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 Post subject: Sheila
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:11 pm 
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Excerpts from a letter from “Shelia” who met Elvis in the 70’s after his marriage ended, to Wanda June Hill:

I knew him in the early 70’s-I met him when he was married and again later after they split and I was working in Las Vegas in one of the shows. Elvis looked me up. He was such a sweetheart of a guy, fun and gentle and yet he knew when to be a man and when to be a little child, and I truly enjoyed that part of his personality. But to get on with my story, when I met him the first time he was happy, feisty and full of life; the second meeting was quite a different story. He was morbid, depressed and blue and he had lost the “life”, the edge that was his alone. He said he didn’t think he could fix his marriage and to give up was killing him. He told me he ought not to have married her but then he wouldn’t have had his Lisa and she was the light of his existence and he couldn’t be with her much and that too, hurt. He also said he had no control over his career moves and he was in debt and was “forced” to pay off with tours. He didn’t like the life he was leading and hated the things that had been happening in his life. He felt used, dirty and wasted and unfit for anyone to waste their time over. He broke down and cried, then got angry and finally said he felt better for having “told someone” and he asked if I’d stay with him as he didn’t want to be “alone tonight”. He said just stay with me, we don’t have to do anything but be close and hold hands. There was the handsomest man I had ever seen and he wanted my company-of course, I said yes! My own marriage had failed some time before; I couldn’t understand how Priscilla could let this one get away though; Elvis was a good man, tender and kind and so loving. It shone from his face, his eyes and echoed in his voice.

Afternoon was his morning, we had breakfast at 4:00pm and he laughed, teased and was more himself. He was different when his men came in to talk, becoming a macho-indifferent sort and almost making me angry, but then I realized it was for their benefit and something they expected-so he gave it to them. I realized also that Elvis played a role-like an actor doing a part. To his people he was one way, to his true friends another way and to each one a bit different even at that. It must have been a strain on him, although he had done this all of his lifetime, I guessed. He never once let up or let down his guard with his men while I was with him. I stayed for 4 weeks, after he closed Vegas and stayed another week at his home, Graceland.

I learned that Elvis needed sleeping pills to sleep and stimulants to wake up and that he had an intestinal problem that sometimes caused him intense pain, for which he was given either injections of painkiller or he took pain medication by mouth. I realized he was addicted to the sleeping pills and asked him why he didn’t try to cut back and see if he could sleep normally because the kind of sleep he was getting was not good for him.

He looked at me a moment, put his head down and said that if I couldn’t handle it, then I ought to just go back home because this was his life, and if I didn’t want to be with him, to take care of him and share his life as it was, then he would understand and I could go. He walked away and went upstairs to his grandmother’s room and closed her door.

I thought about it all for 15 seconds, packed my things and left without seeing him again. I knew he was upset and I couldn’t bear to see his face. I still love him, I was so afraid for him for months afterward. I hoped that Linda could handle it, that she would stay, would be there for him and she was for such a long time. When she did finally go, I knew Elvis would not make it much longer. He was by then, too sick, too worn out. I heard he had cancer; I don’t doubt that he did-he complained of his bones hurting and in his sleep would moan and move his legs as if they hurt him. He refused treatment for his bowels, he was afraid, afraid of being mutilated-I know. Many people have that fear, but he was Elvis Presley, how could he have such a thing done? Especially if his fans, the public should learn of this “weakness”?

Elvis was worldly in some ways, very innocent in other ways and it was so surprising. I would have loved to take him to a mall-he would have loved it. So much he didn’t get to see, to do or be a part of and he would so have enjoyed the simple things of life. I brought him some peanut butter ice cream and he flipped! He sent out and bought 5 gallons for his freezer because he was afraid he couldn’t get it in Memphis! I have so many fond memories, I learned so many things from him and it was fun to take care of him. He was a delight to wake up and was such a grouch until he had his coffee. I loved teasing him, getting him to laugh, to break up and giggle. He was charming and always had something nice to say, so sweet and adorable-never spiteful or mean to me.

It was hell to leave him. I was never allowed to speak to him again, or see him after I left. I put my phone number in several places for him, but he never called me again. I guess he felt that if I left, I didn’t want to hear from him.

Shelia M.



