Palm Springs Air Museum

After having lunch with Patrick I made my way over to the Palm Springs Air Museum, which I can honestly say is one of the best air museums I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to quite a few. My mom worked at one shortly after I was born, so I’ve always had a soft spot for air museums.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is home to many planes, with its main focus being on World War II, but also features planes from the Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, and the Cold War. These three will soon be getting their own portion of the museum, but now, the subject matter is a bit scattered. The planes are all very visible, and visitors can get up-close to the aircrafts. Many of the planes have amazing nose art as well!

While it is an air museum, they also feature other war related items, including two subjects I find fascinating; trench art from World War I and II, and POW and MIA bracelets from the Vietnam War.

For the POW/MIA bracelets, they had two binders that told the stories of the POW or MIA soldiers and, if the donor wished, their story of why they decided to get a bracelet. From what I read bracelet wearers were both people who supported the war, and those strongly opposed, which I found very interesting. The binders was fascinating, as it mentioned if the remains of the soldiers had yet to be recovered, and some remains were recovered as recently as 2013. These stories showcase that closure from wars can come decades later.

A really unique offering at the Palm Springs Air Museum is the ability to climb inside a real B-17 Bomber (or an additional $5.00 donation)! I leaped at the chance!

One of my personal favorite topics of World War II is the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP for short), and the museum had a wonderful collection of WASP items, including a complete uniform.

In 1943, WASP director, Jacqueline Cochran convinced General Hap Arnold that her women should have their own uniforms. Cochran, with fashion designers at Bergdorf Gorman in New York designed the uniforms, and fashion coordinators from Neman Marcos personally fitted each woman for her uniform. The color blue was very specific, and inspired by Cochran’s time in Santiago, and the specific dye formula was named “Santiago Blue”. A docent told me Cochran kept the formula under lock and key, and destroyed it when the WASP disbanded, so no one else could have the color and it would remain only for the women of the WASP.

Fifinella, as seen above, was the WASP mascot. She was conceived by author Roald Dahl for his story The Gremlins. Disney Animation created hundreds of mascots for the military, including this Fifinella, as they were planning on doing a cartoon adaptation of The Gremlins, but it never happened. If you’re interested in Disney Studio’s involvement in World War II, I highly recommend the book Disney During World War II: How the Walt Disney Studio Contributed to the Victory of the War by John Baxter (I keep meaning to do a review of this book, by the way). It is available on Amazon, and I have seen it in the Disney parks.

If you’re in Palm Springs, I highly recommend visiting the Palm Springs Air Museum. Active Military and their immediate families can get in for free, and retired Military with ID can enter at a discount. Additionally, if you purchase your ticket at Palm Springs’ Visitor Center you can buy it at a discount. To learn more about exhibits, hours, and admission, please visit Palm Springs Air Museum’s website.

That wraps up my Palm Springs posts! I hope you enjoyed!

Palm Springs Village Green Museums

Patrick and I just returned home from a week in Palm Springs, like we do every March, as Patrick has an annual work conference there. During this year’s visit I spent a lot time at museums, and finally visited several small museums that are all clustered together.

Located in the heart of Palm Springs is the Village Green, a small park that is home to not one, not two, not even three, but four small museums; the Cornelia White House, the McCallum Adobe, Ruddy’s General Store, and the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

I’ll start with my favorite, the Cornelia White House. The building itself was originally built by Dr. and Mrs. Welwood Murray in 1893, and was built using railroad ties from a failed narrow-gauge line connecting the Southern Pacific depot with Palmdale. And was part of the couple’s Palm Springs Hotel. It was later purchased by Cornelia Butler White, and this woman was quite the character!

Cornelia White was born in 1874 in upstate New York, and one of eleven children. She loved to travel, and even traveled the Nile River in Egypt. She was also a professor, and from 1905 to 1912 taught domestic science at the University of North Dakota. Following her teaching stint, she moved to Mexico. One of Cornelia’s sisters, Florilla White, a doctor by trade, joined her, along with Carl Lykken, a mining engineer. However as revolutionary war broke out in Mexico, the trio had to flee. They escaped by operating a railroad handcar and traveled over 80 miles to the coast. Before joining her sister in Mexico, Florilla had spent time in Palm Springs at the hotel operated by Dr. Murray, and after escaping Mexico, Florilla suggested a move to Palm Springs. After arriving in Palm Springs in 1913, they bought the hotel Murray owned, and by 1915, another White sister, Isabel White, joined them. Isabel eventually married an author by the name of J. Smeaton Chase, while neither of the sisters, nor their friend Lykken, ever married.

