Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just SLIDE Over Here and Give Me a Moment!

Yesterday we had the wonderful opportunity to go out to Palm Springs for a little taste of Palm Srings Modernism Week.  We woke early and motored out to the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum for a special slideshow presentation by Charles Phoenix.

Mr. Tiny & Mary around the book stalls.
We were there as audience members and active participants.  I've always been told that I have a great face
for radio and I was afraid that I would scare people off,  but I think we actually drew a pretty good crowd.
Okay, okay...Mary and the books didn't hurt either.

The beach ball (one of many) was representative of the show's theme,
"Pools, Patios, & Barbecues" - a celebration of American backyard culture
and an extension of the larger museum exhibit entitled "Backyard Oasis."

Speaking of beach balls, they were flying before the show!

The star of the show, Charles Phoenix, King of Kodachrome,
Ambassador of Americana, Keeper of the Kitsch, Retro Slideshow Showman
Extraordinaire,and dare I say, connoisseur of wacky tacky, standing in front 
of the first slide of the series - a kid caught mid-air as he dives into his 
backyard swimming pool from one of those great, old, springy, diving boards
 that have been banished from existence.

Each image in the show was thoughtfully culled from a collection of over
70,000 slides.  The shrieks of delight from the audience that accompanied
the advance of every frame cemented the fact that it was going to be a
crowd-pleasing show.  There were so many slides that I told myself that I was
going to remember and use as inspiration for design projects that, unfortunately,
have already been lost to age and ADD.  One that really stuck with
me, however, was a slide of people at a backyard luau laying on their stomachs
in a ring around a watermelon spiked with booze and straws.  Each person
claimed a straw and drank from the melon!  I loved it not just for the sheer genius and
novelty of the idea, but also because it showed a group of people actually having fun
at a party.  I think we get caught up in being so sophisticated and taking ourselves so
seriously that we forget to drop the facade and enjoy the party!

Mary, Charles, and Mr. Tiny.
What a colorful bunch of bananas!
Dig Mary's rattan, turtle, basket purse.

After the show, we adjourned to King's Highway
at the Ace Hotel for lunch.

This is what happens when you hand over
camera duties to someone else.

David & Susan, the reigning King & Queen of 3D! 
You can see the 3D camera that David holds has a viewer
attached that really makes the images come to life!
Cool!  Cool!  Cool!

The only way we were able to get a group shot was in the mirror.
It's a modernist take on the last supper.

No trip to the desert is complete without a trip to the date farm.
But which way do we go?

Overall, it was a most marvelous kind of day in our local desert.  If you have never seen a Charles Phoenix retro slideshow or if you are not yet a fan, do yourself a favor and get with it!!!  His surname is no accident, like a phoenix from the ashes, he resurrects not just long-forgotten images, but a pastime once doomed to obsolescence, and turns them into performance art.  His shows are delightful and as a showman, he takes the notion of a "boring family slideshow" and turns it on its ear!  Make a point of signing up for the "Slide of the Week" emails at where you can also see a list of upcoming shows, purchase books, and view videos of his test kitchen and appearances on Martha Stewart and Conan O'Brien.  Also, be sure to like Charles Phoenix on Facebook.  What are you waiting for?


Mr. Tiny


  1. OOooohhh, so down in the dumps to have had to miss this weekend in Palm Springs, but grateful for your recap. Thank you, wacky tacky!! Looks like you guys had fun!

  2. Okay, wait a minute! Wait a minute! Did I just spy a TURTLE purse??! Genius!

    1. Hahaha...I was just changing the caption to call attention to the turtle - an Albuquerque thrift store find! We missed you guys and wish you could have been there. It was a blast!

  3. Super cool blog!! I have got to see Charles Phoenix live soon. By the way, I want the turtle purse:)

    1. Thanks Anon! Yes, if you get the chance to see Charles in action, I highly recommend it. That turtle was a cool find; it is only on loan to Mary!