#Elvis August 16

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Forty three years ago today I came to UNC Pembroke to begin a career that started out as a Lecturer/Assistant Basketball Coach and would evolve into all sorts of wonderful responsibilities.


Yet even though it was five decades ago memories from that first day (August 16, 1977) are imprinted in my mind.

On my first day I was shown around campus and introduced to many different offices. I found it strange that just about every female I encountered on my tour that afternoon appeared to have been crying. I had no idea why and I was hoping it wasn’t about me being there.

Later that evening when the Head Basketball Coach Joe Gallagher (1975-1978) took me to his house in the Mayfair Subdivision in Lumberton I realized what had occurred. His wife Sharon greeted us at the door with the news that ELVIS Pressley was dead.


When ELVIS died he was only 42 and lived in the iconic Memphis, Tennessee mansion called Graceland. In April of 1977 ELVIS had toured many North Carolina cities including Greensboro, Charlotte, and Fayetteville. I am pretty sure that many of those ladies I had encountered might have seen him at one of those venues. For sure they had his albums and seen him in the movies. The headlines shocked all of them to tears.

Elvis died

I found a link that describes what ELVIS did the last 24 hours he was alive. It included a trip to the dentist, a game of racquetball, and singing a few gospel songs along with “Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain” on a piano inside his mansion. The last person that saw him alive was his girlfriend Ginger Alden.

If you have a memory of ELVIS please feel free to share it.


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