Archive for February, 2012

Telly Savalas – Bringin’ Home The Chicken. Baby.

Telly Savalas was a Man’s Man.  Some say he was The Man. It helped that he played one on TV.

No matter how he’s viewed by the masses, Telly cut profile like no other in the history of entertainment.  His voice – to those of us who grew up in 1970s – is immediately recognizable. His tough/cool attitude lent itself to a unique way in every role he played.  He single-handedly made lollipops and pork pie hats cool.  From 007 Bad Guy to NYPD Good Guy, Telly did it all.

And he loved to cook.

Telly Savalas' Swingin' Trailer Pad

Bon Appetit magazine interviewed Telly Savalas for their January 1978 issue, while he was on location filming for his series Kojak. The interview was rich with his opinions on entertainment, stories of family, and wild tales dinners out in foreign countries with the likes of Rod Steiger and Peter Ustinov.  For him, dinner time was a family affair surrounded by friends and relatives. He loved all the basics: meat, fruit, and vegetables – done with a Mediterranean flare.

Telly Savalas Cooking

There’s something to be said for a guy who could cook, act, and had kids old enough to be the parents to his other kids.  Telly was confident, strong, unique, and like no one who has graced the screen since he left us for the Great Squad Room in the sky.  May he Rest In Peace.


White Brocade Dress, Photographed by John Rawlings 1952

Check out this John Rawlings 1952 photo at We Heart Vintage: Vintage Fifties finery, surrounded by epic Fifties cars. Only Rawlings could make a parking garage look so stylish!

Perk-A-Tor the Giant Percolator

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In my search for a percolator to have at my work cubicle, I came across this Cory Jubilee Automatic Percolator at Value Village.  It’s huge; at 18-cup capacity it’s twice the size of my beloved Perky!

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While the coffee strength dial is stuck just above “Medium,” the $5.00 purchase was a mere pittance compared to the $30.00 to $60.00 I’ve seen these Corys offered at on the Inter-Tubes.  Maybe I can fix it if I can take it apart, but I want to enjoy it for a while before doing that.

Listening to it brew is an adventure.

It rumbles to life as the water starts to heat.  As it pushes the water up the tube into the coffee chamber, the pressure pushes the lid up – making it crash back down. Several minutes later, as it finishes up, the boiling and perking gets to a near violent burst of liquid energy – only to slow to a stop before the strength dial starts to glow as an indicator that the work is done.

Clearly, it deserves the name “Perk-A-Tor!”

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Another endearing feature is the gold textured metal ring around the top of the unit, a sign that Cory designed it to make a lot of coffee in style.  This percolator will make a fine addition to my cubicle at work, where the coffee needs to taste much better!

1970s Smith-Corona Typewriters

Check out this this awesome ad from Smith-Corona Typewriters. Posted by Golden Oldie Ads!

Big Fifties Bomber and The Cold War Cowboy

“Well it was about that time when ole Clem mosied on down to the air strip to take a gander at one of them New-Q-Ler Bommers…”

One of the cutest Fifties pictures I’ve ever seen.  The little man has the stance, the hat and the weapons to remain part of popular culture well into the 21st Century.  I wonder if – as an adult – he realizes that his picture is all over the InterTubes these days.  And the object of his determined look?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the YB60 strategic bomber.

The YB60 was a jet-powered prototype version of the Convair B-36 Peacemaker.  Both planes – being integral to the defense of America during The Cold War – were designed to carry nuclear weapons.  While the B-36 enjoyed a fairly long career (1946 to 1959), the YB60 never got past experimental stage.

The official statement that went with this picture says,

A young “cowboy”, the son of a member of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, looks over the Convair built YB-60 during its visit at Edwards from the Fort Worth, Texas, plant.  1953

Ride `em Clem!!


US Air Force Photo, 1953 (Public Domain)
Original Image URL:…

A Girl and Her Bike

A Girl and Her Bike - Summer 1970

Awesome yellow bicycle!

