Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Disneyland In Black and White

I'm using up the last three scans from a small group of black and white negatives, probably from the 1950's. The black and white makes them feel more artistic somehow - maybe these are lost negatives from Ansel Adams! Let's just say that they are so that I can sell them for half a million dollars.

Here's our pal Dumbo, before he had plastic surgery to hide those unsightly ear hinges. He had to do it, Hollywood is so superficial. Shortly after this photo was taken, he went on to star in "Dumbo II: An Elephant Never Forgets". Action aplenty!

I've always assumed that Dumbo's trunk is curled to hold a magic feather - was there ever an intention to add such a feather? Or are we supposed to use our imaginations?

This next one is an unusual shot from inside one of Fort Wilderness' towers. Rifles mounted near the narrow windows allowed pre-video game kids to pretend to shoot at baddies below. A freak accident in 2001 caused a little girl to somehow lose most of a finger when it got caught in the trigger of one of the rifles, and that was the end of this feature.

The Skyway added plenty of visual interest wherever it ran, with bright colors and constant movement. Note that the striped sails are unfurled (the exception rather than the rule, it seems), so it looks extra great. I love how clear this photo is.


Chuck said...

I shudder to think of the future maxillofacial reconstruction work that will be in that boy's future as soon as he pulls the trigger. There's a reason rifle stocks are designed to fit in your shoulder and don't include a bite grip.

That last photo captures the bright colors and constant movement of the Skyway perfectly.

Were Dumbo's ear jobs done by a pachydermotologist?

Nanook said...

I rarely use my imagination, as my head usually hurts too much, and then my ears begin to flap up and down. Hey-!! Love the shot inside the tower - seems like quite a rarity.

@ Chuck-
That boy is merely cashing-in on the special 'chin-stop' feature of that rifle. And as for Dumbo's 'ear job', make that "pachydermotoplasty".

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

All these shameless pachyderm puns - tusk, tusk!

The composition of these photos is so beautiful, I almost feel like color would be a distraction. The look of concentration on The Rifleboy's face is priceless.

Sorry to hear this is the last of the batch, but I'm so happy to have been able to see them in the first place.

JC Shannon said...

Rifle boy is wearing the regulation late 50s early 60s outfit. That could have been any of us back then, striped shirt, bermudas and I bet he's sporting a new pair of Keds or PF Flyers. I had a haircut just like that as well. Stylin'. To me, B and W photos always look more dated than color, but any pic of Disneyland is better than none. I have to say, I love the unfurled sails of the Pirate Ship too. Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

I'm a huge fan of B/W photos and these are some nice examples. The rifle boy pic is a nice moment captured and I like the softness of the image.

The Skyway/Pirate Ship photo is so perfect it's what I like to refer to as "glorious black-and-white". Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, what about the yucky girl that he is aiming at? I mean, sure, she’s a girl, but still. Also, I have nobody to blame for the “color” comment but myself.

Nanook, yes, every time Disney demands that I use my imagination, I think, “I didn’t pay all this money to do all the work!”. Ordinarily the shot inside that tower would be rare, and yet… the Mysterious Benefactor has several (in color) coming up very soon!

Melissa, it’s OK, I’ve heard that pachyderms have a thick skin. I really do wonder who the kid was aiming at. “Eat lead, guy-who-looks-like-my-gym-teacher!”.

Jonathan, I definitely wore outfits very much like that one, and even had the buzz cut (my mom had electric clippers so that she could shear us herself). You’d think I’d remember having PF Flyers or Keds, but I really don’t. When I was a little older we went to some discount shoe warehouse for no-name sneakers. The humiliation!

David Zacher said...

Darn it! my elephant pun trunk is empty!

Lots to see here. Striped sails, my favorite, round buckets, and shootin' from the fort. I kinda like the skyway tower, too. And I especially appreciate that young man looking over his shoulder before trying to pass.

Thanks, Major,


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, these photos remind me of the many black and white publicity stills that are out there. Especially the first two! As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my mom would let us take pictures with our own cameras, but we had to use B&W film, so I have stacks and stacks of photos of toys, pets, friends pretending to punch each other, etc.

