American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.
Louis Grizzard, a great American
It's choice ~ not chance ~ that determines your destiny.
Jean Nidetch

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Elvis and Follow That Dream Parkway

A small coastal town in west central Florida was turned upside down in 1961 when Elvis Presley and a small army of Hollywood followers gathered there to film a movie. That was almost 50 years ago. Today, Yankeetown, Florida, looks much like it did before Elvis. Being a huge Elvis fan, I wanted to have a look-see, so we took a drive down that way to find out for ourselves.

It was easy to find the right road:
And just after turning off US 19/98 there was this sign to let us know we were on the correct road:
If you remember the movie, the area was transformed by Hollywood to include a pretty white sand beach with a wooden house and fishing pier.

This is a picture from the movie, showing Elvis sitting on the bridge at Bird Creek:
50 years later there is a big difference:
Nothing remains except for the bridge......not even the sand beach:

It was nice to imagine Elvis being there with all the glamor of Hollywood. I was only 12 in 1961 but I would have liked to see all the hoopla! Click on this link to read more about the people of Yankeetown, Florida, (and see some great, local pictures) when Elvis came to town!

Further down Follow That Dream Parkway, the road ends at the Bird Creek Park. There was a boat ramp, a small county park, and a small spit of beach beside the road.

Nearby, the Withlacoochee River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. In the distance is the Crystal River Nuclear Energy Complex.


pidge said...

A great trip down memory lane. He was the best, still is in a lot of ways. Love his music...

Karen and Al said...

I guess I need to watch that movie again. I didn't know it was filmed in Yankeetown.