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July 15, 2024

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Elvis is dead?!?!
By: J. H. Soffitt

"Oh, Lord, yes, I've heard! Fred got me up first thing this morning when he heard it on the radio. "Did he tell you any details? I mean, did Elvis...commit suicide?"
"No, I don't think so. Nothing to suggest suicide was said.
Now don't get too upset, Sherrie, they all die young. All the rock n rollers, you know. "Sherrie remembered, all right. She had grown up with rock music surrounding her, and had even seen Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show the first time, although her actual teen years corresponded more closely to the Beatles. Throughout the acid rock years and the other infinite variations of rock music she had her secret weakness: she preferred Elvis. Her friends laughed at her because despite her college degree and her position in this large Southern city as an executive secretary, in her personal taste she liked all that way on back rock n roll music best.
"Susan, did Fred go to work? Was he able to cope?"
"Yes, dear, he made it off to work and I'm sure he'll get through the day. Don't you worry too much. Aren't you going to be late yourself?"
"I'm in the lobby. I almost had a wreck driving in this morning, though. Listen, I'll call Fred later this morning. Love ya. 'Bye."
"Love you too, Sherrie." Errie went on to work at the Jerrod Corporation. She had parked in the fenced parking lot, showed her badge number to the receptionist at the front desk, and signed in. Now after making her telephone call she rode the elevator to the tenth floor and then transferred to the private elevator up to the twenty-first floor. She unlocked the vice presidential suite's double doors and went inside to begin her workday. Things went smoothly all morning long. Mister Jerrod Junior was nominally sympathetic to her down mood because of Elvis' death, although she knew he personally could not care less, and no one else seemed interested in the topic. Sherrie did her typing and made phone calls until she could take a break. Then she eased into an empty boardroom and called Fred, her boyfriend, Susan's brother, "Oh, Hon, I'm glad you called," he said in a rush. "I didn't suspect this, did you? I got tears in my eyes on the way to work, I actually did. Y'know, I heard that some businesses have closed for the day out of respect. "I know Jack Grandon did." Sherrie said, "Are you going to be okay today? We could meet for lunch.
"No, Hon, you know I love you, but I think I better use my lunch hour for work. I'll see you tonight, remember, before my client meeting at eight.
"Yes. We can discuss it."
Something in her tone of voice must have made an impression on him. "Honey, are you taking this kind of hard, or something? "Oh, I'm okay. See you later. She hung up and returned to the vice president's office and continued working on various projects. She gazed out the long windows into the clouds down on the spread-out city and recognized that she had reached her goal of living an elegant lifestyle and wn, she didn't do anything violent, as she felt, like hurling a water glass at a window. She just took off her engagement ring, put it in an envelope and sealed it, addressed it to Fred and put it in the Out mailbox, and then got up and left the building to take an early lunch hour that ended with a four hundred mile drive home. She never went back to the city again. She built herself a better life.


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