Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bad Snapshots, January 1963

Hoo-boy. Homies, you might want to go ahead and skip this one. These photos are just plain ugly. I am probably in violation of the Geneva Convention by sharing three of them in a single post. But laws don't apply to me!

Taken from the Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland as it crossed the trestle bridge, let's enjoy this blue gray smudge of a photo featuring the fishin' and scratchin' bears. Ordinarily this is one of my favorite scenes, but not this time.

Another favorite Disneyland feature is the much-missed Cascade Peak. If the goal was to take a terrible picture of it - mission accomplished!

All three of these snapshots look like they were taken at twilight, but I don't think that was actually the case. Here's a protective mama elephant and her bambino. He can take care of himself, squirting the crocodile with a stream of water. There's nothing crocodiles hate more than water!

Sorry these were so terrible.


Nanook said...


I don't know about the other two, but the shot of Cascade Peak is the rare 'profile view' - and from its *best* side, too-! So you see, "one man's trash..."

Thanks, Major.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I am trying to determine what the white post is in the Cascade Peak photo...

K. Martinez said...

Awwww! Poor little photos. You're not ugly. Don't let the mean blogger man get you down. You're each special in your own way.

Major! You better watch it or I'm going to call PPS (Photo Protective Services) on you for verbal abuse of photos.

Seeing the bears in the original "Bear Country" reminds me of all the A-A animals that are buried under the ground in that area. Now I really would've rather they auction them off instead of doing that. At least there would've been a possibility of seeing them again that way.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I feel this photographer's pain. This is what most of the photos I took as a child look like. But they meant enough to somebody to preserve them all these years until they came into your possession, so they weren't a total waste. Even badly-exposed photographs can be valuable as reference works...even if they'll never grace the pages of National Geographic.

Steve, that post is the boom that on a real riverboat would have supported a "swinging stage," the bow gangplank. The dark metal box in the extreme lower right corner is the boat's "headlamp" housing. The photographer would have been standing just to our right of the lamp in this 1962 photo.

Unknown said...

Boy, Major, you got some serious left-ugginess working today, my man. Of course, as Chick points out, every photo has some archival/research value and I love them them all like the little runts of the photographic litter that they are. So cute.

It's funny, but some of my memories of Disneyland don't involve going to the Park. I remember my older brother getting all excited about the installation of the Sacred Bathing Pool of the Elephants, but for the life of me I don't remember the ride without them. That looks like classic Marc Davis humor with little squirt there. I love him so much...

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, I was wondering if that's what the pole was in the Cascade Peak photo, but didn't have the confidence to call it since I"m not well versed in that kind of thing. As always, you provide much wonderful information to this blog. Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I do love Cascade Peak, but you have to admit that it’s a pretty crummy photo!

Steve DeGaetano, I thought it might be that spar or boom or whatever that thing is in the front that sticks out at an angle. Isn’t that the big headlight in the lower right?

K. Martinez, I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em! Did they really just bury the AA animals from Nature’s Wonderland? I’m surprised they didn’t repurpose them throughout “Big Thunder”.

Chuck, at least you had the excuse that you were a child. You’ve shown us your photos from adulthood, and they are way better than these! And I should have read ahead, but it sounds like we both agree about that white post, even though you know the correct term. Not sure what a “swinging stage” is, did that thing work kind of like a crane?

Patrick Devlin, ha ha, “Chick”. He’ll love it! I’m like you, I don’t remember the Jungle Cruise without the Elephant Bathing Pool of Terror - it feels like it’s always been there.

K. Martinez, Chick knows a lot of stuff! He’s kind of a brainiac. In a good way, not in a “I want to conquer the world” way.

Unknown said...

Arrghh, they need to separate the "u" and the "i" keys more. Or supply me with more coffee in the mornings...

Dean Finder said...

I dunno, photos like these more accurately represent the way childhood memories appear in my mind now - hazy glimpses that convey an feeling but little detail about how things actually looked.

Medley said...

Dean Finder - Your comment is so beautiful to me. I've been thinking about it all day. You've perfectly captured what I was thinking, but didn't know how to say. Some of my happiest Disneyland childhood memories are as blue, fuzzy, and distorted as these slides.

Chick said...

Major, yes, the boom was effectively a crane for the stage, which was the gangplank. During much of the Riverboat Era, most towns and cities didn't have docks and piers. A shallow-draft riverboat would cruise right up to the bank of the river, tie off to a couple of sturdy trees, and then the stage would be swung off to the side onto the bank to allow passengers and cargo to embark or disembark.

You can get a pretty good idea of how that worked in this photo of the Thomas Sherlock as she unloads passengers at Ohio's Coney Island sometime between 1886, when the steamboat's owners purchased the park, and 1891, when she was wrecked en route to New Orleans.

The stages would normally have been hoisted and oriented to the front of the boat when she was plying the river as in this photo, and the actual stage itself was probably omitted on the Twain because it would have blocked guests' views. Boom hoists like the ones in these photos and on the Twain weren't introduced until after the Civil War, so it's a bit anachronistic to associate the Twain with the world of Tom Sawyer, but it don't bother me none.

Matthew said...

Late to the party, but agree with Nanook. This is a wonderful and seldom seen side of Cascade Peak! Why is it wonderful you ask? Because you can see another one of those small details. A side waterfall near the top feeding back into the that upper pool (love that)!

I also find it interesting that there appears to be another "natural arch" on this side of the tracks. And is that the Pack-Mule trail along the bottom left side? It seems a little too close to where the tunnel leading into "bear country" is located. Any thoughts?

Finally, I agree with many... these may not be crisp sharp photos... but they are wonderful all the same. Check out the top of "Pirates" just peeking above the trees to the left of the Boom.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle