Saturday, June 30, 2012

Party in the Basement, June 1960

Come on over, we're having a pot luck party in our wood-paneled basement! Bring that ambrosia that you are so famous for, it's deelish. Gladys is bringing deviled eggs and Susan is making a casserole.

Today's photos are from Somewheresville U.S.A., circa 1960, and I love 'em. Just look at those crazy folks, I'm surprised (and a little disappointed) that there is not a single lamp shade on anyone's noggin. 
Music is playing, and they've busted out the instruments - bongos (darn, I wanted the bongos), a güiro, maracas, and something called "lummi sticks" (according to a friend of mine). Pretty soon, the clothes will start coming off and the cops show up. Happens like every time.

Meanwhile, back at the bar, everyone is drinking up a storm. I love the beer signs - Schaeffer beer is obviously a house favorite. I swear this could be my Uncle Harold's basement; nearby you would have found a Hammond electric organ (which his wife Florence would play), and even a bumper pool table, which was pretty awesome. Good times, for sure.

I hope you don't have a hangover after today's "Anything Goes" installment!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pix From 1957

I love it when old Kodachrome slides are as bright and colorful as today's two examples! There's no blue or yellowish tint (as is sometimes the case), no fading... just beautiful saturated hues that make the photos look like they were taken yesterday.

In old Fantasyland's courtyard, Merlin's Magic Shop peddled magic tricks, guidebooks, rubber monster masks, Kodak film, and all kinds of necessities. Unlike much of the original Fantasyland, which was built (frankly) "on the cheap" - but still awesome! - Merlin's is detailed and charming, as if it came straight from Geppetto's village. 

The bridge that was the entryway into Adventureland was adorned with human skulls, spears, and these colorful carved wooden shields. Some of the shields sported visages that would strike fear into the hearts of opposing warriors - and the occasional small child.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Last Frontier Casino, Las Vegas

We've visited "Last Frontier Village" in Las Vegas before, and I figured I'd scan my remaining LF  images and share them today.

In my previous post, the giant light-encrusted slipper had not yet been placed atop the Silver Slipper Gambling Hall. No need for giant parking garages, street parking is totally adequate. Check out the cars, gear heads!

Some of you may recall that white hearse, which now sits in front of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion... there it is with the wheels off for some reason. Maybe they're being inflated. A bunch of additional old-timey vehicles can be seen; I wonder why those old slot machines are just sitting in the street?

Brothels are hilarious, as everybody knows, and this one is no exception. Say, there's that silver slipper again.

There's the Frontier Museum Saloon, along with the Trading Post. What wondrous, cheesy souvenirs were available in that humble store? The saloon serves Budweiser (a van delivers a new batch) AND Pabst Blue Ribbon. If only they had Schlitz, it would be like heaven.

Another view of the same stores, from a different lot of photos.

What visit to an old-timey western town would be complete without a funny photo-op? Try to ignore the ghoulish headless torsos.

I still have more Vegas photos to share, but from now on they will be the glitzy real Vegas!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New York World's Fair

It's Fair time again!

We've seen the crazy Eastman Kodak pavilion before, but this is an especially cool angle. The giant photos at the other end get most of the attention, but the rest of  this 360 foot-long building was pretty eye-catching too. Arches, domes, spires, this baby had it all. 

Walt Disney's presence at the Fair is well known (G.E.'s "Progressland", Illinois' "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln", Ford's "Magic Skyway", and Pepsi's "It's a Small World"), but this diorama could be found inside the Eastman Kodak pavilion. Kodak was a major sponsor at Disneyland as well as "The Wonderful World of Disney" on NBC. Strange that Mickey Mouse is absent.

Here's a great view of the United States pavilion. It's huge! Inside there was a "Hall of Presidents", and exhibits about the "Voyage to America" and "The Great Society" (featuring the many accomplishments of the USA in the realms of art, science, and world peace). The thing that intrigues me the most is something called "American Journey", in which ...visitors travel on a moving grandstand through 472 years of American History as an extraordinary 15-minute film production unfolds. Novel multiscreen techniques and startling sound effects bring the past to life; lightning flashes as Ben Franklin flies his kite; the waters churn as Fulton launches his steamboat; old-time movies recall the Roaring Twenties. In the finale, the viewer is swept into the future on an imaginary rocket flight into space. Sounds pretty cool! Notice Shea Stadium in the background; the Beatles would perform there in about a year.

And finally, a not-very-inspiring view taken from "Meadow Lake Bridge", which crossed the Long Island Expressway to the Amusement Zone; that huge industrial shed in the foreground is part of the "Bourbon Street" area (see the stylized trumpet player?), while the New York State pavilion looms beyond.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big River, Frontierland - September 1959

Today's photos are kind a snooze, but hey, they can't all be winners. Still, maybe they will transport you back to 1959's Frontierland, looking out on that impressive river that dominates the landscape.

There's a canoe heading around the southeastern part of Tom Sawyer Island, near the suspension bridge (and probably as seen from Rainbow Ridge). That's a whole lotta people in one canoe.

