Wednesday, February 08, 2012

ROADSIDE CLAM COMES TO NEATO COOLVILLE

I hope everyone likes clams because all of you are invited to an oversized clambake here in Neato Coolville!  That's right, earlier today I had quite the adventure and risked life and limb to capture two monster clams.  They put up a mean fight, but lucky for me they gave up after only a few rounds.        


OK, enough playing Commander McBragg!  Here's the true clam story and how I became a clam owner.

  

Shown here in four halves are two clams that have been part of two important Missouri tourist attractions at the Lake of the Ozarks.  First, they started off in show biz when they were one of the many props used by the Aquamaids at the Aquarama.  Aquarama was a 1960's underwater mermaid show.  (Click here to read my Aquarama post from 2009 and then be sure to visit Vintage Roadside for all things Aquarama including interviews and rare photos here.)  


Shown above is an Aquamaid posing with one of the clams!  (Image comes from a 1960's Missouri tourist magazine.)

After the Aquarama closed in the early 1970's the clams retired from the limelight and got into the restaurant business.  They became the googly eyed greeters of the popular restaurant known as the Happy Fisherman.
  

I took the above photo back in 2004 and this is how I remember the clams.  There were five of 'em lined up on the side of the road in front of the Happy Fisherman, which was the same building as the Aquarama.  For almost 40 years the clams sat there watching the traffic go by until the Happy Fisherman permanently closed in December of last year.  

When I heard the news I instantly wondered what would happen to the clams.  Luckily, the Happy Fisherman's owner and longtime Lake resident Mike Craig made sure the clams found homes.  I'm very grateful that he did!  Also it's worth noting that Vintage Roadside will end up with a clam!  Thanks to VR, a clam will continue to be connected to Aquarama! 


 Here I am posing with our new house pet...


...and here I am entering an enchanted world under the sea.  Hey, where's all the mermaids?

5 comments:

K0dama said...

great catch!! are you going to put them in the yard to greet visitors?

Glen Mullaly said...

First you rescued the original Death Star model, now the clams!

Rick said...

If any one deserved one, it is the Vintage Roadside folks.

Mike Middleton said...

How long did it take you to get up from trying to get inside the clam?

Todd Franklin said...

K0dama - We haven't decided how we'll display our clam. Later this spring we hope to start restoring them.

Glen - Yeah and almost 18 years to the day.

Rick - Yes, you are so right!

Mike - Hmm...after a I swam with the fishes, I finally managed to climb out of the clam.