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"The Fiery Cross guards you at nights."
March 6, 2013 10:20 AM   Subscribe

In the 1920's, the Ku Klux Klan operated a resort for Christian white supremacists called Kool Koast Kamp near Rockport, TX. For just a dollar a day per family, they offered swimming and "big game fishing" in "deep blue surf," educational activities and "watermelon parties." All under the protection of a "fiery cross" and "an officer of the law, the same Christian sentiment." (Brochure pages 1, 2, 3, 4)

Alternate links to images of the brochure pages: 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by zarq (60 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That terrible addiction to questionable alliteration went back to the 1920s? Well, I guess you're pretty limited if you're trying to start every place name with KKK.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, the old Big Camp Sanitary Restaurant.

Also, the KKK have a long history of stupid-ass names that split the difference between 1990s day-glo triangle rad marketing and rejected Dungeons & Dragons material.
posted by griphus at 10:26 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm sure most readers will know this, but the "Lizzie" referred to repeatedly in the brochure is the Ford Model T, also known as the "Tin Lizzie," which was once the most popular car in America. More.
posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"A prize of a Concrete Lizzie will be given to any person who can find a more wonderful spot..."

What on earth was a "Concrete Lizzie"?
posted by yoink at 10:28 AM on March 6, 2013


What on earth was a "Concrete Lizzie"?

Your turn in the barrel.
posted by thelonius at 10:30 AM on March 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe it drives on concrete pavement?
posted by zarq at 10:30 AM on March 6, 2013


Also, zarq, that's DEEP BLUE SERF. I assume they're referring to some sort of robot sharecropper.
posted by griphus at 10:31 AM on March 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


So they have always constantly used K's where C's should be? Like I needed another reason to blindly hate them.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:31 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


What on earth was a "Concrete Lizzie"?

$20, same as in town.
posted by Tsuga at 10:32 AM on March 6, 2013 [23 favorites]


Officials

There was a nearly identical set of subordinate officers at each level[41]:
Klaliff - vice president
Klokard - lecturer
Kludd - chaplain
Kligrapp - secretary
Klabee - treasurer
Kladd - "conductor", in charge of initiating new members
Klarogo - inner guard, serjeant-at-arms
Klexter - outer guard
Nighthawks - couriers
posted by griphus at 10:32 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Admittedly, using K's in the place of C's is the least offensive thing the KKK did, but I still won't eat at a restaurant called the Kountry Kitchen or fill up at a Kwik Stop on general principle.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:33 AM on March 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


The thing that strikes me is how long organizations have been using this kind of vertical integration to target their core demographic.

I... kind of wish I hadn't meant that unironically.
posted by verb at 10:34 AM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nighthawks

Geez, they couldn't even bother chucking in a silent K?
posted by yoink at 10:34 AM on March 6, 2013 [27 favorites]


griphus: “Also, zarq, that's DEEP BLUE SERF. I assume they're referring to some sort of robot sharecropper.”

Not even that; it's BLUE DEEP SERF. Apparently a sad but rather wise sharecropper.

This brochure is full of funny things. Note on the last page that the whole town of Rockport apparently accepts these "KOOL KOAST KAMP COUPONS" – delightful. This is an interesting bit from the last page:
"We invite you to go elsewhere if this isn't about one-third the price you will find anywhere else at a pleasure resort. But this is sponsored by a great Order that does great things and the question is will YOU BE A TRUE MEMBER of that Order and co-operate to send all those "would-be's" down here and we will show them ourselves with the masks off. Are you unselfish enough to do your bit by BOOSTING. Then jump in Lizzie and speed to..."
Anxious to convert all those "would-be's" who would be a member of the Klan if not for the fact that Wednesday nights are tough for them or they don't really look good in pointy hats. Gosh, I'm sure all those "would-be's" would surely come on over if they saw "ourselves with the masks off." Maybe take them off and keep them off for good, perhaps?

In any case, it's always jarring to see old KKK propaganda begging members to do good for their community by getting involved, but this takes the cake for also meanwhile tempting them with a family getaway.
posted by koeselitz at 10:36 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


p.3: "We ask you not to be extreme in dress."

Hear, Hear. Because a white robe with a pointy hood and eye slits is just practical beachwear to protect against the harsh Texan sun.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:37 AM on March 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Waitaminute. What about Krispy Kreme? If that has KKK roots, then I don't wanna go on living.
posted by thelonius at 10:37 AM on March 6, 2013


That cross doesn't look like it's fiery, but rather covered in giant sea shells. Kampy indeed.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:37 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I... kind of wish I hadn't meant that unironically.

Too many negatives, verb.
posted by Melismata at 10:39 AM on March 6, 2013


Waitaminute. What about Krispy Kreme? If that has KKK roots, then I don't wanna go on living.

