The 1953 MGM movie "The Long, Long Trailer" starring Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball has always been one of my favorites. It's the story of newlyweds Nicky and Tacy Collini who strike out cross country pulling "forty feet of train" in the form of a New Moon Travel Trailer pulled by their 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible through busy city streets and up steep, winding mountain roads. The characters aren't a far stretch from their Ricky and Lucy roles, so it might well have been an "I Love Lucy" movie. It's filled with plenty of Lucy zaniness and Ricky frustration. At the time, the movie was the highest grossing MGM comedy to date and had a great economic impact on the Redman Homes, manufacturer of the New Moon, resulting in an increase in production from one or two trailers a day to hundreds.
This weekend, I was at a sale and found another stash of 35mm slides (I can't help it, I'm addicted). A handful of the slides featured an older couple sitting in front of their own New Moon.
At the same sale I also saw the original brochure for the trailer featuring Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.
Image courtesy Nancy's Vintage Trailers
They had also saved a newspaper feature on the movie. Clearly, this couple was a fan of the movie as well.
As it turns out, the husband, Frank Mihalyi, was co-owner of and designer at the Benjamin air rifle company here in St. Louis. I'm not sure which gentleman above is Frank.
At least on one occasion, they stayed at the Royal Palm Trailer Park. There are a number of parks bearing that name today, so I'm not sure which one it was.
In case you haven't seen the movie, here's "The Long, Long Trailer" trailer.