Saturday, March 22, 2014

Follow That Dream

There's an Elvis for everybody, it seems. There's the skinny Elvis, the fat Elvis, the spy Elvis, the cowboy Elvis, the military Elvis, the Hawaiian Elvis, the Arabian Elvis, etc. And of course, there's a Florida Elvis.

In July 1961 the movie Follow That Dream, set in Florida and starring Elvis Presley and Anne Helm, began shooting on location in Ocala, Tampa, Inverness, and the Inglis/Yankeetown area. And in a colossal juxtaposition of cosmic happenstance, it was here that Elvis met a young 11-year-old boy named Tom Petty, who, some say, went on to be a musician himself.

Follow That Dream was already the ninth in Elvis' mixed bag of 33 films, and the descent into mediocrity from early strong films like King Creole and Loving You had already begun. The plot concerns a family of vagabonds who run out of gas in a desolate stretch of an unfinished road along Florida's Nature Coast, and decide to just homestead there. From there it devolves into typical early-sixties hijinks with casino mobsters, government bureaucrats, and of course musical interludes.

The Follow That Dream Parkway in Inglis commemorates Elvis' time here. You can scope it on Google Maps here and plan your pilgrimage accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. The city of Yankeetown refused to put up a sign and encourage Elvis tourism there, because of his drug use. Their loss!