DANNY KAYE in "Hans Christian Andersen"

At the estate sale where I purchased the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" movie tie-in book I also found this. Danny Kaye in "Hans Christian Andersen." The record inside plays fine except for one spot where it gets stuck. Considering the age, I'd probably get stuck too.

It was such a joy to hear these songs again. I'd forgotten about them because it's been a long time since I watched the movie. I can remember dancing around the living room to Thumbelina. I must have had a record, but I have no memory of it.

Danny Kaye_Hans Christian Anderson_tatteredandlost

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Inside the record were the following pieces of paper. In fact there are two drawings of the inchworm. The second is on a piece of green paper.

The following program for the movie was found at an antique store many years ago. I couldn't resist.

Hans Christian Andersen program_tatteredandlost

Hans Christian Andersen program_int_tatteredandlost
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Loved Danny Kaye as a child. Okay, I loved him as an adult. He never lost the child within. And I'm happy to say that he's still popular with children today if they are exposed to him. My best friend's granddaughter adores Danny.

Danny touched many hearts when he was alive and I adore him for that.

And now, excuse me. I think I need to dance.


SUDDENLY Last Summer

So what has happened to you this summer? Probably nothing as horrifying as what happened to Liz Taylor in Suddenly Last Summer.

This movie tie-in book was found in a pile of books that had been discarded. It cost me nothing. It has 8 pages of stills from the movie. Happy me.

Suddenly Last Summer_ft_tatteredandlost
Suddenly Last Summer_bk_tatteredandlost

For those not familiar with the story:
Suddenly, Last Summer is a one-act play by Tennessee Williams. It opened off Broadway on January 7, 1958, as part of a double bill with another of Williams' one-acts, Something Unspoken. The presentation of the two plays was given the overall title Garden District, but Suddenly, Last Summer is now more often performed alone. The play, basically consisting of two long monologues, is considered one of Williams' starkest and most poetic works.

The play features Catharine Holly, a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin Sebastian dies on a trip to Europe under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian's mother, Violet Venable, trying to cloud the truth about her son's homosexuality and death, threatens to lobotomize Catharine for her incoherent utterances relating to Sebastian's demise. Finally, under the influence of a truth serum, Catharine tells the gruesome story of Sebastian's death by cannibalism at the hand of local boys whose sexual favors he sought, using Catharine as a device to attract the young men (as he had earlier used his mother). (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Geez Taylor was beautiful.


A little tattered BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

Oh how something so tattered can make me happy for 50 cents.

I stopped at a neighborhood estate sale and found a few things to make me smile. Things that nobody else would give a second look. This is one of them. I saw the spine and new immediately it was an old copy. I've learned to scope out old titles by their spines, thus I don't waste time bending over looking through boxes of anything recent. Not interested.

Breakfast at Tiffany's_ft_tatteredandlost

Was in heaven when I saw the genuine Holly Golightly on the front. Never again will this book have Audrey Hepburn on the cover. So I add it to my collection of movie tie-in books.

Breakfast at Tiffany's_bk_tatteredandlost

Yes, I collect movie tie-in books too, and I give explanations in these two other posts:
TRAIN of Thought which features Steve McQueen and Paul Newman

and Sweet Smell of SUCCESS featuring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
But to step back in time for just a few moments...



Raise your hand if you send post cards while on vacation. Okay, raise your hand if friends send you post cards. Nah, me either. I think these days it's just as likely that somone will get out a cell phone and take a picture of themself in front of Mt. Rushmore. There are still post cards to buy, but the variety is pretty slim. What I do find are photographs of locations and animals that are far more high end than the old days. Very commercial shots like you'd find at a stock agency. I hope post cards don't die out, but they'll never be popular the way they once were.

So, do you send a humorous card or one showing people having fun at whatever location you're visting?

Click on any of the images below to see them larger.