This Kodak Ektachrome slide was taken by my wife’s Grandmother in the Summer of 1970. Her family had just moved into the house in the background. There is the nose of my father-in-law’s `69 Corvette to her left (he still owns that car today), and the rear bumper of her Mom’s `69 Lincoln Mark III to the right (I wish she still had it).  I’m pretty sure the wife has no recollection of this bicycle, but am absolutely certain she remembers the shoes.  It’s quite a pattern.

The slide has held up well over the years, stored by her grandmother and then her aunt – until recently being sent to us.  I love being the family archivist!

1981 Budweiser Ad from GoldenOldie Ads

Before there was Bud-Weiser-er with frogs, there were old school pull tabs!  Check it out HERE.

Father-In-Law was a Cool Traveler in `64

Recently a bag of slides appeared in the mail from my wife’s aunt. The note said, “Thought you might like these slides from Grandmother’s collection. I’ve had these for several years!” The bag was truly a treasure trove of memories, depicting my wife’s parent in their twenties around the time that she was born.

Best of all, many of them were Kodachrome and still had the rich colors the media type was known for.

This slide was taken somewhere in Oregon or Washington, while the wife’s family was on a camping trip. She would have been just a month old at that point. The car – possibly a 1962 Pontiac – was owned by her grandparents. The Security Traveler “canned ham” trailer: pure Sixties righteousness. My father-in-law, ever thin as he is today, takes a drag off his Marlboro and looks pensively into his Dad’s camera. I love the design in his shirt, and the pencil-thin pants.  The clothes and the stance depict the essence of cool.  While he no longer smokes, to this day he stands in the same way.

And so does my brother-in-law!

“Yew!!” Garbage Pail Kids!


I bought my first pack of Garbage Pail Kids cards in 1986.

I missed the first two series, and got caught up in collecting them on Series 3 release.  That means I missed the most famous one from the early days: Adam Bomb.  Being 22 years old at the time, I was quite a bit past the “niche market” for this collectible. Still, being a kid who grew up reading Mad magazine and National Lampoon, I loved them for some reason. As one of my fairer friends told me one day when I was discussing GPK with her, “Look at you…a grown man talking about these like you’re eight.”

It was about that time I started buying fewer packs.

But I kept my stash. Over the years I shared a few, lost a few, and scanned a few. The images and names still crack me up 25 years later. Maybe it was the irreverent mocking of Cabbage Patch Kids that did it for me.  No matter what the cause, they became a vital part of my life’s archive, and something that I now share with my sons (who also love them).

Blue Boy George

“I bought you something,” my wife said last night when she got home. Out of her bag came two packs of Garbage Pail Kids cards. Awesome! What other wife would buy her husband GPK? She truly understands me 🙂

The packs came in one container with a Bonus card (Jack O. Lantern).

Inside was also a 3D card and a Before/After card.  My favorite in the pack?  The admittedly non-PC “Boozin’ Bruce.”

But for our purposes here at the Wall Of Retro, Dial-A-Twyla with a Rotary Phone nose is probably more appropriate!

Garbage Pail Kids are a retro item that just keep retro-ing, because they’ve been released now for a new generation to enjoy and go “Yew!” And so far they seem to be grabbing them same amount of attention as before.

Vintage Photo of Seattle Skyline [1985]

A few days ago I found a plastic folder filled with photo negatives. I thought this collection of images was long lost, but thankfully it had somehow survived all my moves and cleanouts. This vintage skyline pic was one of the negatives in the pack. The photo was taken using a Pentax K1000 camera and 105mm lens, with Fuji 100 film. The view here is from Alki Point looking east towards downtown Seattle.  I think I had the day off.

Or was “between jobs.”

The centerpiece to the picture is the dark-colored Columbia Tower, which was recently completed when the photo was taken.  Much around it has filled in since.  I tried to work with the color – or lack of it – with post editing tools after the scan, but this was the best I was able to get out of it.  Best guess is that the light conditions that were less then stellar, evidenced by the looming clouds, and the 100 speed film just wasn’t enough to capture the scene with any strength.  Oh well; it may not win awards but it does a good job of documenting a skyline that has changed immensely.

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