Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Plaza, May 1962

Here are two photos from 1962, taken in the general vicinity of the Plaza. 

We'll start with this pretty shot looking toward Sleeping Beauty Castle. The landscaping is really lovely, plenty of green, with points of bright, colorful flowers; after only seven years Walt's park had gone from "rough around the edges" to a truly beautiful place. ( I think I see a fire hydrant peeking up from behind those evergreen bushes).

Two fellows (father and son?) stand near a Kodak "Picture Spot", because that's where to be if they want to look like professionals! 

Over at the Carnation Plaza Gardens, guests enjoy an old-fashioned band concert beneath the striped tent. Is that Vesey Walker conducting? I don't recognize him without his hat! 

One of the things I like about this photo is the way you can see further back than usual, all the way to the attraction posters on the far wall. I also like the way the Carnation paper cups are such a vivid red!


Nanook said...


Hat or hatless, that's Vesey Walker conducting. Nice images today.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

The first one is a great (if unintentional) example of the "Red Shirt School of Photography."

In the second we see the 17th Annual Convention of the Grey-Haired Bald Guys' Club (GHBGC). Founded after WWII, they held their yearly gatherings at Disneyland from 1957-1998, when rising prices, the Light Magic debacle, and an escalating feud between Paul Pressler and club president Gavin McLeod culminated in a switchblade rumble in front of the Submarine Lagoon that caused so much damage that the ride was forced to close for the next eight years. Also note the white-hatted, bow-tied busboys.

Matterhorn1959 said...

No mention of the souvenir hat in the foreground?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I sort of thought it was Vesey (who else would it be?)!

Chuck, does the “Red Shirt School of Photography” have to do with the red-shirted person dying? And thank you for mentioning Gavin McLeod, probably our greatest actor (after Jamie Farr).

Matterhorn1959, I didn’t notice it! Wish I had one in my collection though. BTW, with all of these high-priced auctions of Disneyland memorabilia, I realize how truly mediocre my own collection is.

Anonymous said...

The first picture is wonderful, although the second is pretty interesting for detail. Picture 2 lighting is more balanced than we usually see in that location. I vaguely remember the wall of posters along the back with a hamburger lunch. I think I only went in there once or twice.

I always thought the Kodak spots were a great idea for amateur photographers. Each one seemed to be perfectly framed. Does anyone know if these were pre-programmed as part of the design, or if they were "planted" later, after construction, when the composition of each individual location could be seen in person? It seems to me that the latter would be the only sure way to do it in that era. Of course, with today's 3D visualization tools, they would just render the Revit model with 3D Max and predict them all in advance.

@Chuck, those guys are gonna rumble any second now, the tension in the air is so thick you could cut it with a comb.


Chuck said...

Major, yes, it does. You have no idea how many National Geographic models died in the line of duty.

JG, ha! Reminds me of a high school production I saw of West Side Story when I was in grade school. A friend's older sister played Maria, and she told us that the "switchblades" used in show were actually combs. The night I saw it, during one of the fight scenes a member of the cast accidentally ran his "knife" across another player's arm, teeth down. It made that tell-tale "comb xylophone" sound, and both the Sharks and the Jets had a really tense moment as they struggled to keep in character.

One of my sons just won one as a prize at a local arcade/pizzeria/movie theater/laser tag establishment. I'm so glad summer vacation has just started; I'm hoping he loses interest in it (or it breaks) before school starts again. I really don't want to see my kid suspended for threateningly combing his hair.

Connie Moreno said...

Matterhorn, I too, love that hat! I remember a couple of different styles sold in the Park when I was a kid. I know that somewhere, there is a photo of my older sister wearing one. I remember the day my dad bought it for her. Gotta find that picture....