Saturday, June 23, 2018

Davey Jones' Locker, Catalina Island - September 1958

Today I have three fun photos from beautiful Santa Catalina island, located about 20 miles from the coast of Los Angeles. Catalina is a popular weekend getaway, and so they have some tourist attractions to keep visitors entertained. How about a glass-bottom boat? Those are fun. Or perhaps you can go out on a boat at night and watch them shine a powerful searchlight into the ocean - it makes the flying fish go nuts! During the day, go see the herds of genuine bison. 

OR... check out this seaside attraction, "Davey Jones (Locker?)". After several searches, I've found essentially NO information about this! Look for "Davey Jones" and you get photos of the Monkees, or the tentacled face of the character from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. But I've found no descriptions or tributes of this show.

I can't quite tell if that structure is a boat of some sort, or if it is built on wood pilings (or whatever). It looks like those two friendly scuba divers emerged from the ocean (which is churning with bubbles), probably to cheers and huzzas! The bulk of the structure seems to have been a large aquarium. Love those giant fish on top - they would look fine in any mid-century home.

I found this old postcard showing a different "Davey Jones" feature - the divers seem to be wearing traditional deep sea diver's gear, complete with heavy copper helmets. How that worked as a tourist attraction I will never know.

No, that's not Martin Milner of "Adam-12" fame... it's diver John Reseck. The ladies love him! Since he is looking up, there must have been bleachers full of happy customers. Or could they be be on a boat themselves?

In the aquarium I spy some orange garibaldi, common in Catalina waters. I think I recognize the silhouette of some kelp bass too. Here endeth my knowledge of fish.

This particular slide was fun because it was hand-labeled "John Resek and baby whale". Baby whale?! Mama mia. I believe that he is holding a small horn shark. Just seconds after this picture was taken, Mr. Resek gulped the entire horn shark down in one swallow. TRUE STORY!

I also found this scan of a vintage postcard, it could have been taken on the same day as my photos.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Santa Catalina island.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Tomorrowland '56

Welcome to Tomorrowland 1956! Be prepared to hit the deck if an Astro Jet gets too close to your crewcut. 

Some of you may remember the two boys in the foreground, Glum Gus and Stylin' Steve. They're posing in front of the wonderful Clock of the World with their mother (I forget if she has made an appearance on GDB before). Surrounding the clock (that was somehow not sponsored by Timex) are attraction posters (hooray) and the flags of all 48 States. For some reason mom has a kung-fu grip on Steve's arm - he probably has a tendency to run away.

Check out the boy (in his souvenir hat) to the left, trying to figure out how that crazy clock worked!

How about this neat shot looking up at the new Skyway as it heads to and fro with the big tower on Holiday Hill in the distance? There are plenty of olives and toothpicks on display, as well. The Autopia is to our right, and the Yacht Bar is to our left (as is the Astro Jets). If you look closely, in the center at the bottom is a diamond-shaped sign for the Tomorrowland Boats - the ill-fated "Phantom Boats" that we all know and love.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Previously Rejected!

Here are three more scans of slides that I'd previously rejected for various reasons. For instance, the stars were not aligned favorably. But now that Mars is in retrograde (?), I am free to post these without fear of bad luck.

First up is this murky (thanks, Anscochrome), undated photo of the Plaza Pavillion. I don't have a lot of photos of this ornate, gingerbread-festooned restaurant, so it's nice to see in spite of the gloom. My favorite detail is the man who showed up in his pajamas (baby-blue!) and slippers. "Wha? How did I get here? All the other kids are going to laugh at me!". The joke's on him - there's a big test today (the results of which will go on his PERMANENT RECORD) and he didn't study at all.

Next is this exciting photo of a deadly mallard duck, enjoying a swim in the Rivers of America. He should hang on to that empty popcorn box, nice examples can sell for $90 and up on eBay!

This next one is from 1958; it was another slide that had turned red and horrible, but Photoshop did a pretty good job of restoring it. Greens are hard to recapture, and for some reason this one has good greens. I'm so proud, there are tears running down my cheeks as I type this sentence.

I hope you found today's previously-rejected slides to be worthy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

More Frontierland Scans - 1967

Say, how about another selection of vintage Frontierland scans (from the Mysterious Donor)? 

As I think I have mentioned before, this large batch of donated scans has a ton of pictures of the Columbia. Which is OK by me. This first one is a neat angle as seen from the old fishing dock (on Tom Sawyer Island) looking back toward the shore. 

Some weirdo has decided that he prefers the view from what true sailors call "rope thingies". "Avast, ya salty baboon! Come down from the rope thingies at once, or it'll be no grog for ye!". Man, this stuff writes itself. (If one of you wants to form a punk band called "Salty Baboon", I won't stand in your way).

This lovely photo is from another unusual vantage point... the photographer was standing on Walt's balcony. Pretty sweet.

Isn't this an amazing shot? It was taken from the Disneyland & Santa Fe RR as it passed a rather large, grassy "meadow". You can see some of the buttes, mesas, and other rock formations from Nature's Wonderland. I'm kind of surprised that guests did not take similar photos from this angle - in my collection of thousands and thousands of images, I sure don't have anything like this.

Here's an aerial view showing the approximate line of sight (the giant yellow arrow) in the previous photo.

I threw in this final view for fun, even though it is a bit blurry. Most western-themed amusement parks had shootouts as part of the fun - Disneyland had them too. Here, Sheriff Lucky has gunned down a yellow-bellied, lily-livered, thievin' coyote. This scan is labeled as being from 1967, but I would wager that 1957 is more like it.

As always, many thanks to the Myserious Donor.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Carnation Ice Cream Flier

It's time for a fun (and very scarce) Disneyand flier! This one was brought to you by the Carnation company, and was presumably given out at the ice cream parlor on Main Street. It has a "1959" date printed on the inside, for those of you keeping track.