Cornelia enjoyed riding, hiking, and even participating in cattle driving! And she always wore a leather jacket, riding breeches and boots. She is quoted as saying “But I do have dresses and petticoats, I want you to know. I keep them to wear to funerals. I’m afraid it just wouldn’t do to go in riding breeches and my fringed leather jacket – would it?”

By 1944, after Florilla’s death, Cornelia’s home was at risk of being demolished. It was saved though, and moved to another location. Cornelia lived there until 1959, and passed away in 1961. In 1979 the house was moved by flatbed truck to its current location at the Village Green. It is the second oldest standing building Palm Springs, and resides, fittingly, next to the McCallum Adobe, which is the oldest standing building in Palm Springs.

Needless to say it sounds like Cornelia is a woman after my own heart! Her home is a very unique treasure within Palm Springs. Some of the items inside the home belonged to Cornelia, while other pieces of the period were donated.

The Cornelia White House is open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sundays noon to 3:00 pm. It is free to the public, but a $1.00 donation is suggested.

Next to the Cornelia White House is the McCallum Adobe, which as I mentioned above, is the oldest standing building in Palm Springs, and was built in 1885 by John and Emily McCallum, the area’s first white settlers, with the help of local Native Americans. It was originally built on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Way, where it was later part of the Oasis Hotel. It was moved to its current site in 1950.

Today the McCallum Adobe is a museum dedicated to the history of Palm Springs, from Native Americans to it becoming the sun-soaked playground of the stars. The McCallum Adobe Museum does not allow for photography, so sadly I cannot share any of its amazing artifacts with you. The McCallum Adobe keeps the same hours as the Cornelia White House. It is also free to visit, but a $1.00 donation is also suggested.

To the right of the McCallum Adobe is Ruddy’s General Store, which is really something, in that it is a complete fictional general store. It is made up entirely of one man’s collection of new-old stock merchandise from shops, and has items from the turn-of-the-century through the 1960s, but with its main focus on the 1930s and 40s.

Ruddy’s General Store costs 95 cents to take a turn about. It’s open during the months of September through May, Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

To the right of Ruddy’s General Store is the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

Like the McCullum Adobe, the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum does not allow for photography. The museum offers insight into the Native Americans who first called the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area home, and during my visit housed an incredible display on basketry.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is free to visit, although you can make a donation if you wish. They also have a wonderful selection books about Native Americans, as well turquoise jewelry for purchase.

That wraps up the first of three Palm Springs posts! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Palm Springs Postcards

Eons ago I shared a selection of vintage Los Angeles postcards I had collected over the years, mentioned it would be a series, sharing other vintage postcards from my collection. Well, here we are well over a year later and I am finally going to share some more gems with you! I decided to share vintage Palm Springs postcards, as Patrick and I just returned from there, after spending the weekend for some of the Modernism Week events, and I don’t have anything to show for it! So vintage postcards it is!

One of my favorite areas in Palm Springs is La Plaza, a shopping center from the 1930s located in the heart of Palm Springs.

Here are some bonuses regarding La Plaza. I snapped these enlargements of articles and pamphlets during my 2013 visit to Palm Springs. Click to enlarge them and read what La Plaza offered in the 1930s and 40s.

To see what La Plaza looks like these days, check out the following posts.
La Plaza
La Plaza Dos
Out and About in Palm Springs

I’ll end with two postcards from Smoke Tree Ranch.

Smoke Tree Ranch is made up of privately owned homes, as well as rentals for getaways and facilities for events. One of its most notable frequenters was Walt Disney. Walt loved Smoke Tree Ranch, and could often be spotted sporting a tie featuring the Smoke Tree Ranch brand embroidered on it. In fact so frequent was it, when the first Partners statue (the statue of Walt and Mickey) was created for Disneyland Park in 1993, the brand was placed on the tie. Look for it next time you visit the Disneyland Resort. You can read more about Walt and Smoke Tree Ranch here.

I hope you enjoyed! Hopefully it won’t be over a year between this and my next vintage postcard post!

Other Vintage Postcard Posts
Los Angeles
Portland

Coral Sands

Each time Patrick and I head to Palm Springs, we decide to find a different little vintage hotel to stay at, as Palm Springs if full of unique offerings. This year it was the Coral Sands (as recommended to me by my dear friend Kiley of Running with a Chance of Costumes).

