Monday, April 22, 2019

Random Stuff

Like the title of today's post says, I have some random stuff for you! A little bit of this, and some of that.

Last year I posted scans of all of my versions of folders from Knott's Berry Farm's Haunted Shack, but then I saw one on eBay that I didn't have. After a cursory look, it appears to be just like the first example (with the wailing face in the window), but now it has Shaky Sadie (I guess) on the cover like all other versions, and it says "Souvenir Folder" at the top.

I've mentioned that I used to be a fairly ardent collector of vintage Viewmaster packets - all sorts, but of course I loved the Disneyland packs especially. At some point I happened upon the packet pictured below, which has a printing error - it is missing the list of highlights along the right edge! In fact, there were three of these packets in a bunch, and I bought them all. This was a long time ago, and I think I might have only seen one similar packet on eBay since then, so they must be pretty scarce. Someday I will sell them for a billion dollars and retire on a private island.

For your edification, here's what the standard non-error packet looks like.

This next item is from Freedomland in New York. That park had many similarities to Disneyland (it was also unique in many ways too - what I wouldn't give to see it circa 1960!). The Anaheim park handed out nice certificates to visitors to the TWA Rocket to the Moon; visitors to "Satellite City" received this card of a rocket on the verge of launching. This was during the "Project Mercury" years - Alan Shepard wouldn't make his suborbital flight until 1961.

Here's the back side of the card, with all sorts of official-sounding rhetoric. "The bearer of this photo... has been authorized to keep this photograph in his possession". Gee, thanks, Graham B. Brown. It also says that the bearer of this card will be issued a "photocard with new information each time he (sorry, girls) visits the Freedomland Astronaut Training Center". Which makes me wonder if this is one of many different cards?

This slightly-dusty card is from the 1964 New York World's Fair, specifically from the Eastman Kodak pavilion. "Join us at the Kodak Picture Tower"; don't mind if I do! It's right next door to Pepsi/UNICEF's "it's a small world" too. 

I would love to know what the "special welcome" involved. Would you get a kiss on the lips from whoever you presented this card to? Would a mariachi band emerge from behind a potted palm tree and serenade you? Would a girl in a bikini give you a giant novelty check for $1000? We'll never know.

I hope you have enjoyed today's Random Stuff.


Nanook said...


What a nice collection of random 'oddities'. As exciting as the choices you listed sound for that "special welcome", it actually involved Michael Anthony handing out million dollar facsimile checks signed by John Beresford Tipton. (Well, there were a great number of checks remaining following the cancellation of The Millionaire TV series in 1960). I hope you cashed yours before the account had 'insufficient funds'-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for sharing more of your personal collection with us, Major. I love all of these items!

Maybe the surprise at the Kodak pavilion was one of the huge photographs that actually hung on the side of the pavilion? They just rolled it up and handed it to you. Of course, they didn't make protective cardboard tubes that big, like the one Jan Brady was given by Mike Brady, to protect her Yogi Bear poster while they were at King's Island.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

Ahhhh.... A King's Island/Brady Bunch reference. Take that - 1964 N.Y. World's Fair-!

Chuck said...

Cool stuff, mahor. That View-Master misprint looks so odd without the highlights.

For fellow rocket heads (I'm looking at you, Stu29573), here's some additional info on what that Atlas-Agena is launching in that official U.S. Air Force photo.

dis220 said...

Really enjoyed this mish-mash!

Melissa said...

That line art of the KODAK pavilion is TO DIE FOR.

K. Martinez said...

I really like the View-Master packet error. You are right! I've never seen one of those before and I have a whole lot of View-Master reel sets starting from 1955 on up to the 1980's, for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Knott's Berry Farm and other various theme parks.

The Freedomland card is very cool too! Freedomland, USA reminds me very much of Japan's Nara Dreamland. It wanted to be Disneyland but didn't quite make it. Thanks, Major.

Stefano said...

Random is good today! When I was a kid that leering Haunted Shack face scared me more than anything in the actual attraction. The Shack is missed; given the huge popularity of the Knott's Halloween Haunts, they should bring the Shack back as a year-round dark ride, with crazy gravity and Slanty Sam and Sadie and the little red volcano devil, too.

The highlights on the Adventureland View Master packet read like selections from a Martin Denny exotica album, with a bonus track from Cannibal and the Headhunters.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don’t think I ever saw The Millionaire, though I have heard a little about it. Did it ever run in syndication? Those were the days when a million dollars would set you up for life! Now, probably not so much.

