Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Fun Mom, April 1969

Fun Mom has become one of the most beloved characters on this blog - she's GDB's version of The Fonz!

There she is, in her hot pink outfit aboard the Disneyland RR - still sponsored by Santa Fe in 1969, and that's always a plus in my opinion. The family is waiting at New Orleans Square Station, so they are only about 1/4 of the way through their "grand circle tour". I believe that the set of cars seen here go by the name of "Holiday Green". 

Meanwhile, over in near the Plaza, Fun Mom is accompanied by a friend (or sister?) and a bunch of kids. Imagine herding six children, including one who is barely a toddler. Yeesh! The Plaza Inn is out of frame to our left, and the Coke Corner is in the distance behind Fun Mom.

The Fonz's leather jacket is in the Smithsonian, why isn't Fun Mom's pink pants suit?


Nanook said...


It's the pink pants suit and the BIG hair that makes for the striking pose. She is most-definitely a "Mom among Moms' ". And what a group of ragamuffins she's shepherding-around outside the Plaza Inn, one of whom is being a trend-setter with his over-sized jacket. Just you wait, kid - those clothes will someday be in-fashion-!

Thanks, Major (& Fun Mom).

TokyoMagic! said...

Fun Mom's pantsuit is in the Disney Archives. It will be auctioned off at the next Disney/Van Eaton auction........for $500,000.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

A real bargain-!

K. Martinez said...

The disheveled look of the kids with their various sizes of clothing in the second pic is priceless. I love it!

Also the Coke Corner doesn't have it's wrought iron enclosure for the outdoor dining area yet. Does anyone know what year that was added? Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Fun Mom is so awesome, she can be at two places at the same time ("Meanwhile..."). :-)

Note the uniformed guy in the white hat walking past Coke Corner. He might be a naval officer in dress blues, although the cut of the uniform and the shape of the hat don't look quite right to me. He may actually be the chief of the Disneyland Fire Department walking with someone from Park management.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Yep, cars in the "400" series, the Holiday Green. I don't believe I've ever seen them lettered for the SF&D RR.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Also, a quickie correction - back then, it was still "Frontierland Station."

Stefano said...

Thanks, Major, no place looks as cheerful with overcast skies as Disneyland.
The last photo could be the Fun Trapp Family Singers, waiting for their cue.

JC Shannon said...

I love it when Fun Mom makes an appearance. The pepto pink pants suit, was an inspiration to non other than Hillary. She is lurking somewhere in the background taking notes, I'm almost sure of it. It may be a concert at Woodstock for some people that year, but for the Fun Fam, it's Disneyland or bust! I only wish we had more snaps of Fun Dad, we hardly ever get to see him. He is a true shutterbug. Now, if you will excuse me, I am goin'up the country with Canned Heat on my vinyl player. Thanks to Major for the photos today.

Clyde Hughes said...

Wow, what an excellent pair of images today, Major!
The pansies make this look like perhaps a spring visit, and the colors are unique to this time of year (along with the aforementioned 'PeptoPinkPantsuit'.)
The kids are so cute, and the clothing sets them off. Maybe the Wright Brothers? I'm not sure who the second woman is. Could she perhaps be the eldest child...the one who is away at college? Maybe Aunt Myrtle?
And, finally, that shutterbug Dad must be a very fit guy, to leap those great distances to take just the right shot, and then run to catch the accelerating train!

Anonymous said...

April '69. The month I started as a CM. The pics remind me how much time has gone by...(sigh) KS

Anonymous said...

These photos are so sharp and crisp, Fun Dad does good work.

I do love the flowers in the first picture. Frontierland station was usually our last stop, after boarding in Tomorrowland, we would ride just enough to see the Grand Canyon. I am still faintly stunned at the brilliance of putting the dioramas there to keep the riders occupied while the train passed through the back stage area behind Main Street. I think this makes the dioramas safe from large scale "editing" by today's misguided designers. There's no way they would spend money to change them out today, unless it were to add Johnny Depp or Finn and Rey to the Dinosaurs.

Also, those excursion cars are the bomb. Lately I have had to settle for the front-facing seats, which aren't the best for diorama viewing.

I think the middle boy is cold and wearing his Father's jacket.

Major, are we sure they had six kids, could some of these be friends, or maybe cousins? The other lady in the pic could be a parent too. Is she Mom's sister?

Thank you for these fun pictures.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, is the big hair a wig, or the real deal? Only her hairdresser knows for sure! I can only imagine the parents buying that oversized jacket and thinking, “It will take him a couple of years to grow into this!”.

TokyoMagic!, I can see Drew Carey and David Copperfield vying for that pantsuit!

Nanook, if only I could sell my stuff for those prices (especially the Autopia poster that went for a quarter of a million), I’d be living large.

K. Martinez, I’m sure that’s how our Navy family looked (four kids) - hand-me-downs and cheap sneakers because we were growing so fast. Good catch on the wrought iron around Coke Corner, hopefully somebody can chime in with when it was added.

Chuck, never underestimate the power of a hot-pink pantsuit. She can transmogrify at will! Some say she can lift objects with her mind. Funny, I usually notice people in uniform, but I did not notice that guy in photo #2. If only we could know for sure if he was the chief of the Disneyland Fire Department! That would be cool.

Steve DeGaetano, interesting that you have never seen the Holiday Green with the lettering… I would think that it would be there all along.

