Wednesday, June 28, 2017

4000th POST!

Just over a month ago, I celebrated GDB's 11-year anniversary. Today I am celebrating post number 4000 - four times what I had originally intended to share back when I started this cockamamie endeavor (my original goal was to somehow reach 1000 posts). Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have been unable to scan anything new for a while (long story), and I wasn't sure how to best celebrate today's milestone; so I decided to go back through what I laughingly call my "archives" (dozens of barely-organized folders on an external hard drive) and re-post some of my favorite images from the past - generally scans from the early years, and in some cases from years before the blog even existed.

I'll begin with this fun photo - the second image to ever appear on GDB - showing  a rare look at the interior of the Upjohn Pharmacy. The little boy with the Donald Duck cap is gazing intently at a classic Japanese tin robot, while a man (not the boy's father - he  appeared in other photos) seems to be purchasing a swell-looking Mickey Mouse toy.

I love this great shot of the Plantation House (circa 1956), taken from the Mark Twain; I can't decide if I'd rather be up on the balcony (imagine the view!), or down below, closer to river and the action.  If you look between the first and second columns of the house, to the left, you can just see the old well that was only there for a brief time.

Meanwhile, over at the Disneyland Hotel... we get this wonderful, dynamic shot looking down on the Hotel Tram, with the yellow Monorail heading into the station, looking about as cool as possible. Just visible in the distance is the dome of the Anaheim Convention Center - not to mention acres and acres of cars to our left.

Here's a 1963 slide that I wish I could rescan - I did this one back in 2004, and while it is pretty, I think I could do a better job now. Something to do in the future! Anyway, it's a lovely view of the Matterhorn, with the Yacht Bar to our left. For some reason the Matterhorn's waterfall, splashing down to the ground, looks especially cool here. 

This one has so much going for it - intense Kodachrome hues, crystal clarity, and the late afternoon sun shining on Main Street Station and the Disneyland Railroad. And the posters - so many classics. Imagine having never been to Disneyland before, or even knowing much about it, and seeing this tableau as your introduction!

I always love a good night shot, and this photo of the "America the Beautiful" show building (from 1960) is pretty sweet. It almost looks like a stained glass window, with those rich vibrant colors. In the foyer is a map of some country. BUT WHICH ONE? If only there was a clue.

Check out this amazing photo from July of 1956! The Tomorrowland Autopia looks so great, with the curving roadways and multicolored cars that look like Matchbox toys. Almost as interesting is the view of rural Anaheim, with very little development as far as the eye can see.

Here's a fun, rare view taken inside the Kaiser Aluminum Telescope, from one of the sponsored exhibits in Tomorrowland. The telescope was angled upward (where the "Mighty Microscope" from Adventure Thru Inner Space would eventually go), and guests entered from the lower part and walked up a ramp to enter the exhibit - it looks like we are looking back down the ramp. This was one of the cooler finds in my time collecting. And it's a stereo slide to boot!

This one seems to pop up somewhat regularly on Disneyland fan sites; folks have fun with the crude and possibly frightening appearance of these early character costumes. I find the weirdness to be appealing, but... it's not for everyone.

Here's another favorite of mine, with the brave li'l Viewliner cruising (Viewliners don't chug!) through a rather barren landscape, about to cross a lake that is almost pure sulphuric acid. OK, that's a lie, but wouldn't that be cool? Fans of telephone poles will be happy today. I think that's the Junior Autopia in the distance.

If you like the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad (Railway?) you will enjoy this fun photo from 1955, as the Passenger Train scoots past the Freight Train - this is presumably from the days when the Passenger Train only stopped at Main Street Station, while the Freight Train only stopped at Frontierland Station, making the siding necessary. It's so odd to see the people standing in the open-topped cars! Somehow the gentleman's straw hat is the perfect touch.

Sticking with the train theme, I wanted to share this warm and lovely shot of the Nature's Wonderland Mine Train as it returns to Rainbow Ridge under the golden afternoon sunlight. This one is dated "July, 1960", so Nature's Wonderland was brand-new, and the trains were sporting the wonderful yellow hue (which was dark green in the earlier incarnation).

I generally love photos of the old Monsanto Plastic House of the Future, and this one is a great example. It's funny to think that this house was futuristic - but not crazy futuristic. I think that the designers hoped that ideas like this might catch on over the next decade or two, though they were probably resigned to the fact that people would always want "traditional" homes, and not a giant plastic mushroom.

