Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Audie and Ehme on Valentines Day, Southern California, 1954

cp_2_16A young couple poses for their Valentines Day portrait in the garden.

Cupid’s arrow pierces the dahlia-lined home made heart hanging on the clothesline between them. A simple floral bouquet stands before them. The garden hose snakes behind their feet. Her hand is in his. He cracks half a smile. She barely smirks. Their dress for the occasion is simple but smart. His cement colored sport coat, thin blue tie and a white shirt tucked into smart black trouser is timeless. Her shapely linen tweed suit and strappy sandals stand the test of time. But her hat does not. It makes her look like a nurse. Her ears are pearled and her are lips painted.

This is one of the slides that I showed when I was a guest on Martha Stewart’s Valentines Day show last year. I couldn’t believe when Martha saw Audie and Ehme her comment was “She’s not very pretty!” I couldn’t believe it. I might’ve thought it but I would’ve never said it.

Speaking of Martha, when I got the call to be on her show the producer told me that it would be nice if I brought something to give to Martha on the air being that it was Valentines Day and all.

The pressure was on! What in the world was I going to bring the domestic diva on Valentines Day? It didn’t take me more than a moment for the good ’ol hometown pride to kick in. The next thing you know I’m at Logan’s Candy Store in my hometown of Ontario, California, where they’ve been making it the old fashioned way since 1933. When I walked in the door the candy man was making one of his specialties, ribbon candy. I asked him if he could make a special ribbon candy heart for Martha. He said I should make it. So after a few tries and some help from his wife I was walking out of the candy store door clutching a very well bubble-wrapped ribbon candy heart made special for Martha. All the while hoping it makes it to New York without getting broken.

Thirty-six hours later I arrive at the studio in New York for the taping. The delicate ribbon candy heart is unbroken, I present it to Martha on the air and she genuinely seems to like it. Then after the show as I was leaving the building I passed by her long conference table stacked with dozens beautifully wrapped Valentines Day gifts. And there was my ribbon candy heart right in the middle. I was so pound to share a little bit of my hometown pride with Martha.

To see the ribbon candy heart and hear how Martha responded when I asked her if she would be my Valentine… you may watch the clip on youtube.

Here’s to Audie and Ehme, Logan’s ribbon candy, Martha, Valentines Day and YOU!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009 – 7:30pm
A live comedy slide show performance by Charles Phoenix celebrating how locals lived, shopped, worked, played and partied in the 1950s and ’60s – experience space age suburbia, car culture, roadside attractions, Pasadena, Downtown L.A., Hollywood, Marineland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, and much more!
Tickets and info here