Thursday, November 16, 2017

On the RIver at Dusk, August 1969

Today's scans are from a pair of Instamatic slides (from... you guessed it... Mr. X himself). The sun was on its way down, which left both photos fairly dark, but in a way that just makes them more interesting. 

Let's begin with this view of the Columbia! The ship itself is practically lost in the shadows (though you can see that it is loaded with passengers); what we mostly  notice is how the sails are reflecting the last golden rays of sunshine (as is Castle Rock in the distance). More often than not, the Columbia doesn't sport any sails at all, so it looks pretty great here. And that blue-violet sky is very pretty too.

I tried to decipher those nautical flags, but all I can make out is the word "Ovaltine".

Next we have this very shadowy image of the Bertha Mae Keelboat as is scoots past us. How I envy those people on the top level! Tom Sawyer Island looks so dark and mysterious. One thing that is very noticeable is that lady's day-glo pink top. It was 1969, after all!

I zoomed in just a bit to try to get a better look at the Keelboat's controls; not exactly authentic to the 1880's! I wonder if these were basically the same as those found on the Jungle Cruise launches?


Nanook said...


It's hard to argue with the great shadows in the first image - and those sails-!. They [the shadows] make the Columbia seem even more grand than it already is.

Thanks to you and Mr. X.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, ha, Major! And the flags down the back end of the Columbia probably read, "BESURETODRINKYOUR"!!!

Chuck said...

A crummy commercial? Son of a - Babe, I'll be right there. I'm making a comment on Gorillas Don't Blog. I know I have to take a shower, but this is important. No, I won't be late for work again. I promise. Oh, all right...

[sound of footsteps, followed by shower starting. "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" can be heard echoing off the shower walls]

Melissa said...

Mis-ter X
Is the King of Instamatics!
His subjects
Are sim-pa-ly fantastic!

Okay is shots are so moody and evocative! I didn't so much notice the lady in the Day-Glo pink top as the lady in the white blouse so sheer you can see her bra through it.

Stefano said...

As it is August 1969, maybe the about-to-be opened or just opened Haunted Mansion is casting ominous shadows on the area. Even the figurehead on the Columbia looks ghostly. And that steer skull on the pole in the first photo...

Tom said...

Every time I see a slide set from August 1969 I get excited, hoping maybe somehow the photographer caught our family in the frame. I don't know why the heck my mom didn't bring her camera inside the park that day.

Love the feeling of the last glimmers of sunlight on those sails, like the voyage is into darkness. I'm sure that was an awesome time of day to be out on the river.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I had hoped I could pull more detail out of those shadows, but then things just went gray and grainy, so… I left the darks dark. Still looks OK though!

TokyoMagic!, it’s the only thing that makes sense.

Chuck, I guess this is a bad time to announce that GDB will now be ad-supported. Tomorrow the page will be filled with ads for the “Sham-Wow”, deodorants, the new Honda CRV, processed snack foods, and yes, cigarettes. Sweet, sweet cigarettes.

Melissa, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a year’s worth of posts contain material from our pal Mr. X. And thank you for pointing out that sheer top! I mean it. Thank you.

Stefano, I think you might be right. Perhaps these were actually taken at noon! Don’t tell me you don’t have a steer skull on a pole in your home….?

Tom, I would love it if one of the GDB regulars spotted themselves or their family in one of my photos! TokyoMagic! is pretty sure that one photo shows his mother and grandmother, but that’s the only picture that I am aware of that might show a family member.

DKoren said...

Love all these, but that first shot is exquisite, those sails lit up like that. Very evocative.

Melissa said...

If you ever post anything from February 1983 at WDW, I'll just Photoshop my family into it and we'll call it close enough.

Major Pepperidge said...

DKoren, the sails are the best part!

Melissa, I know you'll do it, too. Usually when I acquire WDW slides, I try to get early examples, but who knows, I might actually have some from '83!

Anonymous said...

Loving the Columbia and the control panel detail.