It's the tiki tiki tiki tiki TIKI ROOM

The year after I moved back from Hawaii my family went to Disneyland where we met up with my best friend and her family who had also recently moved back to the Mainland. There is only one photo, that we know of, showing us standing in front of the Matterhorn.

There are two things that are hardwired into my brain from that day. The first is seeing Jimmy Dodd and Roy from the Mickey Mouse Club signing autographs in a room that also contained a lot of sets from the movie "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." It was all a strange mix. One side of the room was dark and mysterious with the sets while the other side had Jimmy and Roy sitting at a table in front of I believe the Mouseketeer house all brightly lit. Sort of the yin and yang of Disney I guess. I so wanted an autograph, but was too shy to walk up to the table. Jimmy Dodd died the next year in Hawaii.

The second thing I vividly remember is the Tiki Room. It was "An entirely new concept in entertainment" according to the brochure. It certainly was! I don't think Disney had used animatronics at the park before this. And it was perfect for two families who had just lived amongst the lush jungles, bird calls, and tikis of Hawaii. We enjoyed it on a level I'm sure the other patrons didn't. I remember feeling a bit at home for the first time since leaving Oahu, even if what I was surrounded by was unreal. It was watered down touristy Hawaii which we generally only saw when we went down to Waikiki. But ohhhhhh talking tikis! How good could that be?

My best friend and I first became enamored of tikis aboard the Matsonia on the way to Hawaii. They were exotic and funny, maybe even a little bit scary. There were tiki statues in the lobby where we'd sit next to them playing with our favorite dolls. Tikis are still important to us beyond the pseudo hipster-ness with which they are thought of today. I have a tiki god standing near my front door that was carved by a prisoner on the Big Island of Hawaii in probably 1960 or '61 that my folks bought while on R and R at Kilauea. 

But then back to the Tiki Room. I found this brochure dating from that summer in '63. The Tiki Room was new, exciting, and very colorful. And all you did was sit. Sit and look up. Of course most of the stuff you do at Disneyland requires nothing more than sitting (and standing in lines), but this took sitting to a whole new level. You didn't sit in something pretending to be something other than what it was, a motorized chair. No, you sat in a chair. Just chairs lined up. And the "guides" were dressed in, for us, familiar Hawaiian attire. The sort of clothes we had worn all the time. 

This brochure has survived 46 years because it's been stashed away inside a Disney book my folks bought me that day. So take a look at the brochure, clicking on each image to see it larger. Then take a look at the fun videos I found.

This shows the front and the back of the brochure.


Opening up from the first fold.


And finally completely unfolded, the brochure inside.


This video is a fun bit of information telling you how the Tiki Room came to be.

Here's another fun video showing what goes on behind the scenes in the Tiki Room.

And here's a nice video of just the theme song.

Then take a look at this video of what appears to be the full Tiki Room experience, including the "pre-show" as you stood in line.

And as far as the puppeteer advertised on the back of the brochure, André Tahon, you can click here to read about him in French and English.



When I first decided to scan this delicious little puff piece about Joan Crawford from the April 1949 Photoplay I thought I'd just let the stupidity of the piece stand on its own. But then...ohhhhh...I just had to dig into the details. I didn't get far because there's not far to get. I stopped at the byline. Hymie Fink. Who is Hymie Fink and why am I inclined to say silly things about him? 

Joan Crawford w_Hymie Fink_tatteredandlost
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I googled Hymie and very little showed up. All I can find is that he photographed movie stars and got a few bylines. Seriously do you think this fellow wrote this piece? Nahhhhh...neither do I. I'm thinking a studio publicist sent this drivel in, Hymie took some pictures, Photoplay threw this together with a nice little layout. 

Joan Crawford by Hymie Fink_tatteredandlost
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I don't know if Hymie was a staff photographer for a studio, freelanced, or was employed by a magazine. His name does seem to pop-up with stars from the late 30s through 50s. There's a really nice Montgomery Clift shot on this page, a mention of Hymie here in an article about Clark Gable, and finally the best of all, a photo of Hymie Fink with Marilyn Monroe here. And then there's another byline with photos in an August 1948 Photoplay about Tyrone Power.

