Friday, December 13, 2019

Very Merry Christmas Parade, Part 2

Here is PART 2 in a series of photos from our friends Irene, Bruce, and James, featuring a look at Disneyland's "Very Merry Christmas Parade". Date unknown. I suspect that these photos are older than the other examples from the Dream Team - possibly even from the late 1970's - but I just don't know for sure.

I guess I should have posted this one last week - but oh well. On the back of this float an nice old lady who may or may not be Mrs. Claus holds a tray of candy. LOTS of candy. Her whole darn cottage is made of the stuff. She has many fillings in her teeth. Closer to us, an merry elf carries a tray of sweets; at first I thought she might be tossing some into the crowd, but now I'm not so sure. On the back of the float we can see chef Chip (or Dale).  


This float looks like it was made of Tinker Toys; baby Chernabog would have played with the big version like this. Up on the float, partially obscured, is Stromboli, the villainous puppeteer from Pinocchio. He is controlling various girl puppets, including one that looks like she is dressed for the Golden Horseshoe Saloon (to the left). 


Next is the Agoura High School marching band. I've been to Agoura many times! I just did a hike in the hills a few weeks ago. The man in the tan sweater knows that all eyes are on him.


I wonder if the band was playing a Disney song, or a Christmas tune, or a song by Parliament Funkadelic? 


Br'er Fox has mended is mischievous ways, and instead of catching and eating Br'er Rabbit, he is happy to shake hands with the crowd. I need a yellow shirt with a green vest! Behind him we see Donald Duck and the lovely Daisy. Donald is a balloon vendor apparently. Behind the ducks is Goofy, at the wheel of his jalopy.


I like this colorful toy train (is he related to Casey Jr.?), pulling a load of presents just for me. Hopefully Santa brought me that "Pong" game that I can play on my very own TV (which will be in a separate box)! There will never be another computer game as exciting as Pong. 


Alrighty, that does it for part two. Stay tuned for part three, coming soon. Thank you as always to Irene, Bruce, and James.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Vintage Snapshots

I have a group of vintage Disneyland photo prints for you today!

Let's start with this shot of a lovely CM named Karin. Some of you might remember her from another post back in 2017. It sort of looks like Karin is speaking into an invisible walkie-talkie. I'm not sure where this ice cream cart was located, but if I had to guess I'd say that the Rivers of America were behind her. What do you think?


The next two are from separate lots, and both are undated, which is a bit frustrating. Some iteration of the Mouseketeers is performing; I believe that these were taken before the more famous 1977 "New Mouseketeers" came along - for one thing the '77 mice wore colorful ears and outfits. But I could be wrong! 


I have to hand it to those kids, they are performing their hearts out. If there were multiple shows every day, did Disney have to provide them with special schooling? Maybe the show was only done during the summer months.

While doing a little research, I learned that the Mouseketeers were part of Superbowl VI's halftime show in 1977; that seems like a bad idea to me, but perhaps it was great. I'd rather see Prince, or Gaga, or Paul McCartney, personally! 


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Historic Fire Station, Phoenix, AZ

Today I have a series of photos that were sent to me from GDB friend Scott Heinz; you probably know him better as "Alonzo P. Hawk" in the comments. Scott happened to be driving along North 7th Avenue in Phoenix (Arizona, that is) when he saw that Historic Fire Station #8 had some beautiful vintage vehicles on display. Being a quick thinker (and a great dancer), he snapped these pictures. Hooray!

Here's some info from the DPJ (Downtown Phoenix Journal) website: This quaint, Mission-style building on 7th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard appears as just another fine residence in the Willo Historic District, but its nearly 70-year history shows its civic roll in the expansion of the city center in the World War II era boom of the region.


Built in 1942 and renovated several times, the building has been a single-family residence, a glorified storage unit, an office space and the City of Phoenix Fire Station #8. It was perhaps the city’s most unique-looking fire station, and rightly so. All the signs of Mission architecture are in plain sight: a hipped, clay tile roof with exposed rafters; stucco sheathing covering brick walls on a concrete foundation; wood casement windows; and an offset entry featuring a multiple wood panel door.


