Time: June 19, 2014 from 6pm to 7pm
Location: Monte Visa Hotel
Street: 308 W. State Street
City/Town: Black Mountain, NC
Website or Map: http://www.themontevistahotel…
Phone: 828 686-3922
Event Type: book, signing
Organized By: Jerald Pope
Latest Activity: Jun 19, 2014
Local artist and Swannanoa Valley historian Jerald Pope is releasing his first novel, “The Elvis Tooth.” Pope describes the book as “a comic, historical, action-packed beach book, about Black Mountain that combines real history and stories with a time travel flair,” The titular tooth, the key McGuffin in the story, was an actual tooth pulled from Elvis Presley’s mouth in Black Mountain by Dr. Love in 1975.
Pope is best known locally for the “Way Back When” series of plays that ran at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts for several years. He wrote, directed, designed, and occasionally acted in those compilations of historical narratives and original songs.
He also wrote and illustrated “Step Back in Time,” a walking tour of Black Mountain, as well as several children’s picture books, including “Madeleine Claire and the Dinosaur,” and “The Minute Elf.”
“The Elvis Tooth” is the story of an ordinary tourist, in Black Mountain to get married, who wanders into Pellom’s Time Shop and inexplicably finds himself sixty-five years in the past. (Many locals will know the feeling.) As he struggles to identify allies and clues that can get him back in time for the wedding, he becomes aware that more than time has shifted; his appreciation of a lost American sensibility grows. Although he quickly learns it wasn’t all the Andy Griffith Show.
Like Odysseus wending his wandering way back to Ithaca, our hero meets a variety of strange characters that could either help or hinder his journey. Some share stories or riddles that seem to exist solely for the pleasure of their telling. Or do they? Now he must get from 1948 to 1975, abscond with The King’s rotten molar, and then jump again back to the present.
Beside Elvis, a young Nina Simone, Merce Cunningham, and others whose fame is more local make an appearance. The book is a delightful blend of history and histrionics that will inform readers as it tickles their funny bones.