Saturday, September 29, 2012

DO NOT HANDLE the Jackalope....

A ceramic jackalope between a chicken and it's trophy proudly holding upright the sign DO NOT HANDLE. Thanks, but the though had not entered my mind.  Located a real jackalope on the wall of the Buckhorn Baths. Looking around the grounds of the Buckhorn there a multitude of signs, many hand painted. Professing mineral content of the water, the sanitation, or care of the many pieces of displayed taxidermy. The signs, many of them created by the artist in residence. at that baths.  Whatever  those signs tell me to do, I am happy to comply with. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lounging in a Time Capsule

Neon, taxidermy, baseball and leopard print naugahyde wagon wheel rocker. Not my usual descriptors of how I spent my weekend. But this was no average adventure. I found myself at a time capsule motel, The Buckhorn Baths in  Mesa, Arizona, closed 1998. Driving out Main Street almost to Apache Junction is a colossal neon sign, once meant to lure weary travelers to the motel. Once there you are enveloped in Arizona history. The late 30's, Ted and Alice Sliger drilled a well and struck liquid gold, or mineral water. Those healing waters led to the opening of an early spa. Attracting the attention of New York Giants and Chicago Cubs. This was place where the players would relax and prepare for spring training. The beginnings of the Cactus League. Now the Buckhorn also houses the largest collection of Arizona taxidermy that is astounding to see. This iconic time capsule, needs your help! There is a up coming bond election in Mesa and a portion of that is to acquire the Buckhorn. After that private funds will be sought to bring this well worn piece of history back to life so that others can enjoy the history, the neon, baseball and that gorgeous leopard print naugahyde wagon wheel furniture.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Have you seen the 7th Ave Train!

Drive along the Melrose Curve (7th Ave between Indian School and Camelback,) and catch a glimpse of a train coming directly towards you, so realistic the headlamp, lights up. Retro Ranch has really out done it's self with a better than usual window display. This once doughnut shop (can you see it in the sign) uses those great windows to attract attention. Some places like New York known for window shopping, where there is stiff competition to get recognition for window displays. I think Retro Ranch is our local undisputed champions of widow displays. What about you?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Caution - Valley National Bank

A friend, recently, stopped by The Clarendon Hotel, and revealed a stack of letterhead from the Valley National Bank, including the CAUTION sheet meant to informing staff of a paper shortage. Caution is quite appropriate for this vacant Art Deco skyscraper located on Central Ave. and Monroe St, called the Professional Building. Was supposed to become The Hotel Monroe, a boutique hotel, until the lender, Mortgages Ltd. went bankrupt, following its CEO’s suicide. The building was recently in escrow with Evergreen Devco, but word is that it expired. So, the fate of this streamlined beauty, is unknown? 

Built in 1932,and stands at 171 feet tall. The Professional Building originally was the result of combining the office space needs of Maricopa County Medical Society and the Valley Bank and Trust Company.

The building appears in the opening pan of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho, the building and the rotating sign were a part of the then-skyline of downtown Phoenix.That sign was the world's largest rotating sign and was designed by the Valley's iconic designer Glenn Guyett. That same year a saw the addition of another floor and  placement a obvious 45 degree angle wall of windows. 1993, the building was place on the National resister of historic places. But, CAUTION what will become of this vacant beauty? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to be Two Places at Once

Now normally I would say that this is not possible, but  …. let me explain... Introducing a spectacular collaboration called “Arizona Unzipped.” It’s an Arizona history themed burlesque show that is brought to life by the talented performers of Scandalesque and narrated by HIPstorian, Marshall Shore. It includes history of Arizona's territorial day at Tombstone’s infamous Birdcage, the early adaption of prohibition , Phoenix’s own Playboy Club, Legend City Arizona's amusement park and much more. Narration includes interviews with a member of one of Arizona's first motorcycle gang and a Playboy Bunny as well as a few clips from Arizona 8mm. The performances will be 28 and 29 of Sept. at the Phoenix Center for the arts, at 1202 North 3rd Street  Phoenix, AZ. Together, we have been talking about this event for a quite a while and I am thrilled to see it come to fruition. Scheduling this show was no easy task. When the dates were locked in, I had a conflict; Arizona Unzipped vs. a trip to LA for a Totally 80’s event at the Hollywood Bowl. Scandalesque had the perfect solution! I could do both. Cloning was not the answer, because I will be appearing at Arizona Unzipped via video. Filmed last week at the Jackson Street studios and includes multiple costume changes of eye wear, suit coats, and rhinestones. Though technically I will not be there, I will be there larger than life on the big screen . Regretfully, I will see it after the fact on video. The event will be amazing and there is hope that we get other chances to perform the entire show live, another time. Get your tickets will you can!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

1959 Phoenix Skyline

This was once the Phoenix Skyline view from Van Buren St. There is a sign for the Sahara Hotel, which, became known affectionately as the Marilyn Monroe Hotel (now a parking lot,) The Valley National Bank building (which is supposedly back on track to becoming a boutique hotel,) The Adams Hotel, currently the site of the Renaissance Hotel, and wait.... What is that... a car on a Pole? with a mannequin? No, is looks like a real real person. Indeed! That was Lonesome Long John Roller a KHAT radio personality.

If Roller could live in the car and break the world's record for flagpole sitting, he would receive a FREE car. He never left the car in 244 days. How did he do it? Three meals a day were delivered via a tray on a rope and pulley system. Bath was done 3 times a week in a plastic kiddie pool. The '59 Ford Sunliner was equipped with a mattress, portable TV, PA system, his guitar, several pairs of long underwear,  and his cat. Visited in the car by Al Casey a legendary Arizona Guitar player and Al's wife, to record 2 songs "Hay Mama" and "Flagpole Rock". The later could be purchased from John at the Flagpole. John succeeded and won the car. Though, afterwards the sales staff were have said to have overcharged him for food and supplies. So much, in fact that he immediately sold the car to pay those bills. 

We are looking for John Roller. If you have information let me know? Special Thanks to John Dixon and Charles Phoenix for their assistance.