Monday, November 28, 2011

Retro Holiday Extravaganza

Dec 8th, from 6-9 is a free Retro/ Modern Holiday open house and party at Phoenix Metro Retro (708 W. Hazelwood St.) Featuring history vignettes by Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular , Travis Smith signing “Kitschmasland!”, and a market of Retro/ Modern gifts for the Holiday Season.

Come stop by and learn, gather, shop for the Retro/ Modern perfect Holiday gift.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chainsaws Created an Arizona Icon...

But which one?
Find out at Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular @ Phoenix Metro Retro, 708 W Hazelwood St. Thurs, Nov 10. Show starts at 7p.

Marshall Shore named the Best Unofficial Phoenix Historian by the Phx New Times, host this live show about Arizona's Pop Culture. Come on out and sit in great retro seats and learn cool stuff about the place where you live and a state about to celebrate 100 years. Show starts at 7p and admission is only $7.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Winnie Ruth Judd/ Trunk Murders Bus Tour

Sunday, October 16
80th Anniversary of Phoenix’s Infamous Trunk Murders!
RetroSpectacular: Winnie Ruth Judd Bus Tour
Where: Meet at MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain to board the bus
When: 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Relax and let someone else drive, while Marshall escorts us down the twisted streets, and behind the closed doors of the most grisly murder from Phoenix’ past. Did she do it? Was she insane? You be the judge.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What's happening in October?

October 13
RetroSpectacular: Spooktacular in Phoenix
Where: Phoenix Metro Retro
When: 7 PM
Cost: $ 7.00
Don’t be afraid, my pretties…join Marshall as he lifts the lid on the steaming cauldron of gruesome, ghoulish, and villainous escapades from Arizona’s past.  Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa.
(Come early and dine with eats from the Valley’s mobile food community – this month featuring beet strEAT.)

Sunday, October 16
80th Anniversary of Phoenix’s Infamous Trunk Murder!
RetroSpectacular: Winnie Ruth Judd Bus Tour
Where: Meet at MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain to board the bus
When: 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Cost: $32.00 Tickets

Relax and let someone else drive, while Marshall escorts us down the twisted streets, and behind the closed doors of the most grisly murder from Phoenix’ past.  Did she do it? Was she insane? You be the judge.

(The bus tour begins and ends at MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain, where we will learn about MacAlpine’s surprising connection with the Judd murders and can wash the blood off our hands with a classic ice cream soda.)

October 24
RetroSpectacular: Scared Straight
Where: FilmBar
When: 7:00pm
Cost: $5.00

Wear your best school days costume (Scout uniforms, pleated skirts, crossing guard
sashes…you get the picture) and join Marshall for a trip down memory lane as he presents a hilarious retrospective of unintentionally funny educational films created to scare the living crap out of us as teenagers.  Safety begins at home!

Friday, October 28
RetroSpectacular: Spooktacular in Tempe
Where: Tempe History Museum
Cost: Free
Come dressed in your Halloween best, enter to win prizes, and join Marshall as he lifts the veil on hauntings, evil deeds and nefarious characters from Arizona’s past.

Named New Times Best Unofficial Phoenix Historian - 2011
Marshall Shore, Arizona’s funkiest information curator, creates unique Arizona history events with a popular culture twist.  Available for public and private events. Learn more at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3rd season of the New and Improved Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular

October 13 is the beginning of the 3rd season for the New and Improved Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular at Phoenix Metro Retro (708 W. Hazelwood St.) Admission is a bargain at $7

What can you expect: Phoenix Metro Retro is a great Mid Century Modern shop that host the Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular shows. Meaning the audience gets to sit on great chairs, couches, lounges... while enjoying a beverage seeing and hearing about amazing history and some of the cool stuff history that I have uncovered. Here is a teaser[caption id="attachment_2051" align="alignright" width="84" caption="Bob's Big Boy"][/caption]

What makes it new and improved? FOOD! There will be a food truck available ease your hunger pains. This show will feature beet strEAT. Come early have a d’lish nosh and stay for the show.

First Arizona... Memory Project

What if people shared their First Arizona... memories? Here is my first go at it:

There will be more like my First Arizona... Meal. What are your First Arizona... Memories? It can be written or a video. How was your First Arizona... Kiss, road trip, skinny dipping, or cocktail?

The goal is to share your First Arizona... Memory.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Sixth C for Arizona

The five C’s of The Arizona economy, once used to be a part every Arizona youngster's education from the 1950’s though 70‘s. Can you name them?

