Thursday, August 31, 2017

Disneyland's "Summer '67" Guidebook, Part Two

It's time for part two of Ken Martinez's scans of the wonderful Summer 1967 Disneyland guidebook! 

Summer ’67 Disneyland U.S.A., Part 2  - Practically a Whole New Disneyland

Today is the second post in a six part series featuring the “Summer ’67 Disneyland, U.S.A” booklet.  Featured today are several attractions and new additions to the Park.  Between the new Tomorrowland and other additions to Disneyland it was a busy time for Disneyland as it was rapidly changing and expanding.  I’ll let the booklet pages tell the story.

Fun Map of Disneyland – The Happiest Place on Earth.  Back then, Disneyland truly was the happiest place on earth. I really like this style of map.

Pirates of the Caribbean – There’s nothing like the original version, the last ‘E’ ticket attraction Walt was directly involved in.

New Orleans Square and “it’s a small world” – Disneyland just kept growing including adding the New York World’s Fair exhibit “it’s a small world” to its attraction line up. 

Primeval World and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln – Two more New York World’s Fair exhibits imported over to Disneyland.  Now, if only we had kept the Carousel of Progress at Disneyland.

Next will be Part 3 featuring Dining and Shopping at Disneyland.  Hope you enjoyed today’s post.

Thanks as always to Ken Martinez for sharing this particularly awesome piece of Disneyland ephemera!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Monorail & Sub Lagoon, October 1961

Here's a nice 1961 Skyway view of the wonderful 4-car red Mark II Monorail zipping along the beamway above the queue for the Fantasyland Autopia (with it's striped awning). I'm always happy to see the Richfield Eagle (one of two, the other being in Tomorrowland), not to mention the jolly little Fantasyland Station to the left. 

Here's a zoom so that you can enjoy the awesomeness of the Mark II even more. I'm wondering if that large warehouse or shed in the distance is Disney-owned, or if it belonged to some other nearby business?

A second photo was taken from the Skyway, looking straight down into the warm blue-green water of the Submarine Lagoon. As always, it makes me wish I could swim in it!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Petersen Rock Garden

Here's an unusual installment for GDB, featuring a roadside attraction in Oregon, with photos taken by our pal Steve Stuart. I love that stuff like this exists! Here's Steve to tell you all about it:

Early in February I was visiting friends in Bend, Oregon – usually a yearly pilgrimage – and was reminded of a visit back in January 2013 to the Petersen Rock Garden in Redmond, Oregon.  Clearly a Roadside America attraction if there ever was one – although fairly far removed from any sort of main drag.  The rock garden was created by Rasmus Petersen, who ‘built’ his rock garden in the final 17 years of his life, ending in 1952 – in tribute to his adopted new country.  (Petersen was born in Denmark).  

Rasmus Petersen, who moved from his native Denmark to Central Oregon in the early 1900s, set up a 256-acre farm between Bend and Redmond, built the garden from rocks (sandstone, obsidian), petrified wood, thunder eggs, agate, jasper, lava glass and shells from around Redmond and on his farm.  The small, ornate houses resemble miniature Danish castles, similar to those he would have grown up with in Europe. Mixed with strange odes to America, the garden is a first generation immigrant's dreamscape.

The garden features sculptures, bridges, castles, etc., a dozen, or so in all, made from obsidian and other rocks. In addition, a flock of 30 or so peacocks and peahens roam the grounds.

It clearly reminds one of Simon Rodia, and his spectacular creation – the Watts Towers, in Los Angeles.  Although smaller in ‘scale’ and perhaps less ‘colorful’ than that of Watts Towers, Petersen’s creations are no less impressive in their execution.

