Sunday, November 17, 2019

African Veldt, June 1970

Are you prepared for the intense blandness of today's photos of the "African Veldt" scenes from Disneyland's "Jungle Cruise"?? Can your mind withstand the sheer tedium? Pregnant women and people with heart conditions can look at today's post with no problems whatsoever.

Whoomp, there it is! Hooray for a reference to a hit song from 1993. The African Veldt, reminiscent of that famous scene in "The Lion King", with all of the animals gathered to celebrate the birth of Simba. Only in this version the lions are dining on a crunchy zebra. It's the trapezoid of life.

Perhaps all of these animals will be afflicted by "survivor's guilt", but I'm guessing they are mostly glad that the lions weren't eating them. Makes you think.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Great Western Bank, 1956

Today's featured scan required a little detective work, and it was very gratifying when it paid off! The photo is dated (by hand) "9-14-56"; folks from SoCal might remember the Los Angeles Forum (aka the "Fabulous Forum"), which was known as the "Great Western Forum" from 1988 to 2003 - and this is a "Great Western Savings" building. In doing some research, I eventually found a website ( that had some good information - the website has since vanished; but I did copy part of the page.

The website said that this was "Crenshaw Savings and Loan", and that it was designed by architect W.A. Sarmiento of the Bank Building and Equipment Corporation of America. "Its design, an inverted trapezoid over a transparent cube, closely resembles the design for The Firestone Bank in Akron, Ohio." Strange that I can find no mention of it as a Great Western, and yet... here's the photo as evidence.

I found a single good photo of that Firestone Bank in Akron... you can see the family resemblance.

The Crenshaw Savings (or whatever it was called) building still exists as a Chase Bank at 4401 Crenshaw Boulevard. Here's a Google screen grab; it looks much the same, though we can see that an upper story was added at some point. Strangely, the aforementioned website said that this structure was built in 1958 (Wikipedia also cites 1958 as the date)...

But the slide mount is hand-dated "1956" - TWICE (once on each side of the slide). This discrepancy might cause an international incident!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Two From Tomorrowland

When people corner you at celebrity-filled cocktail parties and ask you, "What's Major Pepperidge really like?", I hope you tell them that:

A) Nobody is allowed to look me in the eye (I only have one eye)
B) I always require a large bowl of green M&M's in my hotel room.
C) My haircut is based on Moe Howard's.
D) I especially love vintage Tomorrowland.

Speaking of vintage Tomorrowland, check out this beautiful photo from July, 1958. Wowee-kazowee! There ain't nothin' wrong with this one. Powered by baking soda and vinegar, the Moonliner produced more thrust than the Saturn V, meaning that a trip to the moon took mere minutes instead of 4+ days that Apollo required. The rocket looks especially dazzling against that rich blue sky.

Fun fact: the stars are there even during the daytime. The More You Know.

Next I have this photo from August, 1960. Suddenly there was a Monorail and a Submarine Lagoon where there used to be liquor stores and pawn shops. Progress! The Stephens-Adamson Speedramp is also progress - why walk when you can just stand there? Or better yet, lay down on the ramp? So relaxing. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

"A Visit to Disneyland", 1963 (Part 3)

Today I'm sharing the third and final installment of scans of a small children's book from 1963, "A Visit to Disneyland". 

That photo of Snow White with the Dwarfs and the balloon seller has appeared on everything from magazine covers to bubblegum cards - I can see why, it is pretty cute. On the facing page, the Carrousel always makes for a good photo opportunity. I was impressed to see that they even spelled "carrousel" with two r's!

There are two ways to view the charming miniatures of Storybook Land; the canal boats, and little Casey Jr. If both were hanging from a cliff and I could only save one, I would have a very tough time choosing!

Oh boy, Tomorrowland! Sometimes I feel as if the photos selected for this book were not necessarily examples that would excite young children - I love the shot of the entry to Tomorrowland, but wouldn't a picture of a kid on a Flying Saucer be better?

Spinning rides like the Astro Jets (or is it "Astrojets"?) probably looked like fun to a kid; The book gets -10 points for depicting Fantasyland's Midget Autopia as the actual Autopia! The emotional damage has been done and I will spend the rest of the day weeping uncontrollably.

We leave Disneyland for now, but not before enjoying a look at what might have been all of the costumed characters that they had in the early 60s, posed around Mickey Mouse's floral portrait.

Perhaps this book got you interested in reading (admit it, you watch too many cartoons); you might want to try another Whitman BIG Tell-a-Tale volume, such as "The Little Boy From Shickshinny", or "Tom Tucker and Dickie-Bird". Soon to be major motion pictures!

I hope you have enjoyed "A Visit to Disneyland"!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Previously Rejected

Here are two scans of slides that should have been featured on GDB years ago, but I omitted them for one reason or another - it's likely that I thought they were not interesting at the time. That's right, it's more "UNREJECTED" slides, even though I just did the same thing two days ago.

Here's a pretty, colorful shot along the riverfront - it's surprising what a difference bright sunshine makes for what might otherwise be a truly dull image. The Columbia seems to spend at least half of its existence at rest in Fowler's Harbor... does it require that much maintenance? The sails are partially unfurled, which is always nice. A raft scoots across the water to a landing on Tom Sawyer Island. The cupola of the Haunted Mansion is just visible through the branches of that magnolia tree.

Zooming in a bit, we can see that ladies' skirts were getting pretty short! Not that I'm complaining. I like the signs hanging from that wrought-iron post, including the new Bear Country. Looks like there's some Navy boys to our left.

