Thursday, July 29, 2010


Blue grass music filled the hot and humid air in the Ozark hills last night and myself and the first lady was there to enjoy it. At the Black Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Lampe, Missouri (close to Branson) we were entertained by the one and only Steve Martin, the legendary Earl Scruggs and Missouri native Rhonda Vincent. Boy, we were really grinnin’ listening to their pickin’!

I can say I’m a fairly new bluegrass bandwagon jumper as I’ve only been a fan of the genre for the past decade or so. Bluegrass brings me back to my youth here in the Ozarks where banjo music used to always play in the background of every hillbilly souvenir shop and amusement park.

Last night only solidified my liking for bluegrass with this three act concert. Let’s start with the last act - Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

I’ve been a fan of Steve Martin ever since I walked around the house as a kid singing King Tut at the top of my lungs and acting out Martin’s patented Tut moves. Heck, he was on one my favorite TV shows, the Muppet Show (you thought I was going to say SNL) and starred in some of my favorite comedy’s like Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Jerk.

Well, I can tell you he’s not a “Jerk” ‘cause he entertained us with an amazing concert that was full of comedy and top notch music. Most of the set list was from his Grammy winning album The Crow with a few new songs thrown in. He even plays an Egyptian classic at the end! (The Crow is a must buy, even if you’re not into bluegrass!)

The biggest thrill for us, was an impromptu meeting after the show. Steve (we’re now on a first name bases) was super nice and signed our CD cover and posed for a photo.

Um... unfortunately, the photo turned out way too blurry to post. Steve was one celeb I always wanted to meet and luckily the snapshot in my mind of said meeting is crystal clear!

The second act of the show was Country Music Hall of Fame member Earl Scruggs, who at 86 years is still playing a blazin’ banjo.

He and his sons along with some other amazing musicians played a slew of classic tunes including The Ballad of Jed Clampett. That made two TV junkies in the crowd very happy!

The concert opened with the talented Rhonda Vincent and the Rage who set the tone for the night.

Since she’s sponsored by Martha White Flour, Rhonda and the guys sang the famous Martha White song. Always happy to see anyone from my home state find success and she continues to be a major player in the world of bluegrass and country music.

Ok. That’s my concert report. The end!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Twenty years ago my brother reached into the fridge for an ice cold Coca-Cola and became twenty dollars richer. He was lucky and found a Magican! The year was 1990 during Coke’s big sweepstakes promotion. Even though big brother was happy to find a double sawbuck, the cola giant’s promotion was an epic fail classic!

Here is my brother Pat’s Magican. It was just recently found in our childhood home hidden in the back of the kitchen’s Lazy Susan.

The Magicans were special Coke cans that didn’t have cola inside but instead housed a rolled up money bill or a prize certificate. Once the can was opened, the prize would pop out.

The “fake” can has a similar weight of an actual cola filled can and it is filled with a small amount of liquid to help with the illusion that the can is an ordinary Coke can.

The Coke ad wizards really thought they came up with a super idea with Magicans and spent millions of dollars promoting the sweepstakes. Watch the commercial below -

Apparently, the promotion started to turn foul as lots of complaints from customers started pouring in. There was problems with the pop-up mechanism and reports of kids drinking the non-cola liquid that was inside. At least there wasn’t a kid that went all Battlestar Galactica and swallowed a rolled up five dollar bill projectile.

You can read about the problems here in this New York Times article from 1990.

Ten reasons this promo was an epic fail -
1. Faulty springs.
2. Smelly liquid.
3. New Kids on the Block.
4. No Max Headroom.
5. Magic In The Real Thing song hurts the ears.
6. Urban legend that some kid died from drinking the liquid.
7. That there’s not an urban legend that some kid died from swallowing a five dollar bill.
8. Rolled up money bills in a product named COKE (and just one year removed from the 1980's).
9. After you’ve been walking in the desert for miles dying of thirst because you just finished a whole bag of potato chips and when you open the last can of coke, out pops a lousy five dollar bill.
10. I wish I could have found a Magican instead of my brother.

Friday, July 23, 2010



Yesterday I was out hitting a few flea markets with my pal Vlad. Glad he was with me 'cause like an old hoot owl he spotted this vintage Wise Potato Chips can sitting on a shelf! He said he didn't need it. (I guess it didn't fit with the decor in his castle) So, I was "wise" and purchased this cardboard can of cool.

The can has Peppy the owl, Wise Potato Chips famous pitch man. I guess I should say bird! Hootie hoot. Hootie hoot!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today’s post was inspired by my breakfast! That’s right, while I was enjoying two pieces of peanut buttered toast and orange juice, it dawned on me that I’ve never blogged about my favorite bread, Roman Meal!

