Friday, June 28, 2013

Photo Friday: Mom and Chris Edition

Good morning!

Well, it's Friday, somehow! As usual, I am a busy, busy bee at the end of the week-- we're leaving for St. Louis to visit Matthew's Memaw in a matter of moments, but don't think that wouldn't keep me from getting off a quick Photo Friday for you all! Once again, I have relied on the bounty of Flickr to bring us more photos of stranger's families. This set comes from a Flickr group called "Mom" on this user's page, and I thought it was sufficiently sweet enough to include in today's post. Take a look!

 Folks, meet Mom and Chris. I have a feeling Chris is the eldest of three brothers, as though the user's name is Michael, both Chris and a smaller kid named Martin make their respective appearances in this group of snapshots, so I'm guessing Michael might be the youngest of the three of them. What is not to love about this trio of photographs, featuring a pin-neat, Pat Hitchock-esque young matron posing in front of an adorable house with her immaculately clad, summer casual son and dogster in tow?

I'm not sure what kind of dog this is, but based on the body language of the two humans in the photo, I think it is a good one. I love the mom's twinset and neatly tailored pencil skirt, along with the son's matched-to-his-checked-shirt denim jeans. Roy Acuff himself wouldn't be more sharply dressed than this tyke if he was around to be in the photo. Martin makes his appearance below, in a just-as-jealousy-inducing print shirt and even tinier jeans:

Here's Chris in another western inspired ensemble, which reminds me a lot of childhood photos of my Uncle Harold and Johnny. Though there are photos enough of my mom and her elder brother Wayne, the third and fourth of a four-child brood that my grandparents kept a watchful eye over in the fifties', sixties', and seventies', from the number of photos of the two older children, you'd think Harold and Johnny were famous! Every spare inch of growth, every cute moment of standing in a sand lot or balefully brushing sleep from a not-so-wakeful baby face was documented in photograph, after photograph, after photograph. With Sus and I, too, there are way more photos of me, being the first born, as a little tyke than there are of Sus (though there are plenty of Sus, and honestly, she was the more photogenic of the two of us, with white-blonde hair and a wildchild grin).

I just noticed Chris has a bow and arrow. WATCH OUT, THE COWBOYS HAVE ARROWS NOW, PEOPLE. Is day night? Is up down?! What do we do?!

Last but not least, I wanted to make sure I included the photo that got me interested in this set in the first place. Doesn't the whole thing look like a midcentury painting? I can't get over the mother's slight, gingham clad frame and the shadows across the scenery:

Do you notice a discrepency in photo representation between siblings in either your own family or your parents'? What's your favorite family photo of you and a beloved pet? Which of these snaps is your favorite? Let's talk!

That's all for this week, but you guys have a fabulous weekend! I gotta scoot; I'll see you first thing Monday! Til then.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Screenland Ads (Silent Hollywood, 1922)

Good morning!

I spend a good amount of time yesterday on my lunch hour looking through the new additions to the Media History Digital Archive online. If you're a fan of early American silent cinema, FOLKS. This is a digital bonanza of print resources on the beginnings of twentieth century studio system. As much as I love peering into the coal-black eyes of exotic temptress Nita Naldi in contemporaneous publicity stills, what I really love in these old Hollywood fan magazines are the ads. You get a microcosm of the moviegoing public's wants and needs, hopes and desires, just by looking at the kinds of ads magazine publishers would stuff into these gossip rags!

There's weird, there's weirder, and there's weirdest. Let's start with this Vi-Rex Violet Rays ad, for example:

This is essentially an ad for at-home sun lamp treatments, but do you or do you not love the H.G. Wells style illustration art presentation going on in this front-of-magazine ad? Look at the silhouettes on the people inside the lightbulbs! I love that the woman's figure looks suitably curvy, and the man's suitably costaud. One thing I didn't pull out of these pages to show you, which were just as proliferate as the health ads, were the ads for "art photography", which would pretty much consist of long, wavy haired women of average build standing 90% naked in an outdoors setting, covering some of their form but bare-breasted to the wilderness and quite "artistic" in their nudity. I remember Jean Harlow, Harlean Carpenter at the time, got in trouble with the studio later for having done some of these "anatomy studies" early in her career (see here if your modesty won't be bruised). Scandalous, people!

