Friday, September 12, 2014

Main Street in the Morning, September 1969

Technically this is a "leftuggies" post, but these are some pretty nice photos, if I do say so myself. 

Man oh man, do I love this picture! Our photographer must have been the first person to enter the park. There's not a soul to be seen! Long shadows stretch across Main Street on a perfect, sunny morning. Sleeping Beauty Castle appears to be so far away, partly due to the soft cool colors that were used (just for that very purpose), and partly because of the atmosphere. I choose to believe that it is just morning mist and not smog! Don't you wish you were there?

Zooming in a bit toward West Center Street we can see that the Carnation truck is still covered by it's bedtime blanket. Just behind one triangular banner we can see what appears to be a Disneyland Railroad employee (a conductor?) walking toward us (so there is ONE soul to be seen). The patriotic decor suggest that this photo was probably actually taken around July, even though the date stamp says September. You know how that goes.

Now we will leap back 10 years to October, 1959, for this view from the Autopia load area. Overpasses and Monorail tracks and landscaped hills all make for a neat photo, and as always I enjoy a bit of vintage people-watching. My favorite is the girl to the extreme left, behind the wheel of her  Autopia car, wearing her feathered souvenir hat!


Nanook said...


Yes, the last image is a people watching conundrum: The feathered cap gal or the 'slightly' over-dressed "miss" with her round white 'purse', walking determinedly toward her Autopia vehicle-? Well she is heading for a "center rail-free" ride. I'd be hustling, too.

Thanks, Major.

Chiana_Chat said...

Ha! With artists' brushes nor model and camera could you capture the fun with more apt style than the young lady with the feather cap in that pic. If only the pic had been centered on her at that moment! But then you can at least see the cause for unfortunate distraction...

What a pip of a Main St. pic too. Main St. feels more turn-of-the-(20th)-century and the desired perspective of the castle works better with their original, more subtle colors.

Thanks as always for the fab images, Maj :D

Chuck said...

I agree with Chiana wholeheartedly - I prefer the Castle's original color palette as well. It made it feel much more authentic to turn-of-the century small-town America.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I applaud that lady's classy appearance! Much nicer than the "cargo shorts and a t-shirt" look of today.

Chiana, I agree with you! While I like the lady on the right, the girl with the hat makes for a much more fun photograph. As for the castle, I almost wonder if the "powers that be" realized that with the oversized trees (and the unfortunate "Partners" statue) it was pointless to try to maintain the original aerial perspective (which, for those who don't know, is the way mist and atmosphere make objects feel further away)?

Chuck, didn't you get the memo that Sleeping Beauty Castle is now known as "Barbie's Malibu Dream Castle"??

K. Martinez said...

I've seen Main Street empty this way when I was one of the first to enter the Park off-season in a slow October a long time ago in a Disneyland faraway. I loved it.

I think the colors of both the Castle and Main Street were more subtle and beautiful back then. Everything today seems flashy and overdone. And what's with all that gold accent crap on Main Street?

I love the way people dressed back then. There seemed to be more pride and care in the way we presented ourselves in those days.

I also remember when the Autopia looked more open like this before they added the PeopleMover and the trees filled in.

Nice post today. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Barbie's Malibu Dream Castle - that's the PERFECT analogy for the current color scheme. And I agree that with all of the visual clutter that has changed the original vista, there isn't really a "need" to try to make it look farther away anymore. But is sure looked less gaudy and "Barbie-ish."

Ken is spot-on with his commentary about the gilding of Main Street. Yes, it was the "Gilded Age," but it probably wasn't taken to such a literal extreme in small towns like, oh, Marceline, Missouri, for example.

JG said...

I would gladly walk down that empty street, although, if I couldn't come back, I would stop to say good-bye first.


Irene said...

Sigh - what great photos today, great memories.
And that classy lady in the last photo is perfect for today's post seeing as how it is Dapper Day at Disneyland today. Every year though it ends up being one of the hotter days of the year and today is no exception!

CoxPilot said...

I experience the park like that many, many times as a cast member back then. That CM is a conductor or driver of the Onibus. He is headed for coffee and a Danish at Carnation. Did it many times myself. I would guess the photo may have been taken by another CM. Sweet times!

CoxPilot said...

Ps; Zoom in on the clock. What time is it? Shadows show it's early. Back then the park opened at 9:30 or10:00 on many days.

Nanook said...

@ Major-

"Chuck, didn't you get the memo that Sleeping Beauty Castle is now known as "Barbie's Malibu Dream Castle" "?? This observation is sooooo spot-on-! Defintely 'a keeper'-!

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, the funny thing is that it wasn't THAT long ago when you could still show up to the park early and see it pretty empty. Maybe not *this* empty, though! As for the gold accents left over from the 50th, I would be glad to see them go away.

Chuck, I think that in general, people just respond more to bright colors… or they respond in a more obvious way. Subtle colors get subtle responses. I am not opposed to bright colors, but sometimes they can feel a bit tasteless. That's just me, though!

JG, imagine going back to 1969 knowing what you know now. You could be a millionaire!

Irene, today is Dapper Day? Guess I need to look online for photos (later, or tomorrow). Cool!

CoxPilot, thanks for the correction on the CM. I once spoke to a woman who worked at the Hills Bros. Coffee Shop and she said that Walt would often drop by in the morning for a danish. She also said he never tipped. WHO tips at Disneyland counter service??

CoxPilot again, I am just about to run out for the rest of the afternoon/evening, but I looked at the high-res scan and the clock reads about 9:40.

Nanook, I am probably not the first person to make that comment, but if I am, how can I make money off of it?!?

Nancy said...

I want that white purse!! :)