ALMOST FAMOUS All Seasons 2010-2011
Vol. 6 Issue 1
Note from the Editor Dear all ALMOST FAMOUS fans, First, I want to thank everyone who helped along the way with this production of the magazine, our first ever, ALL SEASONS edition. I never realized all of the hard work that the editor-in-chiefs of the past had to go through in order to come out with a successful magazine; that is, until I stepped into their shoes. From getting the submissions, typing the submissions, and printing the magazine, it has been nothing but hard work, and I could not have done it alone. In the past, there were always questions of what exactly is ALMOST FAMOUS. FAMOUS Well, the fact is, it is a magazine written by and drawn by students and put together by students. It is a chaotic group effort to make sure every voice is heard (as long as they are willing to be heard.) This year, we have had many more people submit work than in past years and a larger group that helped us put the magazine together. This year we were blessed to have a group friendship that held strong and became stronger as we worked together to get this magazine going. I will be forever grateful. In addition, the support we received from the old AF group was welcomed with open arms. Moreover, to all of the adult help, thank you—Ms. Gonzales, Ms. Bell, Mr. Pahle, and Mr. Kipp, Just to name a few. With lots of Love,
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Iâ€™ll Visit Someday by Cejai Moss The most beautiful and breathbreath-taking Geisha I have ever seen has stolen my heart, And her name is Hokkaido. She waltzes waltzes with the wind, and Her dance is so graceful. Her green kimono trails behind her as she spins. The beautiful cloth that is made of leaves and Healthy grass is soft. This elegant dance is not taught at Geisha school. Her Her eyes are a mysterious light gray that almost look white, white, and When she cries, her tears nurture her kimono, but do not stain her porcelain skin. Her motherly smile makes her kimono Glisten, and provides warmth and light for everything around her. She is a goddess. Her dark blue hair blankets her surroundings and all below it silently, but Changes to gray when she cries, and then to Happy baby blue when she smiles. She is Hokkaido. When the seasons change, she dresses to accommodate. In the fall, the autumn colors follow her like children to a mother. In the winter, unique white crystals dance around her feet, feet, Eager to be with her. In the Spring, pring, adolescent leaves embrace her body gently but firmly. She is Hokkaido and before I die, I will visit her.
P R O L O G U E 3
Table of Contents Almost Famous Staff Intro InkBlot Cartoons
Read Short stories by Kenneth Mallonen……………… Alexa Geider…………………… Alias……………………………. Night Rider……………………..
How to Survive an Action Movie We becoming “We” The Woods The Pain of Innocence
Rap Lyrics by Mystic……………………. Joel Erby………………….
Her (Pt.1) Reverse Sarcasm
Recite Poetry by Georgia Wilson……………...... Raré Williams………………… . Emilie Beck…..……………….. Justin Burton…………………... Leanna Chapin………………… Kayla G. McDonald……………
The Angel Open Your Mind Around Us Untitled I AM If I Didn’t Know Where I was Going
Editor-In-Chief: Kayla G. McDonald Co-Editor: Georgia Wilson Photographer: Emilie Beck Cejai Moss Template Designer/Color coordinator: Cejai Moss Thomas Typist: Maya Rich Zeaira Chestang
Emilie Ms. Gonzales
Amazing Volunteer: Chelsea Gawthrop Nikita Minor Raheem Abdul Tony Sierro Artist: Katrin Kersey Wonderful Advisor: Ms. Gonzales Ms. Bell Front cover artwork by: Emilie Beck Back cover artwork by: Erin Abramowicz
Kayla, Thomas, & Georgia
INK BLOTS Dragon: Leslie E. Morse II Building Top and Cast Jana Water Surfing by Crocofielius: Erin Abramowicz Thoughtful Girl: Leslie Bell Midnight Sun: Kayla G. McDonald
Read How to Survive an Action Movie by Kenneth Mallonen What do Mission Impossible 3, Pirates of the
Caribbean 2, Batman Returns, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Three Musketeers and Star Wars have in common? Apart from being awesome movies, they have fights in them—more importantly, very elaborate fight scenes. In each fight scene, there are hours upon hours of work to plan, prepare, and perform the scene. Despite their actionpacked, dramatic qualities, they are actually quite safe. To create this safe atmosphere, fight directors, people hired only to work on the fight scenes, follow six basic rules of safety or the “six layers of safety.” The first rule is maintaining a safe distance between performers. The second rule is simultaneous movement. The third rule is aim points on the actors. The fourth rule is focus of energy (hardest to master). The fifth rule is always having a plan or choreography. Last but not least is--yes, it is a rule--practice, practice, practice. All of these combined can make an awesome movie while keeping billion-dollar actors safe, and breaking too many of these rules can result in serious injury, or what is worse: the movie goes belly up! The rule first is maintaining a safe distance between actors. The distance may change, depending on the reach length of of the weapon used in the scene. Distance between two actors is a delicate balance. Actors cannot be too far away from each other because the weapon may not reach the other person’s weapon; you
