Monday, September 11, 2017

Hello Walt!

Long-time GDB friend Huck Caton sent a bunch of jpegs featuring photos of Walt Disney. Now, I've seen a LOT of photos of Walt, but Huck managed to find some that I had never seen before; since it is likely that most of you are fans of Retlaw Yensid, I thought I would share some of the pictures with you.

I might have guessed that the first two photos were from the debut of the much-missed Skyway - that attraction opened on June 23, 1956. But Walt is looking pretty casual, so I think these must be candid, "behind the scenes" photos. He is obviously ordering a pizza (large, with pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms) for he and his friend.

Could the other gentleman be the CEO of the Von Roll company? I did massive research (30 seconds on Google), and gave up, angry tears of frustration streaming down my reddened face. Walt just told him a great knock-knock joke. 

"Who's there?"
"Little old lady"
"Little old lady who?"
"I didn't know you could yodel!"

I'm not 100% sure, but I may have seen this third photo before. Maybe not! It's unusual because there aren't that many pictures of Lillian Disney in the park. That quizzical expression on Walt's face is due to the fact that he just told Lilly that same knock-knock joke, and she barely laughed. Inconceivable!

Thanks to Huck for sharing these fun photos!


Graffer said...

In 3 years, Walt would find that his Knock-Knock joke was a knee-slapper at the opening of the Matterhorn.

K. Martinez said...

Sometimes I visit a blog and am blown away. This is one of those times. These photo images are AWESOME!! I've never seen shots like these of Walt and the Skyway. In that second photo you can really see how the two seats fit in there. I remember riding these Skyway buckets as a small child.

A HUGE THANKS to Huck Caton for sharing these wonderful images of Walt and the Skyway. As Thurl would say, They're great!

Nanook said...


After consulting my crystal ball, the gentleman who will be sharing the pizza with Walt, is none other than Von Roll engineer Paul Zuberbühler - who is also seen with him evidently heading-out of the Fantasyland station.

And the reason Walt looks so sullen, is Lillian just confessed her favorite knock-knock joke to Walt:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Goliath who?
Goliath down -- you looketh tired!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

A-ha, so the Skyway buckets did sway! The bucket in that third pic is swaying quite a bit. Or is it "listing"? And what are those bars that we can see Walt and Mr. Zuberbühler (thanks, Nanook!) holding onto in the second pic? I haven't seen anything like that in any other Skyway pics. Were those perhaps an early form of "lap bar" or restraints that were eventually removed from the vehicles? Maybe they were slowing down the loading and unloading process too much? In that first pic, Walt is actually calling over to the Tomorrowland Skyway station and telling them to go ahead and fire off their flare gun to signal the start of the fireworks.

Scott Lane said...

I think I enjoyed the comments as much as the pictures. (and the pictures were great!)

Chuck said...

These are...wait a minute...gotta pull myself together...deep breath...I'm okay...breathtaking.

TM!, when the Skyway first debuted, there were concerns about the original motors. The fear was that when all of the buckets were fully loaded, the system might grind to a halt. Those metal rods across Walt and Mr Zuberbühler's laps were there so guests could safely push their gondolas back into the station if necessary. They were removed once the system was operational and proved reliable.

Melissa said...

He's not ordering pizza; he's ordering a swinging bucket of chicken from Colonel von Roll. Their slogan was, "Have It Thy Way on the Skyway." They tested really well in the Quaker community.

I used to ask my Grandma to reach me to yodel and she'd tell me to sing, "I eat old ladies" really fast.

I can't tell if Lillian is wearing a hat or just layering her wigs.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

'Lap bar', 'restraints' - whatever - that attraction had quite the speed in the early days. (Swaying buckets was the least of its problems...) Hold On, kids-!

@ Melissa-
Lillian just wished to be prepared for that 'harrowing' ride.

Nanook said...

And I should've added: We all know just how much Lillian disliked wearing babushka's-!

Clyde Hughes said...

These are wonderful photos, indeed! Thanks!

Now, about those lap bars...that's right, I had forgotten the old reliability problems which were only a wild rumour. That crank that Mr. Von Roll is operating will keep the ride operating...but, he has to do it *all the time!* LOL
No wonder Walt had to order a pizza just to keep up Mr. Von Roll's strength!!

Now, about that look that Walt has... I wonder if somehow this is tied to the origin of spitting from the buckets? :) Someone said it was a 'long, fine-standing tradition of noble origins,' and, well, if Walt was the first, then that makes sense.

Nanook said...

@ Clyde Hughes-

Perhaps you're right. HA-! But, in this image at least, with the Monorail beamway in the background, we know the date of the image must be from 1959 - at the earliest.

MRaymond said...

I shared a link of todays post to the VonRoll facebook page.

Rob Skyway said...

Yes the 1st picture is Walt with Paul Zuberbühler. That man right there is the inventor of the Von Roll VR 101 grip. As for motor on the Skyway, original motor that ran from when it was installed in 1956 to the day it stopped..

Rob Skyway said...

Thank you..

Major Pepperidge said...

Graffer, it is true, yodel humor would soon take on a whole new significance!

K. Martinez, hopefully there will be a few more “Walt” photos that you haven’t seen before. I’m glad you liked these!

Nanook, thanks for the ID on Paul Zuberbühler. He looks like a jolly fellow. I am pretty sure your knock-knock joke first appeared in “Canterbury Tales”.

TokyoMagic!, I seem to remember the buckets swaying, at least when they first left the station. I didn’t really notice those lap bars, but you’re right, they are odd.

Scott Lane, hooray!

Chuck, from now on I need to have an online ID that is “Mr. Zuberbühler”.

Melissa, what kind of Grandma would teacher her granddaughter to say “I eat old ladies”?! The best kind! Meanwhile, now I will always imagine Lillian wearing a wig.

Nanook, wait, what? Did the old Skyway really go faster? Or are you joking?

Clyde Hughes, I did wonder about that crank, thank you for explaining its purpose. ;-). I much preferred dropping pennies from the Skyway over spitting. I mean, spitting is just so gross.

Nanook, good eye on spotting the Monorail beam!

MRaymond, well OK!

Rob Skyway, thank you for the confirmation on Paul Zuberbühler. I always kind of wondered if the mechanism for the Skyway was replaced when the ride was updated to the larger rectangular buckets… now I know.

Nanook said...

@ Major-

Merely joking.

walterworld said...

Nice, Walt is wearing his 'Smoke Tree Ranch' pin...

Anonymous said...

This post and the comments are brilliant. Thanks everyone.