A stone marker indicating the building's historic status, carved thousands of years ago. Probably?


I tried to find information about this wonderful Firetruck, and it was tough going. But I believe that this is a 1941 Chevy-Pirsch pumper. If anybody knows more (or has a correction) please chime in! I love that impressive chrome grille.


Someone on Twitter referred to this as the "fire chief's car", but I have no idea if that's accurate. It sure is all kinds of 70's amazing. I'll bet it had some serious horsepower. Does anybody know the make and model? 


More from the DPJ website: Take note of the two-leaf bi-fold garage door, still in excellent condition. It was the vision of original resident E.B. Smerdon, who lived in the home from its completion until 1947, when it was converted to Station #8.

An unlikely candidate for a fire station, yes, but today the building is a perfect representation of the need for rapid fire station expansion following World War II, as the “suburbs” (a centralized historic district today) sprouted quickly.


Scott also included a few old images that he found online; I wonder if those four guys were the entire company for Station #8? They had a dalmatian puppy to help at least.


Here's another set of historic photos (with one repeat).


Thanks to Scott Heinz for sharing these fun photos of Historic Fire Station #8 in Phoenix, Arizona!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Last two from Fun Dad

Today's images are the last two scans from our hero, Fun Dad. But there's no cause for sadness; just think of all the joy his photos have brought us over many months! 

The first scan is from a photo of the parking lot (circa 1972), with a Mark III Monorail ("Old Bluie"!) zipping past on a partly-cloudy day. Don't forget where you parked; there's a helpful sign, we're in section "J". That's J for Jiminy Cricket! Whew, I almost couldn't think of a character that started with "J". Can you think of any others? I am disqualifying "Little John" or "Honest John" for obvious reasons. Is there a character named "Jacques" in something? 


The Mark III Monorails were notable because of their five-car length and much larger windows. I like seeing all the little silhouetted people inside - many of the kids are probably hoping to spot the family car. "Look, father, there's our Rolls Royce! How droll". 


And finally, from April 1969 comes this look from the Peoplemover, looking past flowers and  grass and trees toward Sleeping Beauty Castle. I'd love to see what this same view would look like today - my guess is that there would be a lot less green. Looking closely, you can see slivers of features such as the red and white-striped umbrellas from the Carnation Plaza Garden, or the white, blue, and red tented roof over the Carrousel. There's even a Skyway tower.


OK, I sort of fibbed; I'm saving one of Fun Dad's photos for a special occasion. Maybe my 14th anniversary? Or my 5000th post? So, someday, if you are all very well behaved, you will enjoy the true final scan from FD. It'll be worth the wait.

Monday, December 09, 2019

More From Lou and Sue!

Today I am presenting a random mix of photo scans from Lou and Sue; many of the scans belong in groups, but Sue sent a few that were all by themselves. Let's put them together!

First up is this December, 1986 photo of a sign over at EPCOT. I sure haven't posted many photos from that park! This one is especially interesting because it advertises the upcoming SPAIN pavilion, which was never built. I think there have been quite a few never-realized World Showcase pavilions, but the one for Spain must have gone pretty far for them to install this sign.


Here's Sleeping Beauty Castle on a nice sunny day. The trees are practically obscuring the view! Look at all those groovy 70's people.


Now we're back in Florida for this lovely snapshot of the entrance to Tomorrowland, bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun (from 1972). It looks like the fountains flanking the walkway are not on, maybe it was a windy day.


And finally, it's everybody's favorite float from "America On Parade", from October 1975. If you look in the background you can see the Global Van Lines vehicle, and in front of that, an aggressive photographer taking a picture of one of the doll-headed parade performers. Calm down, sir!


