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.

Where can I buy Faygo?

Finding Faygo locations can be a treasure hunt, even in the Detroit area, where the stuff is made.

One of the best places I have found has been the Value Center Marketplace at 27428 Six Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152. I was tipped off during a Faygo Book presentation at the Redford District Library.

Not only did the store have a great variety, it had great prices. I bought 2-liters for a buck. The store had 12-packs of cans as well as singles in the 20- and 24-once sizes. Just look at this beautiful Wall of Faygo.

You can see a list of more than 100 Faygo flavors over the years in “The Faygo Book.”

Making a Faygo bar or party popup

A man in a red and white striped jacket stands next to dozens of bottle and cans of Faygo laid out on a table so people could try samples.
A Faygo pop bar set up for a “Faygo Book” talk at the Historical Socity of Michigan’s Local History conference on March 22. Photo by Kendall Wingrove.

You got me. I went a little over the top today with my popup for the Historical Society of Michigan’s Local History Conference.

Blame my excitement over being invited to speak about “The Faygo Book.” The Local History Conference generally attracts speakers or panels in the meting rooms and vendors and merchandise int the open areas. A tabletop Faygo popup brings the color of vendor samples into the lectures.

It started simply enough with a few bottles here and a 12-pack there.

Here’s what it takes to build your own Faygo popup:

  • Start with a tablecloth and then napkins in Faygo colors. These are rainbow napkins, which saved me from sorting solid, colorful the napkins to make rainbows.
  • The base is a pyramid of 12-packs in the back to give the popup some height. I used three here, but you could us more or make the ends the high points. Top the pyramid with bottles. I used a 2 1/2-liter that you can sometimes find at dollar stores for $1. It’s the biggest Faygo bottle I know of these days.
  • If you have signs, they are your background. These signs came to me from Mike Skinner, who rescued them from restoration efforts at the old Ford Motor plant on Piquette.
  • Use 2-liter bottles in as many flavors as you can find for a back row. Mix up the colors and include diet  for those who prefer it. Faygo has great diet redpop, rock ‘n’ rye, grape, orange and root beer.
  • In front of this backdrop, mix up 24-once and 20-once bottles with 12-ounce cans. Put the smallest ons in front, and mix the colors.
  • Some six-packs of glass-bottle Faygos brings in some horizontal massing and big Faygo logos. Have a bottle opener on hand.
  • Put out rainbow napkins. I added green slips with suggested Faygo flights, but would have liked red more.
  • Make the effort to get cups in Faygo colors. These paper cups came from Party City and can be recycled.
  • Sprinkle brightly colored drinking straws over everything. I wanted paper straws, but settled for plastic.
  • Put ice off to the side. I put one cooler of ice cubes on top of another cooler to bring it up to table level without crowding it onto the table.
  • Have a bag or box available for recycling or returning the empties.
  • Invite your guests to help themselves to a Faygo. They will not need instructions of a second invitation.