This ad is probably my favorite from the whole run available on the site:

"You look just swanky," the liberated flapper's dining companion says to her, admiring her pretty coiffure. Little does he know her bob is still present, just camouflaged by an extra-long faux "fall" to cover up her rash, faddish hair shearing! I think it's interesting that you can send in a sample of your hair for them to match it. And considering stories like "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry, I'm assuming that is genuine human hair. Wouldn't it be weird if there was somewhere TODAY where you could take your recently cut hair to sell? I know you can do Locks of Love to make a worthy charitable contributions of hair, but isn't it weird to think about hard-on-their-luck girls cutting their long hair and selling it? 

These ads from the same 1923 issue of the magazine address both sides of the bust issue-- you can either reduce an overly matronly bosom, or develop an underwhelming bust-line! Either problem is not a problem. I love the name "Growdina" for the company itself. Notice in the Growdina ad it is never explicitly mentioned by what method your bust will be developed. Creams? Exercise regimens? What?

There were an alarming number of revolver ads in the back of these magazines, I guess so you can keep up with your favorite silent screen hero or villain in terms of firepower. I only ever remember disgraced business men "ending it all" in silent movies with a well-placed pistol in the plot. Look at the bullets lining up and being fired in that one ad on the far right! Crazy.

Something to go along with your art photography order? How about a pamphlet about how procreation works (or how to avoid it)? "Brides vs. Babies" is the best byline of this triad. Or maybe, at the top left, the boast that there is "nothing else like it in the country". I found an 1880's "marriage information" manual once on, but it was kind of hilarious for the fact that it never got around to brass tacks as far as the actual act of human reproduction. There were kind of ribald jokes, and lots of innuendo, but as far as mechanics, nada. Can you imagine being the poor benighted bridegroom trying to decode what exactly to do on his honeymoon? I hope these manuals were more forthright with their explanations.

And of course, it wouldn't be a women's interest magazine if there wasn't a substantial number of "gain weight, lose weight" ads. I didn't see many for "gaining weight", like those old WATE-ON or yeast tablet ads from the thirties, but I wonder if that's because the Great Depression was yet to come? These creams and bath treatments promise to slenderize your figure, but I just don't know if I trust anything outside of exercise and portion control to keep a gal fit and lean. Note that there weren't any ads for either of those courses of action towards weight reduction in the issues of Screenland I read.

I couldn't resist this Fitzgerald-esque illustration from an article about whether or not starlets should marry (or maybe about stars from the future? I can't remember):

And thought you might get a suitable kick out of this article called "How Do You Dance", featuring Gloria Swanson (a HUGE, glamorous star at the time, and later film icon Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard) and sex symbol Rudolph Valentino showing a few steps for good measure:

So! What do you think about these vintage ads? Isn't it funny how similar the needs and concerns of twenties' people are to 2013 people? Have you found any really great vintage online resources lately? Let's talk!

I gotta get back to work, but I'll see you back here tomorrow for Photo Friday! Til then.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Atlanta Vacation Pt. 3: Six Flags Over Georgia (MONSTER MANSION)

Good morning!

Well, I have to tell you one of the best part of the trip was getting to go to Six Flags on Saturday. I thought I would be impressed by all the crazy rollercoasters there, but wouldn't you know it, the sparse occasions of vintage rides were pretty much the highlight of the trip. Now, ONE rollercoaster, the Great American Scream Machine almost scared me into a coma as I lifted off my seat under the insufficient seeming harness, barrelling around the rickety track of the turn-of-the-century-Coney-Island-style, but more because I thought the car might actually veer off the track and into the Georgia pines. My favorite attraction, however, was a completely unexpected treat called "Monster Mansion".

