Monday, July 22, 2019

Horse Drawn Streetcar, September 1966

It's fun to visit a replica of a typical Main Street from yesteryear, with all of the quaint architecture, and old-fashioned shops. This is the era that transitioned from horse-drawn vehicles to motorized transportation. And who doesn't like seeing a nice horsie? Maybe the guy with the broom and shovel, that's who.

I'm pretty sure that when Walt Disney referenced the "hard facts" that created America, he was thinking of horse poop on the streets. Mid-century Stroller Dad can hardly believe his eyes! "I'm sure glad I live in 1966, when everything is perfect", he thought to himself.

I have heard that being a Disneyland sweep was a surprisingly sweet job to have - you weren't stuck in one location, you got good pay, and you could flirt with the pretty girls around the park (I don't think there were female sweeps back in those days). But every once in a while, reality came crashing (plopping?) down.

Out of sight, out of mind, as Shakespeare, or Kurt Vonnegut, or Ben Franklin, or some other wisenheimer once said. As far as I'm concerned, everything is OK again! But the little girl on the Streetcar is nervous.


Chuck said...

What an unusual series of photos. The photographer actually committed three of his/her precious slides to a visual record of road apple removal. I'm imagining them being proudly included in the vacation slideshow being inflicted on the neighbors after a dinner of oven-dried beef roast and cabbage, green olive, and lime jello salad.

Note that all of the northbound traffic is on the sidewalk while all of the southbound traffic is in the street. East-west traffic is confined to the overhead scaffolding.

Looks like 4:12 p.m. on a sunny September day was the perfect time to visit Main Street in 1966. Even with Tomorrowland all torn up, the HM an empty shell, and PoTC not yet open this still would have been a great day to visit, with a brand-new New Orleans Square and iasw and the cheery optimism that Disneyland was going to continue to get better forever under Walt's keen leadership. You can see this really was a special moment in time despite the extraneous crap in the background.

JC Shannon said...

Aside from the horse and poop, what a great name for an English pub by the way, check out how relatively deserted the street is. Great shots of all the shops. Celebrity alert, is that Frank Sinatra in the Madras shorts? Maybe. I would love to browse the Timex store, and who doesn't need film at Disneyland? Well thank you Chuck, now I want lime jello. Thanks Major.

stu29573 said...

All the wonders of Disneyland, and all that little girl wants to do is watch a horse poop. What is it about girls and horses? Add a horn to that thing's head and she'll be in love forever. Oh...wait...nobody from the current company can read that!!! Go away!!!! Just....go...(sob)...away...

Andrew said...

It's always fun to see the old Main Street shop signs. It seems as if the corporate sponsors were a bit more in-your-face back then.

Chuck, I thought the same thing about the waste of precious film. The guy in the first picture is taking a hasty step onto the sidewalk as if to say, "I'll... just take my leave here." :)

Mike said...

If you want the true scoop on the life of the Disney janitors, there’s no better show to check out than the Sweep Spot Podcast - former Disney custodial members talking about their experiences working for Disney. They will tell you all about the “Code H’s” and the “honeybuckets!"

"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, that was my first thought, too - about these shots being unusual. You do feel like you're really there and part of the action. That would have to be a younger person's job - cause my back hurts just thinking of doing that all day.

hahaha! about the lime jello salad. I saw an old magazine with a jello add, and it showed cut-up vegetables (green beens, carrots and more) suspended inside the finished lime green jello mold, on a nicely decorated dinner table. It looked as appetizing as the apples pictured on today's post.

JC Shannon, hahaha! yep I see Frank Sinatra - but I wonder who's standing in the doorway of the first pic? Any idea?


Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I agree, it is rather strange that the photographer used 3 precious film frames for horse doo-doo cleanup. The guy did go through two rolls of film though, I have about 60 pictures from him. It’s also amazing that “all the northbound traffic” consists of one or two groups of people, and not the masses of people you’d see today. 4:12 PM, holy moly, if I arrived there at that time, where would I head first? Not to Frontierland, because I’d wait until dusk to ride the Mark Twain. Maybe Adventureland for the Jungle Cruise and the Swiss Family Treehouse.

