Howard Johnson's

HoJos

The orange roof. Some artist designed Hojos fully aware of how wonderful that roof would look against a blue sky! Genius! Howard Johnson, thank you! You gave us a wonderful hotel, orange sherbet and a restaurant that made the BEST cheeseburgers. I feel for today’s youth, they don’t get to fully appreciate the whole experience. I imagine being on vacation, and pulling into a Howard Johnson’s for dinner. Life just got a little better!

Howard Johnson's

Howard Johnson’s (HoJos) Bright orange roof inviting guests for cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla milk shake. And a cocktail!

Tub O’ Soda

Tubosoda

Tub O’ Soda, 10″ x 10″ Oil on gessobord

dadlog

lisaraft

Original page from Michne Camping Log, 1971

My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”

It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.

 

Who’s Thirsty?

garden hose

Who’s Thirsty? 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord

We didn’t have water bottles- there was no sippy box, pouch or fancy energy drink. If you were outside playing, and you were thirsty, you would simply turn on the spigot, bend down a bit, wait for about 10 seconds until the cold water reached the end of the hose, then take a long, long gulp swallowing, swallowing and swallowing. Of course, you would then offer the hose to the next sweaty, out of breath neighborhood friend. If you were on your game that day, you might remember to turn off the hose. Or, your father might step in  huge puddle and yell out ” Who left the dam hose on?”

Cherry Kool-Aid

cherry koolaid

Cherry Kool-Aid, 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord

Making Kool-Aid was hit-or-miss. First, you had to have packet. Chances are, we didn’t have enough sugar to fill the measuring cup. Next, to find the pitcher- (dump out whatever old drink was brewing in that!) After accidentally snorting the unsweetened powder when you opened it, get your spoon, add sugar, stir, then pray that you would have ice in the ice-cube maker! If all was right with the world, you would have the perfect sugary cup of cherry Kool-Aid. All in a summer’s days work!

Saratoga Ginger

Saratoga GInger

Saratoga Ginger

Remember Saratoga Vichy Water? Well, they also made Saratoga Ginger Ale! Of course, everyone had the Vichy water. My mother had it for every “adult” party. Each time there was a spill, it was “Grab the Vichy water!!” Not gonna lie, we usually had Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I resurrected this bottle from the Round Lake Antique Fest and thought I’d put the little sister of Vichy in the spotlight. What is Vichy water, anyway?

Coke and a smile.

coke and a smile

Coke and a Smile. 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord

detailcoke

Detail: Coke and a Smile.

I feel for this generation that didn’t get to experience the Real Thing. The commercial- apple trees, honey bees and snow white turtle doves. Everyone knows things go better with Coke. Especially the mountains! Taking a freezing cold Coke out of a galvanized bucket of ice- there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day. It adds life!  It’s a natural! This video clip says it all! Classic Coke Commercial- Thank you Don Draper!

 

Shaken,not stirred.

What is it about the Martini that reeks of class? Fancy glass? Olives in a drink? I would love to sit down with Geotge Peppard (Breakfast at Tiffanys) and enjoy just one Marini. It’s a flirty drink- you would never make one for yourself and sit on your couch drinking it. I can just imagine the music spewing out of the restaurants in the sidewalks of Saratoga, say in 1965. How great would it be to have just one Martini sitting on that sidewalk?

Note: Not even one Martini was consumed for this painting.