Friday, July 6, 2012

Photo Friday: Tiki Vacation Edition

Good morning! It's Friday, so you know what time it is...let's take another peek into the Doris and Ray photo archive and see what our favorite midcentury middle-agers are up to today.

This set of  photos were taken at some Tiki themed hotel sometime the early 60's. I think Doris and Ray went to a lot of civic organization dinners/retreats/conferences, and this is probably from something of that nature. Ruth and her husband Bob show up in most of these, so it might have been a combination vacation/event. AT ANY RATE, look at those warm, Kodachrome colors and the sunglasses, good LORD the sunglasses. My little heart is thumping out a jungle drumbeat of "WANT. WANT. WANT."

My friend Tom, a 32 degree Mason (it's so cool that I know a Mason!), wrote a comment on the She Was a Bird facebook page to explain that Ray's Shriner-wear tells us that: "Ray was a noble at Al Menah. On his fez, it says 'Legion of Honor', which is a Shrine unit for veterans". I think it's awesome he's sitting poolside, with a bunch of casually dressed people, casually dressed himself, in this gorgeous fez. Get it, Ray! Get it! Another thing that makes him look particularly Don Draper in all his photos? His wedding ring and his large, metal watch. Why doesn't anyone wear watches anymore? Not the nylon-band, digital kind either; I'm talking a REAL watch. I was surprised when English Rob came down last time to see that he had one his parents gave him for college graduation that was suitably metal, hefty and impressive-as-wrist-wear. We gotta get back on this, people.

Here are some really picturesque snaps of Ruth and Doris and their husbands next to the sea. Photography tip #1: standing next to a vast body of water improves the scenic value of your vacation pictures by about a million.  Photography tip #2: Taking a picture of local scenery with you in it is always better than without. I can't tell you how many mid 70's vacation photos of a-cliff-that-could-be-anywhere or a-lake-but-what-am-I-supposed-to-be-looking-at? I've been through in trying to sort these photos. Isn't it better to see what you looked like when you visited some mountain range, rather than what the mountains looked like? Unless you're Ansel Adams, stick a family member in there, all right? That said, I am dying over Doris's dress and Ruth's sunglasses. Ruth's husband Bob looks a lot like Roy Scheider. Just sayin.

A rare, beefcake photo of a shirtless Ray! Here you can get a better look at the wrought iron embellishments on the hotel room balconies, if you're not too distracted by his manly brawn and how cute the sisters' swimsuits are. There seems to be a central courtyard here that has a tiki garden type thing going on. See the bamboo bridge they're standing on and all the foliage in the foreground?

Here are the sisters and their swimsuits again, joined by this Polynesian idol carving. I think Ruth is actually the visual definition of that "You're so skinny, if you turned to the side you'd disappear!" How were people so thin! Doris has a pretty smile on her face but, being a dramatically pear shaped woman myself, I can totally emphasize with the moment these photos came back from the developers' and she went "THOSE THIGHS! WHY!" before vowing to subsist on nothing but cottage cheese and cantaloupe for the next month. Do you see the little girl behind the tropical plant's palm frond in the right-hand side of the frame? I love people-who-don't-know-their-picture-is-being-taken in photos. It gives the whole thing such a three dimensionality, as I immediately start thinking about the living, interactive world outside the photo's confines.

Doris in one of my very favorite colors, getting ready to go to an evening out on the town! There were two more photos on the bridge, one of Ray in his fez and a pale blue suit, and another of Ruth in this dress, but they were so dark you could hardly make out what was going on, so I skipped them. Somebody invest in a flashcube! 

I know this one doesn't match the others because it's in black and white, but it's the same hotel and the same swimsuits on Doris and Ray, so I think it was the same trip. Once again, they look adorable. Ray has chosen to don his matching pool-shirt with his swim trunks there. I think there's a waterfall type thing going on in the tiki garden. Ohhhh, how I want to go on vacation in 1960-something Florida. It just ain't the same these days!

Are you planning any vacations, retro or not, this summer? How happy would you be to have one of the above swim suits? Ever been to a for-real tiki themed business of any kind?

Have a great weekend, I'll see you Monday!


  1. i really love the matching shirt/swimsuit combo! and the fez! have you toured the masonic lodge on broadway? it is really cool!

  2. Absolutely love these pictures! Gah...I wish that most people still dressed nice! Just every now and then....

  3. Hi, just find your blog and I love it: keep going on like this!!!
    In The Checkout Line

  4. I'm going to Tiki Oasis this summer!

  5. It just isn't the same! Kinda like Vegas. Ah, well. Doris's swimsuit in the last photo looks really fantastic. Love the awesome pattern. It's amazing what better lighting, a better angle and B&W film can do. If I ever have to be photographed in my swimsuit, I'm going to keep all of that in mind!

  6. These pictures are so cool! Man, if only the world was still this awesome :)

    xo, samantha



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