Monday, August 05, 2013

Jungleland U.S.A., August 1963

I am always happy to find slides of Jungleland U.S.A., located in Thousand Oaks, California (about 30 minutes North of Los Angeles).

Performing animals were one of the main attractions at Jungleland! Mabel Stark was an old lady by 1963, but she was world-famous for her work with big cats. Here she is (barely visible) surrounded by 5 beautiful, dangerous tigers! Those hills in the distance are so familiar to me, having lived in Thousand Oaks years later.

Hollywood studios often used the animals at Jungleland in movies and TV shows, I wouldn't be surprised if this pachyderm showed up in an episode of "Gilligan's Island" (or whatever)! 

Some animal shows didn't require steel cages, so this amphitheater was for tamer acts, like parrots riding tiny tricycles, and sure-footed goats performing feats of wonder. 

There will be more Jungleland images to come!


Melissa said...

Mabel Stark is the Blood Goddess of cat ladies everywhere. And that elephant does look like the type to eat a stolen banana cream pie and wash it down with white canvas hat or maybe a radio.

The second picture features one of those fashion babushkas - not a square folded into a triangle and then knotted, but a hemmed, single-layer triangle, sometimes even fastened with attached strings. This is not your grandmother's babushka. This is your teenage sister's babushka, out on the flirt for a day of fun with her becrewcutted beau, who would never understand wind-mussed hair.

Raimundo said...

Melissa, you are the Mirth Goddess of this Magic Kingdom.

Major, Mabel Stark may have been an old lady by 1963, but the same year a septuagenarian Tiny Kline was flying as Tinker Bell at Disneyland. Talk about troupers!

Nancy said...

I always have enjoyed live animal acts, esp at Sea World, which I miss here next door in neighboring Ohio. It reminds me of the traveling circus that came around in my hometown in the 60s when I was growing up. :-)

Anonymous said...

All that I know of Jungle Land has been taught me by the Major and the crowd at GDB.

Thank you.


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, Mabel Stark was definitely a badass. I guess at one point she was severely mauled by a tiger (it was actually feeding on her), yeesh. As for babushkas, the best kind are the clear plastic ones. It locks in freshness.

Raimundo, if Tiny Kline and Mabel Stark had a knife fight, who would win?

Nancy, as long as the animal show has a parrot riding a tiny tricycle, I am a happy camper.

JG, yes, I would imagine that not too many GDB readers visited that little park. But I love it!

Melissa said...

I think I'd probably put my $2.50 on Zombie Stark in the GDB Knife Fight. I'm not saying Zombie Kline isn't as tough as coffin nails. However, Stark was born and raised in Kentucky and Tennessee, where babies teethe on hunting knives; she trained as a nurse amidst scalpels and scissors; and in most pictures she's wearing tall boots and jodhpurs* so she's probably got Kline's range covered. I think she'd take home the golden babushka.

* I know jodhpurs aren't protection by themselves, but you could stuff them with something. Tiger skins, maybe. Or aluminum foil.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, isn't there a famous Italian zombie movie where there is a zombie fighting a shark? My brother would know its name, being a bad movie fanatic. Don't forget that Tiny Kline could fly away....