Rae recommended this ride in a comment before I left last week, and inveterate traveler/fellow woman of kitsch taste that she is, I singled MM out as one of the first things we needed to stand in line for! Online, "Monster Mansion" is defined as a "dark ride" style attraction. According to this article, a dark ride is "an indoor amusement ride where riders in guided vehicles travel through specially lit scenes that typically contain animation, sound, music, and special effects" (see more here). Did you know there was a technical name for these "house of horrors", "tunnel of love" style attractions? You do now.

We stood in line for what seemed like a very long time, and while I usually am pretty placid about queueing for something I really want to do, my nerves were getting a pretty good work out as "flash pass" holders kept being bumped to the front of (a very long) line. "Angel!" one tackily tattooed young woman in a neon pink halter and way-too-short-shorts-for-a-person-of-her-size shouted to a fellow flash pass holder at a particularly crucial junction of my patience being tried. "ANGEL, COME ON! COMMMMMMEONNNNN! SIT NEXT TO ME!" she bleated to a traveling companion who was outside getting a lemon ice (which are fantastic, btw, if you go to Six Flags, get one). Angel, still outside the confines of the attraction, handed off her ice to a goateed dude in a bucket hat, slumped poutily for a moment, and then took her sweet time going around the side of the attraction, up the gang plank, all in slow motion speed as a hundred pairs of eyes in the regular line stared. It was wrong, I tell ya! But eventually, we got to the front.

I hate you, FlashPass. (source)
For the Monster Mansion ride, you get in a Mill Chute style boat outside, and then float along throughout the attraction. The EERIENESS of floating along on a boat, through this dark, enclosed space, even past these sweetly goofy, Showbiz Pizza style animatronics, is what really enchanted me about the ride. It was a lot like when I visited the wax museum in Kentucky...I'd read about wax museums, seen pictures of them in books, read about people going to them....but there's something so surreal and dream-like about the lights going up on a darkened room and these stock-still wax figures of famous people standing motionless in a historical setting. Ditto on the boat ride...while I conceptually understand "ok, you get on a boat, it rides you through all these little displays, and you come out of the tunnel at the end", something about the actual experience of it was so thrilling on a basic level that I came out the other side going, "THAT WAS AMAZING. HOW AMAZING WAS THAT?!" in spite of being at least two decades older than the target audience.

The current ride features a "humans welcome" monster picnic, followed by a scary trip to "the swamp", where humans are not allowed, but your boat takes you anyway. This has been the theme since the early eighties', but when the park opened, the ride was still an Old Mill style boat ride, just through Old South plantation style folk tale dioramas:
The 1967 ride (source)
"Tales of the Okefenoke" was the original name of the Joel Chandler/Uncle Remus themed attraction that opened along with the park in 1967. There was some hubbub about how "Okefenoke" predates Disney's Remus-themed "Splash Mountain" by twenty years, but let's not squabble. That ride, and all  displays that went along with it, were scrapped in 1980 to introduce "Monster Plantation" for the 1981 season. I love imagining the creative meeting they had there."Well, what are the kids into? Monsters? Ok, we've got...we can get a bunch of monsters, and put them in the old Plantation themed attraction." "Yeah, plantations, dude, what were thinking there-- plantations are definitely out." "Short-sightedness. How were we to know. We'll call it....'Monster Plantation'. " "Is there a way to get around the whole 'plantation' thing? We may want to distance ourselves from the negative connotations, I mean, it's not exactly a 'good' word in 1980..." "No, we've already made up the sign. And it doesn't make sense unless you call it 'Monster Plantation', because otherwise, why is it on a plantation?" "WHY IS IT ON A PLANTATION PERIOD?" And so on.

