Friday, February 29, 2008


Thanks to Polaroid we have this souvenir photo from Universal Studios Florida attraction Kongfrontation. Here I am in Kong’s grasp with my girlfriend, who would later become the first lady of Neato Coolville. This was in 1992 and it was our first time together visiting the theme parks in Orlando. Of course we had a blast and since I’m a big King Kong fan I went nuts for this attraction, which is now gone. For five bucks you could have your photo taken in Kong’s hand for an instant souvenir in a nifty little folder.

Polaroid photo images are a one-of-a-kind memory like this one above. Hopefully people will be able to continue making one-of-a-kind memories with instant film and not just remembering instant film itself as a nostalgic memory.


This card is from the 1939 New York World's Fair. The back advertises Prouse's Food "Our Diner at fair grounds and depot restaurants 24 hour service"

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I shared this childhood memory last year but neglected to scan this Polaroid photo. You can visit the original post by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Back when I worked at the antique store, it was always fun to see what items the dealers would put in their booths. Most of the time it was regular antiques like glassware, furniture, toys and etc. You know, the regular stuff that you see in most antique shops. Of course most dealers always had their eye out for that one of a kind item, the item that no one had ever seen before or at least didn’t know what it was. It was always good to have a couple of these attention getters in your booth and this one dealer brought in a stop-in-your-tracks-look-twice type of item.

Yep, he brought in a real human skull. No, he wasn’t a serial killer and no he wasn’t a grave robber either. The skull was originally used for teaching would-be doctors at a medical school. Since it was expensive and we didn’t think the demand would be very high for a real human skull, we assumed it would stay in the store for a long time. We were looking forward to all the crazy conversations that it would create and the opportunities to scare people, especially if it lasted until Halloween.

Wouldn’t you know it? The next day a customer who was a doctor came in and decided to buy it. We couldn’t believe it when she set it on the counter and asked us to hold it until she was finished shopping. Wow, and we didn’t even have time to give the real human skull a name. Since it was going to leave the store in just a few moments, we didn’t have any time to lose. So we grabbed the Polaroid camera for some instant photos. Naturally, the camera was down to it’s last and final photo. Since we didn’t have any more film we had to make this one count. The skull looked kind of naked and boring sitting on our security monitor. It needed something else. I ran over to a toy dealer’s booth and grabbed a Mickey Mouse ears cap that made the real human skull ready for its close-up.

I pushed the camera’s button and ZZZTT, out came the instant photo and at the same time came the doctor ready for her gruesome purchase.

Doing my best Chevy Chase impression I stumbled around to hide the camera and Mickey Mouse ears so the customer wouldn’t notice. She knew we were up to something, but was probably too afraid to ask. So we went thru the motions of a regular sale just like she was buying an antique coffee pot instead of a real human skull.

A few years later, she let me know that she named the skull after me and whenever she was giving lectures, the skull was always referred to as Todd. So, if you meet a real human skull that shares my name, tell it that the old employees at LOY say howdy!

If it wasn’t for Polaroid’s instant camera, this silly memory would not have been as fun to share.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Why Polaroid? Why?

I’m sure most of the planet has heard that Polaroid will soon be discontinuing their instant film. Yes, I know that’s crazy talk! It’s kind of like Disney discontinuing Mickey Mouse or Kellogg’s quitting production of Frosted Flakes.

Polaroid sure has stirred up the internet with their bombshell announcement and some instant film fans have taken it upon themselves to start a Save Polaroid campaign! is bringing awareness of how important Polaroid instant film has been thru the years and that it still can be important even in the digital era. Already flooded with hits from all over the world this new popular site hopes to convince another company to take up the flag and produce instant film.
In conjunction with the site they’ve also created the Save Polaroid flickr group. Go to these sites and support the cause.

Today, I felt like I needed to dust off the old Polaroid and go instant photo snapping and that’s just what I did. It had been several years since I used it and it was like seeing an old friend again. I love hearing that zzztt sound once you push the button and it still give me a thrill watching the image magically appear!

