Knoxville Then & Now – Westwood Motel Kingston Pike

 I have been meaning to add this motel on Kingston Pike for a long time. We dropped in to try Archer’s BBQ and so I took some pictures and added it today. A relic of the 50s that stands today, the Westwood Motel, part of the Knoxville Then and Now site.

Today it is Cherokee Village and home to Archer’s Barbeque and other small businesses.

Mai-Kai Calendar Girls – 1969

1969 Mai-Kai Calendar Now online is the fantastic 1969 Mai-Kai calendar. This one features sisters Leila and Andree and their cousin Liva.


Etiquette for Young Moderns


Gay Head. Just sayin’.

Redmon Court – Knoxville Then and Now

Redmon Court

Another addition to Knoxville Then and Now is the Redmon Court. Not exactly confident I found it. You decide.

Redmon Court


Mai-Kai Calendar Girls

In an effort to turn blog posts to web pages, I have started with the Mai-Kai calendars. This also gives me a chance to share a bit of history along the way.

If you are interested in helping with this project, please email me. I do not have every calendar.

Mai-Kai Calendar Girls

Check back for updates!

Service Station – Asheville Hwy

This little station was in a movie filmed in Knoxville. Anyone recall what movie? October Sky or Box of Moonlight? In the movie, I recall there were like 20 Highway direction signs in front of it.

Great vinatge lines.

A phone? I forgot to see if it had a dial tone.

These lights must have shined on a lot of classic cars getting gas…

A Little Swank Pad Christmas

A few images from our house:


Bell Elf1

Bell Elf 2

Bowling Pig

Light Elf

Other tree

Tiki Daze is Upon Us!

newlogo.jpgAfter a long year of working on this, we are nearly done! The fantastic graphic design artists have taken my thousands of photographs of vintage tiki bar ephemera and turned them into dynamic works of art. These things you have seen in the Book of Tiki, Tiki Quest, The Bum’s books and now the wonderful Tiki Modern. So, to simply photograph some very rare mugs and drop them on a background would be, well, already done and semi-boring. The real tiki geeks would dig it if I had the uber-rare items, but most people would not. So, I challenged my artists to do something fun, and creative with these images, and I think they have. Plus, all calendar images were approved by Ms. Swanky who, though she fully understands the tiki aesthetic, is not enthralled with it like I am. She understands a more broad perception that will make this calendar appeal to us tiki freaks, and the general freaks too.

If you look at the calendars in thte kiosk at the mall, you will find they all fall into a few categories:

  1. Images of things, i.e. Dogs, Cats, Babes, Hunks
  2. Art, i.e. Ansel Adams photos, Picasso paintings
  3. Cartoons, i.e. Dilbert, Farside
  4. Still Lifes, i.e. staged kitchen cooking scenes, islands, etc.

What we have done with this calendar is combine several of these styles. We have photographs of things, as in postcards, swizzles, mugs and menus of classic tiki bars. Mixed with images of thatch, tapa, etc., blended with custom artwork, and put together into a new image, which is a sort of “still life” of tiki that is more than a sum of its parts.

Quite simply, it is unlike any calendar I have ever seen, both for its subject matter, and especially for its design.

So, head over to the new website and get the only 2008 calendar that matters!

Pleasure Guide

With a title like that, it could be anything, but…



And if you have dirty thoughts, this could lead to many places…


I’d love to cruise around Nassau in that car, and with one of these gals in hats and heels…

Cypress Gardens

I’d visit Cypress Gardens, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what is going on in this picture…


Do a bit of shopping in Nassau. Great bag.


Maybe watch a local show with hot, sweaty, shirtless black men…


Nearly lose my wig when my husband spears a big fish and points it at me…


Listen as Jerome sings another tune. Shake me another Bacardi Cocktail!


Dancing of course…


Flamingos viewed under parasol…


Get a hat that looks like a palapa umbrella…


Or just enjoy the Palm beaches.

Vintage Hawaii Slide of the Week

Here we see Mr. and Mrs. James V. Barry on vacation in Hawaii in 1964.
Fire! Fire!
Fun was had. In about 150 slides from their trip, this may be the only one where she is smiling…

Retro Views

No, I am not talking about Dick Cheney’s philosophy, but a great website. Retro Views has many original photographs of motels used for postcards back in the day. You can buy pristine copies from them for outrageous prices! This is some serious eye candy, but the Flash site sucks. Some samples:

Aztec Kona Kai Bathing Suits

Via the PCL

Eliston Place Soda Shop – Nashville


This soda shop is not a place made to look like an old soda shop. It is an old soda shop, vintage 1934. I have been here before, but never got pictures of the awesome interior until this trip.

Juke box

A wurlitzer juke box has a box at every booth. And they work. The music is a weird mix from about 1978. Disco Duck and country you never heard of.

Juke box detail




These doors have seen a lot of use!


Froot Loops…

Vintage Barware

My definition of “collecting” has changed over the years. I have been humbled by the vast and cumpulsive collections by people I have met or seen online. I do have a few “collections,” but, nothing that is going to blow anyone away. I suppose I collect vintage lamps, radios, and stuff. But mostly I don’t “collect” those things, I just buy them when I find stuff I like at a price I like. I only really collect Mai Kai and Aku Aku Las Vegas stuff, and a little Don the Beachcomber. Otherwise, it’s just decor. It is not a “collection” and my home is not a museum.

Experiment 33 has posted his collection of vintage barware and started a Flickr group for more to add theirs. I do love the remnants of a lost culture of good drink making. And I have a few of the things pictured myself.

SnoflakeI have had many ice crushers. Hand crank types and motorized ones. These days I enjoy the luxury of crushed ice by way of the fridge door. But, the best other ice crusher is the Oster Snoflake. Not only does it do the job well, but, you can put the crusher over an ice bucket instead of the tray it comes with and make mountains of crushed ice for your party. It does throw out eye piercing shards of ice, like many, but, it’s not too scary. Get one cheap on Ebay.

Oh if we could only travel like this now! I’d be the most popular person on the plane!

Henri Rene – The Swinging 59


I really love Henri Rene’s music. It rewards the listener. It’s slightly akilter. It’s doing little things that are just wonderful and fun. Not in your face. But for the afficianado, it’s music to love. Deeply.

Enjoy the download!

Kay’s Ice Cream – Maryville, TN

I had seen on Les Jones’ blog that Kay’s in Maryville had closed. On our way to the mountain cabin on Thanksgiving, we drove by to take a look.

Kay's front

Notice the letters on the front door.

Kay's side

Kay's Sign

Looks like mint chocolate chip to me. I have searched far and wide for an image of the large Kay’s sign with the ice cream cone and the boy on the ladder with the extra long tongue licking it to no avail. The last one I knew of was on Chapman Highway and it dissappeared around the turn of the century.


It brought out some fans. Here on the door is a long letter telling about this family’s long history with Kay’s. I ate there a few times myself over the years.