Los Angeles, California
The star of William Boyd/Hopalong Cassidy on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The grave of Topper, Hoppy’s beautiful white horse, in the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery.
The grave of Andy Clyde, Hoppy’s loveable sidekick, California Carlson, at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
The Colburn School designed by architects Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (opposite the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by architect Frank Gehry; makes a nice contrast).
The Getty Museum designed by architect Richard Meier.
The Marriott Hotel near Los Angeles airport — who designed this building? It looks quite John Portman-ish to me, but I don’t think he designed it.
The quirky Museum of Jurassic Technology at Culver City — a modern-day cabinet of curiosities. David Wilson is a genius.
The Gothic, mountain-like, American Heritage Center designed by architect Antoine Predock.
Playing cowboy with Hoppy’s pearl-handle six-shooters at the American Heritage Center.
The McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota — a giant carbuncle on a big brown box — designed by architect Antoine Predock.
The Regis Art Center, University of Minnesota, designed by local architects MSR — a very impressive example of corbelling.
The Weisman Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, designed by architect Frank Gehry. (Did he forget that it snows in Minneapolis when he designed that canopy?)
The surprising rear of the Weisman Art Center — not just a brick box.
Stripped noticeboard, University of Minnesota — accidental collage.
Newspaper cartoon showing the actor William Gillette in the play, Sherlock Holmes, from Gillette’s own scrapbook, which is part of the Sherlock Holmes collection at the University of Minnesota.
The Guthrie Theater designed by architect Jean Nouvel. It’s all about the views.
The fabulous Metrodome Transit Station designed by local artist (and old buddy) Andrew Leicester.
Andrew’s cute French bulldog, Buster.
The quirky gas station in Cloquet, Minnesota, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Driving down to Stockholm, Wisconsin, to sample pie with buddy Craig Hinrichs.
Delicious cherry and berry pie from the Stockholm Pie Company.
The Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, designed by architect Peter Eisenman.
With Laura Bates, Hoppy’s number one fan, at the Hopalong Cassidy Museum, Cambridge, Ohio. It was a cold day!
Hopalong Cassidy mural (detail), Cambridge, Ohio, painted by local artist Sue Dodd.
The Summerhouse (a.k.a. the Grotto) designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Bricks from the brick collection at the National Building Museum.
National Gallery of Art designed by architect I.M. Pei. Impressive spaces, but a “user-unfriendly” building.
An escalator in the Washington D.C. Metro — like a scene from 1984.
Rochester, New York
The First Unitarian Church of Rochester designed by architect Louis Kahn. I think these Unitarians may be onto something!
Anna May Wong’s ashes and also her sister Mary’s ashes were buried with their mother, Lee Toy Wong, at Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.
It’s a Small World, Disneyland, Anaheim.
Toon Town in Disneyland, Anaheim.
More Disneyland, Anaheim.
Clifton’s Cafeteria has closed for renovation. Thank goodness it hasn’t closed for good!
Gene Autrey statue (top) and costume at the Autrey Museum, Los Angeles.
Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. I had a great seat behind the orchestra for only $24!
Walt Disney’s workshop, now in Griffith Park, Los Angeles
Model of Walt Disney’s workshop at Disneyland, Anaheim.
Train at Disneyland based on Walt Disney’s own model train.
Max Payne billboard, Los Angeles.
Bruce Goff’s typically brilliant and quirky Pavilion for Japanese Art (1988) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). I’m sure that the “temple roofed” cabinets don’t resemble erect penises by accident!
Barbie’s Dream House (1962) made of cardboard by Mattel on display at the LACMA.
“Metropolis II” (2011) by Chris Burden at the LACMA.
Is this Mother Goose’s grave?
Another “shocker” by John Andrews — the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1972).
Architectural design work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Frank Gehry’s Stata Center (2004) at MIT, which later sued the architect because the building leaked.
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2006) designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. A cantilever and a half!
The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (2004) by Rafael Viñoly. A porte-cochere and a half!
The Old State House, Hartford.
Centre Church, Hartford.
William Gillette Castle, East Haddam
Tyke and Teddie Niver.
After testing the tarpaulin’s strength, Wally needed a jar of “Pileless — Wonder Relief for Piles” …
Joseph Stalin — Still a hero in Kerala!
In 2010 I visited Iran, courtesy of a travel grant from the Iran Heritage Foundation, to look at Iranian brickwork. What marvellous brickwork I discovered there! But that is another story.
Travelling around Iran (which I found to be quite different to that usually depicted on the six o’clock news, by the way), photographing some spectacular brick walls, naturally I stopped to eat from time to time, and as a result I found myself unexpectedly examining something else besides the country’s brickwork—Iran’s ubiquitous kebab shops.
