Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Rose Queen, December 1957

For over 100 years, Pasadena's "Tournament of Roses" has been a Southern California tradition. How many folks in the frozen midwest and northeast watched the Rose Parade on TV on January 1st, and decided that it was time to move?

You can't have a Rose Parade without a Queen and her Royal Court, am I right? The photo below (from December 1957) shows the 1958 Queen, Gertrude "Trudy" Wood, walking through the front gate, complete with a bouquet of red roses.

I am enjoying the loud patterns on the little girl to the right! What, no polka dots? I am assuming that the woman to Trudy's left (our right) is a member of the Royal Court. 

Here's an official portrait of Trudy, looking lovely. This reminds me of my mother's wedding portrait!

There she is again, surrounded by creepy old men standing who are standing just a little too close. She seems to be taking it all in stride though (it almost looks like she's about to laugh). The man she is looking at is Meredith Wilson, famous for writing the book, lyrics and music for "The Music Man". 


Nanook said...


But vertical stripes are so slimming-! (Okay, I'm uncertain about the horizontal stripe on the arms...) Now, about the pattern on those "pedal pushers"...

I'm uncertain who was doing the identifying on the last image, but none of the "gentlemen" is Meredith Willson. The only one who has a chance is the man wearing glasses; but it doesn't look like Mr. Willson, either

Thanks, Major..

Graffer said...

None of them are Meredith Willson.
This is Willson directing 76 Trombones in the 1959 Matterhorn/Submarine Voyage/Monorail dedication parade (starting at ~3:00)


Nancy said...

My favorite parade is the Rose Parade for sure. The floats are gorgeous and feature lots of pretty girls (and guys as well); hope to someday see it in person. :-)

Graffer, the episode to which you refer is my favorite of the Walt Disney Treasures series that were filmed at Disneyland. I love how Mr. Disney surprised Mr. Wilson on that afternoon. It would have been so cool to be there. (making a note for time machine scheduled stops)

thanks to the Major for a very interesting slice of Disneyland history today! :D

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

She does look lovely indeed. I love those wholesome 50s girls. Wholesomeness is an almost nonexistent trait in our world today. In my opinion wholesome goes a LOT further than sexy. I guess that’s why I like Slue-Foot Sue so much too.

Also, a very nice shot today of the old entrance gates and ticket booths.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I thought the same thing after looking up Meredith Wilson on Wikipedia. He is “identified” ion the USC photo archives site where the picture was found.

Graffer, I have seen that footage, and thought that maybe the guy just looked really different without his glasses - or something. Maybe he’s been drinking Miracle Gro.

Nancy, growing up, I watched the Rose Parade every January 1st. But now my heart is a shriveled piece of beef jerky, and I don’t watch it any more.

Monkey Cage Kurt, I think that old-fashioned beauty is very appealing; fashions change, of course, but I still see lovely women every day; they’re just not in a white gown with a tiara!

K. Martinez said...

I always enjoy seeing the various building materials used at Disneyland through the years. Here we have chain-link fencing used at the Main Gate entrance which would later be replaced by wrought iron fencing. Then there's the asphalt that would later be replaced by brick pavers. I can imagine that eventually the turnstiles will become a thing of the past too.

Love the back view of the propped up D-I-S-N-E-Y-L-A-N-D lettering ovals. Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

I love the size of those ticket booths! They was teeny. I bet they could get nice and balmy, too, on a hot summer's day.

And Nanook we often referred to those kind of pants as "clam-diggers".

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, in a few weeks you will be very happy to see a wondrous photo featuring chain link fencing! No turnstiles, that is hard to imagine... as a kid I always wanted to spin them several times so that the counter would think more people had gone through.

Patrick Devlin, I can't even imagine being in one of those booths on a 100-degree day. Also, I see that my dyslexia has reared it's head, as I point out the little girl "to our right" when she is on the left. Stupid brain!

Melissa said...

I'm willing to bet my candy-cane socks that the girl in the striped top is wearing polka-dot underpants. It's what I would have done in her situation.

I think the lady in the blue dress, white gloves, and white button earrings looks more like a chaperon than a member of the Court. But, it can be hard to tell in pictures of that era - both the fashions and the makeup that stylish twentysomething women wore in the late 1950's tended to make them look older. I remember what a shock it was to see the cast of Mad Men out of costume in the early years of the show.