Thursday, August 29, 2019

Pirate Ship and Captain Guy, July 1960

For a few years, a genuine peg-legged pirate could be found at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship! He was known as "Captain Guy". I wonder if he was a Chicken of the Sea employee, or a Disneyland CM? It's always fun to find pictures of him posing with people, sometimes pretending to dispatch them in piratey ways. 

These are taken from rather far away, so they aren't quite as much fun, but I still enjoy seeing him up there.  He's puffing on his pipe, casually leaning against the shrouds, with his wooden leg on the rail so that everyone can see how cool he is. I'd love to know what those boys are saying to him.


Quite recently I learned that Captain Guy carried little cards with him that he would sign for folks, and it looks like that might be what's going on here. The card certified that the bearer was an "Honorary Skipper" and "Treasurer of Loot and Booty". No greater honor could be dreamed of! The other side of the card had a list of suggested nicknames, such as "Giggles", "Strangler", or "Thumb". I wish I had one of those cards!


19 comments:

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, is that your doppelganger, up there?

Sue

Andrew said...

I hope that he doesn't fall! This sounds like an element that provided nice atmosphere.

Stu29573 said...

Captain Guy looked to be the kind of pirate that would turn those cannons on you in a second, but it wouldn't be personal- just business. I guess that's some of his real life war hero vibes coming through.
On another note, I always felt like the pirate ship was the boys version of the castle. Fantasyland had better balance when it was around. I never really bought Tony Baxter's story about how it couldn't be repaired or rebuilt. I think it just got in the way of their plans...

JC Shannon said...

The pirate ship, and restaurant were the perfect addition to Fantasyland. Eye candy of the first order. I miss it. I think Capt Guy is schooling them in the ways of the pirate, or perhaps regaling them with stories of the war. We may never know. And now I am going down to our local diner and order a tuna melt in his honor. Thank you Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, no, Nanook doesn’t have a wooden leg.

Penna. Andrew, Cap’n Guy has been through storms and gales as he rounded the Horn, so sitting on a ship in a dead calm is no problem.

Stu29573, I would expect any pirate worth his salt to betray me! It’s just part of the job. And I like Tony B., but I agree with you, I am skeptical of the story that they intended to save the Pirate Ship and move it to another location.

Jonathan, vintage concept art of other Fantasyland features has popped up over the years (and windmill Ferris wheel, and underwater restaurant that you’d enter through a crocodile’s mouth), but none of them match the sheer beauty and fun of the old Pirate Ship.

Nanook said...

@ Lou and Sue-
The Major’s correct; I merely have a wooden brain-!

-SS

JG said...

Having a real life pirate captain must have been the icing on the cake for the Tuna Clipper.

Captain Guy was before my time, I guess, since I don't remember him, or any other costumed character, in this area.

The whole little area, Pirate Ship, Skull Rock, and the grotto were so well-designed and executed. Perfect scale, theming and attention to detail. Such a shame to lose it. Really makes me sad.

But these pictures help, Major. Thank you.

JG

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major and Nanook - LOL! (Nanook, you and that kid have great taste! I'm serious.)

Stu29573 - you are so right about the pirate ship (and "real" pirates and Skull rock)! - it did give balance to Fantasyland. Something for everyone.

Sue

Melissa said...

"Arrr, me wee buckos, ye can tune a fiddle, but ye can't tune a fish! An' even then, ye can only play in the key of sea! Yarrr! Did ye ever hear o' the weightlifting crab, who had to quit when he pulled a mussel? I'll be here all week; don't forget to tip yer cabin boy!"

Melissa said...

I nearly missed the matching blond boys in the white V-necks! Twinsies!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, at least you have a brain!

JG, I think Captain Guy was only there for a year or two, which is why photos of him are rather scarce. I only have a half dozen or so. I keep trying to convince myself that the lovely Fantasyland redo was worth the loss of Skull Rock and the Pirate Ship, but still haven’t quite managed to do it.

Lou and Sue, Nanook always liked a hat with a jaunty feather.

Melissa, once again, it’s like you have possessed by the spirit of Wally Boag. If we have an exorcism, you’ll spit out mouthfuls of lima beans!

Melissa, you’ve seen those boys before, take a look HERE

MIKE COZART said...

At one time the Disneyland Cycle , Paint and Sign Shops were given old, worn or retired Disneyland Restaurant plastic food service trays. In the early 90’s on a tour of the sign shop a sign painter was doing touch work to a Main Street USA metal sign and all his small silver cans with matched paint were sitting on a old Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship Restaurant food tray! While asking about the tray the painter said that it was probably the oldest tray here and he took care of it because it was his favorite! Mostly as the trays got coved with paint spills or weakened from paint thinners the trays would get tossed out and replaced with a clean one. This one survived!!

Nanook said...

Major-
Nanook, at least you have a brain!

I think the jury's still out on that one...

Anonymous said...

Did he really have a wooden leg (named Smith)?

Dean Finder said...

He was only in the part for a few years to encourage sales of spiced rum. It was a quickly-ended sponsorship like the Wizard of Bras shop on Main Street.

Melissa said...

Oh, yeah! The fidgety kid and the non-fidgety kid!

Love the story of the paint tray.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, oh man, stories like that are neat, but they make me crazy! I would LOVE to have one of those Pirate Ship food trays! To think that they were just disposed of for the most part - the pain! Reminds me of a story from “The E-Ticket Magazine”, when somebody said that custodians would tear attraction posters into squares for make-shift dust pans. OUCH.

Nanook, ha ha, I’m pretty sure there’s one in there somewhere.

Anon, that makes me think of “The Partridge Family”, I think Mr. Kinkade told a version of that corny old joke!

Dean Finder, I’m sure there were more than a few dads who would have been thrilled to be able to have some spiced rum during their visit to Disneyland!

Melissa, ha, from now on that will be their names.

Jason Schultz said...

The Disneyland employee publication references to Captain Guy that I've seen begin in June 1958 and end in Winter 1962, so that's the rough window of his Disneyland service. Somebody needs to write his biography!

Major Pepperidge said...

Jason, thank you! That's a lot longer than I would have guessed. Over 4 years (yes, I did that in my head all by myself). I am thinking of asking Chris Merritt to write a two-volume biography of Captain Guy now that he is finished with his Marc Davis tome.