Saturday, June 23, 2018

Davey Jones' Locker, Catalina Island - September 1958

Today I have three fun photos from beautiful Santa Catalina island, located about 20 miles from the coast of Los Angeles. Catalina is a popular weekend getaway, and so they have some tourist attractions to keep visitors entertained. How about a glass-bottom boat? Those are fun. Or perhaps you can go out on a boat at night and watch them shine a powerful searchlight into the ocean - it makes the flying fish go nuts! During the day, go see the herds of genuine bison. 

OR... check out this seaside attraction, "Davey Jones (Locker?)". After several searches, I've found essentially NO information about this! Look for "Davey Jones" and you get photos of the Monkees, or the tentacled face of the character from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. But I've found no descriptions or tributes of this show.

I can't quite tell if that structure is a boat of some sort, or if it is built on wood pilings (or whatever). It looks like those two friendly scuba divers emerged from the ocean (which is churning with bubbles), probably to cheers and huzzas! The bulk of the structure seems to have been a large aquarium. Love those giant fish on top - they would look fine in any mid-century home.

I found this old postcard showing a different "Davey Jones" feature - the divers seem to be wearing traditional deep sea diver's gear, complete with heavy copper helmets. How that worked as a tourist attraction I will never know.

No, that's not Martin Milner of "Adam-12" fame... it's diver John Reseck. The ladies love him! Since he is looking up, there must have been bleachers full of happy customers. Or could they be be on a boat themselves?

In the aquarium I spy some orange garibaldi, common in Catalina waters. I think I recognize the silhouette of some kelp bass too. Here endeth my knowledge of fish.

This particular slide was fun because it was hand-labeled "John Resek and baby whale". Baby whale?! Mama mia. I believe that he is holding a small horn shark. Just seconds after this picture was taken, Mr. Resek gulped the entire horn shark down in one swallow. TRUE STORY!

I also found this scan of a vintage postcard, it could have been taken on the same day as my photos.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Santa Catalina island.


Nanook said...


Just imagine what a perfect fit this would be in Galaxy's Edge-! I need not say any more.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

This is so weird! I had a dream about Martin Milner last night and then you go and mention him 24 hours later. Coincidence or psychic vision? I wouldn't have even remembered having the dream if you hadn't mentioned him in your post. So why the heck was I having a dream about him??? (Maybe it was because my dad played him in the Universal Studios Screen Test Theater back in the seventies?)

Melissa said...

That water is so blue and beautiful I wish I could jump through the screen and dive right in. The big fishies on top of the Davey Jones building are so cute! It would have been a shame if he'd gone into a different profession after his parents named him Diver John Resek.

K. Martinez said...

On Catalina Bay around 1966 some tourists on a glass bottom boat spotted a live mermaid that looked an awful lot like Doris Day.

Great pics today. Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

After much searching I was only able to find one Postcard with a paragaph on the back. It is the Davy Jones Dive Barge. They put on an underwater show for the glass bottom boats of the time. It was moored at the Undersea Gardens. Very cool snaps of a simpler time when families did keeno stuff together. Thanks Major for the Pics.

JC Shannon said...

I also got a kick out of the scuba equipment of the time. That is a Voit 50 Fathom single stage regulater and a Voit tank, they used the color white for their tanks. No buoyancy compensator, no backup regulatoror, J valve reserve and the wetsuits of the time were not nylon lined, you had to use talcum powder just to get them on. Truly the golden age of scuba! And yet we are still alive. Mike Nelson would be proud.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I had a dive buddy who when in front of you would grab a horn shark, give it a little shake and then turn around and point it at you. The scared little sucker would bounce off of you trying to get away.

Many good times diving Catalina (bison burger for lunch on the pier too). I miss the Pacific more than the congested freeways, sky high home prices and $135 ticket to Disneyland.

Great pics, thanks for posting.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, this is just like the delightful planet Naboo. Jar Jar lives there!

TokyoMagic!, a dream about Martin Milner IS weird! ;-) I believe that you had a psychic vision, especially if you had pizza for dinner that night. Pizza is a powerful and spiritual food. Was Mr. Milner wearing white shoes in your dream?

Melissa, the fish on top of the aquarium look like hand-carved ornaments that one could purchase at Cost Plus World Market.

K. Martinez, that must be a movie reference, though I don’t know which movie!

Jonathan, you found more than I did - and I looked for postcards in which you could read the back. No such luck in my case. I wish the Davey Jones Dive Barge had been there during my one visit back in the 70’s!

Jonathan II, oh I noticed all of that scuba stuff too. Yeah, of course I did! You believe me, don’t you? I just didn’t mention it because I was shy.

Alonzo, to get even you should have done the same thing with a great white shark. Talk about laughs! My sister used to go snorkeling off of the Channel Islands when she lived in Santa Barbara, I always thought it sounded very cool.

JC Shannon said...

Major, You can view the postcard on ebay, it is almost identcal to the last photo.

Nanook said...


Here we have a [non] I Love Lucy reference, and it still passes you by. The movie Ken is referring to would naturally be none other than The Glass Bottom Boat, 1966, starring Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Arthur Godfrey, Ed Andrews, Dom DeLuise, Dick Martin, George Tobias & Alice Pearce (who, coincidentally played [the original] Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz in the Bewitched TV series), and even Alice Ghostly - also of Bewitched fame. Heck, even Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo makes a brief appearance.

It's typical, light-hearted 1960's American comedy fluff with many silly, if not funny, moments. The scene where Paul Lynde, dressed in drag, 'walks in on' Dick Martin and Ed Andrews in bed together, is well... The very brief "look" Paul Lynde gives to them says it all, especially if you're hip-enough to get ALL the references-!

K. Martinez said...

Thanks, Nanook! You covered all the details. And wasn't the opening scene filmed on Catalina Island or Catalina Bay? I always liked the movie and today's post along with Major's comment about a glass bottom boat made me think about it.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-

Avalon for sure. Also at CSUN - Sierra Tower.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, I looked on eBay! But I guess that there is something new every day there.

Nanook, I have actually never seen a Doris Day movie all the way through. I think I’ve seen most of “Pillow Talk”, but that’s about it (I am not counting Hitchcock’s “The Wrong Man” as a Doris Day movie, even though she is in it of course). I think I need to sign up for “Filmstruck” or something.

K. Martinez, I think Catalina probably stood in for many a tropical or Mediterranean island in Hollywood pictures. So convenient, with a ferry to take cast and crew in just an hour.

Nanook, I have driven past CSUN a zillion times and was unaware of anything called the Sierra Tower. Google time!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I didn't eat pizza the night before, I actually had Tai food. That's funny that you remember my dad's white shoes in that Universal Studios footage. I guess they really did stand out!

Melissa said...

The Glass Bottom Boat had a very catchy theme song. But the movie that made me love Doris Day was the musical Calamity Jane. great tunes, and you can practically feel what a good time she and the rest of the cast are having. And one of the main sets is a saloon/theater that looks a lot like the Golden Horseshoe.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Harper Goff is the common thread between the interior of The Golden Horseshoe and Calamity Jane. Although I can't find ironclad proof, Harper worked at Warner Bros. as a set designer prior to his move to Disney, where he famously designed the sets for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the design work for parts of the original Disneyland.

Melissa said...

@Nanook, that's so cool! It really is a small world after all.