Monday, October 31, 2016
Happy Halloween, everybody! I'm sorry I don't have anything ghoulish to share with you. But I do have more fun stuff from Chuck!
It's time for PART 2 of Chuck Hansen's photos from the classic "Pooh for President" parade, circa 1976! Be sure to see last weeks "part 1" post. Today we get to see pictures of Chuck himself as a kid! As before, he has provided a very nice commentary to go with the photos. Here's Chuck:
Just because this is Pooh's parade doesn't mean that Mickey won't try to upstage him. Sort of like Bill with Hillary, I guess. Note that the sun came out as the Mouse arrived. Typical. He is flanked by a bodyguard from Kids of the Kingdom; the two girls facing away from us can be seen on either end of the stage in the first photo. Each of those smiling young people is trained in four different forms of unarmed combat and is willing to take a bullet for Mickey. The Duck is on his own, though.
The next picture shows the Main Event, no longer living quietly under the name of "Sanders" but out in the limelight on a recycled float from "America on Parade," surrounded by barrage balloons and escorted by adoring (and adorable) Pooh cheerleaders. Just as interesting as the Bear are the two blue-and-yellow-costumed parade wranglers crouching on either side of the parade route, carrying concealed cattle prods "just in case." Just give them a reason - I dare you!
Rounding out the parade were the Pooh's grass-root supporters, the backbone of the Children's Party, marching along in solidarity with the tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff. In the first photo, just to the right of the guy in the red sport coat, wearing my favorite Frontierland belt, carrying a yellow balloon and barely-readable "Pooh for President" sign, is yours truly, age 7 years, 11 months. I swear that sign increased in mass the farther down the parade route we went. My four-year-old sister is to my left (camera right), wearing a mustard yellow t-shirt and glasses and carrying a pink balloon. She made it about 50 yards with her sign before gravity intervened and a kindly cast member picked it up before a parade wrangler with a gleam in her eye could get her prod unholstered.
The next photo shows us continuing on around the Hub, with the original 1967 Tomorrowland entrance in the background.
The parade ended in Town Square in front of Main Street Station, where a "Pooh-litical Fun-raising rally" was held. I remember Pooh promising "hunny in every pot," and I'm certain they sang "Pooh for President," a new song by Larry Groce that was later nominated for a Grammy [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dCIABevywQ]. While we don't have any pictures of the rally since it took a while for my parents to work their way through the crowd to Town Square, I did manage to find an short animated GIF on the Interwebs showing a snippet of the rally [no idea where it originated; it shows up all over the place].
Later that day, we ran into the candidate pressing flesh over by the Circle-Vision Theater. While you can see Pooh left a favorable impression on my dad, it had no effect on the electoral outcome as my dad had mailed his absentee ballot before we moved.
On the way out of the Park, every kid aged 12 and under received a large poster like the one below. This poster used the same design as the one for the '72 election and may have actually been stock left over from the 1972 event. Mine hung on the back of my bedroom door in the new house until we moved in 1981, at which point I think it went to Poster Heaven.
While Pooh lost this election, he did make one more unsuccessful bid for the White House in 1980 before leaving politics entirely, eventually starring in his own Saturday morning reality series and establishing a merchandising powerhouse.
Although he's been out of the political game for 36 years, after watching this year's slow-motion train wreck, I'm wondering if anyone can coax him out of retirement. I wouldn't mind a little Pooh in the Rose Garden.
I hope you've enjoyed today's photos. Thanks again to Major Pepperidge for allowing me to share my brush with history, and don't forget to vote on November 8th!
THANK YOU CHUCK for the time and work that went into creating both of the Pooh for President articles! I'm sure there are a few of you out there who remember when Pooh Bear ran for office. These photos are a great blast to the past.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Howsabout two random photos, chosen randomly from a random hat by two random passing strangers wearing random clothing? Well that's what you're gonna get today, by cracky.
Here's a view looking at one of the Disneyland Hotel swimming pools (circa 1965). You might notice the slightly weird color, so I might as well admit that I had to adjust this one from its original ruddy tone. It looks afternoon-ish, but might have in fact been taken in the morning, which could explain why there is not a single person in sight. Or it might be deserted because it is February. Even in moderate SoCal, it can be a little too chilly for a post-park swim.
