William Schwab received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, along with master of divinity and the doctor of ministry degrees from Eden Theological Seminary, Webster Groves Missouri. He is a retired United Church of Christ pastor who served churches in O’Fallon and Washington, Missouri, for a total of thirty-three years and was a judicatory official for six years. He is currently a community volunteer moderating a book club on American culture topics, and leading two eight-week sessions on U.S. foreign policy at the Washington Public Library. Schwab also volunteers at Shaw Nature Reserve, a division of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, where he collects and propagates seeds and assists with research on Missouri native plants. He lives with his wife Diane in Washington, Missouri.
Jeff Guinn’s light-hearted prose takes the reader back to the early twentieth century. The book reads like a musical fugue: Its continuous theme is the annual trip; the variations, the uniqueness of each outing.
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.