This pop tour is taking me all over Michigan

Th writer, in a Faygo shirt, stands in front of a roadside billboard that says Joe Grimm, The Faygo Book, Thursday, May 16, 6-7 p.m.
This is as close as I will ever come to having my name up in lights and I am as happy as can be. Thank you, Three Rivers!

What a time it has been for “The Faygo Book” as it began its Michigan Notable Book tour.
After visiting a school and four libraries one week, I started the next week as one of four featured speakers for the Metro-Detroit Book and Author Society on May 20 and a nightcap at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn. We’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Students at Essexville Middle School
Mrs. Carrie Waterman, the media specialist at Essexville Middle School near Bay City, landed a performance about The Faygo Book for her school. The students took right to it, studying the book’s pop quizzes in class and designing their own Faygo flavors and bottles. We had a blast.

Faygo supplied glass bottles of its cane-sugar classics for about 100 tables at the Metro-Detroit Book and Author Society lunch in Livonia on May 20. Nine-hundred fifty people attended. Thank you, Faygo.

I’ll be in God’s Country in early June:
June 3: Traverse Area District Library, 6:30 p.m.
June 4: Charlevoix Public Lbrary (Michigan Notable Book stop), 6:30 p.m.
June 5: Petoskey District Library, 5:30 p.m.
June 6: Rogers City, Presque Isle District Library (Michigan Notable Book stop), 6:30 p.m.

You can catch me in other places, too. They’e listed on the Wayne State University Press events calendar.

The rare hot-air balloon Faygo bottle, by the dozens

Faygo balloon bottl
Don and Marilyn Ellison have two whole cases of the rare hot-air balloon Faygo bottles.
As I worked on The Faygo Book, I read about a one-of-a kind Faygo bottle that was brown and bulbous and was called a balloon bottle. It was embossed with a hot-air balloon.

Faygo balloon bottle
The balloon bottle, which featured an embossed hot-air ballon, held Faygo ginger beer.
Try as I might, I could not find one. All I could come up with was this bottle cap. Of course, I know a lot more now about he Metropolitan Detroit Antique Bottle Club, which I know could have helped me out then, as they have since the book came out.

When I presented the Faygo program at the Sterling Heights Library, Don and Marilyn Ellison brought something to show me. You guessed it. Not only did they have one bottle, they had two cases of empty ones at home. They are too smart to break up the sets and wonder what to do with the bottles.

I am connecting them with the bottle antiquers.

Do you remember Faygo Uptown’s ‘too pooped to participate’ Herkimer?

Faygo had a set of pretty great advertising behind “Uptown,” a lemon-lime pop that gave folks a lift. The campaign included TV commercials, store signs and, as I learned doing presentations about The Faygo Book, a limerick.

The center of attention for all the commercials was Herkimer Bottle Blower, a sadsack cartoon character who worked in the Faygo plant blowing bottles and whose one-quart lungs started blowing in half pints. That can cause quite a bottleneck!

Geri Daly recalled the limerick and, with a little encouragement, recited it for the crowd at a presentation before the Grosse Pointe Historical Society.

Incidentally, that was the first of what will by late summer be more than 100 Faygo Book programs. You can get the calendar here.

Herkimer was a bottle blower,
His job was to blow 90 quart bottles a day.
One day his breath started coming in short pints.
His boss kindly encouraged him,
“Blow or go”
“But sir I’m too pooped to participate.”
“Too pooped to participate? Well then live it up,up, up with Uptown.”

Chorus: Live it up, up, up with Uptown
Live it up, up, up with Uptown

Two men in suits stand next to a tall and wide stack of cases of Uptown pop.
This Uptown display towers over Faygo co-founder Perry Feigenson, in the hat, and his nephew, Phil. Faygo Book photo from the Feigenson Family archives.