can’t be too close or you risk hitting the other person. Now, you may watch a fight scene in which the actors seem to be incredibly close (dangerously close), but in truth they are at a reasonably safe distance. To create the illusion that the performers are closer than they actually are, directors use a few tricks. One of these traits is depth perception or the ability to judge distance just by looking at an object or objects. People have two eyes to judge distance and give us depth perception, but cameras have only one lens. Therefore, actors do not even need to be facing each other, one could be upstaged from the other or close to the backup, but to the audience it will seem as if they are facing each other. Oftentimes after swords do not even touch, the sound is added later during editing. Also, like all rules, there are exceptions, such as if two actors are fighting with swords and one lunges in and it seems like he or she stabs through the other person. If you ever see this, especially during a live performance then both actors probably broke distance. However, there are six layers of safety. If you intentionally break one of these layers, you have five more protecting. The second rule is simultaneous movement. This goes hand-in-hand with maintaining safe distance. Wherever one of the actors moves, the other actor reacts in the opposite direction, with the same amount of distance. If one of the performers moves forward, the other moves back; if one person moves back,
the other moves forward. This coordination also works in other directions: if someone moves diagonally to the right, the other moves diagonally to the left. Without this second rule, actors would have to stand still at a predetermined distance waving swords at each other. Imagine if that’s the way they fought in the Three Musketeers, the excitement value for of the movie would plummet. Like the last rule there are exceptions: sometimes, directors have actors charging at each other, one doing a diagonal cut down, the other evading to the left and the evading actor stabs the other. To make it seem like one actor stabbed the other, both had to break the first and second rule. However, the two actors still have four more rules that protect them. Now we get into actually hitting weapons together. The third layer of safety is aim points. In theatrical swordplay, most of what actors do are based off historical swordplay or styles that were designed to kill people. However, nowadays there are lawyers and they will sue you if you do any severe damage to a fellow actor. Hence, the development of the six layers of safety. Whenever two actors hit two weapons together or fire a gun at each other or throw a punch, most of the time, it’s not even aimed at the other person’s body. When you are attacking your partner, instead of aiming for vital blood vessels or joints (like in historical swordplay) you aim for major muscle groups, like your thighs and biceps.
Also, the most important rule in aim points is Never Aim for the Head! To make it appear as though an actor is aiming for the head and the opponent parries or blocks the blow, the actor aims slightly to the right or the left (whichever is furthest from the opponent’s hand). Now you might be guessing that there are exceptions to this rule. This rule is very rarely broken; one of those instances is in quarterstaff technique (a quarterstaff is a long stick or dowel rod that is approximately an inch in diameter). While using a quarterstaff, an actor attacking another person’s head in a scene will actually be aiming straight on as if trying to part his opponent’s hair. However, as you maintain distance, even if the opponent does not parry in the right place, you will miss them. The fourth and possibly the hardest to master rule is extension of energy. Unless you have already taken a theatrical combat class or martial arts class, a big question mark is hovering over your head. Fear not, for I will explain. Artwork by Leslie Bell Those who have taken an actual combat class or self-defense class (Karate, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, etc.) are taught to focus their energy through their opponent. When you punch somebody, all the energy that comes from your fists is then transferred into the other person--hopefully causing severe damage. However, in theatrical combat, we aim our attacks carefully just off to the side of the aim
