May 31, 2010

Remembering My Dad

He would have been a little mindful probably to be grouped with other vets, because he never consider his service as being anything extraordinary to be noted.

Dad was inducted before he could finish high school late into the war. He'd told me how his Grampa begged with the military officers, pleading with tears, not to take his only grandson off to war. At the age of 18 in June 1945 Dad was inducted into the U. S. Army Air Forces.

Dad's Army Air Corps photo he sent to Mom signed "All my love, all my life - Buzz"

First there was Service School to attended: P-51 School at Chanute Field, Illinois.

After basic training, he was first stationed at Luke Field, Arizona. During World War II, Luke was the largest fighter training base in the Air Corps, graduating more than 12,000 fighter pilots from advanced and operational courses in the AT-6, P-40, P-51 and P-38, earning the nickname, “Home of the Fighter Pilot.”

He then was stationed at Williams Air Base, Arizona for about 6 months, at the P.L.M. "big building"... Assigned as an aircraft mechanic, working on fighters, primarily P-51 Mustangs.

"The P-51 had tappets like a big V-8 engine. The crews beside us worked on an airplane called the "Jug" (P-47 Thunderbolt) with a radial engine. They were big, so big I wondered how they kept a center balance. The P-51 was a much different engine, (borrowed) from the (British) Spitfire" Dad recalled.

"The P-51 Mustangs of the 357th Fighter Group were normally cared for by a Crew Chief, Assistant Crew Chief and Armorer. They worked relentlessly in the open, day or night, in all kinds of weather with great dedication in a trade equally as important as a pilot's ability. Without them there would be no flying." (excerpted from Bud Anderson's site)

While stationed at Williams, Dad witnessed the first jets being tested, the P-80. He saw most all kinds of aircraft of the day, including B-17 Fortresses, the "Jug", the twin airframed P-82...

But Dad did not ship overseas as expected. He contracted Tuberculosis while in the service, spending the remainder of war hospitalized for treatment in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Fortunately for him (and for me!) he was one of the first "TB" victims to be treated with the then new Penicillin after having part of his lung removed.

His total length of service: 1 Year, 5 Months, 19 Days.

Remarks: Lapel Button Issued, No time lost under AW 107, Recommended For Further Military Training.

Dad didn't stay though. He went back home, got his High School diploma, married Mom and persued his dream of a career as a commercial artist.

Remembering Sgt. Richard Pekar

Sgt. Richard Pekar, originally uploaded by Space Commander.

Sgt. Richard Pekar (my great-uncle) served in WW2. He was with the first occupational force to land on the shores of Japan after the atomic bomb. And he was awarded a Bronze Star "for meritorious service in the Netherlands, East Indies and the Philippines." When he was alive I didn't even know all these remarkable details about him. To me, he was just my Uncle Richard, and everything you could ask an uncle to be. And that was hero enough for me.

Preserved Classics: Part II of Hot Rod Super Nationals / Classic Cars Auto Show '10 Weekend

'59 Chevy Impala
Here's that '59 Chevy Impala again. Something tells me I would need to play the Batman theme music whenever I took this out on the road...

The Bel Airs were out in full force.

This would be my car of choice for weekends... a tennis tournament, a fishing trip, a camping trip, a night at the casino while undercover to track down foreign agent spies, but strictly the weekends and nothing else!

'56 Chevy Bel Air
In the driver's seat of a '56 Chevy Bel Air

'59 Buick
Fins for the Space-Age, a '59 Buick
So many choices to choose from...

'56 Mercury Medalist
I wouldn't mind driving this one home either...

The Queen Mother of Fifties Iconic Automobiles - the Imperial. Guess which classic wins hands down, that I'd love to be in charge of on a drive downtown, to the supermarket to casually pick up a loaf of bread, or to pick up Junior from school (basically anyplace where there's a guaranteed crowd of onlookers)? Hehe, this sweet machine would fill up the whole length of my drive way!

'58 Chrysler Imperial Align Center This is where I should be sitting right now - behind the wheel of this '58 Chrysler Imperial.

'58 Chrysler Imperial
And the last thing the ogling onlooker-driving beside me would see as I leave him behind (except with the hood and trunk down of course!)

