Archive for March, 2012

Riunite On Ice – You Know The Rest

Couldn’t believe it when I passed a display of Riunite at the grocery story yesterday. It’s still made? Seeing the bottles and logo was an immediate flashback, after which I thought automatically of the late 70s / early 80s commercials for the product that declared, “Riunite on ice; Riunite so nice.”

If anything, a testament to good marketing!

“Dad? What Does This Thing Do?”

The Texas Instruments TI-1025 calculator could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It even could hold a number in memory, thanks to its 9-volt battery. I saved up and paid $9.99 for this at Pay n Save in 1977 in preparation for a math class.

For some reason I still have it.

The display is made of LED numbers. One recently sold on eBay for $15. If I ever find a 9-volt around my house I’m going to try it out.

Found Photos from New York [1963-64]

Feb. 2, 1963 New York, 42 Street a

Susan Healey got bitten by the old camera bug.

It’s an addictive habit; old cameras come in so many shapes and sizes, plus many of them still work.  In my world, people give me film cameras because they have moved completely to digital.  If anything, they are cool to look at even if they don’t work (case in point is this Canon AL-1, which doesn’t power up).  Sometimes it’s nice to have a collection for comparison purposes, and there are plenty of clubs around the US that still provide a camera nut with plenty to see.

To feed her addiction to cameras, Susan spends a lot of time at camera swap meets and events. “I discovered the Photographic Historical Society of New England a few years ago,” she said in an email, “and a couple of times a year they have a big event called Photographica.”

Like other types of swap meets, people come from all over the place to buy and sell cameras, film and other photographic equipment. On one occasion, she found more than cameras at a table.  “One of the vendors had a few piles of old photos,” Susan explained. “When I saw them I couldn’t believe they hadn’t been snatched up yet.

For about $5.00, they were mine.”

I agree with Susan’s description of these photos as “an amazing glimpse of well-known areas and time.” The signage, the cars, and the buildings are all so perfectly preserved in photographic form that it’s almost as if we are pulled right into the scenes. And the people in the photos also are very stylish; the cut of the clothing they’re wearing is clearly money, and the care each has taken to be presentable – save one photo – is very obvious. I know it would be corny to mention Mad Men at this point, but I am truly reminded of that hit series when looking at these photos.

Susan’s take on the collection is heart-felt.

“Every time I go (to the swap meets), I look through the old photos but have never found anything that moved me as much as these ones did.”

I totally agree. The photos are truly a hashmark on the map of time.  The colors, while a bit faded, are very accurate for the era.  It helps that the pictures are clear, and that the photographer seems to be good at what she/he did.  Check out each photo below; they range from big city scenes to snowy rural backgrounds – with stylish 60s beach photos sure to peak some interest in the the folks over at We Heart Vintage.  Click on any of the pictures to go see more info about them on Flickr.


Aug. 3, 1963

1960s halter tops left nothing to imagine.  Gotta admit she’s pretty ripped for being in the 1960s. That’s a 1960 Ford Galaxie behind her.

Aug. 3,1963

One has to wonder if they ever got all of that into the little red Corvair!


Love the old Texaco sign.  Same Corvair from above appears to be making an encore appearance in the background.

December 1963

Umm…is he peeing in the snow?  Next to the Corvair?

Feb. 17, 1963 Time Square NY

New York City, 42nd Street – Dodge Lancer speeds past an old Buick on the left and a yellow 1963 Chev Bel-Air taxi on the right.

Feb.  2, 1963 New York Broadway

Feb. 2, 1963 New York, 42 Street

1962 Chev Bel-Air taxi speeds through intersection, followed by an Oldsmobile and Thunderbird.

Feb. 2, 1963 Empire State Building

Empire State Building

April 12, 1963 Castkill

Bridge to the Catskills.

July 4, 1963 Big Beach  P. Jeff

They look like a Chet and a Burl.  I’m kinda impressed that that they don’t have floppy double-martini 60s bodies.

July 5, 1963 P.J.

Chet and Burl’s chicks.

Aug. 1963

What a trio; they are so stylish!  This shot alone made the five-dollars Susan paid for the whole album worth the purchase.

