Summer Fun for Everyone

CA-Modern's summer '23 issue warms us with new tales of art, nostalgia and escape
  Fridays on the Homefront
The new summer '23 issue of CA-Modern magazine (above) is now en route to our Eichler and Streng homeowners. The cover illustration above is by Matt Leiker

Ah, the lazy days of summer, blending balmy weather with carefree picnics, and everybody's favorite—family road trips.

Summer also means a trip to the mailbox to bring in our fresh-off-the-press summer '23 issue of the Eichler Network's CA-Modern magazine. It's that time.

The summer issue is filled with retro flair, as hinted by the cover art created by talented artist Matt Leiker.

Inspired in great part by summer road trips he once took with his family as a child, Leiker takes us through 'Love Letters to the Road,' a great read by features editor Dave Weinstein that revisits Leiker's childhood vacations—to Disneyland, retro motels, and fun in the sun.

"There's an idealized version of what an American road trip is, what a summer vacation is. And I feel lucky to have kind of experienced that as a kid," points out Leiker.

Fridays on the Homefront
'Love Letters to the Road': Matt Leiker's art—childhood vacations never to be forgotten.

An artist with a gift for capturing modernism at its Googie best, Leiker illustrated the book Anaheim Vacationland by David O'Neal. He also illustrates our 'Love Letters to the Road' story.

Weinstein explains that "Matt's 'painting with paper' series can evoke places in decay, Googie objects that have seen better days, much as had the motels of Anaheim by the time Matt had returned there in the 1990s."

Since Leiker and his family once lived right across the street from Disneyland back in the day, he regularly walked past a favorite Googie sign, the Eden Roc Motel.

"When the sun was going down in the west, and the neon on that sign started to come on, and the little starbursts were chasing each other—to me it just looked magical," he says.

"At the end of the day, my art—both the earlier and the later work—is a love letter," he says, an affectionate nod to the thrill of a childhood spent growing up in the sensational swirl of the mid-century modern world.

Fridays on the Homefront
More 'Love Letters to the Road.' Art by Matt Leiker

Leiker's cover art for the summer issue sets the stage for another feature, on postwar bowling centers, the heart of many a community from coast to coast back in the 1950s and '60s.

In 'Memory Lanes,' written by yours truly, we revisit a pastime "lost to time—the stunning architecture and endless fun of mid-century California's classic bowling palaces."

Taking us on a nostalgic journey to the strikes and spares of this nearly-lost world, readers travel back to an era when '60-foot neon signs flashed along boulevards, and atomic starbursts glowed, inviting motorists to drop in, day and night.

Keep in touch with the Eichler Network. SUBSCRIBE to our free e-newsletter