It does not look anything like this concept art, really, in real life, but how cool is this illustration?!
"Monster Plantation" went on for  twenty seven years, before common sense prevailed and the ride was renamed "Monster Mansion" (which is a way better name, hello, probably second only to Maniac Mansion in simple, alliterative naming convention gold). The characters and the theme remained intact, but were updated where they were down around the heels a little from almost thirty years use by the original creative team from "Monster Plantation", including creature designer Phil Mendez. I was like, how much really goes into re-hauling an animatronic theme park attraction? Welllll, since you asked.....Wikipedia can tell you:

Monster Mansion follows the same basic plot and premise as the original Monster Plantation, but infuses the attraction with modern technologies, effects, and storytelling techniques. During the renewal, every single one of the 99 original characters were re-built from the inside out, including new mechanics, fur, and renewed costumes based on the originals. Eight new characters were added, and all original murals were discarded and new murals, designed by Disney Animation production designer Phil Phillipson, were installed. Every light and speaker in the building was also replaced.

Dang! That is a lot of work, son!

In spite of Angel, in spite of the Flash Passes, in spite of the wait, I have to say, the minute I got in the actual ride, I was having a ball. THIS IS MY FAVORITE ATTRACTION AT THE PARK. Thus, you know I had to get a souvenir shirt:

How cute is this shirt? In the MONSTORE (ahahaha, crack me up, won't you), you can get little mementos of your visit to the Monster Mansion.  And thankfully, they had kid sizes so I didn't end up in a whale of garment. I will wear this shirt with pride! And I hope I get to go on more "dark ride" style attractions in the future. I've never been to Disneyland, but maybe it's time to pack up the DeSoto and gooooo! :)

Have you been on a ride like this before? What kids' ride that you had low expectations for turned out to be magical in your adult years? Any formative experiences with scary/awesome boat rides? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I'll see you back here tomorrow! Til then.

PS: The little girl describing the original Okefenoke ride is worth watching this entire promo video from 1967. "Everybody was chasin' everybody!" Also, see footage of the current ride here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Atlanta Vacation Pt. 2: Georgia Aqaurium

Good morning!

One vacation destination I am ALWAYS drawn to? AQUARIUMS, SON. We almost didn't get a chance to go to the Georgia Aquarium, but I woke up Sunday morning a determined woman-- I was gonna see a whale shark if it killed me!

How did I know about the whale sharks? Earlier in the week, my sister Sus and I were looking over the GA Aquarium website. Our attention was arrested by an advertising panel on that site that reads "When you wish upon a whale shark", touting the presence of these amazingly large salt water creatures in one of their attractions. Sus: "What would you wish for on a whale shark?" Me: "Another whale shark. And then on that whale shark, I'd wish for a habitat for the whale shark." Sus: "You oughta wish for a marine biologist. That would come in handy." Me: "Maybe I'll become a marine biologist!" And so on, and so on.

Though I forgot to take a picture of the main attraction, in all the bustling business of that particular part of the exhibit hall, here's what the guy looked like. And he was every bit as clear and impressive in real life! 

The opening of Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium in 2005 was due in large part to the generosity of Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, who donated $250 million dollars towards its creation. It's the world's largest aquarium (!!), and features five separate areas for different kinds of creatures (river, tropical, saltwater, etc).

I was surprised at the number of "see me, feel me" type activity stations at the aquarium...and by surprised, I mean totally enchanted by these opportunities to try and pet sea creatures in a safe, non actual ocean environment. In this first one, you're invited to a shallow pool of sting rays (ok, cool, yeah, they used to have those at Opry Mills) and SHARKS! Teeny, harmless little sharks, but sharks nonetheless! I did pet one friendly little ray, but couldn't get a shark to give me a second glance to save my life. Heartless beasts!

Here's another touch-exhibit that had sea anemones and starfish. Didn't they look like so much stringy marzipan, all bright colors and undulating little tentacles! The anemones really felt like "nothing" to touch, as they were so soft and pliable, but then, with all manner of slyness, they would gently attach to you finger, as if pondering the question, "Food? Food? Food?"

Here, Matthew salutes the skipper of the mockup ship in the River section of the aquarium. Captain Crawdad, you were not overlooked in our visit.

