Sunday, July 09, 2017

Swinging on the Columbia, June 1958

Today's photos were taken in June of 1958, when the Columbia sailing ship was brand new (having debuted that very month). Walt Disney knew that another big boat was just the thing for the Rivers of America, and a duplicate of the first U.S. vessel to circumnavigate the globe was selected. It has been a popular attraction for nearly 60 years!

In the early days, crew members were apparently encouraged to climb the rigging (ratlines?) and hang from the spars, probably eliciting gasps from the crowds below. "I think it's a monkey dressed like a sailor!". "I think that guy has had too much grog!". "If he falls, he's going to land right on me". "I wonder where he bought those shoes?". These are just a few of the thoughts that probably occurred to guests.


Look at that show-off, climbing up to the crow's nest like he owns the place! Why in my day it just wasn't done.


8 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

What - you mean you never climbed up to the crow's nest-??!! (Check out one of your old ticket books - it was actually a "D" coupon). Well, it was in my ticket book, anyway...

Thanks, Major, for some unique shots.

K. Martinez said...

There's finger pointing going on in that first pic. Nice angles of the Columbia. I may have seen, but don't remember seeing or even remember commenting about seeing the crew dude swinging from the spars. Another nice set today. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Who does that guy think he is....part of the cast of Fantasmic? And climbing the rigging of the Columbia doesn't seem so daring. I want to see a cast member swinging from the top the Matterhorn! Oh wait....

Patrick Devlin said...

Boy, could I ever bore everyone with some nautical terminology! Suffice to day that ratlines is pronounced "rat-lynns". I'll stop there. Nice shots. They should do this today, insurance be damned!

Steve DeGaetano said...

I believe he's sliding down a "shroud" in the first pic but climbing ratlines in the second. One hand for the ship, and one hand for yourself!

And while the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship may have had crows' nests, this windjammer only has "tops."

Here we go with Patrick O'Brian again!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, only sailors who have been rated a “Crow” are allowed in the crow’s nest. To qualify you have to be able to steal an egg from another bird’s nest, eat some roadkill, and caw loudly at 6 o’clock in the morning in front of somebody’s house.

K. Martinez, Walt would never approve of that manner of finger-pointing. I think the last time I was on the Columbia one of the cast members climbed about five feet up the shrouds.

TokyoMagic!, that guy thinks he’s Peter Pan! And this was many years before Fantasmic. Do they still let the mountain climbers swing or rappel on the Matterhorn?

Patrick Devlin, I named my first daughter “Ratlynn”. She loves to shred up newspaper, and cheese is her favorite food.

Steve DeGaetano, oooh, I used the word “shroud” as well! As much as I love those Patrick O’Brian books, none of the terminology has managed to stick, really.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that is a good question. I'm not sure. The last time I saw mountain climbers on the Matterhorn was back in the nineties. If they do still do it, I'm sure Disney makes them wear a seat belt, lap bar, over-the-shoulder restraint and a parachute.

Anonymous said...

Major, it's a little known fact that monkeys love grog. The photos are documentary proof.

JG