Sunday, January 08, 2012

January 8: The Nine of Diamonds, and The King

1707 Death of John, Earl of Stair.
Dalrymple and the Nine of Diamonds
Sir John Dalrymple, First Earl of Stair, who died on this day in 1707, was a Scottish lord, one in a line of three generations who were seen by Scots to have betrayed their country, he by being one of those chosen to offer the crown of Scotland to William and Mary. Dalrymple signed the orders, it was said, for the Glencoe massacre (February 13, 1692). The Dalrymple family coat of arms features nine 'lozenges', or markings. It is thought to be for this reason that the Nine of Diamonds card is known as 'the curse of Scotland'.  

1935 Elvis Presley (d. August 16, 1977), rock and roll singer and guitarist. When I was aged 11, a schoolfriend of mine, an Elvis fan, and I a Beatler (you had to be one or the other in Sydney in 1964), put an ad in 'Charlie Chuckles', part of the kids' comics section of a Sydney Sunday tabloid, saying that my address, 60 New Farm Road, West Pennant Hills, was the home of the Elvis Presley Fan Club. The kid, Anthony, had a good sense of humour to dream up such an idea at that age. But for a few nights we had bodgies and widgies on motorbikes showing up at our door, till quite late at night. My Baptist parents were not impressed. Dad wouldn't even sell 'Elvis the Pelvis' records when he had a radio and TV shop, and he thought the Beatles were worse. Mum made me write a reply to every one of about 60 "young people" who wrote to 'The Secretary, Elvis Presley Fan Club'.


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