Friday, June 21, 2013

Photo Friday:1968 Vacation to Michigan Edition

Good morning!

Since I'm embarking on a mini-vacation this morning, I thought it would be fun to look into someone else's family photos for vacation snaps this week for Photo Friday. This user had 18 photos in a set labeled "Vacation 1968", and darned if it did fit the bill all too well for what I was looking for! Travel back in time, if you will, to almost fifty years ago, when men were men, and vacations were suitably kitschy:

Outside a building called "Rockin Chair" which offers "Jewelry" , "China" , and faux-Native American charm, stands our family of four. One of the captions labels the locations of all of these as being in Michigan. Do you see the amazing totem pole to the far left of the photo? Also, I am bugging OUT over dad's vacation wear-- his socks match his shirt, which both match his wild print bermuda shorts! I know this is the kind of stuff that people look back on and go "Dad, you look so goofy!" but in point of fact, how much classier is this ensemble than the "Big Dog" t-shirt and Reeboks of your average male vacationer these days? Dude is COORDINATED and PUT TOGETHER! While the other photos must have been taken by the mom, who disappears after this photo, I wonder if they got a stranger to stop and take their picture as a complete unit? So sweet!

Here's more kind-of-sort-of-Indian kitsch, next to what looks like a cement cow and hay cart. You can read all about the different tribes of Indians that lived in Michigan, including the group the state was named for, here, but I'm not sure if any of them had totem poles. I'm frustrated that I can't find it, but on the first or second season of Saturday Night Live, circa '75-'76, Al Franken and Tom Davis had a sketch about what the Lone Ranger would have been like if Native American culture had won out in North America, where Tonto was the wise, well-spoken hero of the sketch, and the Lone Ranger was a bumbling, Swedish immigrant type...this pastiche of "ah, Indian's an Indian" reminded me of how funny it was. At any rate, cultural hodgepodge or not, I am kind of in love with this teepee and totem pole. Can you imagine being the enterprising young gas station owner, going, "If we got a teepee in the playground, people would REALLY go for our service station!"

Look at the horse in the background made out of an oil drum! I also love this giant turtle, and how awesome that little girl's sunglasses are. Do you see the high-wheel cycle in the background? They used to have one of those at the Cumberland Science Center that was similarly anchored in place for you to get an idea of how high up it was. 

Back at the motor court, which looks like it features adobe style cabins and is within spitting distance of a lake (see between the buildings in the background?), a relaxing game of shuffleboard. I am ashamed to say I have never had the opportunity to play shuffleboard, but am open to any offers. I wonder who's winning.

And last but not least, the littlest member of the family is riding in an AWESOME children's stroller with a fringe-top style sun guard in place on top, and the dad is hard core lounging. Doesn't he look like a Don Draper type in this photo! I take it this was all on the same day, judging from the outfits. Love it!

Do you remember any fun roadside attractions or oddly misplaced cultural landmarks in your childhood vacations? What was the wackiest outfit YOUR dad had to wear for special occasions? Which one of these photos do you like best? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I'll be back on Monday for more vintage tips and quips. Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you on the other side!


  1. Love these neat vacation pics!!! Everything is just so 60's!!

  2. oh wow these are so perfect! my dream vacation! and the mom reminds me of pictures of my grandma from that time period~
    travis LOVES tabletop shuffle board. there is a board at twin kegs on thompson lane and he tries to get everyone to go play with him!

    1. I've seen people play that there before when I went for karaoke! I need to get back out there soon (and in the meantime, learn to freakin' play shuffleboard!).

  3. The builder of my parents house in the 1950's tiled the basement floors with shuffleboard "courts". The tiles (think of Kentile) were like puzzle pieces and the home owner had the choice of colors: green, brown, black, red. Ours was red and all my friends had the other colors. Then my parents finished the basement and covered it up. Luckily my friends still had theirs and we played until the poles began to break!!! Memories!!!

    1. So cool! I've seen a few at estate sales but never knew anyone with a in-house shuffleboard court. You and your friends must have had a ball!



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