Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MEH! - August 1969

It's time for some more oddball (and lame?) images from that legendary lot of slides from August, 1961. With all of the buildup, they had better be damn good! (They're good, but not amazing, to be perfectly honest). Anyway, even though today's fall into the "meh" category, they are not complete wastes of time.

Can you guess where our photographer was standing when he/she took this picture? Hmmm, where would you have that expanse of lawn, with a train passing close by? I'll give you a hint: it's not the moon.

Somebody was getting artsy. "The juxtaposition of this old-fashioned lamp post next to the distant sails of the Columbia evokes man's subjugation of nature and his subsequent sense of alienation and paranoia". I give you permission to use that in your doctoral thesis, you will get an A++ and a smiley face.

If you look carefully, Slumpy McGee (the dead settler) can just be seen through the foliage. He left the iron on and then ran to the outhouse with an arrow in his hand. Then he tripped, and that was the end of Slumpy. 

If Disneyland used my story, they could have kept the burning cabin and the settler - everything would be PC (it was just a freak accident!), and it would teach children to not run around with arrows while ironing.

"Seinfeld" was a "show about nothing", and this slide is a photo of nothing. Sure, there are trees and umbrellas and people; but it almost feels as if the photographer pushed the button by accident. I a bit discombobulated… would the Coke Corner be to our left, and the castle to our right? 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Two From the 80's

Here are two scans from a set of four undated slides; I think they are from the 1980's, though they might be even newer than that.

At first I thought that this was a photo of Main Street's Saxophone Quartet. Until I realized that there is a fifth member; so…. quintet. They usually performed olde timey songs from the 1920's and 1930's, but on this particular day they were doing "A Salute to Psychedelia!". They're right in the middle of "White Rabbit", and the groovy little kid is totally digging it, man. What I don't understand is why the White Rabbit isn't there.

I am assuming that the photographer was taken with these ladies in their exotic costumes. "Wait'll the folks back home see this!". Or he was just trying to take a picture of the Bank of America (this photo would complete his collection of photos of every Bank of America). 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rejects - Unrejected! January 1965

I recently found a batch of 35mm slides from 1966. At first I thought that they were all rejects! Many of them had strange areas of blurriness, as if something got on the lens, was cleaned off (for the occasional clear shot), and then the lens was re-smudged. And a lot of them were just too darn underexposed. Like today's! 

I have probably officially rejected about half of the lot, but the other half might make for some interesting posts, anyway. Some of the blurred ones almost look deliberately artsy! But today's clearly fall into the "way too dark" category. If you look really hard at this first one, you can barely see a group of guests near Main Street Station, with a red-caped Tour Guide to our right.

It's such a shame that this one is so dark, because I don't have any other shots of the Columbia from this angle. I guess the photographer was on Tom Sawyer Island as the sailing ship passed by? Just above my watermark is a barely-visible deer.

And this one would probably be a plain old "keeper" if half of it wasn't reduced to mostly blackness. The Indian teepee looks pretty neat with the dramatic lighting, but whatever is in the shadows basically vanishes.

I thought I'd just tell everyone that I have been extra busy recently, and have not been able to spend as much time on GDB as I normally would. This situation could go on for a while, and I hope to keep posting stuff every day.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

More From Freedomland USA, June 1960

Here are the last three scans from a lot of 6 slides from Freedomland, USA. See the first three HERE!

This first shot was taken from the Old Tucson Mining Company Ore Cars (otherwise known as an aerial tram ride, or "sky ride") as they passed above the train tracks, looking towards the train station that was part of the "San Francisco" area of the park. That train almost, almost looks like the trains at Disneyland, with the old steam locomotive pulling those yellow passenger cars. But it is also pulling three open-air cars that are more or less the equivalent of Disneyland's early "cattle cars" - only the guests could sit.

Just think how much more impressive this would have been if the designers had done a better job of evoking old San Francisco? I'm not sure how they would have achieved this, since steep hills would be impractical.