You've probably seen similar views of the Matterhorn in days of yore; the motion-blurred foreground shows that we are on a moving vehicle - the Disneyland railroad, to be specific. Beyond the striped fence (I believe) is the "Never-never land" area of Storybook Land, where boats could be pulled off of the line for service. It looks like the fence could open to allow truck access if need be.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Looking through my folders of scanned slides, I thought I'd post some random photos of vintage people. Mint in box, unused!
This first one is my favorite. Two buddies (brothers, I'd wager) pose in their "Utah Aggies" shirts. Maybe they're about to head on down to the ol' fishin' hole to catch some perch, or a few wily trout. After that they will join their friends Darla, Alfalfa, Porky and Buckwheat, for some quality shenanigans.
This next photo is from 1943, taken in Hartford, Connecticut. The guy on the left is Keith, and his friend is Morris. They look mighty sharp in their uniforms - who can identify which branch they served in? The second World War had a long time to go, and I can't help wondering if both men came home safe and sound.
This one isn't that interesting really... the woman might be a grade school teacher. Let's call her Miss Cole (after my own beloved 2nd grade teacher). While undated, this photo is certainly from the 1950's, and I was interested to see that Miss Cole is sporting an "I Love Lucy" pinback button. This one's for TokyoMagic!, who loves Lucy!
Friday, October 28, 2016
Well! This has been an easy week for me. Monday was Chuck Hansen's "Pooh for President" post. Tuesday, Knott's Berry Farm from the Devlins. Wednesday, Steve Stuart's photos. Thursday, Ken Martinez's vintage postcards. Why, I've been laying around eating bonbons and watching my stories on TV, with nary a care in the world! But today I finally had to do a little work and share some of my own photos.
The old Carnation Plaza Gardens was a place where a lot of music and dancing took place over the 50+ years of its existence. Many notable Big Bands played there on warm summer nights - like Count Basie, and Woody Herman. During the day, things were generally quieter, though guests could grab a lunch or have some delicious Carnation Ice Cream. I love this first photo, mostly because it is unlike any other photo in my collection! Notice the row of attraction posters against the distant wall. I call dibs on the Rocket to the Moon!
The design looks like a kind of olde-timey fantasy version of a beachside pavilion in Victorian times. Ladies in long white dresses carrying parasols would not look terribly out of place in this image.
Meanwhile, over at the larger tent, the Disneyland Band entertains a light crowd on a sunny day. There's Vesey Walker, the second hardest working man in show business.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
As promised, here is the second installment of Ken Martinez's vintage postcard article....
Midway Mania! - More Classic Carnival Rides Part 2
Here we are back again at the midway. I've got five more cards to show today.
"Tilt-A-Whirl" is probably the most famous midway ride in flat ride history and it also happens to be my favorite. I always loved the red half-dome top, yellow crescent moons, white clown heads and blue tilting flooring. Lots of primary color! I've seen different color variations but this is my favorite because it's the classic look. It was built by Sellner Manufacturing. The location for this postcard is Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
Here is a pair of rides manufactured by Chance Rides; the black and yellow "Yo-Yo" (a swing ride) and another midway classic, the "Zipper". I rode the Zipper once and it felt like it was going to fall apart so I never rode it again. Those traveling shows could be scary. I did love to watch the mechanics of the Zipper in action which I found fascinating.
The "Round Up" was another I used to love to ride. Now I couldn't make it through most of these rides. Spinning and rising Do not appeal to the body these days.
In this postcard we get four flat rides for the price of one. From top to bottom we have a "Roto-Jet" similar to Disneyland's Astro-Jets, another "Spider" ride, the "Scrambler" manufactured by Eli Bridge Company (of Ferris Wheel fame) and a Chance "Trabant".
Here we have two more Chance Rides; the "Toboggan" and the "Sky Diver". I always love seeing these two in action at the midway, especially watching the Toboggans spiral down the cylindrical tower. I rode these attractions just over ten year ago and I felt really claustrophobic when I rode them. I guess in my kid-sized body it felt like lots of space in the ride vehicle when I was young. As an older adult I couldn't wait to get out.