Many thanks to Lou and Sue! There's lots more to come from them.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

The Rainbow Dessert

Welcome to the Rainbow Dessert. (Yes, I know that you spell "Desert" with one "S", I just wanted to drive some people crazy!)

That's definitely a desert, but it doesn't make me think of a rainbow very much. Maybe rainbows are mostly reddish when they aren't ripe? Think of all the critters out there who want to bite you and sting you. Sneks. Tamantulas. Scorpilons. Gila Buddies. Most of them will calmly wait atop a rock butte, and then leap 20 to 30 feet so that they can attach their fangs (or stingers) to your neck. Then they slowly wrap you up in their silky webs and lay their eggs in you so that their larvae can eat you from the inside. 


It's a little blurry, but you can sort of see the cacti that happen to look a bit like the Seven Dwarfs. Hi ho!


Saguaros are some of the happiest cacti in the world - it's obvious from their upraised arms, indicating surprise, joy, and welcome. Aw, I'm happy to see you too, saguaros! How about a hug?


Saturday, December 07, 2019

"Western Wonderland" brochure & map, Union Pacific Railroad

Today is a departure (pun intended?) from the usual nonsense here on GDB; I went to a recent paper collectibles show, and didn't get much, but on a whim I bought a fun and colorful brochure/map from the Union Pacific Railroad. WESTERN WONDERLANDS! It is undated, but a few clues inside lead me to guess that it is from 1956 or so.

First off, take a look at this wonderful cover, with the terrific mid-century illustrations. The subject is "The West", so we've got a cowgirl (and two cowboys), horses, canyons, mountains, the ocean, and a palm tree that looks suspiciously coconutty. Take the train to Hawaii.


Enjoy fine dining on the Domeliners, where large windows allow prime viewing of those beautiful vistas! Or take a wistful nap and try to forget an embarrassing moment from high school. Look at those comfy reclining seats, oo-la-la.


Driving a car does have its advantages, but the romance of train travel can't be denied. Everyone looks like they're dressed for a cocktail party. "To Colorado - from Chicago - it's just overnight via modern Domeliner". Arrive at your destination rested and relaxed. Sounds pretty sweet. And from what I've read, the food on these trains was very good.


Howdy, partner! The mention of Disneyland helps to date this item to no earlier than 1955, while the mention of Yellowstone's "new Jackson Lake Lodge" (built in 1955) makes me  think that this must be from around 1956 or '57. I love the descriptions of the wonders that each state (or area) has to offer.


Boy, do I love these 60 year-old photos of some possible vacation destinations. They make me want to hit the road!


Ski, skate, go dancing, relax at a dude ranch, go fishing and hiking, play a round of golf, swim - and wager a few bucks in Las Vegas!


My favorite part of this whole piece is this wonderful illustrated map of the Western U.S. I've included a nice big jpeg for you! It took some work, let me tell you. 8 separate scans, all stitched together. But it was worth it.


I've loved these kinds of illustrated maps since I was a child, and still do. You've got your natural wonders like Crater Lake, man-made features like the Grand Coulee Dam, and plenty of happy tourists enjoying healthful outdoor activities. 


A train ride from L.A. to Yellowstone, sounds pretty nice. I mean, you get to stop in Lund, Utah! (Never heard of it). Also, Pocatello Idaho! (Geography isn't my strong suit, apparently). 


I'm a little surprised that Disneyland's castle didn't make it, but it is possible that the map was painted before the park had opened. Hey, there's "Vegas Vic" next to Hoover Dam! Noisy sea lions perch on rocks near San Francisco Bay. We can see Carmel Mission, and the giant sequoias, Yosemite's Half Dome, and even some movie production in Hollywood.


I hope you have enjoyed the "Western Wonderland"!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Very Merry Christmas Parade, Part 1

Today's photos are the first in a series of great images from a vintage Disneyland Christmas parade. These were all photo prints from the Dream Team of Irene, Bruce, and James. Many of the photos that the Dream Team gave me are from the mid-1990's, but these appear to be older, in my opinion. I think they are from the mid-1980's, or maybe even a little older, but they're undated, so... it's just a guess. 