The flier was created in a shape resembling a pennant, and then folded into a sort of irregular rectangle. I love the way the zig-zag folds reveal the name of each "land" - although, curiously, Main Street was not included.

By golly, I will visit the charming Carnation Ice Cream Parlor! 

I'm not sure if this is the back or the front, but does it really matter? Quantum mechanics says it can be both things at once. I think. Carnation has provided some awesome ice cream recipes for you to try at home. The Frontierland Soda sounds pretty tasty, but I am intrigued by the Adventureland Shake. 

Like many other early Disneyland items, this one features Dumbo rather than Mickey Mouse.

Here's the front. Or maybe it's the back. The Fantasyland Parfait is surely delicious, but way too much work. If I was going to make a bunch of them, assembly-line style, maybe I would get all of the ingredients for that one! Not sure where to get "green crushed pineapple", however. The Tomorrowland Sundae is for me, with an "atom" made from maraschino cherries and toothpicks. Their example reminds me of the "Atomium" from the 1958 Brussels World's Fair.

I need ice cream. NOW.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Rainbow Desert, October 1961

There's something wonderful about deserts. They can be incredibly harsh and severe, burning hot during the day, freezing cold at night; there are poisonous critters (snakes, scorpions, and gila monsters), and spiny, unfriendly plants, evolved to survive long months without water. But, as the narrator of the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland said, "...the desert's got her beauty too".

Walt Disney's Imagineers did a wonderful job of capturing that beauty on a small scale in the Living Desert. Rock formations, carved by the elements over millennia, display strange shapes and warm colors. A "forest" of saguaro cacti grow from the sands, resembling something that might live on another planet.

Notice the unobtrusive (?) light fixtures along the tree line, for nighttime visits to Nature's Wonderland. Oh, how I wish I had experienced this attraction at night!

The coyote is a survivor in this rugged landscape, finding sustenance where others would starve. His high-pitched yips makes him "the voice of the desert" too. I have all of his albums. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Monstro and Storybook Land, August 1967

Fun Mom gets a lot of love here on GDB, but we have to salute Fun Dad once in a while. After all, he took most of the photos (well over 100!) from various trips to the park in the 60's and 70's. And a bunch of them are pretty good - he had a good eye, as they say. FD is wearing a jacket and tie, which I appreciate -  the only time I ever did that was for Grad Nite. He is posing in his best GQ attitude - though it might be cooler if he was shading his eyes (as if looking for a ship in the distance). 

I am wondering if that crazy bag he is holding is from one of the shops at Disneyland - perhaps not.

We might as well enjoy this photo of the Casey Jr. Circus Special, with its calliope, as well as cages of monkeys and other wild animals.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Brussels World's Fair, 1958

A few years ago I acquired a nice group of slides from the 1958 World's Fair ("Expo 58") in Brussels. Belgium, that is! It was the first true World's Fair after World War II. Amazingly, the '58 Fair was the 11th World's Fair hosted by Belgium, and the fifth in Brussels (the others being 1888, 1897, 1910, and 1935).

Oh boy, the Atomium! That striking structure represented "a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times". The spheres are clad in stainless steel and are connected by tubes 3 meters in diameter - big enough to walk through. Look at the topmost sphere, with windows to peek out of! I'll bet the view was amazing. Happily, the Atomium is still with us 60 years later.

Pivoting to our right a tiny bit, we can see the Von Roll Sky Ride; at the time there were only four or five of these rides in the world! This one eventually wound up in Memphis, Tennessee (of all places)  at a park called Lakeland. It closed in 1976. 

I know, I know... this one is blurry. But I figured I might as well include it, since you can get a sense of how the beautiful Grand Palace at night.  I believe that this building was repurposed (with a new, striking fa├žade) from the 1935 World's Fair. You can see the dove of peace and the asymmetrical five-pointed star (the Fair's logo).

Friday, June 15, 2018

More Slides 911!

Here are the last three slides from a series that had turned an unappealing shade of brownish-red - but a little Photoshop TLC brought them back to something worth sharing!

First scan: Nope.

Hey, that's better. Monstro is so mad that he is spitting a plume of spray into the evening air. As a kid I'm sure I would have been amused if the wind sent that spray in my direction.  

Scan #2: oh boy. We're gonna need a bigger Photoshop.

This is quite an unusual angle, with the giant blue wing of the Richfield Eagle in the foreground, the Autopia track below, and the red Monorail at the station; you can just discern some guests who appear to be exiting the Monorail train through the open windows. And beneath the tracks, the Submarines can just be seen.

This is how an angry bull sees the world.

Here it is, the last one! Not a great photo (it's hard to get too excited at photos of some random toddlers on the Carrousel), but I always enjoy seeing the multicolored horses. To the right, it looks like a youthful CM is making his way among the herd, making sure that everyone is safely strapped in.

I hope you have enjoyed these rescued slides!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Out Front, July 1972

We all remember the thrill of arriving at Disneyland, and the multi-step process of getting closer and closer. Step 1: See the Matterhorn from the highway before anybody else. Step 2: Enter the parking lot. Step 3: Hop aboard a parking lot tram. Step 4: Buy tickets at the li'l ticket booths. Step 5: Go through the turnstyles. 

Here we can see everyone's favorite Fun Mom heading toward Step 4. I love the brightly colored clothing that "pops" on this slightly overcast day.

One could argue that there were still two steps to go. Step 5: After passing through the turnstyles, stop in front of Main Street Station for a photo or two (maybe even posing with Mickey or Pluto if you were lucky). Step 6: Walk through one of the tunnels that pass beneath the train tracks, and emerge (finally!) into Town Square. Step 7: Do a little dance. Hooray!