Came across this photo at a junk store a few months ago.
Of course, I only snapped a picture of it…..waited too long, and when I went back to buy it….it was gone.
Still, thought I’d share him with y’all…..
Makes me smile from ear to ear.
In Texas we have 5 seasons:
Christmas, Spring, Summer, Still Summer, and State Fair
We are currently starting our second favorite time of year.
There’s lots of reasons to go to the Texas State Fair; Rides, Midway Games, Pig Races, People Watching (of course)……But we go for the food. Hands Down.
The freakin’ nasty, deep fried, not-even-slightly-healthy, food? Yeah, there’s a crazy amount of deep fried stuff; Oreo’s, bubble gum, Coke, bacon, peaches & cream, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, guacamole, buffalo chicken in a flapjack, and Thanksgiving dinner (mashed into a ball)….Ummmmm. I have to admit that we’ve tried all of those.
So many choices, but we always start at Fletcher’s for corny dogs in front of Big Tex.
I think everybody does,
Traditional corny dog for Jamie. Jalapeno and cheese for me, please…..
This one I couldn’t make up….deep fried chicken skins.
With just a sprinkle of seasoning salt, and a smear of hot sauce…..These were probably one of the best things we ate.
Bar-B-Q brisket egg rolls were actually pretty good.
So were the Cowboy Corn Crunch – Spicy cheese and corn balls.
One of the Finalists in the Big Tex Choice Awards was Pretzel-Crusted Pollo Queso Balls.
Chicken-Cheese-Pretzel Bites, Deep Fried……..they were…….just ok.
In the area of “Adult Beverages”……there was the winner of the Big Tex Choice Awards for Most Creative,
The Smokey Bacon Margarita….
If the bacon bits don’t frighten you…then the day-glow green coloring sure should. (I barely enhanced the color in the pic)
I wasn’t phased, and dove right in.
Sweet….and ahhhh, smokey. The bacon was a little …..chewy. Jamie wouldn’t taste it, and I will probably be able to go the rest of my life without tasting one ever again.
But overall, not bad.
How about Funnel Cake Ale?
Not exactly this kind of funnel cake. (Which we ate as well)
But more an “inspired by”.
With a powder sugar rimmed cup, funnel cake ale is a sweet, wheaty, dessert-type refreshment.
But even better was……Pumpkin Ale,
Dessert? Why of course we still had room.
For sweet potato pie and candied apples……(there’s almost a little nutrition in these)
…AND deep-fried peach cobbler…
We found the Gourmet Funnel Cake stop.
Peanut butter cup, birthday cake…so many choices. We picked red velvet.
Piping hot and smeared with frosting….it was heavenly.
AND, the winner of the Big Tex Choice Awards for Best Tasting, Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly. (who would have thought there would be vegetables in a State Fair food?)
They might have been deep fried……we couldn’t really tell. But there was 2 different things to dip them into. Both tasted like sugar.
That was enough for us.
Texas sun + gluttonous amounts of fried food/sugar = 2 sick boys
Drove back home, drank Pepto Bismol, and put ourselves to bed.
But, don’t worry about us folks…….
We’ll be ready to do it all over in again next year.
We always do,
These take a little bit longer to make than I usually like during the week. So I make them on the weekend. Luckily we only eat about 2 each at a meal, and the rest freeze just beautifully for lunches during the week.
Did I mention how delish they are? I should really emphasize that part. Because they are.
Start with a box of lasagna noodles.
Boil 12 noodles in salted water for 8 minutes.
After exactly 8 minutes, drain the noodles and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
I’m not a big fan of frozen veggies, but I always have a box of frozen spinach in the freezer just for meals like this.
I thaw it and squeeze out as much water as I possibly can.
OK, here’s the filling:
Mix everything well…..(No salt, BTW…..the cheese is plenty salty enough)
Don’t forget a few crushed cloves of garlic….as much as you like. 3 big cloves for these big boys.
By now the noodles have cooled enough to handle.
With a sharp knife, slice each one in half.