TokyoMagic!, sometimes it’s the random oddities that are the most fun. I wonder what they actually did with those giant photos? Presumably they went to a landfill - who else would want them? I thought that the cardboard tube protected Mike Brady’s architectural plans.

Nanook, even now I am surprised that The Brady Bunch only ran for five seasons. I guess I must have watched it for years afterwards when I got home from school.

Chuck, I can hear it now, “Here comes Chuck… ol’ Rocket Head”!

dis220, thanks!

Melissa, the drawing is simple, but elegant.

K. Martinez, I’ve finally started selling off some of my non-Disney Viewmaster packets; it’s sort of painful, since I still love them, but I have too many boxes of stuff. I wish I’d been able to see Freedomland; Nara Dreamland survived over 50 years, though!

Stefano, there were a number of things at Knott’s that scared me when I was a kid. Even some of the “peek-in” scenes - the carved wooden figures looked grotesque to me. It would be amazing if they somehow brought the Haunted Shack back to Knott’s; I wonder what today’s crowds would think about it. Can I add some Les Baxter to your mix?

Melissa said...

I don't think I ever saw The Millionaire, but I was aware of it because whenever Mom would open the mail, she'd say, "Maybe there's something here from The Millionaire."

I remember a similar short-lived series from the early 1980's called Lottery! Ben Murphy was the representative of a big sweepstakes, and every week you'd see him deliver the good news and big check to the winner. The rest of the episode was about how the money affected them. His sidekick was an IRS agent. I haven't thought about that show in forever.

JC Shannon said...

All of these are cool, but let's just say it, when we were kids there was nothing neater than a Viewmaster. They even looked cool. You could trade reels, share them and they didn't even need batteries. That being said, what is the coolest reel you could stick in 'em? Disney of course! On a Saturday afternoon, when your best friend is out of town, it is the perfect diversion. And now, they are collectible. Totally great stuff today Major, thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, somebody had to do it!

Major, I think Mike Brady originally had two cardboard tubes, holding architectural plans. When Jan was fretting (as Jan often did), over her Yogi Bear poster getting creased, Mike begrudgingly combined his plans into one tube and gave Jan the other one for her poster, just to get her to SHUT UP!

Nanook said...

Major & Melissa-

The Millionaire ran for 5-½ seasons, ending in June, 1960. I have to presume it ran [at least for a time] in syndication, as the earliest my friend and I saw actor Marvin Miller (who played Michael Anthony in the series) "refueling" at the Texaco station at Barrington Court, near Sunset Blvd., was in the late fall of 1962 - which was where I acquired my "million dollar check"; unfortunately a victim of either a deliberate purge, or it was simply lost. It, along with the [Walt-autographed] Disney Studio Commissary menu occupied the same drawer in a desk that I had for many, many years, but only the commissary menu survived - thankfully-!

The 'Disney connection' I hear someone asking...? Yes, of course, and that would be the voice of the Millionaire (who viewers never saw) was provided by none other than Paul Frees.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, my grandmother used to always refer to Fibber McGee’s closet, and for many years I had no idea what she was talking about. But now I kind of love that she was referring to something from decades earlier! I am waiting for somebody to give me a check for a million bucks.

Jonathan, I always loved Viewmasters, especially my talking Viewaster. One of my favorites was the “Seven Wonders of The World”. One reel was for the seven ancient wonders, one was for the seven natural wonders, and one was for the seven modern wonders. I also loved my Charlie Brown packets. I got rid of them all years ago; I sort of wish I still had them.

TokyoMagic!, at least it wasn’t a Lucy reference, and for that, I’m grateful. ;-) That poster tube mixup sounds about right somehow. Don’t tell Jan to shut up, I loved her.

Nanook, boy, that show ran longer than I thought. Looking on YouTube, I see some terrible-quality videos with the “MeTV” logo on them. Do you mean that the actor had prop million-dollar checks to hand out to fans? If so, very cool, and a bummer that yours got lost! When you put “refueling” in quotes, it makes me think he was actually drinking booze for some reason. Just me I guess. Good old Paul Frees, that guy was a working machine.

Nanook said...


That's exactly what I meant - he [Marvin Miller] did indeed carry "prop million-dollar checks to hand out to fans"-! It was actually Miller's car that was participating in the 'refueling'; Miller seemed quite sober to me-!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don't know why it matters all these years later, but I'm glad that Marvin was not having a snort or two while filling his car with gasoline!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I liked Jan too, especially in more serious roles like, "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" and "The Brady Brides."

walterworld said...

Priceless comments...thanks for the belly laughs~!

And thanks Major for 13(?) or so years of marvelous posts.