Hope you all enjoyed the return visit to the midway today.
Information Source material: The Flat Joint - http://www.flatrides.com/
THANK YOU so much to Ken Martinez!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
It's time for another installment of photos from the personal archives of Steve Stuart, aka "Nanook"! This time we're in Adventureland.
Steve says: "Sitting near the JC exit, with the Congo Queen as backdrop, is (family friend) De De, my dad and moi. I don't know if houndstooth was all the rage back in 1958, but my dad was clearly sporting it here".
I think this is a great family (and friend) portrait - as I said to Steve, I wish I had a picture of me and my dad from Disneyland that was as nice as this.
Steve continues: "I'm sure we're all familiar with one of the standard Jungle Cruise jokes, regaled by many a JC skipper referring to 'the backside of water'. Apparently this was my dad's attempt at topping that old standby with one of his own: 'the backside of heads'. I suppose he was really just trying to get a shot of De De and yours truly along with the python, but any time one can highlight "good grooming', well...".
"And something only an audio geek would appreciate, was Disney's clever use of [what appears to be] a Cannon XLR-3-42, surface-mounting plug for the skipper's microphone jack, incorporated into the front-left canopy 'pole'. Even at Disneyland's inception, the attention to detail was rarely topped".
THANKS to Steve Stuart for sharing these photos! There are many more to come.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Today's post contains the final two photos that the Devlin family generously shared with GDB - I am very grateful that I was allowed to publish them for all of you to enjoy.
We've seen lots of Disneyland images, as well as some from Universal Studios, Marineland, and those neat EPCOT models, but there were only two humble photos of Knott's Berry Farm, dated April 24, 1960.
We'll start with the best one; a crowd has gathered around an organ grinder and his adorable trained capuchin monkey, "Shorty". We can see Pat in his blue sweater, with sister Mary just to the left. Their mom, Mary Jo, is smiling at us from behind those two ladies. Shorty will accept pennies, dimes, peanuts, and popcorn, but he prefers cigarettes (menthol), like all right-thinking monkeys do. Pat is looking back toward his mom as if to say, "Can you believe this?!".
Next we're at the merry-go-round at Knott's (please don't confuse it with the carousel) - as you can see, this one is not all white horses. Mary is astride an ostrich (or I don't know, maybe it's an emu or a rhea), while Pat rides a spirited black and white steed. Half of a lion can be seen in the lower right. The merry-go-round has a total of 48 critters, including zebras, pigs, chickens, and tigers.
Thanks once again to the Devlin family!
Monday, October 24, 2016
Today I have a special presentation - GDB reader and pal Chuck Hansen wanted to share some of his personal photos from 1976 featuring moments from the classic "Pooh for President" parade (and more)! Chuck apologized (unnecessarily) for the quality of the pictures, which he describes as "40 year-old matte prints from long-lost 110 film negatives shot with a plastic-lensed Kodak Pocket Instamatic 20 on what appears to have been a partly-cloudy afternoon". As far as I'm concerned, the "vintage photo print" look is part of the charm. Notice that today is the 40th anniversary of the Pooh parade!
Chuck also provided an extensive commentary, which makes my usual posts look scanty and lazy by comparison. It's a conspiracy! But I love the historical context that he evokes. Enough of my rambling... I'll let Chuck take over from here:
Campaign Rally, Sunday, October 24th,1976
We're just a few weeks out from Election Day, and, frankly, I can't wait for it to be over. This election cycle has been a particularly long, nasty, brutal slog across the electoral landscape, and if you're anything like me, you're tired of it. And you like to eat waffles. With butter. And mustard. While shaving. We're so much alike, it's scary.
To take your mind off of today's political squabbling, let's roll back the clock 40 years to October of 1976, just a couple of months before the beginning of the 2016 Presidential campaign...
Just as today, the nation was counting down the final days until the election on November 2nd. The leading candidates, incumbent Gerald Ford and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, were locked in a near dead heat in the polls. Then a new candidate stepped into the limelight to declare his candidacy and potentially upset the the electoral race. I speak of none other than Edward Bear, popularly known as "Winnie the Pooh."
