Charlotte, 2009- The Show
As Sammy Hagar said on the night before the guitar show, "Charlotte, Charlotte- I got lots of friends in Charlotte!" This year's show at the Metrolina Expo Center had a somewhat laid- back vibe with the usual characters, both old and some new. It was, however accompanied by an exotic bird show and a Mexican baby clothes flea market which added quite an interesting "spice" to the weekend. Please feel free to use your imaginations at this point. We bought yet again, a van load of guitars, met a Rock Legend, almost got poisoned by what has to be the worst barbecue in North Carolina and discovered the new official 'Elk spokesperson. A good weekend I'd say and now, let's go off to the races!
Photo 1. This, ladies and gentlemen is Ms. Melia Sigmon, the new "face" and official spokesperson for GrinningElk. She was a top- ten finalist in the 2009 Miss Teen North Carolina Pageant and we feel, a sure- fire candidate to win the Miss America Pageant in the future. She's also the new Director of our Complaints Department, so if you buy a 2 dollar kazoo from us and it's cracked in half when you get it, you gotta talk to her. The "E" string not quite in tune on that new Wonkycaster you just purchased? Leave a message on her answering machine and she'll get right back to ya. You'll have to get those in quickly because one day, Melia might just end up on TV or in the movies and the only thing we'll all be able to say is, "She was an 'Elk before she was a star"....
Photo 2. This our our good friend John Hecht, bangin' out the blues over in the 'Elk booth. He's a teacher and first cousin to Ace Frehley, which automatically puts him in the 'Elk Hall 'o Fame seeing as how KISS is our favorite band of all time, forever and ever. John's got a sizable collection of KISS memorabilia and some impressive photo albums of he and Ace growing up together. He always stops by our booth at the two Carolina shows and we're always glad to see him. What John doesn't know is, when Ace goes out on tour, Lee and I are going to kidnap him at gunpoint and make him get us all- access backstage passes to the show. After that, he's quite free to go- we just hope it isn't cold, as it's a long walk back to North Carolina from Atlanta....
Photo 3. Here's our New Jersey big brother, Frankie B. holding one of the guitars that belonged to Les Paul before his recent passing. Frankie B. has been honored with displaying some of the guitars Les and his guests would play during his sets at the Iridium in New York. It takes a special Les Paul guy to oversee the displaying of these historical guitars and we think the Les Paul Foundation couldn't have chosen a better man! We love ya, Frankie B.
Photo 4. You'd better recognize- this is Mr. Paul Jamieson on the left in an acoustic jam with a few of the dealers across from our booth. He walked into the show, picked up this vintage Martin and before we knew it, his booming, baritone voice was cutting through the din of the show. Paul is a great songwriter/singer and we just got our first CD from him this weekend. Lee's still got it, but I'll be giving it a few good spins when he's through- thanks for the music and fellowship, Paul and welcome to the 'Elkside!