One of the rafts to the island is unloading right near the Plantation House, while two other canoes are visible in the distance. 

More river craft come and go, with yet another raft about to head back to the mainland. Hopefully the kids have burned off some steam running around the island, and are now ready for a burger break.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Adventureland, October 1967

Let's go to Adventureland! That woman wore her yellow dress because she knew she would eventually wind up right in the middle of somebody's photo on a world-famous blog. Yellow goes well with all of that green. They should definitely go to the Enchanted Tiki Room, where they can see the original full-length show.

A bird - speaking with the voice of a man! Surely it is one of the Devil's minions. Destroy it! The straw hat is pretty cute though. Evil, but cute.

Well, now that we've destroyed that taking bird, we'd better get out of Adventureland. Might as well follow another lady in yellow.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Along The River, September 1963

Cascade Peak was a mountainy thingamajig that you used to be able to see along the River. The waterfalls were great; the Mine Train passed near (and under) them, the Keel Boats and Canoes went as close as was safely possible, and the Mark Twain could jump over them once it really got moving. I think I have a picture of that somewhere.

I'm sure glad that we still have The Columbia; the last time I was at Disneyland, the proud ship was packed. I got on board because I assumed that they must be giving away free iPads or something, but it turns out that it's just an awesome attraction. I still haven't ever gone "below decks" to see the displays, because I never want to miss the scenery. Someday!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1940's

Welcome to Cheyenne, podner! This Kodachrome image is undated, but thanks to the interwebs we (me an Queen Elizabeth) can be sure that it is from no later than 1943. Which is pretty cool! I wonder if any worldwide event of note was happening in 1943? Nope, nothing that I can think of.

Anyway, I realize that this is not the most exciting picture in the world, but I get a kick out of pictures of cities and towns from way back when; in lieu of a time machine, a nice color photo will have to do. Check out the cool cars (was that trip really necessary?). Patriotic bunting is evident, as well as a sign touting "Frontier Days". That's when I want to be there! I also like the sign for the Trailways bus depot (sort of hard to see, but you can do it - I believe in you). 

Using Google Map's "street view", this is as close as I could get to replicating the angle; the image quality is pretty crummy, or else I would have cropped in for a more accurate recreation.

The Normandy Hotel, visible in my photo, is now blood red and called "The Wrangler", a huge store that sells all manner of clothing and western wear. Need one of those hats with the little dangling pom-pons? Well, they might not have those. But there are lots of other hats, so stop being so picky. The sign atop The Wrangler tells us that it has been there since 1943, which was very helpful to me. Thanks, sign guys!

I hope today's "Anything Goes" installment has not lulled you to sleep!

Friday, June 22, 2012

More Disneyland Wardrobe Department Pix!

Here's another post featuring photos from Disneyland's wardrobe department, courtesy of Huck!

This fellow is wearing the costume that you would see at the Adventureland Shooting Gallery in 1969. Notice the apron thingy that will hold plenty of change! I've never understood the point of those hats that have one brim folded up at the side, but then again there are lots of things I don't understand. Like "Glee".

I love this next one (also from 1969) for its sheer oddity. That green dress was worn at the Cal Arts Museum; Walt Disney founded Cal Arts, fulfilling his dream of a school where artists of all kinds (musicians, animators, dancers, painters, filmmakers, etc) would influence and inspire each other. Cal Arts was established in 1961, but the current campus (in Valencia) started construction in 1969. I'm not entirely sure what the Cal Art Museum was exactly, but assume that it was a gallery that displayed some of the artworks produced at the school.

I left my Fabergé Easter egg in a Peoplemover vehicle, but lucky for me it was turned in over at the Lost and Found. This smiling cast member is half turn-of-the-century lass, half California girl. I wonder why both of today's ladies wear their name tags right in the middle of their necklines? 

Huck has more for us, coming up!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bill Elliott and His Date Niters, July 17 1968

Here are two fun images (taken on the 13th anniversary of Disneyland's opening) featuring Bill Elliott and his Date Niters! They're playing on the wonderful Tomorrowland stage, which spent much of the day lowered into the ground, with just some spires and plants showing.

Thanks to this great post on Daveland's blog, we know that the pretty blonde singer was named Terri. You can learn a whole lot more about Bill Elliott and his years at Disneyland if you read the Daveland entry!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Mix From June 1960

Here's a great picture of the Chicken o' the Sea Pirate Ship. What makes it so great? The fact that it has its full compliment of red and white sails, and they are all billowing perfectly! It makes all the difference. Go back and find a picture of it with no sails at all (or with the sails all tightly furled) and see what I mean.

As a pretty avid collector of vintage Disneyland postcards, I wanted to zoom in on the rack of cards in the lower left. I see some rarities there, especially some of those Art Corner cards. Hey kid, buy all of the "Sleeping Beauty" Art Corners, those things can fetch $200 (and more) apiece now!

Playful fountains help to soften the look of Tomorrowland's rather industrial buildings. They also help to keep them moist and flaky.

