MEMPHIS IN MOURNING!

NO, THEY DIDN’T RUN OUT OF PORK RIBS AT CORKY’S!

Last Friday, August 16, marked the 36th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.  Hard to believe, but the King of Rock ‘n Roll died in 1977.  Oddly enough, his passing is “celebrated” with an annual week-long festival known as “Elvis Presley Week.”  In mid-August, the city is transformed into one big Elvis event, and each year over 400,000 people show up to join the party!  Believe me, it is quite a sight.  (Try to picture several thousand Elvis impersonators!)

Naturally, copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT will be available at various locations throughout the city.  (One vendor is selling only autographed copies….. my signature, not Elvis.)  I don’t make a great sum of money, but the publicity is wonderful, and I get to meet some interesting characters.

Speaking of books, I am currently reading a book about anti-gravity.  (I just can’t put it down!)  Incidentally, last week I mentioned that Elvis Presley’s Army uniform was about to be auctioned off in Dallas.  Well, how much do you think it fetched?  How does $35,000 sound?  While this was a decent price, it didn’t come close to the King’s peacock jumpsuit that sold for….. $300,000 in 2008!  In any case, I’ve decided to sell my socks on eBay, so don’t be a “heel” and buy a pair.  Each pair has been thoroughly washed, so you won’t get “toe-maine” poisoning.

How about some “food for thought?”   Last week’s book signing was held in Lampasas, which was followed by a Moonlight Swim at Hancock Springs.  (Although there wasn’t much moonlight at 4 p.m., the swim was wonderful, and we stopped at Hopdoddy’s for dinner!)  If you go to Hopdoddy’s, order the “Llano Poblano” hamburger…..  An angus beef patty, topped with pepper jack cheese, roasted poblano peppers, apple-smoked bacon, and chipolte mayo.  Simply amazing…. especially with a 512 IPA Beer!  (or two)

I have recently viewed the new book cover for MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, and can report that it is simply marvelous.  The revised book should be out in early November, but by then, I may be back in the Caribbean!  Looks like we’re going on the road again, (or should I say the water?) and marching toward St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Martin.  (“When the saints, go marching in….. “)  Well, you know how that tune goes.  Yummy, yummy, more rum in my tummy!

Finally, if you want to try the BEST pancakes in the free world, come visit me in Austin, and I will take you to the Rise and Shine Bakery for their homemade buttermilk pancakes.  As Judge Susan and Princess Patty can attest, they are absolutely delicious!  I was there yesterday and I saw plenty of nice stacks.

Well, have a great week and remember not to believe everything you hear.  My wife thinks I’m a skeptic, but I don’t believe a word she says!  (Would you believe my neighbor has a skeptic tank?  What’s that about?)

Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

FLEA MARKET MANIA!

SO…..  a while back, as I was ruminating about my trip to France… and discussing some of the French masters, I signed out by saying “Au Renoir!”   (Instead of “au revoir!)

Well….. apparently my harmless little joke set off a chain of cosmic events that culminated in a brief, but shining example of serendipity!  (What the heck is he babbling about now?)  First, my definition of “serendipity.”  Which to me, is like searching for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer’s daughter!  In other words, incredible good luck.  So, to what cosmic-like happening am I referring?  (Fasten your seat belts, art lovers!)

Two days ago, as I was putting the finishing touches on my second mystery novel titled MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, an actual RENOIR came on the market in a most unusual fashion!  Several years before, a Virginia woman went to a local flea market (ostensibly to buy fleas) but ended up plunking down $7.00 for a little framed painting that she thought was a “poor copy” of Renoir’s painting style.  Well, fast forward several years, and guess what?  The woman now owns a bona fide work by Pierre-Auguste Renoir!!  (I wonder which summer month Renoir liked the most?)  Anyway, the French impressionist was very talented.  (They say he did a great Elvis impersonation!)  He was also a decent painter.

How decent you ask?

The Potomac auction house handling the sale is expecting a MINIMUM bid of…..  $100,000!  (And if you want more than the frame, bring a lot of loot!)  Just between you and me, this little darling is going to fetch much, much more.  How do I know?  Because I know something others don’t.  (This guy Renoir is dead!  No more paintings from him!)  By the way, in case you are interested, the painting goes on the auction block on September 29th.  (No out-of-town checks will be accepted.)

For you cultured types, the painting dates back to 1879 (the year before James Garfield was elected President!) and is titled……   “Paysage Bords de Seine.”   (Which in English, means “Landscape on the Banks of the Seine.”)  Having just come from Paris, I can tell you that there are many banks along the Seine, but the exchange rate stinks!)  I hope the French go back to using francs.  (The Germans could then use sausage!)  Hot dog!  I would “relish” such a monetary shift.

And speaking of francs…..  one of the few things that is known about the Renoir painting is that it was purchased by a French art gallery in June 1925 from a woman who called herself Madame Papillon for 5,000 francs.  (Remember the movie called “Papillon?”  Starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman?)  Just coincidence?  I think not,  monsieur!  Want to hear something even weirder?  “Papillon” is the French word for butterfly!  And Steve McQueen’s last name?  Yeah, now you know where I’m going…..  Butterfly McQueen!  Just another coincidence?  I think not again!  (I’m spending too much time on the computer.)

Well, in all seriousness, I think this is a fascinating story.  I will never, ever make fun of folks who go to the flea market again!  (Unless they come back with a Rembrandt.)

Have a wonderful weekend!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff