Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Babushkamania! May 1966

There was "tulip mania", and "Beatlemania", but today it's babushkamania! In 1966, every man, woman and child wore a babushka 24 hours a day. They all threw away their ratty old coonskin caps for something lighter and more practical (and less smelly). Even the previously-mentioned Fab Four wore babushkas onstage during their final live performance in Candlestick Park. You remember now!

Well, where was I? Oh yeah, today's photos feature a charming babushka'd woman as she enjoyed herself in Disneyland. I have a group of about 35 slides, many featuring this nice lady. Her husband must have been crazy about her!

There she is again, this time not too far from the Plaza Inn (formerly the Red Wagon Inn). I like the subtle details, like the distant popcorn cart, the blue spires from the castle, the lady in the gray overcoat and bright red hat, and... no "Partners" statue!


Nanook said...


The only thing that could upstage this gal is that older couple in the second image - the both of them wearing hats. I have it on good authority that National Hat Day occurs every year on January 15th. These folks are just a few months too late for that celebration. My head feels so bare all of a sudden.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I liked the post

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I liked the post, too. The lady reminds me of someone, but I can't place who that is. Polly Holliday, perhaps? And in that first pic, is that a native mask on the tree in the background? I don't remember ever seeing that before.

Chuck said...

Look at all that wasted space in the second photo. There's nothing generating revenue but a popcorn cart and that distant Skyway tower, and not a single cartoon character or other IP in sight. No wonder the crowds are sparse. I am so glad they've fixed that in the intervening 50 years. With what they charge for admission these days, they'd better be giving the customer ample opportunities to give them more money.

Are there any free-range lawns left at Disneyland, or have they all been caged?

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Well kiss my grits if I don't have to agree with @TokyoMagic!

She does quite resemble Polly Holliday in her UPS issue dress. The retro sunglass babushka combo and the wide angle purse are stylish indeed. That purse looks like some kind of primitive Bluetooth subwoofer.

Keep up the good work Major, thanks. With frequent exposure and some good ol' grass roots gossiping I think Babushkamaina could be a "thing" at the next Coachella Festival.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it must have been a chilly day, you see lots of jackets, long sleeves, and hats on people. I particularly like the gray coat and red hat on the older lady!

Anonymous, thank you.

TokyoMagic!, I don’t know who Polly Holliday is! Was she on an episode of “I Love Lucy”? As for the mask, you have sharp eyes. So sharp that they should be registered as deadly weapons. Maybe put some corks on them so that they don’t hurt people. Stay tuned for more on that mask, I’ve already written a blog post with further info!

Chuck, you are so right, the thought of all that land just sitting there - freeloading! - makes me ill. Let’s build a princess meet ’n greet right where Babushka Gal is standing, and we can put some food carts and merchandise carts (stuff with flashing LEDs) nearby. The lines will be long, but for an extra $10, guests with fatter wallets won’t have to wait, and let’s face it, they’re the ones we want in Disneyland anyway (oh, snap!). Good question about lawns, I have wondered the same thing myself.

Alonzo, was Polly Holliday “Flo” from “Alice”? How soon we (I) forget. I even had that poster of Polly in the red bathing suit. Or was that Farrah Fawcett? I get them mixed up. There is something kind of timeless about Babushka Gal’s style, she would still look elegant today. The purse is odd though - maybe she played the drums and carried her extra sticks in it. I could see babushkas at Coachella - I mean, the grunge bands used to wear skirts.

Melissa said...

I christen her Babs Bushka.

I, too, couldn't help having my eyes drawn to the lady in the gray coat and red accessories! Hubs ain't too shabby, either, in his black fedora and overcoat.

I can't imagine either the Jungle Cruise dock or the Hub not being too crowded for these pictures nowadays.

Anonymous said...

She is a pretty lady, having a good time back there in the past, when Disneyland was uncrowded and people were polite and well-dressed.

Thanks Major. Now I want to ride the Jungle Cruise and admire a free-range lawn.

Purses or bags with that form factor are still sold, but they are meant as wine bottle carriers.


Matthew said...

Happy Wednesday everyone! What did I miss??!!

Great photos today Major! Thanks for giving us all a moment of levity and chance to remember our youth with these photos.

Nanook - I completely missed it when you called me out to add script to the "Native Uprising" show scene on the Jungle Cruise in the July 8th post. I will head back over and write something... but I must admit... you remembered the majority of them! Well done... well done indeed!

TokyoMagic! (and Major) - Yes, there were a few native masks on the trees across from the dock along with a few stand alone tikis. Major - I'm looking forward to your forthcoming post on that mask.

For anyone who cares about this level of detail stuff... across from the dock is the spur line where four boats could be parked overnight. Three more would park along the dock itself and the rest were in boat storage (with one boat constantly out in the shop for rehab). The catwalk you see leads to the "rear switch" (currently covered by a large fiberglass log... the tall one at the end of the dock). That is the switch that would enable us to send a boat back into boat storage. The doors would open on a pneumatic switch located on the log with the lantern on it. Finally, not to bore you, but you can also see the old style of throttle for the boats (it is stick coming up from the deck in front of the counsel with a wood handle parallel to the boat). The throttles today (and back in 1986) resembled a regular modern day boat throttle.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Nanook said...

@ Alonzo P Hawk-
That purse looks like some kind of primitive Bluetooth subwoofer.. Yes, indeed-! And now that you mention it, it also resembles those “extension loudspeakers” one could buy for their transistor radios back in the 1960’s. I seem to recall those speakers resembling a 4” diameter [probably] heavy-gauge cardboard tube, about a foot in length, with 4” speakers at each end. One simply inserted the mini-plug into the earplug (not headphone-!) jack of whatever transistor radio was barely powerful enough to power itself, for ‘room-filling’ sound. (Well, not hardly-!) They seemed to be used most at the beach, as these speakers were usually placed along the base of a car’s windshield so the sounds could supply nearby beach-goers with, ah.... outdoor music - and a great deal of distortion.

Let’s just say it was an idea waiting for technology to catch-up.

stu29573 said...

In the late 70s I had a friend who rigged raw speakers (10 inch, I think) to his car stereo and would stick the magnets to his roof when he wanted to provide outdoor party music! A man ahead of his time...

TokyoMagic! said...

Alonzo, thanks for confirming that. I wasn't sure if I just had "Polly Holliday on the brain," because she will be getting a brief mention in my blog post for this Friday.

Major, ha, ha! The Polly Holliday red bathing suit poster! You now know that she was in "Alice," but she also played Betty White's sister in "The Golden Girls" and she was one of the little critters' victims in Gremlins.

JC Shannon said...

Babushkamania, I love it! "I Want to Hold Your Babushka"; Money Can't Buy Me Babushka"; and who could forget "Obla De Obla Bushka". Sorry I'm late I had to drive Bozeman today. I needed guessed it a Bozemanbabushka! Thanks for the great photos Major Yea, Yea, Yea.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, “Babs” it is! I didn’t even notice the gray lady’s red gloves and handbag. Red, white, and gray are a classy combo.

JG, aha, I had not considered the smuggling of booze, but that is a very likely scenario. Perhaps a crisp white zinfandel to go with her hamburger.

Matthew, thank you for the details about how the Jungle Cruise boats operated (or didn’t operate, when they were parked for the night). I love the secret switch disguised as a log. I don’t really have much to say about the masks, unfortunately, but I do have a much better photo of them!

Nanook, as crummy as those cardboard tube extension speakers sound, I have seen similar devices for iPods made from old soda cans or other garbage. I seem to recall that the transistors (and before that, vacuum tubes) amplified the radio signal by an incredible amount - no wonder that further amplification resulted in a harsh sound.

stu29573, did your friend drive a van lined with burnt-orange shag carpet?

TokyoMagic!, I’m glad to hear that Polly Holliday went on to do more work - I thought she kind of vanished. Fun fact: I have never seen an episode of “The Golden Girls”. I can’t imagine how she will factor into your upcoming post, so that should be interesting!

Jonathan, remember how Paul wore a babushka on the cover of “Abbey Road”, furthering the rumor that he had died?

JC Shannon said...

Major, and TokyoMagic! Polly Holliday was also Tims' Mother-in-law on Home Improvement. And yes, I remember. That was right after he wrote "Maxwell's Silver Babushka". I'll shut up now.

Melissa said...

She also coached Dustin Hoffman on his Southern accent for "Tootsie."