Monday, October 31, 2016

Pooh for President, Part 2!

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 [].  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. 


TokyoMagic! said...

More great Pooh for Pres. pics! Thanks for sharing these, Chuck! Good catch on the recycled America On Parade float. I guess AOP would have ended it's long run just about a month earlier. Hey, is that blond kid in the pic with your dad getting ready to smack Pooh in the face?

Nanook said...


Thanks again for sharing these great memories from your active days in politics. It's hard to believe all this electioneering didn't provide a sure path for Pooh to become the 39th president - but evidently it just wasn't his time. Although the 'Winnie-the-Pooh for President' poster is interesting, I'm more curious what happened to your "favorite Frontierland belt"-? That would be my keepsake, had I the smarts to hold onto it.

Melissa said...

It's OK if you don't have enough goulash to go around, Major. I just had a muffin and black coffee. Black, black, BLACK, I TELL YOU! Black as the Devil's dress socks! AHAHAHAHA!

1. Even Thing supports Pooh's candidacy!

2. Those blue-and-brown jumpsuits look like something Starfleet janitors would wear.

3. Awww! You look like you're absorbed in a cell phone conversation. Got a call from the House of the Future or something.

4. Mr. Red Jacket has his megaphone tucked under his arm to amplify his comic armpit noises.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, Thanks so much for sharing more of your "Pooh for President" photos. I like the clothing styles in these pics. I sure hope you have more to share in the future because your posts are well written and so enjoyable. Thanks again!

Thanks for hosting, Major.

Unknown said...

Well now I know I'm a-gonna sell my truck and get a motorized bandstand/gazebo to travel around in! It even looks like there's speaker grills in the side panels. And balloons! So choice...

Anonymous said...

This is awesome, thank you Chuck and Major. I would certainly vote for Pooh, in fact, I think I did.


Chuck said...

TM!, this was the same trip where I looked over the back fence of the campground we were staying at and saw the giant eagle float from AOP sitting backstage. That blond kid tried to hit him, but just after this photo was taken Pooh bared his fangs and bit his hand off.

Nanook, I'm also curious as to what happened to that belt. I know it lived in the top drawer of my dresser long, long after I'd outgrown it; I'm pretty sure it was still there when I graduated from high school. I still have a faint hope that I may encounter it in a box someday, along with my Raiders belt buckle and the railroad spike I helped a blacksmith make at Point Reyes when I was six.

Melissa, those jumpsuits just scream Star Trek: the Motionless Picture. Mr Red Jacket provided an unusual soundtrack, to say the least.

Ken, I like the styles, too. I can remember friends bagging on mid-'70s style back in the late '80s ("Too much brown!"), but it's never bothered me. I do have more from this same trip that aren't covered with Pooh that I'll be happy to share.

Patrick, I think that's an excellent idea. Be sure to install a toothpick dispenser; you may need it to keep your teeth clean after a good, high-speed run on the Interstate.

JG, he's the candidate America needs, not the one we deserve.

Major, thanks again!