The differences between say Melbourne, where I live, and Tehran, the capital of Iran, are in the main truly vast, but here was one tiny thing that both cities have in common.
This got me thinking after I returned home: if I found the kebab shops in Iran so interesting then perhaps I should look more closely at the kebab shops in Melbourne.
So I asked the Master of Architecture students who took my Popular Architecture and Design course in 2011 at the University of Melbourne, where I teach, to pair off; to each select a kebab shop in Melbourne; and to record the following basic information about them:
• The kebab shop’s name and address
• A plan of the kebab shop, including its fittings and furniture
• A photograph of the front façade of the kebab shop
• A photograph of the kebab shop next to the other shops in the street
• A photograph of the kebab shop at night
• A photograph of the other side and rear facades of the kebab shop (where they were accessible)
• Photographs of the interior of the kebab shop
• Photographs of the kebab shop’s advertising/signage
• A copy of the kebab shop’s menu
• A brief description of the kebab shop
• A brief interview with the shopkeeper and perhaps some customers
Kebab Shops in Melbourne: An Architectural Survey, a new book published by the Custom Book Centre at the University of Melbourne, contains all of this data exactly as collected by the architecture students and given to me.
The idea of compiling an eclectic-style, uncritical and unedited “encyclopaedia” like this was suggested by the 800-page The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping (2002) by the Dutch “starchitect” Rem Koolhaas et al.
Several people have looked at and written about everyday places that are usually taken for granted and not given a second thought. One of the most interesting is the late French author, Georges Perec (1936 – 1982), whose work I introduced to the Master of Architecture students-cum-“kebab shop detectives.” His little book, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris (first translated into English in 2010), is a quirky masterpiece in my view.
Another source/sauce of inspiration was Reyner Banham’s brief but amusing and surprisingly insightful assessment of hamburgers and hamburger shops contained in his classic study of Los Angeles, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971).
In light of some of the recent scary exchanges between America and Iran, it is oddly comforting to realize that fast food is fast food no matter whether it comes from Los Angeles or Tehran.
I hope that Kebab Shops in Melbourne: An Architectural Survey will encourage further and more detailed research into the humble kebab shop, which is an interesting and ubiquitous—nevertheless almost “invisible”—part of the urban built environment not only in Australia and Iran, but also elsewhere (for example, on a recent trip to Auckland, New Zealand, I spotted many kebab shops there too).
To sum up then, Kebab Shops in Melbourne: An Architectural Survey describes over 40 kebab shops in various Melbourne suburbs by means of descriptive prose, line drawings, black and white photographs, and interviews with shopkeepers and customers. This data was collected by Master of Architecture students at the University of Melbourne and compiled, warts and all, by Derham Groves. This quirky 500-plus-page book is perhaps best described as The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping meets Georges Perec.
The cover of Anna May Wong’s Lucky Shoes designed by Huey Groves
The book is published by the Culicidae Press and is available via Amazon.com or Culicidaepress.com
A review of the book by Zoe Nikakis in Voice in The Age, 10 October 2011
ANNA MAY WONG’S LUCKY SHOES: 1939 AUSTRALIA THROUGH THE EYES OF AN ART DECO DIVA, DERHAM GROVES (2011)
Ames, IA: Culicidae Press, pp. 103,
ISBN: 978-1-257-71315-8, Paperback, AUD $39.95
Reviewed by Andrew Chrystall, Massey University, New Zealand.
Anna May Wong’s Lucky Shoes interfaces a chronological biography (cum-histography) of the Chinese-American film star, Anna May Wong’s 107-day visit to Australia in 1939 with the documentation of 52 design-as-biography projects by students at the University of Melbourne. The effect(s) is uncanny. Groves demonstrates a different approach to writing biography that is as challenging to the historian as his approach to design-as-biography is to the designer and architect and his mode of pedagogy to the teacher. While operating just outside the realm of the readily classifiable, due in large measure to the work’s hybridity and Groves’ multidisciplinary transgressions, Anna May Wong’s Lucky Shoes makes a contribution not only to our understanding of the popular and material cultural history of pre-World War II Australia. Arguably, Groves can also be read here as having created something of an anti-manifesto for dialogic, sustainable design that is of immediate relevance.
