Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida on August 13, 1978 · 21
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Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida · 21

Tallahassee, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 13, 1978
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etnocraf J 3 (LOt allahassee Sunday, August 13, 1978 B 0 I Editorials-rBusiness, Finance eople are sti II cashing in on Elvis Some believe he may still be alive By TOM SHRODER Democrat staff writer The death of Elvis Presley is too good a promotional gimmick to waste on a dead man. That flash of inspiration streaked through the mind of Gene Arthur, a self-described "motivational and promotional trainer," the night of Aug. 16, 1977, and woke him from a sound sleep. Like millions of others, Arthur's thoughts had turned to the King of Rock that day when news of his death flashed around the world. It was probably inevitable that some, in their grief, would say: "No, it isn't true." But Arthur, a man with a Glenn Turner handshake and "can-do" written across his smile, meant it. He didn't say it out of grief, but out of admiration for both a truly great con game and the man who would have been behind such a scheme: Col. Tom Parker. ' "Just as he had promoted Elvis' life, Col. Tom is now promoting Elvis' death. The image is dead, but the man lives on," Arthur enthused recently. Arthur has just printed - the first 2,000 copies of his book "Orion," a thinly fictional account of Elvis' life that expounds Arthur's theory. WHAT COULD BE more appropriate, Arthur reasoned. Parker is a master of the promotion a professional packager. "One of the best who ever lived," Arthur said. It was Parker who processed Elvis' raw musical energy into a slickly marketed commodity, spawning a financial empire while it imprisoned it's star in a world of glitter and fawning adulation, or more concretely, in "Graceland" his 18-room Memphis mansion guarded like the crown jewels. A little after 3 p.m. one year ago Wednesday, Elvis Presley collapsed from the toilet to the red bathroom carpet in Graceland mansion, shorts still around his ankles, dead at 42 of a heart attack. Memphis coroner Dr. Jerry Francisco reported Elvis' heart had failed "while straining at a stool," the suspected immediate cause of one of three heart attacks. (Please see ALIVE, page 6B) 'Elvis Presley is alive. I have no doubt' Author Gene Arthur "In plucking the fruit of memory one runs the risk of spoiling the bloom." Joseph Conrad, 1919. From Democrat wires Since Elvis Presley died one year ago this week, schlock and showmanship have fanned the Elvis fever and pressed a commercial record of solid, if sometimes sordid, gold. In sheer buck power, Elvis the myth and memory may well rival Elvis the man from Tupelo, Miss., the King of Rock 'n' Roll who earned $12 million a year with recordings and concerts alone. RCA Records and this holds for other Elvis-related ventures will say only that sales have been phenomenal. BY 1975, ELVIS had sold 500 million records, and it is estimated that another 350 million have been sold since, 200 million after his death Aug. 16. According to an RCA official, Elvis had always wanted to make a children's record. "So Colonel (Tom) Parker (Elvis' manager) pulled together songs that Elvis sang to children in 'Teddy Bear' and other films," the official said. "The cuts on it were available at one time or another on film soundtracks, but somehow they were never before put together. There will be a fall campaign on the record." The album will be called "Elvis sings for Children." The sole Presley album issued after his death is the soundtrack of his CBS-TV special shown last fall. More than 4 million copies of "Elvis in Concert" have been sold. As the anniversary of death approaches, the emotional and commercial tempo quickens. The "National Enquirer" discloses "Elvis Presley's three secret fears." The "Star" says "For the first time since Elvis' death, Priscilla tells how she loved him until the tragic end." Wednesday, concerts, conventions and tributes will flood the country, building up to an Elvis catharsis-bonanza in Las Vegas. THE FIRST WORLDWIDE Elvis Fan Summer Festival is scheduled for Sept. 1-10 at the Las Vegas Hilton. It will include an Elvis film festival, disco music, exhibits and souvenirs. The Hilton Showroom, where Presley appeared regularly for eight years, will be dedicated to his memory. When a life-size bronze statue of Elvis is unveiled Sept. 8, Colonel Parker and Elvis' father, Vernon, will be co-hosts. The senior Presley will accept 15 gold and three platinum albums from Robert Summer, president of RCA records. (A gold album means 1 million copies were sold; a platinum record, 2 million.) Graceland, Elvis' Memphis mansion, is the focus of a mile of madness on U.S. 51 now Elvis Presley Blvd. the main artery of the significantly named suburb of Whitehaven. From the north, Pancho's Tacos and Mason's Gas advertise free Elvis souvenirs, and a gift shop named Eternally Yours swears undying fealty to Elvis in plastic and white fluorescents. (Please see CASHING IN, page 6B) M , . 