Sunday, April 09, 2017

Wizard of Blahs

What's a person to do with scans of slides that are kind of lousy? Throw them away? That would be wasteful. Share them on a Sunday, when hardly anyone looks at the blog? Good idea!

Both of today's scans come from a lot of slides from February, 1961. There are some goodies in the batch, but these kind of lousy. 

Like this one, showing a still fairly new Cascade Peak, as seen from the deck of the Columbia. I just want to scurry up those ropes in the foreground. For some reason this photo is very gray and ugly, even though (in theory) I have hardly met a photo of Cascade Peak that I haven't liked. 

This might not be the worst photo of Mickey Mouse's floral portrait, but it is definitely in the running. Not quite in focus, out of plumb, and just sort of "ugh". 


K. Martinez said...

I like the first photo. There's hardly any tree growth so one can see the rock work really well. And I like the grayness of it too. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


Yeah, but it's still Cascade Peak-! And there's nothin' you can do about it.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I guess in my mind, I've always put the Three Sisters on the opposite side of the mountain from Big Thunder, but you can see here that they were really only 90 degrees off from each other.

The lack of people in that second one really highlights just how utilitarian the old entrance plaza was - bare concrete retaining wall, open drainage onto the plaza, asphalt pavement, and an exposed sprinkler system. Today that wall is clad in brick, the sprinklers are retractable, the pavement is inlaid with brickwork, and I assume that the drains are buried. Interesting contrast.

Looking at a 1993 photo I took on my wife's first visit, the concrete wall and drains were still exposed, with a reddish slurry pavement in front. Was the area "gussied up" for the 50th?

Steve DeGaetano said...

There aren't many times that I can write the phrase "ratlines," but the first photo provides a rare opportunity to do so.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I'm pretty sure that all that brickwork at the entrance.....and also the Main Street sidewalks, was done well before 2005. I just can't give you an exact year for it.

K. Martinez said...

Steve DeGaetano, I had to look up "ratlines" and now understand what they are. Cool! I learn something every day. Thanks!

Chuck and TM!, I'm not 100% sure, but weren't all those bricks and pavers added to Disneyland during the Pressler era, before Disneyland became the "Disneyland Resort" which would've been from 1996-2000. That's the best I can remember.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck and TM!, I had to dig a little deeper because I really wanted to know for myself. According to the Yesterland site, The concrete wall's last year was 1998 and in 1999 a new entrance with bricks and pavers debuted. I'd guess it was done in prep for transforming the property into a resort. Hope that answers your question satisfactorily.


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, it’s true, those little trees hadn’t had much time to grow in only one year. Still… it’s such an ugly picture!

Nanook, you make a good point.

Chuck, interesting, I actually never really thought about the different waterfalls in relation to each other. And I guess it really is the lack of people that makes photo #2 look so desolate. I suppose it is generally nice now, but I miss the posters.

Steve DeGaetano, well, you did use the word “ratlines”, but could have been more poetic about it. “Yea, yon noble ratlines sore anon”. How’s that?!

TokyoMagic!, I have no idea about the brickwork, but have another question. You know the now-famous wall in which half the bricks are straight and nice, and the other half are more wavy and lumpy? I’d really love to know if the story behind them is true - I honestly don’t remember ever hearing about them until maybe 10 years ago. Also, the story has a slightly BS feeling about it, to me.

K. Martinez, so much interest in pavers! And I thought it was just telephone poles that excited you. What’s next, chain link fences?! ;-)

K. Martinez II, that Yesterland site is such a great source of information. Thanks for doing the research!

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks Ken! That makes sense now as to why I don't remember the pavers being installed. I let my annual pass expire in 1998 and did not get another one for seven years. In that time, I was only visiting the park about once a year, so I never saw the process of them placing all those pavers everywhere in the Plaza, on Main Street and at the entrance.

Major, I know the wall you are talking about. I didn't hear about it until a few years ago, but I agree with you about the explanation sounding like it could be B.S.

K. Martinez said...

Major and TM!, where's the "wall" and what's the B.S. story?

Major Pepperidge said...

Ken, on East Center Street near the lockers there is a brick wall with a fountain in it. On the left half of the wall, the bricks and just as you would expect, neat and even and altogether “Main Street-ish”. The ones to the right are wavy and uneven - this was supposedly done as a test (people call it the “test wall” so that somebody could decide how all the other bricks should look.

To me, the whole story makes no sense. The wavy bricks look like they belong in “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, not Walt’s idea of Main Street. Builders knew what an authentic wall should look like - we're not talking medieval Europe. The theory is that they ran out of time and money to change the wall, and so it has remained as an odd artifact for over 60 years. And yet, I never heard of it until maybe 10 years ago, if that. It might be true, but it seems fishy to me. You can find articles about it by Googling "Disneyland Test Wall".