When I first moved to Los Angeles The Brown Derby was still standing. I'm glad I got to see it before it was demolished. I do recall a lot of discussion going on about how to at least save the hat, but alas, like most things in LA, it no longer served a purpose so was disposable. I never got to eat there so I can't give you a restaurant review. And the current location of the dome of the hat is just better forgotten. If you want history about the Derby check out this link at Wikipedia.

I can say that it was fun to drive by and see a giant hat alongside the road just as seeing Tail o' the Pup hot dog stand was, and fortunately still is, fun to see. 

Which brings me to a book. A really fine book by Jim Heimann called California Crazy & Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture. I've put a link to it in the Amazon column on the left. It's a fun book full of photos and information about the eccentric architecture that used to dot the highways and byways of this country. A few still exist and I'm happy to be old enough to remember seeing some of them. 

I'd take a giant hat or donut, a building in the shape of a pig or airplane, or a motel in the shape of a wigwam any day over what passes for what we currently see along the freeways all over the country. Things were fun before corporations got involved and put their generic stamp of boredom on everything. Ahhhh for a drive along the coast and a stop at a Big Orange for a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice. Anyway, do check out the book. Highly enjoyable. 

And one more thing about this postcard of the Derby. I just googled the photographer, Hubert A. Lowman and see that he was quite prolific in the field of 4 color work in the 40s through 60s. I can't find out anything about him personally other than he won a prize of $15.00 for a shot he took and submitted to Desert Magazine in 1942. Other than that his name seems to show up for all sorts of shots of California and the Southwest. I'll have to pay closer attention to some of the other cards in my collection. It's not that the photo is stunning, it's just that it does the job and hopefully paid the rent. Fewer and fewer businesses offer postcards so this is a job that is becoming as lost as these fun buildings. 

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