Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Once again, I have tried my hand at rescanning some slides that have appeared on GDB before. They originally left something to be desired, but I think the new versions are better.

First up is this shot taken from the middle deck (would this be the "Texas deck"? Or maybe the "hurricane deck"?) of the Mark Twain, circa 1956. This appeared on the blog back in 2010, and it is really really dark. 

The rescan lightens things up quite a bit. Now we can see the gingerbread woodwork of the steamboat, as well as fun details like the original location of the Casa de Fritos in the distance. 

Next is this somewhat fuzzy, washed-out image - a scan from a stereo slide dated "November, 1964". I originally posted this back in July, 2006! 

Two scanners later, I am happy to post this new improved scan. I only just noticed that the gentleman is wearing one of the early oval brass employee badges. A hand-written note refers to him as "Jungle Jim" - certainly his real name! The adorable tour guide has an entirely different name tag, along with her white gloves and riding crop. Love the "Big Game Shoot" shooting gallery in the background.


Scott Lane said...

We have the technology. We can make it better than it was!......better, clearer, lighter...

Much improved!

Chuck said...

I hope it didn't cost six million dollars, man.

Great photo of the Big Game Shoot. That was the only "real" shooting gallery I ever experienced at Disneyland. I think I hit one target. Then I watched my dad ping something with every shot. That was before I understood the significance of this ribbon on his uniform.

Lovely rescans, Major. Thanks!

DrGoat said...

Good job Major and some great shots. Love the sun shade hat. Wonder where that Frito vending machine is at now. Used to look forward to putting in my nickel and watching my bag of Fritos come sliding down the ramp, and the giant Frito lay kid saying "here comes another bag of Fritos" (or something like that).
Chuck, My Dad rarely picked up a firearm after he came home from the war. I guess he thought he had had enough. He never talked about it.

K. Martinez said...

I miss the sounds and feel of the "Big Game Shoot" or any other "real" shooting gallery. And just to the left out of picture was a very cool shop "Guatemalan Weavers" which was back when they sold a variety of goods at Disneyland. I miss all that!

It's nice to have a place where I can visit the Disneyland that I love. Thanks, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Scott Lane, I wish that show had been about a guy who restored vintage slides!

Chuck, what a cool ribbon to have; I don’t know if you’ve previously mentioned that your dad was in the armed forces. I got a ribbon for good attendance once.

DrGoat, my guess is that the Frito vending machine was scrapped, but I’d love to imagine that it still exists somewhere. My dad went to Vietnam, and when my sister asked him about it for a school project, he just looked down, fidgeted with his hands, and mumbled. We never did really learn about what he experienced there.

K. Martinez, I wouldn’t mind having a beautiful blanket woven by skilled Guatemalan weavers. I wonder how much something like that would have cost back in those days? The last time I visited Olvera Street, I wanted to buy a blanket (for beach picnics), but they were much pricier than I had expected.

Unknown said...

Golly, what nice pictures to avoid doing the dishes with...

The Mark Twain pictures were shot from the "boiler deck". Yes, the boilers weren't located on the boiler deck and the research I've done readily admits this weird inconsistency. But it's a fool who looks for logic in the heart of nautical terms.

I never knew that the Case de Fritos started out over on the Stage Door Cafe side of the area. Cool stuff. Now learning new things is always a valid excuse for putting off work.

I always used to shoot at the water-borne targets in Frontierland and the Big Game Safari (as I think it came to be known) because every miss was rewarded with a gratifying splashy type of spout of water, just like in the movies! Well worth my precious $0.25.

Anonymous said...

Major, your new work is definitely superior, technology marches on. I'm hoping with your next scanner, you will create images we can step into. Bet I'm not alone in that wish.

The shooting galleries were a lot of fun. I think I liked the Jungle version over the Frontierland version, but my top favorite was the one at Knotts.

It was based right at the exit to the Mine Train, we always shot a round or two after that ride. There were two gophers (or prairie dogs) that popped up alternately, I could hit them both time after time. I won a little gold sticker, long since lost.

Dad was a crack shot, but he never touched a firearm except to thin out the gopher and squirrel population on the farm. Only years later did any of the veterans mention anything about their wartime experiences, and then mostly to complain about the food or the weather. I remember my uncle saying the heroes "were the ones who didn't come home", and that's all he would say.


