We all need money to live but let’s just leave it at that

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I remember a pleasant Wednesday morning on the 17th day of August,1977, walking into a building site on St. Mary’s Road, during a summer holiday working stint with the firm of James Stewart, Lower Salthill.     Needless to say, money was fairly scarce, and like the squirrel storing up the nuts for the winter season, an effort had to be made to put aside some lucre for the darker winter months when the lecture halls of UCG or the Men’s Club snooker hall offered a zero chance of income generation.

Often, by Christmas, the cache of nuts would have disappeared from the storage area under a bedroom press and the inevitable financial poverty of spring arrived until the first pay packet of the following summer.

There were many times over the daily 10-o-clock summer on-site breaks when we’d chat about what it would mean to be rich and famous and what we’d do, if ever, an unexpected gift or legacy arrived at our doorstep.

The foreman was a Joe Hurley from Killimordaly, alas long since gone to his eternal reward, who loved hurling with a passion and particularly the Ryan twins from his home club.

That Wednesday morning though, our foreman was in philosophical mood as he asked us had we heard the news from the day before. We had of course – on August 16, 1977, one Elvis Presley had died at the age of 42, with the cause of death officially given at the time as a heart attack.

While there was a history of heart trouble in the Presley family it has long been accepted that a major contributor to the heart attack suffered by the ‘King of Rock’ was the concoction of drugs found within his bloodstream.

A total of 14 drugs were in his system including near toxic levels of codeine, morphine and Placidyl (a strong sleeping tablet) and that, apparently as well as his weight problems, simply put too much pressure on the ‘ticker’, and off he went on his final journey 30 to 40 years before his time.

Pictured: The Mirror’s issue of August 17, 1977, reporting the death of Elvis Presley.

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