Before delving into them

I want mention a very special C that’s time is a coming and for limited time. Centennial! Feb, 14 2012 will be 100 years of  Arizona State Hood.

There are special events happening across the state to celebrate. How can you find out about them? The official list of events,also check your favorite museum, visit a library or other cultural institutions to see the array of events they are hosting. I know I have a few libraries booking Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular shows and also talking with a venue outside of the valley. I have a few things in the works to bring Arizona to you with a unique twist. More on those later!

[caption id="attachment_2036" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Five Cs of Arizona"][/caption]

The first time that Five Cs appeared in print was in 1939 in an issue of Arizona Highways. The research and finding  this came from a Valley Leadership as part of a project to talk about the Historical Five Cs and update them to match what is going on in Arizona, now. Let's talk about the Historical 5 Cs, the next post will be on their findings of modern  5 Cs and then I'll wrap up this trio of post with a list of my own Cs for Arizona .

Copper: People have been digging in Arizona for precious metals for a long time. Native Americans used them for tools, weapons,  for jewelry and in paint for pottery. People started to come to the state to seek riches and settle in the 1700 and 1800s. Copper ore is still mined in the state for many different uses. Copper is used in mostly in wire or coins, such as a penny.  See how Youth got involved in collections Pennies for the Arizona CENTennial Penny Drive


[caption id="attachment_2031" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Is it live or plastic?"][/caption]

Cattle: People began raising stock in Arizona around 1690. Spanish ranchers settled, around the same time, Jesuit missionaries gave the O'odham Indians livestock after they agreed to live in mission communities.

Ranching began in growing in the 1730s around the time of the mining boom. The Arizonian countryside was converted into a large livestock ranch in a short amount of time.

Ownership of the Cattle was identified by brands. Brands are supposed to be used on livestock - not as logos - but that doesn't stop folks from owning them. It costs $75 to register a new brand with the state, and it's good for five years.

Orange StatueCitrus: Citrus refers to agriculture and farming in the state. Grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges are among the most popular citrus grown.



 Climate: Climate refers to the weather in the state.  Because it is sunny most of the time many people like to visit the state. Spending money on hotels, food and sight-seeing. As well as many folks using the outside as an extra room or playground almost year around.


Cotton: The Arizona Cotton boom occurred during World War I. The boom was a result of it's use in making wartime products such as making tires. The town of Goodyear established in by the tire company specifically for its factory and employees there. By 1920, cotton was so profitable, that almost all other crop productions were ceased to grow cotton. However, after World War I many of the government contracts for cotton dried up, since there was no longer a need for it. The resulting glut in the market resulted in the eventually end of the boom of cotton in Arizona.

Which leaves me preparing additional post on updating these historical Cs to reflect a more modern Arizona economy of a 100 year old state. In the mean time go Celebrate the Centennial.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Did Arizona have Gay Marriage First?

New York is getting a lot of press for passing gay marriage. But, It might not have been first. It may well have been legal in the state of Arizona since July 3, 2005. That’s the day that Spain legalized gay marriage. Now if your scratching your head let me explain.

The story begins in the early 1800s long before the United States had acquired the territories that would become New Mexico and Arizona from Mexico. It is the only land in northern Arizona to trace back to a Spanish Land Grant. Meaning it might still be subject to Spain’s law not US? The original Baca homestead was near the city of Los Alamos, New Mexico and was abandoned because of violence. Years later the family returns and finds their homestead inhabited. Kind of like goldilocks and the three bears, but here instead of the returning bears scaring her off. Congress authorizes the bears to select 5 plots of uninhabited land. Baca float No. 5, is located in our own Yavapai County, about fifty miles northwest of Prescott. Colonel William Cornell Greene bought the Baca Float #5 and the Mahon Ranch in the 1930s, turning them into the ORO Ranch, AzORO Ranch (pronounced "oh-are-oh"). Operated under the same name but it is owned and kept under lock and key by the secretive JJJ Corporation. Kind of interesting to think that a road trip to Spain is possible without a plane or boat, or that anyone could get hitched there.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cooling off in the Dry Heat: What Do Crave in the Desert?

