Sunday, July 19, 2009


The first in a continuing WTF series, no doubt. Please note that these shots were taken TODAY, July 19.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where (in Kansas City) was I?

This should be pretty easy . .

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tiki culture in KC

No, I'm not talking about the junk that passes for "Tiki" today. I'm talking about the mid-century-modern, polynesian popular movement that was born out of WWII veterans' desire to re-create the ideal of a South Seas paradise here at home. A time when themed restaurants and bars featured exotic and powerful rum concoctions served in beautiful and sometimes frightening drinking vessels, all in an environment filled with wondrous decor from primitive islands. And, if you were lucky, it was brought to you by beautiful Hula Girl waitresses.

Kansas City had more than a few such places, all gone now. Trader Vic's in Crown Center, the Kona Kai on the Plaza and at KCI, Brenton's Bali Hai downtown, and the Kon Tiki in midtown, just to name a few.

One that lasted but a short time was the Castaways at 4334 Main. This 12.5-inch matchbook is all that has yet been found from that interesting place. City Directories indicated that it may have opened in late 1959, and was open for business in 1960. Owned/founded by Frank Dunn and his wife Eve, the place featured "Authentic South Sea Island Enchantment"!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

30 years ago . . BANG!

I almost forgot to post this today!

I learned how to photograph fireworks over thirty years ago. The trick is not in the selection of shutter speed, but in the selection of which f-stop to use. Using a slow shutter speed (one second or more) and varying the f-stop gives you more or less of the flash burst. Photography is about light, after all.

The shot above is of a firecracker just before it bursts!

Happy 4th everybody!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

50 years old, or older . .

That's the criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Most people migrate to the "or older" part of that requirement, but the fact is that as of right now, anything built before July 1st, 1959 is potentially eligible. Before you freak out, consider all the great buildings this could include. Like it or not (and I LOVE it) little houses like this one will soon be listed in the NR. Yea!