Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Show & Tell, part one.

Ah, come in!

Settle into your bar stool and behold the coolness...

As happened when we began our discussion in the Fear For Thought series, my mailbox has been filling up with comments, suggestions, stories, and in this case pictures.

Loyal patron and all-around fine Monster Kid Fester has brought some intriguing photos to share.

As you can see I have them spread out atop the bar (don't worry Fes, I wiped it dry!) so we can all get a good look. Mind your elbows -- I don't want anyone spilling a drop on any of these.

First, a strange little image...

I know. 

I love that he sent this next picture...
This is Frankenstein, MO., about a 3 hour drive from our home, near Jefferson City. 

Apparently it was not named for the Monster but for a Gottfried Franken who donated land for a church there in the 1890s. At least that's the story... but another reason I love this picture? The moment I saw it, I pulled a picture I'd just taken at the convention, from the photos and magazines on the floor in the musuem...
Yep. That's Forry himself in the '60s, back when the speed limit was 5 mph less, 
and before someone realized that green was a far more appropriate color
than white for a Frankenstein sign.

By the way, the current population of Frankenstein, MO is 32. 

And how's this for an odd image?
Is it a motorcycle with a hearse sidecar? Or a hearse with a sidemotorcycle?
In either case, it's cool and weird and perfect.
Death on wheels.

Speaking of...
This is just stunning. Fester, who composed this shot? Is it part of a 
photog collection I now need to see? I'm going to make a quick copy
and hang it here at the S&P... too beautiful.

Lastly, Fester sent along a neat mural which needs to be clicked
and enlarged to be fully appreciated:
In Fes's words:
"The mural was, if I recall, painted in the 1940s and was a prominent feature on the front of the 'Terroride' at Lagoon, an amusement park about 25 miles North of Salt Lake City, Utah where I was raised."
In the comments section, Fester adds:
"Apparently it was painted on plywood by a William M Tracy of New Jersey about 1940. He seems to have made a career of painting display murals like this. I am not sure if it was the real title, but it was known by some kids I knew as 'Monster Baseball'."

Just splendid. I might need to hang this one here for a while too. It's just bizarre!

EXCELLENT, excellent shares, my friend. Thank you so much for bringing them by.

Now let's get to that next round without spilling, please... no Fester, your coin is no good here, at least not today. You brought the chat this time.

I cannot wait to see what comes along next time!

DUMDUMSHREKPEEPS!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for identifying the Frankenstein Mo picture. I stumbled upon it some time ago and saved a copy to my files. Always wondered where it was. Trust Forry to have been there! Do they pronounce it "Fronk-En-Steen?" Just down the road from EYE-Gore, Iowa?

    The death on wheels turned up on one of my favorite image collections, Black and WTF (http://blackandwtf.tumblr.com/) It is a must see for anyone looking for vintage weirdness.

    And the motorcycle hearse--well what can I say? I like morbid vehicles, and this is such a cool ride. Back in 1984, I spent a month wandering around Ireland with a friend from Tralee. All over the place were these wonderful little centuries-old graveyards, and every so often, I'd see one with a funeral in progress. For some reason, I was charmed by the hearses. Ireland is a small country with narrow roads, so big Cadillac or Lincoln hearses would never fit. The coolest hearses I saw were Volkswagen Golfs (Rabbit in the USA) with enclosed beds barely big enough for a standard pinch-toe coffin. Sort of the economy version of the Jaguar XKE hearse in Harold and Maude!

    The monster mural, has haunted me ever since I was a toddler, and made my first trip to Lagoon. It is about 12 feet by 30 feet in size. Apparently it was painted on plywood by a William M Tracy of New Jersey about 1940. He seems to have made a career of painting display murals like this. I am not sure if it was the real title, but it was known by some kids I knew as “Monster Baseball.”

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  2. Great pictures!!! I love the death on wheels one. And did I hear that they painted over that mural recently...or is that just a scary rumor?

    Cheers!

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  3. I saw a recent video of the place on Youtube and it looks like they changed the facade. I have contacted some friends in the area as well as Lagoon general offices to find out the fate of the painting.

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  4. Late Mural Update!
    I just received an email reply from David W. Freed, President of Lagoon Corporation.
    The mural is safe. Here is some of what he could tell me: Due to its poor condition, they replaced the mural with an animated character. Their plan is to try to restore what is left, and hang it in their administrative office building.

    As far as the artist, Mr Freed supplied the following:
    "The original mural was painted by William(Bill)Tracey. He lived in Cape May, New Jersey. I worked with Bill to provide a number of the displays at the Terroride and Dracula’s Castle. He was a heavy, heavy drinker, which I think led to his death in the early 1970s."

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  5. "He was a heavy, heavy drinker, which I think led to his death in the early 1970s."
    So very telling, and yet not totally surprising... something about passionate artists of any stripe and their drinking habits... oh well.
    Fascinating stuff, thank you Fes.

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