Yea, summer has arrived in the snap of the moment. I am investigating refreshing things to consume after waiting for train via light rail and getting walking home. Also, with Paul’s birthday and the 4th coming up I wanted to try a new cold something. The Greater American Cook BookEnter into the picture a newly aquired cook book The Greater American Cook Book, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, Director, Culinary Arts Institute printed 1942. picked up for the end papers and being a fan of modern cuisine I couldn’t resist the section titled Western cook book of Pioner and modern recipes. Images of a moderne ranch kitchen busy filled with the greatpioneer and modern recipes? smells, but it’s too hot to fire up anything inside. So instead, I stuck the buckets of the ice cream maker in the freeze ready to make a buttermilk sherbet, but instead of pineapple I’ll be using blueberries and including some strawberries for a great red, white and you get the picture. So off to Basha’s I went, of course the flagship store on 7th Ave with it’s tall beaconing fin, it’s hard to resist. Butter milk and blueberries on sale, score. By the time I got home Paul had already had dinner and dessert. The actually making has been delayed until the weekend. I’ll let you know how it turns out. But What are your favorite things to consume in the heat?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tight jeans got their Start right here

I am sure you have noticed the increase of tight fitting jeans, better known as skinny jeans. Before skinny jean, people wore jeans as tight as they could get them. Giving life to a urban legend about death by shrinking jeans. This was busted by Mythbusters, but could not find a link to grant in pool shrinking his jeans. I would like to think that we can all thank an American artist who lived right here in Phoenix for making tight jeans a long standing pop culture icon. George QuaintanceI would like to say belated Happy Birthday to George Quaintance. What you’ve never heard of him? Your not alone. Tacshen recently released a book covering his art. In the early 1950s, he set up his own studio in Phoenix, Arizona, where he created the works of male figurative art he is best known for today.[caption id="attachment_610" align="alignright" width="195" caption="Art of George Quaintance"][/caption] Prior to AZ, he studied drawing and paint in New York, and Los Angeles, CA specializing in painting and photographing male athletes for popular physique magazines,Physique Pictorial art by George Quaintance such as Physique Pictorial edit by Bob Mizer of the famed Athletic Model Guild, or AMG. George Quaintance died of a heart attack in 1957, leaving a legacy of tight jeans and bulging muscles.

What if you wanted to dress like that today. Parr of Arizona, circa 1960One option would be Nu-Parr of Arizona. Started in the early 50’s by local architect Ralph Parachek where men and women can have custom undies, posing straps, swim suits, even jeans made just for you. Some utilizing the patterned created 50+ years ago. Those custom jeans are on my bucket list! Check their history.

Wishing George a belated Happy Birthday, and a deserved place in Phoenix and Art history.

Phoenix's Obscured History Revealed

Look at the Valley on a map and you’ll notice that it is designed on a grid, with an exception; because every rule has an exception, such as Grand Ave. Which is the home of [caption id="attachment_599" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Trunk Space, 2011 Grid Show postcard"][/caption]Phoenix's Obscured Past Revealed Trunk Space which has been doing a city theme show for over a decade and what better name than The Grid Show and This year subtitled Phoenix’s Obscured Past Revealed. What does The Phoenix New Times say about the show and the special events such as a Phoenix Obscura by Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular on First Friday, July 1st at 7:30p and the debut of Perry Allen’s film, Phoenix, Appropriated on July 15 at 7:30. Come see works of art and learn about the some obscured Phoenix history:

[caption id="attachment_600" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Back of Trunk Space post card"][/caption] Back of Trunk Space, 2011 Grid Show, postcard
Masque of the Yellow Moon, Security Building Brothel-Casino, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Powder Puff Derby, Gold Spot Bowling Alley, Phoenix Rodeo, UFO Crash At Dreamy Draw Dam, Winnie Ruth Judd, Phoenix Lights

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Smithsonian in the Valley?

When you wander through the amazing museums in Washington DC. Do you ever wish Arizona, the Valley, had a Smithsonian museum? Well guess what we do! Or at least one that does have tons of items on loan from the Smithsonian and an extensive collection it's self. I am speaking of the Musical Instrument Museum.

MIM in Phoenix, AZ

It took me a while to get up to it and make the trek out to the 101 and Princess, Further in my mind than reality. What I found striking was the huge opportunity for learning going on.

First off there exhibits are broken into theme that start by country of origin and many include a video screen show the instruments being played and how it fits into the culture. Many times there are traditional or ceremonial clothing included in the display.

I found that I was reminded me of the performance artist Leigh Bowery.

Liegh Bowerey

There were also shadow puppets that crept into the displays! There was an interactive exhibit curated by the Music Experience.

