Saturday, May 28, 2011


In 1958, Wolverine founded the Hush Puppy brand shoe. It was made from a method of pigskin tanning for the US military because the material was so durable.
The shoe concept was based as a casual shoe for post war suburbia. The ultimate boomer shoe!
As far as the name goes, it was originally going to be called, Lasers. But, fate had other plans. James Gaylord Muir, the first sales manager went on a sales trip to the south. While dining with a local salesman, they had hush puppies with their catfish dinner.  Talking about the origin of this dish, Muir learned that farmers threw hush puppies to their hounds to quiet their barking dogs. How genius! A shoe to quiet your barking dogs!
By 1965 1 in every 10 people were wearing Hush Puppies. Even celebrities like Perry Como, Johnny Carson and Prince Phillip had to have a pair.
In 1965, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones accidentally touched his guitar to an ungrounded microphone, which knocked him unconscious.The fact that he was wearing Hush Puppies with rubber soles, saved his life.
During the 90's, sales of the shoe were down. But, designers brought the shoe back on the scene and they became the hippest shoe around. Today, they are global and come in many different styles.
So, the next time your dogs start barking, slip on a pair of Hush Puppies to quiet them down.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Freaky Tiki!

Remember the tiki craze?  Polynesian pop. How cool was that? Believe it or not, it's making a comeback and it's about time.
After the return of the soldiers from the South Pacific during world war two, Americans  began to take notice of  island life. Because of it, there was an entire culture being born. Just think about all of the influences we grew up with.
James Mitcher wrote novels about the South Pacific. We could see it for ourselves on the big screen with movies like South Pacific. "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair..." How romantic. What about Blue Hawaii starring Elvis? There was Gidget, everybody's favorite.
Television had tiki time series like Gilligan's Island and Mchales Navy. In Gilligan's Island, I was glad they didn't get rescued. I would have liked to have been on that island for the rest of my life, eating pineapples and drinking fancy rum drinks.
To top it off, Hawaii became a state in 1959.
The first tiki bar was Don The Beachcomber in Los Angeles in 1934. After that followed Trader Vics, who the owner, Vic Bergeron, invented the drink, the Mai Tai.
There were hula girls, torch lights, pineapples, and the pupu tray. I had one of those once. It was sort of like a fondu but more exciting. There was a volcano looking cup in the middle with fire in it. Everyone gathered around cooking the shrimp and pineapple on skewers. Oh, the good ole days!
There was the Tiki Room at Disney World, Hawaiian shirts, and Don Ho.
I love the Tiki tacky treasures like bamboo furniture, curtains, and the cocktail glasses with faces on them.

If you are ever in Atlanta, I suggest a trip to Trader Vics It's located on the lower level of the Hilton. You will love the exotic food and drinks. They also have tiki torch nights where you can hear a lecture and a educational presentation of tiki figures. Now how great is that!
May the Tiki Gods be with you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa For Head Of Homeland Security!

This is a repost. It is a perfect time to bring this post back.

You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town.

(quell the masses)

I feel Santa is the perfect choice for head of homeland security.

(he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake.)

He know what you are doing at all times.

(he knows when you've been bad or good)

So, we'd better be good, for goodness sake.

Think about it. That guy can enter a house without anyone knowing at all and not leave a trace except bearing gifts, if he chooses to, or eat your cookies.

He can get from one place to another in no time and circle the globe in 24 hours.

Kids and people worship him like a God and he is know universally.

No one, I say no one, is going to cross that man for fear of the consequences, especially on Christmas morning.

So, the president should seriously give Mr. Claus consideration when making the next choice for head of homeland security.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Emergency! Squad 51 Calling Rampart!

I love this TV show! I watch it almost every day on Reto TV. What a treat! Emergency originally aired
between 1972 to 1977.
Many episodes dealt with real events in order to entertain and educate the public. Some of the disasters these guys were called to actually seemed real. Their characters knew what to do and made the situation
seem like they were really there..
There were 3 rescue vehicles on this show. One of them, Squad 51 was a 1972 D-300 truck. This vehicle was built entirely by scratch due to the tight filming schedule. Now the truck sits in a fire museum in Bellflower, California.
The two main firemen were Johnny Gage and Roy Desoto. They were two cool dudes. They had their hands full with different interesting emergencies. It seemed like by the time they got back to the station, the alarm would ring and they were out on the road again helping someone in distress.
Some of the other characters, if you remember were firemen Captain Hank Henry Stanley, Chet Kelly, Marco Lopez, and Mike Stoker.
Remember Dr. Kelly Brackett? He has his own adventures. I saw him just yesterday get bit by a tiny catfish that jumped out of an aquarium. He almost passed out.
There was Dr. Joe Early, the neurosurgeon, who donates his time to the ER department at Rampart Hospital.
Nurse Dixie McCall was always on it. Everytime that call came in from Squad 51, and the big light started blinking, she was right there to answer the call. She would read the vitals to Dr. Kelly and he would tell the firemen what to do.
The exterior of Rampart Hospital was actually Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California.
Now, there you have it. It's almost 3:00 and I have to turn on the TV.
Squad 51 calling Rampart! Do you read me?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Don't Stick/Your Elbow/Out So Far/It Might/Go Home/In Another Car/Burma Shave

Words of wisdom, for sure. I bet you remember taking that family vacation and reading those Burma shave signs. It was the most successful advertising campaign in the country. It all started out with a product made by Burma Shave which was a liniment. Sales were poor and the company needed to manufacture a product that would sell. So, Burma Shave came out with the brushless shaving cream.
In 1925, Allen Onell, son of the owner came up with a brilliant advertsing plan. His father gave him $200.00
to get started and the rest was history. From 1925-1963 there were 7000 Burma shave signs all across the country. Those red and white signs soon became part of our popular culture.
The fifties brought a slow down in sales, though. With cars becoming faster, super highways were built and the signs were replaced with billboards. The final Burma Shave sign ended in 1963.
Said Farmer Brown/Who's Bald/On Top/Wish I Could/Rotate The Crop/Burma Shave.