David Zacher said...

Off the subject but I hope you all don't mind a question from the West coast. This morning, on a podcast about WDW they used the term E-Coupon, D-coupon etc and I wonder is that a WDW thing? I remember E-Ticket, etc; not Coupon. Just wondering...


K. Martinez said...

Davic Zacher, It is not a unique WDW thing. The A-E tickets have always had the word "coupon" printed on them for Disneyland, not "ticket". Also, the tickets have always been referred to as "coupons" and "coupon books" when listening to announcements at the entrance to various attractions like the Disneyland Railroad, Autopia and other various attractions. I'm not sure how the 'E' ticket phrase came about, but it sure has stuck in the minds of the public.

"If you have a coupon book, please remove a "D" coupon from your ticket book and present it to the conductor on the station platform."

K. Martinez said...

David, sorry for slaughtering your first name there. Anyway, I hope your question was answered.

David Zacher said...

Ken, thanks. It's all coming back to me now. I even have some old 'coupons'. Over the years 'E-ticket' became a thing and clouded my memory. All morning I whispered 'ticket' every time they said coupon.


K. Martinez said...

David, It's easy to see why. Sally Ride said "that was definitely an 'E' ticket" after liftoff of the shuttle and then there was that wonderful magazine about Disneyland called The "E" Ticket. It's most certainly been etched into my brain.

Anonymous said...

That "Rifle Boy" pic sure brings back the memories. He could be me; same hair, same clothes, same lack of trigger discipline. @Jonathan, I'm betting on the PF Flyers too, although I never got a pair.

Major, I've heard about the accident with the girl's finger, and have always wondered about the mechanics of that. How on earth does someone pull their finger off with one of these toy rifles? At least without being a total goof. I suppose you could trip and hang from the finger with your whole body weight, but the guns were not mounted that high. File it under "things we will never learn or need to know".

The Skyway photo is exceptional. Thanks Major, for a poignant post.


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I agree with you. These particular photos do look more artistic in black and white. I really like that pic of the kid in the rifle tower. Am I imagining it, or was there a photo in one of the DL pictorial souvenirs, showing a TSI ranger posing with a kid in the rifle tower? I would check on that myself, but one of my cats is sleeping on top of the box that contains my pictorial souvenirs, and she told me she doesn't really feel like moving right now.


Major: I took hundreds of pictures of Fort Wilderness with a friend of mine know it was to be closing for a long delayed “rehab” this extensive photo shoot was in 2002 and the rifles with SFX were still working.... at least from turrets and gun ports on the Eastern facing side.
Of course Fort Wilderness never reopened to the public.

Melissa said...

Yeah, my sister and I spent a lot of time in stripey t-shirts and Keds. Well, mostly Keds knockoffs. Usually the whole ensemble would be in some arrangement of red, white, and blue. We were a sailor hat away from looking like the chorus of Anything Goes.

Major Pepperidge said...

David Zacher, ha ha, I read your comment and thought, “Did I have a picture of the Autopia?”. Nope! Just a Dumbo waiting to pass another Dumbo.

Davic Zacher, I was going to attempt to answer your question, but see that Ken Martinez has already done an excellent job!

K. Martinez, thank you for answering David Zacher’s question. I’m sure you know about the first (though possibly not actually THE first) ticket books being famous for saying “Ride” instead of “Coupon”. Those can easily fetch $1500 (and up) these days. I had a chance to buy one of those rare books, but just didn’t have the spare cash at the time. Now I’ll probably never be able to afford one, the way good Disneyland stuff has skyrocketed. Boo.

David Zacher, I still have an envelope of leftover tickets that my mom kept… mostly A, B, and C coupons, but there are some D’s and E’s in there too, surprisingly.

K. Martinez, I was going to mention the E-Ticket magazine, but as usual, you are a step ahead of me.

JG, I have wondered the same thing - just how do you torque your body SO much that a finger actually gets torn off? Just thinking about it gives me the willies. There was no heavy machinery involved, no powerful hydraulics or chopping blades. Just a finger in a trigger. I also wonder if they were able to reattach the finger?

