Thursday, October 22, 2015

Saguaros and Rock Formations, March 13 1958

I'm almost down to the last few images from a bunch from March 13, 1958. Many of them were beauties, and that includes today's examples.

Howsabout this striking view of the "Saguaro Cactus Forest" portion of the Rainbow Desert. You don't see too many photos of this feature, and the this one is very nice. We even get a stack of tumbling boulders thrown in for no additional cost. Were all of the cacti really artificial? 

Here's another nice one, with those strange rock formations - notice the Indian pueblos precariously perched (!) on top of that butte, and even atop one wobbling stone. The bright sunlight against that dramatic, stormy sky is really striking. John Ford should have filmed all of his movies here instead of that lame Monument Valley.


Nanook said...


Cacti, cacti, and more cacti-! What great views - especially with Mother Nature throwing in that dramatic sky, just for good measure. And you ain't kidding: Monument Valley has nothing on Disney's Saguaro Cactus Forest-!

Thanks, Major, for these beauties-!

Graffer said...

Didn't the pueblos only last a short time till they were removed?
The imagineers were expert at working with scale, but those were a misfire.

TokyoMagic! said...

What I find interesting about that first photo is that the tower of balancing rocks seems too far away from any train tracks or stagecoach path for them to be threatening. Perhaps that's another one of those perspective things, Major?

I agree with Graffer about the Imagineers being experts with scale back then.

Chuck said...

Just watched Ford's "Cavalry Trilogy" again over the past two weeks, and I have to say that while the beauty of Disneyland's desert scenery was impressive, it was lacking a key element - namely, Shirley Temple, Joanne Dru, and Maureen O'Hara.

Those skies are telling me that Sauron is massing his forces in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

K. Martinez said...

All that's missing is Wile E. Coyote with an ACME rocket strapped to his back. Beep Beep!

TokyoMagic!, I think the track next to the balancing rocks may be hidden from view because the ground cover seems to hide the bottoms of the fake saguaro at the same horizon line. Perhaps the ground cover is on a higher mound in the foreground covering the visibility of the tracks (on lower ground) that pass by the balancing rocks. Just my two cents.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, good point! And that is the direction that the rocks are leaning!

Melissa said...

The hollow stone in the middle of the second picture reminds me of the space-time portal from the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever."

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, my next blog will be all about cacti (and even some euphorbia!!), so I know you’ll love that.

Graffer, I’m not sure, maybe the pueblos were there from June 1956 to October 1959 - when the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train closed to become the Nature’s Wonderland attraction. That would mean that they were only there three years.

TokyoMagic! when you think about it, everything is a perspective thing! Yes, that’s the kind of deep philosophical thinking you’ll find here on GDB.

Chuck, I love those movies! I’ve been reading about John Ford - man, what a miserable person her was, though. He once punched Maureen O’Hara at a party because she said something he didn’t like. Can you imagine?

K. Martinez, don’t buy those ACME products. I have, and they never work the way you expect them to. I am still regretting those Earthquake Pills!

TokyoMagic!, see what I mean? Perspective! ;-)

Melissa, great minds think alike! I said the same thing (though I couldn’t think of the name of the episode) in this post back in 2008!! They tore down that part of the ride because all the guys wanted to jump through and visit Edith what's-her-name.

Anonymous said...

The pueblos must have been removed before my era, I don't recall those at all.

Re: Real cacti, I think the small, red-tinged barrels are real plants, also some of the plants look like stunted Joshua trees. The big bright green fauxuarago's are made of plaster, of course.

I think the Star Trek episode was filmed here, Joan Collins (Edith Keeler) was working at the Golden Horseshoe when she was discovered by Gene Roddenberry.

Seriously, that's got to be Disney's next big purchase: The Star Trek properties. Then they can build Federationland on the old strawberry farm. That would live long and prosper.

Major, I've always been very satisfied with my ACME purchases, especially my gas turbine roller skates. They make commuting a breeze. That, and the tunnel paint, where I can paint a tunnel on the side of the wall. Very useful, but sold in five gallon size only.


K. Martinez said...

I'm pretty sure Major is correct in that the pueblos disappeared when they did the Nature's Wonderland redo of the Mine Train in 1960.

I love Ford's Calvary Trilogy. Heck, I love most of John Ford's films. In my book he's right up there with Michael Curtiz and Alfred Hitchcock. "My Darling Clementine" is one of my favorite Ford films.

Major, Maureen O'Hara must be one tough lady. She's outlived John Ford by quite a few years and is still alive today at 95. BTW, can you tell me the name of the book you're reading about John Ford?

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I think you might be right about the barrel cacti being real; I am sure the saguaros are phony. I can't help thinking of Star Trek when I drive past Vasquez Rocks... it will forever have Kirk and the Gorn battling it out. UGH, I hope Disney doesn't ever try to acquire Star Trek. I like "Trek", but enough already!