In a Park that already had plenty of elephants and not a few donkeys, Disneyland had hosted a third-party "Pooh for President" "campaign" in 1968 and 1972. While he hadn't garnered a single vote in the electoral college in either election, the 1968 Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, had admitted that the bear made more sense than “any other candidate," and another campaign in '76 seemed a natural.
So, over the weekend of October 23rd and 24th, 1976, Pooh once again threw his hat into the ring. And in a wonderful series of unconnected circumstances, I just happened to be there with my family as we moved from north of the Bay Area to just east of St Louis.
As we entered the Park that Sunday morning, along with an INA guidebook we were handed a yellow flyer that detailed the schedule of events for "Winnie the Pooh for President Days." This example was previously posted by Vintage Disneyland Tickets in 2008 and is shared here [editor's note: Chuck provided the original Vintage Disneyland Tickets link for those interested - it is: http://vintagedisneylandtickets.blogspot.com/2008/10/winnie-pooh-for-president-days-october.html].
Next up is a photo of Pooh and his press secretary, Tigger, making a special appearance at the noon "Kids of the Kingdom" show. For years I had a vague sense that we had seen this show over on the west side of the Small World Concourse, but I recently had talked myself into believing that this was actually at the Tomorrowland Stage. Now that I've found the schedule which clearly says this was at the "Small World Stage," I'm wondering if maybe my memories are correct. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any photos that show the Small World Stage, so I can't directly compare my photo. This sure looks like the Tomorrowland Stage, although the photos I've found from a few years earlier (1968) show a curved proscenium arch that rounds the upper stage corners. Maybe a reader out there knows the answer.
At about 1:15 that afternoon, my parents walked my sister and I over to the parade route gate just to the east of It's a Small World (a.k.a. "it's a small world"), where we were handed off to smiling, perky cast members who ushered us backstage as far as the turn-off to the "Disneyland Naval Yard" (and man did I want to keep walking down that road). We were handed balloons and signs and invited to participate in that afternoon's "Tigger tape" parade while my parents went to find a good spot from which to watch the parade, which ended up being on the Hub opposite the Tomorrowland entrance.
The following lackluster pictures show various costumed characters carrying signs showing their support for Pooh. It really was much more exciting than it looks. Honest.
Next is another completely unremarkable picture - Minnie and an unidentified furry character (Pluto, maybe?) riding in a horseless carriage. I actually find the guy with the movie camera to the left of the vehicle and the woman aiming the Instamatic 100 (or 104, or 124) directly at us more interesting than the parade itself. I'm sure she was a Vulgarian spy.
Here endeth part one! MANY THANKS to Chuck for generously sharing his photos, and for the amazing amount of work that clearly went into his writeup. I will post part two next week!
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Hoo-boy, today's slide scans are some kinda boring. Don't think I haven't noticed! That's why they're appearing on a Sunday, when all of you are out doing something fun.
I love old Cascade Peak, but this is not the best picture of it. That being said, it's a whole lot better than what's there now (which is nothing). A lot of photos from this era seem to have a degree of vignetting - the image gets darker at the corners. Presumably this is the result of having an inexpensive camera? Believe it or not, this is how it looks after I've improved it.
I love the Snow White Grotto too; just not this photo. We're too far away, there's too much trees and not enough grotto. And admit it, don't you wish you could go back in time and move the camera just a tick to the left? I knew it!
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Today I have some nice early photos from SeaWorld in San Diego. This park was the first of several SeaWorlds (including locations in Ohio, Orlando, and San Antonio) - it debuted in 1964.
Take a look at this first photo; it's a display of critters - fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, bivalves, cephalopods, and so on) dressed in Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, leis, and other touristy garb. Notice the fierce carved tiki! Apparently this was a kind of "Chuck E. Cheese"-style animatronic band... from what I can glean on the internet, "Punchy" (the pugnacious mascot of Hawaiian Punch) was later added to a revamped tableau.
Next is this nice image of SeaWorld's Japanese Village area. I've always loved this peaceful, beautiful style of garden, with the manicured shrubs and stone bridges. The water was teeming with koi fish. The small structure to the right houses a very large taiko drum. I think that the building to our left had pearl divers, as well as a selection of merchandise.
