Home > Design, Personal, Things I Like... > Southbank Vintage Festival & 60’s American key fobs

Southbank Vintage Festival & 60’s American key fobs

We went to the Southbank Vintage festival over the weekend… and very good it was too.

Full of Mid Century style and panache, which apart from thin men with waxed moustaches and dapper straw boaters and even thinner women with Dame Vera Lynn “Victory Roll” hair, big old school tattoo’s and swirly patterned frocks, meant some beautiful teak furniture, elegant ceramics and seemingly endless amounts of tat and general bric-a-brac, all gathered together across a collection of marquees. Wayne & Geradine can be proud of their collective taste and organisational skills…

Anyway, despite (or maybe because of) the vast amount of stuff available, the only things we actually ended up buying were some rather excellent 1960’s key fobs…

… and in a silly moment on Sunday, we had the idea that we should have bought all the fobs from the basket (there must have been at least 200) visited each Motel that still existed, spent a night in the room we had the key for, and then written the adventure up a la Dave Gorman/ Danny Wallace etc. A publishing deal, fame and fortune would surely have followed, as night follows day etc……

Sadly, we didn’t make it back to the festival market, so we settled for looking into the two fobs we had… and what an excellent hour that was, using Google maps and Bing maps for what they were obviously designed for.. looking for random motels in America…

A’s was from Rockford in Illinois, West of Chicago. The motel building was still there, but was no longer the same name as on her fob (which I don’t have with me to describe, I’m afraid…)

Mine was from a place called La Quinta Motor Inn #523, which is located at 6511 Military Drive West, San Antonio, Texas 78242 and surprisingly is still there…..

It looks like a nice place (?) sandwiched between a massive US Postal Service building and its huge parking lot, access ramps to/from Interstate 90 and the Kelly Airforce Base.

Still it’s got 2 swimming pools and judging by the lack of cars in the aerial photo above, there are always lots of rooms available… which is surprising really as it says on the website

“Located just west of Downtown San Antonio between the Lackland Training Annex and Kelly Air Force Base, the La Quinta Inn San Antonio Lackland is convenient to all area attractions. Spend the day at SeaWorld San Antonio and the Brackenridge Park and Zoo. Explore the Riverwalk, the Alamo, Market Square, the King William Historic District, and the Institute of Texan Cultures…”

I like the sound of the Institute of Texan Cultures…  No?

The other thing that amused us was that virtually every single fob in the box had words to the effect that if it was dropped into a mail box, postage would be guaranteed… and we wondered if that included 40 year old fobs being sent from the UK….

Anyway, we conservatively estimated that, after buying all the fobs (at £3 each) flights to and from the US, buying a car, driving thousands and thousands of miles between small backwater towns in the US, paying upwards of $100 dollars a night to stay in each place, food, petrol etc… we would need at least six months and would not have much change from £30k….

Maybe not such a brilliant idea then, but a fun hour non the less (and I still think it would make a great adventure…)

  1. August 2, 2011 at 13:43

    Great info. Thanks for sharing it!

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