Elvis image is portrait of profit hopes Couple trying to cash in after finding Presley negative

February 15, 1993|By McClatchy News Service

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Elvis was spotted last month in the home of an Anchorage couple who claim they found an unpublished negative of the King among long-forgotten family photos. So, fire up the '59 Caddy; it's now or never to pick up a Presley print.

"When I looked at the negative, I thought, 'Well, if this is what I think it is, hallelujah!' " Julie Waites said of her discovery while housecleaning last month. "It's highly possible that it's a one-of-a-kind, unpublished photo. We've sent faxes of it to Graceland and to museums and Priscilla Presley, but we haven't heard anything back yet."

Ms. Waites and her husband, Bob, couldn't wait for confirmation and went ahead with the production of numbered and cataloged prints. The King is now for sale at their friend's booth at the Fur Rendezvous arts and crafts fair at the Egan Center.

Prices for prints of a young, laughing Elvis wearing an Army jacket with a "Presley" name tag range from $500 for an unframed 8-by-10 to $1,250 for a framed 16-by-20. The Waites said the prices were based on an offer they say they received for the original 3-by-5 negative, which they recently copyrighted.

By Saturday, the second day of the show, no buyers had caught the Presley bug. The problem may be due to suspicious minds or a feeling that the Waites are asking too much.

Julie Waites, however, said it's only a matter of time before sales heat up and Presley's fans surrender to their burning love for the King.

"He was like Jesus Christ in the flesh for some people," Ms. Waites said. Although a product of her generation, Waites, 35, isn't a Presley devotee. "I remember growing up during the Elvis era, but I'm just a casual fan."

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