Thirty years ago today the world lost a legend. Elvis Presley made a huge impression on most everyone that met him. But, for a few fans in Madison, their connection with him is even more special.
Fifty three days before Elvis's death, he was in Madison for one of his last concerts. The city was expecting a great show. And in true Elvis fashion he exceeded everyone's expectations. So much, in fact, that a re-enactment was held this afternoon to commemorate his actions.
"It is just exciting. You know, it is important. It is the King," stated Carolynn Menendez who is the sister of Keith Lowry.
On June 24, 1977, Lowry was working the night shift at his father's service station on Madison's East side. At midnight, he went out to check the pumps and was jumped by two men.
There was no one around to help...except for a king.
"The next thing I knew the limo door opened and Elvis Presley jumped out of the car," said witness Bruce Frey.
As Elvis got out he yelled, "Hey don't you boys know it is not nice to fight man."
"Their mouths just dropped. and the one just hollered, Elvis Presley," said Bobbie Theel who also witness the event.
As the king approached the fight he took on a martial arts stance and hollered, "I'll take all comers. Come on man, you wanna fight me man. Get the hell out of here."
"The gas station attendant scrambled away and took off running," remembered Frey. "I though he was afraid of his safety, but I found out later that he was running into the gas station to call his friends and tell them Elvis was at his gas station."
After the fight was over, Elvis stayed and met the lucky few who witnessed the event.
"All I can remember is holding on to Elvis's hand and they had to pry my hands loose so he could get in the limo because I was not letting go," said Theel.
"It's Elvis. To have a brother shake his hand is just so exciting," said Menendez. "He saved my brother. He pulled over and saved my brother."
According to Billy Smith, Elvis's first cousin who lived with him in Graceland, Elvis spoke of the event often until his death. After today's re-enactment a plaque was dedicated to commemorate the King.
The plaque is located off the sidewalk on East Washington Avenue right in front of where the Skylane Standard Service Station used to be.
Sadly, the station was torn down two months ago and is now part of Suburban Wheels. But, even though the land has changed the memories have not. And John, the King would be proud.