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Dan Murphy

The Total Man Package: Elvis, Ghosts, Crispin Glover, Aliens, Raccoons and Palmer Auditorium
by Dan Murphy

March 2004

What Do Elvis, Crispin Glover, Ghosts, Aliens and Raccoons all have in common? The Old Austin Palmer Auditorium, now the Long Center. It's all true! This isn't some story I'm making up or ripped off from The Weekly World News. I've got all the facts and evidence to support my claims.

Okay, for the Ghosts I don't have any actual evidence, but I do have lots of mind wondering testimonials and my Alien theory is SOLID DADDY! There is undeniable hard, physical, visual evidence for the existence of Aliens at Old Palmer.

So, who you gonna call to keep a vigilant eye on the Ghosts, Aliens, Crispin Glover, a Rampant Raccoon and a wandering Elvis at the Old Palmer Auditorium, while making sure the building doesn't burst into flames? Ghost Busters? The X-Files? The Humane Society? Yeah, they're all good on a case-by-case basis, but do they have the intestinal fortitude to multi-task Paranormal Events at this level? No, this is job for a True American Hero: "THE TOTAL MAN PACKAGE," Overnight Security Guard, Dun'it!!! Daaaa!!!! Besides, do you think any of these other services could really control Crispin Glover? (Remember when he freaked out on Letterman.)

Once again my overnight security gig with the Austin Convention put me at the center of all this phenomena. The water was shut off at the old Palmer, so they had to have someone sit in the building and call in on the radio every 30 minutes to say the building wasn't on fire. Yes, they really do pay people to do jobs like this.

The Building is an absolute dive! There is trash scattered everywhere throughout it. Just about every room was strewn with food plates and empty chip bags. It's only been abandoned for a couple of years now and it looks like it's been 20 years. The whole building looks like it was pillaged.

The Old Palmer resembles the set of one of those movies about some dystopic future such as SOYLENT GREEN with Charlton Heston. Actually, the building was used and is going to be used for some scenes for various movies. The movie RINGER with Johnny Knoxville from Jackass shot some scenes there. Now this might explain some of the damage to the building. They are also filming some scenes there for the upcoming movie FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Here is some info I copied from a search about the movie:

Focusing on the religion that is Texas high school football, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS tells the story of the 1988 Odessa Permian High Panthers, as chronicled in H.G. Bissinger's nonfiction book of the same title. The town of Odessa is in financial trouble and its inhabitants live vicariously through their football team, led by a dynamic coach (BILLY BOB THORNTON).

The Old Palmer Auditorium might even be used for some scenes in a movie called DROP DEAD SEXY starring CRISPIN GLOVER. A Location Scout named Steve for the movie came by one day to check the building out. I think he mentioned that they also used the building to film some scenes for THE WENDELL BAKER STORY with LUKE WILSON for which he was also a Scout.

If you're not aware of it, ELVIS played one of his last shows at Palmer Auditorium before the Frank Erwin Center was built in the late seventies. There was a plaque screwed to the wall in the ticket office that mentioned this, but someone even ripped it off the wall.

Supposedly there is also a Ghost wandering Old Palmer according to some workers I've talked to. The story goes that some kid named Philip hung himself there and his spirit is wandering the building. These same people claim they have worked the building late at night and heard doors opening and closing when there was not supposed to be anybody else in the building.

I've got an explanation. What if ELVIS never really ever left the building? That's right.
He's still wandering the building late at night, making trips to the kitchen. This would also explain the excessively abundant food plates and chips wrappers in every damn room. All the creaking sounds people are hearing is just ELVIS practicing his Karate Kata's in the attic.

If this argument isn't rational enough for you, it could have been the rabid raccoon running wild in the building. A couple of girls that worked the Fire Watch shifts before me were attacked by a raccoon. One girl said the raccoon attacked her for her coffee. Another girl claimed the raccoon jumped into her lap. How did the raccoon get that far without her noticing?

Okay, here's another possible reason for all the late night sounds: it's Aliens. Palmer Auditorium was built in the late fifties, the heyday of Flying Saucer Sightings throughout the US. Now take a look at the dome on the Old Palmer Auditorium. That's right, it's a DAMN FLYING SAUCER! Don't believe me? Take a look at this picture from this link:

It's clearly a Flying Saucer. Prince Charles has even made an appearance at the Old Palmer auditorium.

The Old Palmer was going to be remodeled, but now I think there is talk that they might tear it down. Well, the construction workers are going to be in overawed state when they try to demolish it and the Saucer Section (Dome of Palmer Auditorium) powers up and lifts off with ELVIS waving through the window! Then, we can say Elvis has left with the Building.

Of course, it was easy for me to have nerves of steel to deal with Ghosts, Aliens, Crazed Hollywood Stars and Frenzied Animals because I was doing my radio checks from Hooters across the street. Yep, Nero fiddled while Rome burned and I looked at Hooters Girls while Old Palmer burned.

Hell, the Powers That Be better call Ghostbusters or the X- Files to do the next fire watch because they are out of their minds if they think I'm ever going back into that building. I knew I was in for trouble when I called in for my first 30 minute radio check screaming that I just got Slimed like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters and all the Control Center could say was 10 Four. Find someone else for your Demon-Possessed, Paranormal House-Sitting Gig. I'm gone BABY!

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