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WHEN WE MET, PART 3

As Elvis began introducing me to a few of the band members, and a  couple of his "guys", he was called by someone; "Elvis, they're waiting for you!" He had a dressing room full of people waiting to see him, friends and a few celebrities, and he uttered, "Excuse me, please? I need to see these people and then I have to work a bit on the finalization of the film. (It was the wrap-up night of That's The Way It Is). I'm sorry I can't introduce you to everyone, but Charlie here and Felton will take care of you. "No, No! I'm Fine! Don't worry about me at all, really! Go on!" I replied, letting him know I didn't mind at all, and of course, he needed to go. As he rushed around the corner I recall shaking my head to myself and thinking how unusual that he'd even try to go to any trouble. I was used to taking care of myself, finding my own way, and not at all used to anyone caring whether I was introduced to other co-workers. Charlie Holdge beamed a beautiful smile as he introduced himself and added, "Anything you need just let us know". In the next seven years I would come to call him "Sir Charles" quite often, become a close friend, and find a true genius in this man. As I turned to look around the place, Millie came over and we had a brief chat. She was on her way home, very pleasantly smiling and cordial. She specifically said one thing to me that I recall clearly because she emphasized it. "Oh!... and if you get a chance to go up to the Suite, DO IT! It's like a Movie Set up there!" "I will, thank you, if I get the chance! And have a safe trip home... And a speedy recovery from your surgery". As she left, Felton grabbed me and led me to my dressing room. He politely opened the door for me then handed me the key. "Here ya go! All yours!" It was a small but good sized dressing room, and had more than plenty of room for anything I needed, also was secure so I could leave makeup and costumes in it.  I was particularly thrilled with the long mirror and pretty good lighting. "Plenty of space on the long counter and a couple of chairs! Good."  It was just a few yards down from both Elvis' and the Sweets' dressing rooms, and in the same area as three band members. Right across the hall was a huge recreation hall! Hooray! Pool table, table tennis, both of which I loved, and a  lounge area and a speaker that would inform me when it was time to go onstage... when Elvis did... at about an hour after the show began. I also felt relieved when remembering my phone conversation before I left Los Angeles with Tom Diskin, (Colonel's right hand man). "What should I wear?" I asked him. "Anything you want! You're a group of one... a soloist so feel free to wear whatever you want." Now this was unusual. Ordinarily girl backup singers wore a basic black dress or a costume the producers had available for you. I had brought a couple of dresses and a few costumes that had been given to me upon completion of television shows. "There are a couple from the Skelton show I think may work for this two weeks", I thought. Yes, I was a "group of one", and an independent contractor, so I wasn't bound by any "you must wear the same color as the rest of the group" rules. As I headed back to my hotel room, I passed Elvis' and the Sweet Inspirations' dressing rooms, hoping to meet the girls, but the tiny short hall between them was jammed with people and I didn't see them, so I headed upstairs to listen to as many recordings as possible before sleeping, and hoped to high heaven as I walked down the hallway to my room that I could order room service and have it delivered before the next day. It was a long hour before I could get anything but a busy signal, but finally was able to place an order and only wait a little over an hour to eat dinner. The sun was coming up just as I finished eating, and I decided to sleep a while and prepare as much as possible later in the day.

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