It’s kind of ridiculous how many things I collect…James Dean, vintage Disneyland, 1964 Presidential campaign stuff, WASP items, pin-ups…the list goes on and on…included in the list is vintage Pan Am items. It all started in 2002 (and the spry young age of 14) when Catch Me If You Can was released – I was in love. The pure glamor of the golden age of air travel was laid out on a wonderful buffet of sexy stewardesses, blue travel bags, gold wings, and people in stunning clothing going to exotic destinations.
Catch Me If You Can is undoubtedly one of my favorite films. It is excellently acted, has a fantastic true story, and a feast for the vintage lover’s eyes. DiCaprio plays Frank William Abagnale Jr., a con man who cashed millions of dollars in fake checks and acted as everything from a doctor to a lawyer to a Pan Am pilot all before the age of 18. The film is based upon Abagnale’s memoir under the same name, who now is a security expert and has developed many of the security measures in documents. The book is an excellent read and I highly recommend it, as well as the illustrated screenplay of the film.
After seeing the film I couldn’t buy enough Pan Am stuff, and I think I now own a total of five of the classic square bags, an over the shoulder, and an open top square bag, in addition to several pairs of wings, various First Class glasses, silverware, various ephemera items and even a pair of Pan Am earrings. I used the bags as purses for years until some lame-o designer started to reproduce the bags and hipsters were boasting them around campus (I positively hate it when things I like are cool). I still use them time and again, they are large and a lot can fit in them.
Then just a few days ago, I got wind of a new show coming to television…Pan Am. The show follows a group of flight attendants and pilots during the 60s.
In all honesty, I know the show is simply riding on the coattails of Mad Men, but nevertheless, I am extremely excited! Watch the preview of the upcoming show here.