What I kept thinking about, looking back on these vacation snaps? How PHOTOGENIC fish and other underwater creatures are! I don't know if it was lighting or what, but in spite of my blurry, shaky hand photography, some of these guys still look like screensavers.

Lionfish, giving a saucy little wave:

An eel, looking well nigh terrifying. His mouth kept opening and closing like something out of a horror movie. For all I know, this may be the Pierce Brosnan of eels-- he may look very attractive to his own kind, but WHEW, his looks give me the heebies.

More me! As I walked through the metal detector at the Aquarium (both World of Coca Cola and the Aquarium have metal detectors), I asked if I needed to take my necklace off. Don't you usually have to take off metal necklaces at the airport to go through security? The very young, Eddie Murphy lookalike security guard eyeballed me briefly before going, "No, it's cool, you can keep your pharaoh."

Matthew was totally gobsmacked by this albino alligator. I don't know why I wasn't impressed enough with him-- maybe I've seen too many albino creatures in the past at zoos and aquariums! "It looks like something out of Dark Souls!" he said, referring to the PS3 game. "Or like it was carved out of stone! How is there even anything like that around?" Alligators are weird, period-- sometimes I like to think about John Smith-era pilgrims to the new world, and how completely hellish most of the wildlife must have seemed to them compared to what they would see in England. Sure, you have rats, and birds, and fish in have deer in the countryside...but imagine, having never seen an alligator, suddenly spotting one lurking in the same river where you wash your clothes. It would be like something out of a nightmare! Even worse if it was an all white one like this....spookiful, kids.

The expression on the faces of many of these creatures reminded me of Jim Henson's puppets. How does nature even think to MAKE things that look like this?

A giant crab. You remember how impressed I was by these in Chattanooga. I am no less impressed by them now.

Beluga whales were a huge part of the attraction, with their own special tank. You can even book "a night at the aquarium" where you have one-on-one time with these things. I don't know what it is about it the tubular shape of their muscled bodies? Their weird, somewhat craggy heads? But I had no interest whatsoever in these creatures. Maybe it turns out we both like Dario Argento movies or cold ketchup on hot fries, but I'm just judging a book by its cover, I don't think I like beluga whales!

 Matthew once again demonstrates the inter-relatedness of Babs to penguins:

The always beautiful, obligatory jellyfish snaps:

And last but not least, a just-about-perfect tree frog. There was a whole section on frogs on the second floor, which was really cool.

My only criticism of the aquarium, which is lavishly put together and really just amazing in sheer scale, is the family-geared tone of the whole place. That sounds like I'm a crumbhead, but hear me out on this one! An aquarium is a GREAT place to bring kids, obviously, but in some exhibits, the subject and presentation was obviously more intended towards the elementary school age kid or below. Example, the dolphin show, AT&T's Dolphin Tales. Anything a dolphin does is pretty much amazing to me, so I was looking forward to the dolphin show. Happy memories of Lisa Frank covers or reruns of Flipper cloud my judgement as I type the very word "dolphin". Maybe he'll bop a beach ball with his nose, or do some really cool flips. I'm in!

Yet, the show we took in was B-A-D bad because of the forced narrative of a Vegas-style "Starskimmer" ship's captain. This figure took the proscenium, over a large tank that held the trainers and their dolphins, in a light-up cape. He sang, in a ringing tenor, about how the dolphins would resurrect his ship to sail across the stars. I know this sounds like it could be awesome, in a "Knights in White Satin", psychedelic type way, but no. Take my word for it, with a CGI team borrowed from Veggie Tales, it was really NOT for anyone over the age of say four. I could honestly imagine a five year old going, "CAN WE JUST SEE THE DOLPHINS?" :( That said, the dolphins were still pretty cool....I just wished they done this SeaWorld style instead of spending so much money on floorshow aspect of the performance.

Well! Overall, I'd have to say the Georgia Aquarium was pretty cool! Skip the dolphin show if you can help it, but make sure you make your wish upon a whale shark!