Jonathan, maybe the English pub could use the word “apple” instead of “poop”? Just a thought! And yes, there’s Frank, he’s probably muttering something very cool under his breath. I like all Jello, but Strawberry is my particular favorite. With a dollop of whipped cream of course.

Penna. Andrew, now that you mention it, some of those sponsors really *were* in-your-face. Maybe I’m just used to seeing them, but it never bothered me somehow. Or I’m just a big hypocrite! I sort of like how the guy pushing the stroller is in the street, presumably so that he will courteously not be in the way of pedestrians on the sidewalks.

Mike, I have heard of “The Sweep Spot”, but haven’t listened to it. I’ll have to check it out. Those custodians must have a unique perspective on the park.

Lou and Sue, I wouldn’t mind sweeping up paper napkins or cigarette butts so much, but that horse poop required some extra effort. I’ll bet those guys hated it! Jello salad sounds gross… I’ve had aspic salads, and did not enjoy them one bit. I think that could be Art Linkletter coming out of that door.

Stefano said...

God didn't make little green apples
And it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime...
And there's no such thing as Dr. Seuss
Or Disneyland, or Mother Goose...

What with the old time street, this is like a bit in Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights", wherein he played a white wing with a grudging work ethic; until an elephant wandered on to the scene...

Melissa said...

Great pictures today, and exceptionally witty repartee!

The DSD on the trash carts - is that for Disneyland Sanitation Department?

I've walked behind horses in a parade before - we came up with a system of signaling to the people further back so nobody would hear us yelling, "Watch out for the poop!" or "Poop ahoy!" or whatever.

The wide brown stripe down the middle of the walkways in Walt Disney World's Liberty Square is meant to represent the filth-filled gutters you'd find on actual Colonial streets.

Mid-century Dad is wearing the second-Dadliest outfit ever. Only the addition of black knee socks could make it Daadlier. He is awesome.

@Chuck, JC, and Sue - I'm flashing back to all the savory Jell-O molds my mother made for church suppers. I remember one in particular that was made with unflavored gelatin mixed with chicken broth, with chunks of chicken, celery, and some other vegetables suspended inside. And, of course, a cup of mayonnaise went into the donut hole of the ring mold. Because mayonnaise goes with everything.

Nanook said...

@ Sue-

I was thinking since that 'gentleman' standing in the doorway is a part of the China Closet - but originally it was called Ruggles China and Glass, I'll bet that's Charlie Ruggles. And as far as those Jello salads are concerned... the less said the better-!

Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Turns out "Poop Ahoy" was Nabisco's first name for Chips Ahoy! I can't imagine why they changed it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stefano, so that’s what that song is about! “City Lights”, what a classic; I saw that for the first time (with a beautiful print) in college, and was blown away.

Melissa, I’m sure your guess about “DSD” is right. Are you serious about the brown stripe down the streets of Liberty Square?? I have never heard that before! Black knee socks, I never understood why men ever thought that was a good look.

Nanook, I had to look up “Charlie Ruggles” - I knew the name, but could not put a face to it. He’s definitely “one of those guys” that was in a ton of stuff.

Nanook, maybe “Poop Ahoy” was the title of Charlie Ruggles’ autobiography?

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, it's lunchtime here and I no longer have a taste for anything. Wow - what can I say?!

Andrew, I bet you had to google who Art Linkletter is/was. ;) (Stick around, you will learn a lot on this blog. I still can't believe they sell cereal marshmallows separately!)

Thanks, Major and everyone, for all the extra laughs today! It's a nice way to start off the week.


Nanook said...

@ Sue-

You ain't kidding about the 'extra laughs' often on-display in this blog. You can "blame" The Major & Melissa; as they've both set the bar awfully-high.

stu29573 said...

Hello? Hello? (Tap tap) Is this thing on???

JG said...

