Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm Sick and I Can't Get Up

I'm feeling under the weather. Translate this as, I can't lift my head off the pillow without feeling like a piano has dropped out of the sky and landed on top of me.

I haven't felt great for the last week, but as of Monday it has steadily grown worse. Nothing to worry about, just a touch of some kind of nasty bug, but I've decided to take some time off to recoup. The biggest drag is that this is deadline week for me, so I still have to pretend I'm somewhat coherent and design ads and put the books together this weekend. I'm doing this in bits and pieces as my body allows.

I should be up and about by next week, so until then, I will miss all of you and blogging.

I thought this would be a good day to show you these cute slippers. I just know if I had these on my tootsies I would feel better already.

Sister is taking good care of me though. She even ran out last night to our favorite Chinese takeout and brought me back a big container of Sweet and Sour Soup. For me this has always worked better than Chicken Soup from the deli. Isn't she a sweetheart?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Foodie Friday - Broccoli Slaw

Over Labor Day weekend my nephew and his wife came to visit. David is in the Army and is stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia until he leaves for Iraq in December. Ft. Stewart is only about a five hour drive, so they get to visit frequently.

When I have company I like to have a few things already made and in the fridge, so that there is something quick and easy to grab when you come in from the beach or after a day of sightseeing. At my house this always includes potato salad and tuna salad. That weekend I decided to try something different to add to the choices. I love broccoli slaw and typically make it with chopped, crunchy Washington or Fuji apples, mayonnaise and creamy Parmesan dressing.

This time I wanted to try something a little different, so I used:

1 bag Broccoli Slaw
4 ounces Kraft Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Kraft Fat-Free Mayonnaise
3 ounces Craisins (about half a bag)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Whisk the vinaigrette and mayonnaise together. Pour over the slaw and toss to coat. Add Craisins and walnuts tossing lightly. Chill at least two hours to give the flavors a chance to meld.

Notes: You can vary the amount of each ingredient to your preference. I didn't know Craisins came in a cherry flavor, so I grabbed these by mistake. They tasted fine, but I prefer the regular cranberry flavor and will use that the next time. This slaw was delicious, crunchy and healthy!

I packed some up in a container and since the kids were not "into" broccoli slaw, I ended up eating most of this myself and I can tell you it stayed nice and crunchy for a week.

Enjoy and be sure to stop in over at Michael's at Designs By Gollum for links to more fabulous Foodie Friday recipes.

The first word is "She"

While I was contemplating what to post today, I stopped in at a few of my favorite blogs. On Monday, Julia at Drawn to the Sea posted a beautiful photo of a pink porch swing that overlooks the sea. She wrote this:

Posting in short bursts invites you to interact, to be part of the process. Today I simply offer a little vignette... & hope it speaks to you, or through you. Will you share a piece of a chapter in your story of the pink swing, in three sentences or less?

The first word of the first sentence is "She..."

I enjoyed reading the lovely responses left by her readers and decided to borrow her idea. So, dear readers, below is the photo I chose for our vignettes. Will you share your thoughts with us?

The first word of the first sentence is "She..."

Update: Julia @ Drawn to the Sea has decided to turn this into a weekly meme! I am very excited about this — as Julie puts it — it gets our creative juices flowing! Visit her current offering and those by others by clicking on the graphic below:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - Flag With A Heart

Photo from The New York Says Thank You Foundation

The National 9/11 Flag represents the essence of The American Spirit and the very best of what America is all about; our resilience, our compassion, and our love for our fellow neighbors, both near and far.
–The New York Says Thank You Foundation

Yesterday this flag found its way to Shellbelle's Tiki Hut, figuratively not literally, and now I want to share its heart-touching story with you. On Friday I posted a 9/11 tribute, as did many others and then on Sunday I did a follow-up post after learning about a wonderful group of volunteers from the New York Says Thank You Foundation (NYSTY), made up of "FDNY firefighters, many of them survivors of the World Trade Center — as well as Ground Zero construction workers, 9/11 family members, NYC schoolchildren and scores of other New Yorkers impacted by the tragedy of 9/11…" I also included a link for you to watch a trailer for a film about this incredible group and told you it would lift your spirits.

