Posts Tagged ‘Plastic’

I could not resist the pun when I realized I got a “letter” in the mail! (even though that’s usually Eccentric Roadside’s area of expertise!)

Letter B - Vintage Marquee Letter From Bay City Cargo

I have been in touch recently with  Mike of Bay City Cargo in Belfast Maine- who has the world’s largest collection of vintage theater marquee letters. He is also the owner of The Colonial Theatre in Belfast, ME www.ColonialTheatre.com – which often gets confused (URL-wise) with my Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA www.THEColonialTheatre.com :-) What a small cool world.

If you are interested in buying some cool old vintage letters from theaters, casinos, restaurants and more, check their listings on eBay. They also sell new letters for your marquee, in case you’re not into the “ransom note” look of mismatched letters.

I could not help but think of this Sesame Street video from The Beetles when I opened the package.


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The production of the original Don Featherstone plastic pink flamingo is coming back to roost in Central Massachusetts, reports Glen Wells of the RoadsideFans Yahoo Group. I love these wonderfully colorful and tacky representations of suburban kitsch and proudly display my flamingos Chuck and Fifi each spring and summer at the Hacienda.

Chuck and Fifi - Featherstone Flamingoes

According to an article in Plastics News about the pink plastic flamingos, the Featherstone flamingos (named for the original designer of the classic bright pink bird, Don Featherstone) which were originally produced in Leominster MA, will now be produced in the neighboring town of Fitchburg (which had a number of classic diners in it, last time I visited).

I will always have an extra special place in my heart for the Featherstone Pink Plastic Flamingo as it was the mascot of the college radio station I worked at back in the day – click the photo below to see our “made for local cable TV spot, featuring a number of punk rock flamingos:


The new company will also be producing some of the watering cans and bird baths that the original company Union Products produced. I am pleased to be an owner of one of these watering cans, that I saw in a grocery store a few years ago and knew immediately from their color and look that they were relatives of the flamingo.

Drake's Elephant

Hooray for fun and kitsch in your own home, your radio station, or in other folks yards, brightening your day as you drive past!

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It’s easy to rationalize a souvenir purchase when it’s actually something useful, so Retro Roadhusband and I have gotten into the habit of picking up a Tervis Tumbler or two any time we’re in the Osprey FL area. Never heard of a Tervis Tumbler? Well neither had we, until we visited our pals T&P who told us all about these insulated drinking glasses with their HQ right down the road from their Florida place.

Retro Tervis Tumblers(Tervis = the last 3 letters of the 2 inventors’ last names, CotTER and DaVIS)

At first I was dubious about what was so great about these tumblers, but had to admit I liked the almost deco looking concentric ring design and the fact that I could get them with palm trees and flamingos on them (to name but two of their gajillion designs):

Two Tervis Tumblers
It doesn’t hurt that drinking out of our tumblers at home bring us fond memories of sitting outside in T&P’s Florida back yard on a warm morning, drinking fresh squeezed orange juice from the grove down the road, in the middle of what is technically winter.  But here are a few things that I think make Tervis Tumblers noteworthy on the Retro Roadmap scale of coolness:

+ The company has been in business since 1946 and had been owned by the same family since the 1950’s
+ The tumblers are all hand assembled and made in the USA (except for a few emblem designs)
+ They are guaranteed for life- no matter how long you’ve had your tumbler! “Should your Tervis Tumbler become defective in any way, simply send it to Tervis for free replacement, even if it has been over 40 years since you purchased it! No proof of purchase required – If it says Tervis on the bottom, that’s proof enough for us!” what a cool customer friendly policy, huh?
+ Microwave, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe
+ Keeps Hot Drinks Hotter & Cold Drinks Colder Longer

And they also come in Retro Roadmap friendly designs like this:

Tiki Tervis Tumblers (Mai Tai, anyone?)

One last thing of note is that the company headquarters, has  a distinctive entrance that I thought was going to look like a  “Giant Plastic Tumbler”, according to Roadside America . Well I took a drive out there to see this myself, and was a little disappointed that it was not a clear plastic cylinder, but a somewhat conservative looking stucco entrance. I mean c’mon, where’s the straw I was expecting to see sticking out of the top?
Tall Tervis Tumbler

After my initial disappointment at this roadside “programmatic architecture” I realized it kinda reminded me of the Guggenheim Museum, and again had those lovely deco concentric rings that I’m so fond of. And art deco always reminds me of that deco mecca just a few hours away, Miami Beach.

We could buy our tumblers at many a fine retail store, so I’m sure you can check them out near you, but if you’re in the Osprey FL area stop by their company store, and tell ’em Retro Roadmap sentcha!

Tervis Tumblers Factory Store

Tervis Tumbler
928 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229
(941) 966-2114

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