Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Columbia, April 1987

I like this 1987 photo of the sign that explained significance of the Columbia sailing ship. I also like the word "circumnavigate" and plan to use it 25 times today. Is this sign still at the park today?

Just to make this a slightly more robust post, I am including two rather dark photos of the Columbia at rest in Fowler's Harbor - it seems that at least half of my photos of that ship show it under some kind of rehab.

No,  the Columbia wasn't painted black, though it sure looks like it here. It was more of a tangerine metal flake with chrome trim and airbrushed flames (and fuzzy dice hanging from the bowsprit).


Nanook said...


Don't forget the fiesta (or dingo) balls that outlined this majestic ship. Olé-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

And the dog with the bobbing head on the dash.

Nice shot of the floating stage in front of Tom Sawyer Island.....BEFORE they ruined the river and the island with the ugly Fantasmic stage.

TokyoMagic! said...

You know....I don't think the Columbia is in Fowler's Harbor. But it doesn't look like there are any passengers on board. It does look like there's a cast member on the rear portion of the deck. Is that the stern? The poopdeck? I am so not up on my nautical terminology. It's hard to tell where the shadows are falling, but I wonder if this could be early morning and the ship was backing out of Fowler's Harbor?

Anonymous said...

How Cool!!! "Tangerine metal flake with chrome trim and airbrushed flames" - sounds like Big Daddy Ed Roth could have worked in the DL paint department for that look. And how neato would it have been to have Mysterion and Rotar replicas to circumnavigate Autopia??

Ratfink Bill in Denver
(mere hours til Super Bowl)

Melissa said...

And the ship's cat is a go-go dancer in a Josie and the Pussycats costume.

Chuck said...

Nothing brings back the authentic feel of 18th century shipping like watching the Columbia pull out of its parking spot in the morning, the soft glow of its backing lights reflecting off the water as its back-up beeper echoes across the Rivers of America.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, one of my friends calls them something like "deedlee balls", which always cracks me up.

TokyoMagic!, the bobbing headed dog should be on the back so that everybody eating your dust (or waves) can see it! Sometimes you see cars with multiple animals in the back window, and I've heard that referred to as a "loser's zoo".

TokyoMagic! again, you could be right… now that you mention it, it doesn't appear to be actually berthed in Fowler's Harbor. I guess I always assume that's where it is (because it's there so darn often)!

Bill in Denver, having Big Daddy Roth cars to drive in the Autopia is a GENIUS idea! I could be wrong, but I think it would revitalize that ride. Of course, they wouldn't be comfortable or safe, but who cares, they would look great. I recently read a book about Roth, did you know that he spent years working at Knott's Berry Farm as a sign painter/pinstriper? (I'm starting to think you are excited about the Super Bowl. Who are you routing for?).

Melissa, Josie and the Pussycats were a cartoon crush for me when I was a lad. They were so cute!

Chuck, don't forget the rumble of the powerful V8 motor!

Melissa said...

So, you kiddies think the Columbia was some kind a ship, now, does, ye? Wal, that's whar ye be wrong! The Columbia was a woman, the and old Uncle Melissa's got a sign to prove it!

Anonymous said...

That's right Major...I read that Big Daddy had converted to Mormonism before he took the sign painting job at Knotts, where he went by the name of Bernie Schwartz (which was Tony Curtis' real name) to keep his Kustom Kulture fame a secret.

Denver by 6.

Bill in Denver

Anonymous said...

The sign was located in Fowler's for use when the Columbia was in "museum" (B-ticket) mode.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa…. "three fisted"?? Also, "Uncle Melissa", I love it.

Bill in Denver, whoops! So odd, everyone I know favored Denver. Ah well… I hope you aren't too disappointed with the outcome.

Anonymous, thank you for the info!