Jan 30, 1963 155 Park Ave, Lyndhurst

Oct. 12, 1963 Jency Ln Pency ln

March 1964

The Whitehouse

April 12, 1963 Suffern

Suffern NY – 1963.  That’s a righteous Dodge or Plymouth.

Apr. 13, 1963

Studebaker at the pump!  Bonus points for the `55 Ford on the right.

OCD Picnic Kit [1967]

“So perfect, in muted tones that won’t excite.  Each utensil lined up in predictable neutral-colored routine.  Perfect. Smooth. Unblemished.  The matching beverage containers bring me comfort in their balance, placed identically on each side of the spotless case. Routine. Linear.

Wait…that one spoon is a half-inch off balance from the rest, and the handle is crossing over another.  Breath deep…focus, focus.  Feng Shui, Feng Shui, Feng Shui…tell yourself that all is well.  Balance still exists, and the case is still clean. Clean…clean…You can uncross the spoon and the world won’t end.  Just one little move and all will be right.

Oh no…the handles on the cups aren’t lined up.

I’m starting to itch. Clean…clean…”

Tony’s Birthday [1980]

Courtesy of Tony J. Case

Tony is a friend from Flickr.

Like me, he loves to do photography on the side and still shoots film.  His eye for the unusual, and penchant for documenting life’s details, makes his photostream one of my first visits each morning.

Recently he posted this gem of history from his own birthday party in 1980.

“I’m second from the right,” he states. “the one with the Santa Geoduck.”

No picture from the late 1970s or early 80s would be complete without at least one rugby shirt, and Tony delivers!  The punch bowl here is classic; not only is it purple but it has some sort of gold covering as well.  The purple lapels behind it also have some shiny trim, sure to attract plenty of 14-year old disco queens back in the day.

This is the kind of archive shot that was merely meant to capture an event for friends and family, but in the end became a time capsule for style and decor.  This exemplifies my love for retro perfectly, in one square photo from 32 years ago.

Party on Tony!

Bonnie Tyler Needs A Hero [1984]


In a fast-paced homage to Westerns and Prell Shampoo, the 80s classic Holding Out for a Hero reverberates across parts of your brain that haven’t been used since Reagan was in office.  The orchestration – likely synthesized – sweeps like the American terrain, and lassos the listener like the cowboys who come busting through Bonnie’s door.

Wanton desperation had the most fantastic perm.

Schwinn Hollywood 24 Bicycle [1970]

Schwinn Bicycle 1970

They could be found all over America back in the day.

Schwinn bicycles of the past were built like tanks, which makes them collectible today. And in the 1970s, it almost seemed as if each one was made in the same color: Varsity Green. Today, many of those bikes survive in storage, thanks to sheds, basements, and garages all over America.  Parts are still available to keep the bikes working, and what can’t be found can be replaced with current technology.

Schwinn Collegiate Ten Speed - 1970

The pictures just above are from the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad’s “owners manual,” which came with her first grown-up bike – a 1970 Schwinn Hollywood 24:

Hollywood Before

1970 Schwinn Hollywood 24 Before

As with many things in our home, we still have it. The bike was leaning against the wall in the garage when I married her.  It could be ridden, which she demonstrated for our oldest son in 2007 when he asked about the bike, but the tires were rotten. At that point she mentioned passively how fun it would be to have this bike in riding condition again, so secretly I started gathering parts to do just that.  The project also gave me the opportunity to update it while keeping a retro feel.  The results were unique:

Hollywood After

Hollywood 24 After Customizing

The bike shined up nicely.  The chrome fenders – even with their minor dents – polished well and shine in the sun.  The wheels have 144 spokes each; many of the parts were purchased from a lowrider bicycle shop in Redwood CA.  The leather saddle and leather tiki grips are from Electra Bikes.  A full write-up on what I did is HERE. The Hollywood is now a smooth rider with a lot of character.  And these days, the 5-year old who asked about it in 2007 is big enough to ride it!

Of course he’ll have to pry it away from Mrs. BelRedRoad first 🙂


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