I didn't set out specifically to do a blog of this sort. Rather I had wanted to do a more general nostalgia type blog, and I had actually sketched out a few concepts (they all stunk pretty bad). It is awfully difficult to come up with something original and something of interest. There are a number of great retro type blogs out there, and I didn't want to just do a knockoff of one of them.
Then late one night while perusing the internet looking for ideas, I stumbled on the site ShelleyHack.Blogspot.Com (1). It is a very good blog that focuses exclusively on Shelley and her career. I thought to myself "Hmmm, this is an interesting concept." And then it hit me "Hey, I could start a blog about one of the other popular models of the 70s and then use that as a jumping off point for other nostalgia subjects."
Eureka! I had a solid concept that could work! So the original plan was to focus on one model that was popular during the 70s to bring in viewers and then spin off into different directions: politics, history, fashion, etc of the 70s.
My first choice of a featured model wasn't difficult at all. I immediately thought Kathy would be perfect. She was everywhere during that time. And she had that iconic smile that was unforgettable! That brings me to .....
The First Big Problem
One tiny, little problem: I didn't know Kathy's name. Yeah I know that sounds weird - trying to start a blog not knowing the name of the featured person. However, the creative process works in strange ways.
I did, however, know her first name - Kathy with a K. That was it (2). So I did a quick internet search and immediately got hits thanks to ColleenCorby.Net (another great site.) They have a bunch of pics with the models names including Kathy, Kay and Karen.
I then thought "Well, she probably already has some fansites." However, try as I might, to my utter astonishment, I couldn't find any. Immediately I set up this site, found some pics floating around on the internet and published my first post.
The next morning, after I had sobered up a bit, I vaguely remembered launching the site "Oh no. What did I do?" That brings us to.....
The Second Big Problem
You can probably guess this problem. If I started a website about someone without even knowing their name, then naturally I would launch it without having any material. Yes, you read that correctly. I had, oh, all of about 10 pics of Kathy which would be good for, oh, about 2 to 3 posts. That was when I decided to post once a week (to give me some time to find more material).
So the first few months was a continuous, frantic search for material. Basically as soon as I found some good pics, they were published the next week. As you can imagine, that can't be sustained for long.
Fortunately I found some catalogs on Ebay and began to acquire them to the point that I have a pretty complete collection by now. That has been one of the unexpected side benefits. Collecting those catalogs, magazines, and ads from that era has been an absolute joy bringing back lots of great memories from the 70s.
Also I have been contacted by others that collect the same sort of material and have been able to trade with them (Thanks Blue Senshi and JJ of JJ's Playhouse!) So by the end of the first year, the material crunch was over.
The only pic of Kathy that I had when I started this blog - obviously I needed more stuff and fast!
The Metamorphosis of the Blog
Like I mentioned, the original concept was to use the Kathy's pics as a launching pad into various topics on the 70s. And you can see that vibe in some of the earliest posts. However, that concept - as clever as it was - just didn't pan out. During those early days, I actually wrote a couple of posts that I deleted without publishing - they were that bad. The problem is this: the groovy pics of Kathy and friends just don't mix well with discussions on Vietnam and Watergate.
Very quickly, I realized that I needed to focus on the catalogs themselves and feature Kathy and the other models and their careers. That was what people wanted to remember from the days of their youth (me included!)
So I pretty much just dropped the whole nostalgia / retro idea. I still spin off in different directions, but I keep it focused on Kathy and the other models from the Big Book catalogs. I've added categories and themes, but that is the primary focus and probably always will be during the life of this blog. Which brings me to......
The Third Big Problem
And that would be the future. Despite having an abundance of material right now, it certainly won't last forever. Kathy and the K Clubbers were busy models during that time, but let's face it, there is a finite amount of material out there. Right now, I have plenty for years three and four, but after that I don't know. I'm afraid that the material crunch will rear its ugly head again at that time.
But hey, that's still far off. Let's not worry about that now, and just enjoy the grooviest fashion decade of all time - the 70s!!
(1) You should check out the ShelleyHack.Blogspot. It is very well done. We have also re-blogged pics with each other, so I'd like to tell them "Thanks!"
(2) A quick story within a story about how I knew Kathy's first name. Back in about 1977 (or perhaps it was 78, not sure) I was in the waiting room of an Oral Surgeon's office (had to get the ol' wisdom teeth taken out). As I shuffled through the stack of old magazines on the end table, I ran across a Bride's magazine with Kathy on the cover. "Hey that's that cute model in all the catalogs!" I thought. Deftly covering that mag with a Field and Stream (just reading about hunting elk in Canada, just manly stuff ya know) , I hurriedly flipped over to the article on her. She was getting married and that was the subject of the article. Wouldn't you know that as soon as I started to read it, they were calling me in for the surgery! I tried to commit her name to memory. However, with the anesthesia and all the trauma, I kind of forgot about the whole thing. A couple of days later I thought "Rats, what was the name of that model? Oh well, it's not like I'll ever NEED it for anything anyway." The only thing I remembered was that her first name was Kathy with a K. By the way, that Bride's magazine is ironically one of the few glaring omissions from my collection!