Imagine driving through your neighborhood in this! My pick for 'Cruisin' in Style'
My poooooor Junior... by now his legs started to give out and we had to call it a day ;)

Custom Car Culture: Part I of Hot Rod Super Nationals / Classic Cars Auto Show '10 Weekend

This weekend the Hot Rod Super Nationals / Classic Cars Auto Show '10 came to town. Just think of them as being big hot wheels for big boys (and big girls).

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth , Von Dutch and George Barris ... these names make me think of Rat Fink, Flying Eyeballs and old skool Hot Rods. Names which some current unnamed car genius (like the one who's got his own prime-time tv show, married a celeb actress, then show real genius by cheating on her at the drop of a hat) will most likely never be associated with in a flattering manner (kinda like I just did here) :D

Ha! Rant done now... Bring on the fun stuff!

It's time to choose which car has what it takes to be the one atomic pick I'd most want to get behind the wheel and drive home in (next to the lithographed tin dream that Doc Atomic shared yesterday!). Ahhhh, so much chrome and so little time to choose...

'59 Chevy Impala
'59 Chevy Impala as a Lowrider... Boy what crazy things they could do with metal back then.

What a buggy!

Smokin' Joe's '27 Ford Model 'T'
She's unpolished, lean, mean and looking for trouble. Smokin' Joe's '27 Ford Model 'T' takes the vote for my fave tricked-out souped-up customized hotrod job of the day.

100% classic hot rodness

Hot Car, Over-Hot Kid
One Hot car, One Over-heated kid

This baby gets my vote for the most fun ride to scare your 1-time date with.

- - -

Stay tuned, Part II of quite possibly the longest-titled post ever will be pulling up into your driveway real soon!

It's Memorial Day. It's Summertime. It's Tiki Time Again.

It's Memorial Day. Remember your loved ones today.

Mom and Dad while they were dating in the early Forties

Grandma & Grandpa G.

It's the start of the Summer season (the best season of all)! Swimming holes, barbecues, and travel dreams come true.

The wettest season of all!

And as it's the start of Summer, it's also annual Tiki Day at our humble atomic home as well. As part of this annual ritual, the Mighty Big Tiki Head would like to grant a safe and sane season, plentiful in summertime sunny goodness to you and yours. Aloha!

The Mighty Big Tiki Head

May 30, 2010

The Torture Continues

PAIR Danish modern nightstand tables Eames Mid century
Ohhhh, I really, really like this set. They fit the ticket. Enough that I seriously had considered going for this one myself. The walnut would match up perfectly in the bedroom. They're Danish so they would fit with the dresser. And I love the long cigar legs on these (I'm using a little table and a storage box for nightstands right now - ha!)

BUT the tops of both nightstands are badly stained with rings, rough spots and what looks like cigarette burns, i.m.h.o. (and I'm not swallowing the line that these only need a little TLC to bring them back to perfection).

Otherwise.... they do look good though...

Taking deep breathes as I watch another one slip away... It's alright, I think It'll be okay...

Noguchi on eBay!

Isamu Noguchi Bamboo Lamp Mid Century Eames
Bids are still low for an original Noguchi. But it's going to be gone by tonight, but check out that happenin' Saucer floor lamp in the background! =O

They Were Out for Kicks

Don't Blame Me !, originally uploaded by Jo David.

.....and speaking of 'Rebel Without A Cause'... I ran across this little Flickr item. Gotta love Archie Mcfee ;)

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper (May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010), most remembered for his "don't follow the rules" roles played in movies such as "Rebel Without a Case" (1955, with James Dean) and "Easy Rider" (1969, with Peter Fonda).

R.I.P. Art Linkletter

Radio and television broadcasting pioneer Art Linkletter (July 17, 1912 – May 26, 2010) created 'House Party', 'People are Funny' and 'Kids Say the Darndest Things' in which he interviewed children to get their unvarnished point of view.

May 29, 2010

Assignment: You Choose

Today I have a test for you. Don't worry, this involves nothing painful like a poke with a needle by a student nurse or reciting the Gettysburg Address while nasty children throw rotten tomatoes at you.

All that I'm asking is for you to pick just one of the following examples that you like best, and a short explanation why.

Now remember, I want to see your report on my desk first thing in the morning. If you do well on your homework, I may dismiss you for an early recess. But if you score poorly, you may be kept after school (along with those nasty kids who were caught tossing the tomatoes).