K. Martinez, I have read two books that had John Ford as a major player, though I still haven't read the bio ("Print the Legend" by Scott Eyman) that I own. One of the books is all about the story of "The Searchers", and is by Glenn Frankel. The other book I recently read with John Ford is "Five Came Back" by Mark Harris, about five top directors and their experiences during WWII. I like them both, but "Five Came Back" is particularly interesting.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major "Five Came Back" is also the name of a 1939 RKO dramatic film with John Carradine and Lucille Ball.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I knew there was a movie by that name, but did not know that it had Lucille Ball.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I LOVE Lucille Ball in the role of Lucy Ricardo, but do not care for her in most of her other roles. I recently saw "Five Came Back" for the first time and really enjoyed it. Supposedly, she was praised at the time for her dramatic ability. I highly recommend it!

K. Martinez said...

Major, I just looked them up at and they both sound like great reads. I think I'll check out "Five Came Back" first as I'm also big fan of Huston, Wyler and Stevens. Thanks again.

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagic!-

If you haven't already, and you want to see Lucille Ball in an early comedic role, look no further than Stage Door, 1937. Although she only has a small role, you can clearly see her comedic genius at work in the way she monopolizes a scene and her spot-on comedy delivery.

In addition to the talents of: Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick, Franklin Pangborn, Eve Arden, (and thanks to a fake birth certificate) an underage Ann Miller - who was only 14 years old at the time-! - the film is a stellar example of sarcasm of the first order. Highly recommended.

@ K. Martinez-

Another great book which also discusses John Ford's career is Scott Eyman's bio of John Wayne. Eyman is a great writer and his bio of Wayne is another great book.

K. Martinez said...

@Nanook, Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, well, I think you and I have discussed my feelings about Lucy… I’ve never been a fan. I know, I am in the minority! I can definitely acknowledge her importance in television and comedy history, though. I sure wish I got Turner Classic Movies, I could watch old films every day.

K. Martinez, don’t you like Frank Capra? “It Happened One Night”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”? He is an interesting character in the book, and perhaps a sadder one too. The author is pretty critical of him, for various reasons.

Nanook, I would be curious to see Lucille Ball in a way pre-“Lucy” movie; I don’t think I’ve ever seen any. Ann Miller, she was so adorbs.

K. Martinez, you should also read books about Tennessee Ernie Ford. And Gerald. And Mary. Not Henry, though.

K. Martinez said...

Major, the only pre-Lucy movie I've seen is the 1946 film noir pic "The Dark Corner". She was pretty good in that. As for Frank Capra, I like his films, but not on the same level as the other directors mentioned.

So should I read a book about Harrison Ford too?

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I do remember how you feel about Lucy! In "Five Came Back" she is very "Un-Lucy." The movie is about survivors of an airplane crash in the Amazon, so there aren't really any "laughs" in it.

Nanook, my brother has been recommending "Stage Door" to me for years. I actually have it now, but haven't taken the time to sit down and watch it.

MRaymond said...

Reading the posts I remembered a meme from a while back. It shows a Star Destroyer chasing the Enterprise. The captions says "Faster, Sulu, before Disney acquires us!"

Melissa said...

LOVED the Star Trek Experience when it was in Las Vegas! Two Star Tours-type rides, an immersively-themed bar and restaurant, strolling characters in Hollywood-quality makeup, a huge museum of props and costumes from the shows and movies, and gift shops for every price range. It was great. They had pictures on the wall in the bar, of all the couples who had gotten married on the Enterprise-D bridge set. I always used to say if I ever met a man who wanted to marry me there, I'd know I'd found Mr. Right.

I still use the travel mug I got there. And yes, sometimes I drink tea, Early Grey, hot out of it. I would go to any theme park that build a good Star Trek land.

Anonymous said...

@Major and Melissa. Disney has to buy Star Trek, it's the last major franchise they don't already own.

They either have to buy it or start being creative again on their own. Any guess on how likely that will be...


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I have probably only seen the key Capra movies (there are four or five of them), and I do really like them. It sounds like he was unable to really change with the times after the war, unfortunately. Yes, you should always read books about Harrison Ford (if there are any)!

TokyoMagic!, I guess I am more of a Vivian Vance person.

MRaymond, it does make me wonder if Iger has his eyes on any other properties; "Trek" is the only one that comes to mind, but I'm sure Paramount has no intention of getting rid of that cash cow.

Melissa, is the Star Trek Experience still there? I vaguely recall hearing about it, but don't really know what it was all about. Please use a risqué "Tribble" pun in your answer.

JG, don't encourage them! We need mouse ears, not Vulcan ears.

Matt G. said...

@K. Martinez: How timely your comment about Maureen O'Hara was considering she just passed away!