Hair’s A King’s Ransom

There was an auction this past weekend in Chicago, at the Leslie Hindman Auction House where many Elvis Presley items were up for bidding. There were more than 200 items on the auction block from the collection of the late Gary Pepper, president of the Tankers Fan Club, which was created for Elvis Presley fans. The items included the requisite bounty of signed photos, record albums, and assorted other memorabilia. It also included a shirt, worn by Elvis, valued at $52,000. (That can’t be right, can it? Good grief, my car didn’t cost that much). And besides the shirt, there was a lock of hair, that was anticipated to rake in between 8 and 12 thousand dollars. The clump of hair, is said to be from the historic 1958 shearing of the King’s mane when he was recruited into the army. The auction house did not conduct a DNA test on the hair but stated thatelvis hair John Reznikoff, an expert in celebrity hair authentication, says it matches an Elvis hair he has in his own collection. Thank goodness, because I’m not so sure I’d appreciate plopping down that kind of money, $18,300, on a clump hair that didn’t once grace the head of The King.

More than $300,000 was made during the auction, but that money is being held in escrow until a claim by John Tate and Norma Deeble, cousins to the Gary Pepper is ironed out that the memorabilia was stolen by their late relative’s caretaker, Nancy Pease Whitehead when Pepper, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was moved to a home for the disabled people. What if…oh, man, the controversy…imagine…what if she replaced the original clump of hair with imposter black hair. That would mean all those bids would have been senseless. Oh no, never mind, it was authenticated. I forgot. And look, there’s a picture of Elvis, that must mean it’s really his hair.

There’s a prototype of a new device called The Rationalizer being tested in Amsterdam by Philips Electronics. It’s main aim is to sense online day traders’ stress levels so they can…take a time out and calm down and regroup. The user wears an EmoBracelet (emo being short for emotion or emotional) and when it senses stress it lights up a an EmoBowl that flickers in colors from yellow to red as intensity grows. It’s the mood ring of the new millennium. I don’t need a mood ring or a Rationalizer to tell me when I’m stressed. I usually get that dull echoing thud of blood pounding in my ears and that kind of psychedelic black swirling clouding my vision. That more or less tells me I need to back away. And if I don’t pay attention to those indicators, what makes anyone think I’m gonna listen to an EmoBowl. At least I can ignore myself for free. The product is not currently in production but the prototype is part of an effort to technologically help people cope with stress. Like a nice cattle prod.



And then there’s the story of the Tree House Man, Michael Chapman from Worcester, Massachusetts. After three months of physical labor and nearly $12,000, he’s got until November 2 to tear it all down. The reason? It violates a city ordinance because it is higher than 15′ (it towers at 50′) and it is within 5 feet of a property line.  The elaborate structure, which is made of more than a ton of pressure treated lumber, 500 lag screws and nuts, 1,000 feet of jute rope and 48 feet of rebar, that can securely support several adults at one time, caused one neighbor to threaten to burn it down with or without Chapman in it. During all the construction, as neighbors complained, Chapman kept working on his boyhood dream, even adorning it with a plaque that reads  “Heart Of Oak”. The commissioner of the city’s Department of Inspectional Services fears the treehouse would be an “attractive nuisance” like a swimming pool without a fence and that kids could hurt themselves not to mention the possibility of Chapman climbing the structure with binoculars to spy on his neighbors. So now with his time running out to dismantle his creation, he faces a daily fine of $300 for each day beyond  November 2.   Boo! Hiss!

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3 Responses to “Hair’s A King’s Ransom”

  1. Donna Says:

    GASP! I didn’t expect THAT ending to the video! “My mouth is as big as the phone!”….quoted from Melissa way back when.

  2. Donna Says:

    I misquoted…I think it should be “My mouth is as wide as the phone!”

  3. Melissa Says:

    And believe it or not, MY mouth IS also as big as this phone!!!!! :-O I swear, that is the same expression that I had after watching that video. Ha!!!! The sad part is that that teacher probably got into a whole mess of trouble. And really, who can blame him? A person can only take so much.

    I was chuckling through the first half of your blog about the Elvis stuff and the silly stress detector. But then I just became infuriated about the tree house story! I mean, I am one to believe in rules. Rules are rules, and there is (usually) a reason for them. But come on! Let the man have his tree house! Such a labor of love and ingenuity! Can we not compromise for the sake of art and fun?!? I’m surprised the neighbors actually want it down. There are people out there who don’t want to climb in a huge elaborate tree-house??? What fuddy-duddies (sp?)!

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