Thursday, August 28, 2008

Elvis and Priscilla Barbie Dolls

Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu on May 1, 1967.

The private ceremony was held in one of the most grandiose suites at the Aladdin Hotel, in Las Vegas. The bride wore a beaded white gown, with a tiara mounted on her (fab) dyed black beehive. Elvis wore a black brocade suit. Priscilla's sister Michelle was her maid of honor, while Memphis Mafia members Marty Lacker and Joe Esposito acted as Elvis' best men.

Upon Elvis' request, the word "obey" was removed from the wedding vows. Despite the couple's notoriety, the ceremony took all of 8 minutes to conclude!

Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last long. The couple were seperated in 1972 and officially divorced in 1973.

Mattel (the makers of the Barbie doll) have just released a Graceland-approved box set to commemorate Elvis and Priscilla's wedding. Earlier this month, select fans gathered for the dolls' unveiling at Elvis' defunct home (now a museum) in Memphis, Tennessee.

These die-hard fans were treated to slices of wedding cake and orange juice served in champagne glasses.

images: (1-2) source unknown
(4) source unknown

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ina Turns 14

Celebrating her birthday at home with our family friends from Belgium
thank you Tita April for this gorgeous cake!
After a lazy stroll in the lakeside, we had a pizza and lasagna lunch. We took everybody for a dessert treat at home. Then we all went to Gruyere...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Space-Age Polska Stamps

A little retro eye-candy: I'm loving these space-age stamps from Poland!

image source:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Concordia Bridge and Pont des Îles

Pavilions were not the only noteworthy architecture at Expo 67. Concordia Bridge and Pont des Îles were stunning feats of engineering, playing key roles before and during Montreal's world's fair.

Concordia Bridge

Concordia Bridge was inaugurated on October 21, 1965, at the height of the Expo 67 building boom. Originally called Pont des Peuples and then Pont des Nations, the name Concordia was finally decided upon; "Concordia" being the goddess of harmony in Greek Mythology... a fitting tribute to Expo's overall theme.

Concordia Bridge provided rapid access to Île Sainte-Hélène from Cité du Havre (formerly known as Mackay Pier); where Expo 67's main entrance was located.

One of the world's longest bridges of its kind, and the second to be built in North America, Concordia Bridge offered users a striking view of downtown Montreal and the Expo site. The lack of apparent supporting structure made the orthotropic bridge a masterpiece of industrial design.

Like Expo 67 itself, Concordia Bridge was built in record time: it took just eighteen months to complete work that normally would have taken at 2 to 3 years. And like Expo, its assembly was a great exploit: the bridge was shop-assembled in 5 pieces, then installed from the two banks by means of a travelling crane that ran along a track.

Of German design, the 2265 foot bridge ran in a straight line between Mackay Pier and Île Sainte-Hélène. The bridge was 94 feet wide, with 38 feet reserved for vehicular traffic, 22 feet for pedestrians, and 32 feet set aside for the Expo-Express rapid transit system.

While cars were not permitted on the Expo site, trucks used the Concordia Bridge to replenish food supplies and other necessities after hours.

Pont des Îles

Pont des Îles was opened two years before the start of Expo 67. Connecting Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame, the bridge played a crucial role in enabling access to the jobsites that were operating at a furious pace preparing for Expo.

Pont des Îles' conceptors were faced with certain constraints: structures for the bridge were to be no higher than its deck, and only one pier was allowed. Moreover, this pier had to be set in the centre of the structure.

The bridge was supported by 36 steel cables attached to two reinforced-concrete double towers in the middle. This gave Pont des Îles an unusually elegant profile.

Like the Pont de la Concorde (of which it was an extension) Pont des Îles had reserved lanes for the Expo-Express and pedestrian traffic...

images: (1, 2, 4, 5) personal collection (montreal '66)

(3, 6, 7)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Michèle Richard raconte Michèle Richard

Ain't she sweet? Apparently, no!

Like the picture sleeve for Hey Friend Say Friend, I had been looking for this Michèle Richard collectible for years. I finally found my copy on eBay.

"Michèle Richard raconte Michèle Richard" was released in 1969, when Michèle was 22 years old. Semi-autobographical, much of the book's text was written by Michèle herself, interspersed with "entrevues chocs" by a certain Jacques Matti.

I'm devouring the book, as we speak!

My biggest surprise so far?... I've always been under the impression that in the 1960's, young Michèle Richard was everyone's girl next door, and that it was only in later years that she would be criticized by some for her boisterous character.

Not so, I'm finding out!... Even in 1969, Michèle's extravagant personality was already getting her into hot water!

The back cover included words like "calculating" and "controversial".

images: personal collection