point, so that when in close proximity, the actor’s energy from his weapon is already expelled past the opponent. This rule also allows you to hit your opponent’s weapon with the energy of an actual attack, but not endanger them. Because its concept is so hard to grasp, this rule is often broken unintentionally. Nevertheless, do not worry; this is the reason why there is more than one layer of safety. Therefore, we’re on to the fifth layer of safety, choreography. Unless you’ve taken a theater class, dance class, or a theatrical combat class, you probably don’t know what choreography means. According to Wikipedia, choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation; it is designing a fight to fit a particular scene. Also, so that both actors know what to do at a particular point in a fight, if I were to attack my partners’ right biceps my partner will already know that he needs to pair that particular spot. To make designing choreography easier, we will number our moves, and those numbers will correspond to a particular parry. In the technique I am most familiar with, rapier, there is a numbering system from one to five. So if I was to attack my partner’s one, I would be aiming for his or her left thigh. This move will correspond to parry one, which will block her left thigh and so on and so forth. Choreography is important not just to keep two actors from hurting themselves, but also to keep both of them out of the way of other things on the set. For example, let us say a particular scene in a movie happens to involve both fighting and explosives, if both actors know where to be, then neither should be in danger by the explosion. However, if one of the actors were out of position, then there is a high risk factor for that actor to be caught in the explosion. Without a doubt an actor in a fight scene wants and needs someone to have a plan. Last, but not least, is the sixth and final layer of safety: practice, practice, practice. Yes, this is one of the rules. It is so important it needs
to be stated three times. If you are wondering how much practice actually goes into a fight for, let us say, Pirates of the Caribbean, for every minute of fighting, there were about 20 hours of practice. This is so that even though you’re doing a complex fight scene, you can still remember your lines while getting the fight exactly right. This estimate does not include the additional hours needed to practice a special fight. In Stardust, one of the king’s sons is fighting with his eyes closed. The reason why that fight was executed so well was that every single move in that fight was ingrained in his muscle memory or, according to Wikipedia, the physiological adaptation of the body to repetition of a specific physical activity, resulting in increased neuromuscular control when performing that activity repeatedly. It is very rare to have two actors going into a fight after they have just learned it, but it has been done. However, this only works for the most simplistic fights. This is also what makes fight instructors or Maestros (the respectful term for theatrical combat Masters, just like Sensei) so valuable, because they have practiced these skills so extensively. All six of these layers are crucial for keeping any actor safe onstage, whether in a movie or during a live performance. I can also personally vouch for these rules. I have performed fights in plays, and because I followed them, I have not gotten injured in the five years I’ve been in Ring of Steel (at the theatrical combat club that I’m in and anyone else can join). I have also done a few performances and still have not suffered any injuries. However, practicing these rules requires a lot of discipline and willingness to work hard, but the process itself is fun.
We Becoming “We” by Alexa Geider I am swaying, pulling my hips forward, and
Ah! A sharp elbow in my boney ribs turns
bobbing my head to the uninterrupted beat. My
my attention to the pit behind me. My temporary
no-longer-styled hair is matted against my back;
glare of annoyance is stripped away when I observe
moist with salty sweat, mainly the sweat of the
the circle of dancers (many of whom are strangers
large shirtless men surrounding me, continuously
to each other) run in place and head-bang inches
crushing my relatively small frame. “I am
from the other’s face, all in complete enjoyment.
sweatier than I was during
They can invade personal
practice this morning, running
space, push, hit, even step on
six miles under the hot sun!”
the shoes of another. They
My fingers are pruney, as if I
move thoughtlessly, and
took a way-too-long shower,
violently, and they love each
something I’m now in
other for it.
desperate need of. The back
You are welcome
of my hand saves my eyes
here. I know this because
from the burn of the drip-
they are inviting us, pulling
drops of salty moisture. I run
us as close as we can
the other across my crimson
possibly be. Our bodies are
cheeks to stop the dripping
against and rocking with
midnight black mascara.
each other almost in perfect
And I continue to pull
harmony. There is too much
my exhausted body ahead.
sweating, and you may even
The anxious mob behind
smell, but that doesn’t matter
assists in pushing me forward but the main cause
when our cherished musicians are performing.
of my persistence is given through the waves
Insecurity and embarrassment are nothing, we
rippling from the amps, rising and falling through
move by instinct. We embrace the bass making our
the crowd, into my ears. My heart thumps as the
chests rattle. Each pluck of every string and every
drummer plays; each beat sends oxygen to the
strike of every key unconsciously inspires. We are
needy muscles in my increasingly sore legs. I
all invited, absorbed, and are absorbing. Our
raise my pruney fingers proudly toward the light,
energy and being becomes one, and we are “we.”
toward the hand of the sweet singer only a few unreachable inches away.