And nothing says "I love you" like a bouquet of plastic and/or silk flowers! They're better than the real thing. I spray them with Old Spice so that they smell great! Added bonus: no bees. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Few From Freedomland

Here are a few odd photos from Freedomland, New York. Why were there only three images in the box? Anyway, this first picture shows what I believe is a bit of the "San Francisco" area... it's hard to say, but those white picket fences are a clue. I know you will correct me if I'm wrong! Hang around for a while and you might get to see Count Basie perform nearby.

For some reason, this "Hollywood Arena", home to various animal acts and big top stunts, was in the San Francisco area as well. Just like the real Hollywood! At this point in the show, the elephant is just about to shed his skin to reveal the beautiful butterfly inside.

According to Wikipedia, this arena also featured appearances by TV personalities such as ... Sonny Fox, Joe Bolton, Claude Kirchner, and Fred Scott.  Umm... I don't know who any of those people are!

I'll have more Freedomland for you one of these days!

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Orleans Square, October 1967

I love this shot of the shiny New Orleans Square, open only about a year at this point. You get a good feel for the intimate charm of this amazing little "land". A few guests (including the little girl with the Peter Pan collar) pause to listen to the Royal Street Bachelors as they perform near the entrance to the Blue Bayou restaurant. 

Hey, it's the Royal Street Bachelors again! They need to meet nice girls and settle down. I wish I could hear a few numbers, and then wander into the "One of a Kind" shop to the right. Who knows what wonders it held?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2 From Frontierland, 1957

I knew I shouldn'ta drunk from that waterin' hole back yonder. Those little cacti look like people! If one of them starts to move or talk then I'll know for sure that I've gone plum loco.

Across the muddy river you can see Fort Wilderness. What a sight for sore eyes, out here in the middle of nowhere! You can see some of the lookouts up on the battlements, as well as one down by the water. Don't shoot, partner!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On The Road, Texas - June 1952

After World War II, American families hit the road for their summer vacations. And a lot of those vacations involved driving west on Route 66! Todays photos are not terribly exciting by themselves, but I can't help imagining being a long drive across the US, looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, and eventually winding up in California for a dip in the blue Pacific Ocean or a visit to Hollywood. No Disneyland in 1952, sorry! 

In this first picture, we are passing through Groom, Texas. Unless you needed to fill up at the Mobil gas station, everybody passed through without stopping. I love the old billboards, and the big open sky in that flat northern part of the state.

A search of Google Map's street view shows that one of those grain elevators is still there. If anything, Groom looks like more of a ghost town today than it did 60 years ago - probably due to the huge I-40 that bypassed Route 66.

Here's another photo, probably taken near Groom (though it is only labeled "Texas"). The land is dead flat as far as the eye can see; there are some signs for White Swan Coffee, the Sunset Motel, the Spanish Court Motel, and what appears to be a beer ad. But best of all, there is an old (coal fired?) locomotive chugging toward us! Look at that sooty smoke, what a mess. I'll bet this train was replaced by a diesel locomotive not long after this picture was taken.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief look at historic Route 66!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A few from 1957

I have a small group of Kodachrome slides that were undated, but the photographer helpfully took a picture of the cover of this 1957 souvenir guidebook. Nice tablecloth, by the way.

Gather 'round the flagpole and listen to the Disneyland Band. Vesey Walker is waving his arms around, controlling his zombie band with his powerful brain waves. You know it's true! Many people forget that in the 50's, the Disneyland Band smashed their instruments at the end of each performance, inspiring The Who to do the same thing years later. It was pretty thrilling!

Helllooooo? Is anybody home? The Red Wagon Inn looks deserted. This is spooky, where the heck is everyone? Unlike the previous picture, which was bright and sunny, this one looks overcast and cold. Maybe it was taken first thing in the morning before the June Gloom burned off. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm sure there are no ghosts around.

I will be out of town for the next three days, but I will try to check in and reply to your comments when I can get to a computer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More New York World's Fair

I've got four from the Fair today!

I love this first picture, with two women in traditional Japanese costumes; it's possible that they were visitors who just wanted to proudly represent their country, but the fact that the two kimonos are exact matches makes me assume that they probably worked at the Pavilion of Japan.

Over at the Illinois pavilion, you would see this bronze statue of "Abraham Lincoln: On the Prairie" by Anna Hyatt Huntington. The artist clearly depicted Abe wearily returning home from a day of hunting vampires. Of course, inside the pavilion was Walt Disney's "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln". Maybe you've heard of it!

Here is the architecturally striking building for the "Festival of Gas" pavilion, sponsored by the gas industry. In addition to a carousel, there were puppet shows, a Fun House, a magic show, a "Garden of Giants", and a popular (and huge) restaurant.

One of the shows that you would see at the Dupont Pavilion demonstrated the magic of chemistry. Flowers and rubber balls would shatter after being dipped in freon; a large beaker full of clear liquid turns blue when shaken, and then gradually turns clear again - only to turn blue with more shaking; conductive paint is used to create a "wire" between a tape recorder and a speaker (you can see the recorder and speaker in the background); you'll see the creation of "instant nylon"; and much much more!