A Pictorial Blog of Things I Make,
Items I Collect, Architecture I Love,
and Other Stuff

Friday, March 11, 2011

Further Selections From My Collection of View-Master Reels

Beguilement from boredom, kindling for dreams, such were View-Master reels in my yester-youth.

This packet dates from the mid-'60s, though I didn't acquire it until the 1970s, when the reedy skyscrapers of this romantic view began to be obliterated by bigger and boxier buildings.

As would be expected in Hollywood, the design of stage sets is far more concerned with holding an audience than with historical accuracy, resulting in architectural mash-ups like Grauman's Chinese Theater. This Southern California version of a pagoda has sort of a French mansard roof.
 Here's another Southern California attraction that I visited both via View-Master and in person as a teen--when monorails were robustly à la mode.

 Six Flags Over Texas is the first and oldest park in the Six Flags chain. It turns 50 on August 1.

Like Six Flags Over Texas, Silver Dollar City in southern Missouri was within driving distance--albeit a long one--from my Louisiana hometown. On the way to both, I remember eating homemade pimiento-cheese sandwiches in the backseat of the car.

Once I clapped eyes on View-Master images of Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch, I launched a vigorous campaign to pursuade the parents to take me to see it--and bless 'em, they did. We also did an excursion on the S.S. Admiral (pictured), which launched in 1940 as the world's only stainless-steel, Art Deco-style steamboat. It is currently awaiting disposal as scrap.

I finally made it to Hoover Dam in 2005.

It was in 1984 that I first visited Monticello, thrilled to behold first-hand the rooms that had enthralled me by holding a View-Master towards a strong light source.

Fired up by these View-Master reels, I also bugged the 'rents to take me to Williamsburg. I've since been back several times but what I best remember from that first visit in the '70s is a Colonial-style gas station.

As a Hollywood reporter once upon a time, I covered some awards banquet and landed a place at a B-list, if not a C-list, if not a long-before-Kathy-Griffin D-list table. I cared not because I was seated right next to Mike Connors, the Botany 500-draped P.I. whose series Mannix opened with a split-screen credits sequence (under a Lalo Schifrin score) that that always wowed me. Mr. Connors turns 85 in August.
To look at a related post, visit: Selections From My Collection of View-Master Reels

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