By the late 1940s, Petersen’s collection of rock structures had grown so large that it took up four acres of his homestead. He decided to open up this “rock garden” to any visitor who was willing to leave a small donation at the property’s front gate. More than 100,000 visitors from all parts of the world stopped at the rock garden during its first 15 years, according to the Deschutes County Historical Society.
The inclusion of the Statue of Liberty, arguably the greatest ode to America, is carved from a single piece of red sandstone.  Lady Liberty’s depiction here, perhaps due to the ‘heaviness’ of her spires combined with her facial features, seems to bear a resemblance to an American Indian wearing a headdress – at least to me.  Unfortunately finding details on the statuary has proven elusive, and during the visit, I hadn’t the mindset to think in terms of documenting it.  This is a long way of saying that I can only guess at the height of Lady Liberty, although 10-15 feet certainly seems viable.

For his re-creation of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, Obsidian stones were attached to a 12-foot-tall scale replica of the building.  As this representation isn’t exactly a carbon copy of the real deal, I’m going to assume this structure was to be it.  And just for fun, Petersen threw-in an American flag beneath the structure; then, of course showing 48 stars.

I haven’t any idea if this next rather large, multi-storied castle-? represents an actual structure or is merely a conglomeration of several buildings from Petersen’s childhood  [It may very well be Independence Hall.  Any takers-?]  The child visible in the foreground, wearing those flashy purple boots (is she attempting to ward-off evil spirits-?) gives you some idea of the grandeur of many of the structures on the property.  She can be seen petting one of the many cats staying on the property.  In another image, the peacocks and peahens can be seen roaming about.

In spite of the additional cupolas, I’m assuming this image is of the U. S. Capitol, but I could easily be wrong.  Or maybe this is a palace of Norse mythology-?  Again, the scale of these buildings is not to be trifled with.  Although the smaller ones could almost feel at-home in Storybook Land.

As for the specifics on the remaining images – your guess(es) are as good as what I could come up with.  So, enjoy.
As you may be able to ascertain from these images, the property is far from being in pristine condition.  It is owned by Petersen’s granddaughter, who has experienced financial issues, especially attempting to maintain the property and the miniature structures.  At the moment I believe the property is closed to the pubic, with a possible re-opening in the future.

MANY THANKS to Steve Stuart for sharing this oddball piece of Americana - one that I had never heard of before. I hope you enjoyed looking at the Petersen Rock Garden!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Kids at Disneyland, February 1961

We've seen those two young mothers before, not to mention the kids in the double-wide stroller. Everybody loves strollers! While not the most exciting photo in the world, I like this somewhat unusual view looking south down the sidewalk of Main Street as the moms smile cheerfully. The way the blond kid is staring right at us is unnerving!

Later in the day, the kids have made a break for it over by the Casa de Fritos ("Hey, Klondike!"). Ican just hear the mothers. "Come on, Donny, hold Mikey's hand. Come on, Donnie!". So humiliating. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Santa's Village, Lake Arrowhead

It's always a good time to go to Santa's Village near beautiful Lake Arrowhead! Especially in the waning days of August. 

By golly, I DO feel welcome. Mrs. Claus has put out the good giant mushrooms, and if that isn't hospitality, then I don't know what is. As you can see, this was one of the days that the Hell's Angels showed up. Even scary bikers love Christmas. "Santa, I want some brass knuckles, and a 'Big Loo' robot".

I love the giant candy cane with fanciful signs pointing to many wondrous features. "Wee Puppet Theatre"! "Mill Wheel Toy Factory"! "Santa's Home"! "Reindeer Barn"! This place has it all. Hell's Angels love puppets.

This might be a scene from the Candy Cane Sleigh Ride. Or it might be a scene from my back yard. You decide. Snooty penguins vogue (on ice skates!) near toothy pink and white ice formations. 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Santa's Village.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I Love a Parade

Today I have two fun photos featuring a good old fashioned parade in Anytown, U.S.A.! These days parades are expensive affairs, and many cities and towns have discontinued parades that had existed for decades. Such a shame.

