Monday, May 26, 2008


Memorial Day marks the traditional opening of the "season" here. I imagine by now the people who do not live in this area are starting to dream about summer. They look at that jar of shells they took home or that silly stuffed bear from the Wildwood boardwalk and fondly remember their brief week’s respite from the daily grind.

What is fun, though, is to look at the variety of souvenirs that exist, and especially intriguing are the items from the post WWII era. Families packed everyone into the station wagon and headed out to see America. We had won the war; we were moving to the suburbs, and all was right in the world.

It is intriguing to think of them stopping at the Delaware Water Gap and buying a plastic Indian, or going to Washington, D.C. and buying a souvenir plate with all the monuments pictured.

Of course, there are the ubiquitous salt and pepper shakers, the mini spoons with minute emblems of the tourist site unceremoniously glued on, and don’t forget the embroidered silk pillowcases. Shown here is an oil/vinegar set with hand painted roses and Wildwood, NJ proudly named. I am sure these existed for several resorts in the 60s.
In part, it is a look into another “time zone” even though it is only 40 or 50 years ago. How different those vacations were compared to the Disney cruise or the island jaunt that families take today? Even the car trip is a traveling entertainment center with its swivel chairs, DVD players, and food consoles. I remember having a pillow, a book, and pencil and paper--you never knew when you wanted to play the state license game. Speaking of license plates, you would have to be a graphic arts genius to identify some of the plates today! Yet, these “tacky” souvenirs in their own way represent a “kinder,gentler time.” Of course, current gas prices could bring a return to the lazy hazy days of summer under the boardwalk!

21 comments:

Lisa said...

Susan

I love vintage souvenirs. The colors and scenes are so much fun. Thanks for bringing back some fun family memories.

Lisa
www.palepinkandroses.com

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Susan,

That vintage oil and vinegar set is so precious looking! The hand painted roses are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Pei Li

Inka Thomas said...

Those are wonderful. I love that area around NJ and Delaware. Used to go every year. Thanks for the memories.

Inka

Sweet Necessi-Teas said...

I have never been to the northeast, except NYC, but have always wanted to see the places I've heard so much about. I love your vintage souvenirs--they bring back fond memories of our roadtrips in the South and all the souvenirs we brought home.

Dianne - Mama's Pocketbook said...

Lovely! What a nice way to commemmorate Memorial Day! That is a sweet collection of souvenirs you have there! Thanks for the background info and great post! I love your blog too, love the pictures in the side bar, esp. your CEO!

Have a beautiful week!
Dianne

Cottage Flair said...

What a great way to celebrate Memorial Day! I completely enjoyed seeing the wonderful items you have collected and reading your post.

Marie said...

Your post brought back lots of memories. I remember going to Wildwood and seeing souvenirs like that. You have me longing for a visit to the South Jersey shore, and to your shop.

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Great vintage souvenirs! I love things like that. You always have such joyful things to share!
Carrie

Carol at Clutter Bug Studio said...

What a great way to stir up memories and look at this a little differently.

I've never been to Cape May, but I hear the houses are oh so charming. I would love to come visit.

Beloved Creations said...

I love all that summer memorabelia. Looks like you have collected some of the best.

Joyce Lucas - Cottage Collections said...

I've never been to Cape May but plan to one of these days very soon. I hear it's really lovely. Wonderful memorabilia. I enjoyed your post so much.
xxoo MB

Susie said...

Susan, You took me down a little nostalgia tour of yesteryear. I think we all need to go back to simpler method of family entertainment and getaways. Thank you for sharing your treasures.
Susie @ The Polka Dot Rose

sita said...

I love your vintage finds and I love how you tell a little bit about them, thanks for sharing. I love the pin up girls in your first pic!

gail said...

Hi Susan, what a great post! I remember all of those types of souvenirs. LOL You are right, those vacation times were sure different from now. And I would not trade one single memorie... pink hugs, gail

Theresa said...

Susan,
Thank you for the trip down memory lane. I was a child of the fifties, early sixties, and you brought back lovely memories for me. California dreamin' is just like dreamin' everywhere else in the U.S.A evidently, lol. Your blog is great.
Theresa @ Cottage Violets

Janet Bernasconi said...

Hi Susan!

What a fun blog you have! Love the souveniers and the trip down memory lane. I really enjoyed it all. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to stop by again.
XO
Janet
Janet's Creative Pillows

Debbie said...

Hi Susan.....that was a fun read and fun to see all the souveniers from days gone by!

Debbie

Patricia said...

Susan, you are a pro at blogging already! Wonderful writing, I was ready for more! I have been going to the Jersey Shore since I was a very little girl. In fact, will be there for a week in July. May have to get DH to play the license plate game with me.

Pat

Michelle M. May said...

Hey Susan,

It's funny to remember playing the license plate game and having pencil and paper. I still prefer to travel with a sketchbook than a movie in the car any day. Thanks for a great post.

Hugs,
Michelle

Craft Diva said...

oh look! i emailed you about this, but never posted a comment!!! well, here is your comment, lady! great blog...very informative, but it sure did bring back the memories.

Rose Petals & Blooms said...

Whoo-Hoo Susan!! You guessed it! Your the first! I'll be honored to add your name to the "Tulle Delight" first prize basket, and you also are added to the second prize basket, by simply commenting~ Good Luck!!

Thanks so much for stopping by and playing!
Big Hugs to you!
xoxox
Michelle