A special invitation to visit Elvis Presley's Memphis, Tennessee, home awaited Edison Pena when he emerged from the San Jose mine Wednesday after more than two months below ground.
Pena, a die-hard Elvis fan, led his fellow trapped miners in Elvis sing-alongs to pass time while waiting for their rescue. 'A trip to Graceland in Memphis could be just the escape he needs after such a long period of time underground', said Kevin Kern, the spokesman for Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The company and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau has offered Pena an all-expenses-paid trip for two, Kern said. Pena, the 12th miner to be rescued, looked fit and exuberant as he emerged Wednesday. 'He's just a true blue Elvis fan', Kern said. 'I can only imagine that Graceland would be the trip of a lifetime'.
Kern suggested the best time for Pena's visit would be after Christmas decorations go up 'inside and out' at Graceland on November 19. They stay up until Presley's birthday on January 8, he said. 'He's welcome to come whenever he feels up to it', Kern said. He would stay in luxury at the historic Peabody Hotel -- known for its trained ducks -- in downtown Memphis, he said.
Pena would 'experience everything Elvis, but also soak up some local culture', Kern said. The city is also known for its barbecue and the role it played in the birth of the blues, soul and rock 'n' roll, he said. Elvis Presley Enterprises sent Elvis music to Chile that was passed on to Pena underground, he said. 'He's been listening to Elvis songs while running in the mine', he said.
A mining consultant involved in the rescue effort told CNN that Pena jogged an hour a day up and down some 2.5 kilometers of tunnels that were safely accessible.
People all over the world watched this amazing rescue, truly heart warming, and a plus that Mr. Pena is a great Elvis fan! I've read reports that he had all the miners singing Elvis songs.
Yesterday I went home to lunch. I arrived, from office, around 14h00 GMT (I live in Porto, Portugal) and turned the TV On. In a few minutes the TV was covering live the 12th miner to be rescued. It came out Edison Pena and the TV reporter said he was “a Huge Elvis fan that asked for the entire Elvis LP collection to be sent to the mine, and was singing and dancing Elvis song’s everyday!" When I hared it I was stunned but not really surprised. Immediately I felt a special feeling of closeness with someone so far away but that shared with me a passion that shaped our lives forever: The Music of Elvis Presley. I rushed call my wife at work and my older son at school and told then: You see, we Elvis Fans are EVERYWHERE! EPE you have done the right thing, Edison, you deserve it completely, and Elvis his sure pleased to know that he helped you and you will be visiting his beloved home!
Now this is the Kind of gifts I Love to see, thanks EPE for this man it is truly a trip of a Lifetime...
I truely believe that this is good PR for the Elvis World. It seems that there is so much more going on around Graceland that it makes it exciting to be an Elvis fan. Elvis lives in all of us( the fans).
I truly got such a kick out of hearing this story. When i heard that M.R. Pena was such a huge Elvis fan my eyes immediateley lit up with intrest. I could almost picture all the miners down there singing along to the King's classics(maybe even some of his gospel? after all, hispanics are famously very religious and i know some of EL's gospel numbers would've been very relatable to their circumstances) and it just made me smile. The power of Elvis lives in all us fans. I take comfort in knowing that i`m probably not the only fan who would request Elvis music on her deathbed. EP 4EVER>
I have criticised EPE often for the usually half hearted and misguided promotion of Elvis; but in this instance, I feel EPE has reacted in exactly the right way. I believe EPE is doing what Elvis would have done. The Chilean miners' story is one of magnificent human spirit supported by faith in the "Man in the Sky" (sorry, athiests, but that is the case). I think that is a very Elvis thing.
Now you're behaving Kevin ! Good move. Example for the whole world. Why haven't they reported it on BBC, ABC, NBC and CBS and above all, on CCN ???? Also more European national TV stations should have (under cooperation and insistance by EPFClubs all over) reported it for the whole wide world to hear and realize what a great human being E was
great story. well done EPE and shame on the news channels for not covering it!
Very nice gesture from EPE. Proves that people there have a heart ! Hats off for EPE ! Always El.
I am a chilean Elvis fan, and I'm so touched for everything that has happened, and for the EPE's invitation to my countryman, and also very touced by all the reviews I've read here. Thanks everybody.
EPE's offer is representative of Elvis and his giving spirit. It is awesome (and amazing) that 33 years after his death, Elvis' music is still inspiring people and touching them in ways that that almost no other musician's work can.
Now we know why those guys in the mine were so psychologically balanced when they got out! Elvis sing songs!!! ;) Wow! What a nice touch EPE! You've done Elvis proud with that gesture. I saw footage of the miners playing music and thought if that was me down there I'd just need an ipod loaded with Elvis tracks (and some Queen :D ) and I'd have been ok too (once I knew I'd been found at least!) Looking forward to the movie of this ordeal, especially now there's nbound to be a few Elvis tracks on the soundtrack. LOL.
Being brazilian I send to the fellow chilean fan my best wishes. ELVIS : mission acomplished!
Great to see all of them got out alive. Usually these type of events end in tragedy. Congratulations to the Chilean people and all who helped them. It is also good to see EPE looking after one of our own. I hope he has a good time in Memphis.
I emailed EPE to congratulate them for this. I note the comments about poor media coverage. I think Elvis would have wanted it that way. Elvis never saw the misfortunes of others as an opportunity for self promotion. Pena, the other miners and the people of Chile have given the world a sense of hope and restored faith in humanity. I hope they turn that mine into a tourist attraction. It could be an inspirational place to visit.
we all are proud of being in the worldwide group of admirers of the king as well as his music helped to rescue those guys; but: didn´t they agree to share each profit one by one (and made a binding contract even before rescued)? EPE should have invited the whole group; that´s what El. would have done....