A Retro Visit to San Fernando Valleyland | NBC Southern California

A Retro Visit to San Fernando Valleyland

History-loving Charles Phoenix recalls old-school SFV.

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    Charles Phoenix
    History-minded retro buff Charles Phoenix chats all things Valley on Sunday, March 30.

    Some cities send reporters and adventurers off to find the area's retro side, its recent past, a time that's brought to mind by mid-century motels and neon signs and ice cream stands.

    But, no joke: How would one do that in the still rather gloriously retro San Fernando Valley? It's true that many of the Valley's kitschy treasures from the 1950s and '60s have been torn down or lost, but few places have honored their blinky-bright jet-age past as well as the SFV.

    History-happy entertainer Charles Phoenix understands that the Valley is a place of past-era goodness, and he'll be celebrating many of its fender-gleaming automobiles, mascot-fronted snack stands, and vintage mall culture on Sunday, March 30.

    The place? Why the still-pretty-new and dang nifty Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth.

    The kids are saying "nifty" in the San Fernando Valley these days, right? Don't Valley-Girl-isms eventually circle back around and embrace, in a new way, the teenage slang that once was?

    Mr. Phoenix'll pack his slide projector along for the museum visit, meaning Valley fans'll see plenty of fun time photos from ye not-so-long-ago tymes. People in bouffants, people barbecuing, people strolling Ventura Boulevard in pencil skirts and cat-eye sunglasses.

    There shall be cake, which is nifty. See how well "nifty" works? We can bring it back, people.

    Also, attendees are invited to show in Western dress. Bolo ties and embroidered shirts? Yes and yes. After all, Nudie's of Hollywood, the epicenter for Western fashion, was once located at Ventura and Vineland.

    Tickets are $39.

    And we're just betting, we are we are, that someone in the audience will see their aunt or cousin in one of the photos. That's happened at a Charles Phoenix slideshow before, but, really, the Valley? It's a tight community, and definitely where its past-retro, nifty-neato architectural character is concerned.

    Ohhh, nifty-neato. Valley Girls and Boys, please bring that one back, too.

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