At the level of surfaces, Anna May Wong’s Lucky Shoes appears simple and unpretentious, if not parochial and banal. However, when read in light of the interplay between the two sections—biography and the documentation of design-as-biography projects —it becomes apparent that the materials have been organised to give the work a circuit-like quality. Surface simplicity gives way to a subtle complexity. Groves’ biography nurses the reader into an encounter with the design-as-biography projects and the projects draw the reader back to rediscover the biography of Wong—text begets image(s) and the image(s) beget a re-energized and re-configured text.
The first section of Anna May Wong’s Lucky Shoes documents the movements of the now little-known Wong to, around and from Australia just prior to World War II. Groves briefly establishes his personal appreciation of the enigmatic, Lady Gaga-esque Wong in the first person. But he quickly abandons a point of view and his writing takes on some of the characteristics of American novelist, Thomas Pynchon. Like Pynchon, Groves has the meticulous eye of the sleuth or the roving tactile-eye of the virtual camera for detail. Anna May Wong’s Lucky Shoes if full of detailed lists: passenger lists, guest lists, menus, and filmography. Around the movements of Wong Groves builds an inventory of Australian material and popular culture just prior to the war. His camera eye, panning and zooming incessantly, is quick to focus on concrete, individual particulars of the material culture of the day: time, date, places, street names and numbers, transactions, costs, makes, models, colours, patterns and textures. In addition to offering insight into Australian architecture, entertainment, fashion, food and politics, Groves provides a lens through which to view of racism in Australia and the racial politics of film production, homophobia, the rising cult of celebrity, (beautiful-) freak aesthetics, and the milieu of Australia’s social aristocracy. In short, Groves’ inspection captures everything that is going on—by means of a close inspection of the most common, everyday and banal—not merely what some people think should be going on. In this respect Groves’ operation is something of a prose equivalent for what his fellow Australian artist Reg Mombassa achieves in paint. And it is for this reason that the long-dead Marshall McLuhan might have said that Groves succeeds where F. R. Leavis failed. “The trouble with Leavis,” noted McLuhan (1987), was that his “passion for important work forbids him to look for the sun in the egg-tarnished spoons of the daily table […] [this] cuts him off from the relevant pabulum” (166).
In the second section, Groves, with the help of photography by Lee McRae, documents and offers a brief reflection on 52 pairs of shoes designed by his students enrolled in the Popular Architecture and Design paper. Groves set his students the task of designing a pair of (lucky?) shoes for Wong by altering an old pair of shoes purchased from an opportunity shop. Groves’ reflections here, however, do not interfere with documentation of the shoes on display. Rather his mode, tradition or sensible orientation towards art and art history appears to have some affinity with the humanism of Burkhardt, carried on in the 20th century by figures such as Wölfflin, Giedion and Moholy-Nagy. While Groves might disown the connection to these figures it is worth mentioning here as it may open up a way of reading Groves and help illuminate why he has sought to showcase the work of these young Australian designers.
The crux of the matter is that Groves does not turn away from objects or art nor does he use either as a platform to illustrate or argue a set of ideas (in the mode, say, of the social-engineer who sets design the task of changing people). Rather, for Groves, it is art that matters and he extracts himself to make a space for “objects” and the “art” to speak for themselves on their own terms. Subsequently, and this may be another reason why Groves eludes convenient categorisation, if he has anything to say beyond showcasing a motivational and fun pedagogical activity it is said at the level of demonstration. Design, as Groves presents it, can be a deeply dialogic activity with and in service of unique human individuals (with a history and somewhat messy relationship to material artefacts that can be, simultaneously, practical, emotional, irrational, calculated, and ever-changing). His mode of demonstration that eschews linear, logical and hypothesis-drive rational argument is entirely consistent with his goal(s). If we allow, then, Groves to demonstrate what design is, can and should be we find design (inclusive of architecture) can be a form of biography. It emerges from story—rich and concrete encounters between peoples, places and material culture. Design maximizes diversity and, therefore, minimizes competition (which is predicated on a large degree of sameness). Design is also transmutative and realised in and through a dialogue with pre-existing materials that are as historically conditioned as the client. Subsequently, design, neither has to result in the creation of more stuff, which is what Andrew Milner argues needs to be avoided for the realisation of a sustainable future, nor has to set itself the task of promoting a bloodless, or perhaps glamour-less, austerity ill befitting an art deco diva.
McLuhan, Marshall. (1987), ‘Letter to Walter Ong and Clement J. McNaspy, December 23, 1944.’ in M. Molinaro, C. McLuhan, & W. Toye (eds.), The Letters of Marshall McLuhan. Toronto, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press,
Clifton’s—One of my favourite places in Los Angeles
A step back into the 1930s
Westwood Cemetery—Another favourite place in Los Angeles
No caption required
Eddie Albert & Eva Gabor, the stars of Green Acres
Loretta King & Thor Johnson in Bride of the Monster (1955)
A new plaque for Don Knotts since I was there last year. (I liked the simpler, older one though.)