Do you think "Fink Photos" was ever printed on the back of any of his work? Nah, me neither. It seems strange that a man who obviously had very close proximity to so many of the stars of long ago has little known about him. I'd have thought somewhere along the line someone would have compiled at least a website, if not a book, of his work.

Enjoy. You probably thought I was going to write something snarky about Joan Crawford. There's no need for me to say anything since all of this blather in the magazine was outside her control. Poor Joan will forever now be known for some great acting and a coat hanger raised up against the little blond daughter on the left. This article and photo were camp long before the beautiful Faye Dunaway had the painted on lips and eyebrows in Mommie Dearest.

Do click on the image above to read the ohhhhh so fine copy that just sounds soooooooo natural. Then take a look at Hymie with Marilyn and decide for yourself if he wrote it.

Consider this the one new item you learned today. Hymie Fink. Remember the name. 


TED KRAMER, father

There once was a man named Ted Kramer who kept scrapbooks about all the important events in his life. Two scrapbooks full of ephemera from his college days in the 1930s, illness, graduation, courting, marriage, and fatherhood. I'd never before seen scrapbooks so lovingly put together by a father/husband. Unfortunately the albums ended up on a junk table at a flea market being sold by a daughter. It was a cold foggy day and the daughter was thrilled to unload the albums and go home. She gave me a photo of her father so that there would be some connection with all the lovely cards, letters, telegrams, and dried bouquets.

Ted is gone, but let's wish him a Happy Father's day for once being someone who cared so much. 

A card from his children on Father's Day.

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Card publisher: Wishing Well Greetings, date unknown


WILLIAM HOLDEN in the summer

One of my favorite summer movies is Picnic starring William Holden and Kim Novak. This post has nothing to do with that. It's just a mental reminder to me that some warm evening I need to get out my copy of the film and settle in for a bit of summer movie viewing.

I was out and about at flea markets today. No major purchases, but then I'm looking for things most people don't care about. Old paper stuff. If I'd been in the mood for junk jewelry or odd ceramic doodads I'd have come home with a trunk full of junk. No, I was looking for paper. I found an old movie magazine, Photoplay, from 1949 for a buck. The cover isn't in great condition, but I don't care. I didn't buy it in order to retire to the Hamptons. I bought it because it has a ridiculous article about Montgomery Clift with nice photos. Plus it has ads for old movies. Stick with me. This is why I'm thinking about hunky Holden. 

I can't afford old movie posters though I'd love to have a lot of them. The only one I have is a reproduction of a  Roy Rogers movie. It never dawned on me that old movie magazines would have ads. Duh! But I just never seem to find these magazines, at least not at prices I'm willing to pay. So it was a nice surprise to find this one for (here it comes) a William Holden film from 1949, Streets of Laredo. I'm sure I've seen this movie, but right now I can't remember it. According to my DishNetwork guide it won't be on this month so I'll have to check next months listings of the Western channel. Love the Western channel. Until then...

Streets of Laredo_tatteredandlost
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Okay, I'll admit the "Amigos! One for all and all for one" has me thinking of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short doing their silly hip thrusting cough salute in Three Amigos.

To hear the theme song from the movie written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, who also wrote Buttons and Bows, click here for their official web site. And to see a couple of the actual posters from the film, as opposed to a magazine ad, click here and here. It's amazing how varied the advertising can be for a film.

And now that I've got the old classic Streets of Laredo running through my head I'll end with the beautiful voice of the late Marty Robbins.


FORGOTTEN child actors and animals

Oh sure, we all remember cute little Puff. Yeah, Puff had it made. Puff was driven to the set each day where he was groomed, fed, and played with. He went out to stud later in his life and then retired to a lap of a librarian somewhere outside Boston. But what of Fuzzy? Nobody knows what happened to Fuzzy. He never gets mentioned with fondness by people tripping down memory lane. That's Fuzzy above acting his little heart out.

Children's readers from the 1930s until the 1970s starred Dick and Jane. They're famous. Each made a tidy little sum which was invested by their parents so they could retire early. Dick has a nice place in Boca, Jane lives near Mt. Hood, Oregon where she runs a successful organic jams and jelly company. 