The Woods by Alias The recent snow capped the trees and carpeted the ground with white fluff. To my right lay tracks of snow rabbits that had just scurried home to nurse their young. The only sound is the gentle whispering of a tired river as it meanders through the thick forest. A furious black squirrel chirps in protest as I sit on his cache of nuts. The scent of minty pine overwhelms me as I ventured to a new hiding spot. All the trees lean in awe and sadness toward their comrade: a fallen pine ripped to the ground by the harsh reality of age as it is overtaken by desperate animals and the elements. Respect for these titans grew in my heart as I too mourned. But wisdom was bestowed unto me by the fox that poked his reddish head out of the trunk, showing that life can still flourish in the presence of death. On the left, a beaver dam fought the mouth of the river, making its stand against the current. The dried mud hung to the branches like cement, protesting the riverâ€™s power. They fought day in and day out and yet worked in complete cooperation. For the resistance of the dam only made the river slower and yet the river fed a family. A hill rose behind the river in front of my hiding spot in the trees, greeting the morning sun. Two rows of ancient pine stand guard to the hill, watching from the sides. The only thought that filled my head was that of a throne; wondering what king could ever sit there. At the crest of the hill, a dominating black wolf stood, watching over all. His snarling teeth and pointed ears stood straight to intimidate, but the eyes told the tale of kindness and love. His coat was black as night, mottled with deep chestnut covering the battle-worn body. I watched in silence as his eyes drifted over the land, the river almost seemed to straighten at this, and the dam quick to apologize for the hassle as the smell of musk grew closer. Lurking through the brush, dodging the outreaching fingers of thorn bushes and vines, the beast guarded his land. The worried grunt of a mother deer broke the silence as a speckled fawn burst from the brush. The fear left the mother as she lay down in a nest of weeds and snow. The quiet once again blanketed this forest sanctuary; the guardian lay down to rest. A branch cracked, screaming of the danger that approached. Unseen in the icy white camouflage, a man lurched forward. Evil intent oozed from every pore as he reached for the 30-06 on his back. The black metal and wood stock was treated with a kindness no tool of death deserved. His rancid breath turned to steam as it quickened, catching sight of the deer in his scope. Time stood still as a finger began squeezing the cold trigger, the man only thinking of the stories he would soon tell. A savage roar shook the snow from the pine as the wolf jumped on the killer. In one horrible moment the hand of a man bent on death swung down beating the noble animal. A knife flew from a pocket and a terrible snicker took claim to his face. The serrated blade was thrust deep into the guardian as the deer and fawn escaped without harm. In a final whimper of defeat, love shown in his eyes for everything he gave his life to protect. I just watched from my hiding place, as I saw fellow man destroy beauty.
Art by Katrin Kersey
Pain of Innocence
by Night Rider
She walked by again. I noticed the shimmer in her hair and the bounce in her step before anything else. Her name was Kirstin, and she was my closest friend. I was used to feeling the butterflies of puppy love when I looked in those eyes, but today all I saw was fear--a fear that persisted through jokes and teasing, a fear that burned the joy from her heart. Again I see her walking during class time. Every fiber of my being knows something is wrong. Curiosity coiled and slithered through my mind like a serpent, building the courage to confront her. The time came in front of the rusty old bus when I finally stopped her. “Kirsten, what’s wrong? I see you pass my class every day, and I know you’re hurting. I’m here for you, just talk to me,” I said. “Well…I’ve been in counseling a lot lately--something’s happened,” was her reply. “What are you talking about?” I persisted. I could read the uneasiness in her eyes as the quivering lips whispered, “It was my uncle. He took me out in the woods…he hurt me, Thomas.” My world went dark. The shining light of my innocence had been shredded by the rancid claws of that predator. I felt the fear, the agony, the torment and pain Kirstin had endured mix into a cocktail of hatred deep in my heart. At the age of twelve, I discovered the world was not as described by adults. It was no sanctuary of love, but a test of our strength and sanity. My closest friend, my sister, had to come to terms with being raped. At night, the demons of my thoughts denied me of my slumber. I could almost hear the dejected voice of a ghoul taunt, “You can’t help her. It’s already done; you are weak.” I battled with the screeching conscience that said I could have done something. I could have stopped it. Instead, she was hurt. With a hurt that would stalk her like a creature of the night, forever. Not a soul wants to grow up at twelve, although the choice is not always our own. I abandoned my childhood thoughts and accepted the pain of life. This was only the first time abuse shaped my life. Because of my weakness, my friend was burned and beaten. Because of my weakness, I tolerated years of emotional abuse from a mother meant to love. I went to bed at night hearing the stories of my stepmothers’ abuse, her ex-husband beating her and near shooting her with a shotgun. I wouldn’t have made it if not for the words of my father, “It’s not your fault, Thomas. You are stronger than you know. Worry about others first and help them with what they have survived. Do something to stop the darkness. Be a protector, and stand for others if not for yourself.” Five years has been a long time, much has changed. I am no longer weak, and no longer run. Abuse may have changed my life, but through difficulty and pain, real potential is developed. From the ashes of my childhood rise the man I have become—a protector.
