on the cover:
Beehive-coiffed women, men in fedoras—welcome to Utah in the poodle-skirt 1950s when almost everyone looked like Donna Reed or Henry Mitchell.
Remember when camp meant taking the Ford to the mountains and kitsch was was something German? Post-war wholesomeness—the canned poses and plastic smiles that today look so comical, yet sinister—are reproduced and “tastefully” captioned by author Rick Everett.
Nostalgic, lighthearted, a tribute to the endurance of suburban pioneers, a parody of innocence, this collection of fun-loving spoofs is a fitting memorial to parents and grandparents who “”had it all”—Saltair, Betty Crocker, Dee Burger clowns, Walt Disney at the drive-in, miniature golf…and who could’ve asked for more?
about the author: Rick Everett is a free-lance interior designer in Salt Lake City, Utah. Raised in California, he has made Utah his home since graduation from Brigham Young University. “Utah is good for laughter,” says Everett. An aficionado of 1950s ephemera, he theorizes that tackiness must have been an inside joke. “I mean, could anybody mistake this for culture?”
by Rick Everett
Salt Lake City
In memory of Hermie and Alf
Cover design and photo coloration by Randall Smith Associates
◊ Zion’s Camp was printed on acid-free paper and meets the permanence of paper requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences.
This book was composed, printed, and bound in the United States.
©1994 by Signature Books, Inc. All rights reserved.
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
98 97 96 95 94 6 5 4 3 2 1
If you’re looking for a religious tract, this isn’t it. Ask for a refund.
If not, you may be relieved to know there’s nothing here about the Mormon paramilitary expedition to Missouri in 1834 (the original Zion’s Camp). This is about 20th-century Utah, the new Zion, as in Zion’s National Park.
Not to be confused with vacationing in the great outdoors; this is strictly urban camp, 1950s – 60s vintage, as in “camping it up”—wrapping yourself in a flag, ironing your hair, and lip-syncing to the Andrews Sisters.
Webster’s says that camp is a kind of sensibility or way of looking at the pretense in everyday life. Camp looks at the masks we wear, acknowledges our struggles with fashion and “being cool,” accentuates our clumsiness, then roars with laughter.
Detachment helps, which is why I chose the past instead of the present. But, hey, the 1990s can be just as campy. So for a moment don’t worry about political correctness. We’re not laughing at anyone in particular, we’re just laughing…