Newport Harbor_tatteredandlost



Bob Petley post card_tatteredandlost

This final card is from the Petley Studios. I did a post earlier this year called "Got MILK?" that featured a card from Petley and a brief bio. Bob Petley is supposedly the man credited for inventing the jackalope.



Always more to see along America's highways. How many of these still pull in tourists? I'll let you guess. Another thing to ponder, how many of these sites are still alive? Again, I'll let you guess.

From coast-to-coast, there's plenty of weirdness to go around.

Paul Bunyan and Babe_tatteredandlost
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Paul Bunyan and Blue in Bemidji, Minnesota In the early fall of 1937, the Paul Bunyan Carnival was organized with Hector Brown in charge. Various organizations in the city were requested to take over certain parts of the program. Cyril Dickinson, of the Dickinson Construction Company was delegated to build a statue of Paul Bunyan. Earl Bucklen, (on right) mayor of Bemidji at the time, was used as a model. All measurements were scaled up three-to-one. The statue was built late in the fall and had to be covered with canvas while the cement was hardening.

In order to get some idea of the labor and materials which went into Paul's construction, Mr. Dickinson furnished the following statistics:
  • Concrete footings to water level: 5 1/2 tons
  • Weight of statue above footings: 2 1/2 tons
  • Height of statue: 18 feet
Built in the winter of 1937, 737 man-hours were used in the construction of Paul Bunyan. The statue is of wood framework above the footings, over which reinforcing bars form the outline. Heavy steel laths are over the reinforcing bars and cement stucco is applied to this. The reinforcing of the footings is of heavy steel and continues up through the legs of the statue. This was intended to be reinforced in such a manner as to withstand a high velocity of wind. The statue was painted at the time of construction and is touched up each year before the summer tourism season begins.

Paul's shotgun rested beside him for many years. Made of wood, it deteriorated over time and was removed. A replica of the gun is on display in the Tourist Information Center. (SOURCE: Visit Bemidji)
To read more click here.

Click on image to see it larger.

Though this reptile location, the Florida Reptile Institute in Silver Springs, Florida, founded in 1930, seems to have been a place where legitimate studies were done, more often than not I recall huge signs along highways telling of live snakes, alligators, bears, and two headed calves. I do remember us stopping at a place that had a dead stuffed two headed calf. I have never been able to get the image from my brain. I was not a happy camper at that place. It was somewhere in Nebraska or Indiana.

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I remember seeing Bertha and Tina as an opening act for someone at the Nugget in Sparks, Nevada. Of course, they were not the only opening act. Emmett Kelly was also on stage before the "big" name came on.

You used to be able to see the pens where Bertha and Tina were housed down the road from the casino. I always thought it was so sad. I mean, what the hell were two elephants doing as sideshow material? Sorry, but there was simply no dignity to any of it.

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Chandelier Tree: This redwood gets its name from its unique limb structure. The tree resembles an ornate chandelier. The drive-through tree park is open from 8am to dusk year round and offers a gift shop, picnic area, and nature walks in the forest. To reach the park: take the Leggett exit where Hwy 101 junctions with Hwy 1, after exiting the freeway turn south immediately onto frontage rd and watch for signs to park. (SOURCE: California's Redwood Coast)
Liberace Museum_Las Vegas_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger. Yes, it's even stranger large.

What can I say? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Happy trails fellow travelers.



These vintage post cards most likely date from the mid-1940s to mid-50s. Back when you could stay at simple little Motor Courts. Remember those places with the little garages attached to each room? Or even separate little cottages? Usually there was a lawn somewhere around the office where you could go and sit on a warm summer night. And those metal chairs that sort of bounced with the seashell inspired back, various colors, but usually white metal for the curved base. Hot as all-get-out midday. Long before swimming pools were included with your stay.

Rancho Grande Motor Hotel_Wickenburg Arizona_tatteredandlost
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Most of these places are gone or so run down that communities want to condemn them. Sometimes I see them in nearly abandoned towns with weeds growing everywhere. Ghost motels. I'm glad I've got memories of when you got a bed and a bathroom, a Gideon Bible, maybe some stationary and a post card. That was it. No air conditioning. You hoped the heat worked in the winter.

