Thursday, August 28, 2008

The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters

One of the coolest sports related memories of my childhood was watching Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal, and the rest of the fabulous Harlem Globetrotters on ABC's Wide World Of Sports. Their crazy hijinks always cracked me up. I always wanted anything that had the Globies in it, whether it was books, magazines, or toys. I remember getting this book at a school book fair and reading it over and over again.




I forget the year, but I remember seeing the classic Globetrotter lineup sometime in the late '70's. My program is just about ready to fall apart due to reading it over and over. I'd post it but it's coverless and in pretty bad shape. I didn't see them again until 1987, when I was a junior in high school. I don't remember getting a program but I did keep the ticket stub.



They weren't quite as good then as they were ten years before but it was still entertaining. I still dig them and hope to see them again the next time they're in Kansas City. To end this post, I found this cool ad for the classic Globie lineup from the January 2, 1972 Kansas City Star.



Monday, August 25, 2008

Bruuuuuce!!!!!



I went and saw Bruce Springsteen and the mighty E Street Band last night and I am still feeling it. I've been a fan of Bruce's for quite some time and I was really looking forward to the show. After 3 hours and ten minutes of good old fashioned rock and roll, he definitely did not disappoint. The show started at 8:45 and ended at almost midnight. My wife had to get up and go to work so she's definitely feeling it this morning. I don't have to go to work until noon so I'm a little better. That's what three hours of standing and singing along will do to you! Although he didn't play any of my all time favorites (most of those were played the night before in St. Louis), it was still a great show with tremendous energy and a great crowd. The highlight of the show was Late Night With Conan O'Brien's own Mighty Max Weinberg's, Bruce's drummer for the last 34 years, debut on the mic. He sang a brief snippet of the Shirelles' song Boy, which was covered by the Beatles and sung by one of Max's idols Ringo Starr. Here's some shaky video of the momentous occasion.



This was my first concert at KC's new Sprint Center and overall it's a decent concert venue. The sound was pretty muddy where I was in the nosebleeds but it's a beautiful arena and an improvement over old Kemper Arena.




I had a great time last night and hope that Bruce and the boys (and girl) return on their next tour, whenever that is. Here's the Kansas City Star review and here's the setlist review page from Backstreets, the quintesential Springsteen site.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Star Bird



One of my favorite toys from my childhood was Milton Bradley's Star Bird. Produced to capitalize on the success of Star Wars, the Star Bird was a very cool toy that I remember wanting ever since I saw it at Children's Palace a few months before Christmas, 1978. I definitely remember asking Santa for it and was very happy when it showed up under the tree.



I played with this thing non stop for a long time. I managed to hold onto it all these years. It's still in decent shape and I'm really glad I managed to keep it. It's one of my all time favorite toys.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Aaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!



I also picked up this cool Fonz Mego at the toy show today. It reminded me of how much I dug The Fonz when I was a kid. Happy Days was my favorite show and I, like millions of other kids at the time, thought The Fonz was the coolest guy on TV by far. I vividly remember waiting for Tuesday nights at 7 to watch the adventures of the Fonz and the gang. I bought a few things during that time like magazines and books. The only one I still have is this cool paperback that came out in 1976.





I remember really wanting to wear this cool iron-on that came with the book.



My love for the show has continued to this day, although a lot of the later episodes are very hard to watch. The first four seasons of the show are fantastic however and I highly recommend the DVD sets. This site is a very good retrospective of the show. I think I might try and find some of those magazines in my never ending tubs of stuff.

All Hail McDonaldland!



I went to a toy show today and got a great deal, three of the classic McDonaldland figures for a real good price. It got me thinking about all the cool stuff that came out then. A warm childhood memory of mine is going to the McDonalds by my dad's house and getting Happy Meals. They had just been introduced and it was cool to get the prizes inside. I also loved the commercials. The characters were great and had a fantastic look, very similar to the Krofft style but I wasn't aware of it at the time. My favorite character was by far Mayor McCheese. I don't know what it was about him, but he cracked me up. Maybe this commercial promoting the new breakfast items introduced me to him.



Or maybe it was this cool ad.




I don't remember getting a lot of McDonalds stuff at the time, although I probably had some of the glasses. I got a couple of them again about a year ago.








It would be really cool if these great characters would come back in the ads. I need to get the Funco bobbleheads that just came out. They're great. I think I'll go get some cheeseburgers right now (just what I need).