Jim Backus—Mr. Magoo & Thurston Howl III
John Cassavetes, a rebel with a cause
The El Royale Motel in Ventura Boulevard—A classic!
As seen in Boogie Nights (1997)
More classics …
I’ve started looking at motels
Anna May Wong’s star on the Walk of Fame
Zanja Madre (1992)—as seen in Batman Forever (1995)—designed by my buddy, Andrew Leicester
Not so classic …
Frank Gehrey’s bad detailing, Walt Disney Concert Hall
San Antonio, Texas
The Alamo. I just don’t get it.
The Riverwalk. “Would you like a large beer, sir?” “Yes thanks,” I said.
Another great neon
The march of time
Kingsville, the town where the city fringe killed the city centre
Earlier this year I received a travel grant from the Iran Heritage Foundation to visit Iran to look at patterned and sculptured brickwork. I went on the 22nd of November and came back on the 13th of December. I visited Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kashan, and Tabriz. I’m happy to report that Iran is no evil empire. The people are friendly and kind and the only time that I was in danger was crossing the road (regardless of whether the light is green or red, everybody just goes!). The brickwork was fabulous too—not just the old stuff, but the new stuff as well.
Pomegranates, not onions.
No similarities between the scary mannequins and me whatsoever.
This coffee table was presented to the Shah of Iran’s wife, Farah Diba, by Australia’s Governor General, Sir John Kerr. I couldn’t see any grog stains on it though.
The culture of martyrdom.
Iran Heritage Foundation Grant Report: Patterned and Sculptural Brickwork in Iran
I visited Iran between the 23rd of November and the 11th of December 2010. My primary purpose was to look at patterned (i.e. 2-D or flat) and sculptural (i.e. 3-D or raised and recessed) brickwork. I visited Tehran twice, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yadz, Kashan, and Tabriz. Most commercial, domestic and public buildings in Iran are made of fired bricks. These buildings are either solid brick or brick veneer (it is sometimes difficult to tell which). I also saw lots of very old mud brick buildings, especially in Kashan. I gave a lecture on Australian polychrome brickwork (i.e. the use of different coloured bricks to delineate figures or patterns) at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and also at the Tabriz Islamic Art University in Tabriz.
Throughout Iran fired bricks are generally very good quality. In Yadz I visited two neighbouring brick factories. One produced extruded bricks that were fired in a huge Hoffman kiln, which was nearly a kilometre long. The other factory produced pressed bricks that were fired in a less sophisticated downdraught kiln. The sizes of bricks seem to vary throughout Iran. A common or standard brick is approximately 210mm long x 95mm wide x 55mm high (this particular brick was measured in Isfahan). Half-height bricks (210mm x 105mm x 40mm, also measured in Isfahan), known as “Roman” bricks in Australia, and a wide range of unusually shaped and sized bricks, which occasionally are glazed in blue or incorporate small squares of blue tile or mirror, are very popular throughout Iran. And some very old buildings have square fired bricks, such as the Arg-e Karim Khan, an old citadel in Shiraz (230mm x 230mm x 50mm), and the Arg-e Tabriz, an ancient (ruined) fortified mosque in Tabriz (175mm x 175mm x 50mm).
As most of my work to date has focused on polychrome brickwork, (illogically) I expected to see more of this in Iran. But Iranian brickwork is almost exclusively monochrome—the vast majority of bricks being yellowish-buff in colour. The small amount of polychrome brickwork I saw was rather docile compared to that seen in Australia. However, in many respects monochrome brickwork is more challenging to design than polychrome brickwork because all that the designer has to play with are the patterns of the bricks and mortar, known as “bonds”, and the effects of light and shadow.
Bricklaying is generally of a very high standard in Iran. Bricklaying techniques that require a high degree of skill, such as arches, corbels, perforated brickwork, and vaults, are routine throughout the country. I also observed many different types of brick bonds, including basket weave, header, herringbone, Flemish, and stack. Interestingly, to emphasize the horizontality of brickwork, the vertical mortar joints or “perpends” are very frequently eliminated and the bricks simply butt jointed, and occasionally slithers of blue tiles are pushed into the bed joints as well.
In Iran it appears that traditional bricklaying skills are effectively passed down from one generation of bricklayers to another. However, there is a recent trend to use materials such as concrete and steel especially for commercial and public buildings, which is driven by the speed of development, the need to ‘earthquake-proof’ buildings and current architectural fashion. This may eventually lead to an erosion of bricklaying skills, as has happened in Australia over the years.
