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The Ultimate Elvis Fan! (Posted On: Thursday, July 17, 2008)

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“Well, I’ve always liked Elvis,” says Kim Hadfield.  For anyone who knows the Stayner woman that is probably the biggest understatement they have ever heard.  They know that to Kim Elvis is something special.

Kim Hadfield is that special breed of Elvis fan that adds to the flavour of the annual festival in Collingwood.  Her admiration of Elvis music and the life of Elvis goes far beyond gathering up the lawn chair every July and heading to Collingwood’s main street for opening night, or buying tickets to watch some of the world’s top Elvis Tribute Artists pay musical homage

to the “King” and for Kim everyday is an Elvis Festival.

For Kim this more than just about admiring the songs of an artist, she is enthralled with everything that made up the life of one of the music industries’ most enduring icon.  There is something special about the memory of Elvis to Kim, and for her it is because he was much more than a musician.

“He was what a true star should be,” says Kim.  “Elvis never forgot where he came from, and that’s rare.  He was naturally gifted but also humbled by his gift.”

Kim says she was first attracted to Elvis because she liked his music, but then that attraction grew as she learned more about the man.  It was amazing to her that Elvis was so successful but still had so much time for the people that made him famous.

It saddens her that fame changed the way she felt Elvis wanted to live.  “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be so famous you can’t even leave your house without being mobbed.”

Kim says success had to great of a price for someone who wanted to give so much to his fans.   “Imagine a life where you can’t help but wonder if people are your friends, or if they are there to be with the famous.”  Kim says that is too much for someone who really asked for nothing in return.

“Your child is a prisoner to your fame, so is your wife,”  it is a high price to pay says Kim, “can you really be surprised when someone in this position develops what other says are eccentricities.”

For Kim the perils that faced her musical hero didn’t diminish the shine any, it helped her admire him even more.  “ I admire his respect for his beliefs and staying true to them, no matter what was going on around him.”

Having the annual festival in Collingwood is a dream come true to Kim.  It would be like a kid waking up and finding out that Santa Claus now had his workshop out in the backyard. For Kim having everything Elvis, is having everything you could hope for.

Visitors to her home don’t have to ask Kim who her favorite artist is, after all there isn’t a room that doesn’t have some for of tribute to the King.  And at Kim’s home the King comes first, there is no question.

If you sit down to watch television with Kim and an Elvis icon just happens to block a bit of the view, don’t move Elvis.  Everything Elvis in Kim’s home is as special as her memory of the music legend.

Kim does have one favorite souvenir, and it does get moved around a lot, especially on the weekend of the festival in Collingwood.   It was something she received just three years ago.  She has her own Elvis style Jumpsuit. 

“Being an Elvis fan has helped me meet lots of people, and several of the Tribute Artists,” says Hadfield.  “Through work I got to know the father of a local performer named Matthew Lawrence.  Of course we hit it off because of our admiration of Elvis, and I really like Matthews work, he is an amazing artist.”

Kim and Matthews father Terry would often sing Elvis song’s together, especially in the morning when they did “If I Can Dream” virtually everyday in the lobby of the hotel where Kim was working.

“I of course loved talking everything Elvis with Terry, and about my Elvis collection at home,” says Kim. “One day I mentioned I really wanted to get a jumpsuit.  Terry says well Matthew has one he has grown out of, and you are definitely a fan that should have a jumpsuit.”

“Thanks to Terry and Matthew I now had something I couldn’t wait to wear to the festival. It was a great feeling, I was in heaven.”

Kim still wears the jumpsuit three years later.  It has had some modifications.  “I started to do some changes after the suit got stained at the festival.  I was horrified that my prized white jump suit might be ruined.  Then I came up with a plan to make little changes each year.

Kim says she is so thankful to the Lawrences for such a special memory of the King.  “Every time I look at the suit or wear it I say a thank you to Matt and Terry.  It is such a special tribute to Elvis.”

The Elvis weekend in Collingwood is like Christmas in July for Hadfield.  “All Elvis ever wanted was for his fans to enjoy him and his music.  We did,  we still do and always will.”
For Kim Elvis weekend is her time to say “Long live the King”

Written by Dale West - The Peak FM with contributions from Julie Card

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