Well, this might be the oddest series of photos I have ever seen on this blog.

Congratulations, Major!

Come for the photos, stay for the comments.

I remember Dad chuckling at the "broom and shovel man". Growing up around livestock hardens one to the harsh reality of cleanup. There is a fascinating backstory to the training and management of the horses and their byproducts that I read somewhere and cannot recall where. Like everything Disney, it is thorough and deep.

@Mike, thanks for the podcast tip. I will search this out. Surely those folks will have a viewpoint worth hearing. Anything about the Back of House is fascinating to me.

Dad also had a straw hat much like Frank's. Very jaunty indeed.

@Chuck, you are describing one of my Mother's menus. I have seen things entombed in jello that most people wouldn't believe possible, although Melissa's description is eerily familiar also. Change the mayo to Miracle Whip and we are there with you in spirit.

Oddly, I still like the fruit-flavored jello. I made some raspberry with fruit cocktail dumped in it last winter. Still good.

Back to my broom and shovel now.


Melissa said...

I'm going to think of "the harsh reality of cleanup" every time I do any housework.

Nanook said...

@ JG-
"...anything about Back of House... Perhaps in this case - make that ...back of horse...

@ Melissa-
"A crystal chandelier dipped in pancake batter-??!! What a test for the new lemon-freshened dishwashing liquid, Palmolive" Merely pop whatever needs cleaning into the dishwasher, and voilĂ  - cleanup is banished-!

TokyoMagic! said...

stu29573, I caught that! And if you paint the horn blue and the horse pink, well......

Charlie Ruggles played Hayley Mills' (and Hayley Mills') grandfather in The Parent Trap. Reportedly, he also smelled of tobacco and peppermint.

stu29573 said...

Thankya vurra much! (Insert rim shot)

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, Melissa’s gross jello thing sounds much like the aspic dishes I mentioned earlier; we went to a very fancy restaurant, and I think there was a fish (salmon) aspic and something else that has slipped my mind.

Nanook, aw, thanks!

stu29573, oops, sorry! I accidentally skipped you. It happens sometimes. Listen, I like a unicorn as much as anybody - I’ll admit it. If there were horses with horns in Star Wars, I might be concerned that Disneyland would change things, but… we don’t have anything to worry about.

JG, collectors of rare Disneyland slides will someday pay me BIG MONEY for these babies, let me tell you. My mom had a horse (in the middle of the San Fernando Valley), so a little horse poo never phased her. For Jello dishes, I never understood how some people managed to get their ingredients evenly distributed throughout the gelatin; I tried making a sort of fruit cocktail thing once, and all of the fruit went to the bottom, which became the top when it was unmolded. It still tasted good, but was not aesthetically pleasing. Also, when I was a kid I tried to make a model of a cell with a plastic bag and clear gelatin (all of the innards were made of Play-doh or some such stuff). It DID NOT WORK.

Melissa, just don’t clean anything, and you’ll never have to think about it again.

Nanook, gosh, I think I remember those dumb Palmolive ads. I guess they made their point. I don’t know if you watched CBS’s rebroadcast of the Apollo 11 moon launch, but part of the fun was that all of the original commercials were included.

TokyoMagic!, Charlie Ruggles actually smelled of tobacco, peppermint, and fried baloney. But nobody ever mentions the baloney.

stu29573, I do wish I could somehow trigger sound effects when people’s eyes get to a certain point on the page!

Andrew said...

Sue, I did know who Art Linkletter was, but that's only because of the Disneyland opening day broadcast! And hey... we're all here to learn something.

I've been listening to The Sweep Spot for about four years and while it's not as in-your-face as a lot of podcasts are, I've always found it very enjoyable.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
I knew someone would get the Disney connection. Actually, he appeared in three, live-action Disney films: The Parent Trap; Son of Flubber; The Ugly Dachshund; and Follow Me, Boys!

Nanook said...

Hmmm... I guess that would be four films, now wouldn't it-?

stu29573 said...

1, 2, many.... The new counting system!