The Verse by the Side of the Road : The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity...

Ben Casey, Ben Casey, Calling Dr. Casey!

If I had to go to the hospital, it certainly would be County General Hospital. Ben Casey, the resident neuosurgeon, played by Vince Edwards, was gruff, demanding, and decisive. He was a rebel. In reality, he was discovered by Bing Crosby.
Dr. David Zorba, (Sam Jaffee) who was the chief of neurosurgery, had alot of respect for the doctor.
During the first seaon, just about every episode involved a patient with a brain tumor. The patients weren't the only ones with problems. During their work at County General, Casey and his colleagues came into contact with people from every level of society. Issues such as drug addiction, racial tension,
child abuse and euthanasia were brought to light.
The show had the assistance of the American Medical Association. More than $50,000 was tied up in medical equipment and each show cost  about $115,000.
Soon into the series, Vince even started directing the show. He was nicknamed, "The Image" on the set. The
show was such a hit that Ben Casey's face appeared in movie and teen magazines, T-shirts, magazines, puzzles, pins, comic books and anything else that could be marketed.
I even had a Ben Casey shirt! It was crisp and white. When I wore it, I felt so important! A true professional.
Joyce Casey, Joyce Casey, Calling Joyce Casey....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Occupation Unknown!

Can you guess what the longest running game show was in the history of prime time televsion? That's right! It was What's My Line.  It ran from 1950-1967. The show also won 3 Emmy Awards for the best quiz or audience participation show.
Originally the show was called, Occupation Unknown and was produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. I bet you remember that show. It was hoted by John Charles Daley and the panelists were Dorthy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf. and briefly Steve Allen.
The panel had to guess the occupation or the identity of the mystery guest. The questions could only be answered yes or no. The contestant won by receiving ten "no" answers or if time ran out. The prize for the winner? They got up to $50.00. Imagine that! Unknown to the public, the mystery guest was paid an additional $500.00 as an appearance fee whether they won or lost the game. Also, guest panelists were paid $750.00. At first, the regular panelists were paid $300.00 a week. According to Bennet Cerf, by the end of the series, they were paid "scandalous" amounts of money.
I just loved those blindfolds. Once in a while, the neighborhood kids would get together and play the game. I remember once I was Marilyn Monroe. No one could guess who I was. Some thought I was Miss Francis of the Ding Dong School and others thought I was Connie Stevens. It was fun, but I really could have used the $50.00.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jimi Hendrix And The Star Spangeled Banner!

This is from Woodstock 1969. Need I say more? Have a safe and happy holiday! Peace.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I See Spots! Or Is It Dots?

Dots were the craze in the 1950's and 60's. Even Bob Dylan loved polka dot shirts!
But, where did the name polka dot come from? Believe it or not, it is thought that the name came from the dance, the Polka. No one really knows why, but maybe it's because you dance around in circles. Do you think that people who polka wear polka dot outfits?
At any rate, the world went "dotty" back in the 50's and 60's. Buddy Guy plays a signature Fender that is black with cream dots. I bet you remember the song, "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini",
by Brian Hyland. It was a hit and made the dots even more popular.
Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball wore polka dot dresses. Jackie O and Grace Kelly wore them too. It's very tricky though.  How can you  wear polka dots and not look like a clown?
Other than the fashion world, there were dots galore. There were kitchen items, games like dominos and tidley winks, and the movie 101 Dalmations, just to name a few.
Believe it or not, I had an aunt named Dottie. I just loved saying aunt Dottie. I didn't really know if it was her real name, but thought she was lucky to have it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

See It, Hear It, Get It!

I bet this brings back some memories! Remember
falling asleep with that earplug dangling out of your ear listening to rock and roll  under the covers?
The Regency TR-1 was the first commercially sold transistor radio. It was designed and manufactured in the United States. For just one year in 1954, about 100,000 were sold for $49.95. That was alot of money back then, but that radio was a must have.
The transistor was invented years earlier at Bell Telephone Labs but the non-military application was limited to the hearing aid market. So, in 1954, the sweet innovative radio, the first of it's kind hit the streets.
This little radio could fit in your pocket and how cool it was to ride your bike and listen to tunes. This invention was a significant achievment since it included a high fidelity, high volume speaker and a single battery supply! Designed for AM broadcasts only as FM was not in the picture.
The four colors, black, cloud grey, mandarian red and ivory were the standard colors. For a little more money, you could get the pearlescent colors like lavender, pearl, white, turquoise, shell pink and lime. The optional earphone was an extra $7.50, but we all know we had to have that.
Regency president, Ed Tuder had a market stategy for these radios. He figured that wilth the cold war going on and the fear of a nuclear attack (the bomb) from the USSR, these transistor radios were going to be an essential life survival item. I suppose you could get a good signal while sitting in your bomb shelter.
I don't think we stuck that earplug in our ears to hear the news of the bomb. We just wanted our rock and roll. We became "transistorized." We could play our music and our parents couldn't even hear it!
Walter Brahaun, the co-inventor of the transistor, complained that his only regret was that it stimulated rock and roll.