Monday, April 05, 2010

Shiny Shoes, April 1966

Today's photos provide a scarce look at the shoe shine stand on Main Street. This was before everyone wore tennis shoes or flip flops! I have to admit that these pictures make me cringe a little, for obvious reasons. But that was a different time with different standards, which in a weird way adds to the historical interest. You might recognise Chip's mom standing there with her INA brochure in hand.

I'm guessing that the man in the cardigan is Chip's dad; if so this is the only photo of him in the bunch. He looks like a TV dad. How old do you think the kid is? 12 or 13? I was a pampered brat, and can't imagine holding down a job at that age. Well, I'm off to have some tea, and then I'll play the harpsichord!


Chiana_Chat said...

LOL hey Maj, run off a round of Beer Barrel Polka on them keys would you? Wunnerful, wunnerful.

Rarely seen indeed. In my humble it would be nice if Disney shifted the balance to the customer a little more, offering a little less modern character merchandise and a little more human period interest of whatever form on Main St.

A shoe shine boy is part of real life history, I try to look at it that way. With no one offering the service - someone you'd be aware could probably use the modest fee - there's less point to shined shoes and they've gradually fallen out of favor. That's not to slight the (I hope) obvious other issues, just to stress life was complex then too. But besides blessed social change including child labor laws, a shoe shine isn't a likely choice now on the practical point as well: dads in the '50s to mid '60s might have, but few people today wear shoes that are shine-able to Disneyland.

You're right if that's Chip's dad he does look like an old time TV dad... but did Chip's mom think Chip's father knew best? ;)

CoxPilot said...

I remember those guys. I say "guys" because there were two of them, and two shoe-shine stands, and they were great dancers. They would do the whole slap-the-shoes and tap dancing thing, and would put on quite a show. There was one stand on Main Street, and it moved around a bit. For a while it was next to the Opera House. The other was in New Orleans Square. Talk about politically incorrect! They were great kids and very popular.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Thanks CoxPilot for all the added details. Thanks Major for presenting these even with "cringe a little" feelings included.

On a side note, I just got back from Vegas and I can report the shoe shine industry is still alive, at least in the Casino restrooms!

Major Pepperidge said...

CoxPilot, I have seen footage of the kids dancing in New Orleans Square, but was not aware that there was a shoe shine stand nearby.

Chiana, I agree with you; and there probably weren't a lot of jobs for kids of that age anyway (maybe selling copies of the Disneyland newspaper). I don't know, maybe I'm being too sensitive.

TokyoMagic! said...

I know in the early eighties, they had children in the Christmas parade playing Mowgli, and John and Michael from Peter Pan. And sometime after that, they even had kids playing the parts of Santa's elves. Of course being in a parade is probably a lot more fun than having to shine shoes.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Great images today Major. I like seeing the atmosphere characters as not too many pictures exist for them.

Anonymous said...

Good pics, good information, had no idea the park had this feature at anytime.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.

Thanks for the post.


Nancy said...

interesting to see that visitors thought to take these, as you say, many of the "characters" from back in that day were indeed part of the historical story, like Trinidad (the custodian)

nice pictures indeed...