Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gold Flecks and Karpet Squares

I guess I'm having a hard time imagining Desi Arnaz being so interested in some rubber carpet squares. So interested that his disembodied head - and Lucy's, too - are floating above said rubber squares with facial expressions that convey Burning, Brooding Intensity.

But let's pretend that he did, back in 1957 when this ad appeared. That he did care deeply about what was under the carpets at the Desi Arnaz Western Hills Hotel in Indio, California. Allen Industries made these fetchingly misspelled Karpet-Squares of the finest...um...rubber. And look, they were even tested by McCall's Magazine. Sold!

I didn't even know that Desi had had a hotel. According to the Kentucky New Era of March 30, 1957, it was "a multimillion-dollar hotel country club resort." It was right next to the Indian Wells Country Club which was also owned by Desi.

Each of the 42 rooms had its own private bar, as well as "original paintings, gold fleck draperies and [a] private patio." In the main dining room there was a sunken bar - very trendy - and a lot of the drinks recipes were Desi's personal favorites.

All of this splendor cost Desi a million dollars. I don't know how much of the budget went to Karpet-Squares, though.

Over at Flickr there is a great picture of the hotel in a 1958 ad for the National Lock Company. Lucy does not appear in this one, so I am not sure if she liked the golden doorknob featured in the ad. And here's a postcard from the hotel, depicting with ladies on lounge chairs around a pool.

Never mind the fancy rubber carpet squares. I was sold as soon as I heard about those gold fleck draperies.

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