Friday, December 02, 2022

Two Beauties from 195?

I have two really nice scans for you, from the very specific date of nineteen fifty-something. When that thing happened was significant and all of America talked about it.  

It's fun to see the ol' Chemical Wagon, an earlier sort of firetruck than the Motorized Fire Truck; meanwhile it's interesting to me that Walt wanted more than one firetruck, I wonder if he remembered the old horse-drawn version and the motorized version from his childhood? In the background is a hill and the Skyway tower, pre-Matterhorn.

There's no room for even one more passenger, even that nice lady with the pink sweater. I like the souvenir hat on the little boy in front of the man with the red and white checked shirt. Notice also that three kids are wearing those rare Carnation headbands!

From the same batch, and with the lady with the pink sweater once again, comes this nice photo from the Jungle Cruise dock. A boat is unloading, I wonder if the woman and her husband (who presumably took the picture) had just exited that same boat and thought to grab a quick pic? 

That young girl had the best time!

Thursday, December 01, 2022

A Smattering of Snapshots, 1965

While I always prefer scans of color slides, there is something about old photo prints that I enjoy. It evokes the hours of digging  through dusty boxes of family photos, I suppose.

The first two show a bunch of kids gazing over the edge of the Castle bridge into the moat, almost certainly to look at the swans below. We now know that they were taking their lives into their hands, but back then we thought that swans were harmless. However, the boy with the buzz cut has had a vision of the future, and he will never smile again.

Still on the bridge! I assume that Mom is to our right, close enough to intervene if one of the kids looks like he/she might tumble into the moat. "Tommy! Listen to your mother! Those swans will eat you in ten seconds!".

We've seen views from the Skyway Chalet in Fantasyland before, this appears to have been taken as a guest was walking down the steps after an exciting (or was it relaxing?) journey through the skies. That man at the lower edge of the image is holding an earless red balloon, but don't hate him! Pity him, as I do.

There aren't too many things better than the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship with sails unfurled. I mean, donuts are pretty darn good, but that's beside the point! At this angle it looks like the Pirate Ship has just set sail after a day or two in a tropical port, heading out to sea to take a few prizes. Arrrrr!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A Pair From March 1962

Here's a nice pair of scans from March of 1962, although they are from two different slide batches.

Let's start with this odd view, seemingly of "not much". Sure, there's a trash can in the foreground, and we can all get excited about that, but we get some railings, and a bunch of empty space before you get to a crowd of people in the distance. 

Aha! Now it all become clear. Alice is taking a vacation from Wonderland (she had to get away from those annoying Tweedles), and she brought along her BFF, the White Rabbit! For now the little girl in red has the WR all to herself, but other guests can sense that something is going on (the way sharks can smell a drop of blood from a mile away). 

It's amazing how different in color this next picture looks compared to the first; granted, this day is clear while the other was overcast, but still, the whole scene has a warm, inviting feel. Cool weather means that you might want to bring a jacket, sweater, or sealskin suit. 

The horse pulling the streetcar is talking to the conductor. "Are we going to stand here all day?".

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Town Square, 1950s

Here is a pair of very nice photos of Town Square, taken late in the day. Mama mia, where are all the people?? There are a few, here and there, but my goodness, the park looks so empty.

First up is this nice look at the Bekins Storage building (I have always loved that interesting shape) and the Emporium. Everything seems so tranquil; I imagine that this was long before they played music over a PA system, so it was probably very quiet, except for the very pleasing sounds of the clip-clop of horse's hooves, the sound of the train whistle, and that sort of thing.

Next we have a Horseless Carriage coming toward us, while the Opera House and Bank of America are in the background. Notice the folding chairs set up beneath the Opera House's awning - just in case any guests thought there might be something for them to see inside the building. Not yet! There are some posters flanking the door to the Opera House, it always kills me to see that they've been drastically trimmed to fit in those frames.

For anyone still looking, I attempted a "tilt/shift" effect on the first photo. It would have worked better if I'd had more lower (foreground) area to help with the "short focal length" effect. Oh well, it is what it is.

Monday, November 28, 2022

More Frontierland, March 1962

Here are even more photos of a woman whose significant other was plum loco about her. 

There she is, posing along the shore of the Rivers of America, with the Columbia moored on Tom Sawyer Island. The sailing ship may have been moored there more than once, but I know for sure that it was put there during some of the construction that happened in Frontierland in 1962. Presumably, Fowler's Harbor was impacted by this work, otherwise you'd think that the Columbia could have just been stored there as it was so often.

Nearby, our gal poses next to a fire hydrant by the load area for the Mark Twain. I wonder what's in that red box to our right? Maybe candy! That greenish building behind the woman is the Ice House, which I believe was used for general storage. As far as I'm aware, the Ice House is still there to this day. I have always liked the detail of bales of cotton stacked up, waiting for pickup.


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Two From July, 1958

It's Sunday, folks! Snoozer Sunday, and you know what that means. It's time for some not-so-great slide scans (both dated "July 1958"). Like this first one, showing the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, although it almost disappears from this angle. The sails become thin wafers, and the ship itself is largely blocked by the backs of heads and by umbrellas. Now we know why so many better photos of the Pirate Ship were taken from an angle.

