December is a crazy month for everyone. But my good friend Lisa emailed me and told me that I MUST go with her to see Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Slide Show. Now my friend Lisa is always up to something fun but she has never insisted that I MUST go to an event so I knew this had be good.
It was a crazy day at the studio and I had 2nd thoughts about going because to get all the way to Gilbert AZ by 7:00, Gary and I would have to be out the door by 6:15 which is like having a day off leaving that early! But we were intrigued because we had watched Charles Phoenix video clip from his recent appearance the Martha Stewart Show and found it wildy interesting.
Who is Charles Phoenix???...you may be asking--he's an author, entertainer, and a lover of mid-century design & American culture. And he shares this with you in the most hysterical two-hour slide show you'll ever see. Real slides from the 40's, 50's & 60's that he has collected from thrift stores, yard sales and now folks unearth them out of their attics and give them to him. He is an astute observer and has this unique ability to point out the hysterical and historical, the ironic and the iconic in these slides from everyday American life. (I think he and our friend Marshall are brothers separated at birth. They look alike and have similar personalities...)
We got to see lots of holiday slides. Remember the aluminum Christmas trees? Our family had a 4 foot tall sliver one with red satin balls. Oh yeah! If you don't remember them the first time around, check eBay out--they are making a huge comeback. All the slides of boys toting their brand new BB guns were hysterical (mostly due to the wacky pajamas they were still wearing). Housewives with clothing matching the table decor were also quite a scream. I could see my own family on those slides which I think is why it resonates with so many people. Even if you are not from that generation, family traits & traditions don't change a whole lot--they just look funnier 50 years ago. And the show is for the whole family--it's totally fun & clean! We laughed so hard for two hours our sides ached--you just couldn't stop.
Before we left, Lisa asked Charles Phoenix to randomly select a recipe in her 1950's Jello Cookbook by Home Economic Teachers. She was so inspired by Charles, she decided she would make the Astro Weenie Christmas Tree (you must see this holiday video and send it to your friends!) and a jello salad to take to her work potluck. The Astro Weenie Christmas Tree is straight out of the 50's replete with tin foil, toothpicks, peanut butter for glue, and all sorts of veggies for relish appetizers. Thankfully he randomly selected a lime, pear & cream cheese salad--it could have been a jello and meat salad--eeewww! (she scored 2 swimming fish molds at savers!)
Here's a photo of Lisa's Astro Trees and Swimming Jello Fish at her potluck. How Fun! I told Lisa, had I been there, I would have clapped my hands with delight and skipped on over to the buffet table had I spied such a delightfully colorful display! The photo friends--we all met through photography years ago and still love to hang out together even though our schedules hardly allow it. It was a night filled with so much laughter and camaraderie--just the best Christmas present--to feel that much joy!