Thursday, May 01, 2008

Train Robbery at Knott's, 1967

Back in the day when killin' was good clean fun, you could watch a mock train robbery at Knott's Berry Farm! I remember riding the train when a yellow-bellied varmint came on board to rob us, but I don't recall any gunplay afterwards. Maybe it was a real robbery!

Here we can see the conductor chasing a bad man out of one of the yellow passenger cars. Were these train robberies performed on a schedule? I wonder how so many people happen to be nearby with their cameras at the ready.


After a fusillade of gunshots, it's over. The desperado's lifeless body lies on the ground, his pack of Marlboro's nearly spilling out of his shirt pocket. He'll never smoke agin', the cuss! The local folks are mighty glad he's dead, from the looks of their grins.


The undertaker shows up to collect the corpse, using his customized wheelbarrow. Fortunately the bullets hit no major arteries, and so there is no pool of blood to bother with. In my neighborhood, stray dogs take care of that!


By golly, it looks like some lucky boy was recruited to help with the dead guy. Hopefully he'll get some sort of cool souvenir for his trouble. In minutes, the body will be covered in sawdust and blocks of ice, and either buried on Boot Hill or sold to the medical school across the way. They'll want to take a look at his brain and see if they can determine what exactly made him into the theivin' coyote that he was.

8 comments:

Amazon Belle said...

Video games made that theivin' coyote that way... video games!

Great photos Major. I don't know if it was on a schedule but this was more than your normal everyday Knott's Berry Farm train robbery. This was a true show. You got the cast right and in shot #3 you can see the "coyote" has his arm in the air. They would then put his arm down and his leg would go up. To help out they would get a kid out of the audience to push his leg down and then his arm would fly up again. Then you would push his arm down and... well you get the picture... a wonderful sight gag that entertained for minutes. At least that is the way I remember it. Tangaroa, Matterhorn, what's your memory on this?

Davelandweb said...

Great series of shots, Major! Excellent post!

Chris Merritt said...

Believe it or not - my memories of these shows are fuzzy at best! My strongest memories are of being completely immersed by the Hurlbut attractions, the Covered Wagon Show & the Chapel of Transfiguration...

Michelle said...

I was scared to go on the trains when I was little because of the robbers. I remember trying to be brave and telling my grandma that I would protect her. And who wouldn't want a 5-year-old girl to save them from a team of bandits?

Anyway, if I was scared to go on the train when all they did was walk down the aisle and grrr at you, I could only imagine how traumatized I would be if I saw that show! Either way, it's a shame they don't do anything like that anymore at Knott's. I guess the big hulking coasters kind of kill the theming a little bit. Hm.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW, what a neat show! Hey Major, were these from Souvenir Slides? They sure are set up nice.

Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nope, these were from amateur slides!

outsidetheberm said...

Great shots, Major. Wouldn't it be nice to have this type of street atmosphere at the parks again? And Amazon Belle, you pretty much nailed the show the way we remember it.

Unknown said...

Just happened across your pictures of the train robbers and undertaker I am the undertaker in the picture nice pictures. Worked there till I got drafted in 1967 then I got shot at for real.