Monday, September 28, 2009

The Object of My Desire: A Day at the Zoo

As I was reminiscing the other day with my sister, Cheryl Bradley, about spending leisurely family outings at the Kansas City Zoo, I asked her if she might dig up some pictures of the days when we used to get all excited over a polar bear posing in a man-made lake, a picturesque setting of flamingoes all in pink or even an oversized, Old Woman's shoe, all of which looks less dazzling than when we were small.

Even though the pictures may have faded and the attractions grown smaller over the years, the memories they evoke are larger than ever.

I remember standing on the squishy carpeted tongue of the big, blue whale. His bones were painted white inside his mouth and his body was filled with little aquariums where fish darted about.

My sister and I loved the gigantic pumpkin, and happily posed for photos. And as I remember, it took quite a hoist from my dad to get me upon the toe of the Old Woman's shoe.

I often think back on those days in Kansas City, especially as the school year has started. We would get new clothes from the downtown Sears, and Mom would make us special clothes to accent our store-bought niceties. I hated wearing those husky sized Toughskins, but always loved the shirts with hand-embroidered yokes that I always so proudly wore.

Tomorrow, September 29, is my last day with The Vintage Laundress at Vickie Davis' booth at The Texas Rose Antique Show. On Thursday, October 1, I'll be in Cincinnati celebrating the season premier of Great Lifestyles at Bova Contemporary furniture. Reserve your tickets here.

For more vintage memories, checkout The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powell's.


  1. That's a sweet story, as are the photos. Those big cement characters remind me of Storybook Village in NJ, where my family used to take me. If I close my eyes, I can conjure up the smell of the mildewed carpet in the whale's mouth.

  2. What a wonderful memory! It is posts like this that I love, love, love. You take us right back there with you, which is such a gift!

    I spend parts of the day thinking about you and Leann and wondering what the two of you are up to! And you call that WORK?! :)

    Hugs to you both, Sonya

  3. Stan I love your childhood memories. My favorite picture is of you and your sis in the whale's mouth. I'm smiling ear to ear....:+)

  4. You and your sister were adorable little people. LOL @ toughskins. I didn't enjoy the back to school clothes shopping because it was always the same...salt & pepper cords, white shirts and navy blue or red button down sweater. Oh, and of course a jar of Pomade. Thanks for putting a smile on my face today.

  5. I love this post as it brings back memories of a different time. My brother and I have a photo of the two of us in the very large mouth of a huge frog statue.
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful old photos,

  6. You have such talent to write about your childhood memories and pull them into the now, lovely!

  7. Cherished memories are the best kind of vintage treasure. You can enjoy them anytime, anywhere. You pictures evoke a time when it was always sunny and magical. Pam

  8. Oh, I love this post. Thanks for sharing! The colors of the photos bring me right back to the 70s. You two sure were cute in your romp! Oh, and the husky reference, how funny! Love, Karen



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