my secret meetings with elvis and bob

Es­ti­mated reading time is 5 min­utes.

EACH YEAR I HIKE MOUNT RANIER to a se­cret meeting. I use the Carbon Glacier trail and I don’t as­cend the whole mountain—that takes days and a team of other hikers. And I have to go it alone. This is just a vig­orous day-hike that gets me up to about 7,000 feet where I can look down into the mas­sive glacier.

I love the hike as it’s a rig­orous outing through an often glo­ri­ously beau­tiful en­vi­ron­ment. But I have a spe­cific reason to be on Ranier, on a spe­cific date, alone. Be­cause that’s where and when Elvis wants me to be on a cer­tain day each year and that’s where I go each year be­cause that’s the way it is when Elvis wants something.


That’s the way it is be­cause that’s the way Elvis and Yeti—who I call the De­manding Duo—want it.


It’s simple, re­ally. I hike up there, I hang out at a cer­tain location—no, I can’t tell you where—and then Elvis shows up and we have a little get-together, a se­cret meeting. Mostly it’s for me to bitch and moan about how bad things are in the world. E lis­tens po­litely (and we all know how good a lis­tener everyone says he was/is), gently moving his head from left to right and mut­tering, “My boy, my boy.”

Of course, he’s never alone—Yeti al­ways ac­com­pa­nies him. 


My Secret Meetings with Elvis and Bob: Ram Dasss BE HERE NOW book.

How Elvis could ramble on about a new book. I couldn’t get him to shut up about Ram Dass! He also told me that some book that hadn’t been written yet with the word “Ce­les­tine” in its title was going to play a part in the fu­ture so I should get used to it. (That was con­fusing be­cause he hadn’t told me about his trav­eling in time yet where/when he met my wife years be­fore I did and knew what kind of books she would read.)

A secret meeting with burgers

Then he tells me that no matter how bad things are, no matter how big a mess of blues the world seems to be in, every­thing is ex­actly the way it’s sup­posed to be. The first time he told me this, I got angry: “Where did you get that schidt from?”

And that’s when he told me about the flying saucer’s li­brary (I knew about the aliens and the saucer—how else would he get up on the side of the moun­tain being old and out of shape?) It was there that he found a copy of Ram Dass’s Be Here Now and dis­cov­ered it was better than Ben­ner’s The Im­per­sonal Life and Yo­ganan­da’s Au­to­bi­og­raphy Of A Yogi combined!

Anyway, after I kvetch, he usu­ally tells me a few things about his old records that no one knows. Last year he sug­gested that I re­visit my ar­ti­cles on the Gold Stan­dard Se­ries and re­ally, re­ally look atnot just see—the or­ange and red label records.

Then he tells me to go back down into the world of men and spread the info by writing my blogs, es­pe­cially Elvis – A Touch Of Gold. And then I al­ways get a gentle ad­mo­ni­tion: “Now I know you won’t write any crap about me being fat, right?”

The night be­fore the hike, I al­ways cook up a dozen burgers at home. Big, fat burgers with bits of onion and garlic and some soy sauce and a few other se­cret in­gre­di­ents kneaded into the meat and cooked into the pat­ties. And I al­ways use sesame seed buns. E and Yeti (who I call “Bob” be­cause he’s never con­fided his real name to me) take them back to the saucer and to nuke later on.

As for why Yeti is al­ways with Elvis, he’s a bodyguard/companion and E treats him like the newest member of the Mem­phis Mafia. So I should say that things are ac­tu­ally the way that Elvis and Yeti want them to be. (I call them The De­manding Duo.)


My Secret Meetings with Elvis and Bob: Mount Rainier seen from the Cowlitz Divide trail.

Looking at Mount Ranier from the Cowlitz Di­vide Trail, 10-mile out-and-back trail lo­cated that fea­tures a river and is rated as dif­fi­cult. The trail is pri­marily used for hiking, run­ning, and back­packing and is best used from July until Oc­tober. (Use of this lovely photo cour­tesy of Good Free Photos.)

Obits saying the same bland things

This last hike was spe­cial as it got me out of civ­i­liza­tion during this nev­erending pan­demic. When I got there, I knew some­thing was up be­cause E and Bob were al­ready there. We skipped all the usual pleas­antries and E came right out and said, “Neal, um, someone real spe­cial to me hasn’t got long to be here now. When he passes, there will be a lot of the usual boolschidt obits, saying the same bland things, you know.”

“Who are you talking about . . . ?” I responded.

Elvis in­ter­rupted, “I want you to take your time and write some­thing dif­ferent, some­thing spe­cial. This guy helped me when I needed help, you un­der­stand? He got me over the hump and back to where I once belonged.”

“What are you talking about, E?” I responded.

“You’ll know and when it hap­pens, when he dies, you’ll think of me.”


My Secret Meetings with Elvis and Bob: Mac Davis' SONG PAINTER album.

Mac’s first album, SONG PAINTER, was re­leased in 1970. It in­cluded fine ver­sions of Mem­o­ries and In The Ghetto. It was one of the first al­bums that are des­ig­nated as singer-songwriter but, per­haps be­cause it’s too pop and too country, Mac’s album never re­ceives that designation.

Mac Davis

On Sep­tember 29, 2020, Morris “Mac” Davis died. I got right to work on writing some­thing dif­ferent, some­thing special.

You can read it HERE.


My Secret Meetings with Elvis and Bob: Elvis and Yet riding the Loch Ness monster.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page may look like it was taken in 1957, but it wasn’t. It was ac­tu­ally taken fifty years from now and in­volves time travel (yes, that’s Elvis from 1957 playing with Bob and Nessie in 2070), some­thing that the space­ship that E lives in can only do every few decades. I don’t un­der­stand the sci­ence or the math—and, frankly, nei­ther does Elvis—but I be­lieve Elvis when he says he’s done it. Oh, no, Lochie doesn’t show up on Ranier—I just dig the photo, y’know . . .


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