Selling My Crap on eBay, Day 16: Fabulous Palm Springs

This is Day 16 of a 21-day series. More scoop on the who/what/why, here.

November 1957 issue of the Palm Springs Villager magazine

There is a part of me that wants to live in 1957.

Or rather, that longs for a completely phony 1957, a mid-Century that Madison Avenue and Hollywood colluded to provide us with, in glorious Technicolor and tufted leatherette. A grownup, made-up 1957 that always existed just outside my reach as a real child born in 1961. I would only ever get to enjoy the ladies-in-gloves/men-in-ties styling, the swank "Continental" and exotic Polynesian dining, the cigarettes proffered on every coffee table from one step removed.

the author's parents in a speedboat, March 1961

Of all the storied places from my aspirational youth, the one that intrigued me the most was Palm Springs, the spot where my parents madly, all-too-quickly fell in love, at Jack Webb's house, no less. According to my grandfather (who was known to embellish the yarns he spun, so, you know, caveat, etc.), Jack Webb was a man who enjoyed the company of young people so much that on occasion, he had a batch of them imported to his place in Bel Air and/or his fabulous Palm Springs getaway. My parents, according to legend, met at the former and, three days later, announced their engagement via telephone at the latter.

I wish I could tell you they all lived happily ever after, but they did not, neither severally nor together. The various twists and turns of fate that helped drive them apart I'll save for another time; for now, suffice to say that one should be wary of falling in love with gloss, or at least that one should reserve gloss-lust for objets, not people.

inside page of Nov 1957 Palm Springs Villager

This here magazine is some of that acceptable gloss. This particular issue of The Villager, "the magazine of fine desert living," is from November of 1957, and sports a Spanish-y theme. ¡Olé! The articles are, well, pretty much what you'd expect: innocuous, non-noteworthy advertorial-type filler. But oh, my, the photos and advertisements! If you are a fan of mid-Century typefaces, you will be in hog heaven: it's all Futura and swooshy, handmade serifs inside.

There is even a hint of mildewy-old scent, to conjure up images of kidney-shaped pools wrapped by Case Study houses in that indoor-outdoor California style of yore. (No actual mildew, just a bit of funk to keep it real.)

Would this item complete your homage-to-mid-Century-eclectic sunken living room? Email the 'tater and make us an offer: miz.tater AT gmail DOT com.