I anticipated seeing a lot of decorative brickwork on old and historic buildings and I was not disappointed. The Arg-e Karim Khan in Shiraz, for example, has large continuous diamond or diaper 3-D patterns around each buttress at the four corners of the citadel, which ‘jump out’ due to them catching the light and casting shadows. Some mud brick buildings also have this sort of decoration, such as the minaret at the Jameh mosque in Kashan. Also the variety and intricacy of the 2-D patterns on the inside of the brick domes of the bazaars and mosques is truly amazing—circles, diamonds, hexagons, squares, stars, triangles, etc. At Shahid Beheshti University I met Dr. Tehrani, an expert on the construction of brick domes in Iran, who gave me a CD of his research on the brick domes of the Masjed-e Jameh mosque in Isfahan.
I was surprised by how much decorative brickwork I saw on modern buildings. For example, two impressive early 20th century brick buildings I saw were the redbrick building next to the former Senate (and now the Assembly of Experts) in Tehran, and the National Museum of Iran also in Tehran. The former building is approximately 85 years old and has very elaborate brick friezes, columns and curlicues, which are perhaps best described as “Baroque”. The French architect and archaeologist André Godard designed the redbrick National Museum of Iran in 1937 (but it looks decades more modern than that). It has ‘spiky’ round columns made of specially shaped bricks and a huge parabolic vault or “iwan” at the entrance.
Many contemporary buildings have friezes and panels of 2-D patterned and 3-D sculptural brickwork on the balconies (not only the sides, but also underneath), fences, parapets, and spandrels. In the case of houses, it appears that the more elaborate these decorations are, the more prosperous the homeowners are. This was particularly evident in Shiraz where some of the most elaborate panels and friezes on houses I saw were in the obviously well to do district near Shiraz University.
My trip to Iran has sparked several ideas. Over the next year I shall survey and reassess Australian monochrome brickwork, which was very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but fell out of fashion soon afterwards. The students in my architectural theory seminar at the University of Melbourne, where I teach, will design some monochrome brick walls based on the Iranian examples I saw and the Australian examples I shall find, and then apprentice bricklayers from a local trade school will build a selection of the architecture students’ walls. I shall also design a specially shaped brick based on those I saw in Iran, and hopefully a local brick company will make a test batch of these.
Generally speaking, the Iran I experienced was totally different from the Iran you see on the six o’clock news. The most dangerous thing I did in Iran was cross the road (regardless of whether the light is green or red, people just go!). And the most frightening things I saw in Iran were the mannequins in the menswear stores (they were truly scary!). Everyone was extremely helpful and very kind to me, especially Ms. Yalda Sourani, Ms. Sepideh Masoodinejad and Dr. Morteza Mirgholami. I also wish to thank Mr. Richard West, Mr. Craig Hinrichs, Austral Bricks, and the Iran Heritage Foundation for their assistance.
In 1959 Peter E. Sayers, a serious young man from St. Kilda East, and nine other ‘young Australian ambassadors’ embarked on an amazing 3-month ‘grand tour’ of the USA. They saw the best and the worst of Cold War America, which Sayers faithfully recorded in his travel diary (which runs to approximately 25,000 words). Each student in my Popular Art, Architecture and Design course was assigned a different entry from Sayers’ diary in order to create a postcard based on that day’s events. Here are a few examples (both postcards and their accompanying diary entries):
Weather: Fine. This morning we went by bus to the General Electric plant about eight miles from the hotel. Statistics are 23,000 employees, approximately 100 acres of factory space and 1,000 acres of grounds. The car park had approximately 9,000 cars in it. We saw the washing machines being made. A point about production: When a machine is liable to cut a factory worker’s fingers off, they make him push two buttons, one for each hand, which are located above his head. Later we saw some modern home settings featuring G.E. appliances. When washing dishes in a dishwasher do not take the fat off the dishes as it combines with the detergent to do the job of washing the dishes. We came back to the hotel for lunch then we went out to Brown Forman Distillers to see how they make Bourbon whiskey. Taxes make up 65 percent of the cost of whiskey, which amounts to $500,000 in taxes per day. An interesting point to note is that the law forbids the process for making Scotch whiskey in the U.S.A.
