In 1974, the August Bank Holiday Weekend in Ireland fell a week into the month and ran from Friday 9th -Monday 12th.
That weekend was one of the most important in my life as I was in hospital in the Orthopedic Hospital in Navan, Co. Meath having an operation on my right wrist which was completely banjaxed. I was waiting for my Leaving Certificate results but all that was on my mind was getting to America on a tennis scholarship to follow my dreams.
I had the operation on the Friday and was waiting from noon onwards on the Saturday for the surgeon to come to the ward to deliver the news of what he had found and whether the path I had carved out for myself could become a reality.
I was almost seventeen and had developed a bit of an eye for fashion. In spite of the pain and being still pretty zonked, I put on what I thought was a stunning white nightdress that had a lovely strawberry pattern. I thought that a dash of some of the fancy talcum powder that my Aunt had given me wouldn’t go astray either ~ anything to lure good news out of the surgeon who had worked so tirelessly to try and get me back on court.
Just as the One O’Clock News came on, he arrived into the ward, still dressed in surgical greens. He came over to my bed and stopped dead. News of the resignation of Richard Nixon over the Watergate Affair was in full flow on the radio and the surgeon, who had been out of circulation from early on the 9th in the operating theatre, was learning about it for the first time.
Yes, a major moment in world history; yes, American accents that had my heart beating all the faster but what about my personal connections with America? Would I be going or not?
Unlike Richard Nixon, the news for me that day was not so black and white ~ dreams kept alive for another while but still the gnawing doubt and a life long lesson about strawberry-patterned nightdresses!
Can you remember where you were when Richard Nixon resigned?