Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jim Morrison turns orange



Back in the Summer of 1994, I happened upon this huge mural of Jim Morrison painted upon an apartment building in Venice Beach. Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and the mural still remains, but the building itself has been repainted. Orange. If you look closely, you can still see the mint green surrounding Morrison. Sadly, whoever painted the building didn't see fit to save the signature of the artist.



On the other side of the building is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger:



This one of Donald Trump is an instant classic:



Marilyn Monroe looks positively dreamy staring out of the painted window:



Pulling back you see more of the building itself:



A mural featuring Muhammad Ali:



Last one is my very favorite: the Touch of Evil mural. Get that car out of the way of my photo!



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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Twiggy in Color!



Years ago I scored a number of vintage black and white negatives from supermodel Twiggy's April 1967 visit to Disneyland. Recently, I acquired a few color slides documenting the same trip. This first shot appears to be in Adventureland. Twiggy is surrounded by her entourage, including boyfriend Justin de Villeneuve.



Judging by the expression on her face, I would say that the Pack Mules were not a favorite.



This shot of her with Goofy is one of the few that shows her out and out laughing. What a shame it's so blurred!



The life of a supermodel: staring at an empty plate at the Plaza Inn.



SOOOOO hungry.



I guess she was allowed some popcorn. Here she is devouring a box aboard the Columbia.



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Monday, November 27, 2017

Bewitched in Salem



Salem, Massachusetts is probably best known for its infamous witch trials. Tourists flock to the area, especially for Halloween. Most probably don't realize the gravity of what happened here, especially when they are greeted by the smiling face of this statue commemorating Elizabeth Montgomery in "Bewitched."



Further into town you can find the historic Pickman House; yes, that's yours truly bundled up for the winter. Built in 1664, it is adjacent to the Witch Memorial dedicated in 1992 on the 300th anniversary of the Salem witch trials and is also next to America's second oldest burying ground, aka Burying Point.



These stone benches commemorate the twenty people who lost their lives during the trials.



Unlike the others, Giles Corey was not hung. He was "pressed" to death by stones when he refused to testify against other "witches." Stones continued to be added to his body in an effort to get him to divulge information until he finally died after three days of this insane torture.



When I first saw these sentences inscribed in the stones on the ground, I thought that they had been stupidly covered up on the right side by the wall. Paleontologist and expert tour guide Bretton Rocks explained to me that these words were the final ones uttered by the supposed witches, just before they were hung. The cut-off sentences at right were uttered at the point of death, just as you would read them. Wow.



Steps away is Burying Point, Salem's oldest cemetery.







The sunset framed this area of mourning perfectly.



The Salem Witch Museum was closed, unfortunately. And that damn stroller in front; almost felt like I was at Disneyland.



Looks like I will need to return to explore the museum.



As I left town, I had to have Bretton take a shot of me with Samantha. Yes, even I can be a tourist.



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Friday, November 24, 2017

Balloons in Fantasyland, May 1958



I really fell in love with this vintage image from May 1958. The joy on the guest's faces (at least on two out of three) as they hold the Disneyland balloon seller's goods. Today, he might get fired for this.



Note the handpainted details:



And a contemporary shot:



The light fixture looks vintage, but not the same one from 1958. And the handpainted details have been replaced with a less than thrilling grapevine.



A final detailed view of the Fantasyland ticket booth near the Carrousel:



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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Plymouth for Thanksgiving



Originally known as Plimouth, the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts is viewed as the home of the first Thanksgiving feast. It is also well known for Plymouth rock, the traditional site of where William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed when they founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. The rock is housed inside a large granite columned structure. When you see the rock itself, you'll be amazed at how small it is. Once known as "The Great Rock," it looks more like a lawn decoration from Home Depot. What happened?!? Back in 1774, it was removed from its original spot to put it on display in the town square, at which point it broke in half. Over the years, pieces of it were sold for profit and what you see now is all that remains. Yes, people paid to get a "piece of the rock."



While Plymouth Rock "tells" the traditional story of Thanksgiving, another nearby rock on Cole's Hill tells the story of "National Day of Mourning." Every year since 1970, thousands of Native Americans have gathered in the area as a reminder to all that their people lost: their culture, their land, and especially the millions of lives at the hands of those who traveled by ship to settle here. It was an eye opening experience to see this small reminder of what actually occurred here. It wasn't all turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. My friend Brett of Bretton Rocks, who is a descendant of the Wampanoag Tribe, gave me a tour of Plymouth and a Reader's Digest version of its true history.



The first Pilgrim burial ground, known as Burial Hill, was established on Cole's Hill in 1620.



Some of the tombstones had very simple inscriptions:



while others had interesting carved details. I love this stuff!



The view of Plymouth from the cemetery was spectacular:



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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

When a Wrong Makes a Right



As I was driving home from Venice Beach, I thought I knew which way to go and rather than rely on any navigation, I went with intuition. It wasn't long before I realized I had probably gone the wrong way. Still, my intuition was spot on, as I realized I was approaching the former MGM studio gates! I had never been through Culver City so this was a first. Of course I had to park the car and get out the camera.



Yes, yes, I know that it's no longer MGM but rather Sony Studios. Still, the building definitely bears the hallmark of its original occupant. Check out those lions on the light fixtures!



I have no idea what the rainbow beyond the gate was, but I can guess it must have had something to do with "The Wizard of Oz" which was shot here back in 1938.



Back in the car, I next found myself in front of the former Selznick Studios. This iconic building can be seen at the beginning of every Selznick picture, including "Gone with the Wind." Many have mistaken this as the fa├žade for Tara.



Then I saw signs for the Culver Hotel, where the Munchkins (according to myth/legend) ran rampant during the filming of "The Wizard of Oz."



How about this marquee for the Kirk Douglas Theatre?



Obviously, I need to come back!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and The Rat Pack



Here's a shot of Shirley and Peter Lawford circa June 1946 in a publicity shot for a Command Performance Radio Broadcast. Was Peter trying to get Shirley into the Rat Pack? Or was he attempting to get something else from Shirley with his charm? I tried to zero in on the script, but couldn't read a durn thing.



Don't even think about it, Peter. She's a married lady, so wipe that smile off your face. And that better be water in the pitcher!



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