I don’t wonder so much now how I grew up thinking that life was going to be for me as it was for Steve McGarret (played by Jack Lord, actually born John Joseph Patrick Ryan–that’s three cool names) on Hawaii Five-O. Obviously, and I hate I have to say this, the original H5-0, not the current, ridiculous remake. I don’t wonder so much now why I didn’t grow up in the Brady house, although I wanted to then and I mean the actual house. I didn’t care so much for the “family”; I was actually looking at the design of the house and the designs that Mike Brady (played by Robert Reed, actually born John Robert Rietz–good idea to change the name, Bob) came up with as the cool but kind of annoyingly non-confrontational dad on the BB. (I have researched it and Robert Reed was actually a Shakespearean trained actor who got mad at the slapstick schtick, so to speak. Look here http://boingboing.net/2007/12/30/mike-bradys-angry-sh.html. I don’t wonder because I now know the producers/writers/designers were creating something for me to dream about, something without the grinding wheels of war from the forties, without the mess, something better and brighter, possibly pastel even. I get that now and it is ok with me. I was too young to fight it as a teen in the sixties and seventies (since I wasn’t a teen, I was only six when the decade turned). I simply grew up with it. My anger turned on at the appropriate hormonally driven age, which corresponded with the eighties–another story.
Anyway, I liked the design from the time I was a kid. I liked the low flat roofs. I like ranch houses. I like the dream of “midcentury modern”, the fifties and sixties architecture. I should differentiate here in that I don’t like the blinded, soggy thinking of what is portrayed as American middle class from this time. I like the architecture and design. Somehow I would like to be from the Beat Generation (see Jack Kerouac, actually born Jack Kerouac–see, better already, more honest for sure!) in my thinking but non-ironically live in a beautiful sprawling ranch style house with a pool. And, to my credit, this is kind of who I am!!
I am not saying I want to move to Palm Springs, where we just went for a very hip, modern-type weekend and where this photo was taken in the emptied office of a parking garage–how hip is that? But to live somewhere warm and in a house with clean lines, and be friend with earnest, honest, real people living important lives and not simply lost in the simple rectangular shapes of the time in my memory when things worked out ok in 24 minutes, plus 6 for commercials.
PS: I do realize this light is not actually a midcentury modern piece, but the photo, for me, evokes that time somehow. The stairwell is from the sixties probably or seventies and the whole scene, literally in a parking garage office, was too good. If you are a die hard purist, I beg your forgiveness.