11 lJ x . '- 1 - i be ope mus a holy man o can smile wh John Edwards, AP Pope Paul VI had the ability to smile .it is considered an essential qualification for the job By ANDREW M. GREELEY Distributed bv Universal Press Syndicate HELP WANTED A hopeful holy man who can smile. Interesting work, guaranteed income, residence comes with position. Protection from proven security organization. Apply College of Cardinals, Vatican City. A careful sociological study of the position of pope suggests that the qualitites sought are not so much training and background as personality and style. The job description for the papacy describes one who not only leads the world's largest religious denomination, but one who is far and away the most important religious leader on earth. Given the nature of the position, a good job description must focus on what characteristics are essential in the man who is to be the world's most visible and influential religious lead- " FROM THIS SOCIOLOGICAL perspective, most of the characteristics discussed for the man to be chosen by Andrew Greeley, perhaps the best-known Catholic sociologist in the world, is a Catholic priest, a professor at the University of Arizona and a member of the staff of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. He draws upon 20 years of sociological research and the reading of more than 100 books about the Catholic Church too support the contentions in these stories. the conclave this week appear to be irrelevant. It does not matter whether he is a curial cardinal or a noncurial cardinal; nor whether he is Italian; nor whether he is of the First, Second or Third World; nor whether he is intellectual or nonintellectual; nor whether he is a diplomat or a pastor, progressive or moderate, efficient or ineffcient administrator. (Please see POPE, page 5B) HI. f "Sin , St If ' i 'or i " ' . V IP Pope Paul VI carried on a portable throne . . .through crowd of Easter pilgrims at the Vatican in 1976 on 't bet on it Secrecy? No campai -A- gning?D By ANDREW M. GREELEY Distributed bv Universal Press Syndicate Traditionally the election of a pope is by a two-thirds majority of cardinals, signaled by white smoke pouring out of the special chimney over the Sistine Chapel. The crowds wait eagerly in the great piazza of St. Peter's for the first whiff of smoke and then go delirious with joy. THIS TIME THERE may not be any white smoke and the meeting of cardinals may not take place in the Sistine Chapel. The majority required will be two-thirds plus one to prevent a man from giving himself the decisive vote (even though cardinals are forbidden to vote for themselves). In a rigid, legalistic reform document issued in 1975, Pope Paul mentioned neither the Sistine Chapel nor the white smoke. The car dinals may choose to meet anywhere within the Vatican and can use the white smoke or not, as they please. But the document carefully insists that the extra vote must be added lest a man invalidate his own election by voting for himself although since the votes are supposed to be secret, it is not clear how anyone would know about the fatal vote. The origins of the selection of the pope by the college of cardinals are shrouded in antiquity. The present format began to emerge in the 11th century, although as late as 1059, the laity and clergy as well as the chief clerics participated in the election. IT WAS THEN decreed that only the cardinals had the right of election but that the clergy and laity should concur. However, this rule had little impact for more than a hundred years, and the laity and clergy continued to exercise their ancient and traditional right of selecting their bishop. In 1417, Pope Martin V was elected by a conclave of cardinals and 30 other prelates from an ecumenical council. In its long history the election of the pope by the cardinals has had some wild moments. In one conclave the majority of the cardinals (or a large minority) were teen-age boys appointed by their uncle (or father), the last pope. In many others the European monarchies meddled shamelessly; the Austrian emperor vetoed an election in the 20th century. Some conclaves were held in France, others in Italian castles, some ended in violence, others took as long as, two years. The Roman citizens had at one time the pious custom of sacking and robbing the house of the new pope. The practice of locking the cardinals up was not designed to preserve them from outside influence or to ensure secrecy, but simply to put pressure on them to finish the business. In some lengthy conclaves (from the Latin word meaning a lock) the outraged citizens first curtailed and then cut off food supplies to force a decision. On other occasions they slowly demolished the castle brick by brick where the prolonged deliberations were taking place. THINGS ARE MUCH MORE civilized today. But if anyone thinks there is not frantic, campaigning in Rome today ("consultation" it is called), they understand very little about human nature and the inevitable political processes that affect any election especially one as important to so many people as the papal election. The cardinals must wait until the nine days of official mourning for Paul VI are completed (Tuesday). They must allow 15 days for far-flung cardinals to get to Rome and can wait an additional five for stragglers. However, in the jet age such waiting is hardly necessary. So it is likely that they will decide to have themselves locked up in the Vatican shortly after the mourning period ends. The day-to-day governance of the church is entrusted to the whole college of cardinals, which must meet every day in "general congregations" to discuss matters affecting the church and to begin making plans for the conclave. The executive body is made up of the Cardinal Chamberlain and three others chosen by lot who meet in "particular congregations." (Please see SECRECY, page 5B)

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