Rap Her (Part 1) by Mystik She’s admired from afar Beauty surpassed the bar I’m watching how she talking; I like her tone and her heart I think about her when I sleep She’s with me in my dreams I still ain’t got the heart to tell her she should be with me Forced to be on the side Looking in the girl’s eyes She told me quit playing games; if I’m with it we can try Told her I’m for whatever I’d love to be together And I got this feeling that I want to last forever. Reverse Sarcasm by Mr. Erby They say I’m Abe Lincoln misfit. My pants pulled up, in class on time, back to 1835 revisit… Stuffed cotton in my book bag; now I’m livid ‘cause my auctioneer says I’m strong, but my voice squeals like a piglet. My hallways are filled with faces like mine. There’s no back of the bus. I’m on the front line. Divine intervention could mention the fact that I’m able to gossip behind the back worse than whiplashes setting up deals under the table. My buddy “Jim Crow” ran the gym classes today, said I could jump out of the building if I remembered my place, couldn’t wait to tell the “Massa” ‘cause I shined like the sun, called him “AD” for short, now the “folks” got me on the run. You keep runnin’…runnin’…and runnin’… until they know you’ll stand up for something. They say, “We love them, we love them,” as long as the noose stays loose throats where we can tug them, I’m out here like last year, 1834, calling my girlfriend Harriet Tubman, Got the Raid for these insects ‘cause they got me buggin’… But my plantation is acrobatic ‘cause this place is still jumpin’…
Recite THE ANGEL by Georgia Wilson Prologue: She had very pale skin, That seemed like it glowed within. Her white wings beating, While the other angel’s rejoice with their singing. Her pale white hair blows in the wind, People say she was a Godsend. But something happened that fateful night, One thing that did not turn out right. Her name is unknown to me, But her story won’t be. THE ANGEL: ANGEL: The girl made her own lunch that day, No one knew the promises she made. She had bruises hidden on her body She refused to tell anybody. All the teacher’s wanted to ask But none of them wanted to do the difficult task. The only person she told nobody could see She talked to him under that tree. He told her that it would not last long, He said for her to stay strong. When she got home She was alone. Later that night
The boy told her something was not right. She felt it too. But she didn’t know what to do. They talked about when she would come, And what she would become. That very same night Her mom was the something
that was not right. She called up the stairs To say she was there. The girl heard her mom come up from downstairs, The closer her mom’s footsteps got, the more and more she got scared. Her mom stumbled into the room, drunk. She could smell her mom, and she smelled like a skunk. Her mom grabbed and shook And then took Her to the room
That would be her tomb. She looked for the boy’s help, but he could not help her; he shook his head, The girl knew by the sober look on his face that she would be dead. She yelled and screamed, but the response was the same Nobody came. Her mom was throwing a fit, The girl can’t complain when she’s hit. The neighbors hear her cries in the night, Some turn on music or turn out their lights. Everything turns silent In all the violence. The girl closes her eyes. She can feel herself as she dies. She begins to slip away, She never wanted to stay. The girl was in the hand of the fates, But when help came, it was already too late. When they got to the scene, The mom was very drunk and mean. They restrained her mom, And worked on her like she was a ticking bomb. The boy didn’t watch anymore, so he walked away with a pout. There is a bright light
That breaks in the middle of the night. The light embraces her, in all of its glory, But this is not the end of this story. The neighbors look on the scene as silent as a mouse. The silent tears streak their cheeks They knew that this was going on for weeks. The girl floated away from this scene, And as she floated away she felt serene. The girl floated into waiting open arms. God gave her her wings and her charms. The next day the people paid their respects. Each and everyone had their own regrets. They never asked, she never told.