TokyoMagic!, I decided I needed to class this blog up and get artsy! I don’t recall a photo in one of the guidebooks that matches your description, but I would bet my money on YOUR memory, and not mine. Let your cat sleep, she’ll move eventually!

Mike Cozart, you were smart… I’m sure many people were taken completely by surprise. So the rifles had sound effects? I didn’t know that! Such a cool detail that I am happy to learn. I had a slight hope that Fort Wilderness might reopen after the big river changes last year, but… no such luck.

Melissa, yeah, I’m sure we never had real Keds. It’s not like we were poor exactly, but we were a Navy family, and my dad was careful with a dollar. I always thought that it was because he grew up during the Depression. You can't go wrong with red, white, and blue!

Chuck said...

Major, the rifles shot a puff of air that would blow back the vegetation growing in front of it. I can't remember the sound of the Disneyland rifles, but I know the ones at Fort Same Clemens/Langhorn at WDW cycled through a series of gunshot sounds, some of which ricocheted, at least as late as 2007. Maybe they still do.

Dean Finder said...

As far as I know, the rifles with SFX are still there at Ft. Langhorne on TSI in Orlando.
I wonder if they never really believed the story, but removed the guns as part of the settlement on advice of lawyers who thought that was the cheapest resolution.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, she finally woke up and moved, so I was able to get to my pictorial souvenirs. And I did find the pic. I've scanned it and put it here: Fort Wilderness Rifle Tower Interior


During this time the word was out that Fort Wilderness was going to be closing for an extensive rehab. There had already been two rehab teams assemble fir the fort’s refurbishment prior and both times the repairs were “postponed”
It was known the changes on the third attempt were suppose to be extensive as the structure was litterly rotting, but it was a SURPRISE that the fort remained closed off with no activity fir a very long time. Of course Disneyland deduced to close the fort forever and began dismantling parts of it untill someone in entertainment said WAIT!! We can relocate our Fantasmic staging area in the fort. Some alterations were made including some new restrooms and that’s how the fort looks today.

One odd and very un-authentic element to the current fort is a lean-to structure build against the forts log battlements - standing where the cemetery was located. The slope of the lean-to’s roof leads to about two feet lower than the top of the fort’s wall - making it as a completely useless fort from defending itself against Indians, Pirates, or Wookiee.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, were they air rifles with no ammo? Even that surprises me, if that is the case. I just assumed they were static props. I love the idea of the series of assorted SFX.

Dean Finder, the whole gun story for Fort Wilderness is too weird. Those guns were there for 40+ years without incident, who would have imagined such a horrific accident? I feel bad for the little girl of course.

TokyoMagic!, so funny, it’s just as I imagined it based on your description! Thanks for scanning it.

Mike Cozart, did the management even say why the fort needed refurbishment? I can’t remember if it was done during the Pressler years, but if so, then we know why it was closed… why refurbish the fort when you can tear it down, build and ugly replacement, and keep the public out? I don’t remember the lean-to structure, but then again, I am not very observant, apparently!

Anonymous said...

@Tokyo, thanks for the link to your picture. Looks familiar, except for the CM.

@Chuck, I don't recall the DL rifles having much, if any, sound. There was a trigger click, but nothing like you describe in terms of SFX or ricochets. But there were also play guns in the blockhouses at the entrance to Frontierland, and maybe those had more complex effects. I don't recall those as clearly as the ones on TSI.


Chuck said...

Major, essentially, yes. They shot compressed air, and they were permanently mounted in such a way that you could pivot them back and forth and up and down, but the business end of the barrel was always outside the blockhouse. I also remember noticing on my 2007 visit that there were no trigger guards on the rifles, which made me think of the Disneyland accident.

And now I'm wondering if I'm not conflating childhood visits with the 2007 visit; I know they had the sound effects in 2007, and I know that they shot compressed air in 1979, but now I'm wondering if they did both in 2007.