Monday, November 29, 2021

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Book Review

‘Elvis Sightings at Iowa Truck Stops’


The highly anticipated follow-up to “Elvis Sightings at Iowa Truck Stops-Volume II: 1983-1989;” the professors at Graceland University of the Unknown managed to put together an exhaustive, thrilling and comprehensive account of more than 4,000 Elvis sightings at Iowa truck stops during the early ‘90s. It is a comfort to know that critical social science research can also embed itself in the public consciousness, and this handsome, exciting volume is sure to rocket up the bestseller list much like the previous two volumes.

Volume II left off with an account of the “King” haunting the Pilot station just outside Decorah, hassling travelers for peanut butter and urging locals to come see his moonlight performance just outside of town. Interviews with shook-up Winneshiek County locals who witnessed a pink Cadillac spin out of the half-lit parking area open this narrative on a high note. Such encounters became more frequent in the early ’90s in Mississippi river towns and beyond.Book Review The distinguished professors’ meticulous research places the apparition in Dubuque, Bellevue, Clinton and Bettendorf through the 1990 Christmas season. Central and western Iowa are not left out. Fort Dodge, Cherokee, Sioux City and even the Flying J in Des Moines all feature numerous documented encounters. Under ghostly blue moons, travelers heard crying in a truck stop chapel or a saw mysterious train bearing a white-clad figure faintly mumbling about his latest flame “Marie.” What is it about Iowa truck stops that make them ripe for these spiritual connections? It’s such an easy question, but one with no easy answers.

Featuring extensive interviews with Presley’s former backing guitarist James Burton, insights on the King’s personal eccentricities provide occasionally chilling detail into each documented encounter. Nevertheless, the volume contains a little less conversation and a little more action than its predecessor, which proves a welcome change of pace. CV


By Professors C.K. Kotz, J. Scully, et al.

Prep Iowa

Freeh and Mason Publishing House


867 pp.


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