Monday, August 06, 2018

Mark Twain Dock, May 1966

Let's return to a batch of slides featuring our favorite babushka'd lady and (presumably) her husband as they clown for the camera like 14 year-olds. Their auburn-haired friend also rocks a babushka, as well as an unusual dress with many pompons. 

This is kind of an unusal view, and I like the details such as the two clocks (not quite synchronized!), and the letter box to the left. I wish we could see the sign to the right of the smaller clock...

Next is a view from aboard the Mark Twain. 20 minutes have elapsed since the previous photo, so our  friends are presumably just returning from their journey around the Rivers of America. I hope they had a good time.

Here are some genuine 1966 people!


Nanook said...


Yes, that's quite the outfit-! She's single-handedly trying to upstage all that lovely woodwork of the dock. (Extra points, Major, for spelling 'pompons' correctly). I always love the POV shots of the 'teeming masses' waiting to board the Mark Twain and Columbia - and this one is no exception. And believe it or not, those people are actually 'genuine 1965 people disguised as folks from 1966. Pretty good, huh-?

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Most of those people waiting for the Mark Twain look like they have that mid-afternoon zoned out tired look from being at Disneyland for a while. Not a lot of smiles.

Always liked the Columbia/Mark Twain dock structure and this is a nice pic of it. Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Wow, double babushka Monday! Way to start the week Major. Doubles abound, babushkas, double clocks, etc. In pic two we have double floppy hats on the left and double fedoras on the right. Lots o' 60's people watching goodness. Thanks for posting.

DrGoat said...

They look like they are just leaving the theater after watching Schindler's List. That one gent on the right in the suit and shades looks a little too much like James Wood.
Great picss Major.

Stu29573 said...

Fun Fact!
In the 60s you could only wear shades if you were a spy.
Spies don't smile much...

Melissa said...

And a bonus baby blue babushka in the crowd of the third picture! And a Disneyland tour guide in her adorable costume.

I think my favorite 1966 person is the older fedora guy with folded arms at right. He's clearly a gruff but kind police chief.

JC Shannon said...

In the first photo, camera guy is so taken by these lovely ladies, that he burst into song.

"Here we come...walkin' down the dock...we get the grumpiest looks from people by the clock."
"Hey Hey we babushka, it keeps our hair from blowin' around, we're to busy stylin' to put anybody down."
"We just wanna look well quaffed, come and watch us walk in the wind, when you wear a babushka you don't need to be bobby pinned!"

Ok, this is what happens when Major goes away for the weekend.

Anonymous said...

People watching at it's best.

They hold still while we stare and they don't know we are watching them, so they won't catch our eye gawking, no one is embarrassed either way.

That dock structure is certainly complex woodwork. I wonder how they settled on that color of gray-green. White would have been obvious, but maybe there was some definitive research on a historic color?

I see several ticket books in the approved left chest pocket position. It's a natural.

Thanks Major.


Melissa said...

Catchy song, JC!

Major Pepperidge said...

Hi guys! I’m back from my trip. Thanks for your patience!

Nanook, I will take the extra points earned for correctly spelling “pompons” and put them toward that transistor radio I’ve had my eye on in the S&H Green Stamps catalog.

K. Martinez, ha ha, it’s true, those folks aren’t looking super happy! We’ve all been there. The Twain/Columbia loading dock structure is another feature that reminds me of something from an antique train setup.

Alonzo, this must have been the very start of the floppy hat craze! By the late 60’s and 70’s, hats reached maximum floppiness.

DrGoat, yeah, they look like they are all heading in to get their wisdom teeth pulled. Remember when James Woods wasn’t crazy?

Stuart Powley, it’s true, shades were not available to the general public until Nixon was reelected in 1972. It’s a scientific fact!

Melissa, wasn’t “Baby Blue Babushka” one of Bing Crosby’s early hits? Good eye on the tour guide, I’m surprised I didn’t notice her.

Jonathan, you can’t go wrong with The Monkees. And I am almost certain that in the opening credits of the show, you see at least a few of them wearing babushkas. It’s been a while though.