The Australian flag flew at the hotel today. Had breakfast in the hotel’s drugstore. First thing after breakfast we were shown over the hotel, including $150 per night penthouse. In the morning we went to the University of Houston, after having our photo taken in front of the hotel’s diving board. The Chancellor [President] of the University [General A.D. Bruce] welcomed us and then we met the sports boss and talked on his subject (Allen Lawrence from the university had just become the two-mile world record holder the day before.) We had lunch in the cafeteria and met one of the Australian summer scholarship boys. Then we saw the University’s film unit, TV studio and radio station. (Some of the paths around the University were made of seashells.) We left after 3.00 P.M. after thanking our host, the Head of Languages. We returned to the hotel by bus (same way as we went). We then went out to the Rue Ranch (2,000 acres). It is owned by A.E. ‘Snake’ Bailey who breeds French cattle (whitish colour, noted for quick growth). When we were being driven round by ‘Snake’ in his $10,000 325 horsepower Lincoln Continental Mark III (a Caddy only costs $7,000) he shot off the road after a jackrabbit (hare). We slithered and slid over damp pastures for about a quarter of a mile chasing it. We went out to the ranch in two cars. The first was driven by Mr. Paris (the manager of the Shamrock Hotel). He had a unique pair of cufflinks: one was the workings of a watch and the other was the face of a watch. The hotel’s public relations man drove the second car, a Ford Country Sedan. We had to teach him how it worked because he did not usually drive this car. (Doors that open by button in car.) I went out with him. ‘Snake’ has a project underway whereby people lease an acre lot of his ranch and become a member of his club, which has a livery stable, etc. One bloke at the stable had a gold $50 (Mexican) piece as a figure on his tie (cowboy type). We all had a ride on the horses. [Richard] Blaiklock fell and so did a girl (the horse fell and hit its head and lay on her leg. I think both came out OK, although when we had tea in the club (steak, etc.) she was chaired out. When we came home at 10.00 P.M. we ran over a skunk. I met at club Mr. C.A. Carter [President of Tex-Tube Inc.].
Weather: fine. We got up at 7.10 AM and at 7.50 AM had breakfast with the manager and another fellow who used to live in Melbourne and Sydney. At 9.00 AM the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company were our hosts. They took us in two station wagons firstly to their training centre where we saw people learning to use lathes and do maths, etc. Secondly, we went to their private airport where we had a ride in a helicopter that seated three and the pilot. We flew over the town of Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. Then we went by station wagon to the main plant to have a look, it was filled with precision tools and had great security regulations. Then we had lunch in the ‘Junior Executive Dining Room’. I had a V-8 cocktail, roast loin of pork and a butterscotch sundae. After lunch we went to the experimental station where the boilers and pipes and control panels were gigantic. At 3.00 PM we were at the airport again and at 3.30 PM we left by Convair (one of the company’s private planes) for Boston, 120 miles away, it only took half an hour. Only us and one other chap was on the plane. We took a taxi to the Statler Hilton hotel, not as good as the Statler Hilton hotel in Hartford. I received a letter from Midge, one from the U.K. and a duplicate of Mum’s New York letter. Tonight I had tea in a cafeteria and washed, wrote diary and letters.
We left the hotel for City Hall (a great building) where we met the Mayor of Los Angeles [Norris Poulson] and I presented him with some brochures about Sydney. This was shown on C.B.S. [Commercial Broadcasting System] at night. We saw the council in session and then the view from the top of the building. In the morning reps of McDonnell Douglas picked us up and took us about 15 miles to their aircraft plant where we saw two types of jets under construction. After lunch we watched two films: one on the naval jets we saw being built, which were for a big aircraft carrier, and the other on the DC-8. McDonnell Douglas then drove us to N.B.C. [National Broadcasting Company] studios in Burbank (it took about an hour along freeways). At N.B.C. we saw The George Gobel Show, the best TV show I’ve seen. George is a great comedian; not corny. Nat King Cole was the guest artist. The nationwide program ran for an hour. Then half of us came home by two buses via Hollywood (for about the eighth time). We had tea and packed and wrote in our diaries. P.S. On our travels we have seen trains with up to 120 carriages.
