August 27, 1957

Central Station, Memphis, Tn.

”Anita Is No. 1, Elvis Tells Sendoff Gathering”

Before boarding an 11 o’clock train last night at Central Station, Elvis Presley told a small crowd gathered to see him off a bit of information that may stir many a teen-ager’s heart.

That information?

“Anita is number one with me – strictly tops,” Elvis beamed, meaning the pert and pretty blond Anita Wood standing beside him. Anita, a WHBQ-TV star, was one of two winners of the Mid-South Star Hunt last Thursday.

Elvis and three travelling companions left for the Pacific northwest, where the rock ‘n’ roller will make a personal appearance tour.

About 25 young fans were on hand for his unannounced departure at 11 p.m. As the train lurched forward and Elvis waved, three small girls who had pushed to the front of the crowd began cryin.

THAT OLD LOOK – Making no secret of their affection for each other, Elvis and Anita Wood look into each others eyes like any other lovers bidding farewell.

“I’ll Just Die!”

One squealed: “three whole weeks – I can’t stand it – I’ll just die!” (Elvis will be back in three weeks before going to Tupelo, Miss. for a benefit show).

Elvis arrived at the station with his parents, Anita, and his male friends, George Klein, Cliff Cleaves and Lamar Fike, in the Presleys’  black Cadillac. “Uncle” and Mrs. Travis Smith followed in their car.

Elvis strode into the station with Anita on one arm. When the waiting fans spotted them, Central Station’s marble halls echoed with screams and shrieks.

A Sharp Couple

Elvis wore a light blue sportcoat and navy blue slacks. Anita looked chic in a black dress with white lace collar.

THEN THE KISS – “Ooooh,” murmured the 25 or so teen-agers standing by when their idol, Elvis, kissed his “number one” girl, Anita Wood, before boarding the train.

Elvis embraced his mother several times and she reminded him to “Be good, son” as he boarded the train. “Take care of yourself, boy,” said Mr. Presley. Mrs. Presley said she “worries about Elvis” when he goes on trips.

Elvis kissed Anita twice for photographers (and about five times for himself) before hopping aboard.

As the train moved away, Anita burst into tears and Mrs. Presley put her arm around her. The Presleys and Anita walked arm in arm out of the station to the Cadillac again, with Uncle Travis, himself moist-eyed, following.

Copyright: Memphis Press Scimitar August 28, 1957