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ARIZONA BORDER – 1956

Arizona border sign

This is “Mr. and Mrs. Bobbysocks.” What they did in 1956, I did this last week. I went to Arizona. Yes, in Phoenix. I was there performing slide shows at Taliesin West for journalists flown in from around the country to preview the brand-spankin’ new 2005 PT Cruiser Convertible by Chrysler. On the days off what were D-J (aka Tex), my producer, and I to do but run around looking for local time warps, treasures and leftovers from days past.

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LANDMARK HOTEL – LAS VEGAS – 1974

Designed in the late fifties, the Landmark is by far the spaciest hotel ever built. Howard Hughes was the most famous name originally attached to the project. Ground breaking was celebrated in 1961 and construction was completed in 1963. But for mysterious reasons, the 31-story, 500-room flying saucer-style casino hotel didn’t open its doors for business for six years. In 1964, as it stood empty, it played a role as background scenery behind Elvis and Ann-Margaret.

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CARWASH, LAKEWOOD CENTER, LAKEWOOD, CA, 1958

'50s era car wash with Mercury Montclair

The sparkling clean car is a 1955 Mercury Montclair finished beautifully in aqua and cream, inside and out. This model was among the first of the 50s cars to be recognized as a classic. Thankfully the location of where this ultra rare car wash shot was taken is revealed in the background by the space age LAKEWOOD CENTER sign. When I was a kid my Aunt Karen and Uncle Melvin lived in Lakewood and I spent a lot of time there...

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EASTLAND SHOPPING CENTER – WEST COVINA, CA – 1959

Eastland Shopping Center

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of going to The Eastland Shopping Center in West Covina. I fondly remember as a four-year old taking the trip from home in Ontario sitting on the fold-down armrest in the backseat of my grandparents pink ‘58 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. I loved that car -of course- it had big tailfins. Eastland was amazing. When we were there I thought we were rich. Our first stop was always the May Company where it seems my grandma always bought a girdle. That was embarrassing.

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THE MOST PITIFUL ROSE FLOAT EVER – PASADENA, CA – 1957

Happy New Year!!!!!

Frost Pumpkin Float

Happy New Year!!!!! Hard to believe it’s Two Thousand FOUR!!! We are living beyond the future!!!

For those of you who attended the Rose Parade I certainly hope that you had a GREAT time!

Speaking of the Rose Parade, last week’s SLIDE OF THE WEEK was one of the most unusual Rose Floats ever, “OUR FIRST QUARREL.” This week’s is the most pitiful rose float ever “The Frost That Kills the Pumpkin!” Can you believe it? Those big ears, that big red nose and all those missing teeth? Orange Gerber daisies have never looked SO bad! It was sponsored by the city of Van Nuys in 1957. And they even misspelled Pumpkin!

GOD BLESS AMERICANA and ROSE PARADEIANA!!