There's that Tucson Mining Company thingy again. It's TWO skyways side by side, which is pretty neat. I'm all for it. A team of mules can just be seen at the base of the towers - now we know Walt didn't have his Skyway go into Frontierland. It really throws the western theme off. I believe that the tunnel was the transition into the area known as The Old Southwest, 

There goes Danny the Dragon, managing to look both fearsome and friendly. Danny didn't ride on a traditional track like you might expect… instead he followed a smooth roadway that had a guidance system buried beneath the black top. It had something to do with reversing the polarity of tachyons. So the driver made Danny stop and go (when necessary), but he didn't tell Danny where to go. You don't do that to a dragon.

I hope you have enjoyed this visit to Freedomland, USA!

Friday, September 26, 2014

More Donruss Bubblegum Cards, 1965

Happy Friday! This seems like a good day to die. NO WAIT, that's from some movie (maybe with Clint Eastwood?)! What I was trying to say is that today seems like a good day to continue looking at the set of Donruss bubblegum cards from a 1965 set of 66 cards (65 plus "one to grow on"?) - all to celebrate Disneyland's tenth anniversary.

Card #41: Aboard brightly canopied launches, Disneyland visitors become explorers on Jungle Cruise.

(I guess it was just too hard to write THE Jungle Cruise? Did the printer charge by the word?)

Card #42: King Arthur's Carousel in Disneyland is America's largest carousel.

(If this was true - even in 1965 - I don't believe that I had ever heard that factoid before)

Card #43: An aerial view of the Rivers of America in Disneyland.

Card #44: Guests thrill to climax of Disneyland bobsled ride as sleds race to a splashing halt in Glacier Lake.

(The fact that "Glacier Lake" is capitalized leads me to believe that the little pond actually bears this name - another bit of trivia that I'm not sure I was ever aware of)

Card #45: Western Mine Train departs for tour of Nature's Wonderland at Disneyland.

(Couldn't they use a nice adjective? How about an exciting tour of Nature's Wonderland? Or beautiful? Or chunky?)

Card #46: Golden Horseshoe Revue is staged serial times daily in this ornate frontier "Saloon" at Disneyland.

Twenty cards to go, homies!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Le Jungle Cruise, 1956

Let's take a look at some familiar views of the Jungle Cruise (they are always familiar views, aren't they?) - from the early days of 1956. 

These days, when I am riding the Jungle Cruise, I don't really think about the striped awnings that used to be there...  but admittedly it is nice to be able to really see up into the canopy (if you are inclined to look there) - and it is nice to have a more open view no matter where you sit. BUT... as an on-shore observer, I miss the awnings. They made the boats feel more like big toys!

Look at the way the "mist" makes the trees in the distance grow fainter and fainter. The indigenous natives call this mist "smog", which translates to "stinky air". Those palm trees to our right look pretty spidery and lanky.

Is that the bull elephant, or is it the "mother in-law"? I can't tell them apart. Maybe they should put a rolling pin in the mother in-law's trunk... you know how they like to hit people with those things! I like the warm color cast to the this photo, it makes it feel especially antique.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dumbo, April 1967

Hooray for the Dumbo ride! That's right, I'm calling it a "ride" (not an "attraction"). Rules don't apply to me. You might not think that spinning around and around in a fiberglass elephant would be much fun, but it actually is! Especially if you are in charge of making him go up and down, which is the mostest fun ever. Mom and sis are certainly looking forward to it.

Wheee! What did I tell you? Actually, sis looks like she doesn't feel so good. Maybe spinning rides aren't her thing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vintage Snapshots - Tomorrowland, June 1960

Do not adjust your eye bones! Today's photos are in glorious black and white. I sometimes wonder why you would go to a colorful place like Disneyland and not use color film - I know the cost of B&W film and processing was so much cheaper, but jeez Louise, it's OK to splurge!

Anyway, our subject is two couples who found some seats in Tomorrowland - the kind that resemble simple school desks (notice the hole to hold your drink cup - schools didn't have those!). Somebody in the group thought, "Say, we'd better take some pictures!", so they did three of them in a row. In this one, the Rocket Jets are up, while Barb and Jack watch the birdie. 

The rockets have landed, but Barb and Jack are game to pose for another shot. Because they were part of the Greatest Generation!