I buy lottery tickets about twice a year, and know that the odds of winning are incredibly small, BUT... if I strike it rich, I want to build a house like this!

As wonderful as they were, the Disneyland Stagecoaches only ran for 4 years. They suffered from low rider capacity, and occasionally had a tendency to tip over. Their removal was sad, but the addition of the fantastic Nature's Wonderland made it all better.

And finally, here's a beautiful photo of Tomorrowland, taken from the queue of the months-old Skyway. (this picture was taken on December 29, 1956). There's so much to look at! The Autopia, the lake where the Phantom Boats occasionally plied the waters, the Fantasyland train station (with the Passenger Train stopped there), the Yacht Bar (in its original location?), "Holiday Hill" and the Skyway tower... so wonderful.

Well, there you have it; 15 greatest hits for post #4000. I can hardly believe it! There won't be another 4000, I'm sorry to say, though if I owned enough photos, I'd give it a shot. As always, thanks to all of you who comment and contribute to make GDB such a fun little community.


Nanook said...


4,000 posts-!! Yeeesh - I can't even count that high-! And not a clunker in the bunch.

After trying to prefer a preference as to whether I'd rather be dining on the balcony of the Plantation House, or down below - I decided on BOTH. I mean, come on-!

You had me stumped with what 'country' was being featured in the entrance to America the Beautiful, but I was able to ID one of the states as - "The state of confusion". (You just knew that was coming).

Major, there are too many other "exciting points of interest" in today's extravaganza for me to comment, and still get a night's sleep, so I'll leave that to others. But suffice it to say your yeoman efforts shepherding this blog through its paces for 4K posts is most-appreciated and provides great joy.

D-Ticket said...

Today's is indeed a primo selection. Here's to your future cockamamie endeavors.

TokyoMagic! said...

Four thousand posts? Truly amazing! And Major, what can I say that I haven't said to you before. I'll just say a great big THANK YOU, once again!

Scott Lane said...

Thanks for the last 4000 and here's hoping for at least 1000 more! People can say what they want about the other parks - "Florida has everything", "Paris is the most beautiful", "Shanghai has the biggest castle", "Hong Kong has the best rides", "Japan has the coolest second gate"... but there's no substitute for the charm and magic of the original Disneyland.

Pegleg Pete said...

Congratulations on reaching 4000 posts, Major. You really have posted some great photographs over the last eleven years and today's selections are no exception. Thanks again for all the effort you out into the blog – it really is appreciated.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Congrats on the huge milestone! Keep your eyes focused on the prize. Only 191 more posts to beat Ty Cobb and 256 to beat Pete Rose. Pete doesn't count though because he was banned for gambling on his blog.

Not a gambler myself I would bet you've put many many thousands of smiles on our faces over the years with your great blog. Thanks again for all the time and effort.

Matterhorn1959 said...


K. Martinez said...

Congrats, Major. That's quite an achievement. I don't think it can ever be overestimated, the positive impact you've had on many vintage Disneyland fans. As TM! said, a great big THANK YOU!

Unknown said...

Boy, oh boy! one thinks one has seen everything in Disneyland past and present and then you post that shot from the inside of the Aluminum telescope. Now I've seen everything. (Words I hope to eat someday.)

Thanks, Major!

DrGoat said...

I'll add my thanks and congratulations. Brightens up every morning for me. The Plantation House shot is a pip.

Tom said...

Huge congratulations on reaching post #4000! That is a whole lot of awesomeness!

That night shot of America the Beautiful facade is one of my all time favorites - I can never get enough of the exterior of those pre-1967 show buildings. Bonus points when we can get the neon "atoms" in frame!

Thanks for all the sharing, Major!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Just an awesome post, Major! Congrats on 4,000!

Whenever I blow up your pics, I am always amazed at the little, almost imperceptible details I continue to find that just scream "craftsmanship."

In that pic of the Ripley passing the freight train at Frontierland Station, I was surprised to see that the 2"x2"s support posts on the car side near the gentleman in the straw hat are chamfered on three sides! How easily would it have been to just cut those pieces straight with a saw and call it a day.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, Major. Just brilliant. Well-deserved congratulations and thanks for your unremitting efforts.

I can't pick a favorite out of these, they are all just splendid.

Best regards.


Unknown said...

Heck, Major, if I win the lottery I'll build you a Home of the Future. Money's no object...

