FLASHBACK: Elvis Presley, the legend lives on… Here’s a memory of that time!

STILL THE KING: “THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING.” OVER THE RADIO 44 YEARS AGO WE HEARD THAT ELVIS PRESLEY HAD PASSED AWAY AT GRACELAND, HIS FAMOUS MEMPHIS HOME. EVEN A TWO-YEAR STINT IN THE ARMY COULD NOT DENT HIS PHENOMENAL POPULARITY. HE LEFT US WITH WHOLE A LOT OF MEMORIES. SADLY, HIS HEALTH FAILED IN THE MID-7Os.7

He was bloated and a pallid parody of his own legend. But, remarkably, his voice never failed. To Elvis from a genuine fan: “I was wondering when you are going to come out of hiding? That was written on the tenth anniversary of his death. Also: Elvis Presley’s plane, which was sitting on the airfield for 35 years, was sold. Next: The Memory Lives On.


BOOKS, BOOKS: FINAL! -- STAN SMITH, AN AUSSIE JOURNALIST, RARE BOOK COLLECTION

These are pricey collectibles.

FRANK MORRIS

The (Stan) Smith Collection, of 308 lots, was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London in 1998, and was expected to fetch around $3 million. Writes Peter Fish, in the Sydney Morning Herald, “Smith has been posthumously awarded what is perhaps the ultimate accolade for the dedicated collector: to be auctioned at Sotheby’s as a single-owner collection.”

Among Smith’s prized collection* was John Gould’s Birds of Australia, which contained 681 poster sized, hand coloured lithographed plates. The 36 parts, seven volumes in all, each measuring 55cm by 37cm, were bound in green morocco leather.

The last part appeared in 1848, but a supplementary volume was published in 1869. This sought-after Gould is valued at $300,000 or more. Individual prints from disbound versions, claims Fish, “such as the colourful cockatoos have sold for nearly $10,000 apiece.”

Some of the other Gould material in the Smith Collection is included in a first edition (1837-1838) of Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, seven volumes of Birds of Asia (1850-1883), Birds of Europe (1832-1837) and a Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains (1831-1832).

LEAR’S – A BRILLIANT SERIES

John Gould’s Birds of Australia has been acclaimed as “the most celebrated of Australian bird books.” Writes rare book curator and historian Michael Richards: “The book was the works of a self-made zoological entrepreneur, who invested fifteen thousand pounds in the project … (but) it is as much the achievement of Gould’s wife, Elizabeth Coxen, as his own.”

An accomplished artist in her own right, Elizabeth transferred many of the painstakingly researched drawings to stone lithology until her death, aged 37, soon after the birth of her sixth child, 1841.

According to Fish, the two other stand-out rarities in Smith’s trove were Edward Lear’s Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae (parrots) published between 1830-1832 “and based on a brilliant series of drawings by the then eighteen-year-old Lear”, and St George Mivart’s Monograph of the Lorries (lorikeets), published in 1896.

Fish writes that the flower books were “almost as well represented as bird books” in the Smith Collection.

Congratulations Stan, wherever you are; it was great to catch up with you again at long last!

<< From Australian Book Collector (103), February 1999.

* This Collection was auctioned 1998 and these prices have risen substantially.

Pictures: The Master. John Gould’s Birds of Australia is regarded as the most celebrated in the world. Gould died in 1870. Early to modern Australasia. Two Tasmanian Tigers looking for prey. The last of the Tasmanian Tigers died in Tasmania in 1936.


TOGETHERNESS: TWO SHIPS OF THE AUSTRALIAN STATION AT ANCHOR IN FARM COVE, SYDNEY. THE FOUR-FUNNELLED WARSHIP IS THE CRUISER HMS POWERFUL, ONE OF THE LARGER VESSELS THEN AFLOAT. SHE WAS FLAGSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIAN STATION FROM 1905 TILL 1912. THE SMALLER VESSEL CAME TO SYDNEY IN 1890. SHE WAS PAID OFF IN 1907.

PART 1 -- AUSSIE NAVY, THEN ROYAL AUSTRALIAN, ON THE GO! IN THE DARK DAYS …

FRANK MORRIS

The Australian Navy started in 1887. The House of Commons passed the Australasian Defence Act which gave legal effect to an agreement that an “auxiliary squadron” of five destroyers and two torpedo gunboats was to supplement the existing British squadron in Australian waters.

Because of the financial straits Australia was in at the time, towards the end of the last century, and the lack of a central Government, the 1887 scheme was slow to take shape.

Long before the RAN got its ticket to serve, Australian sailors were involved in wars. During the 1860s, they sailed to the second Maori war in New Zealand; and then, and the turn of the century, the Boxer Rebellion -- a violent anti-foreign, anti-Christian uprising – in China.