Now Barb's pal Margie joins in. Barb has lit up a cigarette (oh, Barb), while Margie holds… something. Candy? A makeup mirror? A tricorder? And the rockets are flying again.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monstro and Pirate Ship, July 1967

You and I have seen many (MANY) photos that are similar to today's offering, and yet… I think that these are a bit nicer than usual. Hopefully you'll agree.

SO… we're on the Skyway, and we're heading from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. We've already passed above the sub lagoon and through the Matterhorn, when off to our right we spot this colorful view of Monstro the whale. One of the things that makes this picture a little bit different is that "It's a Small World" can be seen (in my collection, these views are mostly pre-IASW). Look at how massive that ride's fa├žade is! And yet it is chock full of detail and delicate filigree. Crowds are lining up to ride "The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed 'Round the World" - and they're also queueing up for the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Notice the hillside with the purple flowers, where only the ghost of the words "Story Book Land" can be seen. Wait, a ghostly Storybook Land - for Halloween?? GENIUS!

As always, this Pirate Ship looks so much better when it is sporting its striped sails. The ship is swarming with people, including that lady in the yellow dress. I'll bet she never imagined that she would be noticed by complete strangers 47 years later!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Adventureland and Frontierland 1960

If you are hankerin' to experience the feeling of walking in a busy Adventureland, then this photo might help to scratch that itch. I've seen it a lot busier! The man in the white shirt (with the stripes) is assuming his best gorilla pose (and I'll bet he is saying "Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!"). I like his little straw hat. The girl in the red sailor shirt is checking out the goods at the souvenir stand to our left.

A jam-packed Columbia sails past the Plantation House and the equally busy fishing dock, while a canoe is getting up to ramming speed!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Random California

It's time for more random California views on today's "Anything Goes" Saturday.

In the 1920's, a lake in the San Berardino mountains then known as "Little Bear Lake" was renamed "Lake Arrowhead", and developers built a town that was intended to evoke the charm of an old European village - like one might find in Switzerland or Austria. Among those buildings was this cute little post office (photo is circa 1959). When I tried to find a photo of how it looks today, I was surprised to find out that the local fire departments of San Bernardino County deliberately burned the village (with the exception of the "Casino") to the ground in April, 1979 because of deterioration. Dry rot? Termites? Hippies? New buildings replaced the old ones, of course, but it's just not the same.

Some of you may recognize this family (or at least the boy's t-shirt)… they have popped up on this blog several times over the years, including the very first post back in May, 2006. You can also see them here and here, and probably a few other times as well. Anyway, I like this photo from Santa Catalina, one of the larger (but not the largest) of California's Channel Islands. At only 20-some miles from San Pedro harbor, it is a popular destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. In this photo, mom and her two kids are joined by Grandma on that cool little red (electric powered?) three-wheeled runabout.

I have very little information about this picture, except that it is from 1960 and shows a small restaurant ("Grethels Cafe") in Victorville; It is only about 20 miles north of Lake Arrowhead, but instead of tree-covered mountains, Victorville is at the edge of the Mojave Desert. In other words, it is hot. I even tried to use "Bud's Garage" as a clue (see the sign to the right), and found mentions of it, but no address, so I was unable to get a "then and now" picture. Still, I love the "out in the middle of nowhere" feeling of this photo!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tomorrowland 1960

Here are a couple of nice Tomorrowland views from some slightly oversized transparencies (just under 2" X 2" - is that "127" film?). 

In this first instance, the color had faded to a strange orangey pink, which is why it looks weird now. This is the best I could do. Still, it's a great look (from the Monorail platform?) at the Astro Jets, Rocket to the Moon, and Skyway. 

And I always enjoy seeing the mermaids in the sub lagoon. Bring them back! Even just for the summer. Nemo won't mind, I promise.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More Knott's Berry Farm - 1950's

I love me some vintage Knott's Berry Farm. And so should you!

You can have your photo taken with a genuine Indian, and he even brought along a spare headdress for you to wear. I hope the person before you didn't have head lice. Try not to think about it, I'm sure it will be fine. Dad is negotiating like he always does. "A dollar? Who do you think I am, John D. Rockefeller?!". His daughter looks so 50's in her skirt and saddle shoes.

