Debi Blankenship

Ask anyone who knows NE speech instructor Debi Blankenship, and that person will tell you about her infatuation with the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley.

It wasn’t until after Elvis died in August 1977 that Blankenship even sat up and took notice of him.

“After he died, all these people were going crazy,” she said. “I thought, ‘What’s the big deal about Elvis?’ But then I started listening to his music and fell in love with him. Isn’t that crazy?”

Blankenship can be found in Branson, Mo., on occasion, visiting her friend, an Elvis impersonator. She has also been spotted at Graceland during the anniversary of his death.

“Oh my Lord, in Memphis in August, it’s so hot you can’t even breathe,” she said. “And there’s nine zillion people down there having a fit. It’s crazy! I think the numbers grow every year of how many people go there.”

On the appropriate dates to celebrate his birthday and honor his death, Blankenship wears a souvenir ring with Elvis’ picture on it.

According to Blankenship, everyone at TCC knows about her love of The King.

“When they go anywhere and see anything Elvis, they go, ‘Oh, Debi has to have this,’” she said with a laugh. “My office is really becoming an Elvis shrine now. I can’t find any textbooks or any students’ work, but I can find Elvis stuff.”

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