More Odd Happenings: A Tale of Two Parties (Bowie Tribute and Groundhog Day Hogabilly 2016)

Published February 10, 2016 by baileyquillincooper

I wasn’t going to do another one of these “odd happenings” posts, but odd things just keep happening to me. This past weekend was also great and very productive (see my next post) and for once I finally got to go to a Bowie tribute night dressed as Marc Bolan. On Friday night Martyn had to babysit the Little Pigs so we got to Club 21 a little late but definitely not too late to party. Local bands were playing Bowie until just about closing time. Martyn wore his Halloween Jack getup again, putting all the Party City red rocker wig Bowies to shame, and I actually for once was recognized as Marc–multiple times even–and got mad props for looking disturbingly like him and doing something a little more outside of the box. Speaking of the box…I even saw a Bowie incarnation from his poofy sleeve mime days (haha, you see what I did there?) There were also plenty of other Bowie incarnations besides Ziggy and not a single Goblin King. I saw a more recent Lazarus Button Eyes Bowie, a 90’s goatee type Bowie, The Thin White Duke, and a big floppy sunhat that might have been an even earlier Bowie but I only managed to see the hat. I also kept seeing Metal dudes that had long blonde wave hair and mistaking them for The Man Who Sold The World, which is something that they totally should have done with the already having hair like that, but instead of a long flowing dress they were just wearing their boring Metal band vests and jeans which was a big disappointment. I would have liked to see all of the Bowies arranged in chronological order for a photo if the event was any sort of place for organization…which it totally wasn’t! I didn’t even think I took any photos from that night but then I found this hideous thing on my phone:

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All I can make out is some guy I don’t recognize, my chin, Halloween Jack’s eyepatch, and I think that’s Brian Crace from The Cry on the right, who we were hanging out with all night…but it’s really hard to be sure.

The other strange and delightful happening of the past weekend was when Martyn and I went to a party at a stranger’s house on Saturday night. We had been invited at least. Actually it during at a previous fun Club 21 event (one of Martyn’s D.J. nights as D.J. Marty King) that we were invited. A sweet couple that were both much older than us but were still partying hard had come up to the D.J. table and complimented Martyn on the music. The woman then told me that she was going to be throwing a fab themed party at her house on February 6th for Groundhog Day, and that this is something that she does every year. Every year it’s groundhogs but with a different spin…last year was Hoggy Stardust and the Varmints from Mars, this year was Hogabilly, so rockabilly groundhogs. She told me the party was going to be really big and really crazy, and because she liked the look of us we were both invited, since she likes to “collect people.” Going on a gut feeling that this was a good thing and not a creepy House of Wax thing, I had saved just the date and the intersection of the two streets nearest to their house in my phone.

So the day of the party finally came and my curiosity would not let me just leave it alone. I had no name, no phone number, and not even the time of the party to go on. At 10:30 that night we decided to just find the intersection on Google Maps, drive there and look for a house that was obviously having a party, park somewhere, and walk right on in based on the assumption that it was hopefully the right place and there would be no weird sex stuff going on when we walked in the front door. Luckily that’s pretty much exactly what we ended up doing…and there was no weird sex stuff happening by the way, just about a hundred assorted guests partying and a professional live rockabilly band playing in the parlor of this gorgeous and grand victorian mansion of a house. People were all swing dancing while decked out in their full rockabilly attire, putting my leather jacket and couture party dress handmade by an indie designer in Asheville, NC to shame! The best or at least most unique part of it all wasn’t even the party itself, but the hostess’s extensive collection of original groundhog art. Everywhere you looked in her very big house there was groundhog paraphernalia, most of it obviously handmade by artists, friends and family. I asked her how long she had been collecting the hogs, and she told me at least for as long as the party has been going on, which was 19 years and counting! Somehow we had stumbled upon a real Portland tradition just by looking cool or something, and it made us feel very special to be a part of it.

Here’s a couple of pictures I managed to snap of the groundhog collection while I was there. Some of them are blurry either because my phone sucks, I was kinda drunk, or someone bumped into me at the exact moment that I took the photo. That happened a lot due to all the crazy dancing and the sheer amount of guests that were at this party.

This is just the front door.

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I think I took that last one of the poster inside the house, because you can see some of the paper groundhog garlands that were all over the parlor/living room. Also, not a groundhog, but check out this sweet clarinet chandelier!

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Past the parlor there was big table of previously attacked snacks with a giant handmade groundhog cookie jar for a centerpiece, as well as what appeared to be messages in Latin. I’m a rebel so I read the Latin, or at least I tried to. I think my pronunciation must have been really bad because no undead groundhogs rose from the grave to get us. You can also see the Hoggy Stardust poster from the previous year’s part in the background.

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More groundhog artwork:

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A big dead stuffed hog on the floor that had been squished from all the dancing:

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A hog totem and some hoggy wine:

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Some more posters from groundhog parties past:

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Weird Hog News by the bathroom. Martyn looks very confused.

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So yeah, what an awesome and fascinating night. I feel like we were taking part in a little piece of Portland history by just being there and I felt very honored and inspired. I really hope we get invited back next year…now I’ll just have to remember her name!

 

 

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