Steve DeGaetano, old habits die hard…

Stefano, you’re right, there is still a lot of charm, even with a gray sky. “Fun Trapp Family Singers”, ha ha!

Jonathan, we’re not done with Fun Mom and her family yet! Did Hilary wear a hot pink pantsuit?? Woodstock… I joked with my mom that she could have taken us to Woodstock, since we lived in Virginia at the time. I’m sure she would have loved all the mud and the hippies and the brown acid. (Side note: why the hell was Sha Na Na at Woodstock?!?!). Fun Dad is my hero, he took so many great photos… I still have some real beauties for all of you coming up.

Clyde Hughes, the slides were dated “April”, so early Spring is a good guess! I have a fun picture of all the kids sitting on a bench eating various treats, we’ll see that one soon. We’ll never know the ID of the second woman, but I’m guessing she’s a relative of some kind. Too young to be an Aunt Myrtle, surely! Fun dad looked like actor Joe Polito, but he was surprisingly light on his feet.

KS, you started at a great time! How long did you work there, if you don’t mind me asking?

Matthew said...

Late as usual (Dang HR meeting). Stefano nailed it. My birthday is in December so growing up and visiting at that time usually involved a lot of gray sky (and many times rain). That first photo is almost exactly how I remember seeing the train waiting there at the Frontierland Station. I can almost hear the telegraph and the bariton sound of puffs coming from the stack now... add a little Jack Wagnor announcement and calling "All Aboard" and off we go. WOW! One image and I am whooshed back in time (not 1969 (I was only 2) more like 1975/76). Oh how I miss those slow days at the Park.

The second photo shows what I always wonder... when did they start placing the railings around the grass area? Although there is no railing yet, we see the first signs of what will one day come.

Thanks fun dad for taking the photos and thanks Major for posting them!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Nanook said...


Let’s not even ‘think’ about that insane price realized for the Autopia poster-! (One wonders what prices a Casa de Fritos or Frontierland Tri-level poster would fetch...)

Melissa said...

I love the contrast between the Fun Family and the Glum Family in the next car!

Matthew said...

@Melissa - Boy you ain't kidding. However, they are wearing some nice matching brown outfits. But pink wins the day!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

That's because fun family eats Disney burgers and fries (we've seen them do so in a past post). The glum family probably eats watercress sandwiches and carrot juice stored in Glum mom's oversized picnic purse. Yuck!

Not to be mean (but OK he's probably mid 50's like me and can take it)
but the kid with baggy jacket and big ears reminds me of Dopey.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, the Grand Canyon Diorama is one of my all-time favorite things at Disneyland. Really! There is just something about it, in spite of its low-tech simplicity that deeply appeals to me. I feel almost the same way about the castle dioramas that you see in the walk-through. I’m trying to figure out WHYI love them so much, and can’t seem to put it into words. Not long ago I was at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, and I loved the “Mammal halls”, “Birds, reptiles, and amphibian” halls, etc. Those darkened rooms with the beautifully realized scenes still thrill me to this day. I’m not so sure that Fun Mom had six kids of her own, but I think at least four of those are hers!

Matthew, one of the best trips I ever experienced was on a rainy day! Granted it stopped halfway through, and it got really cold, but the park was beautiful and uncrowded, and they were running the Mark Twain in the dark because Fantasmic! was down. All of those sensations that you mentioned regarding Frontierland station are the same things that got me so excited! Those rope railings are kind of odd, I didn’t really notice them. Perhaps by that point people were walking on the grass so much that it was hard to maintain the pristine appearance that the Disney folks wanted?

Nanook, the weird thing is that posters such as the Red Wagon Inn, which is 1000 times rarer than the Autopia in any situation, “only” fetched $25,000. I think the tri-level Frontierland is so spectacular that it would probably go very high though - as rare as the Red Wagon Inn poster is, it’s not the most amazing design.

Melissa, ha ha, I kind of wish I had a whole separate lot of slides following the Glum Family around!

Matthew, I will give the Glum Family the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are just tired after three full days at the park. I know it’s a stretch… but I like them in spite of the glumness.

Alonzo, they’ll order a club sandwich with no lettuce because it is too spicy! Could the Glum family actually be a group of Russian spies disguised as a “typical American family”?? Big-coat kid does have some pretty impressive ears. If he’s reading this - we love you just the way you are!

Nanook said...

In reality, ALL the kids have Big Ears, and many facial features in common. I'm convinced all six of 'em are brothers/sisters. The only question for me is, just who is that other woman-? And I wouldn't be surprised if she's Fun Mom's© sister.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I love Fun Mom and her family and each of those kids have wonderful expressions on their faces. I too remember getting oversized jackets and clothing because I grew so fast and my mom wanted to make sure they lasted long enough for the investment.

Melissa said...

The low-tech but effective stagecraft is one of my favorite aspects of older attractions, too. There's so much of it in Pirates and the Haunted Mansion - painted flats and the right lighting do three quarters of the work. I think the fact that the original Imagineers came out of the movie business had a lot to do with their greater understanding of these things.

Love the "Fun Trapp Family!" Now I'm always going to imagine them bursting into song and dance as soon as the camera's off. (And the jacket is so ill-fitting because it used to be the bedroom curtains.)

Anonymous said...

Major...Getting back to you on your question. I was there (in several positions) between April '69 and March '78. Good times indeed. It's great to see the place today but of course much of the charm that I had the opportunity to experience has been overrun by the masses. There was no way that we could have imagined how much the Park, inside and outside the berm, would evolve. KS