I generally gripe if I find a group of photos from a parade, but these are exceptionally nice, and full of fun details; they're among my favorite parade pix! Since there was just a random stack of photo prints, I've had to guess at the order, and am sure I've made many mistakes - not that it will make a big difference.

Here we are, at the very start of the parade! Doesn't Main Street look awesome! Note that the Main Street Cinema is still showing non-Disney silent films ("William S. Hart"). The sign on the float says that this is the "Very Merry Christmas Parade", which debuted in 1977. Could this be the '77? The man to the left (sitting on the curb) with the white jacket has some wicked sideburns.


Mickey and Minnie! You can't ask for two bigger stars. Mickey's throwing us a little salute, while Minnie shows her pantaloons. She was sort of the Miley Cyrus of her day.


Gee, Snow White sure looks pretty. The Fairest in the Land, one might even say. Fun detail - the child's face, perfectly framed by the notch in the table - right edge, about halfway down.


You'd think that the Old Hag would stay away from a Christmas parade, but even she is in a holiday mood. Hey, free apples! Behind her are the Seven Dwarfs.


There's Dopey, wearing an unusual hat...


... he was obviously the inspiration for "Oola", Jabba the Hutt's slave dancer from "Return of the Jedi".


Chip and Dale have been studying at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and have mastered candy cane-based dishes. Try the "Candy Canes Au Gratin", or "Beef With Candy Canes", they are both c'est magnifique.


You can't have Christmas without a Christmas tree. I believe that they use artificial trees these days, but 30 years ago I'm sure it was the genuine article.


Many thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James! There will be three more posts featuring pictures from this wonderful parade. Stay tuned.

A note for GDB friends: Irene wrote to me and gave me permission to share this news with you; she is an 18-year survivor of breast cancer, but she found out that the cancer has returned. In a few weeks she will be starting chemotherapy, as well as a new form of gene therapy. It's all very scary, but I want to stay positive and send lots of love and good thoughts her way.

It goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway - Irene, you have the support of the whole GDB family, and we are all pulling for you to beat this cancer and get healthy again.


Thursday, December 05, 2019

Kodak Camera Brochure, 1956

Today I have some scans of a fun 1956 brochure, courtesy of the Kodak company. I can only assume that these were handed out in the Kodak shop on Main Street. 

You've got to love those classic mid-century illustrations, so typical of what you might see in magazines and ads of the time. How about the TWA Moonliner in yellow, pink, and purple? Or all those laughing men on the Jungle Cruise? 


Unfolding the brochure, we see a center panel with tips on night photography, along with some swell views of Tomorrowland, Main Street, and Sleeping Beauty Castle. They recommend using black and white film for nighttime movies - better than nothing, but not much!


Each land posed its own set of challenges for photographers. Main Street is bright and sunny. Adventureland finds us under a shady green canopy. Please use f8 and a shutter speed of 100! (I wonder what the fastest ISO for color film was typically available in 1956?). 

Meanwhile, the examples on the right panels are very nice (but too small!). Love those views of an empty Main Street with gorgeous skies. And howsabout that rare view of the inside of the Upjohn Pharmacy? 


I suppose most of Disneyland was pretty bright and sunshiny - and still is. I notice the mention of buckboards in Frontierland, I'm still not sure those operated much past the very earliest of days. How about those "Canastoga" wagons? I like the reference to "flashlamps". And even Kodak is in on the conspiracy to not take flash photos inside the dark rides!


Oh boy, three panels of wonderful photos! I love 'em all. They really pushed the saturation, but I'm Ok with that. Look at the great shot of the Stagecoach, it really looks like it's in the middle of a vast desert. And the Autopia with Professor Keller's tent in the background is really neat. And let's not forget the rare interior of Captain Nemo's "Nautilus", from the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" walk-thru. 


I hope you have enjoyed this Kodak brochure!