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Elvis fans dedicate road fit for the King

The "Dream Team" had its day in the sun Saturday, as a stretch of County Road 40 connecting Inglis and Yankeetown in Levy County was officially renamed the Follow That Dream Parkway.

The name change honors Elvis Presley, whose movie Follow That Dream was filmed in Yankeetown and Inglis. A dramatic courthouse scene was filmed in the Old Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness in the summer of 1961.

Follow That Dream tells the story of a vagabond family led by Elvis, in the lead role of Toby Kwimper. The simple family meets opposition from local dignitaries as they try to set down roots. It was the ninth of 33 movies Elvis made and was released by United Artists in April 1962.

On Saturday, local dignitaries and Elvis fans gathered to love him tender and love him sweet once again. They were proud that a tiny community such as Inglis played a part in the life of one of the world's greatest entertainers. About 150 Elvis fans traveled from Georgia and West Palm Beach to honor Elvis, who died in August 1977.

Inglis Mayor Carolyn Risher led the ribbon-cutting ceremony and summed up her feelings by calling Follow That Dream a "great movie," one that changed her life.

The ceremony in front of Inglis Town Hall quickly became an official "Elvismania" site, complete with two Elvis impersonators and loads of Elvis souvenirs. A huge Follow That Dream banner hung between two pine trees over the road.

Elvis Davis of Cleveland, Tenn., looked like a young Elvis, with his electric blue shirt and gold glasses, belt and rings. He posed for pictures with anyone who asked. Another Elvis impersonator, Joel Harris, came from West Palm Beach. His daughter, Lisa Marie, accompanied him.

The spectators bought raffle tickets for Elvis memorabilia, which included framed photos of Elvis during the movie shoot and a framed guitar pick once used by Elvis. The Follow That Dream soundtrack played endlessly from loudspeakers.

Also participating as special guests were four Inglis residents and former residents who were stand-ins in the movie. Wendell Daniel, Lloyd Bertine and twin sisters Pat and Pam Ogles participated in the ribbon cutting.

Pam Ogles showed off some of her Elvis news clippings. In one fan magazine, the 3-year-old is featured in the centerfold. She is sitting on Elvis' lap, facing him and playfully squeezing his cheeks with both hands. They are nose to nose. It's titled "A Pin-Up To Die For."

"There I was with the world's most famous entertainer, and I can't remember any of it," she said.