Thursday, August 05, 2010

Knott's, 1970

Gots Knott's? Yes, I gots some! I am guestimating that these are from around 1970, give or take a few years.

Here comes the choo-choo train! This is an unusual angle of the ol' #40, which I am pretty sure was called the "Green River" by this time (it started out as the "Gold Nugget"). The Log Ride was new back in those days, I can still recall the pine scent. The father in the foreground has some wicked-cool sideburns!

You can still see the old calliope at Knott's, but I have no idea if anybody plays it anymore. Mae Minnes was gone by 1970, so some young whipper-snapper is trying his hand at the steam-powered instrument. I am going to release a box-set of CDs with all of the Beatles music performed on the calliope, and you're gonna love it. I don't suppose anybody recognizes either of the two men standing nearby, they look like old-timers.


TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for the Knott's pics, Major!

Just look at all those trees in the upper right hand corner of that first pic.....long gone now. :-(

Connie Moreno said...

Beatles boxed set? Oh ya! I need to go to Knott's; haven't been there in ages. And since Disney raised their prices YET AGAIN, it looks like I won't be renewing my annual pass.

JG said...

I would never have remembered the pine scent, until you mentioned it.

Now I can't forget it...and the calliope version of "The Walrus" is ringing in my ears....make it stop, make it stop!


Katella Gate said...

Major, Let me grab my babpipes and we can do "Elenore Rigby" together. NOTHING shows the inner meaning of those introspective songs like a calliope / bagpipe duet.

By the way, You choose your key, and I'll choose mine. Key Signatures are for squares, Daddy-O.

Seriously, I always thought the locomotives showed an interesting contrast between Disney and Knotts. The Disney Locos are all reduced scale, heavy on brass, and very "cute". The Knotts engine is full sized and brutal looking.

Knotts might have done well painting the engine Navy Blue, Tuscan Red, or Forrest Green (All nearly black shades of their respective colors) instead of the dead black it is here.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, wait 'til you hear "Revolution #9!

Katella, bagpipes are a great idea, how can it lose? I agree with you about the trains at Knott's, although I don't mind the black with a few color highlights. It feels more authentic and cool! To me, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I remember playing that calliope once. Played Sunrise, Sunset as a fast waltz. The thing that struck me (other than the thrill of playing that instrument in the first place) was that the keys are metal (copper, I think) and enameled with paint. The longer you hold them down, the hotter they become from the steam. I wish I had a photo of me playing this wonderful antique, but this pic comes pretty close, so THANK YOU! Glen Banks

Unknown said...

Well Major (and Katella),the Knott's locos do look more authentic,because they are.Walter bought them and most of the rolling stock back in the early 50's from two narrow gauge railroads in Colorado.
Love the Knott's posts,somewhere,someday I'll run across one of these posts somewhere on the web with a pic of my Uncle Leon when he was a gunfighter/stuntman there in the early 70's.High school teacher by day,stuntman by night (well,actually weekends,summer and other school holidays).One of the fondest memories I have as a kid is my Mom waking me up early one morning during summer vacation telling me I have to get dressed."Huh?""Leon's picking you up,he's taking you to work with him".Not only a surprise trip to Knott's,but with Leon.Took me to the roundhouse first so the train obsessed kid that I was got to see and get in the engines before they head out,off to the locker room where my Uncle transformed into a gunfighter then out to the park.I remember almost every detail of that day 35+ years later.Can you imagine something like that at modern day Knott's?

Major Pepperidge said...

Glen, I love the detail about the keys getting hot from the steam!

Dave, I know that the Knott's locomotives are the real deal! I think I have a couple of photos of a gunfighter/stuntman from 1977, could it possibly be your Uncle Leon? That would be cool!

Unknown said...

In the calliope shot, the person standing to the right is non other than Woody Wilson, the co-owner of the Birdcage theatre.

Major Pepperidge said...

THANKS Jimmy, I was hoping that somebody would recognize at least one of those men! I really appreciate your identification of Woody WIlson, and love the Birdcage Theater association!!

Unknown said...

Yeah,I was pretty sure you knew about the trains,but I had to,I'm still a bit of train geek.The '77 pics?I'm afraid Uncle Leon had long since moved to SLO by then,to become a math professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,retired now,but from what I understand,very active with their historical society in the town.Thanks for the thought though.