elvisfest,

Well, our annual Elvisfest party has now come and gone. The bacon has been eaten, the keg, she has been drained, and the task of cleaning has begun

As for the keg, it hasnt really been drained exactly. Its gone for the most part, but theres still quite a bit in there. Linette and I have been debating whether or not we have to finish it this afternoon in order to get our moneys worth out of it… Ive also thought about putting it on the street corner, next to a little stack of paper cups, with a sign saying free beer, compliments of MarkMaynard.com and the good people at Crimewave USA magazine. I was then going to, according to the specifications of this plan, hide in a bush with my camera and snap candid photos. I was close to actually doing this, but then thought that a kid might come up and take beer, steal a car, run over a baby, etc, and then Id spend the rest of my life behind bars. Of course, in reality, someone bigger than me would probably just come along and take it. Hed toss it into the back of his pickup, tap and all, while I trailed along after him, yelling for him to reconsider. I need the deposit back too much to chance it.

As for the ice thing, I did bring it up to people once the party got underway. I was sitting there in a circle of people telling them about how Id been ripped off and overcharged for ice to the tune of $16. I thought that I pretty much had the sympathy of the people listening until one of them asked how many pounds of ice Id bought. I told them that Id gotten 100 pounds and people just started laughing at me. It got ugly. I shrunk down like the emasculated Fred Flintstone. Apparently, two pounds of ice for each person at a party is a bit on the generous side. Fuck em. Next year they can bring their own ice.

As for Elvisfest itself, its been going on for three years here in Ypsilanti. Its apparently sanctioned by Graceland. It lasts for two full days. People drive in from Ohio, Florida and elsewhere just to see their favorite Elvis impersonators. Linette and I have always had a party that coincides with this local event. Our party traditionally features, among other things, a vicious dog, a yard-long meatloaf, a trashcan-full of cheap beer, and heaps of peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches. People eat and drink all day, sitting around the yard, and then ultimately stumble down to Elvisfest. They usually time it so that theyre showing up as Leo Days, the crowd favorite, takes the stage doing his impersonation of the hot, young Elvis. I generally hang around the house, taking advantage of the opportunity to drink alone. Its not too often that Im in a house alone with a keg of beer and a table full of bacon.

Ill post some photos later. We had a good time though. I even went down and caught Leos act twice. Hes good. I have to admit that. I just dont like how all of our female and gay friends swoon when he thrusts his hips and throws his sweat-stained silk scarves into the audience. If not for this website, I probably never would have admitted it, but its definitely jealousy. It sucks to see my wife giggling like a little schoolgirl over a man half my age. The only good thing is that hes aging too. Hes only 22 or something, but every year his belly gets a little bigger inside his rhinestone-covered jumpsuit. My hope is that Elvisfest continues until hes looking like the fat, old Elvis. Ill take some satisfaction in that.

My favorite part of the day: Having my brother-in-law yell to me over the party, I was just catching up on all of your sites and projects and it occurred to me that, if I didnt know you, Id think you had a pretty interesting life.

The real best thing of the day: Our friends Steve and Anne showed up with their three year old son, Logan, and a baby pool, which we proceeded to fill up with water. The best part of the party was just sitting around, drinking beer, enjoying the beautiful weather and watching Logan, and our friends Dawn and Davids son Nicholas, playing around in the water.

And the article I never told you about: One of the major points of discussion yesterday at the party was the Free Press article on Ypsilanti, the one I told you Linette and I were being interviewed for last week. Well, the guy came over and we talked. He brought wine with him (is that ethical?) and we drank and chatted. (I should point out that he brought wine as a gift for the hostess of a dinner party we took him along to.) We drank and talked, and drank and talked. He didnt drink. He just kept writing. The more we drank, the more we blabbed. I think I told him that Id rather dig my eye out with a fork than live in Ann Arbor. Linette and I both, Im afraid, painted Ann Arbor in a bad light. I said that Ann Arborites liked having Ypsilanti next door, that they liked the drugs and the strip joints, but that they didnt like having them in their back yards… We essentially made the case that Ann Arbors stuck up-ed-ness was going to be its undoing. We argued that as the real estate market kept getting more expensive in Ann Arbor, more people, more young couples, more gay couples, would begin fleeing to Ypsilanti, a town that hadnt yet sold its soul to national chains, a town that still had clubs that werent booked by Clear Channel Communications. Ypsilanti, at one time the more prestigious of the two towns, had the better architecture too. So, it had a plasma center where people could sell their blood for money. It was also the home of Windsor McKay and Piggy Pop. We, in my opinion, had already won the culture war with Ann Arbor. So, that was the gist of the interview. We just kept drinking and repeating those thoughts.

Then, the next morning, Linette and I both woke up sober and realized that a majority of our income is derived from sources in Ann Arbor. We both called and wrote to the guy from the Free Press, who was cool about it. He said that he wouldnt use anything that could be interpreted as bad, or as anti-Ann Arbor. Given the space requirements, he said, hed only be using one quote each from us anyway.

My quote, it turns out, was pretty good. I said simply that Ypsilanti has heart, which it does. Linette, on the other hand, got a little less lucky. She got quoted as saying that even though the people you saw on the street here were crazy, at least they were interesting, or something like that. She also said that she was scared walking down the streets of Ypsi, which she isnt… It must have been taken out of context. Linette is among the least fearful people I know, and she loved Ypsi when I was still afraid to step foot in it. Its funny that she would be cast as the frightened one while I was portrayed as the Ypsi-lover. At any rate, Linette is mortified. She thinks that people will actually believe that she thinks everyone outside is both crazy and frightening, when, in fact, all she was saying is that we have more characters here in Ypsi. The people on the streets here all have stories. They all have something interesting about them. You dont tend to see bland people in Ypsilanti. That, I think, is what she was trying to say. Yes, sometimes these people can be frightening. And, yes, sometimes they can be crazy, but you know theyre genuine. They arent trying to fit any Martha Stewart mold, or anyone elses vision for what it is that they should be.

OK, its time for Linette and me to go out and eat. There will, I hope, be more later.

(Oh, the strangest thing about the FREEP article is that Linette and I, along with our friends Andy and Patty, who operate Flying Bomb Records, are called, “some of Ypsilanti’s coolest assets.” I feel like we should get medals from the Governor or something.)

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4 Comments

  1. Edward
    Posted June 24, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I was sitting at the Sidetrack bar last night when an older woman sitting next to me struck up a conversation about Elvisfest. She’d seen the flyer and wanted to know all about it. After filling her in on all the details, I found out why she was interested. “I have a retarded grandson,” she said, “and this sounds like something he’d like.”

  2. Robert
    Posted June 24, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Was Ypsi’s Elvisfest intentionally scheduled to coincide with the Elvis Festival in Windsor, Ontario?

  3. iRobert
    Posted August 12, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    You can watch the auction at Graceland live here:
    livestream.com/accounts/5071764/auctionelvisweek2018

  4. Posted August 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Elvis fans can watch the auction at Graceland live here:
    https://livestream.com/accounts/5071764/auctionelvisweek2018

    (I thought I could post the link without the “https://” at the beginning)

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