So, I figured this week I would get back to blogging about the beach and food — two of my favorite things. As I was plugging away at work, I was also trying to figure out what I would post for Outdoor Wednesday. Let's see, I have those recent photos of my little plumeria farm, or I could post those videos of Jim starting work on a new tiki. Then out of the blue I received the nicest email from Scott Rettberg. Scott, along with Megan Sleeper are the producers of the film I had written about, New York Says Thank You The Movie.

In his email Scott wrote, "I love the article and am going to send it out to about 400 industry people just to show there are a lot of people who want to hear great compelling stories." (Oh, The Hut goes to Hollywood!)

I promptly replied, thanking Scott and asking if I could mention his email in a future post. Well, Scott not only answered in the affirmative, he sent along these photos taken last Sunday. They show members of NYSTY walking the National 9/11 Flag onto a football field.

photos courtesy of New York Says Thank You The Movie

Scott wrote, "It was great to see boy scouts, firemen, and volunteers from KPMG and all over arm in arm walking the 9/11 flag on the field of opening day NY Giants vs. Washington Redskins (both who were directly affected on 9/11). They attached the flag from the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp and the families of Josh, Aaron, Sam and Ben probably never thought their spirits would be flying Red, White and Blue in front of a sold out crowd of 88,000 people who rose to their feet swinging towels and cheering for them, the firemen and this nation. A pretty spectacular sight."

Note: Josh, Aaron, Sam and Ben were the four scouts killed at Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp by a tornado last year. It was at this camp that NYSTY volunteered last week.

Well, you know me, I had to know more about this flag!

I downloaded a pdf at New York Says Thank You Foundation's website and learned that this 32-foot American Flag is the one that was hanging at a construction site across the street from the Twin Towers and had been destroyed by the falling debris. I remember seeing this flag in the news footage that followed in the days after 9/11, weren't we all glued to our televisions?

Turns out that Charlie Vitchers, a construction superintendent at Ground Zero had the flag removed and "kept it in a plastic bag for seven years, not sure what to do with it."

In 2008, Charlie, who is a volunteer with NYSTY, took the flag when they went to Greensburg, Kansas to help the local residents after they had suffered a devastating tornado. As NYSTY help rebuild the 4-H Fairground Pavilion, local residents and other volunteers "stitched the Flag back together using pieces of American Flags salvaged from the Greensburg tornado."

"In doing so, they literally stitched together our shared stories of tragedy and of triumph and created a new and living piece of American History."

The goal of the foundation is "to display the Flag at leading public and private events nationwide and to inspire American with its rich visual history in order to deepen our sense of citizenship and national pride and bolster the spirit of volunteerism on the 9/11 Anniversary and year-round."

Now readers, don't you agree that this is a flag with heart? I imagine that each volunteer left a piece of their heart and that a bit of soul from each victim is forever attached to this Flag. And I imagine that this Flag has touched each of our hearts today. This is the National 9/11 Flag, this is America's Flag, this is the spirit of America that I so love and it's what gives me the strength to carry on when the future of our country looks bleak. Because I know that when we see the hurt, I know that when we feel the pain, we do come together to help our fellow citizens. We are a loving, compassionate people. We are the United States of America!

In one of Scott's emails today he wrote, "I agree, let's motivate the world to take action." Scott has generously offered to keep us in the loop on the film's media roll out next year and subsequent release, which in turn, I will relate to you. You can also follow them on Facebook, just do a FB search for New York Says Thank You The Movie. Scott put a link to Sunday's post from The Hut on their FB page and one of their fans wrote, "It is so cool to see things like this. People actually watch what's on TV and follow up!"

