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Dana Fadal on his Childhood with Elvis (1991)

Jim Ruddy

Sound | 1991

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  •  At age two, Dana Fadal remembers all the excitement in his home when Elvis would come to visit them 
  •  Elvis gave Dana the nickname "Reddy Kilowatt" 
  •  Elvis wasn't "any big deal" to Dana 
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In this raw interview footage produced by Jim Ruddy for “Entertainment Tonight,” Eddie Fadal’s son, Dana Fadal, talks about growing up with Elvis Presley around their Waco home. Dana tells the story of how Elvis nicknamed him “Reddy Kilowatt.” Eddie Fadal was a close friend of Elvis from 1956 until his death. While Elvis was stationed at Ft. Hood in Killeen, he would visit the Fadal home every weekend, often with girlfriend Anita Wood and his parents, Vernon and Gladys. The Fadals even built on to their house to make a special room for Elvis! After his death, the Fadals made Elvis’s room into the Elvis Memorial Museum.
Eddie Fadal’s relationship with Elvis began in February 1956. Eddie was a disk jockey at KRLD in Dallas, and Elvis was making the rounds. When they met, Elvis asked Eddie to join him on tour, so Eddie quit his DJ job to join Elvis on the road. 
When Elvis was drafted into the United States Army in 1958, at Fort Hood, Texas, he returned to the Fadal home on weekends for the six months he was stationed there. Many times he would unexpectedly show up at the Fadal home in the middle of the week when he would get a day off from the base.
He was royally welcomed each and every time, along with his relatives and friends who frequently accompanied him. The Fadals honored his request that he would have complete privacy from their own friends and family. A room was built onto the Fadal home, decorated in similar fashion to Elvis' own room at Graceland. A custom-built stereo was especially engineered for his comfort and each week's new record releases were awaiting him when he arrived from week to week.
Mrs. Fadal would take Elvis' mother, Gladys, with her to the grocery store to make sure the foods Elvis liked the most would be purchased and prepared to his liking. Mrs. Presley also helped in the preparation of the food. Everything that would be provided to make a home away from home for Elvis was done by the Fadals.
When Elvis' beloved mother passed away, Eddie accompanied Elvis to Memphis and remained at the Graceland Mansion for the entire 30 day leave Elvis was given from Fort Hood. They returned to Waco together and Elvis went on to Fort Hood where he would eventually ship out with the Second Armored Division to overseas duty in Germany.
A beautiful Live Oak tree was planted on the front terrace of the Fadal home on Lasker Avenue in perpetual memory to the late Gladys Love Presley. Elvis telephoned his deep appreciation but was unable to attend. Elvis told a close circle of friends on many occasions, "I can count on one hand the true friends I have and who don't need me or use me for anything and I'm proud to say that Eddie is one of them". Those words were ingrained in Eddie's memory, and in his words, "They shall remain there as long as I shall live." Eddie Fadal passed away in 1994.