Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flippin' Our Wig (Wam): The Charles Phoenix Wig Wam Pow Wow

Many times have we hailed the weird, roadside wonder of San Bernardino, CA's magnificent Wigwam Motel (est. 1949).  From road trip adventures, to birthday parties, to holiday wigwam lightings, we have become regulars amongst the teepee set.  Last weekend we were heap happy to attend the Charles Phoenix Wig Wam Pow Wow at what is quickly becoming our home away from home.

The whole lot was filled with classic cars, vintage trailers, and roadside enthusiasts.

We weren't there as spectators alone; we set up a pop-up hat shop in one of the Wigwam Motel rooms.

Charles, Mary, Zack, Fabian, and Mr. Tiny

After seeing some of the hats I had made for Mary, Charles kindly asked if I could bring
enough hats to sell.  Quarters inside the well-appointed wigwam were a little tight with all
of those hats but it made for a cozy (and blessedly active) selling space!

One of our pals, Cherie, was on hand and became one of the first people to
Put A Lid On It!  We were thrilled to see her (and her awesome, homemade Route
66 dress) before she leaves us for the more verdant environs of Portland, OR.

While I did take a break to dance along to some of my favorite tunes (ahem, "Mashed Potato Time") spun by the killer DJ, I spent most of the afternoon inside the wigwam hocking my wares.  Although, I have been assured that the event was chockablock with the most enjoyable activities, from showing off cars and trailers, to swimming, to weenie roasting, to s'mores toasting, to fireside sing-a-longs.

Two poolside fashion shows, hosted by Dave and Sabino of
Clever Vintage Clothing, were filled with spectacular ensembles.
They were even nice enough to include one of my sun hats!!! 

If I was a more ruthless kind of a person and capable of making a quick getaway, there were plenty of cars for which I would have gladly ditched all of those hats and started my life of crime - beginning with grand theft auto!

The cars were great but the real show-stopper was our friend's completely-
restored 1957 Airfloat trailer in gleaming gold!  I was so awestruck that
I only captured a peek through one of the porthole windows. 

Brian Potvin, the master "Ballusionist," created a
wigwam out of balloons and set it afloat in the pool!

The main event began at sundown; we were lucky enough to be a part of it!
Tiny & Mary opened the show for the incredible troupe from the Bob Baker 
Marionette Theater  and the always-enthralling Charles Phoenix Big Retro Slideshow!  

You might recognize some of those puppets from their big-screen 
appearance in Walt Disney's Escape to Witch Mountain (1975).

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

If you can't escape to Witch Mountain, be sure and make the escape to the Wigwam Motel - to sleep-ee and to peepee in a teepee are most underrated and completely unparalleled experiences!  We would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge the graciousness of the owner and conservator of this irreplaceable landmark, Kumar Patel.  He and his family have committed themselves to not just their own motel, not just their own city, but to the entire Route 66 community and to the lovers of all things wacky tacky!  A big thank you to our inimitable host and emcee, Charles, for including us in this very special celebration!

Wigwam Motel
2728 W Foothill Blvd
San Bernardino, CA


Mr. Tiny

* The day has finally come!!!  Put A Lid On It Sun Hats are now available for purchase in our Etsy store, Mr. Tiny's South Side Market.  We will continue to bring you new designs, new colors, and new hat inspiration on a regular basis!!!


  1. This looks like such a super duper fun event! My IG feed was full of all sorts of photos from this event last weekend, and I was definitely a little sad that I wasn't in on the action! :P I think that I may have to persuade Aaron to drive us here on our next trip to LA. It would be really fun to spend a night at this hotel...although I'm sure it's way more fun when there's a big group of you, as with an event like this, as I'm sure it's just not the same without all the classic cars, vintage-attired guests, and amazing hats!!!!

    1. It's still awesome without all the craziness but maybe we need to coordinate a giant wigwam meet-up when you're in town next!

  2. what an event! i wish we could have come! we loved staying in a teepee when we were out there late summer. believe me, that location is MUCH nicer than the wig wam motel in Cave City, Kentucky. I'm so happy your hats went over so well! I can't wait to sport mine!

    1. Thanks, Rae!!! I'm a little bit scared now of Cave City but still determined to stay there to complete my Wigwam Motel trifecta!

  3. Mr. Tiny, you are a visionary! I'm so excited that you're selling your hats now.

    1. You are much too kind!!! If I am, it definitely takes one to know one!

  4. This looks so amazing -if I ever make it to that part of the world I'm definitely going to try and stay there. And your hats - they're brilliant!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I highly recommend a visit if you're ever in Southern California; let us know when you're here!

  5. Your hats are lovely! I'm claiming one when payday comes! :)

    1. Thank you so much!!! I know there is one made just for you!

  6. I've stayed in at least a half-dozen motels run by various Mr. Patels... but they were, clearly, not as interesting as this one.

    1. Well then, I highly recommend that you abandon the hostile hostels and head to the Wigwam Motel!!!