That takes you on a musical journey there Latinos in Popular US Music and included a dance floor so when the mood hits and you need to move, you have a place. Be sure and check out the play room were you get to be a kid among kids and actually play some of the instruments a bong, a thermin, and a few xylophone-esque.

Now onto the gift shop, there where many instruments in real size or scaled down to a wearing size or even pocket. That would be my weakness especially when it is a Thermin. I have not put this together yet, but looking forward to being able to create my own 1950's horror film music.

Though, I would never consider myself musical and that includes those years in elementary school badly playing the saxophone. I can say that those four hours spent wandering the museum were amazing, cool, insightful, inspiring and mindful. This was a unique opportunity to explore and experience a global and cultural part of what being human means. I could say I wish it was closer to downtown, accessible by public transit, or just plain easier to access, but that would not changed where it is. It is worth the drive! Carpool with friends, pack a lunch, just go!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Future Fate of Iconic Neon?

The abundance or romance of national chains is nothing new to the valley. Just check out this vintage postcard.
[caption id="attachment_545" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Vintage postcard of National chains in Downtown Phoenix, Ariz"][/caption]
The buildings and signs have long ago been torn down. The case for preserving buildings is a strong one with many advocates, but what about signs? The Highway Beautification Act was enacted in 1965 that allowed the removal and heavily restricted the replacement of these highway gems. I could talk about the Diving Lady downed in an Oct, '10 storm. The first reaction of many is that sign couldn't go back up due to existing sign codes, but the city has agreed to let it go up, again. Here I am holding the last surviving piece of the original diving lady.
[caption id="attachment_551" align="alignright" width="139" caption="Marshall Shore with the last surviving neon from the Mesa, Ariz Diving Lady."][/caption]
What if an iconic sign has lost it's relevancy through a business closing does the sign still have a place in our cultural fabric? I would argue yes, but no one who knows me would be surprised by that. Which bring us to the point of this post. [caption id="attachment_548" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="My Florist sign at 7th Ave and McDowell, Phoenix Ariz"][/caption]My Florist sign on 7th Ave and McDowell is in jeopardy. Check out the history of My Florist. The firm of Lawrence and Geyser have had designs on the build and recently it has been rumored to be the future home of a Paradise Bakery and the retro inspired logo'd chain of In and Out Burger.[caption id="attachment_546" align="aligncenter" width="499" caption="Lawrence and Geyser art work for the NE corner of 7th Ave and McDowell development."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_571" align="alignright" width="300" caption="NE corner of 7th Ave and McDowell, Phoenix, Ariz"][/caption]The caveat is that on the website the art work of the My Florist sign, not only remains dark, but is missing altogether from the current renderings. When contacted via mail they was no response about the future fate of the lovely purple beacon of the Willo. Is the sign worth saving? I say yes, but I am only one voice. How should we go about saving the sign as a part of Americana? This summer in Tucson is the Arizona Historic Preservation Conference where Friday late afternoon is a presentation where we about Tucson and Mesa efforts to save [caption id="attachment_569" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="100% upcycled t-shirt created by Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular"][/caption]classic neon. Let's hear from you if you think that the neon My Florist is worth saving!

Here is T-Shirt that I designed and is available at ecOcentrictity andZinnias at Melrose.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How the Afterglow of Modern Phoenix Saved a Bunny

Modern Phoenix Week was great! There were so many levels such as the homes, history, design, education, but what really made it were the people. With all those people your bound to make connections. There was a Senior singles meetup group that car pooled, the discovery of friends on the tour, and connections made with once strangers who have become friends. The after party featured a food truck called Beet StrEAT serving tasty food, that happened to be vegetarian.Where I learned that several new friends were vegetarian. [caption id="attachment_520" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Welcome Diner, Phoenix, Ariz"][/caption] Fast forward to a new trend of POP Up restaurants; where a local eatery is temporarily located. Welcome Diner is such a place now with Chef Peyton [caption id="attachment_517" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Easter menu created by Peyton Curry April, 2011 - Notice lack of meat? "][/caption]Diner has 9 seats inside and we had 9. There were nine dishes so you do the math. We were able to walk in and order one (sometimes two) of everything, including luscious deserts. Those in the know will say that we were sitting at the chefs table and we were able to sample a few non menu items and taste components of some dishes like the pickled raisins. YUM! So a handful of wayward folks became fast friends through sharing that common food experience and no Bunny was harmed in this Easter celebration.[caption id="attachment_519" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The group after a great meal at Welcome Diner, Phoenix, Ariz"][/caption]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your fridge and You!

