Tuesday, May 31, 2016
It's time once again to delve into my boxes full of stuff. In this installment I'm concentrating on Pacific Ocean Park (that's "P.O.P." to its friends), the Santa Monica amusement park that was only around from 1958 to 1967.
First up is this neat park pass; it's sort of gold-colored, maybe it was a "gold pass", who knows. Anyway, with that aqua and gold seahorse graphic it looks classy as heck! With my monocle and long cigarette holder I'm going to be treated with some respect.
Sometimes I like to pretend that I worked at P.O.P... I wear a straw hat (don't ask) and make up a title like "Cotton Candy Technician" or "Electro Polisher", and then I send myself a blank paycheck.
With the possible exception of postcards, there are not many easy-to-find items from P.O.P... this brochure is definitely scarce. It's from 1960, which is why that seahorse is wearing harlequin boots.
Inside is this fabulous map of the place. Wow! Somehow my family never made it there, though I would have been very young even when it closed, but I sure wish I had been able to enjoy the wonders of such attractions as the "Deepest Deep", the U.S. Rubber "Banana Train" ride, the "Safari Ride", the "Flight to Mars", and "Neptune's Kingdom", to name but a few.
It is astonishing to go to Santa Monica's beach only to find that there is not a trace of P.O.P. left. It's all gone... there's not even a plaque to commemorate it.
If these items have piqued your interest, I'd recommend reading Chris Merritt and Dominic Priore's great book, "Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles' Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier"!
I have more P.O.P. stuff to come.