Fun Friday: Vintage Roadside

A man? Featured on girly stop Pretty/Modest?

Yes, I thought that might get your attention. ;) Perhaps as this is the first man featured, we should figure out who he is or something? He looks suspiciously like Clark Kent...

As y'all know, this girl love all things vintage — at least all things 40s and 50s vintage (seems to me the culture began sliding downhill in the mid-60s). So it's no surprise that through Flickr I've met fellow-travellers also savouring the nostalgic wave we have for days gone by — in many cases, days we weren't even around for — and the things that represent bygone years.

Vintage signs and advertising fit right into that affection for me. One of the things I was most anticipating about our planned trip across the nation via Route 66 last fall was seeing all of the old signs and advertisements for the old shops, motels, and attractions along the way. Just because our trip had to be cancelled (something about...buying our first house...) doesn't mean I don't still yearn to hit the Mother Road and visit the many icons gracing her path, though.

And I'm not alone. There's a growing interest in things vintage, perhaps because they remind us of a more optimistic, secure, confident, proud (and I don't mean "pride" in the bad way) time in our past. Even more than nostalgia, though, we can't deny that vintage ads seem to have a lot more personality and spunk to them than the too clever by half advertising we now see everywhere.

One of my Flickr pals, Vintage Roadside, has a shop on their website feeding a small part of this nostalgia through t-shirts celebrating the "golden age of the American roadside". You know...diners, bowling alleys, motels, flashing neon signs, wacky attractions, motor courts, tiki, and more.

Shirts are available for ladies and the gents, so perhaps this is the perfect place to shop for Hubby, Dad, or Grandpa. (You know your dad would love to have a shirt that matched yours. Oh, yes he would. You're still his Little Girl, like it or not.)

Each Vintage Roadside tee features an ad or sign from a real, once-live (sometimes still alive) place fragrant with real Americana cool printed in fabulous swanky, full-colour graphics. Each shirt is 100% soft cotton, pre-shrunk, and ladies' tees are fitted (thank you, Vintage Roadside) and come in sizes ranging from Small to XXL. Even more fun is the fact that on each item's page, you can get information about the represented piece of the American Dream: fun stories, location, whether or not it's still in operation (for instance, the fabulously googie Indio Bowl is now a home and garden center). Not only can you snap up some swank gear, you'll have a story to go along with it!

Tees are a mere $20, and a portion of all proceeds are donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. I believe you can even get a complimentary year-long membership to the Trust with a purchase, if you so choose.

Vintage Roadside also offers (gratis) a nice list of retro roadside links for your enjoyment, a list of skating rinks, drive-ins, diners and bowling alleys, links to online photo archives, information about that gorgeous architecture, information about preservation of these links to our past, and more. There's even a list of books about the great American roadside and the places and people that made it such a wonderful place. It should keep you very busy...even after you your tees. It's probably the most informative gift shop I've ever seen.

Have a great weekend, everyone. No post on Monday, Memorial Day, so I'll post Tuesday instead. Please do remember why it is we celebrate Memorial Day: there are men rough enough who will and do defend our liberty, often at the cost of their own lives. If you see a veteran (no matter when), please thank them for all they do.

And if you can manage it, sneak-pay their bill or something (they won't let you do it any other way than sneaking, believe me).

Thank you, vets. We can never repay you.

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