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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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In the Author's Acknowledgments of Beach Bum Berry's Intoxica! Berry thanks "...The unsung heroes of the Polynesian Pop era: the commercial artists whose anonymous illustrations- resurrected from old menus, matchbooks, brochures and bar napkins- now grace the pages of this book."

Some of those illustrations in Intoxica! weren't from any of those sources but from a book, You Can't Eat Mount Rainier! by William C. Speidel, Jr. And happily for him the illustrator wasn't anonymous, on the title page it plainly stated "Illustrated by Bob Cram".

You Can't Eat Mount Rainier! was a restaurant guide with recipes published in 1955. Bill Speidel was the editor and publisher of The Seattle Guide a restaurant and entertainment weekly. In 1957 he wrote Be My Guest! In the Pacific Northwest which was a restaurant guide book covering B.C., Washington, and Oregon.*

Both books were illustrated by Bob Cram. Cram was given credit in both books and even a profile on the dust jacket of You Can't Eat Mount Rainier!:

Bob Cram at 29 years has already established himself as a top-flight cartoonist. For some years he has been turning his witty hand toward enlivening the advertisements of advertising agencies and a leading Seattle department store. He is also a partner in Combo Cards, a young greeting card business. His family consists of himself, wife Martha and daughter Robin all three of whom eat, a fact which seemed to qualify Bob eminently to illustrate this book.

It looks as if all the Bob Cram illustrations that appeared in Intoxica! probably came from You Can't Eat... as none of the tropical/nautical illustrations from *Be My Guest...*Such as a sarong clad wahine with fruit platter held above her head for Portland's Aloha Room or a deep sea diver having drinks with a mermaid as a waiter swims down to them from the surface for Portland's Davey's Locker were reprinted in Intoxica!

Below is a list of the Bob Cram illustrations which were reprinted in Intoxica!.

The Intoxica! (I!) page number is first, then a description of the illustration followed by what entry the illustration originally accompanied in You Can't Eat Mount Rainier (YCE). Some descriptions of the restaurants follow, quotes are from YCE unless noted with a BMG which means they're from Be My Guest! In the Pacific Northwest.

I! page 11...Bartender with shaker: YCE Thinking of Drinking? chapter about Washington state drinking laws and regulations.

In 1955 when You Can't Eat... was published a bar couldn't be called a "bar" it was a "cocktail lounge" and had to be part of a restaurant (and could take up no more than 20% of the full size of the establishment) with no direct entrance from the street to the lounge. Ladies couldn't sit at the bar in a cocktail lounge ("...To keep out B. girls who are not ladies.") but women could sit at the bar in a tavern. You couldn't drink standing up and you couldn't sing in a a cocktail lounge. ("It leads to boisterousness; makes the happy crowd more difficult to manage.")

I! page 16...Outrigger with natives: The Outrigger (later Trader Vic's). (Full TC entry coming some day.)

I! page 22...Couple at table waving to couple on island: Canlis

The drawing illustrates that Peter Canlis, owner of Canlis, owned restaurants in Seattle and Hawaii: "...He has created a sort of trans-ocean cafe set all his own. Seattleites who winter in Honolulu by the droves cross paths at Canlis' both there and here." The Seattle Canlis originally had some Hawaiian elements. The 1949 building was jointly designed by Hawaiian and Seattle architectural firms. "The partly cantilevered building qualifies as "Pacifica" in style, using Northwest cedar and stone from Mt. Baker plus native Hawaiian materials inside." Canlis is still open and remains one of Seattle's ritziest restaurants.

I! page 51...Pirate with sword: The Four Winds (later Moultray's Four Winds Ship Restaurant).

The Four Winds was built on a retired ferry boat and had an old New Orleans and pirate theme. From the BMG entry: "A 24 foot pirate towers over the pilot house...And the pirate theme follows through to the menu and chinaware. There area anchors and nets and floats, ships' lanterns, pirates' flags in the rigging, waitresses clad in pirate-like costumes of brilliant reds and yellows and blues. The dining rooms bear the names such as the "Brigand" and the "Captain's Room." There's dancing in the "Pirates Alley" and you can oder a "pirate-sized" martini in the "Rogue's Roost" lounge."

I! page 51...Boater dreaming of a drink: Franco's (later John Franco's Hidden Harbor)...A restaurant on Seattle's Lake Union popular with boat enthusiasts. Decor was described as nautical with "restraint".

I! page 52...Couple dining undersea: The Marine Room...In the Olympic Hotel its main decor were aquariums inset in its walls.

I! page 52...Mermaid fishing: Crawford's Sea Grill the interior of which is barely mentioned but the exterior had 500 varieties of roses growing around it.

I! page 77...Man drinking from tall mug: The Kalua Room...One of Seattle's original Tiki restaurants. (Full TC entry coming some day.)

*Speidal also wrote You Still Can't Eat Mount Rainier! which I don't think I have a copy of.

Uh, I believe Bob Cram's still with us. He was giving a cartooning class, in Oct., 2006. He is quoted in a 2007 obituary of another cartoonist, in the Seattle Times. There is no obit for him, since that date. So, Woofie, now you've done it... get the lid back on that can, before any more worms get out! :)
That, or track him down and see if you can get him to sign his illustrations in your copy of Intoxica!

"The rum's the thing..."

[ Edited by: Limbo Lizard 2009-06-01 09:36 ]

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