El Royale Courts_Van Horn Texas_tatteredandlost
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And oh my the signs. The lovely neon signs. Surprisingly I have not found any books, old or new, about the old signs. It's a shame because now so many of them are gone or in disrepair that it would be difficult to to even put together a book.

Shamrock Court_Sullivan Missouri_tatteredandlost
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Can neon possibly look better than on a rainy night when the flashing reflects off a wet highway, beckoning you to stop. My favorite signs were of the Mexican fellow sleeping next to a cactus with the neon "Z...Z...Z..." floating above him. And every town seemed to have a Flamingo Motel. Now it's all corporate and boring. I know, I'm old, but I miss the creativity that existed. It's all just too tiresome now.

Travelers Auto Court_Las Vegas_tatteredandlost
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One more ephemera book I highly recommend is See the USA: The Art of the American Travel Brochure by John Margolies and Eric Baker.

A trip back in time to the romance of travel. Another book that I can sit and look at over and over again and always find something new each time. Good and bad design, beautiful and mediocre illustrations. You'll find all of them interesting if you love ephemera. And who knows, you might just decide to start a collection of your own.

The following pages from the book See the USA are all copyrighted ©2000 John Margolies.



So if you were making a cross country trip and didn't want to stay in motels/hotels or a tent what were your options? Well, in 1949 Holiday magazine ran these ads. All the comforts of home. Compared to the rigs running the roads today these look quaint. Today a lot of the high end rigs look like casinos inside, not your grandmother's bedroom.

American Coach_tatteredandlost
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I can remember a friend's parents renting a small trailer for one of her birthdays. It was parked in the street in front of their house and four girls, including me, spent the night in it. We had a ball, especially when we discovered we could throw ice cubes around the place and they'd slide along the walls. Pity the person that had to clean it the next day and found everything damp.

Trotwood Trailer_tatteredandlost
Click here to see more ads from Trotwood Trailers.

I also recall my folks once renting a small trailer for us to go camping near Yosemite. It was about the size of the Trotwood trailer. It didn't have a bathroom so we made do, so to speak, with the port-a-potty my father had purchased that he placed behind walls of blankets hung between trees. I remember having a great time, spending each day down at the river panning for gold. Didn't find a thing, but it was fun.

Vagabond Coach_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger. And click here to see more Vagabond ads.



Continuing on our road trip after a pleasant night's sleep at the Travel Lodge, I'm now in search of roadside distractions, I mean attractions. You know, the foolish things people create hoping to get you to stop and part with some cash. The book I posted about the other day, California Crazy, was about buildings made to attract tourists. However now what I'm talking about are simply things, non-functioning things. Often times they make no sense at all.

Our first stop is at the Blue Mountain Restaurant and Hotel in Harrisburg, Pennyslvania. It's really hard to explain the tackiness of this post card, and I'm not finding anything online about it. Sometimes ephemera just makes you hit your head against a wall to try and get the image out of your mind.

Blue Mountain_Kodiak Bear_tatteredandlost
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Why were there two dead bears standing in a restaurant in Harrisburg, capitol of the state? Why the flag pole? Did State Representatives come here for lunch so the owner thought they'd add a flag? Was the "decorator" color blind or did they actually think the drapes made the room?Most especially why were there women dressed as cheap versions of Playboy bunnies? Did they wait tables like this? What exactly was the theme of this place? Does it make you feel like the meal is going to be especially memorable, but for all the wrong reasons? If anyone has memories of this place I'd love to hear them.

Then we come to Virginia City, Nevada. I've actually seen this Silver Queen in person inside an old western saloon/casino/hotel. You can read on the back of the card all about her. I'm not finding anything else online.

