Thursday, July 16, 2009

Autopia, September 1964

Here's a nice lady, gettin' all strapped in for her exciting ride on the Autopia! She's in a fabulous turquoise Mark VI vehicle, grateful to be able to drive, since her husband usually insists on taking the wheel.

I've probably commented on this before, but I've always wondered; could that employee who is helping her buckle up afford to own a little house and support a family on what he was paid in those days? My guess is yes.

There she goes!

I'll be heading up to June Lake (in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains) for a few days, starting today. But I have some new posts lined up, so keep checking in, even if I won't be able to!


Chiana said...

Aw but isn't everyone supposed to work down to the lowest in the world or we're being "self-entitled" and not "competitive"? You sound like progress is supposed to raise even the average workin' person's quality of life or something, and that idea had some part in "building" America... we're not workin' to empower a select class to live high in Dubai? ;)

Cute pics of Betty's Day to have fun. She's off! Down the road wondering if she'll find a salon and the groceries hehe

Gee I wish I could go with you Maj I love it up there, it's so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a Small World! I'll be in June Lake this weekend. Be sure to wave to me! - Glen Banks

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Love that "turquoise Mark VI" car, wow! Hey have a great time up a the Lake!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks folks! I'm leaving in two hours; I haven't been to June Lake since I was a kid, so I am very curious about how it's changed. I know it'll be fun!

CoxPilot said...

I remember when I worked for Cox, my pay rate was $1.30 / hour. With the taxes of the day, it was a take home pay of about $50 a week. That was not really enough to live on, but it was a good wage while attending collage (Santa Ana and Cal-Fullerton). Most of the ride operators in the park were "permanent part-time". They got just shy of 40 hours, and the best pay was the Tom Sayer raft drivers. They got about $2.50/hour because a)multiple people, b)free from self-guided tracks, c)had to talk a script. But keep in mind; average house was $14000, gas was .25/gal, and a weeks food would cost less the $20. It's all relative.

Anonymous said...

I agree with's all relative. My final wage as a PPT-C ride operator in 1977 was $6.47/hr, which was the highest rate (leads were paid maybe 25-50 cents per hour more). The inflation calculator indicates a relative pay of $22.73/hr as of 2008. Now if both spouses were working at the Park, at the high rate that is an equivalent of $45.46/hr. Back in the day it was enough for couples to have a home in Corona and commute. I haven't been to June Lake since 1966!

mr wiggins said...

Even into the early 80's, the proportion of adults to teens in onstage employees bore no resemblance to that of today. The advent of Eisner brought many things to Disneyland -- plummeting wages and skyrocketing turnover rates among them.

Chiana said...

Eisneromics. A matter of shares. Wall Street = most, employees doing the actual work = least.

To think it's 2009, the company makes way more than it used to and the workers not only didn't share in the success, they get what, half what they used to in the '70s?

Ah well good or bad there's such great conversation here. Thanks Maj, mr wiggins, VDT, Anonymouses, CoxPilot, et al and Glen on the banks of June Lake.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

enjoy your time away, Major. take lots of good pictures...

yes, that is quite sad. 20 years later, my daughter made just about $2/h more than they made in 1977. she was in food service, which was actually the higher side as far as wages . her friends who worked in retail made about $1/hr less than she did. how sad is that.

Anonymous said...

I'm back one more time. Found the additional comments interesting on the pay scale. I should also add that when working full time during the summer, we also got health coverage from the union which worked out just fine. I started in foods back in '69. Transferred to Ride Operations late '70. My foods top rate was $2.10. And the calculator shows that to be $11.52 in today's dollars. Yes, with the fairly high pay rate of the time, there were a large number of overqualified adults working the Park. Disney would periodically have job fairs for the corporate sponsors to recruit Disney employees away. This designed to improve morale as some full time employees felt trapped by the high wages and were frustrated with their limited ability to move on up the internal corporate ladder. Some of them had masters degrees. This was mid 70's when we had a recession and jobs were hard to come by. Gee, that sounds familiar.

Nancy said...

too familiar :(

i actually made an error in my daughter worked at WDW 30 YEARS later (in 2008), not 20 and made only 7.29 an hour. wouldnt it be nice if inflation was only $2 since then?

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