This first shot is helpfully dated "November 1959", and shows a group of Shriners - the Color Guard - presumably leading the way for a much larger group of be-fezzed marchers behind them. Be-fezzed I say! "Hardy's Theatre" is showing "Girls Town" and "Hot Car Girl" - both movies that might fall into the "exploitation" category, with pretty girls and crazy criminals.

Say, where is Hardy's Theatre anyway?

Fresno, California, that's where. And it was originally called the "Liberty Theatre" (opening in 1917), and was changed to "Hardy's" in 1931. As you can see here, the theater has fallen on hard times. Fresno is in the midst of a slow downtown revitalization, but it is unclear as to what the future holds for this old movie house.

This next photo was unlabeled and undated - if anybody recognizes this stretch of road, please chime in! I'd hoped that the businesses might help in figuring out the location, but "Kress", "Leeds", and "Pay Less Drugs" are all chain stores that could be anywhere. 

Still, it's a fun photo of yet another colorful group of Shriners - these fellows seem to be dressed along the lines of a French Zouave soldier, with some liberties taken (neckties!).

Friday, August 25, 2017

New scans, old slides

A while ago, I went through some of my old boxes of slides in the belief that I had already scanned everything worthwhile. Imagine my surprise when I found a number of nice images that (as far as I can tell) I either missed, or just skipped for some reason! Both of today's scans fall into that category.

Check out this wonderful 1958 photo showing the entrance to Disneyland! Ya gots yer old ticket booths, ya gots the Disneyland Railroad's yellow passenger cars, ya gots Main Street Station, and as a garnish, a few tiny attraction posters too. Name as many as you can!

To be fair, I didn't originally scan this slide because it had turned a nasty shade of orange-ish pink; it probably seemed beyond my restoration capabilities at the time. But times have changed! Looking at this jpeg, I see more things that I could have worked on (the clouds are still a bit pink), but overall I am pretty happy with it.

Here's another slide - this one is from 1957 - that had turned a deep shade of magenta. Now that it has been adjusted, I think it's a pretty great look at the old Fantasyland as seen from the rail of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. Details such as the group of Brownies to the right, or the family just to the left of my watermark, are lots of fun. All of the dark rides are super busy, as is the Carrousel. I'd love to get an ice cold glass of Welch's grape juice, and then check out the "Mickey Mouse Club 3-D Jamboree" (how's that for a title!).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

GDB "Greatest Hits - 2008

I am guessing that a lot of you faithful GDB readers out there might not have discovered this blog until after 2008. That's nine years ago after all (how's that for amazing math skills?) - practically a lifetime in Internet years. Today's photos originally appeared in '08 to wild acclaim, large cash awards, and a visitation from Tabaré Vásquez, the President of Uruguay. 

This great photo of the crowd milling around the base of the Matterhorn seems especially crisp and colorful - maybe it was that clear January air? The Matterhorn is still decked out in its early, darker paint scheme - I'm not sure when or why it was lightened, although my guess is that a lighter color helped with "atmospheric perspective" - the illusion that more air is between the guest and the object - in other words, the thing appears bigger and/or further away. This technique is theoretically why Sleeping Beauty Castle used to be more subdued in color.

Anyway, as always I love observing the guests - there's lots of kids, so perhaps school was still out for Christmas break. Or maybe it was just a typical weekend.

And now, another crisp, lemon/lime flavored view, showing fabulous Tomorrowland as seen from a Skyway bucket. Crowds were heavy for those days! I love seeing the curves of the Monorail track, the deep cyan of the Submarine lagoon, the Astro Jets and Space Bar, and rural Anaheim in the distance!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Disneyland's "Summer '67" Guidebook

Today's post is a neat one from GDB pal Ken Martinez. Disneyland's souvenir guidebooks are a popular collectible - I have a lot of them - but the "Summer '67" example is unique; it's also somewhat scarce compared to other books, so it's very possible that some of you have never seen it in its entirety. Not only is the size and layout a real break from past guidebooks, but it is chock full of photos that were brand-new at the time. Ken will have a total of 6 posts encompassing the entire guidebook!