Thanks Sandra, and you know what else? People read things on blogs and actually follow up also, so readers be sure to bookmark this post so you can visit the New York Says Thank You Foundation and New York Says Thank You The Movie, but most of all readers, do something nice for someone today. I love you all, have a fabulous day!

I am proud today to link this special post to Susan's Outdoor Wednesdays and I hope that as you are out there in blogland today you will once again leave a little heart at each blog you visit.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New York Says Thank You

Yesterday I posted a tribute to September 11th, 2001 and visited the blogs of many others who did the same. I connected with other Americans and people around the world who shared their memories of that horrific day and I felt better for it. I wrote, as did many others, that I wished the connection we all felt that day would remind us to treat other with kindness and respect everyday. This was all fine and well, but couldn't we go a step further?

Last night as I watched World News with Charles Gibson, I waited for their Person of the Week segment. This is always a highlight for me, after a week of news that can really rattle my chains, I look forward to having my faith in mankind restored. This week was no exception.

The story was about a group of New Yorkers who have found a way to thank all those who reached out to them in their time of need.

Rebuilding Across America

"Jeff Parness, the founder of New York Says Thank You, recently headed to Iowa to lend a hand at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, which was destroyed last summer by a tornado that left four boys dead.

Charlie Vitchers, a construction superintendent, supervised the recovery effort at Ground Zero. He's now supervising the building of the boy scout camp's new chapel, using trees felled by the tornado."

Note: The video connected with the article is not last night's segment.

Well, after seeing this story I needed to learn more, so this morning I went to the website for New York Says Thank You and found this information:

"From an act of extraordinary evil on September 11, 2001, Americans responded with so many acts of extraordinary kindness. People from all across the United States poured into New York City to volunteer, to pay their respects, and to be with us in our darkest moment.

New Yorkers will never forget that.

The mission of The New York Says Thank You Foundation is to send volunteers from New York City each year on the 9/11 Anniversary to help rebuild communities around the country affected by disasters. It is our way of commemorating the extraordinary love and generosity extended to New Yorkers by Americans from all across the United States in the days, weeks, and months following September 11th."

I created the following mosaic from images found on the foundations website (click to enlarge):

"The New York Says Thank You Foundation has helped rebuild homes burned in the Southern California wildfires (2004); replanted 428 trees in two small Illinois towns devastated by an F3 tornado (2005); rebuilt a 140-year-old church destroyed in a deadly Indiana tornado (2006); and rebuilt the tornado-ravaged home of a Texas family that has cared for Disabled Veterans for three generations (2007). Following Hurricane Katrina we organized 9 rebuilding trips to the Gulf Coast and helped rebuild the home of a 6-year-old boy in Slidell, Louisiana battling Leukemia and a 38-year-old mother in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi battling terminal cancer."

Have I told you yet that the idea originated from a 5-year-old boy?

From the filmmakers at Individual Entertainment, I learned the following:

"On November 1st, 2003, five-year-old Evan Parness, while watching the news with his father, learned of the devastation of California’s worst firestorm in the state’s history. Wide-eyed, this young boy told his father he wanted to send toys and clothes to the children who had just lost everything. Four days later,1000 emails, and 100 volunteers combined with immeasurable love, the boy’s father and friends began a journey which has spun into an ever-growing foundation. Off to California in a U-haul truck, full of toys and relief items, with a banner that read New York Says Thank You, never did they realize what that statement would be.

The journey of supplies from New York City to the California firestorm victims brought not only aid but also a glimpse of fundamental humanity, prompting the creation of the New York Says Thank You Foundation. The trip to San Diego, meant to be a lesson in sharing from a father to a son, has begun a crusade of patriotism and selfless giving across America. New York Says Thank You is a way for New Yorkers to say 'Thanks' to America for all the support New York received the days, weeks, and months following 9/11.