But what of the child stars Bill and Susan? Bill and Susan you ask? Who are Bill and Susan? Well, they're the two forgotten tykes of publishing history.

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Just as cute and obedient as Dick and Jane, Bill and Susan starred in the 1945 production of "Bill and Susan" produced by the Silver Burdett Company. Unfortunately they both had lousy lousy agents. Bill's money was squandered by an accountant who left on a steamer for Pago Pago sometime around '52. By then Bill had lost his cute childlike quality and was having trouble getting work. Around '56 he enlisted and served a few years in the Army on the border between North and South Korea. When he returned he bummed around the country and wrote a book entitled "Bill On the Road" but could never find a publisher. He eventually worked as a short order cook in Laramie and then just seemed to disappear. He could never get over having people ask him if he was Dick. When he'd say, "No, I'm Bill" people would just shrug and say, "Never heard of ya."

Bill and Susan_pg23_tatteredandlost
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Susan did have it slightly better. Her folks had wisely invested her earnings, but Susan didn't handle her teen years well. She married at 17, had two children, and was divorced by 20. By then her ex-husband had managed to gamble away all of her money. Susan was last seen in a small town out near the Salton Sea taking orders at a greasy donut shop, reading glasses dangling from a chain around her neck. No matter what anyone says to her she only responds with, "Order please. Fast. Fast. Order order." She has few friends because most people are a bit turned off by her speech pattern.

It's a tale as old as showbiz. The little tykes get used and thrown aside. The Coogan bill was designed to safe guard the funds child performers earned, but the stars of Primers weren't part of the deal. No, those tykes were forgotten. 

And then there's Perky. Well, Perky met Spot on a cross-country junket when they were both heading to New York to do some promotion work. Let's just say Perky wasn't as perky after meeting Spot. She had 6 puppies with all but one looking like Spot. Her career was over. She was labeled a bitch and never worked again. 

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Okay, here's the truth. "Bill and Susan" was published in 1945 by Silver Burdett Company as part of their "Learning to Read: A Basic Reading Program" by Nila Banton Smith. The illustrations are by Janice Holland.


Smoke cigarettes...GET GAS

As a kid I always got such a kick out of the signs reading "Eat Here Get Gas" because well, I was a kid and they were funny. Okay, I still find them funny when I see them, only now I have to figure the people who put the signs up surely get the joke. They couldn't possibly be as dim witted as to not notice what this says about their establishment. Well, okay...maybe I give people too much credit. Which brings me to....

I found this cigarette ad in a July 1969 Ladies Home Journal. Cigarette ads have always tried one of two methods to sell these damn fire sticks:
  • make the product appear sexy or
  • make the product sound healthy.
For a long time both worked. I'm not sure now what works, but I think Nascar has got a lot to do with it. Which brings me to cigarettes, cars, and clueless people buying a used car. 

There's simply so much that could be written about the absurdity of this ad. What exactly are they trying to sell? It's not sex appeal. And none of these people look particularly healthy. The woman is just a "carrier" for the product. The two men, the creepy car salesman and the equally "This is my little woman" husband, are the smokers. And they're talking about gas? Forgive me, but was anyone awake at the ad agency when they had this meeting? If this is what was chosen, what was turned down? And would you really say to a friend, "Here, try one of my gas-trap filter cigarettes." Wouldn't your friend look at you like you're crazy? 

Lark Cigarettes_tatteredandlost
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My sympathy to anyone who chose advertising. Most of you have probably lost the tips of your tongues from biting them off when a client goes for the dumbest concept known to the world.

"Save the planet. Stop global warming. Smoke Larks." Makes sense to me. Quick, somebody draw up the storyboard for the 15 second spot.


The romance of BOB PEAK

Since I did the brief post on Bob Peak I found this postcard that was sent to me by my best friend in 1968. As I said in the previous post, Peak did movie posters which may be familiar to many of you. This one was for the movie Camelot.

I get a big kick out of what my friend wrote so long ago:
I thought you would groove on this picture. I picked up a few at the movie. I LOVE IT (the movie & the card). It will make another addition to your ever growing (oh dear) postcard collection.
And she still finds cards to send me. She has been the ongoing lifeblood of my collection.