Summer ’67 Disneyland U.S.A. – Part 1 Disneyland’s New Tomorrowland

Today is the first post in a six part series featuring the “Summer ’67 Disneyland, U.S.A.” booklet.  I’m not sure of the origins of this booklet, whether it was purchased at the Park or a special mail-in giveaway.  Hopefully, someone will chime in as to how one obtained this piece back in 1967.

It’s Marcia Miner, the Disneyland Ambassador who appeared in the Disneyland episode “From Pirates of the Caribbean to the World of Tomorrow”.  She was the third Disneyland ambassador.  And now, Marcia Miner would say, “You can see we have almost a whole new Disneyland to show you. So we better get started.”

Tomorrowland at Disneyland - A reality Today - Here we have a beautiful artist rendering of the New Tomorrowland.

General Electric’s Carousel of Progress – It seems like the human life-like Audio-Animatronic centric attractions of yesteryear are disappearing more and more.

McDonnell Douglas’ Flight to the Moon and Monsanto’s Adventure Thru Inner Space – This is Tomorrowland when it was about science and edutainment.

Bell System’s America the Beautiful and the Goodyear PeopleMover – And here we have Marcia Miner with Mickey Mouse again.  Besides Julie Reihm and Marcia Miner were there any other Disneyland ambassadors who appeared in Disneyland film productions?  I like the small image of the Coca-Cola “Refreshment Garden” here.

Next will be Part 2 featuring Pirates of the Caribbean, New Orleans Square, “it’s a small world”, Primeval World and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,  Hope you enjoyed today’s post.

THANK YOU, Ken Martinez!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jungleland Flyers

Today I have scans of two vintage flyers from Jungleland (Thousand Oaks) - a fun little animal park that I was lucky to visit when I was a tiny tot.

Let's start with this example, printed in greens and oranges. Come on safari in beautiful, smog-free Thousand Oaks! Not only could you see ordinary wild animals, you could also see movie star animals. You could tell the difference because the celebrity animals wore shades and drank martinis. Talk about living! 

Thanks to the mention of the box office debacle, "Doctor Doolittle", we can date this flyer to around 1967.

Here's the other side... chock full of useful information. Did you know that Jungleland was one of the oldest and most famous tourist attractions in California? I'm a little surprised that the place was open every day of the year; the employees didn't get Christmas off, I guess.

I believe that this flyer is just a bit older than the previous example; it is printed in shades of appropriately jungly green. See Henry the giraffe! I love giraffes because they're so weird. At the bottom of the flyer we see Mabel Stark, the famous tamer of big cats. Apparently she lived a pretty colorful life in her younger days, and survived numerous attacks from various tigers, leopards, and lions.

Monkey Island?! I want to live there! And look, there's Chucko the Clown; he will host your birthday party. Go check out the wild animal shows, the "baby zoo", trained goats and birds - this place had everything!

As much as I miss Jungleland, I remember that even as a small child I did not like seeing the big cats cooped up in small cages. Perhaps it closed at the right time.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fantasyland, October 1962

Today I have two pretty nice views of Fantasyland, circa 1962!

This first example shows the wonderful Sleeping Beauty Castle, with scaffolding on the eastern spires and battlements. Perhaps it was just normal upkeep - painting and such. Seven years of Southern California sunshine could fade paint, even on a magical castle. In spite of the scaffolding, the scene is very pretty, with bright colors and lush landscaping; the park looks as clean as can be. 

Let's go get a treat from the ice cream vendor!

Here's another fun scene, with the Alice in Wonderland ride in front of us. Giant ivy leaves (?) let sunlight through, while those white balls look like dandelion puffs with the seeds blown away. Overhead, a Skyway bucket sneaks in; and a bright red fire hydrant is hard to miss.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hooray for Pooh! July 1972

Remember when Disneyland's costumed characters could just wander around for a delightful chance encounter? Sure, there might be a handler nearby armed with a cattle prod, but otherwise the whole experience was a pleasant surprise. Today's photos feature that chubby little cubby, Winnie the Pooh.