I can’t express how much I love the courtyard of Coral Sands. With fun vintage patio furniture, a kidney shaped swimming pool and swaying palm trees, it is a gem. So it’s no surprise I spent a good amount of time just loafing in and around the pool. But I also did a bit of shopping, and plan to share my new found treasures with you soon!

I didn’t snap any interior shots, but I can assure you our room, the “Howdy Doody goes to Bali” room, was adorable, kitschy to the max, and had flamingos galore.

Before heading home, we went out to Salvation Mountain, and I’m eager to look at the pictures and hopefully share them with you all soon! In the meantime I’m happy to be back home, and look forward to the March Vintage Visitors‘ meet-up that’s tomorrow! But first to unpack!

Swimsuit: Fables by Barrie

Out and About in Palm Springs

During our first full day in Palm Springs, I visited a handful of antique malls and reacquainted myself with downtown. I left the antique malls empty handed, but I did have fun walking around downtown Palm Springs and taking time to wander about the odd little La Plaza that I’m kind of obsessed with (you and learn more about La Plaza and view more photos here), and Patrick later joined me for lunch and was able to snap some outfit pictures.

Unlike yesterday, when these photos were taken, the sun has decided to hide behind massive clouds, and it’s raining. Yes, raining in Palm Springs. If you ever watching I Love Lucy, perhaps you remember when Lucy and Ethel visit Palm Springs only to have it rain. Sadly, I don’t have Rock Hudson to come distract me. But I do have wifi and Netflix, as well as a book. The weather is suppose to clear up though for the remainder of our time here and I can resume exploring.

Outfit
Top: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Courtesy of Dolly & Dotty.
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Lux De Ville
Cactus Brooch & Earrings: Belle Lurette Paris
Scarf: I don’t remember…

Palm Springs Aerial Tram

It’s March, and that means it’s time for Patrick’s annual conference in Palm Springs. Last year I wasn’t able to tag along like past years, as I was working, but now that I’ve quit, I’m able to spend time in the dreamy desert of Palm Springs.

We arrived yesterday and after checking into our adorable hotel (which I’m sure will get its own blog post), we headed off to do one of the most touristy things in Palm Springs, the aerial tram.

I had been to the summit of Mount San Jacinto via the tram before, but Patrick had yet to do it, so it was a new experience for him.

It was quite windy at the summit, and colder than I expected, so we only snapped a few pictures while enjoying the stunning views.

I’m utterly in love with this massive outdoor fireplace along the balcony that overlooks Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tram charm on my charm bracelet was actually a find a few years back at Expo, which I bought to add to my California themed charm bracelet. Upon entering the gift shop I was surprised to find that they still sold the charm!

We’re in Palm Springs for a week, and while Patrick is at his conference I have a few adventures of my own planned, but also slated a healthy dose of relaxing by the pool.

Outfit 
Mexican Tourist Jacket & Scarf: I don’t remember…
Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Lux De Ville
Turquoise Ring: West of Texas, Redlands, California…I think…
Charm Bracelet: Made up of charms I’ve found at various shops and shows

A Return to the Orchid Tree Inn

In 2013 during a visit to Palm Springs I shared images of a vacant (and at the time, for sale) hotel and adjacent church. It was The Orchid Tree Inn and the Community Church of Palm Springs, and you can view the first visit here. When we returned to Palm Springs in 2014, the hotel we were staying at was actually right across the street from the Orchid Tree Inn, and it still was vacant and had suffered a major blow. In September of 2013, the church fell victim to a fire.

When we visited in spring of 2014, I snapped pictures, but couldn’t find the words to describe my feelings at the time, and thus didn’t blog about it. Earlier this week we visited Palm Springs once again for Patrick’s annual conference there and I found myself lured to the Orchid Tree Inn for a third time to check in on its state. Sadly, nothing had really changed, but I still snapped photos. I was also prompted to do some more research on the fire and the status of the hotel.

In doing in my research, I came across an article that discussed that the church and Orchid Tree Inn are to be renovated to what is described as a “luxury boutique hotel” and it prompted me to feel a need to share the photos from last year and the recent ones ones I took this week. It is difficult to get fresh photos of a property you can only take photos of from the perimeter, but I just wanted to share these images to help in telling the history and story of the Orchid Tree Inn, and in some way, aiding to its preservation. First let’s take a look at the photos from last year.


Gear up for a pretty picture heavy post!

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