With the great nights we are enjoying I have this nagging voice in my head about what is a head. Yep. It'll get warm! and warmer. With the thought in mind I am always on the look out for ways to cook up some grub that doesn't heat up the entire.

Enter cooking with your fridge. Huh... this idea was popular back when an icebox no longer needed ice delivered, but would cool food on it's own. Magic, no convenient yes... time saver.... yes! Back in the day you would have likely received a Refrigerator cookbook with your new fridge. There were also plenty of pamphlets for sale to help you figure the ways a newfangled contraption could benefit you. Not that I think anyone would argue now.

Growing up eating items cooked in the fridge was a great thing for a latchkey kid, but what about a more experienced platte. I hopew to be sharing dishes I have made, though since it's beautiful out I have had no time to cook. Luckily many of those Fridge Cookbooks have pic of the amazing items you can make.

Today I bring you: Your Electric Refrigerator and KNOX Sparkling Gelatine from 1953. Today we look at the Asparagus Bavarian Salad. YUM![caption id="attachment_505" align="alignright" width="172" caption="Knox Gelatine brochure Copyright 1953 "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_506" align="alignleft" width="238" caption="Asparagus Bavarian Salad"][/caption]

Just the though of glistening whipped cream, asparagus, pimentos and gelatine (Knox of course) has my mouth watering. Especially when served as suggested with mayonnaise or French dressing.

Bon Appetite my Retro Friends
[caption id="attachment_508" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Recipe for Asparagus Bavarian Salad"][/caption]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sign of the Times

[caption id="attachment_484" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Glen Guyett and the Arizona Bank logo"][/caption]Name something iconic on Camelback. [caption id="attachment_487" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="My Florist, Phoenix, Ariz."][/caption]Sure many of you joined me in shouting out "Courtesy Chevrolet," with it's twinkling lights and that big bold arrow that points to value. It is a treasure on the strip, name some other signs in the Valley that have wormed their way in to you conciseness:Bill Johnson's Big Apple, Mr. Lucky's, My Florist, Buckhorn Bath's in Mesa. These signs have more in common, than their giant size. They have endured and are standing. One more thing they were created by the hand and from the artistic talent of Glen Guyett.

These erect icons harken back to our history and show a passion for the automobile. Ever wonder what roadside wonders we have lost? Let's begin to discuss what we have and how to preserve them.

Glen and I will be recapping our Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular January presentations (Phoenix New Times Review) as part of Modern Phoenix Expo at Scottsdale Center for the Arts. The presentation titled Roadside Neon of Central Arizona starts at 12:30 on Stage 2. Arrive early because seating is limited

Monday, April 11, 2011

Modern Phoenix is NOW!

[caption id="attachment_479" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Eye Opener in Sunnyslope, Ariz."][/caption]Though the weekend was rather rainy, it was still very exciting. Why you ask? There was the kick off event for Modern Phoenix Week at the Fabulous! Phoenix Metro Retro (708 W. Hazelwood St.) this weekend also featured the Sunnyslope Art Walk, always a grand time, and those tents came in handy this year. The morning began with a group of people leaving the Eye Open, a staple on Hatcher and embarking on a Keep it Weird: Sunnyslope tour, led by yours truly. For our comfort and sharing during the experience; Sunnyslope's John C. Lincoln Health Network graciously provided a bus for the adventure. There was also, The Ultimate Tour of the Hotel Valley Ho. Enough with what happened! How can you still participant in Modern Phoenix events? Take a look at the calendar. There are still chances to tour the Hotel Valley Ho and pick up a ViewMaster 3D reel and viewer.

Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular on Thursday April 14, 7p @ Phoenix Metro Retro. This is the last show of season until next September. I'll cover new information and an overview of the last 2 seasons. The shows have been named a best of Phoenix by the Phoenix New Times. Admission is $5 at the door, seating is limited.

Saturday is the Modern Phoenix Expo at Scottsdale Center for the Arts where you will find vendors, fun, and drawing for 2 home tour tickets (which is SOLD OUT.) There will many presentations Roadside Neon of Central Arizona will feature Iconic Sign Designer Glen Guyett, and myself. There will the hands on workshop about researching your mid century home or neighborhood lead by the amazing fount of knowledge John Jacquemart. Learn about tear down issues in Arcadia and across the country.

This Modern Phoenix Week is sure to go down in the record books and YOU have the opportunity to be involved. Come on out to the wide range of events and bask in the glow of the Mid Century heyday of the Valley.