By Alanna Nash
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Additional info for The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley
His response to the second one vital occasion of 1940, that of the 1st peacetime draft legislation in U. S. historical past, used to be simply as unusual. For on October sixteen, while Thomas Andrew Parker went to neighborhood board 1 within the First nationwide financial institution development to fill out his registration card and identify a type checklist, he made no point out of past provider in any department of the armed companies. through the use of his new center identify, he silently insisted that it used to be Thomas Parker who had served within the U. S. military, now not Thomas Andrew Parker. Tom Parker dared no longer probability resurrecting previous ghosts from his earlier, specifically one from 1933 who had passed through a very terrible remain at Walter Reed military health center. possibly as the Parkers by no means stayed lengthy in a single position, in filling out the registration card, Parker gave the Motts’ address—1210 West Platt Street—as his personal. And in big-shot type, he named Gene Austin, 181 South Poinsettia position, Hollywood, California, as his corporation. Parker’s actual resource of source of revenue in this time used to be some distance much less glamorous than any alliance with Hollywood. After the heady adventure of guiding Austin’s occupation, Parker used to be now lowered to tending animals on the fairgrounds, the place he additionally ran pony rides, using a string of six ponies he’d obtained in Kentucky whereas scouting destinations for Austin. apart from the possession of the horses—which he obtained neighbor kids to groom through pretending to call one after each one of them—he used to be no extra alongside than while he first got here out of the military. Now that the low season had arrived, Parker struggled to make ends meet, and as ordinary in such dire events, grew to become to a rip-off. He dug a gap within the entrance backyard, erected a three-foot-high tarpaulin wall round it, put in one of many ponies within the gap, stuffed dust in round the animal’s toes, and coated its legs with straw to make it seem shorter than basic. Then he hammered an indication into the floor: SEE THE WORLD’S SMALLEST PONY—ONLY 10 CENTS! The associates pronounced him to the experts, who threatened to haul him in. but simply as Parker’s days of operating his cherished ponies seemed at an finish, he obtained probably the keenest stroke of excellent fortune of his thirty-one years. within the overdue fall of 1940, he heard approximately a gap for a box agent on the Hillsborough County Humane Society, the defend for homeless animals. The Humane Society place appeared customized made for Parker’s strange background—a activity that allowed him to indulge his love and realizing of animals whereas calling on his abilities as a promoter. In among rescuing mewing kittens hung in timber and taking care of the occasional stray cow, Parker was once to spearhead fund-raising drives that might convey the preserve into the black. The task paid a wage, after all, the 1st regular paycheck Parker obtained because the early months of the Gene Austin tent exhibit. however it was once the perks of the activity that grew to become Parker’s head, specifically the offered, rent-free house, which ran the complete size of the second one flooring of the Humane Society, positioned in a good looking, ornate development festooned with Spanish accents at 3607 North Armenia street, then a distant region of West Tampa.