Bob Peak_Camelot_tatteredandlost
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Would you buy MUD FROM THIS MAN?

Where to begin? What to say? How soon before it all sounds offensive?

Meet George. George wants to sell you his mud. Ummmmmmm...ohhhhhhhhhhhkkkkkkkkkkay.

I found this ad in the September 1972 Ladies Home Journal. I don't remember this ad running back then. I was probably too busy with college and/or I just wasn't reading the particular magazines where George decided to do his Cool Hand Luke imitation. Was this an effective ad? I don't know. It sure got my attention now. And I started to wonder if this company was still around and if ol' George still looks like this. 

Well, he most certainly would be old George. According to the companies web site, and yes, the company is still in business even if you've never heard of them, George's sons now run the company. Here's a link to a part of their site that actually shows this ad. The company is called Arizona Natural Resources, Inc. I don't know that I've ever seen any of their products, but since they manufacture products for other companies it's possible.

And if you want to see George now take a look a this page, last entry in the right column. You just never know what you'll find when looking through old magazines and then toss in a small dose of google.

Do take a look at the ad larger. You really must read the copy. I just have to wonder about all of it. It states in the first few lines:
In an advertising agency you hear a lot of wild stories.

But when George walked into our office with some mud he found in the middle of the Arizona desert, and told us it could perform small miracles on your face, we all thought he had to be crazy.
I bet they did! Did he walk in looking like this? A little bit sweaty with an "aw shucks ma'm" attitude, carrying that dirty dirty shovel over his gleaming shoulder? I'm just askin'? I'd have said "Mud? You want to sell me mud? Okie dokie! I'll buy whatever you're sellin'!" I believe that might be me on the left side of the ad, arms raised in surrender.

Oh, I bet this issue of LHJ was well worn at the hair salon from all the ladies under the hoods. How many of the ads got torn out and stuck on walls? 

Todays lesson, and you can quote me: Sex sells...just about everything.

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In '73 I was getting ready for my first trip to Europe. I was also about to graduate from art college. TWA put out these brochures which I quickly grabbed because they were illustrated by Bob Peak. Bob Peak was one of the inspirational illustrators whose work I collected and I just recently found these brochure covers hidden away in an old folder. I loved his style which often had a collage look, bits and pieces neatly sewn together to make a whole. Back then his work was in every Illustrator's Annual, TV Guide covers, movie posters, magazine illustrations. I wish I'd saved more. 

He was born Robert "Bob" M. Peak on May 30, 1927 and died August 1, 1992. To read more about Bob Peak check out this site which is affiliated with a show opening today at the Gallery Nucleus in Los Angeles. You'll see work you recognize. He set a style that illustrators followed for decades. For another perspective click here.

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When bluebirds fly over 4 leaf clover YOU'LL FIND A PIANO SALESMAN

This card was purchased at an estate sale. Inconsequential in appearance. Definitely tattered and lost. It's also odd. I'm not sure what the illustration is supposed to mean. Obviously it's a woman thinking about writing a note to a friend, "Thinking of you" or perhaps "Why haven't you written?" But then we get the bluebirds of happiness flying against her window and the big four leaf clover balls hovering in the air. HUH?

Krakauer Piano postcard_tatteredandlost
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So you turn the card over and it gets weirder. It was an ad for a piano salesman! And apparently at some point a child got hold of the card and wrote a little message to "Edna" that is almost unreadable. I will not attempt to translate because there are a few words there that...well...I'd just rather not take a guess lest I offend someone.

Krakauer Piano card_tatteredandlost
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I cannot find anything specifically about Michael & St. John Pianos but perhaps Mr. St. John was related to Joseph H. St. John mentioned on this page.