Roll the filling into “egg-shaped” balls……
…and lay them out on the edge of each halved noodle.
Roll the noodle from the bottom tightly, and line the rolled noodles, seam side down, in the Pyrex baking dish with half a jar of pasta sauce in it already.
I get 14 fully stuffed rolls. (I know, that’s leaving me extra cooked noodles……I always make a few more than I need just in case some tear)
Pour the other half of the jarred pasta sauce over the top of the rolls and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes, I sprinkle on the remainder of the 8 ounce bag of mozzarella cheese and pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
‘Till they looks like this….
This is one of the dishes that we usually have all the mix-ins for already.
Easy…and OOhhhh Sooo delicious.
Don’t believe me?
Give them a try sometime.
Saw the best documentary the other day. “I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story”
If you aren’t familiar, Caroll Spinney is the puppeteer who created Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch, for Sesame Street. In fact, he is the Only actor to play Big Bird in the past 46 years.
Brilliant guy. I actually met him once….
Maybe I should start at the beginning.
My father is an engineer.
Not the kind who conducts trains, like I thought when I was in grade school. He’s the guy that determines how a 1000 foot skyscraper….doesn’t fall over in the wind.
In the earlier days of his career, my dad worked on constructing amusement parks. Sounds cool, I know. But he had the ability to unintentionally suck the fun out of the happiest places on earth. Imagine, if you will, being an 8 year-old kid at Disney World for the first time with a father who explains, in exacting detail, how there aren’t really any ghosts in the Haunted Mansion ride.
(Read this part in a Walter Matthau voice. My father always talks in a Walter Matthau voice in my memory)
“There’s a film projector on the other side of that mirror. A 2-way mirror mind you, that projects the image of a ghost on the back of it so it looks like the ghost is actually in the cart with us from the front.”
He did engineer work for several big amusement parks; Kroft World, Hanna Barbara Land, and Sesame Place.
My dad’s Sesame Place was here in Irving, Texas. By the airport. It’s long since closed and the former parking lot is now a Wal-Mart Super Center. Couldn’t make that up.
The park opened in the summer 1982 and my whole family was there for the grand opening ceremony. So was Big Bird. He cut the ribbon to “Big Bird Bridge”, the entrance to the park through Big Bird’s mouth.
As one of the older kids there, I positioned myself pretty close to the ribbon cutting. Close enough, in fact, that I could reach out over the velvet rope and touch Big Bird.
“But just touch him?” I thought.
Not nearly enough. I wanted more….
I reached out and plucked him. Just snatched a feather right off his ass. Did I expect him to feel it through the suit? Because he didn’t, and kept right on walking past me.
I wasn’t the only brazen Angus boy that day. My 7 year-old brother Ben pushed and shoved his way to be the third kid ever in the pool of balls. The Count’s Ballroom it was called. (He reminds me that he jumped in right after our 18 year-old cousin Jon)
Let’s get this out of the way, right now. My brothers and I had our picture taken that day in a bathtub with Ernie. Oddly inappropriate, don’t ‘cha think?.
But well worth sharing with the internets.
I think y’all know which one of us has the “Dorothy Hamill” hair cut…….and I’m not quite sure how we managed to color-coordinate our shirts. But there we are.
(BTW, There wasn’t enough room in the tub for all 3 of us boys….so I’m just squatting behind it)
The park had a room full of semi-educational video games, and everyone attending the grand opening was gifted a handful of tokens to play games with.
Being the delux-hoarder that I am……I saved one. I still have it too.
But then, y’all knew darn well that I did.
I don’t remember what happened to my feather. I must have given it to someone to hold for me while my brothers and I were running and climbing around the park.
Many years ago I was at my dad’s office, when he still lived here in Dallas. On his wall, – among his degrees, and pictures and awards – there was a map from that opening day of Sesame Place. The kind of glossy paper map that they hand to you with the admission tickets at any amusement park. I guess he’d had it framed at some point.
At first, I thought the printing in the bottom right corner of the map was a little smeared.
