Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy 2018

Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, it's 2018!

Happy New Year, everybody. Let's hope this one's a pip! I wanted to post some nice photos specific to January 1st, but they are lost in the depths of my vast subterranean archives. So... it's basically business as usual. Hopefully that's OK. I'm using up the last two scans from a batch of slides from February, 1961.

There's that crazy Moonliner. People forget that in the 1950's, nearly everyone had a moon rocket, so that they could evacuate the planet when the nuclear wars started. After a few weeks of travel, they could land on a habitable asteroid and start anew. Happened all the time. 

One small detail I'd like to point out is the patterned yellow and white construction wall to the right of the rocket - that's where the Flying Saucers attraction would be built soon.

Next is this backlit (i.e. too dark) photo of the Indian Village. I know that as a teen I probably would have found this area to be boring. I admit it, I was an idiot! Now I'd love to walk around and explore. Notice the green area in the middle, with a totem pole laying down - Native craftsmen actually carved these at the park for a while. Another fun detail - the large map of Tom Sawyer Island, AND the man carrying his dry cleaning (white dress shirt & trousers) just to the right of that!


D ticket said...

Happy New Year Major!

Nanook said...


It's hard not to love any picture of the Moonliner, even if the 'TWA' logo is inexplicably-absent. (Although I have seen some images from this period where it appears to be camera-shy). And this image is no exception.

And to think I thought I was the only one who brought along a fresh set of clothes back from the dry cleaners, just to have at the ready, so I could always look 'my best' while strolling-around Disneyland. (I will admit, though, I was much-more discreet with my "Superman outfit"-!) But looking beyond our "clothes hound friend", there are so many nice little touches - from the colorful feathers and totem poles, to the teepee's and beautiful landscaping. It was undoubtedly lost on most of us as kids, but that doesn't stop some incredible theming.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to provide The Major with personal images and to those who comment, adding both tidbits of Disneyland/WDW/Knott's/etc. 'lore', along with some some awfully-funny observations and just downright good fun - made even more-so by seeing Melissa's fount of personal remembrances and wickedly-unique sense of humor regularly in these pages.

Thanks, Major - and Happy New Year, indeed-!

Patrick Devlin said...

I wish I could run down there and tell them to include baffled wall in the basement air chambers for the saucers. Oh well.

Happy New Year to all and sundry here at the second-Happiest Place on Earth.

Melissa said...

Could anything be more optimistic than the sight of that bright red and white rocket against that beautiful blue sky?

So cool about the totem poles I would have loved to see that done. Do you suppose this picture was taken before the park opened, and that's a CM with his costume?

K. Martinez said...

These two images illustrate what was popular at the time Disneyland was being built in 1954-55, westerns and science fiction.

I remember as a kid having a cap gun and cowboy hat and vest. And I remember my bedroom walls being covered in spaceman/rocket ship wallpaper. It was a another era.

I remember the Indian Village as a child and always thinking, when is this going to be over so we can go on the rides? Now, I would appreciate something like this exhibit. Thanks, Major.

Happy New Year to all!

Chuck said...

I love that little "fire ring" underneath the Moonliner. Guests could buy pronged sticks and hot dogs at the Space Bar and cook their own under the rocket's exhaust. There are a few documented cases of people bringing in marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers, but the practice was discouraged because of the terrible mess it made.

In the second photo, note the covers on the canoes, presumably to help them keep warm and comfortable on those chilly February nights. And for the record, I don't find lugging a garment bag to Disneyland a strange idea at all.

Nanook, I may be mistaken, but I think that Moonliner shot is documenting the period between the end of TWA sponsorship in 1961 and its full repaint into Douglas colors in 1962. Looking at earlier photos, the TWA logo would have to be visible from this angle if it were there, and there is other extant imagery that shows the Moonliner without the TWA logo.

Great start to a new year, Major! Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

D ticket, many thanks.

Nanook, we’ve seen photos of the rocket without the TWA logo before - from that brief time between the end of TWA’s sponsorship and the beginning of Douglas’ new paint scheme. I actually bring several changes of clothing, as if I am onstage in Las Vegas. I always end with my sparkly blue suit. Thanks to you, too!

Patrick Devlin, why would those walls be so baffled? Did they hear a joke they didn’t understand?

Melissa, I think that photo #2 just happened to be taken when there weren’t many guests around - but there are a few, to the left. Every once in a while I’ll see a similar photo - perhaps a person in western gear walking through Main Street. I love those.

K. Martinez, you have completely ignored the Certified Public Accounting craze! Kids were wild for spread sheets and audits, and they wore horn-rimmed glasses, and those cool green eyeshades. What a wacky, yet innocent, time.

Chuck, another s’mores joke that cuts me to my core… I have still never had a s’more. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep when I think about it. But then I remember that kids in Russia probably put beets on a stick and cook those over a fire. NO THANK YOU. Meanwhile, I had forgotten the story of you carrying your dress uniform with you to the park for your wife’s birthday. Not many people would do that!! As for the Moonliner sans “TWA”, remember those photos of the altered attraction posters in which the TWA has also been painted over?

Stephen Hughes said...

Thanks for the wonderful insights over the past year and I am looking forward to 2018.

Sunday Night said...

Disneyland, Knott's, Pacific Ocean Park, the MGM's all here. Thanks Major for another great year. And thanks to all the regular posters and contributors here.

Chuck said...

Major, I'm embarrassed to admit that I had forgotten. In my defense, I've slept 287 times since then (not counting naps...which have been less frequent than I would prefer). And now you've given me a new recipe to try on my next Scout camp-out. Should I poke holes in the can before trying to roast beets over a fire?

DrGoat said...

Happy New Year Major, and thanks for all the great stuff this last year. That is a great shot of the Moonliner, and like K., I had a cap gun (a Mattel Fanner 50), lots of space ships everywhere, but most importantly, my Davy Crockett coonskin cap with Davy Crockett T-shirt.
Best childhood ever. We were very lucky in the draw concerning when we were born.

Patrick Devlin said...

A Mattel Fanner 50?! Now that's cool, as long as you have greenie stick'em caps. That's what my older brother had; I was younger and clueless and settled for the Johnny Eagle Red River revolver. Ahh, hindsight, and all that...

DrGoat said...

Fanner 50s lost a lot of their punch without Grennie Stick'm caps. Do miss those giant rolls of red caps we used to get. You could smash a roll with a BFR and most of them would go off. Hey, a Johnny Eagle Red River pistol was actually pretty cool!

JG said...

My space suit works ok on a hanger, but the helmet is just awkward.

@DrGoat, using a magnifying glass on red caps was the best, IMHO.