Friday, August 22, 2008

1964 New York World's Fair



My newest collecting interest these last few weeks has been the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. I think a lot of it has to do with my interest in classic Disneyland. Walt designed several attractions for the fair which he later took to Disneyland, most notably It's A Small World, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, and The Carousel Of Progress. I think one of the things that fascinates me about the fair is the "groovy" 1960's look to it. The Googie architecture and the space age vibe a lot of the pavilions gave off just resonates with me. I bought a cool postcard book a few weeks ago that shows this style.





I've been looking up facts about the fair and reading up on the few books out there about the history of it. This site is very comprehensive and has a lot of cool pictures while this fantastic book by Bill Cotter is a must have for fans of the fair. It has a ton of great pictures that Bill took himself while he was at the fair as a kid.

One of the cooler things I got from the library was the Official Guidebook. It has tons of cool promotional art like this piece from the Hall Of Science space show.



I think I'll enjoy collecting stuff from this cool fair. Just what I need, more things to spend money on!

Meeting Moonwalkers

During the past 15 years or so, I've been fortunate to meet a lot of celebrites and people I grew up liking and admiring. Out of all the people I met, the three people I've met who walked on the moon inspired the most awe. Two out of the three I had great experiences with. The other one, Ed Mitchell, who walked on Apollo 14, was nice enough but I thought he was a little off. My buddies and I didn't really talk to him very much. The other two though, were fantastic experiences.

The first moonwalker I met was Alan Bean, who was the fourth man to set foot on the moon on Apollo 12 in 1969. He was appearing at a local comic book convention of all places. His line was extremely long but he was super nice and friendly and took time to talk to all of us like we were the only people there. He even asked me about my job. A moonwalker caring about what I did, amazing! I had my picture taken with him and it turned out great.



He also signed several things for me, including this fantastic picture of him in training for the mission.



The last moonwalker I met was just recently. A good friend of mine got invited to a reception for Harrison Schmitt, who was on the last mission to the moon, Apollo 17. He was kind enough to invite me and we had a great time getting our pictures taken and having him sign his latest book.








I think I've been eating a little too much Kentucky Fried Chicken in the years since I met these great men.





These were great experiences and I hope some of the other people who've walked on the moon will come through town. There are only 9 left out of the twelve so there's still a chance.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A&W Ad 1976



I found this cool ad for the A&W restaurant my grandparents used to take me too in the 1976 Truman High yearbook. It was a very popular drive-in restaurant at the time and I remember drinking a lot of root beer there when I was little. It closed in the early 80's and the line of businesses that replaced it didn't do near as well as A&W. A&W came back to the area years later as combo restaurants with another favorite, Long John Silvers, but it just wasn't the same. The copy didn't turn out real well but you can still see how cool this particular place was in 1976.

Fisher's United Super 1978



I was hanging out the other day with my buddy Neato Coolville at the new Midwest Genealogy Center, the new library my employer Mid-Continent Public Library opened a few months ago. We were looking through old yearbooks for cool ads and related stuff from the 70's when I came across this ad for Fisher's United Super, the grocery store down the street from where I grew up. I used to walk down there all the time to buy baseball or Star Wars cards. Later in the 80's they always had at least a couple of the more popular video games. I spent hours there during the summers playing Ms. Pac-Man and Time Pilot. I was very happy to find this ad. It's still there relatively unchanged. It's now a Thriftway and I still try and stop in there when I'm in the area. The ad is from the 1978 Truman High School yearbook

Boulevard Drive-In



One of the coolest things about living in the Kansas City area is that we have three drive-in theaters still in operation. I'll post about all three eventually but I'll start with the oldest. The Boulevard Drive-In in Kansas City, KS opened in 1950 and has been going strong ever since. It's been owned by the same people all this time and looks like a great place to see a movie. It's very well taken care of and in fact still has playground equipment underneath the screen.



The drive-in has state of the art digital sound and offers first run movies the entire summer. For more info about this great theater check out their site here

Also check out this cool behind the scenes video shot earlier this year.



If you live in the KC area, a trip to the Bouvelard should be in your plans if you like a classic moviegoing experience.

Welcome To My World

I thought I'd start another little blog to talk about things I'm into besides comics and movie history. Who knows what I'll blab about but I'm sure it'll be entertaining to someone, who I have no idea. Thanks for looking.