Imagine knowing the King! Even better… tackling the King in football! (Scroll down for audio)
Elvis Presley was almost exactly three years older than Ed Johnson in Memphis, TN. The two were only two grades apart in school. Johnson said that he would play football with Elvis along with other teens in the area.
Elvis attended Humes High School in Memphis. He was part of the 1953 graduating class. Ed described Elvis as just another kid.
Red West, another high schooler from Memphis, was also a friend of Ed’s. Red was one of the tough guys who eventually became the bodyguard of Elvis. In fact, Red taught Ed how to train other bodyguards that surrounded Elvis once he became the icon of Rock N’ Roll.
Ed was eventually drafted into the U.S. Army, about the same time as his buddy Elvis. The 101st Airborne took in Ed who gained his wings to become a parachutist. He was active duty for two years after being drafted, but was in the reserves for another eight years.
Ed will turn 80 on February 15, 2018. He told me that he will go parachuting on his 80th birthday and that will be his new tradition every birthday after.
As for Elvis, he would have turned 83 one month before Ed turns 80 if he were still alive. Who knows, if Elvis were still around he may have parachuted with Ed.
Audio Below: Listen to this short, but interesting interview with Ed Jordan where he remembers his days growing up in Memphis with Elvis. He also talks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and being drafted into the Army:
"I never expected to be anybody important," - Elvis