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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Palm Springs . . . the good old days

Forwarded to me by dear friend, Alan Skuba, who is a big high mucky muck at Big Horn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Ca. (Kind of like a suburb of Palm Springs). Big Horn is one of those very exclusive gold clubs where it costs $350,000 or more just to join, plus property ownership, and then huge annual membership dues. It is only for the very wealthy. If you have to ask, you can't afford it. (I can't afford it).

Alan owned the radio station I managed in Escondido for seven years. We've been close friends ever since

These photos are from vintage Palm Springs . . . mostly back in the 50's and 60's. Palm Springs still houses the rich and famous. It is a neat getaway for us . . . about an hour and a half drive from our home. Lots to see and do, or to just kick back, enjoy the sun, and relax.

Palm Springs also has a very large gay population. Many gays are in the hotel/restaurant/hospitality profession. Once each year they have a weekend where the gays essentially take over the town. It's called the "White Party." There are hotels that cater almost exclusively to gay folks, several nude resorts that cater to gays (several for gay guys, several other for lesbians). Palm Springs is very gay tolerant.

Fall and spring are often the best times to visit Palm Springs. Wintertime can be sunny but a bit too cool to lay out by the pool and summertime is almost too hot. The pools have misters that help to cool you down but I don't care to go there in July, August, September; around October it begins to be more comfortable (sometimes September is okay). Still nice and warm but not intolerably hot as you find in the midst of summer.

Several times in my radio career I had a chance to go with a radio station in Palm Springs. I declined because I didn't like the hot weather and in the summer the radio audience tailed off because very few tourists were in town . . . mostly locals.

One resort, the Terra Cotta Inn, used to host (secretly) intimate meetings between JFK and Marilyn Monroe. We have visited there and seen the infamous room . . . and the private entrance where Secret Service agents would drop off JFK and he would walk through a secluded area into the private room for his tete-a-tete. Today, the Terra Cotta Inn has been purchased by new owners who turned it into a nudist resort. I think they would still show you the "intimate suite," and you probably wouldn't have to disrobe. You'd just have to be able to be comfortable walking to the site where there were a number of naked people sunbathing. (I'm guessing at that. Better call them first to make sure they'd even be willing to show it to visitors, robed or otherwise).

Just one of the "must-sees" is the Palm Springs Follies. A big time show biz production with singers and dancers, most of whom are in their 70's and 80's. You wouldn't think you'd see a whole lot but these "seniors" will knock your socks off. They look and dance like chorus girls of 22 and 23 - colorful costumes, great orchestral backup, superb choreography, terrific set design. Busloads of people come in regularly to see thise show. We've been, I think, three times. Evelyn says she'd go again tomorrow.

A lot of the landmarks shown in this video are still there . . . but there are a lot more as well.

As you can see, it stirred up a few memories for me.

Enjoy the video.


Thought you might like to see some of the good ol' days. Interesting pix from

Past days in Palm Springs…

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