Pooh made a big splash (forgive me) in 1964's "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree", and fans have loved him ever since. Back in the 1990's (or early 2000's), his popularity eclipsed that of Mickey Mouse. His image was on every kind of merchandise, and Disney Store catalogs were dominated by plush toys and clothing featuring all of the characters from the Hundred Acre Woods. Now I like ol' Pooh Bear just fine, but come on! Mickey Mouse is the big cheese in these here parts. (I managed to avoid making a comment about Pooh being shoved down our throats. It feels good to be polite).

Pooh's eyes betray his stuffed animal origins. Glassy as heck! Maybe he's had enough honey for one day. By 1972 (when these photos were snapped), there had been two additional featurettes, "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day", and "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too". I remember being very excited when these wonderful cartoons were aired on "The Wonderful World of Disney".

I'm happy to see that Mickey Mouse has made something of a comeback in recent years. Order has been restored to the Universe.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


New York. Skyscraper Junction. Taxi Cab Town. The City That Doesn't Nap Very Much Except When It Gets Really Hot and Muggy. The Land of a Thousand Smells. This is the place! 

Here's a fun photo, dated "June 1967", but that can't be right, because all of those charming young ladies are wearing their most stylish overcoats. They are posed in front of Radio City Music Hall on 6th Avenue, and the city is chockablock with people. Radio City is showing the 1967 film adaptation of the Broadway hit, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", which opened in March, so that is probably a more accurate date for this image.

Here's a Google screen grab showing how the place looks today. There are some details that have changed, but it looks largely the same.

Here's one of my favorite places ever, the amazing Metropolitan Museum of Art, on 5th Avenue (as seen from 82nd Street). There are over 25 paintings in this museum! I didn't even know there were that many paintings in the world. I think there were some sculptures too, but I was playing "Angry Birds" a lot, so I kind of forget. But the place is great! 

Actually there are over 2,000,000 pieces of art in the permanent collection. I spent a full day there two years ago, and felt like I'd barely scratched the surface - but my brain was melting from overstimulation.

Mr. Google provided this modern street-view. Somebody has used a whole lotta Bon Ami and cleaned a century of grime off of the exterior of the Met. Looks pretty good! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Art Corner Exterior, October 1963

The first photo in today's post was a nice find - it's a beautiful shot of the legendary Tomorrowland Art Corner building; a feature that very few people captured on film. The structure itself is not much more than a steel shed, but the façade has those squares (windows? I'm really not sure) of colorful abstract shapes, reminiscent of paper cutouts by Matisse. The large window in the lower left has a large shield with what appears to be smaller examples of medieval heraldry (maybe). 

Of course the Art Corner is famous for selling cels from films like "Alice and Wonderland" and "Sleeping Beauty" for a few dollars. Setups with matching background paintings were more, but still a bargain by today's reckoning. Since this photo is from October 1963, they might have had lots of cels from the previous animated feature, "101 Dalmatians" (1961). "The Sword in the Stone" would be released in December of '63, so in just a few months guests could have their very own cels of Wart, Merlin, and Madam Mim. 

Meanwhile, check out the souvenir hats in the foreground! Barely visible above the dyed ostrich plumes we can just see a part of the "Art Corner" sign.

Here's an old publicity photo showing the Art Corner - check out the thousands of dollars in attraction posters in the windows!!

This nice lady is posing for a portrait - not too far from the location of the first photo. The building behind her was where "The Art of Animation" exhibit was located (from May 28, 1960 thru September 5, 1966). Animation, eh? I've heard of it. I don't think it will catch on. Sock puppets are where it's at, mark my words.

Before that, guests would have seen the "Satellite View of America" - boy do I wish I had a few photos of that one!