Nanook said...


As usual, the re-scans are great. I will now make my usual, boring, film reference - to quote from the ad lines of CinemaScope 55: "Richer Deeper Clearer". Major, I would suggest stealing the line for GDB. Who's to know-?

Now, what's the difference with just plain 'ol 'normal' CinemaScope - oh, who cares. Suffice it to say the process was used on only two films - Carousel and The King and I.

@ Patrick Devlin-

Casa de Fritos did get its start located next to Aunt Jemima's Kitchen, and when it moved in 1957, Don DeFore's Silver Banjo Barbecue Restaurant moved in and occupied that location until 1961.

Chuck said...

Major, my dad spent 27 years in the Air Force. Like you, I had an interesting upbringing in a variety of places, although we didn't move around as much a some families did.

I was in high school before my dad ever talked much about his Vietnam experiences. I know he didn't talk to my mom about any of his combat missions until years after he came home because he didn't want her to worry any more than she already was.

He doesn't seem to have any trouble talking about it now, but his war was very different from those that were fighting on the ground or on the rivers. While dodging flak over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in a 1950-vintage armed transport had its dicey moments, he always had a hot shower, a hot meal, and a cold beer waiting for him after a mission. I hear more about administrative fights with the fighter pilots who ran the base than I do about the actual fighting.

Unknown said...

Ah, perfect fill-in there, Nanook. I had known about the Silver Banjo Barbecue and now everything makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I survived a summer working the Adventureland gallery with a sore thumb of loading rifles and dodging ricochets. Never understood why they trained me first on the JC. After that summer, I never was assigned there again. Guess it was a 'rookie' thing. KS

Steve DeGaetano said...

I'm not sure where I read it any more...Life on the Mississippi? But "Texas deck" was usually the highest deck on a steam boat, so-named (I recall) because swarms of Texans would crowd the deck to get a look at their beloved Lone Star State when passing by (on what river? The Rio Grande?).

I can't find any reference to that etymology. Am I coming up with my own "alternative facts" in my old age??!!

Nanook said...

@ Steve DeGaetano-

Well... according to Wikipedia - and we all know how that sometimes goes... "A steamboat's texas is named in honor of the state of Texas. This innovation in steamboat construction was introduced about the same time that the state of Texas became part of the United States in 1845.

In this period, steamboat cabins were conventionally named after states and the officers' quarters were the largest. This structure housing the largest cabins was identified with Texas, which was then the largest state."

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, washing dishes is one of the few chores that I don’t actually mind doing, somehow. Not sure why, since I am far from a neat freak. The boiler deck was named after Sir Reginald Boiler. Gosh, I wish I remembered the Big Game Safari - I must have done it, but have absolutely no recollection of it.

JG, I hope it’s a while before I need a new scanner, this last one was expensive! I want it to last a good five or six years at least, and I can’t imagine I’ll have anything left to blog about by then. I know that there are veterans who do like to talk about their experiences, but I always wished that my dad would share his.

Nanook, it amazes me how fast certain formats came and went when Cinemascope and others were developed. Think of how much it must have cost, and they only did two films?! They were willing to try anything to get people out of their dens and into the theaters.

Chuck, after a while we just stopped asking my dad about his time in Vietnam. Sadly, he passed away about two years ago, so that book has closed. I still remember when he was able to call us from Asia, the connection was always terrible (lots of delay), but we were very happy to talk to him.

Patrick Devlin, is there nothing that barbecue can’t improve?

KS, “dodging ricochets” - that sounds truly hazardous. Probably had no safety goggles or anything, either. Yikes!

Steve DeGaetano, that’s a pretty colorful story - you know your stuff, so I believe you, but it is kooky for sure. I still like my own theory, in which the top deck was plagued with fire ants, just like Texas.

Nanook, I guess so many other large things were compared to Texas, why not a steamboat deck? As usual, no love for Delaware or Rhode island.

walterworld said...

The Big Game Shoot was a lot of fun, especially when you're a 6 or 7 year old firing large BB's at actual moving targets!

Wow, I could have put my eye out, but it was well worth it.

Thanks Major!

Anonymous said... eye protection other than wearing my own glasses at night and sunglasses during the day. However,ear plugs were available. No way the gallery could operate as is was today and that's a shame. KS