Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Wigwam Motel on Route 66, CA

Last Saturday night my friend, Chris Nichols, threw a party at The Wigwam on Route 66 in San Bernadino, CA.

With no traffic it’s still a good hour and 15 min. from Los Angeles and I would never make the trek there for anyone other than someone with a great reputation for throwing parties. Besides, Chris had just written a great piece about me in his Los Angeles Magazine blog, so Mark Blackwell and I hopped into the mustache van and headed to the tepees.

Here’s a daytime shot of the wigwams:

By the time we got there the sun was dropping fast.

But it was still light enough to see they did an adequate job of restoring the 1949 original, the seventh and last of the Wigwam motels across the United States, when it was restored a few years back. Though I wish the sign didn’t look so cheesy new.

There’s an appropriately kidney-shaped pool,…

…a totem pole pointing the way in…,

….several Hawaiian themed fire extinguishers, though not sure what that has to do with Indians and teepees,…

…and an excellent snack bar.

Fortunately we also had excellent barbecue prepared by Chef Christopher Martin.

I love the entrance of the Wigwam rooms, plaster mounded to look like pulled-back teepee flaps.

I poked my head into someone’s teepee. I apologize in advance as none of the stuff strewn around is mine. The rooms are small and compact, just this…

…and this, plus a little bathroom.

As far as rooms go, if I were going to stay in a teepee I would want to lie in bed and feel like I’m in one. Instead, the ceiling is so low I imagine it feels more like you’re sleeping in an attic.

But the grounds around the teepees are perfect for a party.

Most people dressed appropriately:

Notice this guy’s vintage Sahara Hotel tie:

Here’s Charles Phoenix and I before he changed into his head-to-toe authetic Indian headress:

Many guests drove appropriate vehicles to the party too.

Check out the Chrysler’s backend:

I definitely wouldn’t mind this parked next to my teepee as an added rec room:

A peek inside:

Complete with excellent curtains:

This was there too:

I would have driven my Studebaker were it not up on blocks and acting like a planter.

There was an entire evening’s worth of entertainment but that’s where I had to draw the line.

I know it’s antisocial but I listen to music all week.

So as soon as the organ, accordians, harmonicas and kazoos began Mark and I jumped into the mustache van and headed back to LA. But not before a fantastic night was had by all at the Wigwam!

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Categories: Architecture, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Nature, Party, People, Place, Sculpture, Sign, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – I’m in the New York Times today!

Nice, big, fat story in the Times on me today + 12 photos. Thank you, Bob Morris, for seeking me out (no press agent involved here!) and writing such a heartfelt, spirited, and happily long piece. My house thanks you too (at least the part of it that made the photo)!

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Awards, Creativity, Fashion, Furniture and Housewares, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, Music, Painting, Press, Sculpture, Self expression

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 9, The City By Car

Wednesday, April 6, had tremendous potential. (L-R) Mark Blackwell and Laura Grover, both of whom worked on putting the whole Detroit extravaganza together with me, and I were being driven around the city by Michael Poris, one of the architects leading the charge to rebuild Detroit. The Majestic Theater is one of his projects.

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Categories: Architecture, Creativity, Detroit, Earth Wind & Fire, empowerment, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Place, School, Sculpture, Self expression, Sign, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 8, Sights In Passing

One of my favorite things in life is photographing whatever I see around me, especially if I’m in a car and just happen to pass something that tickles my kitsch bone or general love of vintage or personality laden locations. Here are some of my favorites sightings that hit my eyeballs while attempting to find wherever I was going my first two days in Detroit.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Place, Sculpture, Self expression, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 6, Joe Louis’ Fist

We had some time to kill on Tues, April 5th, before going to a reception for the Rust Belt To Arts Belt conference I was giving a speech at the next day. The party was downtown so we used the opportunity to swing by Detroit’s most famous landmark, The Spirit of Detroit.

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Categories: Celebrity, Detroit, Place, Sculpture, Sports, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Why Yes Fly Me”… On My Way To SXSW!

This 18 inch tall plaster stewardess is a stone cold vestige of the late 1960′s spirit of flying, when both planes and the people that manned them became more then silver tubes and dark blue head-to-toe wardrobe, finally giving passengers something to look at both inside and out of the plane.

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Glowing Lovers Valentines Day Lamp


This 1980′s plaster salute to love was a hot ticket item in Mexican swap meets in Southern California throughout the 80′s and 90′s. Although back then they were too cheesy for my just-out-of-the-gate budding love of kitsch which, although quite robust, still hadn’t crossed the line to full blown Camembert such as the love interpreted here. Thank God, I had the presence of mind to buy these Siamese lovers as lamps, plain sculptures, towels and any other material their love could be possibly be moulded or stamped upon.

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Categories: Forgot to Categorize, Furniture and Housewares, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Romance, Sculpture

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – There’s More Cheese On Super Bowl Sunday Than What’s On The Pizza

In the lexicon of kitsch, ‘cheese’ and ‘cheesy’ are words often used to describe objects that grace the highest echelon of kitsch itself. As if there wasn’t enough cheese to go around on Super Bowl Sunday between the dedicated–to–the-point–of-Camembert headgear and face paint that loyal fans wear to the game, the obscene price of tickets, the even more obscene money dumped into commercials, the melted cheese on the pizza and hot dogs… it’s a veritable wheel of Brie when throngs gather around the TV screen or freeze in the stadium to watch people ram into each other insuring that life after 50 will be spent in the maximum amount of pain possible.

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Categories: Accessories, Animals, Celebrity, Drink, Fashion, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Romance, Sculpture, Sports

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Kitschtastic East LA and My Saturday Ride with Charles Phoenix

As many of you know, one of my favorite things in the world to do is to take rides with my BFF, Charles Phoenix, and go to places in and around LA that most people don’t know about unless they live in that part of the city. One of my absolute favorite things about LA is that there are so many different sections of the city. But the shame is that so few people who live here venture east of downtown. Charles and I, on the contrary, always venture east and, trust me, it never disappoints. If you’re heading south on the 101, make sure you drive farther than this building (and not just to get off to go the Music Center, Disney Hall, or MOCA).

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Clothes, Crafts, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles, People, Place, Sculpture, Sign, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Fake Jan Day!! Celebrate With A Wonderful Cheese Ball!

We are blessed here at The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com to have an actual Brady in our Bunch and, as such, “Fake Jan Day” is now one of our National Kitsch Holidays! If you don’t know what “Fake Jan Day” is, Cindy Brady will explain it to you here.

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Categories: Celebrity, Food, Holidays, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Recipes, Sculpture, TV/Radio, video

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