathroom in like 24 hours.”
He heard that one. Looked down at the floor a long time, then back at me.
“That’s crazy. I’ll be in Portland, Maine in two days, back on tour. So I ain’t gonna let that happen.”
“Well…I know the future, see? I’m one of those psychic people.”
He stared at me with his druggy eyes, moved a little closer on the couch. “You are? Who’s gonna be the next president then? And don’t tell me Jimmy Carter again.”
“Uh-uh…Try Ronald Reagan.”
“The movie actor?” He chuckled. “I think you’re the one who’s high, lady. Anyway, I know got a little overweight problem now and take too many kinds of pills, but the Lord’s gonna do what He’s gonna do, right?”
“That’s a cop out, Elvis. You can control what happens to you. Trust me.”
He smiled, kissed the top of my head. “Thanks for them words. Take you up on that in the mornin’.” He curled up and nodded out with his head on my shoulder.
Sometime before morning a guard burst in the room, waking us up. “Sorry Elvis. Ma’m. But there’s some guy downstairs, says he’s this girl’s dad and came to take her home.”
Seamus! That bastard!
“Whaddya talkin’ about?” said Elvis, “She can’t go! She’s my angel!”
“I really don’t think you want the authorities here, sir.” The guard grabbed my arm, hauled me out. Elvis looked stricken. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. Seamus shoved me into his rent-a-car a minute later and my big mission was over.
“I don’t want to hear about it,” is all Seamus said after I got through yelling at him. “Screw up one piece of history and we might all be screwed.” I turned in my seat and watched Graceland disappear in the morning fog. Damn. Was Elvis ever going to be depressed later.
Two Days of The Buzz Line
at EXPOS 3-6-0, REDS 2-11-0
Hope Amy didn’t hear this one. Cincy puts 16 runners on base against Rogers, the Expos only 8 against Seaver, but the Reds leave 13 on base to Montreal’s 4 and lose it in the 8th on a game-tying Speier homer and game-winning Carter double. The faster they get Driessen and Geronimo back, the better.
at PHILLIES 8-11-2, PIRATES 6-9-1
Another thriller puts the Phils back on top. A Robinson homer off Lonborg in the 1st helps the Bucs take a 4-1 lead for Reuss, but Jerry barfs it away in the 5th and the Goose makes a rare mid-game appearance. After Pittsburgh makes it 5-5 in the 7th, Philly scores three times with the help of a Taveras boot and go up 6-5. Ott ties it with a big triple in the 8th, but Tekulve blows it in the bottom of the 8th on back-to-back scoring doubles by Luzinski and Boone.
at ASTROS 5-8-1, CARDS 1-6-1
Touché! After a Cardinal sweep of Houston last week, the Astros return the favor in the Dome, J.R. Richard being unhittable again. Oh yeah, and Bob Watson with his 18th game-winning RBI.
CUBS 2-11-0, at DODGERS 1-8-1
Lefty Dave Roberts joins the Cubbies from the non-participating Tigers, takes the spot of Steve Renko (who goes to the White Sox) and promptly mows down the Dodgers at the Ravine to salvage the last game of the series.
at RED SOX 5-14-1, INDIANS 4-10-0 (10 innings)
And a salvage job for the Sox. Jenkins is off his game for a change, dishing up homers to Thornton, Lowenstein and Carty. Boston also hits into three killing double plays, but win anyway on a game-knotting 3-run smash by Rice off Garland, and a game-winning Lynn homer off Kern.
ORIOLES 2-2-1, at YANKEES 1-6-1
As Elvis says, the Lord works in weird ways. Baltimore manages only two hits off Guidry, but one is a 2-run, ballpark HR by Singleton on a 1-3 (15%) roll. Meanwhile the Yanks get people all over the bases against the usually luckless Flanagan but hit into three deadly DPs to ruin their day.
ROYALS 8-13-0, at WHITE SOX 7-9-1
Even what should be an easy K.C. win turns into a nightmare. A huge 6-run 6th off Steve Stone gives Marty Pattin an 8-3 lead into the 9th, but two walks and a single bring on Littell, who then gives up a single and two more walks before getting an out, but gets Soderholm on a lazy fly with the bases juiced to end it.
PIRATES 8-14-2, at PHILLIES 5-8-0
Biggest win of the season for the Bucs! Carlton has a 5-2 lead into the 6th, the Phils having roughed up Kison, when Fregosi bats for him and cracks a 2-run homer. One out later, Garner homer. Then Parker homers. Then Oliver doubles and Oliver triples the next inning, and it’s 8-5 Pittsburgh. Tekulve, Grant Jackson and the Goose throw four innings of shutout relief, turning key DPs in the 7th and 8th, and the NL is tied at the top again.
at CUBS 10-14-1, CARDS 7-13-0
St. Louis suddenly can’t beat anybody. Biitner with a grand slam off Denny in the 2nd, and it’s 9-1 Cubbies before Reuschel gets bored and starts giving up Cardinal hits.
at DODGERS 3-7-0, ASTROS 2-7-1
Unfortunately Houston can’t play all their games at home, and are now a paltry 18-40 on the road, worst in either league. Baker and Lopes with blasts as Doug Rau gets a rare CG and L.A. is two games out again.
YANKEES 5-14-0, at RED SOX 3-12-1
Wouldn’t you know it. Unable to touch the Orioles for three days, the Yanks hit Fenway and pepper Don Aase. White and Chambliss with big 2-run homers, and Lyle relieves Gullett with the sacks filled in the 7th to get a giant DP from Hobson. Tomorrow it’s Figueroa vs. Cleveland.
ORIOLES 6-8-0, at INDIANS 4-12-2
I have no clue what’s gotten into Baltimore, but they’re liking it in Crabland. Bibby settles down nicely after getting hammered for five runs in the 1st, and the Tribe pecks away at Grimsley, but Dennis Martinez throws two and a third hitless innings for the save.
RANGERS 4-10-0, at TWINS 3-9-0
And with more great relief from Moret and Barker, Texas beats Goltz and jumps over the Yankees into third place. Alexander with another win, and I’ll tell ya, with that solid rotation of theirs the Rangers have to be taken seriously.
American League through Friday, August 15
National League through Friday, August 15