All of these Polaroids were all taken today - Now everyone grab those Polaroids out of the closet, go get some film before it’s gone and snap some photos. They may be the last Polaroids you’ll ever take. Let’s hope not!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008


For all the Neato Coolville California readers or for anyone who might be visiting Los Angeles this Saturday or specifically Silverlake, CA should treat themselves with a visit to Monkeyhouse Toys! On the first of March starts the Mr Toast & Friends Art Show and runs until the 16th.

Dan Goodsell the creator and artist of Mr Toast & Friends will be there displaying some of his original paintings. Rumor has it that free posters and snacks will be available! So, if you’re in the area check it out as it sounds like a heap of fun!


Saturday, February 23, 2008


I’m very sad to hear that Ben Chapman one of the faces behind the Creature From the Black Lagoon passed away on Feb. 21. Two actors played the Creature with Ricou Browning as the underwater Creature and Ben Chapman as the land Creature.

Ben was a wonderful man that really cared for his fans. One example is a recent one when my wife surprised me with an autographed photo from Ben for Christmas last year. She really enjoyed his emails and appreciated the fast and speedy service.

Besides sending the photo Ben also added a signed Gilly Buck, a copy of his 1953 contract and two newspaper article reprints. He really went out of his way to make fans happy and in all the interviews I’ve read, this was always a regular thing for the man who once wore the Creature suit.

He will be greatly missed and condolences to his family, friends and fans. To learn more about Ben Chapman please visit his official website.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Drawing these monsters is kind of like therapy for me as it really takes your mind away from everything else.

Meet Flip Flap Fang Fang, Ms. Spike, Webly and the one with the sharp teeth is Li’l Tuft.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Just some silly little monster drawings that I’ve come up with. Meet Ook Umpkin, Lort, Scart Peg Leg and Mr. Bub M. Flub.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Here's the 1949 Grand Opening program for the 50 HIWA Drive-In Theatre that was once located in Jefferson City, Missouri. It was twinned in 1976 and renamed the Twin 50 and finally closed in 1985. Be sure to scroll all the way down thru the post to see a souvenir cleaning towel and nail file kit that this drive-in used to give away.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I jumped in the official Neato Coolville time machine and zapped back to 1862 to say Happy Presidents Day to Abe and Mary. Silly me that I forgot to bring this photograph back to the future. At least it was passed down thru the family for 146 years so I could post it here on the blog! (Yeah, this post could work as a far-out April Fools post too)

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I suppose it was a good idea in the 1940's to advertise comics on matchbooks so kids would be reminded to pick up the latest funny book after they bought their cigs and matches.

The Black Cat issue is hard to see on the matchbook, so I found a scan over at the Grand Comics Database to post for a closer look.

As a bonus, here’s a Superman matchbook cover from the 1970's advertising the Superman museum in Metropolis, Illinois.

Friday, February 15, 2008



I’ve probably seen hundreds of these kitchy bottle cap folk art men for sale over the years, but I’ve never purchased one until now. I’m not sure why I picked this guy up? Maybe it was his expression or maybe because he was only two bucks. Regardless he’s starring in today’s flea market find.

He really does have a lot of character in a misfit-toy kind of way. I’m not sure what’s better the Carmen Miranda earrings or the Falstaff Bicentennial beer can for a body? I like the fact that his arms and legs are made from the 2 liter style caps instead of the much thinner regular bottle caps like most the other bottle cap men. The Nehi Orange cap for the neck is a nice touch.

He probably was forgotten about and banished to someone’s attic or garage many years ago. Hopefully he’ll like it better on my computer desk. (I have a feeling he was worried that I was going to leave him outside)

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I did this one for the First Lady of Neato Coolville. I've misplaced my box of childhood school valentines that I was going to post today, so this will have to do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I’m afraid I don’t have much info on this tourist attraction that was once located in Eldon, Missouri at the Lake of the Ozarks. It was next to the Corral Drive-In Theatre and I believe it disappeared sometime in the late 60's or early 70's. Here’s a few souvenirs that I’ve found over the years.

Update - I just found an old brochure from this place and you can see it here. Nice to finally have a photo of the front of this attraction. Also, when you read the brochure you'll notice they advertise a free gift to newlyweds. I bet the ashtray pictured above was the newlywed gift.