Don't worry, they're fine. Unless you're thinking of the Kolossal Krispy Kreme, which I've heard was a southern chain that didn't last beyond the 1960s.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


p.3: "We ask you not to be extreme in dress."

Instead, why not stay cool and practical with a gigantic novelty sombrero?
posted by theodolite at 10:40 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


(the gigantic novelty sombrero is specifically recommended by the KKK guys. I don't know either.)
posted by theodolite at 10:41 AM on March 6, 2013


Hear, Hear. Because a white robe with a pointy hood and eye slits is just practical beachwear to protect against the harsh Texan sun.

Ironically they recommend a "Mexican sombrero." I wonder if that lead to some fraught arguments about racial purity and sartorial correctness.
posted by yoink at 10:42 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


That terrible addiction to questionable alliteration went back to the 1920s? Well, I guess you're pretty limited if you're trying to start every place name with KKK.

They wanted to be sure to get enough mileage out of their monogrammed table linens.
posted by orange swan at 10:46 AM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hail to thee, Kool Koast Kamp
By the shores of Big Snake Lake...
Though your swings are rusty...
We know they'll never break!
From your gleaming mess hall
To your hallowed baseball field
To your spic-and-spam infirmary
Where all our wounds are healed!
Hail to thee Kool Koast Kamp
Below Mt. Avalanche
We will always love Kool Koast Kamp!...
A registered trademark of the KKK Corporation
All rights reserved!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:46 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


watermelon parties

Racist!

wait
posted by shakespeherian at 10:48 AM on March 6, 2013 [18 favorites]


The misspellings are an added bonus. From the last page, "Are you a Klansmas?"

Worst holiday ever.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:55 AM on March 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Worst holiday ever.

It just gets more and more commercial every year. Back in the day, you wouldn't even hear about it until after Klansgiving. Now the ads and displays come out right after Klanoween.
posted by griphus at 11:00 AM on March 6, 2013 [21 favorites]


It just gets more and more commercial every year

Argh! Even my baby sister!
posted by shakespeherian at 11:03 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


And if you thought the Airing of Grievances was horrible for Festivus, you haven't seen anything until you've "celebrated" Klansmas in the traditional way.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:04 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Mr. Akai"? Sounds Japanese to me...
posted by acb at 11:04 AM on March 6, 2013


Worst holiday ever.

You've obviously never been on one of their Karnival Kruises. (hint: never go into the Kaptain's Kabin)
posted by PlusDistance at 11:04 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


...you haven't seen anything until you've "celebrated" Klansmas in the traditional way

And don't get me started on Khannukah.
posted by PlusDistance at 11:06 AM on March 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


c.f. this list of Donkey Kong Country enemies.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:06 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hear, Hear. Because a white robe with a pointy hood and eye slits is just practical beachwear to protect against the harsh Texan sun.

If we're honest, it actually is pretty practical hot weather attire. You may have seen pictures of people riding camels through the Sahara in similar outfits.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:07 AM on March 6, 2013


Does anyone remember the little Klan Babies getting a sound whipping by their mama on T.V. Nation? That's what I thought of as soon as I saw this!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:08 AM on March 6, 2013


I wonder if anybody actually showed up. My read on the first page is that this was a proposed thing, put forth (no doubt) by an enterprising Klansman who had access to some beachfront in Texas and had a Wonderful Idea on his way home from the local Klavern meeting.
posted by jquinby at 11:09 AM on March 6, 2013


I mean, yeah, there are drawings of the resort but it's not like resort operators have ever been afraid to...embellish.
posted by jquinby at 11:11 AM on March 6, 2013


I'm always amazed by how Wite Supermisists are so god-damn Superme.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:17 AM on March 6, 2013


Upon further review of the pictures, the combination of "giant wooden cross on fire" and "thatched roofs" make me think this was some sort of black-flag operation.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


All the counselors hate the waiters,
And the lake has alligators,
And the head coach wants no lyin',
So he reads to us the Protocols of Zion.

(with apologies to Allan Sherman)
posted by Prince Lazy I at 11:18 AM on March 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


White Hot American Summer
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:20 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


—but during the 1920s, the KKK also considered itself a social club dedicated to advancing community. The KKK saw its members as poorer and less advantaged than a corrupt mainstream elite. Alongside punitive, negative actions directed at minorities, the KKK encouraged charity—for the “right” kinds of people. So, for example, individual chapters participated in mutual aid, supporting members who had fallen on hard times and advancing each other’s local businesses.

Sounds like a large segment of the Republican party, railing against "liberal elites", championing charity (mostly by churches) instead of government anti-poverty programs, and singing the praises of the small businessman as the main engine of the economy. I think "punitive, negative actions directed at minorities" also describes a Republican policy proposal or two.