Hawaiian Punch again. It's a conspiracy! This was the Hawaiian Punch Village, where you would be able to enjoy a nice "Polynesian-style drink" (presumably no alcohol?).
Friday, October 21, 2016
Here are two more vintage photos of Frontierland, taken on a perfect day in May.
Here's a beauty taken from the Mark Twain (the Columbia wouldn't come along for another month or so... more on that in a future post); the scene is so tranquil and inviting. It doesn't take much to imagine being able to drift on the river all the way down to Memphis while taking a nap.
It's hard to tell what time of day it was, but I believe that it must have been a little after noon. If so... hardly a soul can be seen, except for the red-shirted guy wrangling that raft (is he pulling it toward him, or pushing it away?) and a few people way in the distance. To the left of Rainbow Ridge is the hill where Cascade Peak would hatch in two years.
Looking in a northwesterly direction, we can see another dock for rafts (I suppose it would have been used on especially busy days), as well as Fort Wilderness and some of the rocks and caves on Tom Sawyer Island. Just a bit further, there's the settler's cabin burning fiercely.
I love how glassy the river is - the waterway was dredged from Orange County orchards just a few years before, but by 1958 it is easy to believe that you might catch a catfish, or spot a hideous alligator snapping turtle!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
And now for something a little bit different! This is another installment looking at Ken Martinez's collection of vintage amusement park postcards. But... well, I'll let Ken explain it:
Midway Mania! - Classic Carnival Rides Part 1
Today I'm sharing postcards of classic carnival rides that could be found at the county fair of local carnival that came to town. My childhood was filled with visits to these types of places.
Here's the "Rock-O-Plane", manufactured by Eyerly Aircraft Comapny. The eight caged vehicles rotated back and forth allowing riders to travel upside down. I remember my sister losing her keys on this attraction as they clanked all over the cage and out below. The location for this postcard is Rotary Playland in Sacramento, California.
The "Octopus" was another Eyerly Aircraft Company flat ride. It was also the first carnival ride I ever rode. The sixteen vehicles rotated on the eight arms which moved up and down and around hence the name "Octopus". The location for this postcard is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
I've only seen the "Twister" once at the county fair in Pleasanton, California. It was manufactured by Chance Rides which was a manufacturer of many carnival flat rides. All I remember is it had a rally loud and noisy motor.
The "Spider" was sort of a second generation version of the Octopus except that it had six arms/legs. It was also manufactured by the Eyerly Aircraft Company. A larger version called the "Monster" which had rotating extensions off the arms/legs and held four vehicles on the extensions, could usually be found at the larger theme parks across the country. The location for this postcard is the Iowa State Fair in Sandusky, Ohio.
The "Flying Scooters" were manufactured by Bisch Roccho. I've only seen one of these and I didn't ride it.
Hope you all enjoyed visiting the midway today. Part 2 should appear soon!
Information Source material: The Flat Joint - http://www.flatrides.com/
Thank you Ken! Part 2 will be here in a week.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Today marks the first of many posts that will feature photos from the personal collection of Steve Stuart, aka "Nanook"! He was kind enough to send me a box of dozens of slides so that I could give them the Gold Star Gorilla treatment™. There are photos of Disneyland, Pacific Ocean Park, Santa's Village, and (as they say on TV) much more!
Steve was also nice enough to take the time to share his recollections, which will be fun. Today's scans are from June, 1958 - Disneyland, of course. Let's hear from Steve:
The first image on the SBC "ramp" shows yours truly, wearing what I would think is some sort of souvenir cap, but I'll be damned if I remember anything about it. I do remember always seeming to get some sort of "personalized" hat when visiting Disneyland in my pre-teen visits there. I'm standing next to childhood friends De De (Diane) and her younger brother, John. The "cool kids", standing to our right, safely separated by pennants, are unknown to me, although each one of them somehow resembles kids I knew back then. And I can spy a ticket book in the pocket of "the nice young man" standing next to me. (I should have stolen it. As if). The bigger question is - just what were we pointing at? One assumes the swans - perhaps seeing a black one. But with those grins on our faces, maybe we were laughing at the the expense of others - such as someone falling into the moat...