Have you been to this aquarium? Have one in your area that boasts something even cooler than a whale shark? What's your best memory of going to an aquarium? Let's talk!

That's all for today! My third and final Georgia post will be tomorrow, before we get back to the vintage swing of things. Have a great Tuesday, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Atlanta Vacation Pt. 1: The WORLD of Coca Cola

Good morning!

Well, folks, we lived! We spent a whole weekend in Georgia on vacation and have lived to tell the tale! Let's start this travelogue in reverse order, at the world of Coca Cola. We visited Sunday mid-afternoon, and it was a fabulous, fun time for cuties. So lemme quit stallin' and tell you guys about it!

First of all, what does a gal have to do to get a drink around this place?

Pemberton Place is an area in central Atlanta that boasts a big open greenspace in addition to two huge tourist attractions, the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. The landmark was named for the original inventor of  formula for Coca-Cola, Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton. This statue, a likeness in bronze of the man himself with an open high top table in bronze for you to share a hypothetical cold one with him, stands in front of the WCC, and the first thing we did (obviously) was "get our picture took" with him!

This photo also demonstrates the first pair of cargo shorts poor Matthew has probably owned in his adult life. While he usually wears slim black trousers and some little tie-up black Oxfords on a daily basis, we made an emergency stop at the Hiram, GA Walmart to buy both cargo khakis and off-brand Columbia waterproof sandals so he wouldn't die of heat exhaustion, like some 19th century farmer, at Six Flags on Saturday. He liked the "frat bro" vibe of them so much (and the weather appropriateness of was hot some of this weekend!) that he continued to wear them on Sunday. How freakin' cute!

Upon entering the little "welcome to Coca-Cola!" room in the WCC, we were immediately surrounded by just a GLUT of vintage Coca-Cola ephemera. It looked like someone's awesome CC collection threw up in there, and was OVERWHELMING for the amount of international and domestic red-and-white advertising paraphernalia, from large signs to small circulars to maquettes of former brand mascots:

This is probably one of the only museums I've been to where the tour guides SPECIFICALLY encouraged you to take photo and video, so I was a terrible little shutterbug the entire time! Plus I wanted to be sure to have enough stuff to bring home and show my dad, who is a dyed-in-the-wool Coke brand ambassador in the classic sense, and is hoping to get to go to "the home of Coca-Cola" some day.

As I stopped at the end of the entrance ramp to listen to the opening spiel, I could not have been more delighted to see, OMFG, THIS 1930'S CLARK GABLE AND JOAN CRAWFORD advertising poster, in living life, right in front of me:

Did I get my picture in front of it? YOU KNOW I DID. I have an ad for Coca-Cola on the set of Dinner at Eight, with Jean Harlow and Lionel Barrymore and the like holding the iconic ice cold bottles in their famous little hands, in a frame on my bedroom wall, but I think I would actually DIE to have something like this in my collection. Out of that room full of stuff, this was definitely the highlight for me. And once again, this is THREE colas my girl JC has shilled for...her famous Pepsi-Cola support after marrying PC executive Al Steele, and this RC Cola campaign from the forties

Here's a snap for us waiting to go into "the Vault" exhibit:

The exhibition space on the first floor is broken up into three different spaces-- "The Vault", which focuses on the "secret" of the secret formula; "Milestones of  Refreshment", a display of the MANY historical artifacts from Coke's long advertising and production history; and "Bottle Works", a mock-up assembly line of the bottling process. Here's some stuff from "The Vault", which may have been the most expensive looking exhibit of the three:

The history of the formula and the lengths to which the company has gone to keep it secret is the theme that links display cases you see throughout this exhibit. Above, you see a lot of old-time medicine bottles and prescriptions to symbolize the beginnings of the formula in Pemberton's pharmacy. Pemberton sold the company to Asa Candler in 1888, who really started up the powerhouse marketing campaigns and blanket advertising that made Coke the household name it is today.