It looks like the sun has nearly set at this point, resulting in a dark and moody shot of the Indian Village (didn't it "close at dusk"?) and the Canoe landing. It reminds me of those gloomy landscapes that you might find on the wall of a museum. The Dance Circle and the Birch Bark House can be seen through the murk. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

See the USA In your Chevrolet

I scanned a bunch of random slides a while ago, and picked a few to share with you today! First up is this neat street view. Undated, but those cars look pretty old. Is this pre-1950? It was also unlabeled, but the Pioneer Hotel in the distance made it easy to figure out that this is North Stone Avenue in Tucson, Arizona. Hey, one of the Junior Gorillas lives in Tucson! I asked our friend DrGoat if he recognized this area, and here's what he had to say:

Very cool. I know exactly where that is. Looking south up Stone Ave., downtown. The Pioneer Hotel and the Valley National Bank building just south of it. My Mom worked at that bank for 30 years. It is no more but the buildings are still there. That area between the hotel and the tan building in the left fore ground are all gone, replaced by bigger buildings.

Here's a Google street view... you can still see the Pioneer Hotel in the distance (though it is now an office building). 

Because I am so disorganized, I'm not sure if this next one is from the same batch of slides as the first one. But it is from Arizona - Tortilla Flat, about 100 miles north of Tucson. I'd heard of the John Steinbeck novel called "Tortilla Flat", but it turns out that it's about Monterey, California. Who can I sue?! Anyway, this photo shows a small restaurant; "S.R. Slimmer & Mrs. Powell". Even today there's not much around Tortilla Flat, and that was obviously the case back when this photo was taken. Let's go in and get some home cookin' and a cold beer!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Beauteous Frontierland

Frontierland has always been great, but there is just something about the way it was in the 1950s that is especially wonderful. Maybe it's because it's from the days when westerns were possibly the most popular genre in movies and television - people were fascinated with a world where good and bad seemed easier to  discern, and when large swaths of the country were still wild and unexplored. 

Today's slide scans are from at least 1956, you can tell because Tom Sawyer Island has guests roaming about (TSI debuted on June 16th of '56). I absolutely love this first view of the Gullywhumper, I believe that it is just pulling out into the river from its loading dock, on its way for an exciting trip past Indian settlements, burning cabins, and wildlife. You can see that the pilot is talking on a mic, my guess is that the ride was not jokey in the way it ultimately was decades later. The color and composition are quite nice.

Meanwhile, over in the Indian Village, two cute kids pose with a chief, wearing his magnificent feathered headdress and bone breastplate. I wish I could read the sign behind them, telling us about the "Chief's Council Tepee". 

Yo homies, I am still out of town, and away from a real computer, but I may be back with you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 24, 2022


Happy Thanksgiving! Or "Día de los turquía", as I like to call it. When I was a child, my siblings and I would dress as pilgrims and go door to door, getting scoops of mashed potatoes in our bags. That tradition seems to have died out, but I still like to wear a hat with a buckle on it sometimes. 

Our friend Sue B. has generously provided two wonderful Thanksgiving-themed photos from yesteryear (they are not "Lou and Sue" pix, however), it's always fun to see how people celebrated in the past. Let's start with this one, Pop is carving the turkey, and for some reason he is doing it in his basement workshop. "I think a 5/8 socket would come in handy right about now, and I hope the kids didn't move my pipe clamp". You know how kids are, they love to play with pipe clamps. Right after this picture was taken, Dad basted the bird with a squirt from that oil can. 3-in-1 has a sweet, nutty flavor that goes well with everything.

Maybe there was an additional oven down in the basement, freeing up the kitchen oven for the potatoes, pies, and other delicious goodies? My sister used to have a spare oven out in her garage for the same purpose.

Next is another photo from Sue, this time a scan of a photo print. The family has gathered for turkey and mashed potatoes, and several soft drinks, including Pepsi, 7-Up, and Sunkist orange soda. The bowl in the foreground might hold slices of canned cranberry sauce? The smiling young lady is about to stab the turkey with a fork, the only way to be sure it is really dead. They seem to own an original De Chirico painting, which is pretty sweet. I wish we could see what was on the nearby TV.

Next is a scan from yours truly. "But Major P! There's no turkey, no centerpiece made of Indian corn and autumn leaves, just a pretty lady!". Well, you'd be right about that, Timmy. But this slide was labeled, "Sandra, 1953, Thanksgiving", and that's good enough for me. You look great, Sandra!

 MANY THANKS to Sue for sharing her fun pix with us, and I'd like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm hangin' with my family today (and probably for the next day or two)! I'll talk  to all of you soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Four Fun Fotos

Today I'm sharing four photos, brought to you courtesy of the Dream Team - Irene, Bruce, and James; this is the first Dream Team post since the passing of Irene, so I can't help feeling sad at our loss. But I also feel grateful for all of the wonderful photos that she has shared with us.

The first two are a real mystery to me - guests are posing with a character that I can't identify AT ALL. I feel like I have pretty good general knowledge of Disney animated characters, but obviously there are some blind spots. Who is this fox (?) who appears to be in a Prussian (?) uniform? It's a strange feeling for me to not be able to ID him! I can't even think of a film where a character like this might appear.

Judging by those angled eyebrows and rather evil grin, this fellow was not to be trusted. Also, is the location behind them the site of the old Hills Bros. Coffee House? Another mystery!

Next is this photo of a nice sign for "Fantasia Gardens", featuring Hyacinth Hippo from the famous "Dance of the Hours" segment of Fantasia. Fantasia Gardens was (still is?) where the old Motor Boat Cruise load area used to be. Why is Hyacinth carrying a tray with a teapot? Was it a dining area as well? From what I understand, it was also a place where smokers could get their fix (not anymore though).

I believe (but am not 100% certain) that this photo shows the area near Fantasia Gardens - I mean, there's a topiary of an elephant wearing a tutu. BUT... I am prepared to be corrected!


Hey folks, today I will be hitting the road in order to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I think I should be back by Saturday at the latest; meanwhile, I'll probably be mostly silent in the comments. Sorry! It's just that I am not good with long-form typing on my phone. Yes, I'm lame. But I am looking forward to reading everyone's comments and will be back with you soon!