Tuesday, 3 August 2010

EW Karate Event - Update

Rick Stanley (far right)

There have been a few last minute developments regarding our guest list. In addition to the legendary Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, we have great pleasure in announcing that two more original Gladiator attendees will be present on the evening of the 11th. Rick Stanley and Barbara Klein Bauer were there in September 1974 during the filming and will be on hand to greet fans almost 36 years later.

Although he was not featured in the 1974 footage, we are delighted that Billy Stanley will be joining Rick in talking to the fans. Unfortunately, Elvis' brave "ookie", David Stanley, will not be in town.

We are 99% sure that Master Wayne Carman will be joining us, too. Hopefully, within hours we will have a definitive answer from Wayne's office about his attendance. Of course, Wayne was a huge part of the Gladiator project and trained with Elvis for several years. Master Carman is the narrator for the Gladiator DVD.

Today I will be calling Master Al Holcome (known as Mr. Bear) who also features heavily in the original 1974 footage. Master Holcome is the martial artist who joins Red West in the "fist in Elvis' throat" clip. Sadly, Master Holcome no longer has good mobility and cannot make the stairs, but the purpose of my call is to tell him that we want him there so badly that if we have to, we'll carry him to the first floor!

We are excited to let you know that Gene Barksdale, former Shelby County sheriff and Presley friend has confirmed, so too has Elvis' 1975 Memphis girlfriend, JoCathy Brownlee Elkington.

Us guys are really looking forward to meeting Toni Loper, the current reigning Miss Shelby County. Toni is a huge Elvis fan and I have asked her to bring along some 8x10 photos to sign for us male admirers!

We are also working on having the newly elected Shelby County sheriff in attendance.

We have been in contact with Master Kang Rhee and he has declined our invitation.



Al Holcome and Elvis

I've just come off the phone with Al Holcome in Memphis. Al's health really is not good at all. He is on oxygen most of the day and is now confined to a wheelchair, but he was extremely interested in attending our event on the 11th. I assured him that getting him up the stairs was certainly achievable and with several strong men ready to "bump" him up in his chair, it would be no problem. If he felt that this would not be possible, then I informed him that we'd all be willing to greet him outside for a short photo opportunity with Bill and the others. I made sure that he knows just how important he is to the event and that we'd do anything to make his presence possible.

So, basically, health permitting, Al will be there.