Graceland Tampa, FL
from the story by KEITH MORELLI for Tampa Bay Online
LINKFrom the stately white columns in the front to the marble bathroom upstairs to the sweeping staircase ascending alongside a mirrored wall under a grand chandelier, Diaz's [Johnny Diaz, aka Johnny Elvis] digs is a working man's tribute to Graceland. For eight years, Diaz has molded his home little by little to look like Elvis' legendary estate outside Memphis, Tenn., where the King of Rock 'n' Roll lived and died.Diaz's fascination with the King isn't a lifelong thing, he said. "When I was younger, my father-in-law said I resembled Elvis,'' he said. "I never thought of singing or looking like him until I moved here.''
About eight years ago, he dressed up as Elvis and went to a local bar's Halloween contest. He won that night, taking home a $1,200 grand prize, and has been rocking and rolling ever since. He was once invited to impersonate Elvis at a Hindu wedding, he said.
"I enjoy doing Elvis,'' he said. "He left so many people loving him.''
Those who have made a living out of impersonating Elvis have a common thread, he said. "I haven't met one Elvis impersonator who is not a good person,'' he said.
As for the rumors that Elvis has not, as they say, left the building, that he is still alive somewhere, Diaz shrugs. "I keep him alive,'' he said.