Sunday, November 18, 2018

Random Frontierland

This lazy Sunday gives me the opportunity to use up some fairly "blah" Frontierland photos that I just couldn't bring myself to use on any other day (because Sundays mean low viewership, see?). 

Here's an unremarkable look at Fort Wilderness (from 1964), probably from the deck of the Mark Twain. It's almost obscured by the lush landscaping. The tippy-top of the Matterhorn shows up, all the way from Tomorrowland!

This one is from a lot dated "June 1959", and shows a CM at the dock where the Mark Twain just left for its 10-minute (ish?) trip around the river. Unless the Columbia was running too, he can take it easy for a while.

A different 1959 lot had this photo of the Friendly Indian Village. It's small, but it's cozy, and all of the men and women are busy preparing hides, grinding corn, drying meat, or performing other daily tasks necessary for survival on the Great Plains.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Algeria and Canada

I decided to share some photos from beyond the borders of the U.S. today. Who knows, maybe it will be fun!

This first scan is from a small batch of slides that are from around the WWII era. I believe this particular image is from the post-war years. The building featured here is the "La Grande Poste D'Alger" ("The Great Post of Algiers"). Built in 1910, it is located in the heart of Algiers (on the the northern coast of Algeria). 

I am fascinated by that giant map of France hanging over the arched entrance (Algeria was a French colony until 1962).

Does anybody have some idea of what this map might depict? I'm wondering if it has anything to do with Germany’s occupation in WWII - although, as I said before, I believe that the photo is really post-war, so I suppose that doesn't make much sense. If you have a clue, please chime in!

The building must have been brand-new when this postcard was printed.

Here's a beautiful contemporary photo from Wikipedia.

Next comes this undated (but probably 1960's) photo of a store in Canada - Windsor, Ontario to be exact. Note the Union Jack as well as the pre-maple leaf Canadian flags. The store is "C.H. Smith and Company", although it looks like they were attempting to be more hip and groovy, going by the name "Smith's", with a charming font.

From the interwebs: The C. H. Smith Company Limited Store for dry goods was located on the east side of Ouellette Avenue between Sandwich Street (now Riverside Drive) and Pitt Street; the main entrance was on Ouellette Avenue, with a side entrance in Pitt Street East; founded in 1914, the Smith store moved from the original Pitt Street location to Ouellette Avenue in 1919; for many years the Smith store was the largest department store in Windsor; the building was demolished in the 1970s after the Smith store moved to the Devonshire Mall.

Here's a very old photo featuring Smith's - 1930's?

I hope you have enjoyed your trip abroad. Please do not bring any plants or fruit back into the U.S.!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Firetruck Fun, May 1966

Happy Friday, everyone! I have two fun photos from May of 1966, featuring the motorized Fire Truck (not to be confused with the non-motorized Chemical Wagon). 

You know her, you love her, it's our Polly Holiday lookalike, with her signature babushka and brown (taupe?) overcoat. I wonder if she was an actress? She was caught in the photo with her eyes closed (that happens to me all the time), but she still looks fabulous. 

The Fire Truck has a special guest on board - none other than The Goof himself. I love all of the details in the background, including the Horse Drawn Streetcar, the Omnibus, the Tiki Room, and even the Swiss Family Treehouse.

Pompon Lady is also here, and she is so happy to meet Goofy, who was planning to run for President in 1968. Ya gotta get out and press the flesh! Some details: the man stuffing his face with popcorn like a 5 year-old; that cool red shirt with the brass buttons on the truck's driver; the State flags at the entrance to Tomorrowland; the little girl in the white fez. I love it all!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Color Snapshots, June 1977

I'm using up some "not great" snapshots from 1977. 1977? Jimmy Carter was sworn in as President; "Roots" aired on TV; Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" was released; "Star Wars" opened in cinemas; "Space Mountain" opened at Disneyland; the first Apple II computers went on sale. That's some pretty cool stuff for one year!

We're going to be accompanying Little Miss Pigtails as she meets 'n greets various characters throughout the park. Here she is, looking apprehensive as the Big Bad Wolf is surrounded by a flock of tiny children. He loves his fans - with some A-1 steak sauce! Oh man! How do I do it? Watch out, Jay Leno. Two of the Li'l Pigs are in the background.

