News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 8, 2010

Elvis impersonator Bruce Borders helps residents at Cobblestone Crossing celebrate the King’s birthday

TERRE HAUTE — Cobblestone Crossing got “All Shook Up” Friday as the late king of rock ’n’ roll’s 75th birthday party got under way.

“It’s great to be here on Elvis’ birthday, his 75th birthday, hard to believe,” laughed Elvis-impersonator Bruce Borders, who doubles as a Republican Indiana state representative and insurance agent from Jasonville.

Wearing a powder blue jumpsuit complete with wide, white belt, rhinestones and sequins, Borders had female residents dancing on the floor like they once did in bobby-socks as Presley gave “Suspisous Minds” to their boyfriends.

Coral Correll, 88, sat with her daughter, Carolyn Phillips, watching the show as Borders belted out songs that made rock royalty out of a Mississippi country boy.

“We were Elvis fans,” she said. “We went to all the movies and still have a lot of the old albums.”

Phillips said she not only remembers The King, but also taught art to Borders as an elementary school student at Shakamak. “Oh yes,” she said. “I was in fifth or sixth grade when Elvis came out.”

And that’s the way she likes to remember him, she said, describing the Presley of earlier years before Las Vegas and a lot of extra pounds.

Presley himself died long before retirement was an option, succumbing to complications of a drug overdose on Aug. 16, 1977 at the age of 42.

But Beth Butts, the community service administrator at the Cobblestone Crossing health facility, remembers other days. “It’s just to reminisce a little bit and bring back some happy memories,” she said of the senior residents, many of whom remember Presley as a peer. “It’s hard to believe Elvis is 75,” she laughed. “I still see him in his white jumpsuit.”

Recreation therapist Karen Brimberry explained the facility hosts “happy hour” every Friday for the residents and their families, using any number of reasons to celebrate. “We like to theme our days here for variety, to spice things up,” she said. Next week’s party will be in celebration of “National Soup Month” and Thursday featured a “pigskin” party in honor of “National Football Month.”

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