Priscilla Presley acknowledges Elvis Super-Fan
See up close and detailed view of Lida Keijzer’s Graceland dollhouse
Lida Keijzer’s dedication to Elvis Presley has earned her special status and recognition among the music and entertainment world of fans. She created one of the most unique personal tributes—a very detailed miniature Graceland. Lida began constructing her miniature Graceland since May 2015. A phone call two years later, that she almost didn’t answer, changed everything.
It was 8 p.m. July 13, 2017, in Zaandam, Netherlands. She was spending a couple of weeks, about two hours southwest of her home town of Veendam, visiting her sister, Caroline Gebben.
“I was looking at pictures on my phone with my sister” when her cell began to ring. She didn’t recognize the number and missed the call.
“Someone is calling me,” she looked at Caroline. “I can’t see who is calling me. I will answer if they call again.”
About five minutes later, she received the second call.
“Hello Lida? It’s Vikki. Priscilla would love to talk to you.”
“Oh my God, really?” was the only thing Lida could say. One of the most famous women in the world came to the phone and spoke:
“Hello Lida. It’s Priscilla. I want you to know that I received your book and I love the pictures. I love your dollhouse. It’s amazing. Such details–even the jewelry.”
Lida was stunned and tried to hold back her tears. It didn’t work. The tears flowed. She was actually speaking with Priscilla Presley, the former wife of Elvis Presley. In May, Lida intended to present an album of photos of her Graceland Dollhouse to Priscilla while touring with the “Elvis in Concert with Symphony Orchestra European Tour 2017.” Priscilla was unavailable but her assistant, Vikki received the album to give to her later.
Take an incredible video tour of Lida’s Graceland dollhouse filmed by Billy Spallings “Spy Guy:”
“Your dollhouse is so beautiful and it needs to be standing in Graceland,” Priscilla told her. “When we go on tour again next year and come to Holland, I want to meet you in person. I want to come to your house and see your dollhouse for real.”
“Yes. Yes,” Lida kept repeating.
Later, Lida said, “at first, I was nervous. But then it was like talking to my sister. And you know, my English is not so good. But when I was talking to Priscilla, my English was so good. It was just like someone was helping me find the words.”
“People ask me if I will make the upstairs to Graceland,” Lida told Priscilla. “I tell them no I won’t. I have a lot of respect for Elvis’s privacy.”
“Oh, Lida. Thank you for saying that,” Priscilla responded. “There are so many pictures on the Internet that we don’t like.”
Lida told Priscilla she had went to see the Elvis show in Holland.
“Did you like the show?”
“Yes, I loved it.”
“I am feeling sorry that I was unable to meet you then.”
Since the concert, Lida had not heard anything from Vikki, so she emailed her a couple of days prior to the phone call.
“I asked her if Priscilla had seen her (photo) book,” Lida explained. “I didn’t get a response. And now they called me. Unbelievable!”
What was Lida’s reaction after the phone call?
“I screamed,” Lida laughed. “And when I was talking to Priscilla, I cried. All the time I said ‘yes…yes…yes.’ Oh my God. I was talking to Priscilla!”
“My sister didn’t know who I was talking to,” Lida continued. “I looked at her and screamed, ‘Oh-My-God! Do you know who that was on the phone?’ She was so happy for me.”
In January 2018, Lida with the help of Elvis fans worldwide had her ultimate dream come true by actually traveling to the United States. She visited Graceland, various Memphis, Tennessee attractions and even went on an excursion to the birthplace of Elvis in Tupelo.
Graceland has been described as a Classical-Colonial Revival architectural style. Keijzer house includes such features as the traditional entrance portico with four Corinthian columns on the exterior and faithfully fabricated interiors. One room in the house includes mini Elvis jumpsuits and guitars enclosed in show cases and gold album plaques hanging on the walls. A small piano plays Elvis’ famous romantic song, “Love Me Tender.”
“Elvis touched each of us in a special way,” Keijzer told a group of Presley fans whose names she inscribed on her model. “We all love and miss him dearly. I am honored that each of you allowed me to write your names on my Graceland wall. Your names are forever written in the stone on my Graceland wall and in my heart. Thank you again my friends from around the world.”
“My Graceland dollhouse is completely hand made by me,” said Keijzer. “I taught myself to make things by hand. When I was younger I would see something that I liked. I would come home and try to duplicate it by myself. The items in the house are made out of wood, glass, and plastic. It measures 40” high, 48” wide, 24” deep. It takes hours to make some of the more delicate items. It doesn’t always come out the way that I want it to on the first time, so I re-do it.”
Presley was a very charitable man. While many of his larger charitable endeavors are widely known, little is known about the extent to which Elvis gave quietly, without public recognition. Throughout his life, Elvis quietly paid hospital bills, bought homes and cars, and paid off debts for family, friends, and total strangers. Elvis never forgot what it was like to do without and enjoyed making people’s lives a little bit easier.