After all, I only said this wasn't painful... I didn't say there weren't any consequences. :D

Danish Modern Pole Lamp - $85

A Very Fifties-looking Sofa - $300

A Blonde Standing Trunk (Junior could store a lot of his horde in there) - $65

Spun Steel Soda Fountain Dessert Cup Holders - $22

Unique Vinyl-Covered Shell Chair - $175

Mid-Century Wrought Iron Bar Stool
Wrought Iron Bar Stool - $75

Mid-Century Doctor's Steel Desk
Steel Doctor's Desk - $250

Admiral? Television Set
Admiral? Television Set - Not for Sale... booo!

May 28, 2010


Atomic Boomerang glassware! I feel like partying already!

hmmmm... One very laid-back Fifties clock, rounded edges... and I like the hands.

Hey! It's Ralph's bowling ball bag and bowling ball (inside the bowling ball bag)!

Anthropomorphic ware always looks good in the kitchen... but I don't know...

Yes, its a Lincoln Beautyware papertowel/foil/wax paper organizer. I must have this because I'm all about being better organized... plus it looks kinda spiffy :)

"Oh my darling Chrome Chair, *sigh* We can't go on meeting like this again!"
What will the neighbors think? Why must you lure me in so?... always begging for me to take you with me, when I already have a kitchenette set at home to think of.

May 27, 2010

Plumbing Paydirt!

Brace yourself... this is going to be a long one ;) If you happened to see a dark cloud of nasty words floating over middle America today, it's because I was working on the plumbing again. Actually I had incredibly good luck earlier this afternoon. You know the kind of fortune, the kind you only hear happening to the other guy.

Since I was already in the neighborhood, I had a look in the cramped little plumbing hardware that I'd been forced to beg for help from a year ago. This is the place that put an end to a four month long leaky faucet ordeal (a.k.a. nightmare! which included the cold water knob being blown off the tub, the bathroom getting flooded and my then 8 year old Junior so traumatized he couldn't be left alone in the bath for a week). This little shop carried the part for my fixture which nobody, not Menards, not Ace, or any of the big chains had ever seen before because it was longer in production.

Anyway, I had a look at what they had to sell me, and I was excited. There was not only just one but enough to give a person some choices in rebuilt mid-century faucets and accessories. Craigslist never had anything like this!

A clerk came over and asked what I was looking for. I think I scared him off because after I told him, he looked a bit lost and then walked back to the counter. LoL

After ogling the goods for a while, I caught up with the lost clerk and asked if he had sink basins too. He kinda mumbled and led me to the back. My hopes sank because everything he showed me was contemporary. Then I spied over the display fixtures to something way back, hanging from a peg on the corner wall. Chills ran through me - could it be? It was a porcelain kitchen sink, like we had when I was a kid.... like new and never used! It may have been covered in dust and cobwebs, and it may have been sitting around for who knows how long, but it was a thing of porcelain beauty.

The clerk didn't know what to charge since it had been forgotten so long, but I think he must have been glad to finally unload it - he asked only $25 for it. I was stunned... I forgot all about the faucets!

Another epic search was over and I took off for home with my sink like someone who'd just robbed Fort Knox. where did I put that pipe wrench?...

May 26, 2010

Busy Busy Busy...

So.... I don't think I like breathing toxic fumes and scrapping off old paint as much as I do shopping. But I've been tackling a bit of both head on.

It's turning into another week of busyness and plenty's getting done. Finally my front door is cleaned of blue paint and ready for a good sanding (confidentially the 9-year old Junior thinks leaving it as a wood finish instead of painting it a new color is "Bo-ring!" But since I'm bigger than he is, what I say still goes!)

It's been slim pickings at the thrifts lately, which is probably a good thing for my wallet but isn't as much fun either.

Close... but Nuh Uh. Kinda reminds me of almost a womb chair wannabe. Why a womb chair? Because the Womb chair is on my Top Five List of Fave Chairs, that's why! Other highly esteemed members of this elite group include:
  • the Eames Lounge (Naturally)
  • the Jacobsen Egg (Futuristic!)
  • the Butterfly (Most comfy chair on earth!)
  • a Zanuso (ANY Zanuso!)


Now this is what I like. Really. A Lot. There's just the minor problem of where to find another corner to park another extra chair in the limited kitchen space? But still... look at those chrome arms!

Junior's been a busy little man too. Today he brought home from school the poster he made about his subject in famous people of American history:

Good job - Way to go, Big Guy! (Dang... that kid is looking too grown to be my little Junior anymore)
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