I’ve been enjoying Roman Meal since I was a kid and no bread comes close to the flavor of Roman Meal. In celebration of this wonderful loaf of goodness I dug thru my collection of goodies and found this 1959 ad with the one and only Woody Woodpecker!

Next we have this nifty little sandwich recipe booklet from 1973. I really like the cartoon version of the Roman Meal Gladiator that teaches us about “A Secret of Ancient Rome.”

The cartoon mascot is so much fun. I think Roman Meal needs to bring him back. I'm not sure if he starred in any animated commercials, but really the little guy should.

Did you know that Roman Meal has their own YouTube channel? Neither did I until I searched for some old commercials. Check out this 1970's animated spot -

I believe the narrator is Robert Fuller, best remembered as Dr. Kelly Bracket from the TV show Emergency! and other TV shows like Laramie and Wagon Train.

Here's an interesting Roman Meal related item I saw on ebay one day. Interesting to see how the logo has changed. (Photo taken from ebay.)

Also, visit this link for a neat 1981 magazine ad that's just super! For you folks on a diet, visit here and here for some vintage graphics.

Gosh, this post has me so hungry that I've forgotten all about this morning's toast. You know? When I was kid, I used to make a triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich (using Roman Meal) with a side of Doritos and chocolate milk to wash it down. Hmm... I might have to revisit my old childhood meal for lunch!


Here's two old Roman Meal bags!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Gallery 1988 gets all the cool kids to exhibit some super-o-matic artwork.

The fourth installment of Crazy 4 Cult has started and this year just like the past three, will make you spit out your Jujubes! The art show inspired by the movies runs until July 30th, but if you're like me and live many light years away from L.A., you can visit the link above and view the artwork virtually.

Here’s some of my favorites from the show -

Hill Valley by Eric Tan inspired by Back to the Future.

The McFlys by Kirk Demarais inspired by Back to the Future.

There Was a Mighty Duel by Drake Brodahl inspired by The Princess Bride.

Mr Toast's Tron Costume by Dan Goodsell inspired by Tron.

Wonka by Rich Pellegrino inspired by Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

The Parking Ticket by Scott Listfield inspired by Star Wars.

Portrait of an Iron Giant as a Young Vin Diesel by Mike Mitchell inspired by The Iron Giant.

Goodbye Loopa Land by APAK inspired by Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Home of Space Paranoids by Andrew Wilson inspired by Tron.


Ooh, lookie what my pal Jeff Roemer found? Photos from a car show at the Capital Mall in Jefferson City, Missouri. As many “hanging out” hours I spent at shopping malls back in the 80's, I never thought about taking photos. So I was thrilled when Jeff gave me these snaps from 1987 when we spent a Saturday walking the mall looking at old cars.

Many records and tapes were purchased at this very Musicland. (Hey, I even purchased the Rambo: First Blood Part II soundtrack here!) See that Y107 banner? That was the station my car radio was stuck on during most of high school. No, not in one of these cars, I had a 1976 Ford Elite.

As much as I like old cars, I’m more excited about finally seeing a photo of one my favorite arcades from my youth, the Land of Oz arcade. In the photo below you can see the “under the rainbow” entryway behind the old-timer auto.

Like a bigfoot sighting, there's me sporting a blue/white rugby shirt!

I didn't want to upload all 34 shots, so if you wanna keep looking, visit the flickr set here.

For more on shopping malls, visit Labelscar" The Retail History Blog, LiveMalls, Mall Hall of Fame and Malls of America.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Wishing everyone a POW-BANG-BOOM 4th of July! To help celebrate here's a few choice scans from the July 1964 issue of The Golden Magazine.

Friday, July 02, 2010



I was going to save today’s Flea Market Friday for this fall when all the kiddies go back to school. But gosh, this 1960's elementary school poster chart set is just too cool for school!

First, just visualize an elementary school room sometime in the mid-60's. In my mind’s eye, I can see these posters hanging underneath the green cursive alphabet border. I see a classroom of kids practicing their duck and cover routines. I see lil’ Jimmy picking his nose. I see... oops, sorry, my mind’s eye was wandering.

Ok, enough with the rambling, I’ll let the fine “retro kid” artwork speak for itself. Enjoy!

These posters are so wonderful that I raise my bottle of Elmer’s glue along with a jumbo pencil and a box of crayons with the sharpener in back to the artist, Cynthia Amrine! You can see more of Cynthia Amrine's artwork here including two more school poster sets.