MANY HEADY BATTLES

The rise of Germany as a naval power early in the 1880s gave urgency to the development of an Australian station. The Naval Defence Act of 1910 was passed; and in October 1911, the King authorised the adoption of the title – Royal Australian Navy.

After the RAN’s birth, Australia fought many heady sea battles and lost ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific; in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean through two world wars. Next was the Korean War, the Malaysian emergency and the Vietnam War, where Australia manned its battle stations.

The Royal Australian Navy, in its 106 years, has not only established a brilliant record of service and participated in many major events, said Historical Firsts, but has acquired a vital role in the sea defences of the free world.

Picture: The first. The Spitfire was launched in 1855. As the first war vessel built in NSW, the Spitfire was 60 tons and mounted a long 32-pounder gun.


Wild about Harry! It is twenty years since the author J.K. Rowling unleashed the boy wizard, Harry Potter, on to an unsuspecting public.


WE CAN’T HELP LAUGHING: WE’RE CONSTANLY BEING TOLD TO KEEP HAPPY AND FIGHTING FIT. WE WERE EVEN TOLD TO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN. WE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND LAUGHED UPROARIOUSLY.

CLASSIC REPEAT! FINAL. LAUGHING MATTERS! A LIGHT-HEARTED APPROACH TO LIVING LONGER

Do you cringe every time you hear a bad joke?  You’ve been told that you suffering from a severe cardiovascular condition -- would you cringe at this time. Remember, CD is one of the country’s top killers!

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A good belly laugh, especially when you share it with other people, appears to be the only type of laughter which creates a pain-relieving endorphin rush. It turns out that our ability to laugh at life’s little things matters.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Nine in 10 Aussies have at least one risk factor for developing this chronic malady, and one person dies from it every 12 minutes. The word “heart disease” is responsible for 34 per cent of all deaths in Australia – almost 22,000 are men – a year.

A new essential element is emerging: whether or not you’re having a good time.

MEANS LONGER LIFE

Researchers are discovering that enjoying life, being satisfied with it and generally feeling positive and content can help keep your heart happy. Those who exhibit these traits and behaviours may be less likely to experience heart disease or heart attacks or strokes.

What’s more, having a good time in life seems to work in a dose-dependent manner: the more we enjoy ourselves, the more our hearts will thank us. 

Some of the research is quite interesting.

What’s love got to do with it, you might ask. Researchers wanted to know whether loving life meant a longer life. To do so, they conducted a 12-year study with almost 90,000 people. The researchers found that the men in their study, who didn’t enjoy life, were 1.5 times more likely to experience a stroke or heart disease than those who had a high-level of enjoyment.

The ‘unhappy’ men would probably die of a coronary-related heart problem.

Feeling satisfied with life has many aspects. According to researchers, 8000 men and women had to find out which facets were the most important when it came to protecting their heart.

Researchers found out that those who were satisfied with their job, family, self and sex lives were 26 per cent less likely to develop heart disease.

Recently, researchers have looked at the link between seeing every cloud has a silver lining and cardiovascular problems. One such study followed a group of healthy elderly men for 15 years and found that the most optimistic of the bunch were 50 per cent less likely to die from heart complaints.

Picture: Laugh, laugh, laugh: A light-hearted approach to living longer. Your heart will thank you!


THE THREE BEARS: CAPTAIN BEAR (SUDIMA HOTELS/RESORTS), GEORGE, FROM THE GEORGE (HELLO, THANK YOU  FOR CARING FOR ME) AND RED NOSE BEAR (I’D RATHER HAVE A KIP THAN WEAR THIS RED NOSE).

THERE’S A BEAR IN THERE – BEARS ARE NOT JUST FOR KIDS …

FRANK MORRIS

Teddy Bears come in all shapes and sizes!

Children love them, and so do adults. There’re big bears and little bears, tall bears and short bears, soft and cuddly bears, firm-jointed bears and “dignified” growler bears.

Although there are about 270 varieties of teddies, says one toy show owner, “pink teddies are the most popular. Usually, these are bought for little girls.”

How do you find that special bear?

“Teddy bear collectors love to find Australian-made bears from old family collections,” said a spokesman for the Dolls Collectors Club. “At the same time, a wonderful selection of choices of early German, English, French and American teddies are on offer.”

LITERARY BEARS POPULAR

Currently popular, are bears from the German firm Shuco renowned for their “small mechanical teddies and toys.” The spokesman said the key-wind bears can walk and roller skate; and there are other bears with two faces, others nod ‘yes/no’.

“While others hide ladies’ compacts or perfume bottles.”

Among the great bears are the German-made Steiffs which are in high demand. They are made in all sizes. Literary bears such as Winnie-the-Pooh and Rupert, according to the spokesman, “are popular.”

A large array of bears are very hard to pass by.

Picture: Teddy Bears. The came in all colours of the rainbow.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 03 July 17

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