Monday, November 07, 2011

Reruns, October 1958

Don't you hate reruns? You're all ready to see a new episode of "Welcome Back, Kotter" and it turns out to be one you've seen before. Sure, it was hilarious, but still.

Today's post is something like that! Both of these images have already appeared on this blog, but I wanted to rescan them (mostly the first one, actually) to see if I could get better results. This photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle is interesting because of the scaffolding all over it. Maybe it was just being repainted after 3 years of Southern California sun (and smog). The ice cream salesman now wears suspenders and a straw boater rather than the gleaming white outfit from years past. Favorite detail: the mom, dad, and kid walking right towards us from under the castle arch.

See that treehouse in the upper right of this photo? In 1958 (pre-Matterhorn, in other words), this was the highest point in Disneyland that a guest could visit. It doesn't look very high, but photos taken from up there look pretty great.


TokyoMagic! said...

What's that Keelboat doing docked over at Tom Sawyer Island?

Chiana, I just read your follow-up comment from the Major's post on are right, the "Makin' Memories" song was from the Imagination Pavilion. I don't know what I was thinking!

Graffer said...

The early muted pastel on the castle looks much better than today's Pepto Bismol pink. And that goes for the new too-busy varigated roof treatment and hideous pink & blue stonework too.

This 'gilding the lily' mindset of the current imagineers includes the current garish paint on all of Main Street. At home, they probably have the color setting on their televisions turned up all the way. There seems to be a complete lack of awareness of the concept of 'Less is More'.

Chuck said...

I happen to LOVE reruns. Otherwise, I'd never have seen an episode of such wonderful, groundbreaking shows as
"I Spy,""The Dick Van Dyke Show," or "My Mother, the Car." I also like leftovers, hand-me-downs, and household pets rescued from the Animal Shelter. They're delicious when cooked over an applewood fire with a little bit of barbecue sauce.

I liked these ones the first time around, and especially like the extra level of detail in these scans. A second viewing usually brings out different things you didn't notice the first time, and this is no exception.

For example, in the first photo, there's a small, wooden ladder on the parapet in the center-right of the picture. At about the five-o'clock to five-thirty position, there's a guy that looks like he could be wearing a child's toy construction helmet. The kid in the grey shirt in front of him is pulling something out of his back pocket. Is it a comb, a switchblade, or one of those switchblade combs? And there's a guy in khaki pants and a light shirt coming at us on the left side of the bridge who appears to be making rude noises with his armpit.

The second photo is one of my all-time favorites. There is so much wonderfulness (I really HAVE watched a lot of "I Spy") to see here in a quick first glance that you miss some of the smaller details. The pre-Fantasmic! TSI shoreline feels even more remote and wild, there's a keelboat, a raft, a rowboat, Tom & Huck's treehouse, and Ft Wilderness peeking up over the trees in the far distance.

Then on closer inspection, you start to really SEE things. As TM! asks, why is there a keelboat at TSI? Perhaps an onboard fire or an attempted hijacking necessitated an emergency landing across the river to avoid a more serious mishap.

Why is the raft completely empty? Did the crew and passengers mysteriously disappear, victims of the Katella Triangle, dooming the raft to sail the Rivers of America for eternity, a haunted ghost ship in search of fresh souls?

Why are the two women in the center-right of the photo running? What are they running to...or FROM? Are they chasing a pair of sunglasses dropped in the mill race? Or are they running from the authorities after throwing a can of red paint on a cast member dressed as a cavalryman in the fort and screaming "baby killer!"? Are they planning on making their getaway in the keelboat conveniently placed for that purpose? Why is there a shadowy sniper up in the treehouse taking aim at them?

These pictures raise so many questions...and give so few answers. And that's your plan, isn't it? Confound you, Major Pepperidge! Yes...I see it all so clearly now - confuse, obfuscate, misdirect...while your REAL goal is something so despicable, so vile, that I can't even write it here. But I see... oh, yes, I see. And I will not rest until I see your nefarious plot foiled and you securely behind bars in Old Bailey.

Quick, Watson - the game is afoot!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

1957's opening of the Sleeping Beauties Castle Walk-thru was so popular that Walt wanted to expand it to the exterior as well. Photo #1 shows us a rare glimpse at the ill-fated "Sleeping Beauties Roof Challenge", unpopular and unsafe as it was, I've seen it make several reappearances over the years.

I concur with everything Chuck said regarding photo #2!

JG said...

I don't remember these from the first round, so I love them both as if they were new.

Great pictures, Major. I have some photos taken from TSI Treehouse about this same time. Last trip, my son took some pictures of me in the same spot, about 50 years later.

Sorry I've away, internet problems.
Now resolved, time to catch up.

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, I assume that the Keelboats weren't running that day, or at least one of them wasn't. So they parked it at one of the raft docks. Notice that in the distance there is a raft that seems to be non-operational. Maybe somebody can confirm this, but I do believe that in the old days, you could catch a raft to TSI from 3 different locations (and land at 3 different locations on the island).

Graffer, don't get me started on the colors!! I've commented more than once. Sometimes I wonder if the order for "more color!" comes from executives.

Chuck, I certainly have watched my share of reruns! Even shows that I didn't particularly like ("Here's Lucy"). I'm wondering how many readers have just had their lids flipped by your joke about eating animals from the shelter!! I noticed the small ladder, it looks wobbly. The "child's toy construction helmet" is one of the famous "Keppy Kaps" that are seen on the heads of a surprising number of adults in old photos. They came in white or yellow. The kid is putting away his chewing tobacco because there is no good place to spit in Disneyland. I agree, the pre-Fantasmic! island was so much more amazing... not that anybody cares. I think those are young girls running... kids don't need an excuse to run! They're just so "full of beans", as my grandma would say. And I wish I could say that I had a master plan... it's all I can do to get a post out every day! The Old Bailey always makes me think of the word "gaol", which I love.

VDT, I would love a "Roof Challenge" on the castle! Mostly for the view, of course. I forget, was the castle walk-thru ever a ticketed attraction? I'm still waiting for the torture chamber promised in that 1955 issue of "LIFE" magazine!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Sleeping Beauty(s) Castle first appears on the "B" ticket in 1958 and would bounce from the A to B ticket for the next three decades...


210Frwy said...

I for one appreciate the re-scan of the photos. Thanks for the attention to detail you always bring to these rare images.

Chiana_Chat said...

Me too! (What 210Frwy said)

They do look better and it's like seeing them anew. :)

The mill, the fort, look so much better than what's there now. And were I in that pic I'd be high-tailin' it to that there a-waiting keelboat!

Connie Moreno said...

ROTFLMAO! Chuck, are you a screenwriter? Hilarious! Now I want to go back and look at the pictures again. But first, I have to finish reading the other comments. And then comment myself!

Connie Moreno said...

Oh! A Skyway bucket is about to disappear behind the castle...