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, New York father and son take New York City firefighters and other New Yorkers, who personally experienced 9/11, to help rebuild a community affected by a disaster."

a Film by Scott Rettberg and Megan Sleeper

Click on the title above and then choose either Quicktime or Windows Media to view the short trailer. I highly recommend you watch this — it will brighten your day, it will give you renewed hope, it will show you what America is capable of when we work together. I loved the whole trailer, but especially this line from a gentlemen near the end, Larry Blanchette, who was part of the Ground Zero support:

"It's not said in a bumper sticker or a flag, it's said in actions — and only in actions are people who are truly patriotic…"

He's absolutely right, he couldn't be more right. This organization has shown me once again that I need to walk the walk and talk the talk. I have volunteered in the past and I'm currently working on a project that I will reveal in the near future that has to do with a worldwide group of bloggers. But is it enough? Can it ever be enough?

Now it's true that the majority of us don't have the ability to travel across America and participate on the scale that New York Says Thank You does, but we can all help in some way. In August I visited Quincy Cottage, a wonderful blog that I'm sure many of you have been to. Honeysuckle participates in Foodie Friday and Tablescape Thursdays, but the post that captured my attention was Service Group Summer Projects.

After leaving a comment about what I thought of her groups efforts, she returned the visit and left this for me: "Thanks for your kind comments about our service group. I hope you start one where you are. If you need any inspiration I'd be happy to help."

Bless her heart, her post shows how easy it is to give back to your own community. You will be inspired by her group, so I hope you all visit.

That's it in a nutshell, there is so much each of us can do and isn't it a fact that we all get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside when we see such stories on television? Isn't it true that when we see people helping each other, it makes us proud? Humanity, that's it. When disaster strikes, we join together, ideology is forgotten and we get on with the business that brings us together. I believe that if we focus on this, that it will make us stronger as a nation, as a people. This is what we need to remember everyday — we are a compassionate people and we all have the same basic wants — to be happy and healthy and kiss our loved ones. How many times have you heard from volunteers that they get more out of it than they give?

My challenge to all you fabulous bloggers out there is this:

Start a service group in your area, become a volunteer with a local organization, do something on your own or with friends, family or other bloggers in your area. Participate monthly, occasionally or even just once, it's up to you. If you are interested in participating in a meme sharing photos, swapping ideas, telling stories on your Community Service experience, let me know, I will be more than happy to host it. Let's show New York that they have inspired us, let's make this a tribute to anyone who has stepped up and offered themselves in service to others. This is what connects us. This is better than a bumper sticker. If your interested leave it in your comment or contact me through the email in my sidebar. Need time to think about it? No problem, just come back when your ready (I'll put an image link in my sidebar to this post). Have a great idea or story to share? Let's hear it.

Next week I'll be back to blogging about the beach, posting pictures and recipes, but I'll also be thinking about how I can honor the victims and heroes of 9-11 and our troops. I want to honor and pay tribute to them for more than just one day each year, I want to show them our country is strong and that we have not forgotten them.

One last thing before I go on the efforts of the New York Says Thank You event this year at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch:

After the work was completed in Iowa, a piece of the World Trade Center was nailed to the frame — and the new chapel was dedicated.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Rememberance of September 11, 2001

In Memory 9/11/01, 2002
Brian Niemann,
Color offset lithograph
Gift of Griffith Phillips Creative

Eight years later we can all still remember exactly where we were when when we heard the news that America had been attacked by terrorists. At that time I was taking care of my mother in the last months of her life. She had suffered a massive stroke two years earlier and with the help of Suncoast Hospice I was able to have her home with us.

On that morning I had finished feeding mom her breakfast and glanced at the television as I was walking back to the kitchen. Good Morning America was on in the living room and just as I was passing by the second plane hit the Twin Towers. I froze in my tracks, not comprehending what I was seeing. The rest of the day is a blur of emotions. I managed to care for mom, but not wanting her to know what had occurred, I tried to hide my emotions and would catch the news when she was sleeping. She died peacefully six weeks later, never knowing about the saddest day in the history of our country.

