LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - Holiday shopping can be hectic with customers eager to enter and exit efficiently, but it's that leaving part that's lasting a little longer at the Sam's Club off Blankenbaker.
That’s all thanks to a guy named Steve Johnson. During December, he can be called something or someone else- Elvis Presley.
“I just do it for fun. I’m not a professional,” Johnson said. “I’m retired, and I’ve got time to do it. I enjoy it. Most people seem to enjoy it. So, if it helps get more money in the Salvation Army bucket and helps less fortunate, I’m all in.”
The Salvation Army volunteer has been hound dogging it out despite the temperatures or lack thereof the past several years. He worked at the Frito Lay manufacturing plant in Shively for almost three decades. When it closed, he became a bus driver for Jefferson County Public Schools before retiring from that a year and a half ago.
From the fringe to that famous lip curl, he's got the part down pat.
"You've either got moves or you don't. I don't know what I'm doing out there most of the time,” Johnson said.
The selfies and snapshots from his adoring fans suggest otherwise.
“Mostly, they smile. I have people come up and say my mom was a huge Elvis fan and she’s in the nursing home, can we take a picture and video or my mom is in Florida? Can we send her a greeting with you? I’ll do whatever they need if they want a selfie or something. They’re not going to believe I saw Elvis at Sam’s Club,” Johnson said.
Dancing to the beat of his own bell, he credits the original crooner for his moves. He took some dance lessons at Arthur Murray’s in the late '70s. Not surprisingly, he won the student talent show by dressing up and dancing as Elvis.
"I used to go to a lot of his concerts. He was just different than all of the other people, you know,” Johnson said.
He claims a higher power for his motivation.
"Jesus said go out and help the poor and underprivileged. That's what they teach at my church and that's what I like to do,” Johnson said.
Adopting his alter ego from head to toe means more cash and coins in that red bucket and anything but a blue Christmas.
"It seems to help get more money for the Salvation Army,” Johnson said. “I do pretty good.”
Johnson brings in some serious cash for the Salvation Army, too. Last year, he came in third place out of all the volunteer bell ringers, collecting more than $2,000. He said he's planning to perform at some nursing homes after this gig wraps up.
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