Priscilla Presley Evening in Palm Springs
Oscar's in Palm Springs took the pandemic time to revamp. Their thoughts turned toward ways to attract a wide variety of audiences and entertainers to downtown Palm Springs. If my recent experience with an Intimate Evening with Priscilla Presley is any indication, I'd say they are on the right track.
I saw their announcement that Priscilla was going to be in Palm Springs. Since there are so many rumors surrounding her, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to hear what she says about her life in the past and present.
Since I couldn't find anyone who wanted to go with me, I decided the day before I would go by myself. It turned out to be the very last ticket, so I took that as a good omen.
Check-in was easy, and many people chose to have dinner before the Presentation. Thus, the courtyard was filled with beautiful, draped tables and under the crystal-clear desert sky. The balcony above was utilized for seating guests. (Note to me—I'd love to sit there in the future.)
The lighting was beautiful, and curtains on the outside of the building glistened, helping to make one feel exceptional as I was escorted to my seat with a perfect side view close to the stage.
I ordered my cocktail, Old Fashion so that I could sip during the Presentation. While sitting there struck up a conversation with a woman next to me.
A peruse of the audience reveals a mature woman wearing a beautiful brightly colored caftan with a handsome man in a tuxedo. Later in the evening, the woman was introduced as Margaret O'Brien. She is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
Conversation with Priscilla Presley
Sitting on a chair on the stage, Priscilla started by sharing about how she met Elvis. Remember this now a lovely mature woman of 74 who started dating Elvis at 14 years of age. Her parents had great concern. At her dad's request, she invited Elvis to their home, and she was convinced he would say no. Instead, he said, Can I bring my father?
The visit was arranged. Without Priscilla in the room, she could hear the laughter and bonding going on between Elvis, her father, and Elvis's father, Vernon. The rest is history about the beginning of the courtship.
It is true. Elvis helped create her persona. He would go with her to buy the clothes she wore. She proudly stated, when we were viewing photos of the era, That was my natural hair.
Elvis was a very private person. Thus, he had sort of a posse around him most of the time. While he loved performing and his audience, he wanted to be alone with trusted people in his private time.
They were all men except for Priscilla, who was always part of the Elvis inner circle.
Palm Springs Connections
We call it the Honeymoon House, and I had been under the assumption it was where they had just spent their honeymoon. It turns out they lived there for a couple of years. They moved into the other house in Little Tuscany only because Rona Barrett and photographers got so brazen, and they wanted to get away from them.
She said once they moved to the second house, they spent much more time in Palm Springs. It was a place where they had many good times. She spoke of Palm Springs fondly and was happy to visit again. She was a little stunned by the changes in the town from when they lived here.
Video and Photos were used throughout the Presentation
Priscilla hadn't seen many of them in years, so at times, emotions radiated in her voice as she began to talk. The video of Dancing on the Stars caused her to state; It was one of the most challenging things I have done in my life. I prayed I would be voted off.
After each viewing, she freely shared her thoughts and what was going on when the videos were taken. Rare and real emotions were shared with the audience.
There was a moment when I am sure there was more than just me with a few tears in my eyes. Priscilla said Lisa Marie has a beautiful voice. Her regret was she never had the opportunity to sing with her dad.
With the help of technology, a video of Elvis and Lisa Marie appeared before us performing together. Unfortunately, I forgot the song's name because I was so caught up in how beautiful it was to hear their voices blending. I am just hoping the video will be posted somewhere so more people can witness a moment that will not, unfortunately, appear in real life.
Priscilla Life Today
Priscilla said I will always love Elvis. Maybe I loved him too much, for I could not continue to be around him. It was not stated explicitly, but I got the sense that it was the women around Elvis and the drugs. All our lives, we remained friends, connected about Lisa Marie, and talked often. I spoke to him the day before he passed on.
Today, she is a successful businesswoman. She is very involved in the continuation of Elvis's legacy through the operation of Graceland, which is the second most visited home after the White House.
While she is enjoying her acting career, she has no plans to be an actor again. She is happy, not dating but surrounds herself with some great male friends and looks forward to continuing to help carry the mantel of Elvis's Legacy.
It was an informative, delightful evening in Palm Springs. I came away admiring Priscilla Presley, who I previously did not know much about her, for my focus on Elvis overshadowed her. Not anymore, and I look forward to watching her as she keeps impacting our world.
Kathy Condon is a freelance journalist and travel writer. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide. Her book It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It's All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News