My regular readers know that I often visit the Library of Congress for vintage photos to use in my blog and this morning was no different. The first two images today are from a special section of the LOC.

After September 11, 2001 and in almost every section of the Library of Congress, staff have sought and received an abundance of original material including prints, photographs, drawings, poems, eye-witness accounts and personal reactions, headlines, books, magazines, songs, maps, videotapes and films.

You can view the entire collection at Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress.

God Bless America, 2001
Sara Deathridge, third grader
Sequoyah Elementary School
Knoxville, Tennessee

This last image was one I downloaded sometime after the attacks for my personal use, so I don't know who to give credit to. In my heart I believe they would not mind its use here today as we pay tribute to all those who lost their lives that day and in the days to follow.

I would also like to remember how most of us felt that day, how we came together as a nation to heal the wound inflicted. As we have so often done after disaster strikes, after hurricanes and earthquakes, after fires and riots, I call upon my fellow citizens to come together in the tough times we are facing now. To remember that we are all Americans. To remember we have all faced challenges. To remember that we are a caring people. To remember that we are a respectful people. No matter what your political ideology is, today is the day, more than any other, for us to come together and heal as a nation and as a people. What better way to honor those who died on September 11th or have so bravely given their lives in the subsequent wars, than to stand together as one nation, one people — caring and respectful of each other.

We will never forget.

Update: Normally, as a participant in Foodie Fridays, I'm running around blogland collecting recipes and leaving sweet comments as I feel the pounds attaching themselves to my hips. Today I have been visiting those on my blog list and others I have never been to that have been posting memories and tributes to September 11, 2009. They have all been wonderful and tears have been running down my face all day.

I want to share one with you that in no uncertain terms, reflected what I am feeling today. I did shed tears for those who lost and continue to loose their lives because of the events on that fateful day, but I also shed tears because as I look around today I see a country so divided and ask myself if we are honoring all those who have sacrificed since the beginning of our history. Is it not true that divided we fall?

Read Kathy's post @ Emptynester: Remembrance. I see she's already been here today and left a comment and I want to thank her and everyone else for sharing their sentiments today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summers Over — NOT!

Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Labor Day 2009

Here in the United States we celebrated Labor Day this past Monday and for most residents that day is the symbolic end of summer. The weather is starting to turn cooler, kids are going back to school this week or next and as I travel around the blogland, I see Fall headers appearing on some of my favorite blogs.

This is not the case here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, as well as most of the state. Our weather is still hot, maybe not quite as humid as it was, but still hot, hot, HOT! The kids already went back to school on August 19th, our palm trees don't change color, and it is not the end of summer for us.

Instead, we are looking forward to our perfect beach weather returning, the Gulf of Mexico cooling off from bathtub temperatures to something cool and refreshing, and being able to venture outdoors without dripping sweat in a matter of moments.

On Monday Kelli Malfronte of our local Bay News 9 staff, a transplanted New Yorker, ask a few Floridians, what marks the end of summer here?

Well Kelli, for me I know summer is ending when I can once again turn off the A/C that's been running 24/7 since May and can throw open the windows without fear of climbing into soggy sheets when I go to bed at night.

Others answered Kelli's question as October, more specifically — Halloween. By then the air is cooler and you actually have to wear shirts with sleeves, usually short sleeves, but the tank tops I live in are usually put away by Halloween.

Then there are those who answered Thanksgiving marks the end of summer in Florida. Steve, who has lived here since the late 70s, says, "That is when the weather starts to mirror what the weather is like at the beginning of September for the northerners."

The most telling answers Kelli reported were, "…when the snow birds start to arrive, when the first cold front comes through, when the days are noticeably shorten and when hurricane season ends."

Yep, those snow birds arrive in droves to enjoy our almost year-round summer and when hurricane season officially ends on November 30th, we all breathe a little easier that we don't have to pay attention to what is going on in the Atlantic for a while.

