KLRU Q Americana Night – 12/23

KLRU Q presents a night of some of America’s favorite things!

6:05pm – 1955 World Series: Seven Days of Fall

This program about the 1955 Brooklyn Dodger/New York Yankee World Series is based upon the poem, entitled “1955”, by James T. Crawford. In unprecedented style, the presentation uniquely blends the normal documentary elements of archival film footage, still images, narration, player and fan interviews, period music, and recital of the poem to recount this timeless story 50 years later. It’s a program about dedication, teamwork, belief in one self and commitment to achievement against all odds; the story of the Brooklyn Dodger’s only World Championship after 65 years of futility, and of the team’s unique connection with the community that so closely identified with it. ‘1955’ is more then a sports story, but a time capsule of a period in American history like no other. Or as, the documentary’s epilogue states: To believe was to achieve … back in 1955″.

7:00pm – Tupperware! American Experience
In the 1950s, American women discovered they could earn thousands — even millions — of dollars from bowls that burped. “Tupperware ladies” fanned out across the nation’s living rooms, selling efficiency and convenience to their friends and neighbors through home parties. Bowl by bowl, they built an empire that now spans the globe. This documentary, narrated by Kathy Bates, reveals the secret behind Tupperware’s success: the women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds who discovered they could move up in the world without leaving the house. “Tupperware!” charts the origins of the small plastics company that unpredictably became a cultural phenomenon.

8:00pm – Greetings from Forgotten Florida
This light-hearted one-hour documentary tells of Florida’s golden age of tourism in a wonderful, wacky, fun-loving way. It takes viewers to destinations in Florida where thousands of families from all over the United States traveled including Goofy Golf, Jungle Jane, Parrot Jungle, Florida’s oldest theme park, Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven and Marineland – the world’s first oceanarium. Before the arrival of mammoth theme parks like Disney World, Florida was a more whimsical place-with a different, perhaps quirky sense of make-believe that drew tourists back year after year. From the turn of the century through the 1970s, American families flocked by the thousands making the long journey south to visit Florida. Greetings from Forgotten Florida tells the wonderful (and sometimes strange) stories of the and entrepreneurs who created Florida’s classic destinations. Through remarkable archival footage and home movies, the film reveals that even though some of Florida’s tourist treasures are gone, they are definitely not forgotten. Drawing on the recollections of people who were part of Florida’s golden age of tourism we meet a Weeki Watchee mermaid from the 1950s; the original dolphin trainers from Marineland; and families who would leave the cold of a New England morning and drive through the night–to wake up to the smell of warm sea air and the taste of fresh orange juice squeezed from a roadside grove. Journey back to a time when tourists envisioned beautiful mermaids, dancing dolphins, glass-bottomed boats and coral castles in Greetings from Forgotten Florida. It’s a nostalgic excursion to a magical time and place for the whole family.

9:00pm – Leisurama
This program tells the story behind the sophisticated and creatively marketed housing communities built during the late 1950s and early ’60s in Montauk, NY and Lauderhill, Fla. Dubbed “Leisurama,” these new homes sold for as little as $12,995 and arrived completely furnished and stocked with every imaginable modern amenity. Macy’s exhibited a full-scale model of the house on the ninth floor of its flagship New York City store. Throughout this colorful documentary, architects, homeowners and historians explain the significance of the Leisurama homes. In recent years, a renewed interest in mid-century moderism and Cold War-era ephemera rekindled interest in the Leisurama house.

9:55pm – Program About Unusual Buildings & Other Roadside Stuff
Rick Sebak brings his trademark flair to a road trip in search of America’s most interesting, wacky and goofy buildings, celebrating places such as the Big Duck on Long Island, the National Fresh Water Fishing National Hall of Fame (in the shape of a giant fish) in Heyward, Wisconsin, and the world’s largest catsup bottle, built as a water tower in Collinsville, Illinois.