Irene said...

Well congratulations on 4,000!!! I love everything about your site including the retro stuff that isn't Disney. Today's collection is awesome to the max. How it makes we want to go back to my childhood and revisit this Park that Walt walked in. I so wish I had good, concrete memories of those times. And anytime I see a photo of the Plantation House I eat it up (see what I did there?) because it was my Mom's favorite place to eat. Here's to as many more posts and finds as you can manage.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on such an achievement! You are a treasure trove of the history of the Park and, many times, resurrect vague memories that I have visiting with my parents back in the 50s and 60s. KS

TokyoMagic! said...

I was viewing these wonderful pics for a second time today and noticed that in the shot of the Stagecoach, the driver has a long and "grizzled" beard. Have we seen pics here in the past showing any of the stagecoach drivers.....or any DL cast members for that matter, with beards? (Excluding the entertainer/performers, of course, such as "Black Bart.")

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

That's merely a bearded lady you see there on the Stagecoach-!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the 4,000 posts, and thanks for sharing them all with us! There aren't many websites that I still frequent daily, but yours is one of them. Now how about 5,000...

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, thanks nice words, especially for the “no clunker” thing, but we both know that there have plenty of clunkers! It’s OK though, I hold myself to very low standards.

D-Ticket, here’s to the word “cockamamie”!

TokyoMagic!, I’m anxiously awaiting your 4,000th post.

Scott Lane, hmmm, 1,000… maybe. Hard to tell, based on what’s left. Of course I agree with you about the original Disneyland - the best of them all.

Pegleg Pete, you are welcome!

Alonzo P Hawk, I’d like to think I’m more of a Ty Cobb type, with my violent temper and proclivity for spiking my opponents!

Matterhorn1959, thank you very much.

K. Martinez, thanks to you for your support and friendship.

Patrick Devlin, yeah, that Kaiser telescope one is pretty cool. Got lucky there.

DrGoat, I always like hearing that the blog brightens somebody’s day. A noble thing, no matter how seemingly silly.

Tom, I agree, that America the Beautiful fa├žade is pretty sweet, especially at night.

Steve DeGaetano, thanks for pointing out that detail, which I missed - as you said, “craftsmanship”!

JG, you must choose a favorite, or name your first born “Major Pepperidge”. I’m probably a little late on that one!

Patrick Devlin, oh, if only I was able to say “money is no object” - and MEAN it!

Irene, still a Valley girl at heart - “awesome to the max”! I wish I had memories of the Plantation House, but I think it was gone before my time.

KS, I’m glad to have tickled some of those dormant neurons!

TokyoMagic!, I noticed that beard as well; you already pointed out Black Bart - he’s the only other cast member with a beard that I can think of.

Nanook, ZOIKS

Brad Abbott, hoo boy, no promises for 5,000…

Chuck said...

Major, late to the party again (you may deduct 1,000 Pepperidge Points from my account).

Just want to echo everyone else's sentiments here. Your blog is a daily "must" for me. Some people stop off at a coffee shop for some social time on the way to work; I like to pretend I'm hanging out at the Hills' Bros. place on Main Street with you guys every morning. I also like to pretend I'm an admiral in the Swiss Navy. And a cocker spaniel with a lisp named "Boots."

Your blog is a bright, sunny spot in an often fetid wasteland that we call "the Internet," and it dragged me through some pretty dark days when I really didn't feel too bright myself.

At every milestone, you tell us you can't go on another thousand posts, and yet you somehow manage to do so. I know it can't last forever, but I'm grateful you've plugged away at it for so long. Thank you so much for doing - and continuing to do - what you do so well.

In a word, sir, you rock.

Wait - that's two words...

Mark H. Besotted said...

Wowee wow, to quote Figment.

I'm also late to the party, and I want to second all the comments above. Except Dr. Goat's -- I think the Plantation House is less of a Pip, and more of a Temptation.

As always, thanks so much for your hard work and dedication. If money were no object, I'd buy us ALL Houses of Tomorrow, and you ten new scanners to boot.

zach said...

I rarely miss a day (except weekends) so I'm late, too. But one should always take time to say thank you! What an awesome group of photos of parts of DL that I don't remember or probably never saw. It's all been said above and I echo it. Thank you for the years and dedication to this labor of love.

And don't you just hate it when the Monorail photo bombs your pictures of the trams?


Mark said...

Congratulations! I can't imagine! :)