So, while many of you were celebrating Labor Day as the end of summer, I was just celebrating another day at the beach. I left home just before dawn and headed down to Indian Rocks Beach, about ten minutes away. Of course, I had to snap a few photos to share with you before I settled in to relax and read a good book.

Moon In Clouds

See the moon just to the left of that large cloud mass? The moon was there one moment and gone the next. Sometimes you're looking in just the right place at the right time. You can click any of these photos for a larger version.

Great Blue Heron

Immature Laughing Gull

Note: This refers to his plumage, not his behavior.

Ruddy Turnstone
Sandpiper Family

Pelican In Flight

Beach Walkers

I call these folks beach walkers as opposed to beachcombers. See how straight their shoulders are? This is a dead giveaway! Beachcomber's shoulders are stooped from looking for shells and other treasures on the beach — I'm a beachcomber.

My Beach Chair

By 10:00 it was getting too hot and I headed back to The Hut and the A/C. I, for one, am looking forward to the end of summer, when I can spend all day on the beach again!

Hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day!

I've linked this post to Outdoor Wednesdays courtesy of Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer, Waterside Wednesdays thanks to Barbara @ The Book Blog and for the first time @ Watery Wednesday. Wednesdays are so fun and the links on all these blogs will lead you to fabulous photos from other participants!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Beach Boys vs. Baseball

This week at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida, the Boston Red Sox were in town playing a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. This much anticipated series drew an average of about 19,000 fans. Last night the Rays were playing the Detroit Tigers. According to The Associated Press, last night's game drew a sellout crowd of 36,973.

Now I know you're probably asking yourself why I'm writing about sports, unless its water-related, sports in not a topic I typically talk about. Those who know me well, know that I don't follow sports. BUT, I do like what follows them at times.

What made the difference in the turn-out last night? The Beach Boys had a postgame concert! Yep, my beloved beach band can still pull them in. So, who of the original band was there? Mike Love, one of the founding members and Bruce Johnston, who joined the band in 1965 with the release of California Girls. Dennis and Carl Wilson have both since passed away under sad circumstances and their brother Brian Wilson performs with a 10-piece group that includes Jeff Foskett. Al Jardine, along with his sons, continues to perform with his Endless Summer Band.

I was, of course, already a huge fan of The Beach Boys, when in 1965 they recorded their hit song, Help Me, Rhonda. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike love, you can well imagine it is my favorite of all their songs. Come on, my first name was not a common one in California, and was often mistaken and misread as Rhoda. The Beach Boys changed all that when Help Me, Rhonda was on their The Beach Boys Today! album. That was forty-four years ago and I STILL have people reference the song when they learn my name. I was a California girl, who grew up at Paradise Cove in Malibu and I was 14-years-old when The Beach Boys made me a household name — literally!

I started this blog on May 10th of this year and on my very first post I wrote this, "Starting a blog about the beach at this time seems appropriate, since The Beach Boys are releasing a new album in eleven days. Summer Love Songs will be available in stores on May 21st. Cool, huh? PLUS, Help Me, Rhonda and California Girls are included on the new album! What goes around, comes around as they say."

Visit The Beach Boys website for links to Amazon and iTune to buy the album, download ringtones, see photos, read the band's timeline and to catch up on what they're doing now.

Here are The Beach Boys in 2006:

Did you know The Beach Boys were originally called The Pendeltons? This photo from 1961 will explain why:

Note: For those who don't know what I mean, the shirts the boys are wearing are called Pendeltons and they were very popular back in the day. They are still around, but I seldom see them on the beach crowd any more.

This is the way I will always remember them:

So, today I'm giving a big shout out for The Beach Boys — you still give me Good Vibrations!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Foodie Friday — My Fabulous Sister

My sister and I share a home here in Florida. We have both raised our children, mine are in their thirties, hers are in their twenties. There is a ten year span between her oldest and my youngest, I lived in California and she was already here in Florida, so we didn't really raise our kids together. Sis and I love each other dearly, but we really don't have much in common. We are polar opposites, in fact.