As to Krakauer Pianos I found the following:
Manufacturers of Krakauer Bros. grand, upright, console and spinet pianos. In the course of their long and successful career Krakauer Bros. have been a family concern and never allied with combinations outside the organization. This house was founded in 1869 by Simon Krakauer, an excellent musician, who came to America in 1853 with his son David.
The manufacture of Krakauer pianos is entirely confined to one high grade quality-the Krakauer piano-which is available in a wide variety of attractive designs in Grand and Vertical models. For many years the Krakauer is noted for exceptionally artistic and uniquely attractive case designs, durable constru~tion, and an exceptionally rich tonal quality. They have successfully pioneered the patented closed back construction which permits the piano to be placed anywhere in the room like a grand piano and without the necessity of placing it with its back to the wall. One of the most successful models in this design is the Krakauer "Serenade" which because it can be faced out in a room like a grand piano has a "grand like" free flowing quality of tone. Most of their spinet pianos also contain the exclusive Acoustic Tone Chambers which strikingly re-enforce and enhance the tone.
The Krakauer line is definitely a "Decorator" line of styling. Every model is authentic in its derivation and is not just a conglomeration of senseless frills. All this is based upon the close attention of the "one family" element in the organization, with an honest and intimate interest in every piano made. Krakauer Bros have no mass-production. A unique, exclusive feature of all Krakauer pianos is the new Bridge Braced Back construction, claimed by Krakauer engineers to be the strongest and most durable in the world. Krakauer Bros. have supplied their pianos to a large number of great musicians of today and the past who have, without solicitation, given eloquent testimony and endorsement to the worth and quality of the Krakauer piano. There are over 1,000 Krakauer pianos in the Public Schools of New York City alone. The factory was a modern, light five story corner building located at 115 East 138th Street, New York City (SOURCE: http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/agesk.htm)
Now perhaps I should do a search for "giant four leaf clover floating balls postcard" to see what shows up. Nah. Better to get back to work.



Luxury liners and cruising the high seas, on the whole, simply isn't like it once was. Of course, nothing is. But once upon a time cruise ships were glorious to look at instead of the behemoth top heavy monstrosities that they are today. 

The following three Cunard Lines menus all date from 1954 and I found all three, along with several others, in a trash can following an elderly woman's death. Her family loaded up the can with all of the ephemera from her trip to Europe and I was just as quickly there to retrieve it. 

Of the three, my favorite is the Queen Mary because I have photos of my Scottish grandmother on board in the mid-50s and a few decades later I was able to walk around the ship in Long Beach, California. Last year my friend's husband filmed an episode of a tv show aboard the old beauty

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Cunard Menu RMS Queen Mary_June 21, 1954_tatteredandlost
R.M.S. Queen Mary - June 21, 1954 - Farewell Dinner - artist: C. E. Turner

R.M.S. Queen Mary...sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line (then Cunard White Star Line). Built by John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, she was designed to be the first of Cunard's planned two-ship weekly express service from Southampton to Cherbourg to New York, in answer to the mainland European superliners of the late 1920s and early 1930s. After their release from World War II troop transport duties, Queen Mary and her running mate RMS Queen Elizabeth commenced this two-ship service and continued it for two decades until Queen Mary's retirement in 1967. The ship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is permanently berthed in Long Beach, California serving as a museum ship and hotel. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Cunard Menu RMS Ascania_April 17, 1954_tatteredandlost
R.M.S. Ascania - April 17, 1954 - Farewell Dinner - artist: unknown

Ascania was the fifth of Cunard's six "A" liners. Although she was launched late in 1923, her completion was delayed and she did not make her maiden voyage, from London to Montreal, until 22 May 1925.
She remained on that route until 1939 when, like all the "A" liners, she was requisitioned as an armed merchant cruiser. She was later converted into an infantry landing ship and took part in the invasion of Sicily and the landing at Anzio in 1943. The only "A" liner to return to Cunard service after the war, she ran on an austerity service from Liverpool to Halifax from 1947 to 1949, and after a 1950 refitting was placed on Cunard's Liverpool-Montreal service. Ascania again saw service as a troop carrier during the 1956 Suez crisis before being broken up in 1957. (SOURCE: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway.)

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Britannia - June 18, 1954 - Luncheon - artist: C. E. Turner

The 'Britannia', a wooden paddle steamer of 1150 tons, was the first of four ships with which Samuel Cunard began the first regular Atlantic steamship line. In this spirited impression by the noted British marine artist, C. E. Turner she is leaving Liverpool on her maiden voyage, July 45h 1840." (SOURCE: back of menu)

To read about the founder of the Cunard Lines, Samuel Cunard, click here.