Silver Queen_Virginia City_tatteredandlost
Silver Queen_bk_Virginia City_tatteredandlost
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Virginia City is well worth a visit. An old silver mining town hanging on the side of a hill. Great main street, great cemetery. But it gets hot. Very hot, so you've been warned.

Virginia City Historic District is a National Historic Landmark encompassing the former mining villages of Virginia City and Gold Hill, both in Storey County, as well as Dayton and Silver City, both to the south in adjacent Lyon County, Nevada, United States. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961, it is one of only six in the state of Nevada.
Virginia City was the prototype for future frontier mining boom towns, with its industrialization and urbanization. It owed its success to the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode. It is laid out in a grid pattern 1,500 feet below the top of Mount Davidson. Most of the buildings are two to three story brick buildings, with the first floors used for saloons and shops. It was the first silver rush town, and the first to intensely apply large-industrial mining methods.

After a year in existence, the boomtown had 42 saloons, 42 stores, 6 restaurants, 3 hotels, and 868 dwellings to house a town residency of 2,345. At its height in 1863, the town had 15,000 residents. From its creation in 1859 to 1875, there were five widespread fires. The 1875 fire, dubbed the Great Fire of 1875, caused $12,000,000 in damages.

Today, Virginia City is but a shadow of its former glory, however, it still draws over 2 million visitors per year. In 2004 its condition was considered "threatened". One reason is that an inactive mining pit may cause some of the buildings that make up the historic nature of the district to slide into the pit. The cemeteries are constantly vandalised and are in danger of erosion. Continued use of the district for tourism is harming those historical buildings still in use, and neglect of privately-held unused buildings increases the damage to the district. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
At one point Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens, lived in Virginia City and wrote for a local newspaper. I remember seeing his old desk in one of the buildings along the main street. So Twain is one of the roadside distractions if you visit this town. I think he'd appreciate that.

If you ever want to read his accounts of his time in Virginia City read Roughing It. I'm stunned to find that Amazon offers virtually nothing but Kindle editions of this book. You can also get it for free as a download from Project Guttenberg. I'd recommend checking through used bookstores. One of my very favorite books. Very very funny!
Twain joined his brother, Orion, who in 1861 had been appointed secretary to James W. Nye, the governor of Nevada Territory, and headed west. Twain and his brother traveled for more than two weeks on a stagecoach across the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, visiting the Mormon community in Salt Lake City along the way. These experiences inspired Roughing It, and provided material for The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Twain's journey ended in the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, where he became a miner. Twain failed as a miner and found work at a Virginia City newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise.Here he first used his famous pen name. On February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous travel account "Letter From Carson – re: Joe Goodman; party at Gov. Johnson's; music" with "Mark Twain". (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
And since we're so close to Lake Tahoe why not take a visit to the Ponderosa Ranch. Yes, THE Ponderosa of Bonanza fame.

Ponderosa Ranch_tatteredandlost

Okay, the majority of the show was shot in L.A. on a sound stage, but in the late 1960s an "amusement" park was built at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, California. In the summertime it was fun place to visit. It was all fake, but when the show was still being produced you could enjoy walking through a replica of the Cartwright home and walking down the dusty Main Street. Alas, the park is now gone.
The idea for the theme park came about in 1965. Bill and Joyce Anderson owned a small horse ranch, which happened to be located at about the same area as the Ponderosa on the fictional burning map. According to the Andersons, tourists would regularly show up at their gates, asking where the Ponderosa was. Smelling opportunity, the Andersons contacted NBC and Bonanza creator/ producer David Dortort. They proposed turning their small ranch into a theme park. NBC, Dortort, and the cast saw the tie-in as a bonanza for everyone. All parties being in one accord, the cast agreed to promos being shot at the ranch site and the Virginia City set- including the nearby Silver Dollar Saloon- for financial consideration. The ads greatly stimulated revenue for the park.