JG, I agree with you, I’m sure that gray-green color was probably researched and found to be historically accurate. They would go to that much effort! The contrast between it and the steamboat would make the Twain look all the more white and amazing. I love seeing ticket books in the wild!

TokyoMagic! said...

Babushka Watch, 2018! Did anyone point out the red babushka on the lady inside the dock structure (second and third pic)?

Matthew said...

Happy Monday and welcome back Major! I hope your time away was rewarding and enjoyable.

Ok... we are back in my neck of the woods so let me add a little color here.
The Mark Twain dock did (1980's - early 1990's) or does include white detail to much of the trim work around the wood structure. So while I was working there it was a combo of both white and green. I found this photo of the Frontier Landing (Mark Twain/Columbia dock) at Daveland that pretty much resembles how I remember it being.

The "double clocks" are not actually clocks. Allow me to explain. The clock up top of the structure is and actual working clock. The one over the entrance/greeter/ticket taker turnstile (say that 5 times fast) is actually to indicate the time of the next sailing. Judging that the Columbia seems to be docked at Fowler's Harbor, that would mean only the Mark Twain was operating that day. The Mark Twain should just be arriving soon. You can see a close up of this second clock at Daveland here

In the first photo, another little thing that caught my attention just above the letter box to the far left of frame is the white sign with the only the letters, "tain" visible. I wonder what sign that was. And was it a directional sign to Matterhorn Mountain? Cascade Peak I don't think was ever called a mountain. Rainbow Ridge I think may have been referred to as Rainbow Mountain in Park maps... wait now that I type this... Yes. A quick google search sent back, "Rainbow Mountain Stagecoach." OK... that answers that... I think.

Finally, the second shot shows the same sign from the front of the dock (advertising both the Columbia and Mark Twain); however, on the back side of the loading dock we see they added the smaller signs above it, stating "Sailing Ship Columbia" and "Steamship Mark Twain" I love that detail. I cannot tell you if those two smaller signs are still there today.

I do know that the signs were no longer against a metal mesh, but were instead redone with raised letters on a sign board.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Nanook said...

@ Matthew-

Once again - thanks for the *extra* information. The level of detail in the Park continues to boggle the mind.

Matthew said...

@ Nanook -

Thank you for you compliment! : ) It is kind of mind boggling to think I held on to all this "stuff" (i.e. level of detail) for over 24 years since leaving the company.

Always your pal!

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Funny how the most "casual" outfits in these crowds are button-down shirts. Still can't get over how most men back then walked around with shirts and ties like that. Even the button-down shirts are a step up from your typical casualwear of t-shirts. Makes me wonder when exactly T-shirts became common.

Melissa said...

You know, I never saw my Dad wear just a T-shirt except when doing yard work.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, nope, you get to put that one down on your babushka scorecard!

Matthew, many paint schemes seemed to change in the late 70’s or into the 80’s, so it wouldn’t surprise me that the dock had white added to it later on. The white and green looks pretty by itself, but when the Twain is there, it’s sort of hard to tell which part is dock and which part is steamboat! Your description of the smaller clock would help explain why it seems to be 5 minutes fast. As for that sign, it is something of a mystery to me. It can’t be for the Rainbow Mountain Stagecoach, because those closed in 1958. Maybe it was a sign for a drinking fountain! Thanks for your great input.

Nanook, yes, it is pretty astonishing how much detail those Imagineers included!

Matthew, you were well trained!

The Magic Ears Dudebro, I agree, the thought of wearing a suit and tie at the park is not appealing, although I guess if it was a chilly day I might be able to deal. I’m not much for dressing up, but I don’t want to be a slob either.

Melissa, my dad was the same way. If he was changing the oil in the car or fixing the sprinklers it was a white t-shirt. Otherwise he tended to wear a collared shirt.

walterworld said...

Yes Major, but...

They may have only been gone 30 minutes, but according to Dr. Hasslein's theory of time in a vehicle traveling at close to the speed of light, old Mother Earth has aged a few thousand years since their departure -- while we have scarcely aged at all...

Thanks! :D