Sunday, May 24, 2015

Frontierland, August 1961

Here's an odd pair from 1961's Frontierland. I wish they were more exciting, but what can you do. 

I actually sort of like this detail of the Keel Boat, "Gullywhumper". The sign has been decoupaged on by Mike Fink, who always did like an afternoon of "arts and crafts". He was out of glitter on that day. Notice the paddles, which were presumably there in case the boat's motor conked out. While I would prefer to ride up top, I would go back in time and ride down below as well, and take plenty of flash pictures to preserve what it looked like (for those of us who have no idea). I'm sure it was pretty spartan. The boat looks like it was made of genuine weathered pine planks, but I assume that it was, in fact, cast fiberglass. If so, it looks completely convincing.

Over at the Indian Dance Circle, we see a rousing performance going on. Notice the child performer... he can't be more than 9 or 10 years old. How was that legal? Maybe child labor laws hadn't kicked in yet. I'm sure there were worse things for a kid than working at Disneyland, but still... he needs an education!


Nancy said...

We got to ride the keel boats once at WDW. I liked it, so of course they took it away.

Were the Indians actual employees of Disneyland? Maybe it was "take you little Indian to work day"

nice views today, Major. any views of things that I cant go and see anymore are exciting :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, I keep forgetting that they had keel boats at WDW too. They seem like an ancient artifact from Disneyland, nowadays. I can only assume that the Indians were employed by the park, but would love to hear if somebody knows anything different.

Nanook said...


I hear tell Mike Fink was partial to the BeDazzler® when it came to arts and crafts projects. On a side note, it would be interesting to hear Gomer Pyle say "Gullywhumper" aloud-!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I don't remember a whole lot about the interior of the Disneyland keelboats other than a framed vintage print on the wall of a keelboat about to go over a small waterfall.

Oh, and that they were totally awesome...and I pity anyone who never took advantage of an opportunity to ride them before they went away... :-)

Pegleg Pete said...

I missed out on the Keelboats at Disneyland and WDW, so I made sure to ride them when I was at Disneyland Paris in 2009. Good thing I did – the next time I was there, in 2013, they had removed them from that park as well! We rode up top back in 2009, so I don't remember how the interior was fitted out.

Debbie V. said...

There appears to be something sticking up in the trees that is not a tree in the keel boat pic. Any ideas?
I don't remember riding the keel boats, just the rafts.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, if Mike FInk had owned a BeDazzler, he would have been a lot less ornery! Just think how his vest would have sparkled. Jim Neighbors is still with us, he could still say the word!

Chuck, even your mention of a framed vintage print inside the keel boats is more than I have ever heard elsewhere. Was it really about to go over a waterfall?? If there is one thing I require more of, it is the pity of every man, woman, and child on this Earth.

Pegleg Pete, oh man, they had them in Paris too? I must have seen photos (I have that nice book about DLP), but wow, I am surprised all over again.

Debbie V., you can just see the “crowns” of the Mark Twain smokestacks, and I think maybe the Matterhorn is behind that one tree.

Anonymous said...

I do like that close-up of the Gullywhumper. I seem to recall some pictures inside, now that Chuck brought it up.

I don't know if the old keelboats were wood or fiberglass, but I do know that now there are splendid fake wood products made of plastic and resin that could certainly look like that, if anyone were to bring back the ride.