The park opened to the public in 1967, complete with a scale replica of the Cartwright ranch house and barn, similar to the ones seen on TV each week. A replica of Virginia City was later added to the property. The original plan was to open the set to tourists, once filming had wrapped. However, shuttling cast and crew up to Incline Village on a weekly basis became cost-prohibitive. Thus, very few episodes of Bonanza were actually shot there. A majority of ranch-specific scenes were shot on a sound stage at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Outdoor scenes were filmed on location at nearby Big Bear Lake, Red Rock Canyon, Mojave or eastern Kern County, California. However, Michael Landon, Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and David Canary often made appearances at the ranch in costume to mingle with fans and sign autographs. Blocker died in 1972. NBC canceled the series the following year. Canary, dressed in character as Candy, made his last visit there in 2002 for a PAX-TV special. Mitch Vogel (Jamie Cartwright) appeared at the ranch for the Travel Channel's "TV Road Trip" in 2002, in which he pitched a behind-the-scenes look at the Ponderosa Ranch and Incline Village. Copies of the "Bonanza Map", autographed by three of the Cartwrights (Pernell Roberts, who had played Adam, left before construction began) were handed out as souvenirs at the ranch for decades afterward, along with tin cups bearing their likenesses.

Episodes that were filmed entirely or in part at the ranch, bear a title plate at the end of the credits, indicating such. These episodes are from the 10th season on (1968-73). (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
And yes, I have one of the tin cups and a wall map like the one used in the opening credits.

Well, it's time to head back out onto the road to see what we can find next on our summer trip across the USA.


SLEEPY BEAR at Travel Lodge

Most of the motels I recall staying in as a child were not part of chains. They were individually owned and my mother would look them up in the AAA travel books to see what sort of a diamond rating they had. Holiday Inns were way out of our price range. Next step was Travel Lodge. Those were more economical if not as "fancy" as Holiday Inn.

I've said before that the first thing I always did as a child when walking into a new motel room was to check the desk drawer for post cards and stationary. Okay, I'll admit it, I still do. A few years ago I won a trip to a 5 star resort and as soon as the bellhop left the room I was into the desk drawer checking for post cards and stationary. Old habits die hard.

I do not know how old this Sleepy Bear post card is, but I'm imagining around 1962 to 1967. As a kid I liked Sleepy Bear. He was always a welcoming sight to see on their signs when it was late at night in a rain storm. We'd pull in next to the office and my father would go inside to see if they had a room. My mother would sit patiently waiting in the front seat with the wipers slapping back and forth across the large Olsdmobile windshield. Maybe the glow of the radio across the dashboard. Me in the back seat with the dog, anxiously looking towards the office hoping they had a room. Then my dad back into the car with a key and mother asking, "Did you ask if they take dogs?" My father, putting the car in gear, "No."

Travel Lodge_Sleepy Bear_tatteredandlost
Travel Lodge_post card_tatteredandlost
Travel Lodge stationary_tatteredandlost

Is Sleepy Bear still out there along the highways welcoming sleepy kids? I hope so. Yes, I know, he's just a corporate image trying to manipulate shoppers, but at the time these little images didn't seem as heavy handed. He was just a sleepy little bear who made a little girl smile.

Here's another book I'd like to recommend to those who love ephemera.

Hitting the Road: The Art of the American Road Map by Douglas A. Yorke, Jr, John Margolies, and Eric Baker.

It's all about the covers on vintage road maps of the US. The oldest map featured is from 1893.

Oh how I wish I had all of those old maps we used when we travelled. The
colorful maps you used to get for free from gas stations that were thrown away when the trip was over. Those days are sure gone, but this book lets you relive a little bit of what travel was once like. So if you like vintage travel or simply love looking at vintage ephemera illustrations this book won't be a disappointment.


It's time to head out to Find AMERICA

What say we take a tour around the country, circa mid-to-late last century? Not sure where this will take us, but the open road is before us and we have unlimited time.

First stop...Fergus Falls, MINN!

