Coast resident recalls her courtship with the King
By Donna Harris (Sun Herald)
Herbert Fishman liked to brag he stole the King of Rock ’n’ Roll’s girl. Pinkie Elizabeth Smith, a resident at Singing River Rehabilitation and Nursing Center,
Moss Point, Mississippi had dated Elvis Presley for a few months in 1957 while in Memphis. They broke up and she later met and married Fishman, an
insurance salesman from Brooklyn, New York.

The Fishmans enjoyed 50 years together and up until Herbert’s dying day a month after their golden wedding anniversary. He bragged to everyone about how
Pinkie picked him over Presley.

Pinkie Fishman, 76, is in the Precious Moments wing of the nursing home, which is dedicated to patients suffering memory loss. She was diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s disease after Hurricane Katrina. The memories of her four months as Elvis’ girl aren’t as vivid as they once were, and her son, Jared, fills in the
gaps from the stories he has heard his entire life.
She used to have mementos of their courtship -- ticket stubs from concerts and movies, a note he wrote her on a napkin,
and pictures of the two of them out on the town. But those were lost after the shuffle Katrina caused.

Her son has three black-and-white photos of Elvis. In two of them, his mother and the rock star are locked in a tight

He said his mother, a 21-year-old blonde from Taylorsville, was introduced to a 21-year-old Elvis by mutual friends. She
doesn’t remember how they met, just that he loved to go out late at night and drove fast everywhere they went.

In a photo box outside her door at the nursing home, she keeps the photograph of herself and Elvis hugging. She’s
famous there for her celebrity hook-up.

“She must have been on cloud nine,” Jared Fishman said, looking at the picture.

He grew up with the story, told as much by his father as his mother. When visitors saw the picture, which was framed and
displayed in the Fishman home in Pascagoula, they’d ask about it. And his parents would tell the story yet again.

Pinkie Fishman remembers Elvis as being a nice boy from Mississippi even though he was a famous singer and movie star.
“He was very polite and that is what was important to me,” she said Thursday, sitting in her room at the nursing home.

Jared Fishman remembers hearing about the dates. He said
"they spent a lot of time at Graceland, which Elvis bought that year, and on more than one
occasion they ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches together."

"He’d rent whole restaurants and skating rinks for their dates"
, Jared Fishman said. “They never went out until midnight because they’d be mobbed,” he said.

The two ended their relationship before Elvis was drafted into the Army at the end of 1957. Jared Fishman said Elvis’ bodyguards at Graceland made
suggestive remarks to the pair when they came in one night, and when the King tried to show Pinkie to his bedroom, she refused.
“I wasn’t that kind of girl and I made sure he understood that,” she said.

She believes her refusal ended their relationship.
“I think it was that I didn’t want to do all the
things he wanted to do,”
she said.

Jared Fishman said his mother wasn’t like the starlets who hung all over Elvis. He thinks the
King had too many other opportunities.
“He was way too busy for that small-town girl,” he said.

He is moving his mother into a personal-care home in Ocean Springs on Sunday. He’s sure
she’ll share what she remembers of her Elvis encounters there too, and the residents and staff
will be just as intrigued as they are at the Moss Point nursing center.

“I’ve been listening to it for 40 years,” he said. “It’s strange to me that people have this much
interest in it.”

What an absolutely wonderful little peek into an unknown portion of his life during just a few
months into his life in 1957. We wish Pinkie all the best and hope she has a great time in her
new home.
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