Posted on May 28th, 2012 1 comment
For most kids, Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer, the start of the tourist season and a great 3-day weekend for barbecuing. But let’s take a quick look at what Memorial Day is really all about…
A little history lesson: Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873, and was adopted by all states after World War I. In 1971 Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May, to give us a three-day weekend.
Today we honor our fallen troops with memorials, dedications and parades. But we also honor their memory by enjoying the very things they gave their lives for, including spending time with family and friends, picnics, barbecues and special events. Many states have massive fireworks displays as a bittersweet reminder of “bombs bursting in air”, and that we are blessed to be living in a time of relative peace.
To all the men and women of the United States Military, past, present, and future: We thank you for your service and your sacrifices, and salute you!
Here’s last year’s Tiki Lounge post, featuring 1955’s Picnic for Mod Movie Monday: Memorial Day at the Tiki Lounge 2011
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the Lanai, eating a burger and macaroni salad at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge
Posted on May 30th, 2011 4 comments
Memorial Day is about remembering the brave men and women who fought and died for our freedom and for the our wonderful country. It’s also about the start of summer, and barbecues, and picnics. So for this Monday I though, what better movie to feature than
starring Kim Novak, William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Rosalind Russel, Betty Field and Susan Strasberg. (Ok, this flick takes place on Labor Day weekend, but we’ll pretend it’s Memorial Day) Drifter Hal Carter (Holden) blows into town to visit his old frat buddy Alan (Robertson). Alan’s old man is the town’s rich guy, by the way. So Carter, one of those guys who is really full of himself but doesn’t have dime or a donut to show for it, charms his way into talking the old man into a job…but of course, he doesn’t want to start at the bottom, he wants to run the place from the start. Meanwhile, Carter meets Alan’s squeeze, the incomparable Madge (Kim Novak). Madge’s old lady has been poor all her life and insists Madge marry into money…but of course, Carter sweet talks her until…well, you get the basic picture. There are some great scenes in this flick, ranging from full drama to silly comedy. But the scene that it’s best known for is the dance between Kim Novak and William Holden, late night at the Picnic. The tension between the two characters has been building throughout the film, and finally comes to a head during one of the most impressive “fall in love during a two minute dance” scenes in film history. From way it’s filmed with the colored party lights in the background, to the “take me now” look on Novak’s face, the one of the greatest songs ever played in a movie, the scene is just perfect. Two songs, by the way…the dixieland party band playing throughout the picnic suddenly switches to a west-coast jazz version of the old standard “Moonglow”, then magically adds a string section when it sweeps in with “Picnic” to lay down the music bed for “The Theme From Picnic”, played in real life by Morris Stoloff, and written by George Duning and Steve Allan (Allan is credited for combining the two melodies into a perfectly-synced medley).
As far as this jazz kat is concerned, there are three defining versions of Moonglow: Goodman’s quartet version, Shaw’s orchestra version, and Stoloff’s jazz version. This was a pretty steamy scene for 1955, by the way…back in the days when open-mouthed kissing wasn’t allowed in movies, people could get excited over just the idea that two characters might be even thinking of sex…and that’s what this scene produces. The way Novak barely moves, the way Holden melts at the sight of her. And something uncommon in non-musical movies of the era…they are actually dancing to the song being played, choreographed (lightly) to fit with the tune. Dig it, I think you’ll agree…
Happy Memorial Day, kids. And thanks again to all the troops…remember the fallen, appreciate the active, respect the retired. -Tiki Chris reporting from the poolside BBQ at Tiki Lounge Talk, the B-Lounge for hep cats and swingers.
Posted on May 31st, 2010 No comments
We’ll be BBQ’ing dogs, burgers and hot Italian sausage at the Tiki Bar in South Florida today, washing them down with Cuba Libres and other assorted niceties. Down here there are no seasons, so Memorial Day pretty much just means starting Tuesday the traffic will be lighter.
Up north, summer begins…the Jersey shore town boardwalks will crank up into high gear; soon the smell of caramel popcorn, suntan oil and pizza will fill the air 24 hours.
In the meantime kats, let’s not forget the reason the holiday was set to begin with…to remember the brave Jacks and Jills who gave it all to keep America proud, safe, beautiful and free. From the Revolutionary War soldiers to the people risking their lives all over the world today, here’s a big thank you.
Memorial Day Weekend also means the hot days of summer are here to stay, at least for a while. In SoFla summer is like winter up north…people stay inside more, but in the AC instead of heat. Of course in our ‘winter’ you can go to the beach or swim in the pool, and you never have to worry about the hot sun melting your car door lock shut like the ice freezes them shut up there. In fact, even on our hottest days if you relax under a palm tree, out of the sun, there’s usually a nice breeze to keep you comfy.
Whatever you’re doing today, live it up. It’s a day of remembrance and relaxation, a day to celebrate our freedom by having fun the way America is built to do!
Mermaids at the Wreck Bar
It was on May 31 last year that the Wreck Bar’s fate was uncertain. The Sheraton Yankee Clipper closed for extensive remodeling, and no one was sure if the remodel would include the historic bar (themed like a sunken ship) would survive. (see last year’s post here). Well the news turned out to be great…not only did they keep the Wreck Bar intact, they fixed it up, and kept the windows looking out on the pool…so the Mermaids swim again, every Friday evening at five. So if you’re in Fort Lauderdale on a Friday night make sure you stop in and see Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (AKA Medusirena) and her pod of below-water beauties. They’re a real blast from the past, doing their underwater rumba to great Exotica music, just as if it were 1957!