Notice the little stage in the distance, which I know very little about, except that (I believe) that it was only there for a short time. There is also part of a structure to our left that is painted green so that it will be as unobtrusive as possible, I wonder what that was for?

Next MP is holding hands with the Practical Pig, who looks angry but he's actually just very gassy.

Now Miss Pigtails is in front of the castle, and she is much more comfortable around friendly Doc. In the background, a lady balloon vendor! Now I've seen everything!

All the kids love Dopey, and they're jostling to get a picture with the silliest of the Dwarfs. I think that Miss Pigtails might have stepped into the other little girl's photo, and that girl is not happy about it. The little boy wants to know if he can fit his entire head into Dopey's ear.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Canoes & Fort Wilderness, 1959

I have a couple of nice Frontierland views for you, circa 1959 - a big year in Disneyland history. Frontierland didn't undergo many changes in that year though. 

First up is this nice shot of an Indian War Canoe gliding past the fishing dock (notice the many bamboo poles) in the background, and a raft loading up with guests, about to head back to the mainland. Once again I will state for the record that I love this early Frontierland, with the banks of the rivers looking like a wilderness instead of an amusement park.

Here comes a Keelboat!

Here's a nice view inside Fort Wilderness (on Tom Sawyer Island), where guests are safe within the stockade. They could climb to the parapet to sneak a peek at the outside world, yodel down a stone well, meet General Andy Jackson (or a waxwork facsimile), ring a large triangle to deafen your neighbors, take the emergency escape tunnel down to the shore... it was tons o' fun. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rejects - Unrejected!

There are a few hundred never-scanned slides in my old boxes - they were rejected for any number of reasons, and in many cases they will remain rejected. Too dark, too blurry, etc. But there are some that are worth a look now! All of today's photos had turned red, and all were taken aboard the Jungle Cruise.

This first one is from August 13, 1955 - Disneyland was less than a month old! This is certainly my earliest view of the back side of water. From what I understand, the Jungle Cruise was more of a serious affair back in those days - none of the corny jokes and puns that we are so familiar with today were used.

This next one is dated August 14, 1956. A year and a day after the first picture! It's not much of a photo, except perhaps as a "you are there" view from 62 years ago. The Skipper's outfit has changed a bit, though I'm not sure what it is supposed to resemble. Looks vaguely Guatemalan to me.

And finally, another view of the back side of water, this time from June, 1958. The silhouetted heads partially block second jungle launch that is viewing the very boring and horrible front side of water.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Few Leftuggies

Sometimes leftuggies are the last thing in the world that anyone wants to deal with. But under the right circumstances (planetary alignments, crystal energy, and so on), leftuggies can be delicious!

Howsabout this beautiful shot of the Columbia (circa 1978)? Very artistic. That rigging makes sense to a spider but not to me. The warm glow of the lanterns in the foreground contrasts with that brilliant, deep cobalt blue sky with the soft pink horizon.

Next is this overcast but still pretty photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle (1969). The blue of the "slate" roof tiles, the bright banners, colorful flowers, and tiny spots of bright-hued clothing really perk up what might have otherwise been a dull affair.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Frontierland Station, 1962

It's a black and white day here in Gorillaland. Not the usual cotton candy and lollipops malarky! GDB is dark and gritty, like the DC movie universe. Everybody's angry and it rains a lot, and we punch each other through buildings just for the fun of it.

At first I thought that the 1962 date (written on the envelope that holds the snapshots) might be in error; Here we see Frontierland Station, which as many of you know, was based on a train station in the Disney movie "So Dear To My Heart". The station building has been moved back so that the train passes in front of the old building (sorry for my muddled description) - in my brain I always thought that this was done for the construction of New Orleans Square, which didn't open until 1966.

BUT... in 1962, there were plenty of changes in Frontierland, including the removal of the Plantation House and additions to the Indian Village. 1962 really was the year that the old Frontierland Station was moved, as part of construction that would eventually become part of the New Orleans Square expansion (the station wouldn't change it's name to "New Orleans Square Station" until 1996, much to my astonishment). 


Saturday, November 10, 2018

New York World's Fair Construction

It's time for more cool construction photos from the 1964 New York World's Fair! 

