At the height of the Elvis is Still Alive saga in 2002, former longtime Channel 9 news anchor Maria Antonia got caught up in the excitement.
Way caught up.
In a Christmas Day column in 2002, headlined ” Sealed with a kiss?” I wrote that while “many Cowtowners have been busy posting missives to Santa, now comes word that KMBC-TV, Channel 9, anchor Maria Antonia penned one to Elvis. Or his alter ego, Jesse, if you buy into the school of thought that the King is in hiding and using the name of his twin brother, who died at birth.”
That according to Linda Johson, the assistant to Jesse’s Parkville doc Donald Hinton.
“She had sent Jesse a photograph and a beautiful little message,” Johnson told me. “It was a nice photo of herself, autographed, and she kissed it. And a nice little letter. I don’t know if she’ll get a response or not but … she was almost teary-eyed. She was happy. She was excited about it.”
Needless to say, Antonia’s was far less excited when she found out I was onto her little love note after I called her for a comment.
“I may have written a note,” she backpeddled. “I recall saying if you’re around, give us an interview.”
“You know, it was a very quick thing, but I don’t believe I would do that,” Antonia tap danced. “Besides, during the day I only wear lip gloss.”
Who said anything about the time of day? I wondered.
Antonia’s bottom line on her communication sent in August the anniversary month of the King’s death:
“I am not corresponding with Jesse. I just don’t want people to think, ‘She’s writing letters to Jesse. She’s in on this thing.’ ”
Whoever would think something like that?