In the second image, if I have my bearings right, my mom appears to be sitting out near the corner of the Tinkerbell Toy Shop (under the clocktower), as the entrance to the Arts & Crafts Shop we see in the distance is located between the castle entrance, proper, and the entrance to the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthru. The image manages to "shift the focus" back to the Sleeping Beauty Arts & Crafts Shop, and not quite on my mom's face. Interestingly, the gentleman exiting the Arts & Crafts Shop is carrying a 1957 guide book, but the image should be from 1958. (I'm often doubting the dates linked to certain images seen on these pages, and here I am with the original slides in my hot little hand, and I'm scratching my head, wondering if the image dates from late 1957, but the processing date indicating a delay of a full six months! My mom didn't date the Disneyland portion of the images, only the ones from Santa's Village, as from 1958). But then, I have no idea just when the updated guidebooks are offered for sale.
At Storybook Land, De De is sitting up in the prime spot with the "guide" - and back then - still piloted exclusively by men; although that did eventually change to all women, before the "role" was finally opened to both sexes. I'm sitting along back on the port side, looking intently at the dock -? John is sitting behind me looking at De De. This shot perfectly shows the spur track where the boats go for a bit of R&R - often referred to by the guides as: "Never-never-land as we never, ever, go there!". The lever apparently used to switch the tracks can be seen on the right side, beneath the cactus plant.
Thank you, Steve! I hope everybody enjoyed these (I know you did) - stay tuned for more, coming soon.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Skull Rock is still one of my all-time favorite features at Disneyland. Just look at this first photo, and I won't even have to explain why (but I'm going to anyway). The Imagineers did a brilliant job of adding a tiny bit of Never-Never Land to the park, imitating the rock formations and lush vegetation shown in the film. This small tropical paradise fit right in amid Fantasyland's flat medieval faire façades, spinning rides, and other charming features.
As I've mentioned before, one detail that always surprises me nowadays is how small the skull was... in my foggy recollections I would have sworn it was two or three times larger - big enough to have been the world's coolest secret hideaway. It certainly made a large impression!
Happily, Storybook Land, with its canal boats and the Casey Jr. Circus Train, is still there to enchant people of all ages. This photo was taken from one of the circus trains, looking down upon Geppetto's Village. It's his village because he rules with a wooden fist. His nickname is "The Toymaker".
Zooming in, we can appreciate the level of detail; cobblestone streets, tiny gardens with miniature plants, stone walls and bridges, fingerposts, and a variety of "old" cottages and buildings - all backed by the jagged peaks of snowy mountains.
Monday, October 17, 2016
I have a few photos from what I believe is the classic, long-lived "Fantasy On Parade" at Disneyland. In my mind I can almost hear Jack Wagner saying the parade's name, though I don't know if he actually voiced any commercials at the time.
Our photographer had primo spot near the Plaza, and he boldly stepped out into the street to get the best view possible (at great risk to his own personal safety). Leading the way is Dumbo, who had probably seen a parade or two in his circus days. Riding that giant drum is Mickey Mouse himself. Everybody loves him! Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Chip & Dale, and Minnie Mouse can also be seen.
Goofy ("The Enforcer") has intimidated us back onto the curb. Notice how his left hand is about to curl into a fist! In spite of the hand rail on top of the drum, it looks like Mickey could have easily tumbled through to the ground. Maybe his shoes were nailed to the drum head. There's Chip again - I never loved his cartoons that much (he and Dale were stinkers!), but I liked seeing him at the park. Just visible is "Little John" from "Robin Hood", which had come out in theaters only four months before this photo was taken.
It's the Three Little Pigs (Practical, Piper, and Fiddler). Thanks to those helium balloons, they are very light on their feet.
It's everyone's favorite crockery... teapots from Alice in Wonderland! For some reason I love that oddball features appeared in this parade. Why the heck not! Just look at the crowds, all orderly and well-behaved. Because they have all been turned into Audio Animatronics! Celebrity sighting: the Walrus. Goo-goo-g'-joob!