Log Cabin service station_tatteredandlost
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What a dandy place this is! I've seen this card elsewhere online, but have not found any information about the Lindquist Oil Company nor what became of this great looking gas station.

As to Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Thanks to good old Wikipedia I know I'm not going to Fergus Falls in the winter. January, average high 16. January, average low -3. I live in California, we think twice before leaving the house when it's raining. So we won't be traveling through this part of the country in the winter. Good thing we're doing it now. July, average high 80. July, average low 60.

So lets stop for a moment and soak up a little history about the town which surrounded this little post card gem:
The falls from which the city gets part of its name were discovered by Joe Whitford (a Scottish trapper) in 1856 and which was promptly named in honor of his employer, James Fergus. It is not known whether James Fergus ever visited the city, but Joe Whitford did not live to see the city develop, as he became one of the many victims of the 1862 Sioux uprising in western Minnesota. In 1867, George B. Wright was at the land office at St. Cloud and found Whitford's lapsed claim, purchased the land, and built what is now the Central Dam in downtown Fergus Falls around 1871. After Wright died in 1882, his son Vernon would move from Boston to Minnesota and take over his father's interests in the town. Vern Wright would also be one of the two people who established the Otter Tail Power Company in 1907. The city was incorporated in the late 1870s and is situated along the dividing line between the former great deciduous forest of the Northwest Territories to the East, and the great plains to the West, in a region of gentle hills, where the recent geological history is dominated by the recession of the glaciers from the last great Ice Age, with numerous lakes and small rivers about.

Two major tornadoes hit Fergus Falls during the early 20th century, the second, the 1919 Fergus Falls tornado, being the greater. The only Church edifice left standing after the great cyclone was the predominantly-black Baptist church. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Okay, everyone back in the car and let's head out to see what's next.

Need something to read to bring back those fond memories of funny buildings? Back when architects need not show up because some guy had already sketched out his building design on a napkin? Well have I got the book for you. I've mentioned this book in the past. It's so much fun to look through. Page after page of amazing old roadside attractions. Buildings that screamed "STOP HERE!" The book is called California Crazy and Beyond by Jim Heimann. Yes, the book is full of the funny old buildings that once were all over this fine crazy state, but there are plenty crazy buildings to go around.

How about the airplane crashed onto the roof of the William Penn Diner in Delaware? The giant cash register in Dayton, Ohio back in 1918? The Coffee Pot in Austin, Indiana? The Fish Inn in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho? Or the Pig Barbecue in Harlington, Texas? I imagine they're all gone, replaced by corporate plastic fantastic.

I do believe Orange World in Kissimmee, Florida still exists. Tail o' the Pup hot dog stand is still in Los Angeles as is, I believe, the GIANT donut. Good times. Really good times. I'm glad someone put all of this together in one place. I can sit and look through this book for hours.

Next stop? Who knows.



If you're of a certain age this will most likely be the cover you remember when you first read To Kill a Mockingbird in school. This edition was published March 1962. There were only three books I remember not wanting to give back to the teacher when class discussions were through. "...Mockingbird was one of them.

To Kill A Mockingbird_tatteredandlost

I found this one in a used paperback book store probably about 25 years ago. I wanted it immediately, but even more so when I saw the inscription inside.

Greg Parks_prize_tatteredandlost
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Did Greg Parks go on to become a writer? Second place out of 400 entries. An auspicious start. Or did he never "publish" again like Harper Lee?


SEX to sell Cream of Wheat

Was there any other time that sex was used to sell Cream of Wheat? I'm just a wonderin'.

Li'l Abner_Al Capp_tatteredandlost

This ad dates from the November 3, 1952 Life magazine. It made the $5 purchase worth it.

Last year I did a post about Li'l Abner at my vernacular photography site. I was questioning whether or not I am in possession of an actual photo of Mammy Yokum. Strangely this photo now shows up on the first page of Google's image search for "Mammy Yokum" so I guess this poor woman and her kin will go down as having lived in Dogpatch.