They looked among each other and watched the crowed unfold. They looked at her name on the polished rock, There was one broken heart that everyone forgot. The little boy stood at the edge of her grave He walked up through the crowd, with his head down, He turned his head when he heard a sound. She was wearing a white dress, And she smiled at him with a confidence that would impress. He grabbed her, and they flew to the sky, The boy and girl flew high. She smiled because she was free, To just be.
Epilogue: The girl got her wish at the end, But this is not the message she wanted to send. She wanted to say That at the end of the day, If you know the secret, don’t wait. Too late. If there’s a cry in the night, Don’t turn away in fright. There is help you can give To help one more child live. Remember the angel’s tale And with this you won’t fail.
Open Your Mind by Raré Williams As I take part in a life broader than what many and I truly understand, I feel blinded. Left without a handbook to guide us through dark temptations, I feel controlled by the kings and queens of my inner thoughts and environment. I begin to become unselfish with this control of life, knowing that any and everything I do affects everyone around me. Put in this position, I begin to wonder why we insist on controlling our minds to be stern, When in fact, opening up our minds will be the key to the unruled secret societies around us. Enslaved people, no different from animals caged in a zoo. Except we have a choice. We choose to enslave our minds. So what is the difference? We take for granted the key, tools handed to us, And exchange them for material handhelds. As the new generation, where are we headed? 15
Around Us by Emilie Beck Around us, I see faces, people I know, or know of leaving everything behind.
Around us, I see memories, laughter, smiles, and jokes from people who left it behind.
Around us, I see traces, a paper here, a bag there, pieces of what was left behind.
Around us, I see nothing, just memories and traces of people who left us behind, and are never coming back.
Around us, I see empty chairs, but I know who used to occupy the empty seats before they left us behind. Around us, I see tears streaming from puffy eyes, and red noses; remember who left us behind.
Untitled by Justin Burton You will never forget your life up until now But you can never put those memories in perspective Do not repeat the mistakes of your parents You will make some of your own. Forgive yourself. Love yourself as others do Look for positive people who can lift you up To help you to see what others already know That you are worth loving, Justin.
I AM by Leanna Chapin I am a warrior protected by artificial assurance who gets her courage from risking things other than lives I AM a sailboat dependent on breath for motion I’m dead in a sea of critics treading black water that’s swallowing me whole I am a star twinkling in an abandoned sky ANYTHING I try to do somehow no one notices my sparkle
Art by Leslie Bell
I am a window transparent but impenetrable I wish I could let you in but you’re not sunlight I am a vase holding what outside you bring in I WANT to be the one everyone sees but I am merely the catalyst for another’s radiance I am a flame dangerous TO forests and homes undervalued I can be you let me spread destruction all around I am a tear shed in happy and sad times I run from my flaws wishing you would just let me BE
If I Didn’t Know Where I Was Going Kayla G. McDonald
If I didn’t know where I was going, I would blindly travel there. My eyes would be sewn shut, and I would stumble everywhere. If I didn’t know where I was going, I would crawl slowly on my knees. I would trust my hands to guide me, and my toes would follow their leads. If I didn’t know where I was going, I would not know when to stop. I would climb the endless ladder, never knowing I reached the top. If I didn’t know where I was going, I would never know how to act. I would pretend I was someone I wasn’t to make up for what I lacked. If I didn’t know where I was going, I would follow the crumbled path, I would learn not to cry; let go and Photography by Kayla G. McDonald
If I didn’t know where I was going, I would blindly travel there And I would slowly reach…the place of nowhere.
Almost Famous Created by Lincoln High School Students Lincoln High School 7425 Willis Rd. Ypsilanti, MI 48197 ÂŠ2011 almostfamouslhs.webs.com