Over in the Ghost Town you have another opportunity to record a treasured memory. I dunno, I think I like the teepee background a little bit more. 

What do you do when you have lots of logs, but no way to move them? Why, you get yourself one of these babies. What an impressive machine, just look at those iron clad wheels. It's like an 1880's Truckasaurus! When you're done hauling your logs, you can…. well, actually, you can't do much else with it. Why not abandon it at Knott's Berry Farm?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More Pix From Kevin and Amber (Frontierland 1956)

Here are three more scans from slides that were found by pals Kevin and Amber a few months ago. They found them and knew I'd be interested!

This first one is great, a busy, lively look at early Frontierland as seen from the outdoor balcony of the building that housed the Golden Horseshoe Revue. The Gullywhumper is passing by - this one won't tip over because there's a nun aboard.  Lots of folks are over on Tom Sawyer Island (which looks pretty barren). 

There's Fort Wilderness, looking a bit soft-focus and dreamy.

It's Ernie the Elk! Please make up a mother in-law joke (like Wally Boag would!) about him. I can't think of any good ones.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More "Greatest Hits" - Frontierland

It's time to dig through the vaults so that we can revisit a few GDB "greatest hits" - - this time we'll focus on Frontierland. 

Here is one of my all-time favorite photos of the Mark Twain and the Rivers of America, from a photo taken on January 5, 1957 (the photo was originally posted in 2008). It's just plain gorgeous, taken at the "Golden Hour" with some wintery clouds in the sky. A raft and canoe make the scene too, daddy-o. And it's always fun to see the Skyway tower where the Matterhorn would eventually be.

Next we'll move ashore (and on to April, 1962); this time it's a beautiful sunny day, and the Gonzalez Trio is serenading guests not far from Rainbow Ridge. I wish there was footage of the Trio performing, it's a shame that they never showed up on "The Wonderful World of Color". Besides being fun, they also helped to evoke the earliest days of California - when Zorro kept ordinary Joses safe from greedy politicians, evil ranchers, and bad guys of all kinds. (Photo originally posted in 2009).

I think that this one (from June 1958) might have been taken from aboard a Pack Mule as it crossed one of the "natural arch bridges" (if there was more than one… not sure). How else would we get this elevated view? Anyway, a Conestoga Wagon is pulled through the Painted Desert by two sturdy ponies, allowing comfortable (???) viewing of weird rock formations, spiny cacti, and the occasional critter - wild pigs, coyotes, bobcats, bears, elk, and so on. 

I hope you have enjoyed today's "Greatest Hits"!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Walt Disney World Parade, November 1972

Do you know what I say when I find a bunch of photos of a vintage Disney parade? Most of the time I say, "ARG!". Because there are usually 15 to 20 photos, all taken from the same vantage point, of endless not-very-interesting stuff. But today's pictures, from a year-old Walt Disney World, are pretty nice. I admit it.

There goes the Disney World Band (that's probably not the right name). Look at the sideburns on that one guy! Yep, it's the 70's. I didn't storm the hills at Iwo Jima so that you could grow your hair so long, you hippie! Meanwhile, whenever I see a sign for GAF film, it makes me sad that it doesn't say "Kodak". Not sure why.

There goes the Pearly Band. I imagine they are playing "Step in Time", or maybe "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

Check out that kid's Donald Duck propeller beanie! In 100 years, if my blog is remembered for anything, I hope it is for this photo.

It looks like Baloo and Scat Cat (and one of Scat Cat's band mates) have just passed by, while one of the Main Street vehicles (a Jitney?) chauffeurs Donald Duck.

I always loved the day-glo orange used on Tigger - one of my favorites from childhood. He always looked so soft and huggable. And there's Winnie the Pooh, running for President. Hey, he can't do any worse than Nixon, am I right? Meanwhile I am distracted by the guy to the left with the white tie that is 6 inches wide. Awesome!

Right behind Pooh, a band of fellas (and gals?) in Colonial garb brings up the rear. Please resume your theme park activities. What is the name of that group of Liberty Square performers? A friend suggested that they are "The Fife and Drum Corps". My research says that they are the "Insane Hat Posse". Either way, I'm good! 

I hope you have enjoyed today's vintage parade.