|Elvis Express Radio News
|FORMER SECURITY TO THE STARS REMEMBERS ELVIS
October 30, 2017 - Mlive / Elvis Express Radio
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|How many celebrities have you met in your lifetime? A Saginaw security guard has had the chance to meet dozens during his 30 year career as a police officer for the Saginaw
From 1965 to 1994, Tom Reeder, 73, worked for the Saginaw Police Department as an officer and in 1975, Reeder became a detective who frequently got assigned to be a
bodyguard to high profile people and celebrities when they came to visit Saginaw.
Saginaw Police Chief Bob Ruth said back in the day it was a common practice for officers to help cover events at the former Civic Center, now known as the Dow Event Center.
Ruth said the practice stopped about 15 years ago when Saginaw County took over the facility, but every once in a while they'll get a call and help out.
Some of the most popular names range from the 41st President George H. W. Bush, Johnny Cash, BB King, Michael Jackson, Richard Nixon, Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, Loretta
Lynn and Ronald Reagan.
Reeder said he's met dozens of celebrities, but Elvis is his absolute favorite.
"Oh man, yeah, and with Elvis I was there all day," Reeder said. "Two days with him on his airplane and different things like that. That was up close and personal and we got to talk
He said he met Presley and his entourage at the airport. Reeder said the star flew in on a huge plane he describes as a "727 Boeing," which and was named after Lisa Marie,
The airplane was luxurious and Reeder got to spend the whole day in the plane before the concert.
It was decked out with Lazy Boy recliners, instead of the traditional seats. Each seat had its own TV with all kinds of Elvis Presley movies playing on them.
"Here you are talking to him and you're looking at the movie and you're in the movie. It was just a great, great time," Reeder said.
Later that night, Reeder escorted Presley to a concert.
The Saginaw News-MLive archives by former news staff writers, Janet Martineau and Anthony Rocha described the concert in April 1977 as falling scarves, embattled police,
screaming women and popping flashbulbs.
"He did a beautiful concert and we left the stage, they had the limousine inside the Civic Center, which was like about 50 feet away from the stage.
"We go up to the limousine and Elvis went to pull the door and the door was locked and he was mad, he wears a big ring. It was like a horseshoe, all diamonds. It was probably
$50,000 and he hit the window of the limousine and broke it," Reeder said.
He said Rolling Stone magazine reached out to him for an interview about the incident.
Reeder said he had the chance to meet Elvis both times he performed in Saginaw and one of those times he was given an autographed scarf, one like Presley would wear around
But now, he doesn't have that souvenir because he sold it for $2,000.
"A guy at the sheriff's department that I knew, he was really into Elvis and I said I have to ask my wife, because I gave it to her and I sold it to him for $2,000 back then, that was in
'77," Reeder said.
Several articles from archives mention a May 3 concert was being added in addition to the April concert due to the overwhelming demand of tickets.
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