Fine. Today was another full day in the bus (8.30 A.M. to 7.00 P.M.). When we left Charleston (Capital of West Virginia) we followed a valley which contained chemical factories and the such for some time. Most of the rest of the way we went through hillbilly country, timber is the main industry in the area. Then towards Richmond (Virginia) the country became hill and dale. The bigger hills today were real ones, bigger than yesterday. We booked in at the Richmond Hotel and had tea. Jim and I are in a two-bed room. I write this at 8.40 P.M. I will now start letters. [Break in time.] I thought I would, but I did not. As per usual at these big hotels there was a convention and this was no exception, except it was the High Schools of Virginia ‘Beta Club’ (80 per cent grade and over in form work). Well, to cut a long story short, we went to their dance at the John Marshall Hotel. After I danced with two or three other girls I met Freda Ashworth (near 17) from Rocky Mount. Before the dance John Hammond talked over the phone to a woman who used to live in Perth. They danced a little jive, a Paul Jones and two or three modern waltzes. Freda was a good dancer. We were at the dance from 10 to 11 (the Beta Club members had had dinner beforehand). When they announced that the Australians were present we got a very warm clap. After the dance I went with Freda up to the 11th floor to the Rocky Mount High School rooms for a party. We sat around on beds, etc. and ate brownies and drank soft drink. I told them about Australia. Before I left at 12.30 A.M. Freda gave me her little red and white cap and I gave her a Qantas flying Kangaroo pin. I got lost on the way home and after about 10 minutes I got a lift to the Richmond Hotel with a chap who was picking up his girl there. (He was only my age and had a new tank.) By the way, at the Richmond Hotel there were a lot of the Beta Club members. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found myself sitting in amongst a group of students in our passage about 17 to 18, about 15 girls and 3 boys telling them all about Australia. Then later the other boys that went to the dance (6 of us) came out of the lift to go to their room (they had been put out of the other hotel at 2.00 A.M. by the cops) I called them up and we all had a talk. The hotel detective had came round earlier, we softened him up but at 3.00 A.M. the manager in a rage sent us to bed. Some of the other kids went to the students’ rooms first off but unluckily I had gone to mine and was trapped with the manager outside my door so I went to bed. Some of the others got to bed at 6.30 A.M. P.S. The bandleader in making his speech at the dance thought it was very good that no one had made a number request (eg. Sweet Georgia Brown). He did not appear to like brash music and was glad to see the young people were not that fond of it request it. P.P.S. The road for the great part of today was only one lane each way.
At about 9.15 A.M. the whole group set off in a limousine for the Town Hall where we met the Mayor [Sarto Fournier] who gave two of the boys a pair of cufflinks to give to Mr. Menzies and the Mayor of Sydney. The woodwork in his office was carved out of teak. Over here in Canada it appears that woodwork inside is a feature. After that we went in our limousines to the St. Lawrence Seaway and a look around town then we went to the Mount Stephen Club (where Princess Margaret had a meal) a very reserved club with beautiful wood panelling and stained glass windows where we had lunch with a firm of advertisers connected with Johnson & Johnson after which we went to the International Civil Aviation Organization (U.N.) and sat in the meeting chamber where we met the president and told all about the organization and Australia’s part in it. Our chauffer today was a walking directory of the history of Montreal. Sixty-five percent of the population of Montreal are French, but in the heart of Quebec the figure is nearer 80%. At the seaway they had to raise or convert some bridges that crossed the St. Lawrence. Crosses are about every [?]. At night I went to the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Somerville (Haig) Hall (Ma’s cousin) at 4358 Coalbrook Avenue, Montreal where I met her, her daughters Violet and Alison Hall who live with the mother. Also the youngest of Mrs. Elizabeth Hall’s family Kenneth Hall and his wife Margaret and their children David 13 and Margaret 8. Kenneth Hall lives at 5253 Trans Island Avenue N.D.G Montreal, Quebec, HUI-4278. I had tea and talked till 12.00 midnight. I came and went by taxi. People in this of Montreal are mostly English speaking. The Halls are Presbyterian. Kenneth would be about 45 I should think. Mrs. E. Hall is just 88 years old. Kenneth is a strict father, more English than me.
Weather: Cloudy. At about 8.30 AM we went by taxi to the wharves to be shown over the fastest ship afloat, The United States. (It only has the butcher’s block and the pianos made of wood.) It is streamlined and mostly made of steel. It was very nice, but I prefer the Queen Mary. We then had out picture taken outside two good picture theatres in New York. Then we went via the Waldorf (and recorded an interview with the Voice of America for Australian radio) to Colgate Palmolive (just over the road) for a very nice private luncheon (very high standard). I had my picture taken with the boss. An Australian representative of Colgate Palmolive was present. We were told that some products would be sent to our homes when we got back to Australia. At 3.00 PM we went to the QANTAS-BOAC booking offices and saw the very large booking offices. The advertising of Australia in the QANTAS section was mostly photograph enlargements (very good). At night I went to Some Like it Hot starring Marilyn Monroe (free) with Jim. Had tea at 9.30 PM then came home and washed and wrote.
