When we last left off in the blog, there was some drama surrounding Brett’s lost luggage. I am glad to report that it arrived at Palm Springs Airport on Friday morning, intact after a small tour of the southern United States.
While we were glad to finally get it (and the important items it contained for Modernism Week’s Vintage Trailer Show), it was a small hassle because Brett had to take off with the car while we were in the middle of shoe-horning 19 trailers into a small space. This was far more logistically complex that you might think, since we had to juggle trailer spaces and vendors based on access, preference, electrical needs, and parking skills. Our parking plan had gone through six revisions before the show, and there were still several last-minute swaps required to squeeze everyone in there.
That’s a 1935 Bowlus Road Chief, above, owned by John Long.
In the midst of everything, I got tapped by a videographer to talk about the trailers, so I quickly winged a few comments and they spliced them together later. You can see the video here on YouTube.
Still, it all got done by 2 p.m., and we got a short break to deal with our sunburns and hunger before meeting up with everyone at the Riviera’s “Bikini Bar.” We grabbed three of the curtained cabanas poolside and got a chance to chill out with the group. In the photo: Doug and Mona Heath, Kristiana Spaulding, me, Rob Super (with his homemade POP-rivet cap), and Kristiana’s husband Greg with his back to the camera. This was to be just one of the many socializing events, since Palm Springs is all about socializing.
I had been feeling pretty ragged from lack of full sleep the previous few days, and combined with the hectic schedule and a sunburn, it was really starting to heap up on me. I managed to stay awake for Charles Phoenix’s show at 8:30, and it was worth it, but as soon as it was over I grabbed my chance and slept for nine hours.
The weather forecast for Saturday was dismal: 90% chance of rain, and temperatures only in the upper 40s. In Palm Springs, that’s parka weather, and indeed we saw a few people in poofy down parkas and fur-lined hoods. In the morning things were wet with fresh rain and the low clouds made the desert mountains look like Hawaii. We figured it could be a washout, but by 10:00 the rain was over and we started seeing patches of sunshine, then more and more until finally it was a fairly decent day. And the Californians started to arrive, hundreds of them.
The trailer owners were in their element, talking restoration technique and historical details to everyone who came by. I spent the morning shooting interiors (many of which you can see on my Flickr album), which was great in the morning with nice even light and few people crowding the trailers.
By afternoon there wasn’t much for us organizers to do, so Brett, Alison Turner, and I snuck off for a leisurely lunch in the hotel. This was the first time we’ve ever been able to leave a trailer event that we’ve been organizing. Usually we don’t get a chance to breathe, much less eat, so this was a huge treat. It felt like skipping class.
The show was scheduled to end by 2 p.m., but of course nobody wanted to leave, so it was well past 3 p.m. before the doors started closing. We recruited some help from David Winick and his daughter Rebecca to count the ballots for the evening’s presentation of the Airstream Life “Wally” awards.
By 5 p.m. we were at the hotel’s Starlite Lounge for the next private reception (again, it’s all about the socializing here), complete with saxophone player/singer Johnny Reno and a four-piece band. The big screen was playing a slideshow of the day’s events, and between sets of the band we presented the awards:
“Excellence in Modernism” went to Marty Snortum and Neveena Christi for their incredible 1960 Holiday House.
“People’s Choice” went to Doug and Mona Heath for their beautifully redone 1969 Airstream Tradewind.
“Owner’s Choice” went to Eric Bescoby for his amazingly restored 1948 Spartan Manor.
All of the trailers were incredible, well-received, and well worth seeing. Congratulations to the winners for their exceptional trailers!
And this evening we went out for dinner with our friends the Fabers, in downtown Palm Springs, with a stop at Lappert’s for ice cream. Not a bad day at all, and the best part is that we get to do much of it again tomorrow.