Stephen King knows. Sure. Sometimes, when an object, like a car or a house, or a sprawling old hotel, is
owned by a person with a strong and charismatic personality, that object seems to take on the persona. For
better or worse. King shared with us that story of Christine, the car that assumed the characters of, well, a
not-so-nice owner. Ours is a more charming story, and one that is even stranger than fiction...
In 1955, the Coupe de Ville moved slowly down the assembly line. Not just any Cadillac was this one; she
had been custom ordered, down to her hot pink paint, for a driver who would dominate the record charts
for the next twenty years. She gleamed, she roared, she demanded attention just like her new owner, even
before they met. Just a year after “Heartbreak Hotel” had crashed into the music scene, that shiny car with
her purring engine rolled into the streets of Memphis to greet her first owner, and her only love. And Elvis
loved her, too. He named her, out of regard for his mother and his only other love, “Gladys”.
Beautiful Gladys and her handsome owner went everywhere together. Gladys allowed other women to
ride only grudgingly, and then often misbehaved out of jealousy. In 1956, when Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, Gladys was the only one
who escorted him there. It was the greatest performance of her life; those who saw her praised her shine and beauty. But in 1957, Gladys’ life began
to change, and there was no way she could have seen what awaited her down the road in the little village of Ellicottville, New York.
Having heard about the opening of a new ski area called Holiday Valley, Elvis (as he was wont to do) had a spontaneous urge; this time to conquer
slopes and skis. He loaded Gladys up, and she willingly and lovingly transported him through the snow to the great white north. Not long after ar-
riving in Ellicottville on that fateful day in 1958, Elvis determined that he would stick to singing and cavorting anywhere but on skis. Aching and
miserable with tow-rope bur