But it wasn’t the print at all……..
It was a fuzzy yellow feather pressed behind the glass.
Big Bird’s tail feather.
So that’s what happened to it.
I never knew my father to be sentimental about anything. Nothing really. That’s a quality I was quite certain that I got exclusively from my mother.
Until that day……
(Wanna know more about Sesame Place? My newly-acquired friend, Guy, has a site dedicated to the park. Aptly called; Big Bird Bridge Check it out)
With Jayne Mansfield’s boobs, to be exact.
Blond bombshell Jayne Mansfield spent most of her career competing for attention with Marilyn Monroe…..mostly with staged accidents of her dress/bikini top/towel (Heck, whatever she was wearing at the time) falling off in front of photographers. A small handful of movies and a Playboy spread kept her in the public eye and she was the first major American actress to do a nude scene in a movie…..and in 1963, no less. Her death in a car accident in 1967, at age 34, spawned many vicious rumors; that she was decapitated and that the accident was the result of her involvement with the satanic church. Both: untrue.
The Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle was dreamt up by one of her promoters during the height of her fame in 1957. The bottles are 22 inches long, and made by novelty manufacturers Poynter Products of hard plastic molded into the shape of the famous sex symbol. Don Poynter spend 6 weeks sculpting the design for the bottles himself. What hot-blooded American young man in the late 1950’s wouldn’t want to warm up with Jayne Mansfield in bed?
At one point, there was even a proposal to do a life-size version, but the idea was eventually rejected as being too vulgar.
(A rare occasion of good judgment being exercised in the course of her career)
To the best of my research, the bottles were never actually produced with Jayne Mansfield’s signature pink bikini, but only in the black version.
I’ve been chasing one of these things for decades. They are usually priced way above my comfort level, but not his one….it was dirt cheap.
Maybe the dealer didn’t know what she was…..and she is missing the cap…..
But most likely because someone (possibly a young Bianca Del Rio) embellished her with eyes, mascara and lipstick.
I happen to have a plan,
After I gave her a warm, bubble-bath, (no doubt that Jayne would have loved that part)……
…..I tried a little acetone soaked Q-tip on her blemishes.
Please don’t ask me how I know this, it’s down-right shameful, but Barbie collectors use acetone to remove staining from vintage Barbies.
I started with a spot on her belly. If the acetone melts the rubber. I don’t want it to be on her face.
No melting, that I could see……so I tried it on her face.
I’m no expert, but it looks like acrylic craft paint for her eyes and lips and fine-point magic marker for the eyelashes.
Some gentle rubbing, and the face paint started to come off.
Lots and lots of generic Q-Tips later…..I had this.
The acetone removed quite a bit of added-on paint, and seemed to minimize the rest of the odd stains.
Perfect addition to the ever-changing menagerie of our living room bookshelves.
The Buddy Lee doll was the brain child of Lee Jeans sales manager, Chester Reynolds in 1920. It was his idea to use the doll to display miniature versions of Lee clothes; dungarees, coveralls, western shirts and the like.
The first dolls, just over 12″ tall, appeared in the Dayton’s flagship Minneapolis store, but quickly showed up across the country. As styles of Lee clothes changed, the stores were encouraged to sell the old dolls.
The Buddy Lee dolls became so popular that Lee started producing a 13″ tall version for sale in 1949. Some of the more popular dolls were dressed as a Coca-Cola deliverymen, a railroad workers, cowboys or gas station attendants.
Contrary to popular belief, the Lee company never produced any female dolls. Any girls resembling Buddy Lee, often called “Betty Lee”, were just cheap knock-offs.
Sadly, like everything else……the Buddy Lee dolls were discontinued in 1962 because they no longer produced a profit for the Lee Jeans company.
For the last 15 years, Buddy Lee has reappeared in Lee commercials maintaining his image as a tough guy/ladies-man.
All pictures are courtesy of koto906 on eBay.
In fact……koto906 has all these Buddy Lee dolls and more (like the impostor Betty Lee) for sale.
Give ’em a look-see.