September 18, 2007


It may seem that I've been slacking on the blog front lately. On the contrary dear reader, I've been diligently assembling another post-a-day Halloween countdown, so stay tuned. Actually, I have been doing a little slacking though. This weekend for instance, I took a tip from a friend and visited a semi-secret fun spot near Gore, Oklahoma. Now, as a retro-lovin' human, I always have my eye out for places that match all of the following criteria...
-Built in the mid twentieth century
-Has not been severely updated and/or modified
-Has been exquisitely maintained

You guessed it, I found a new-to-me example of such a place. That's right, the Fin and Feather Resort! How did you know? Oh, right, the photo at the top of the post. Oh, and the title too. Well, this place has been a backdrop for family vacation slide shows since 1960. And now I'm looking forward to investing some of my own vacation days there. So I thought I'd share a quick photo tour of my new favorite lakeside hideaway. My pictures make it appear deserted, but that's only due to some strategic timing. Believe me, the place was brimming with folks looking to unwind on this mid-September weekend, including a sizable group of proud, sweatshirt-wearing scrapbook enthusiasts.

So, did you catch the mis-aligned, dare I say wacky lettering on the sign above? I tell ya, words couldn't look friendlier. And if you weren't all that impressed then maybe this other logo will float your boat...

And there are additional logo styles within. I'm not mocking; that's a good thing for this type of place. It indicates a non-corporate mentality and exudes a sense of history. Ah, just the sight of it gets me all relaxed again.

Does it make me some kind of nerd for getting excited about a plastic typeface on a metal awning sporting royal blue fringe?

The entrance I spoke of so fondly is for this stone-faced building that's home to an enormous buffet, a burger joint, and of course, a gift shop.

Does it make me some kind of dork for getting such a charge out of a table full of Autumnal brick-a-brack?

Their ample waiting room felt like a rich grandma's sun room.

There's logo number three.

The faux white wrought iron tells you that this is a place that is extremely comfortable with its identity. The main draw of the evening was "1920's Night" at the buffet. Although the only thing '20s was the flapper outfits worn by the waitresses. I took this shot right before the doors opened to a hungry stampede. People were lined up a half hour beforehand. We waited at least a half hour before getting into the 200 seat dining hall and the winding line hadn't shrunk a bit by the time we'd finished eating. It felt like we'd gotten in on some big secret. And the secret was.. really good food.

An organ like this on the edge of a dining room is always a good sign. And thankfully, it provided the soundtrack to our meal. Again, no 1920's music, but a solid collection of standards à la Autumn Leaves and Strangers in the Night, the sort of music that my grandma might have purchased on an LP at the grocery store in 1964. Bliss.

The dining hall emptied into a well-thought gift shop. And oh, my soul, if it isn't a 20-peg display of genuine S.S. Adams novelties.

But the true character of the Fin and Feather shown through when my son busted the head off of a 20 dollar souvenir figurine in the gift shop.. and they refused our offer to pay for it! It's that kind of place folks.

Back out on the campus we spy a walking trail and one of the cabins, complete with a low stone wall for proping up your feet while porch-sitting.

Why, yes there is a Frisbee Golf course.

Further proof of the Frisbee Golf course.

The Great Hall was full of unbridled scrapbooking. You know, I wouldn't mind metal buildings so much if they were all done in alternating red and white.

During on-season you can rent skates and play sweet video games at the Fin Bin. However, it served as yet another scrapbooking arena last weekend.

This is one of the few places where you can see both a catch-and-release fishing pond and a four story birdhouse without having to turn your head.

They've got the metal, two-tone umbrellas. Of course they've got the metal, two-tone umbrellas!

And finally, an after hours peek in the Fin Bin.
Does it make me some kind of dolt for taking great comfort in simply knowing that this part-time skating rink with the carpeted walls was abuzz with scrapbook makers until dawn's first light?

Well, if that wasn't refreshing for you then your soul must be shriveled and dead. Check out the Fin and Feather web site for more info.


Todd Franklin said...

You just can't go wrong with two-tone umbrellas! Looks like a fun place and reminds me of how my neck of the woods once looked.

The CDP. said...

Wouldn't you know it, there's a Fin & Feather in the small village I grew up in! In fact, me and my wife had our post-wedding dinner there!

It's burned down a few times, so it's been (sadly) modified to somewhat resemble the 21st century, but you can check it out here =

What a small world.

Anonymous said...

You're a genius for finding this place. Anyplace with red and white painted ANYTHING is for me! Maybe you could offer help them with their promo flyers? That Fall Festival piece on the website looks like a Steven Spielberg produced heavy metal concert!!

Devlin Thompson said...

Looks like quite a place... but am I correct in my assumption that your actual criterion was "built in the mid-TWENTIETH century"? 'Cause this place doesn't really seem to have much of an antebellum flavor...nor even Civil War Centennial FAKE antebellum flavor, which is a whole 'nother worthy subject.

Kirk D. said...

todd- maybe if you put some two toned umbrellas around your place you'll start a whole new revitalization movement.

cdp- I can definitely sense come coolness in your FnF. I admire places that are constantly burning down.

anonymous- They had fall festival posters with that same design that were six feet tall. I was forced to submit to the fall festival propaganda. It was just too powerful.

devlin- aw geez. thanks for the correction. Tis fixed now. That's what I get for writing this stuff past by bedtime. Now I think I'll go watch some Buck Rogers and the 24th century or something from 21st Century Fox.

Max the drunken severed head said...

Great vicarious fun, Kirk! Thank you for all the hard work just so we could all enjoy the Fin And Feather!

Dane said...

I'm so glad I found this blog. We have much in common. I knew from that very first photo with that fabulous typography that this would be an enjoyable post.

Kirk D. said...

Thanks so much Max and Dane. Glad it's being TRULY appreciated!