And here's a lovely shot of the Matterhorn (from 1970), with the Plaza Inn's yellow and white-striped umbrellas, some Tomorrowland palms, and just general loveliness.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Rivers of America, October 1999

There are few things in this world that Mr. X loved more than the Rivers of America, back when the trees were big and lush and blocked out much of the rest of the park, so that one could pretend to be far from civilization. 20 years ago he took a series of photos that I will share today.

It seems almost like pure luck that he took these images featuring the north end of the River - an area that was drastically changed during the construction of "Galaxy's Edge". Past the dangerous rocks you can see the "Storyteller" scene.

Amusement park? Where? Maybe this was just a family's vacation photos of their canoe trip in Tennessee. Maybe the Mine Train tracks to the right would arouse suspicion, though.

Man, there sure are a lot of canoes today. It's like the 405 freeway (the funnest freeway of all) at rush hour.

Say, there's an Indian Village up ahead... I sure hope they're friendly.

Here's one last look at the River and all of those glorious trees!

Many thanks to Mr. X for sharing these photos.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Rejects... UNREJECTED!

Howsabout some previously-rejected slide scans? It's what all the kids are into. That and Lady Gaga. (How sad is it that Johnny Carson never got to do an Amazing Carnac joke about Lady Gaga?).

Let's begin with this photo of the entrance as seen from the parking lot, from a slide dated "7-12-58". What do those numbers mean? NOBODY KNOWS. The photo was snapped from inside a vehicle - whoever had the camera was excited to see Main Street Station. We get a bonus tram (or two), and the train station is bedecked in 4th of July bunting, and the C.K. Holliday is stopped at the station.

Also from 7-12-1958 is this photo from the deck of the Columbia. The photographer must have been standing on the shoulders of his wife to get this giraffe's-eye view. Keel haul the binnacle! Strike the grog!

Congratulations, rejected scans, you are now accepted.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Busy Day, September 1960

Yikes, I discovered a few scheduling errors when reviewing my list of drafts, and found that I didn't have anything for three days in a row, including today! I've moved a few things around, and also made a few "quick and dirty" posts so that there aren't any weird gaps.

Here's a typical photo taken in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle - you should have every detail memorized by now. QUICK: How many pointy towers are on the castle? I have no idea, and I have no intention of counting them now.

This 1960 view has nice color and energy; you may remember the leggy gal sitting behind the wheel of the Horseless Carriage! The driver let her sit there for just a moment, even though it breaks all international laws.

I love this shot of the busy Plaza/Hub area. So many people! And yet... not uncomfortably crowded. Blondie enjoys a drink of cool water, with no C&H sugar bag in her way for once (where do those things come from, anyway?). You can just see the House of the Future, hidden behind an orange tree loaded with fruit.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Roaring Camp, 1969

Today I have seven fun photos from the "Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad" in Felton, California (in Santa Cruz County, K. Martinez!). These are from two different 1969 batches.

Wikipedia sez: Roaring Camp Railroads operations began in 1963 under the guidance of F. Norman Clark (1935–1985), who was the founder and owner. His purpose was to keep a family tradition of constructing railroads and to "bring the romance and color of steam railroading back to America".

Ah, the old general store. I hope they have Beemans gum (even though I am not an official bee man). The Roaring Camp railroad is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow-gauge tourist railroad…that starts from the Roaring Camp depot in Felton, California and runs up steep grades through redwood forests to the top of nearby Bear Mountain, a distance of 3.25 miles.

It sure looks like a beautiful place; I wonder if Walt Disney ever visited? He would have been able to in the earliest years.

The Big Trees Ranch was bought in 1867 by San Francisco businessman Joseph Warren Welch to preserve the giant redwood trees from logging. It was the first property in the state acquired specifically for that purpose. In 1930, the Welch family sold part of the property to Santa Cruz County, which eventually became part of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Sorry folks, the next train won't  be along for six hours. The Roaring Camp RR has five or six operable train engines in various states of repair, I presume that they would run a couple of them on a busy day. Or maybe not? If any of you have visited this place, please let us know your experience!

There were no good photos of the locomotives, unfortunately; comparing the previous image and the photo below (also from Wikipedia), I'm guessing that old #2, the Tuolumne (a 2 truck Heisler built in 1899) is what was hauling the rolling stock that day. But I could be wrong!

Hooray for hayrides! A lucky gal got to ride up top with the driver, while those other poor schlubs had to sit in the wagon like chumps. Still, it's something to do while waiting for the next train.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to The Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad!

Friday, November 08, 2019

Two From 1959

I had to put together another "last second" post, after discovering that I had somehow skipped a few days in my "drafts" folder. So today's post is sort of random, and yet not random, since these are both from 1959.

OR ARE THEY? This first one is date-stamped "January, 1959", and yet there is no evidence of construction for the massive additions of the Matterhorn, the Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail. So it's safe to say that this was actually taken sometime in 1958, and the film roll sat in a drawer (or the camera) for a few months before it was taken to Henry's Camera and Photo Finishing over on Third and Primrose.

Regardless of the date, this is a beautiful photo of the Clock of the World on a clear, sunny day. 

Well, shoot - Circarama is closed. Our boys in uniform are undaunted, though!

This one is from a different lot, but it also claims to be from January, 1959. Who knows! It's a swell photo of the motorized Firetruck. I can't tell if those are three young girls, or if one of them (red top) is the mother. Maybe they're wondering if their stroller will be there when they get back.