...the KKK have a long history of stupid-ass names...
Many of which were brought to widespread attention through the works of one Stetson Kennedy.
posted by TedW at 11:25 AM on March 6, 2013


Sounds like a large segment of the Republican party

The difference being the modern GOP is slightly more discreet with its racism. But even that's going by the wayside as they attempt to rally their shrinking constituency.
posted by tommasz at 11:30 AM on March 6, 2013


Hear, Hear. Because a white robe with a pointy hood and eye slits is just practical beachwear to protect against the harsh Texan sun.

I actually think "no extreme dress" meant don't bring your white robes, we're trying not to arouse too much suspicion."

Also,

in the 1920s, "Mexican" still meant white people descended from conquistadores, the elite class of Mexico at the time. The fact that they appropriated their gaudy sombreros from ones made by the "Indians" centuries prior didn't figure into the minds of most people.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:32 AM on March 6, 2013


I actually think "no extreme dress" meant don't bring your white robes, we're trying not to arouse too much suspicion."

"...right up until we set aflame a 20'-tall cross."
posted by griphus at 11:35 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


in the 1920s, "Mexican" still meant white people descended from conquistadores,

Cite? (I don't mean that snarkily, I'd just be interested if you have something to link to that discusses this change in the term).

Actually from what I've been reading about the history of the KKK online this place was organized by the "Second KKK" who were less obsessed with black folks than they were with Catholics and Jews. Apparently their fastest growth was in urban areas in the Midwest and West that were seeing large influxes of immigrant workers (Italians etc.). Apparently there's not a great deal of organizational continuity between this iteration of the KKK (which was brought to life mostly by D.W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation) and the post 50's anti-Civil Rights KKK (which was also more rural and more exclusively Southern).
posted by yoink at 11:39 AM on March 6, 2013


The Aransas County Historical Society has some sort of history related to this kamp: http://www.aransashistory.org/soholaunch/Vertical_Files.php#K

I might have to visit them sometime.
posted by tippiedog at 11:42 AM on March 6, 2013


yoink: "Actually from what I've been reading about the history of the KKK online this place was organized by the "Second KKK" who were less obsessed with black folks than they were with Catholics and Jews."

Until the Scottsboro Affair broke in 1931, yes. Until then, the Second KKK was primarily focused on the Catholic church, clergy and their followers, immigrants and especially against Jews. The lynching of Leo Frank was a clear turning point when the shift of their focus turned from African Americans to Jews.
posted by zarq at 11:56 AM on March 6, 2013


This sounds like a great location for the Metafilter retreat!
posted by medusa at 12:04 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


In the 1920's, the Ku Klux Klan operated a resort for Christian white supremacists called Kool Koast Kamp near Rockport, TX.

Pffft.
Amateurs.
In the 1920's, the Klan ran the entire state of Indiana.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:08 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finally, a spot for the MeFi retreat we can all agree on.

"Admittedly, using K's in the place of C's is the least offensive thing the KKK did, but I still won't eat at a restaurant called the Kountry Kitchen or fill up at a Kwik Stop on general principle."

Once, while my family was at a reunion in Branson, my brother and I agitated to go to the Go Karts, and my father told us that putting Ks in place of Cs is done by Nazi sympathizers. It is one of my favorite lies I was told as a child.
posted by klangklangston at 12:14 PM on March 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


As of right now, it is my favorite lie anyone was ever told as a child. And I'm a fairly big fan of lying to your children when its suitable/amusing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:00 PM on March 6, 2013


As far as the KKK being anti-Catholic, I have a little family history in that regard.
posted by TedW at 1:08 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Better change it to clangclangston.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:30 PM on March 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


My small town in Scotland had a café called The Fiery Cross! Yes, it did relate to Clans, not Klans.
posted by alasdair at 3:39 PM on March 6, 2013


MCMikeNamara: "And if you thought the Airing of Grievances was horrible for Festivus, you haven't seen anything until you've "celebrated" Klansmas in the traditional way."

Does it involve Krampus?
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:26 PM on March 6, 2013


“[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001
[my bold]

(The link also has some other delightful excerpts from Bob Jones textbooks on dirty hippies, fire-breathing dragons, and kindly slave owners.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:30 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I grew up near Kings Kids Kamp in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. Sadly, this triple-K nudge-nudge-wink-wink naming convention is more common than you might think.
posted by jonp72 at 5:53 PM on March 6, 2013


"Catlickers"?? What kind of weird insult is that supposed to be?
posted by fshgrl at 10:30 PM on March 6, 2013


Mitchell and Webb: the Confederate Campaigners Club.
posted by cgk at 10:46 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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