For many, many years Prairie was quite literally a cultural backwater. Some would argue that it still is! With no television and the use of the radio frowned on other than for gospel programming and news, there were not a lot of "outside" influences that penetrated those hallowed walls. At the beginning of the school year a couple of creative and overly energetic individuals decided it would be a great thing to have Elvis enroll in the Bible School. Yes . . . that Elvis . . . Elvis Presley. They might not be able to listen to his music, but they could attend school together. So at registration that fall they proceeded to enroll Elvis into various courses and assigned him a room in the dorm.
Classes began the following Monday and as the attendance chart was passed around these guys would sign on behalf of the missing Elvis. Every day a duplicate copy of one of the boys homework assignments was passed in under the name of Elvis Presley, K Dorm 121. Many times Elvis would receive a better grade than the originator of the homework! One day, in Miss Ruth Dearing's class, she called on Elvis to open the class in prayer. With some quick thinking, one of the guys said that Elvis was feeling ill that day and was in the infirmary. That seemed to satisfy Miss Dearing, and as hard as it is to believe that she didn't know who Elvis Presley was, she seemed to understand and asked another student to pray. She asked the student to remember Elvis in his prayer and to ask the Lord for his speedy recovery. She must have kept careful notes because several days later she asked Elvis to pray again. Once more the answer was given that he was still in the infirmary. Miss Dearing, concerned that he was falling behind in his studies, remarked that he must be very ill as he had been there at least the better part of a week. The reality was the boys were probably tired of having to copy an extra set of homework every night. What had started out as fun, was turning into a lot of hard work!
After class, Miss Dearing feeling very concerned about her ill student, inquired with the nurses at the infirmary as to how Elvis Presley was feeling and when he was expected to be released. The nurses informed her that they were not aware that Elvis was a patient in their infirmary and suggested that perhaps she had made a mistake on the name of the student. Miss Dearing was not one to make mistakes, so she began her own investigation, eventually leading back to the fact that the room the guys had assigned to Elvis was actually the garbage room in the dorm. There was not a soul living there except maybe some silverfish and a few mice.
That day Elvis was expelled . . . he had left the building.
© 2010 Stephen J. Rendall - All rights reserved.