We do, however, both work at home. Sis does medical billing and I am a graphic designer. Once a week, Sis has to go into her company's office and I can always tell it was a good day when I walk into the kitchen and see something like this on the counter:

You see we do have something in common, we both LOVE chocolate!

This luscious little bite is the Chocolate Mousse Mouse from Frida's Cafe. We don't have many good bakeries in our area, but Frida's always comes through with something scrumptious and this little delight is one of them.

Needless to say, we hastened to make and eat dinner so that we could get to dessert. I have one thing to say, I love these meeses to pieces!

Here are some of the others fabulous finds at Frida's:

A couple of weeks ago, on Foodie Friday, I posted about my obsession with magazines and how I am in the process of weeding out old copies and articles I've saved for far too long. This was another post many of you related to and I want to let you know that I am progressing nicely.

While going through the notebook of desserts, I came across this old ad I had carefully cutout and saved for close to twenty years. It is slated for the recycling bin now, but I wanted to share this special recipe with you today. This still brings a smile to my face every time I see it:

Simple and direct. I believe I've had dreams about this recipe on numerous occasions. So as this post draws to a close, I want to remind all of you of what is now an old adage — Life's short, eat dessert first!

I also want to thank all of you who read my Outdoor Wednesday post — Vintage Beach 1960s, it was so much fun reading your comments and your emails. I had so much fun writing about the era I grew up in and it was equally fun to see you all enjoyed it and the memories it brought back. Thanks!

Now, don't forget to visit Michael at Designs By Gollum for more Foodie Friday Links! Plus, you don't want to miss her new Fall header, it is beautiful!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vintage Beach - The 1960s

In an interview with BBC News in 2006, French fashion historian Olivier Saillard explained, "The emancipation of swimwear has always been linked to the emancipation of women."

This statement makes a lot of sense to me. In past vintage postings we've seen what was proper for women to wear to the beach in the 1800s — dresses made of wool jersey that came below the knee, along with stockings, swimcaps and even shoes. So, today I give praise to the brave women who shed those heavy outer garments and let their bodies become one with the beach!

The bikini made it's first modern day appearance on the beaches of France in 1946 and hit the big screen in Manina, la fille sans voile (Manina, the Girl in the Bikini) in 1952, starring Brigitte Bardot. The film was not released in the United States until 1958, but was followed by Ursula Andress starring in Dr. No (1962) and Raquel Welch in One Million Years, B.C. (1966). These were the stars of that era, definitely sexy and definitely wearing bikinis my father would not have approved for my beachwear.

Brigitte Bardot at age 18
Manina, the Girl in the Bikini (1952)

Ursula Andress
Dr. No (1962)

Raquel Welch
One Million Years, B.C. (1966)

Sports Illustrated has been doing their swimsuit edition for many years as these past covers indicate. The collage photos from left to right, top to bottom are from 1964–1967 and the larger one is from 1969. Now you know this magazine gives a good idea of what the men were ogling during that time period.

As most of you know, I grew up on the beaches of Southern California.

Here's me and my dad enjoying ourselves in 1954.

Me and my cousin Jackie in 1958

This photo was taken of us just two years before the song She Wore An Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini hit the charts with a bullet in the summer of 1960. I knew every word to this song and sang it to anyone who was willing to listen.

Haven't heard this before? Well, surprise, surprise, YouTube has a video. What's fun about this video is that the visual is of an old 45 rpm playing on a record player and if you don't know what I'm talking about, this was WAY before your time.

We had a modest home in the San Fernando Valley, so that we could also have a weekend/summer getaway at Paradise Cove in Malibu. The Cove was strictly a trailer park at that time and our neighbors included Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Edgar Buchanan and Frank Cady (both of Petticoat Junction) and many friends. We bought our trailer from Lana Turner, better known as the Sweater Girl in those days. By the time we located to The Cove, we were already known as The Lazy G's from our many years of beach camping.