At different points in the exhibit, hidden loudspeakers whisper conspiratorial "Who's keeping the secret?" type statements and other hushed admonishments of the importance of keeping the recipe under wraps.  This wall displayed little factoids about the brand and some conspiracy theories behind who REALLY invented the million dollar formula:

There was some kind of "game" you could play by collecting all the clues and putting them together at the end of the trail, but the room was way too crowded with fellow tourists to really make an honest go of it. The die-hard gamer in Matthew was intrigued by the prospect, but happy to move along to the next room to make way for the next batch of onlookers. Here's us in this weird, motion capture portion of the interactive exhibit. I'm the gal behind the pixellated camera!

The Milestones in Refreshment space was much more my speed, with old, older, and OLDEST examples of CC advertising. Ah! Look at that clock! That kite! One thing that really struck me throughout the exhibits was that even if you prefer Pepsi, or even some other cola brand, it's a given fact that Coca-Cola is the "gold standard" of soda products. It's so ingrained in our collective national consciousness that Coke is #1 that I actually think a little poorly of restaurants (like Arby's in the past, and Taco Bell now) that don't carry their superior products. Like, "Can't you afford Coke? Even if I'm not drinking it, you should be offering it!" What a marvel of twentieth century marketing, right? 

A Cuban coke delivery car that should be parked in my driveway every night, and lovingly sang to sleep for how COMPLETELY awesome it is. That buttery pale yellow paint job!

Sometimes I see these Coke calendars on antique store runs, but never anywhere near my price range. And I'm talking since I was little I can remember Coke memorabilia being a top dollar collectible item. Secretly, I hope that the market slumps on these, the way they have with Barbie cases. Remember when we talked about this? Barbie cases from the sixties' and earlier used to be in the $40-$50 range every where you looked, and suddenly they're usually priced from $15-$20 at estate sales, AND still there on the second day! Who am I to question the power of Coke collectibles, but wouldn't it be nice for just one ERRANT piece to make its way into my parsimonious possession?

I didn't get a very good shot of this poster, but the turn of the century tableau below features a mysterious woman in a be-plumed picture hat enjoying a coke in the was so ominous and spooky, compared to the bright, happy tone of most of the red and white ads! The almost context-less, non punctuated "Delicious" at the bottom is downright sinister looking!

 Old vending machines, which are always amazing:

French advertisements (or possibly French Canadian advertisements)! Our greeter at the front room pronounced this sign "Byew-vez Coca Cola", which was just amazingly wrong. "BOO-vay Coca-Cola", my little heart cried out, the former French teacher I am. She was otherwise completely delightful, but wasn't it the nerd in me that wanted to correct her so bad I almost did!

Look at the dancing teens on that one Asian ad and the black-haired Rita Hayworth lookalike here. LOVE.

There was a 4-D video on the second level that we ditched due to a super crowded seating area, but you'd better believe we took advantage of the "Taste It!" exhibit, which included fountain drink style dispensers of SIXTY FOUR Coca-Cola products from around the world, available for you to taste at your leisure. And when they say around the world, they're not just talking North America!

The funniest part about this section of the tour was the number of children running around with sour faces yelling, "IT'S NASTY! IT'S SO NASTY!" And, open minded person that I am, I'm telling you, 60% of the sodas consumed in other parts of the world are SO GROSS. I overheard a fellow visitor remarking, on the subject of the Beverly (from Italy), that it tasted like "Drambuie and mouthwash". HE WAS COMPLETELY SPOT ON CORRECT. We only made it through about 30 shots-of-soda before we had to cleanse our palate with some Sprite Zero from the American portion.

As you leave the museum, you're allowed to take a free coke from this rotating assembly line dispenser! Matthew and I put ours in the fridge when we got home, so we can cheers to little Cokies sometime this week in celebration of the fabulous time we had at the WORLD OF COCA COLA!

So! Have you ever been to this tourist destination or another soda-themed museum? Do you have any neat Coke-related products in your collection? What did you get up to this weekend?

More news from our Atlanta trip tomorrow! I'll see you then. :)


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