Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sliding Through Summer

You know you have a problem when you find slides you don't recall buying.  I either picked these up in a huge lot of banking-related slides I bought at an estate sale about a 2 months ago, or these are two sets of slides I picked up at an estate sale off of Becker Road about a month ago.  Does it really matter?  Either way, it's time for slides once again.  These slides date from 1968 through 1972.

Slides anyone?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

No-Tell Show 'n Tell

In my younger days, I knew about the Coral Court, but never thought much about it.  By the time I was passing by, its glory days were long gone and it just looked "depressing", to coin a word my mother used to describe such motels.   It's shadowy grounds and oddly-shaped buildings were more of a curiosity: who would stay in such a run-down looking place?   Coral Court by that time (and even  many years prior) was known as a "No-Tell" Motel.  Rates by the hour and discreet garages to guard any recognition of your car from the street by friends and family.  A getaway for adulterous affairs and pre-marital shenanigans.

Coral Court in its finer days

It wasn't until later years with my fascination in Route 66 that I began to appreciate the history of Coral Court and so many other fallen landmarks along The Mother Road.

Photo credit Shellee Graham

Coral Court in its final days
The Coral Court may have earned its reputation, but it didn't deserve it.  Built by John Carr and opening in 1941/42, it was a restful and respectful respite for weary travelers along Route 66.  Many of the features of the motor court that elicited snickers were actually designed with the best of intentions.  The garages were to allow guests to protect their cars and themselves from the weather and the hourly rates were originally offered for long-haul truckers to get a few hours of affordable shuteye while on the road.

Last weekend I came across a small cache of Coral Court memorabilia at a yard sale on Butler Hill road.  I believe it's all authentic as opposed to some of the tourist items you could buy in later years such as the Room 69 key chain.  Aside from the matchbook that sports a 2-digit postal code, and perhaps the Christmas cards, I think most of it dates from the 80's or 90's.

In May of 1995, the Coral Court Motel ended like so many sordid affairs, in shambles.  In its place a nice, but decidedly average subdivision (my apologies to those living there, I know it wasn't your fault!) 

Photo credit Shellee Graham

While out garage saling yesterday, I drove by Coral Court (at least what's left of it) and stopped for some pictures.   The only thing left is the original entrance wall.  And even it's beginning to fall apart.

Where so many travelers and infatuated lovers passed in their cars, now stands a vinyl fence.

As if shedding a tear, stones fall away from its walls.

During demolition, The Museum of Transportation disassembled one unit and partially recreated it at the museum where tourists can once again visit, and perhaps remember.  Unfortunately, the iconic neon sign was destroyed by the original owners, pulled down unceremoniously with a pickup truck and smashed with sledge hammers.

You can read more about the life and death of the Coral Court Motel in the book "Tales from the Coral Court" by Shellee Graham.  Full of facts, tidbits, rumors and hearsay, it's an enjoyable read.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


A couple of weeks back we had a power surge at our house.  Nothing seemed to be affected with the exception of both of our alarm clocks in our bedroom.  The odd thing was, on one the radio worked, but would not display time, the other would display time, but the radio didn't work.

Coincidentally, while out garage saling with my wife the following Saturday, she spied this 1959 RCA Victor Levermatic AM Radio/Alarm Clock.  It's a model C1E.

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