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.
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)
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.
Cowboys and Indians, dogs and horses, boots and trucks……..What’s not to love?
Once again fashion photographer Richard Phibbs takes us to an exotic locale – this time, the North American West – and whoooo, what a beautiful journey it is. Phibbs’ images have a vintage tintype-look that only add to the mystery of their age. Were the taken last week? Or 60 years ago? Doesn’t really matter…..they’re simply stunning. It’s very easy to see why Phibbs is fond of his Western-Canadian background…….the fields, dilapidated barns, and even teepees. Everything seems to move just a little bit slower in front of his lens. Like the rodeo. Phibb’s version isn’t the blurry, fast-paced jolt that we might expect, but more of a softer, father-son kind of experience.
There’s a slight nod to Herb Ritz, Edward Curtis and Bruce Webber, (all my favorite photographers) but not too much……and there doesn’t need to be.
Phibbs has his own vision of this idyllic, western life……and luckily, he shares it with us in this beautiful book.
Get a copy now. You won’t regret it.
See more of this amazing photographer’s work on his website RichardPhibbs.com.
…..and don’t forget to grab your own copy of this book, THE WEST, on Amazon.
National Geographic magazine, the official magazine of the National Geographic Society, was first published in 1888. The first few issues were mostly a scientific journal, but the popularity and quality of the exotic images quickly changed it to a mostly pictorial magazine. National Geographic strives to include only the best photographs by some of the world’s most renowned photographers. The June 1985 cover, with a 13 year-old Afghan girl shot by Steve McCurry, is one of the most widely recognized magazine covers of all time.
Sharbat Gula’s piercing gaze on that cover came to symbolize the plight of refugees around the world.
National Geographic is circulated world-wide, printed in 40 languages, and has a monthly print of nearly 6.8 million magazines.
With so many copies floating around, no wonder they keep “popping up” in interiors.
(Images via Pinterest)
I’m not a fan of “decorating”, I think interiors should evolve. Nothing says “This just sort of happened”, more than a pile of old magazines in a room. (It almost takes an act of congress for me to throw out a magazine.)
And you have to admit, that shot of graphic yellow makes you smile.
Certainly makes me smile.
(and LONG LIVE MAGAZINES!)
That’s the “Scoutmaster 83” large zippered pouch.
Den & Delve created this amazing bag from a piece of an old canvas duffel bag and a slice of leather from a vintage jacket. It’s lined in the greatest red serape too.
Isn’t it just the coolest?
OOOhhh, and how about those patches? They’re vintage Boy Scout camporee patches and pins from the 60’s and 70’s.
Y’all can find this bag, and a handful of other one of a kind handmade bags, for purchase in the Den & Delve Shop.
Be sure to check out the Den & Delve Blog for more of the story behind these limited-edition (When they’re gone, they’re gone) bags inspired by nostalgic childhood summers. Can’t you just smell the campfire, pine needles and “Deep Woods Off”? I know that I can.
(On a side note here; Yes, everyone of y’all knows that I could make my own version of these….So stay tuned. Because it just might happen)
60 years ago today was the first day of Disneyland.
After so many requests for tours from fans flooded the Disney Studios, Walt wanted to build something for Disney tourists to visit. After considering a few acres close to the studio…..briefly, Walt settled on 160 beautiful acres of orange and walnut groves in Anaheim California.
It’s hard to believe, but Disney had trouble raising the money to build his theme park. But I suppose that 17 million was quite a fortune in 1954. He joined forces with the fledgling television network ABC, who agreed to help fund the park if Disney would broadcast a show in the network. Which, of course he did. Ever heard of the Mickey Mouse Club? For the first five years of operations, Disneyland was owned by the joint venture of Walt Disney Productions, Walt Disney himself, Western Publishing, and ABC. With the popularity of the park, and of course Disney Studios, in 1960 Disney was able to buy the others out of their shares.
Construction on the park, originally called Disneylandia?, began in July of 1954 and was completed exactly one year and one day later.
Disneyland was dedicated at an “International Press Preview” event held on Sunday, July 17, 1955, which was only open to invited guests and the media.
28,000 people attended the event, but only about half of those were actual invitees, the rest having purchased counterfeit tickets….. which Disney knowingly honored.
ABC broadcast the opening day festivities, hosted by a few of Mr. Disney’s Hollywood friends; Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, and Ronald Reagan. Because it was a live event, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong….and on camera no less. The hosts were caught fumbling back and forth with each other. Disney himself, started a dedication and was interrupted by something off camera. Route 101 had been expanded by 2 extra lanes in anticipation of the traffic the park was sure to bring, but cars were still backed up on the 2-lane Harbour Boulevard. The temperature that day was an unbelievable-for-southern-California 101 degrees. Park guests were constantly tripping over the camera cables and sticking to the asphalt that has just been poured the day before. A plumbers strike forced Disney to choose between working toilets of water fountains. He chose the wiser of the two forcing many park guests to question if the un-working water fountains were just a ploy to get them to purchase drinks. Lines for rides were so long that eager parents actually threw their children over the crowds. Finally, a gas leak closed down several sections of the park for the afternoon.
In later years, Disney would refer to that Sunday as “Black Sunday”.
Admission to the park, by the way, was a dollar for adults and 50 cents for kids.