My Beachy Family in 1964

The Beach at Paradise Cove

This where I spent every moment I possibly could. I turned 13-years-old in 1964, and I was living the California Dream in Malibu. My boyfriend a was blond-haired, blue-eyed, surfer boy named Steve Ragusin. He tried to teach me to surf, but all I managed to do was fall really well. I spent one summer on the beach working out of a tiki hut, renting surfboards and selling suntan lotion and snow cones. Yes, my tiki hut days began a long time ago.

As I stated earlier, my daddy would never have let me wear the suits sported by Brigitte, Ursula and Raquel, so who do you think I tried to emulate in the 60s?

Why Annette Funicello of course!

The Cove was a popular spot for the studios to film movies and television shows. The beach would be closed to the public, but hey, we were not the public. One of the movies that was filmed there was How To Stuff A Wild Bikini, starring none other than Annette Funicello!
Annette was the All-American, Girl-Next-Door and I grew up on her movies, so you know we were all thrilled when they ask all the kids who lived at The Cove to be part of a crowd scene at the beach. We were not paid for this and I have never been able to spot myself in the crowd, but hey, I was there and to this day (even if I ended up on the cutting room floor) I can say that I was a part of that movie. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Have you seen these movies? If not, click here to reach my post where I have archived my Hulu widget and watch full-length versions of this one and others. Not into watching movies on your computer? Well, while researching this post I found out there is a DVD set with eight of her movies available on Amazon: Frankie & Annette MGM Movie Legends Collection for only $22.99.

I'm putting this on my Christmas Wishlist; I think it would be great to have these playing on the big screen during a beach party at The Hut.

When I was growing up many mother's sewed clothes for their families and because of that I find that vintage patterns show what most "real" women were wearing at the time, so here are a number of them from the 1960s:

Vogue 6468 -1960s
Bathing Suit and Cover-Ups.
Two sheer cover-ups... Version A has elastic at lower
edges of full sleeves and hem line; self bow trim on sleeves.
Version B hangs straight with lace band trim at hem line
and at loose sleeve edges. High round neckline ties in
self bow at center back. Drawstring detail at top
of bra and briefs. Bra fastens at center back.

Vogue 5021 - 1960
Very short pants join the fitted top at waistline.
Simulated buttoned front closing below V-neckline.
Zipper back closing.
Skirt in two lengths with side front and side back
released pleats has buttoned front closing.

Vogue 5473 - Bathing Suit and Shirt
Bra with shoe-string ties has buttoned back closing.
Brief panties are shaped at front waist-line.
Straight shirt with or without attached, fitted hood.
Optional patch pockets with flap.
Rolled up sleeves joined to dropped shoulder armhole.
Featured in Vogue Pattern Book December 1962/January 1963
and Vogue Pattern Book June/July 1963

McCalls 6861-1963

McCall's Bathing Suit Pattern with Side Openings (1965)

Simplicity 8251 - 1969

Another way to see what was popular beach attire is by taking a look at old advertisements. So, just who was using swimsuits to promote their products:

The following is a page from the Saturday Evening Post, April 1959 that is an illustration for a short story. Doesn't the fellow in this bear a striking resemblance to actor Cary Grant?

Well, that's it for this week, I hope you enjoyed a look back on the beach fashions of the 1960s. That was my era and I loved it! Again, I want to thank all those women who came before us and challenged the way we dressed for a day at the beach, you are my heros!

I've linked this post to my two favorite Wednesday events — Outdoor Wednesday hosted by the lovely Susan at A Southern Daydreamer and Waterside Wednesday hosted by the talented Barbara @ The Book Blog. Be sure to stop by and click on links to more fabulous Wednesday posts! Trust me, you'll love it!

And remember, Wednesday is also the last day to enter Maya's Giveaway @ Completely Coastal. Click on her link or on her button in my sidebar.

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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