Friday, June 12, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday

Ellen, Ken, Palm Springs, 1962

Today is my brother's birthday, so I dug out this old photo of us....ancient history! Happy Birthday, Ken!
It was one of those cold, cloudy days in the winter in Palm Springs. It had been raining. We couldn't go swimming. Suddenly, the sun came out, but it still wasn't warm enough to don our bathing suits.
I remember the "car coat" I was wearing. It was red. So was the "pixie band" in my hair. My brother was reading a book. Dad snapped a photo with us squinting into the sun.
We were staying at the Howard Manor. My Dad was a contractor and had a door and wardrobe business at the time. He had supplied the remodeled Howard Manor and another motel nearby, The Caribbean, with their doors and wardrobes. I guess the owner had a difficult time with payment, because in exchange, we had a weekend apartment in Palm Springs for about 3 or 4 years. We shared it with my Dad's business partner, so every other weekend we HAD to go to Palm Springs, rain or shine. This was one of those rainy weekends.
It wasn't easy getting to Palm Springs in those days. It took hours and hours. There weren't a lot of freeways. I vaguely remember going all the way south on La Brea Avenue until it turned into Hawthorne Blvd. I also remember stopping part-way in San Gabriel at a Mexican restaurant called El Poche Cafe for dinner. It was in an old adobe building, down the street from the San Gabriel Mission. There was a candle shop in the lobby. It must have taken about 4 hours to get to the desert.
The Howard Manor was just off the main drag, Palm Canyon Drive. I remember walking to Louise's Pantry (originally Gordon's Luncheonette) and the A & W Rootbeer Stand, downtown, in the same courtyard as the Palm Springs Plaza Theater. If the weather was cold and we couldn't swim all day, we'd walk up and down Palm Canyon, looking in the shops. There were many of the same stores that we had in Los Angeles: Silverwood's, Desmond's, Robinson's, Saks 5th Avenue, Bullock's, Milton F. Kreiss Drugstore and lots of little resort-wear boutiques.
We also went on field trips near Palm Springs to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Aqua Caliente Indian Canyon, Tahquitz Canyon, Hadley's Fruit Orchard and even all the way out to the Salton Sea. Dad liked arranging educational field trips for us. Mom liked shopping.
I've continued taking trips out to the desert my whole life. Even though it's changed and grown, I still love it.
WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY! See you all tomorrow at the Original Farmers Market, 10-noon and at Clover Park in Santa Monica, 3:30-5:30....RAIN OR SHINE!!!
More VIntage Photos here.

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At 12:41 PM PDT, Anonymous Paper Dolls for Boys said...

I love your hand on your hip in that shot. Very sassy!

At 12:52 PM PDT, Blogger PaMdora said...

This is a great photo with the hotel behind and the patio table really sets the time frame. Reminds me of some of my husband's family photos, his dad built a hotel near White Sands in the 60's.

At 5:28 PM PDT, Blogger woolanthropy said...

You have such a little sister look going on. What a sassy pants making bunny ears. This maybe the first photo where your brother is not in costume. He is looking very mature in this picture.

At 7:07 PM PDT, Blogger Jean said...

So you looked smart and stylish even when you were young! The photo of the women knitting is also quite touching to me and I love the colorful cakes too.

At 11:55 AM PDT, Anonymous Jo Anne said...

How do you remember all these things???

At 4:01 PM PDT, Blogger carlita dee said...

Ellen, you've had style since way back. I always love to see what you've worn over the years.

At 12:42 PM PDT, Blogger Cindy Gray said...

I love Palm Springs and the Howard Manor. During the 1970s, I stayed at the at least 4 to 5 times a year. Also, I have 3 brothers of my own, I recognize the need to do "rabbit ears" behind him in the photo!

At 2:05 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hah! Thanks for the comment, Cindy!


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