Both of today's pix were snapped from the top of the "American Interiors" pavilion, which was adjacent to the Hall of Education (to our right), and the striking "Travelers Insurance" pavilion, with the domed roof that resembled their red umbrella logo. 

In addition to murals and fountains, the Travelers pavilion featured "The Triumph of Man": Human progress from the cave to the space capsule is reviewed in a tour of 13 dioramas. Some show man inventing tools, discovering fire and worshiping primitive gods, then starting civilizations with farms and cities. Others depict the rise and fall of Rome, Columbus' voyages, America's pioneers and the Civil War. The final scene shows man entering the Space Age.

For reasons not explained by science, I enjoy seeing all of those cars parked along the roadway, with the spindly, newly-planted trees, and random piles of garbage. In the distance is the Van Wyck Expressway; behind the Travelers umbrella we can just see a bit of the massive Bell System building.

Next is this view of the Hall of Education. It was full of mean teachers who made you do tests, spit out your gum, and sit quietly! According the souvenir guidebook, The changing goals, methods and tools of education in America are the concern of the exhibitors in this pavilion - for the most part businesses associated with education. Visitors may see a school of tomorrow, hear prominent Americans discuss problems of the day, listen to classroom exercises and watch modern teaching machines at work. The large building also has a playground area, an audio-visual demonstration center and a public restaurant.

I would like to add that I especially admire those lime-green luminaires! 

It occurred to me that it might be possible to stitch the two images together, though I didn't hold out a lot of hope. Happily, Photoshop did a great job. I don't mind the distortion that was necessary to knit one photo to the other. 

Friday, November 09, 2018

Two Colorful Fantasyland Photos, August 1967

I sure do love today's pair of photos (augmented with some details), taken by Fun Dad in August, 1967. 

We're right next to the ol' Matterhorn, with some fun details such as the ticket & information booth, the Monorail track, the two Skyway gondolas, and the felt-hatted balloon vendor in the foreground. Rather than any one feature, I love the general color and energy that is evident in this photo. The park feels so clean and appealing! And it is busy, but not excessively so.

I can't ignore that impressive hat on the hipster passing by - magnifico! Just to the right of his head is a very grumpy man who needs more fiber in his diet. And to the extreme right, some of Snow White's Dwarfs - Dopey and Grumpy - marching through, presumably with the other five Dwarfs now out of frame.

Panning (or perhaps stepping) just a bit to the right, we find this equally colorful and engaging scene near the Alice in Wonderland dark ride. Several caterpillar vehicles can be seen on the upper level! The variety of hues and patterns in the clothing are great, and not at all garish or loud.

Being August, there are plenty of families with kids, unlike the off-season, where children are a bit more scarce (or so it seems based on vintage photos, at least).

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Disneyland Parking Lot

Today I am continuing to share scans of snapshots that were given to me by long-time GDB friend Irene. The photos were in albums that belonged to her brother Bruce, and they were taken by Bruce's friend James, who always gave Bruce his duplicates (remember when photo processors automatically gave doubles?). I'm going to give all three of them credit, what do you think of that?

I'll start with this unusual shot of the Harbor Gate entrance to the parking lot. This was the main entry to the park for guests (as opposed to the Katella Gate), though I am wondering if the photo might show an entrance for employees? 

As usual, none of these photo prints were dated, so I can only assume that all of them are from the mid to late-1990's, not long before the parking lot was transformed into DCA, with a large plaza area in between the parks.

In this first view, we're so close to the entrance that we don't even need to take a tram. But I want to take the tram! Don't they understand? Don't they understand anything?! Oh well. The Monorail track is practically right over our head, let's climb up there. What's the worst that could happen? Just look at all of those ugly cars, no bueno. It's easy to recall arriving at the park and being this close to the ticket booths (which you can just see), as the Monorail makes a surprise appearance. Hurry up, let's go! 

I'm not sure where James was standing in this image, but where-oh-where are all of the automobiles? We appear to be facing toward Katella, sort of where it intersects Harbor Blvd.; In fact, it looks like cars were let in from the Katella Gate. Note the dome to the right, part of the Anaheim Convention Center.

The clouds look similar to photo #2, so perhaps this was taken within moments of that image. Facing to the east... well, now we know where all the cars went. That blue Honda Civic looks much like the one I owned years ago. 

Thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James!

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Frontierland Signage, 1969

I wonder what our Mysterious Benefactor is doing today? Shaking hands with world leaders? Lounging on the sandy beaches of San Tropez? Skiing in Innsbruck? What a life he leads! And yet he is humble and lovable. 

Today's three Frontierland scans feature classic signage. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but in my opinion, having an interest in details like these ordinary signs is what separates us from the animals. 

The Pendleton store was at Disneyland for many years, gracing Frontierland from 1955 all the way through to 1990. I wonder if Pendleton supplied the tour guides with their various plaid outfits? While researching to see when the store closed, I found that the Pendleton company website had two articles about their history in Disneyland. They're not in-depth, but they’re still fun. See one article HERE, and another article (with two of my photos!) HERE.

Here's an oldie from my collection showing a more general view of the Pendleton store.

Meanwhile, sandwiched between Casa de Fritos ("Hey, Klondike!") and the Mine Train queue, one would have found the Mineral Hall - but it only appeared to you if you were worthy. As most of you know, the hall was a paradise for rock hounds. 

"Ma, can I have this feldspar?". "No, son, it's one of the most common rocks in the world, making up around 41% of the Earth's continental crust (by weight). Pick something more interesting. How about this nice rose quartz?" "Aw, gee whiz!". Aaaaand... scene. 

Most people remember the display of fluorescent minerals that dazzled beneath a magical blacklight.

I can't believe I don't have a better picture with the Mineral Hall than this one, but I'm lazy and didn't want to spend that much time looking. Cartoons need to be watched.

Here's some nice glowy rocks, courtesy of Wikipedia! PSYCHEDLIC.

And finally, here's a busy December day in front of the Golden Horseshoe Revue. For many years the GHR made do with a printed cloth banner, which seemed so odd to me. They finally got this fancy sign in either late 1961 or early 1962, and the world was a happier place.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Knott's Haunted Shack Brochures

Digging through my box of non-Disney brochure and flyers, I discovered that I had three different handouts for Knott's Berry Farm's much-missed "Haunted Shack". Variations are something I love! Unfortunately none of these are dated, though I am guessing that they are all from the 1950's, and might have been used into the early 1960's. 

For those that don't already know, the Haunted Shack was similar to Santa Cruz's famous "Mystery Spot", in which gravity seemed to misbehave (water would flow "uphill", a broom would stand at a crazy angle), while optical illusions made people appear to grow or shrink. It was lots of fun!

This first flyer might be the oldest - it has a very spooky drawing of what appears to be a wailing ghoul clawing at the window. Yikes!

It's only a single-fold flyer - the back cover tells the "Legend of the Haunted Shack". I've always loved the names "Slanty Sam" and "Shaky Sadie". It sounds like the property has seen some pretty weird stuff over the years, going all the way back to the Nevada's Gold Rush.

Here's the inside spread. Look at those people. Witches, I say! That same pretty lady appears on a Haunted Shack postcard.

This next version seems to be a little bit scarcer than the others - it is printed on coated stock, which gives it a better print quality. The drawing of the ghost on the first version has been replaced with this crude, grinning weirdo. Is it Shaky Sadie herself?

Bonus points for "The Haunted Shack: By The Railroad Track".

Oo-la-la, this one is a three-panel (two fold) flyer! So fancy. They've added a photo of two carpenters standing at an impossible angle. Why did they have to throw their levels away? I'd like to think that one of the workmen needed to change his coveralls because of all the BLOOD!

The text on the inside spread is basically identical to the first version. Incidentally, that photo is the same one that's on the vintage postcard.

And finally, this is what I believe is the most common version. Shaky Sadie now dominates the front cover - perhaps she was drawn by a local high school student (remember, this was before everyone drew the Van Halen logo on their desks). The shack is "AMAZING, AMUZING, CONFUZING". Ghosts were never good at spelling.

"Men are fascinated, women adore it". So great. "Scientists and Engineers Baffled and Frustrated in this EMPORIUM of BEWILDERMENT"!. P.T. Barnum, eat your heart out.

And the back has more Grade "A" ballyhoo.

I hope you have enjoyed these Knott's items!