Sunday, January 08, 2006

VIP? Ask Me!

I searched and searched but can't find the V.I.P button I had from my youth. I got it in the spring of 1976, as Philadelphia prepared for the nation's 200th birthday. They were giving out thousands of V.I.P. buttons to visitors -- additionally, they were giving out thousands of V.I.P.? Ask Me buttons to residents of Philadelphia. Sort of Rizzo's way of turning up the hospitality I guess.

So, I went online to see if I could find an image of the VIP pins -- alas, I couldn't. But I did stumble upon an image of something I actually remember seeing in person. Everytime those friggin Ride-The-Duck boats drive by in the warmer months, it triggers a memory of this contraption:

This is a Boat Trolley. During the Bicentennial, this ugly ass thing was operated over the rails of the Route 50 trolley from Girard Avenue to Catherine Street. Trolley, you say?? Yes - just about every block had trolley tracks in them - and the Route 50 trolley went down 4th Street (past South) to Catherine then came back up 5th street to Girard. The above image seems to put this monstrosity on 5th Street outside the Bourse Building, whch was still the home to the various Exchanges (Maritime, Commercial, etc). It didn't become a food court/mini mall until 1983 or so.


amber said...

i had two of the "VIP ask me" buttons -- a blue one and an orange one. all my badges were stuck on a pillow that either is in my dad's attic next to the stacks of "evergreen" magazine, or in my sister's apartment -- i tried to keep all the local interest ones (like the i92 "rock of the eighties" button, the one from the commissary piano bar, and about a bazillion versions of skinz and zipperhead buttons. oh and "don't postpone joy" from the last wound-up!)

i will dig around at my dad's for those if you want to get an image. i know JUST what you are talking about. VIP with the puffy letters.

Harveymilk said...

Robert-- I love your blog. I had a VIP Ask Me button, which I wore proudly during the Bicentennial. I will see whether I can find it. xoxo