When the nursing sister at my mother’s retirement home told me that an Elvis club existed in Bellville, I could not believe my luck. I immediately phoned and spoke with the founder, Annemarie Swarts. I was not sure what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised. Annemarie questioned me as to why I am an Elvis fan - probably to check out whether I was weird or not. When I told her that I have been a fan since 1956 (giving away my age) and that I had already been to Graceland twice, Annemarie was excited. She invited me to the next get-together (I forget exactly when that was) which was on a Saturday afternoon and asked me to talk about Graceland and to bring all the photos I took there.
When I got to the get-together which was held in Annemarie’s lounge, I met Annemarie, Connie, Poppie and Jako. Yes, membership was low with me coming in at number five but thanks to Annemarie’s perseverance, the club has grown. I was very impressed with the way Annemarie presented the afternoon. I had absolutely no idea what an Elvis fan club would do at a get-together. We talked, listened and watched Elvis footage - some of which I did not know existed. I then showed my photos and spoke about my trips to Graceland. It was a wonderful afternoon, had me hooked and I am still here.
During the past ten years, I have learnt so much more about Elvis. I thought, having been a fan since 1956 and having been to Graceland, that I knew all there was to know but I was so very wrong. I have made numerous friends of which most will remain close friends for life, I hope. I have enjoyed the many get-togethers that we have had and all the fun filled activities that Annemarie and Nicolette have organized. I cannot single out any one event that was more enjoyable than others as I have enjoyed them all - even when we had to write ‘tests’.
- Amy Grainger © EPFCA