Monday, August 29, 2016

OH NO! Say it isn't so HoJo?

I had no idea the Howard Johnson's restaurant chain was down to two restaurants in the entire United States.  Come September 6th they'll be down to only ONE.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that in this morning's Houston Chronicle.

I guess I should have realized since I haven't seen a Howard Johnson's in years.  When I first moved to the Houston area in 1981 there was one on the Gulf Freeway, but I guess that's been gone for a number of years.  I just assumed they still existed somewhere else.

When I was growing up in the 1950's we went to Florida every year for either Christmas or Easter.  We drove from New Jersey to Florida and back again.  My mother insisted that Howard Johnson's always had clean ladies rooms, so that was a regular stop along the way.  I didn't mind one bit since I loved their hotdogs.  Back then there weren't that many chains.  No McDonald's, Burger King, etc.  It was more of the Mom and Pop type places.

This slide was taken in July of 1954.  I don't know exactly where, but I'm pretty certain it must have been somewhere between New Jersey and Florida.  (You can click on it to enlarge for a better view.)
From left to right:  my sister Carol Sue, my mother Betty Durgin, and me Betty Jean.  (As soon as my sister and I were old enough we got everyone to drop the Sue and Jean from our names.)

Of course, my sister and I were always dressed exactly alike...right down to our underwear I'm sure.  In a lot of the old slides we are often dressed up.  I think we must have gone all the way to Florida in dresses and patent leather shoes.  My mother is often wearing high heels just like June Cleaver.  Times sure have changed!

Although I'm now 70 years old I can still close my eyes and smell and taste a yummy Howard Johnson's hot dog.  It was covered with grease and so so good.  I always enjoyed those Howard Johnson's stops because it was a nice break from my parents arguing.  My mother never liked the way my father drove and found it necessary to correct him.  For the first day or so he didn't mind, but after that the arguments would begin.  I'd watch for that familiar orange roof in anticipation.  Yea!  We could get out of the car!

According to the newspaper after September 6th the only Howard Johnson's restaurant in America will be in Lake George, New York.  If it wasn't that far I'd sure like to go one more time for old time's sake.

I did find a couple of websites with Howard Johnson's memories.:  America's Landmark: Under The Orange Roof and HoJo Land.

If you'd like to own some Howard Johnson's memories of your very own there's always eBay.  I took a look and there are postcards, plates, glasses, matches, etc. up for auction.  Perhaps you could use a Howard Johnson's ash tray?  Click here.

Anyone else with Howard Johnson's memories?  If so, you're probably over 60!

Friday, August 05, 2016

Dolls, Pokemon and Pink for Pink Saturday

Welcome to Pink Saturday sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound

I decided to again feature some of my Vogue dolls this week.  They too have been afflicted with Pokemon fever.  (You can click on the photos to enlarge them.)
You'll notice the Vogue vintage reproduction Ginny is wearing pink!  Her outfit was a surprise made by a doll friend.  I bought a couple of dolls from Susan and when they arrived Ginny's cute little outfit was in the box.  Susan knew that I had a trailer for my doll scenes and Ginny's shirt has a trailer on the front.  I was thrilled.
When I was looking at these pictures I realized that Susan had also made the little train outfit for the vintage reproduction AA boy doll.  There's a train on the front of his overalls which can't been seen in this particular photo.
They're finding Pokemon all over the place!  Even kitty found one.
A modern Vogue Jill doll is keeping her eye on things.
I made their cell phones and bought the pokeballs and pokemon online.

Here are some photos where you can see the dolls and their outfits more clearly.  This is a Vogue reproduction AA Ginny wearing an outfit that I've had since childhood. It's from 1955.  For any Vogue collectors out there it's the Ginny Gym Kids outfit #32. It also came with a chartreuse felt hat, but I decided it was too hot for a hat.
In this photo you can see the train on the vintage reproduction AA boy doll's overalls.  Next to him is the vintage reproduction Ginny in her trailer outfit, the vintage reproduction Ginny in the 1955 Gym Kids outfit, and another vintage reproduction AA Ginny wearing an outfit that I made some years ago.  She's wearing a cute pair of moccasins but I can no longer remember who made them.
In the photo below next to the AA reproduction Ginny is a 1954 painted lash walker Ginny.  Collectors call them the PLW Ginnys.  The walkers were only made for one year with painted eyelashes.  After that they had molded eye lashes.  She's wearing glasses because Vogue used some paint that contained copper and the eye brows and lashes on some dolls turn slightly green to an almost florescent green with time.  It comes from being exposed to light.  Her lashes and brows aren't too bad, but when I took her out for this photo I thought they had gotten worse.  I keep her in a dark cabinet 99% of the time.  She's wearing an outfit from 1955.  For any collectors it's the Ginny Gym Kids #28.  It also came with a hat that she's not wearing.  The doll on the end is a vintage reproduction boy doll that I've turned into my version of JJ Watt as a child.  JJ is a Houston Texans defensive end.  I thought I'd add that information for the non-football fans out there.
 I've said before how sad it is to me that Vogue is no longer making any dolls.  I really liked the reproduction dolls they were making.  I kept hoping they'd come out with some more since the web site is still up, but there haven't been any in a number of years.

Now please head over to Beverly's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thanks for visiting...