Rebecca De Haas
Down for breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. King and two sons at 7.30 A.M. in the Hilton hotel where we were staying. The Chamber of Commerce then supplied a bus for us to see the old town, army and navy installations, university, hospital and medical centre, etc. Most architecture was on the Old Spanish line (with flat roof). Saw Australian girls today for a few minutes at bus depot before they left, which was just before we left at 11.30 A.M. The country on the south side of town is much more fertile looking than the way in with trees and ordinary hilly country then we went into semi-flat treeless country for most of the way to Roswell (we had lunch at a small town on the way). We spoke to two typical teenagers 16 and about 14 on going steady, etc. At Roswell two girls in a car tried to pick up some of the boys. Left Roswell at 5.10 P.M. after being in the town for one hour and twenty minutes. We now passed through quite humble farm homes in the valley we passed along then dark came. When we got to El Paso we were amazed at its size as I expected a small town. We booked in at Hilton hotel and three of us had tea at a restaurant (café type) at approximately 10.30 P.M.
We left El Paso about 8.00 A.M. (I felt bilious all day.) We had lunch at Pecos at 1.40 P.M., just outside the town, but I did not eat. We got to San Antonio at 10.15 P.M. and went straight to bed at the Hilton hotel. The country we passed through was most interesting in as much as it was varied. We had at the start semi-desert with sand laying about some hilly country, somewhat like New Mexico hill formation type. Great fairly well grassed cattle country with slight dips and rises. And towards the end of the long day’s trip we went through (in the dark) country that was hilly and well watered (I think). San Antonio is a city of about half-a-million people. It has many tall buildings. It has a river flowing through it (like Venice). Three people were in my room, which was overlooking a waterfall that could have kept you awake if you were not tired. P.S. In most parts we have been to, static electricity has given us a few jumps.
At 9.00 A.M. we rose to the sound of bells all over town playing something from the Desert Song. We had breakfast downstairs (I was much better this morning). I posted the two El Paso papers and returned to hotel (with Jim). On this walk I observed better-dressed friendlier people, better dress shops (in other words, I approved of the town). After lunch at the Menger Hotel (100 years old 3 days ago), which was near the Alamo (we had a good look at that). I missed out on seeing the Old Spanish village just behind. The weather has been as good as gold. We set out again by bus at about 3.15 P.M. for Corpus Christie on the Gulf of Mexico. The country was generally lightly wavy with scrub or none but all was quite green as the country was apparently in a wet spell. Other was just at dust we saw a house (?) on fire. We had tea at another ordinary restaurant you expect over here. Got to White Plaza Hotel about 8.00 P.M. Jim and I in a room.
Weather: Fine. Rose about 8.45 A.M. and after breakfast in drugstore Scott and I went to the White House. We went in the long file that the ordinary public go in, filing through the Red room, the Blue room, the Ballroom and others (the number of visitors passing through the White House must be great, thousands a day, four days a week). After that Jn and I went to the Museum for a short time and had a look at the weapons of natives from the Pacific Islands and Australia. After lunch at the cafeteria next to the hotel, I took a rest, I didn’t like doing it, but I needed it. After tea in the coffee house in the hotel all of the boys except the two Jns went in two taxis to the home of one of the girls that we met at the Richmond hotel (Beta Club) and had a party with some of the girls. The party comprised of 8 boys (us), about 10 girls, Cokes, Pepsis, potato chips, records, dancing, and charades in a basement very tastefully finished in an air force man’s nice home. The hosts took us home at 12.30 A.M. and I got to bed about 1.15 A.M.
Church at St. Bartholomew’s just across the road from the hotel at 10.45 AM. It is an unusual dome type church, big inside, but it was full today. The ushers wore morning suits. The service was very similar to St. Mary’s except the Psalms and the responses were spoken. After lunch outside the hotel with Jim, he and I went to the International Car Show at the Coliseum. We left the hotel at approximately 4.40 PM for the bus which ultimately got us to the Statler Hilton Hartford, a very modern hotel, at 9.30 PM where our photos were takes as per usual. I am with Scott in a room on the 18th floor. This hotel is what experts come from all over the world to see, it’s the most efficient hotel with no comfort sacrificed, only 2 years old.
Evora: Town wall; Igreja de Santo Antao on the town square; Cathedral of Evora; Igreja de Na Senhora da Graca; the Moorish church on Avenue Dr. Barahona; storks nesting on the steeple of the church on Rua D. Augusto Eduardo Nunes; the Roman viaduct (and houses) on Rua do Cano (2 images); house with chimney on Rua do Raimundo; the Roman temple; Neolithic standing stones; a dish of snails; faux Disney ride at the Feira de Sao Joao (2 images). Sintra: