ELVIS & COWBOY CHARLIE
What if. . .Elvis had met someone like Cowboy Charlie, his beautiful sister, Stella and wise Hopi grandmother, Lucy Yoyetewa in the last years of his fabulous career?
In the summer of 1972, Cowboy Charlie is trying to live up to his father's reputation as a world-class bull rider when he climbs on the notorious Buzzard at Winslow, Arizona's All-Indian Rodeo. The huge black bull is determined not only to buck Cowboy Charlie off, but to destroy him.
Elvis Presley sees the rodeo just off old Route 66 and asks his chauffeur to pull in so they can watch. Moments later, Elvis comes to Cowboy Charlie’s rescue, bravely distracting the bull and rushing Cowboy Charlie to the emergency room in Flagstaff. And so begins the unlikely friendship of two men from completely different worlds. Elvis will teach Cowboy Charlie how to be a Las Vegas showroom performer—and the hard-working, down-to-earth ranching family will show Elvis a wholesome and deeply satisfying way to live. They will also begin to unravel the dark mystery of what happened to Charlie and Stella's white mother, caught in a love triangle and forever lost on the high, wind-swept Hopi Mesas.
When Elvis Aaron Presley died on August 16, 1977 at the age of only forty-two, like millions of his fans I asked—how could such a tragedy have happened to the greatest rock & roll singer of all time? Why, I wondered, hadn’t someone or something changed Elvis' fatal trajectory? And then, because I couldn’t accept his untimely death, as a novelist and huge Elvis fan I began to wonder—what if?
What if a young half-breed and his beautiful, free-spirited sister met Elvis by chance at an All-Indian Rodeo in Winslow, Arizona and completely changed his life? What if Cowboy Charlie Coyote, his sister Stella and his Hopi grandmother Lucy Yoyetewa understood the only way Elvis could possibly enjoy a long, healthful life was to turn his back on fame and fortune?
This is my Elvis tribute and story. I wrote it for all The King's devoted fans whom I’m certain have also wondered—what if?