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 Post subject: Confirming or not
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:44 pm 
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Hi, I can not. The lady signed her letter as Shelia M-and I can't use her last name as per her request. Shelia Ryan married James Caann (misspelled no doubt it's tricky) and they separated I believe-I don't know if she married again or what. But she did not give specifics when writing to me. Most of those who did asked that I not use their "Current" last name or they used their maiden names? And that was years ago-when I tried to contact some of them in the mid 1980's as I was thinking of self publishing many of them had moved and there was no forwarding addresses... Anyway, I decided at that time I didn't have the time to do anything-too many horse related activites and work. I was just going to take all the letters and make a book of them-it wouldhave been very good-as most were so revealing and there were many that were totally different perpectives. But without permission, I can't do it and I can't say who they are if I knew. In Shelia's case-I don't. but like you, I kinda think it could be...? maybe. wjh



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:34 am 
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Don't think this would be Sheila Ryan....wasn't she the girlfriend AFTER Linda? Yet in this letter she mentions Linda being his girlfriend after her...? Just a thought.

Vera


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 Post subject: Ryan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:34 am 
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She was before Linda-she came along right after Pris and he were having problems publicly-he introduced her as Pris and Lisa I think was with her, were sitting in the booth while Sheila was either sitting with her or in the booth next to hers. They, he and she, were one upping each other it seemed at that time in their "together" lives. wjh


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 6:05 pm 
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Hi Wanda

In her interview Sheila says she came along after Linda - so I am a tad confused now. I have posted a copy of the interview.

Vera


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 9:09 pm 
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Is it possible that Shiela came BACK after Linda? Because I definately saw photos of a "Shiela" repreatledly with him right after Linda left.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:37 pm 
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I have looked in the Elvis related books that I have as well as did a bit of research on the internet. All the info I have found states that Linda Thompson was his girlfriend from July 1972 to early 1976. He met Sheila Ryan sometime in 1974.....the "naughty" boy :shock:

Vera


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 Post subject: Girlfriends
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:08 pm 
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I don't know much about most of his girlfriends-we didn't discuss any of them to any degree and he didn't mention names-he wasn't a "kiss and tell" kind of guy, unless something really funny happened-but that was not often either. I know he was seeing Linda at the same time as Shelia-might have been Ryan, I don't know for sure-but she was blond and cute. He still saw Linda as well, but he met the blond earlier, she was in and out and "just a good friend" whom he saw often and who stayed with hm off and on when Linda wasn't with him. Elvis just wasn't about to get "that involved" with anyone and the only way to keep from doing that was to "play the field" and as he put it "get it out of my system"...he meant thinking of or talk of getting married again-he just wasn't ready and I don't think he got over the first one enough. So, mean as it might be, I'm sure Linda knew the score and so did the other girl and any of the others who might have come along, that he wasn't the "marrying kind" and they weren't going to get into that "serious mode" for long-he'd jump the fence and go looking for another one. He was playing the field, and he wasn't interested in long term relationships if they started getting too serious. I guess it was the only way he could keep his own sanity about things-he still carried a torch for his "Cilla" and even though he knew it was over, done, finale, he still couldn't shake that vow thing he had so branded into his brain and heart. All I can say, is those young women must have had strong constitutions to stick it out-or else he was really, realllly worth the emotional strain and ups and downs. I asked him about Linda, wasn't she jealous because he was having dinner in his rooms with another girl and Linda was "at home" or somewhere else. He said, "Why would she be? She don't own me, an' I don't own her." And that was that...he changed the subject. And the funny part is, he did like Linda alot and thought he was very lucky to have her staying with him, taking care of him etc;. wjh



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:07 pm 
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I asked him about Linda, wasn't she jealous because he was having dinner in his rooms with another girl and Linda was "at home" or somewhere else. He said, "Why would she be? She don't own me, an' I don't own her." And that was that...he changed the subject.


I do kind of wonder, though, if the shoe were on the other foot and Linda saw other men at times, if Elvis would have been so easy going about it. I read in a book that towards the end of their relationship, or maybe just after they broke up, that Elvis found out that Linda had being seeing David Briggs, Elvis' piano player at the time. After Elvis found out, David knew it was time to split and find a different job.



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 Post subject: other men
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:44 pm 
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He was possessive....though he'd wish them well, etc; it still got to him and he wasn't all that grown-up about it. Very juvenile in fact-I said that once and he just about bit my head off-then softened it down and said, Naw...not like that at all... But he was-and he knew it.
I think maybe it could have been the loss of his wife that caused those things to rear their ugly head when one of "his" women could find another guy-or maybe just a tad of ego-they could be happy with another guy after him???? I hope that wasn't in the picture...I don't think that was it-it was more the big loss in his life. He just couldn't help himself at times...he was childish in many ways...that being one of them I think. Jealously...wjh


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